Now, I was talking about the big !@#$ Trial of the Imago, which yours truly was both privileged and condemned to be a part of. I told you the verdict, which I'm sure was no !@#$ing surprise. And I told you about the judge, which was a big !@#$ surprise to me, but really shouldn't have been, all things considered.
And I could tell you about the defense, though to be honest you've probably already heard so !@#$ing much about those poor !@#$ bastards who drew the short straw to have to do their !@#$ job with those !@#$ing tin-plated space weasels for a client that anything I could !@#$ing say would be about as !@#$ing redundant as a danger sign on a danger sign on a danger sign.
And I could tell you about the prosecution... though there's a little piece of puzzle on that that I'd rather play close to the chest, at least for now.
(Call it building suspense, son. Or just being an !@#$hole.)
But I figure you really want to !@#$ing hear about the defendants. Because I know I sure as !@#$ did. Even after all the !@#$ that I'd discovered about them (and, yes, handed over to the prosecution) I still have a lot of !@#$ing unanswered questions.
And, just our luck, they were in a sharing mood.
* * *
The doors to the massive courtroom open automatically. All TU guards in the room -- resplendent in their blue, white, and red uniforms -- snap to attention and present their large, imposing energy weapons, their eyes fixed upon what's being wheeled in.
The first is a large, metal wheelchair. It's covered in what can only be described as a combination of life support and heavy restraints. Sitting within this life-giving manacle is an extremely old and withered woman, her long black hair strewn about her in a tangled mess. A high-tech transparent plate with circuits stamped into the edges has been strapped about her face.
As she passes where SPYGOD sits, along with Mr. USA, Director Straffer, New Man, The Owl, Talon, Winifred, and a few other prosecution witnesses, Dark Star shoots him a withering look. He waves to her, ever so coyly.
(He doesn't know what the look she gives him back is, but knows it doesn't bode well.)
The doors open again. This time, an older, heavyset man is being wheeled in under heavy guard. He does not need life support, and is not even manacled. His eyes are wide and unseeing, and his expression is rife with odd twitches and nervous tics.
This is the former head of the CIA, known as The Sight. He was hooked into the internet when SPYGOD turned it off. The shock clearly drove him insane, and he doesn't seem to have recovered very well.
"... she said Jesus had a twin who knew nothing about sin..." he announces, out of nowhere, and then giggles at a pitch as fragile as thin glass.
"'She was laughing like crazy... at the trouble I'm in,'" The Owl whispers, mostly to herself. The Talon reaches up to hold her hand, which she squeezes as if it's the only thing holding her in this place and time. She might be crying under the mask, or might not.
The doors open one last time, and a box on wheels is trundled in.
On that box is a glass case, surrounded by high-tech equipment, including a video camera and a speaker. In that box is a green and yellow, metal sphere -- maybe twice the size of a basketball -- that has been hooked up to wires and leads.
"Is that...?" Straffer asks SPYGOD as it passes them by.
"That's what they look like," Winifred whispers, shuddering at the memory: "When they're not !@#$ing shoved into someone's body, that's what they look like."
"Fascinating," he says, shaking his head just a little: "Energy containment?"
"!@#$ right," SPYGOD says: "Worst !@#$ing birthday present in the world."
Someone behind them shushes them, but the look SPYGOD gives the thin little busybody makes his testicles retract into his adam's apple.
* * *
So we had all three of the Imago's bigwigs that were left over after the Reclamation War, all in one place. And that's about where we started.
Now, you might be wondering how the !@#$ this trial only took two !@#$ weeks to prosecute. It took a year to try the big Nazis after the War, after all, and they just failed to conquer Europe. These tin-plated mother!@#$ers took over the whole !@#$ world and held it for seven months, which would make you think that we should still be in the !@#$ing pre-trial part of the program for a whole !@#$ year.
Simple answer son. They agreed to plea bargain.
And that's because they !@#$ing knew they weren't going to be found innocent, but still wanted the chance to have their side of the story told.
Why? Because they're !@#$ing narcissists, son. Gosheven !@#$ing confirmed that for me, when I debriefed him, after I finally !@#$ing got him and New Man back after their little !@#$ teleporter accident. They'd turned my beautiful Flier into a big !@#$ing museum of conquest, patting themselves on the !@#$ing back around every !@#$ corner...
Anyway. They wanted to tell us their story. So as soon as the Prosecution got all its !@#$ing evidence squared away with the judge (and the defense didn't !@#$ing object to anything, which is pretty !@#$ spooky) and after they called up their first few witnesses (which did not include me, which should have been a warning) they got that !@#$ing !@#$ Green and Yellow up on the stand.
And she !@#$ing sang like a canary.
Here, son. Drink this. Right the !@#$ down, all of it. You don't want your !@#$ing brain working for this one.
Yeah, good !@#$, huh? Here, have another. Sip at it, this time. You keep the !@#$ing buzz going, and I'll do my best to tell the story.
And !@#$ is it a doozy.
* * *
Prosecution: Do you prefer to be addressed as Green and Yellow?
Green and Yellow: You may as well use that name. My real name requires the use of a means of communication you cannot master in your current form.
Prosecution: Is that because you are an energy being?
Prosecution: Very well. Perhaps we should start from the beginning? As you have agreed to full disclosure?
Prosecution: Then please begin from the beginning.
Prosecution: Do you mean to say 'Imago' as in the last stage of a metamorphosis?
Green and Yellow: I do.
Prosecution: And what are you changing into?
Green and Yellow: Now? We are changing into nothing. You have impeded us.
Prosecution: But what would you change into if we had not impeded you?
Green and Yellow: We would have become you.
Prosecution: You mean we are not the first planet you have done this to?
Green and Yellow: Oh no. You are only the first in a long, long time.
Prosecution: How long has it been?
(Gasps from the courtroom)
Prosecution: You have been here, on Earth, for 65 million years?
Green and Yellow: Yes. The dimensional shunt placed us on your world, after it was violently uninhabited.
Prosecution: I do not understand-
Defense: If it would please the Court? My client is referring to the event that wiped out all life on Earth, 65 million years ago, curing the Cretaceous period. The impact of a massive meteor, I believe-
Green and Yellow: It was. Our jailers looked across the dimensional veil and saw that this world was doomed. So they placed us here, in our prison, secure that no one would come to let us out.
Green and Yellow: That is what I said.
Prosecution:You were jailed?
Green and Yellow: Yes. That is also what I said. Did I not just refer to a prison? Are you too simple to understand your own language?
Judge: I will remind the Defendant that we are giving you the opportunity to speak before the prearranged sentencing. If you cannot be civil, this will end, and we will go straight to the end of the trial, and your words can remain unsaid.
Green and Yellow: Of course. I apologize. We were imprisoned.
Prosecution: What were you imprisoned for?
Green and Yellow: The exact same thing that we were about to do to you.
Prosecution: How many... how many worlds have you done this to?
Green and Yellow: You would have been our thousand and first conquest.
(Gasps from the courtroom)
Judge: Order, please. We will have order, here.
Judge: I think I will grant that. Shall we resume in... one hour?
Green and Yellow: (Mocking laughter)
Judge: Does the defendant find something amusing?
Green and Yellow: You truly are a weak and sorry species. At least our last jailers were capable of understanding us.
Judge: We are quite capable of understanding you. Comprehension, on the other hand, will have to come with time. This court is in recess for one hour. Please remove the defendants to the holding cells.
* * *
And that was just the first bit, son. Told you it was a !@#$ing doozy, huh?
Want another beer?
(SPYGOD is listening to Amnesia (Dead can Dance) and having more of that French beer)