Monday, January 13, 2014

12/28/12 - The Master and Mother!@#$er - pt 3

 The name is Clem Snide
I am a Private Ass Hole
I will take on any job any identity any body 
I will do anything difficult dangerous 
or downright dirty for a price

William S. Burroughs - "The Soft Machine" (1966)

* * *

Odintsovo, Russia
May 1st, 1966

"You have got to be !@#$ing kidding me," SPYGOD snorts, kicking the air in front of him just to be certain he's not seeing things.

He's standing at the edge of the town, looking down the line at the massive metropolis to his East. When he looks at Moscow from here, he sees red -- quite literally. It's like the sky above the city is bleeding, somehow. 

And darkness is seeping through the wound -- a darkness with a definite shape, however unnameable. 

He's snuck across three countries to get here, going from jetpack to train to truck. He fully expected to come here, see what was going on, shoot its !@#$ full of holes, and then get back to Berlin before anyone realized he was gone.

But this? This is nothing he's seen, before. This is nothing he's had to handle before this time.

And while the Chandra Eye is showing him the true and maddening shape of this mess, that's not helping him figure out a plan to deal with something that large and powerful.

He mulls what to do. Should he call in an air strike? No, that'd just cause World War III. Same with a nuke. But so far as he can tell, that's the only thing that might be able to put a scratch in... whatever that thing is.

"Maybe if one of their own went off...?" he thinks aloud, and the more he thinks about it, the more he likes it. 

He's about to find a phone line to tap into -- the better to call the !@#$ President to tell him he's about to arrange a nuclear accident -- when his front pectoral pocket starts buzzing. For a moment he wonders why his switchblade is vibrating, or if one of those experimental condoms he's been trying out activated prematurely, but then he realizes it's his Freedom Force communicator.

"!@#$ing !@#$," he mutters, tossing everything else out of the pocket in order to find the small little thing: "I told them never to call me. Why does no one !@#$ing listen to what I tell them..."

"Hello, SPYGOD?" it squawks as soon as he gets it in the palm of his hand: "This is Gold Standard-"

"A little !@#$ing busy, here, you tin-plated !@#$," he spits into the tiny speaker: "We got weird!@#$ extraplanar activity going on in Moscow-"

"That's just what I was calling to talk to you about. Doctor Power said he felt something go seriously wrong, over there, a few hours ago. He was wondering if you'd felt it?"

"Felt it? I felt like someone hit me in the !@#$ noggin with a !@#$ing fire hydrant full of moonshine, poured it out into the !@#$ hole, and then made me drink it the !@#$ down along with my !@#$ brain."

"... Is that a yes?"

"Yes, that's a yes. Jesus !@#$ing Christ, Eddie. Did you buy that !@#$ suit or did you make it?"

"And you said you're in Moscow?" Gold Standard asks, ignoring the insult.

"I'm outside of it, looking at it. And it's !@#$ ugly. Does he know what it is?"

"Hold on, let me ask him," Gold Standard says, and then SPYGOD's on hold.

"!@#$," SPYGOD spits: "So much for a !@#$ party line."

"Well, you have to give it some time," Doctor Power says, stepping out of a nearby copse of trees, his cloak up over his head and a smile on his face: "The fact that we have these at all is something of a minor miracle, I'm sure you can agree."

"Were you there all along?" SPYGOD sneers, putting his communicator down on the ground and stepping on it, much to Doctor Power's amusement.

"I just arrived. I figured it would make sense to call first, though. I'm glad I did."

"Tell me about it," SPYGOD says, crossing his arms and looking at the horrible thing over Moscow: "Do you know what the !@#$ that is?"

"I do, yes," Doctor Power sighs: "As you know, for years now, SQUASH has been summoning up otherworldly powers to add to their arsenal. Small things, so far. Deadly things, no doubt, but nothing too earth-shattering, thankfully."

"That I know, Doc," SPYGOD says, pulling out a flask and having a quick snort, and then offering it to the magician: "Tell me something new, here, because that does not !@#$ing look non-earth-shattering to me."

"Mmm. Thank you," the magician says, taking a sip and then regretting it: "There have been... *cough* pardon me, there have been whispers that they've been trying to raise a much larger thing, lately. A demonic clan called the Supreme Six."

"Sounds like a Motown group."

"Well, you won't want to groove to this one. If they get loose in our world, they could bring with them any number of powerful demons and creatures."

"And that's them we're seeing, over there?"

"Well, Walpurgisnacht was eight hours and thirty minutes ago. You couldn't have picked a better night for it."

"First of May, huh?" SPYGOD says: "Night of the Black Pill."

"I beg your pardon?" Doctor Power asks, not certain what he's talking about.

"Nothing," SPYGOD replies, taking his flask back and having another snort: "Jesus, this !@#$'s gone rotten."

"What was that? It tasted like rotten soup-"

"Chateau Adolf," he says, putting it away and getting out yet another flask: "Sometimes I don't get the !@#$ mix right, is all."

Doctor Power grimaces, and then looks down at the larger problem: "The bottom line is that this is not something we are going to fix by dropping nuclear weapons, (REDACTED). All we'd do is give them more souls. And that's the last thing we want to do right now."

"So what do we do? Learn to !@#$ing speak Commie?"

"We don't do anything," the magician says, putting a hand on SPYGOD's shoulder: "You go back to whatever you were doing when you saw this, and you let me and mine handle this."

"You mean Freedom Force?"

"I mean any magicians I can get my hands on. And we'll deal with this."

SPYGOD turns to look at Doctor Power, and it's not a nice thing: "Aren't you forgetting a little thing, there, Eben?"


"Don't 'what' me, you third-rate rabbit-!@#$er. I'm the one who tells you what to do, and not the other way around."


"And that's because I know, Eben. I know where you got your !@#$ing magic powers from, remember? And I know what you had to !@#$ing do to get them, and what you still have to !@#$ing do to keep them. Right?"

"Right..." Doctor Power says, slowly taking his hand off SPYGOD's shoulder.

"So when you tell me that this !@#$ing demon Motown group is the worst !@#$ing thing to come up the !@#$ pipe from Hell since !@#$ knows when, I have to ask myself... what's in it for you?"

"Nothing is in it for me," the magician insists, taking a step forward and getting in SPYGOD's breathing space: "I swear before all powers and gods, (REDACTED). I want these things off the planet as badly as you do, and I don't have an ulterior motive."

"Well that's good," SPYGOD says, putting the barrel of a very large handgun up under Doctor Power's chin in one fluid motion: "Because I'm going to !@#$ing stick to you like glue, Eben. And if I even get a whiff of any !@#$ing deal going on between you and these Six Supremes-"

"The Supreme Six."

"Whatever. One whiff of a deal, Eben, and I'm going to take your talisman, shove it up your !@#$, and pull it out your throat before I shoot it full of !@#$ing holes. And then we'll see if you can pull a new digestive system out of your !@#$ing hat. Got me?"

"I got you," Eben says, not going anywhere: "I'm sorry you feel you can't trust me-"

"I'm sorry I ever !@#$ing let you hold onto that thing-"

"I'm sorry," someone says from not too far away: "Did I come at a bad time?"

The two men step away from each other and turn to look at whoever's interrupted them. A tall fellow with long, curly brown hair, dressed in a flowing, white shirt and tight, leather pants. And his smile is sharp and infectious.

"Oh, great," SPYGOD spits: "The hippy. Who the !@#$ called you?"

"I did," Jim Morrison says, winking and lighting up: "Well, the Department of Defense did, really. But I knew they were going to call. It's a circular thing."

"Well met, James," Doctor Power says, stepping forward and shake the man's hand: "It's good to see you again."

"Just Jim, Eben," Morrison replies, taking a drag and looking over at SPYGOD: "And we're not on a first name basis yet, are we?"

"Not likely to be at all, longhair," SPYGOD snorts, putting the gun away.

"In the fullness of time, you'll call me friend, and more," Morrison says, smiling: "Anyway, I just came to get you two. the others are in Berlin, already."

"Others?" Doctor Power asks: "Did the Defense Department get involved?"

"Oh no," Morrison says, offering him a cigarette, which he kindly refuses: "They just sent me. Everyone else is here on their own. But then, even when we're on our own, we're never alone."

"I didn't see a !@#$ing aircraft come down," SPYGOD notes, looking around: "How did you get here?"

"Just walked," Morrison says, winking and taking another drag: "Come on, I'll show you the way."

With that he walks off, clearly expecting to be followed. Doctor Power shrugs, looks at SPYGOD, and heads off.

"'Fullness of time' my !@#$," SPYGOD mutters, taking another hit from his flask as he follows after: "Fullness of time I'm going to kick your hippy !@#$ back to !@#$ing California..."

Morrison laughs, up ahead, and sings: "'Yeah we're on our way, and we can't turn back...'"

"!@#$ing hippy."

The three men wander up the road for a time, with Jim Morrison singing as they go. After a time, their whereabouts become sketchier, and less certain. The trees go dark and turn into one large, black shape. The Moon vanishes, the buildings fade away, and then there's just the road, and the stars, and a gentle, warm wind coming at them.

And then they're not where they were, anymore.

* * *

"I am telling you, I will not work with that... thing!" Doctor Krwi shouts, pointing one of his many guns at the strange, black shape sitting on a wooden bench in the corner of the darkened, deserted bar.

"Now don't be a !@#$ fool, Doc," a short-haired, older man in a grey coat that looks like old film crackling says, closing his eyes and putting up his hands: "This is a problem we've got here. A big !@#$ problem. And we're gonna need all hands on deck if we're going to stop this-"

"Who says we should stop it?" the thing says, its black motorcycle leathers creaking as its hideous, dried and withered face comes into the half-light, its accent that of a posh, upper-class British man: "Perhaps this is the way of things. As below, so above, as some would say."

"You see?" the Polish vampire hunter insists: "It isn't even on the same side? There's an enemy in our camp already!"

"There is no enemy, you !@#$ moron," the older man says, his voice warbling in anger: "Dark and light's all the same !@#$ thing once you get out far enough. It's a question of balance. And right now, this world's about to go so !@#$ far our of balance that we might not get it back in your lifetime."

"No enemy?" Krwi spits: "Tell that to the innocent victims, you effete fool. Tell that to the drained children and violated maidens. Tell that to the ones who do it to them, who consider us their food!"

"Innocence is an illusion," the revenant says, leaning back into the shadows: "There are only degrees of guilt. All will be punished to one degree or another, for this life's sins or the one before it."

"Oh, so the stolen babes the vampiri toss back and forth for sport at their esbats all deserve to die screaming and in pain? Is that what you're saying?"

"They must have done something to deserve that, yes."

"I have heard enough!" Krwi hisses, pulling the trigger. The bullet cracks out of the barrel and hurtles towards its target, but then vanishes before it reaches its mark.

"You ain't heard nothing yet," a voice says, lilting from the door. It's Morrison, and he's come with company.

"About !@#$ time you got back, young'n," the older man says, getting up from the bench and heading for the door: "It's all I can do to keep Abbot and Costello over there from fighting or !@#$ing."

"SPYGOD, you must agree with me," Krwi insists, heading in that direction and pointing to the corner: "If we are at war with evil, we cannot afford to have a thing of evil amongst us."

"He's not evil," Doctor Power says, striding over to the corner and looking back at the vampire hunter: "The Hell Blazer and I have worked together, before. He simply walks a darker path than most."

"But," Krwi tries to insist, holding up a hand. The moment he opens it, something falls from it onto the floor -- something warm, metal, and tipped with silver.

"You lost something, I think," the older man chuckles. Morrison walks past the vampire hunter, tossing a cigarette into the nearest corner as he does, and winks quite pointedly.

"Okay, what's the !@#$ing deal, here?" SPYGOD says, heading to Krwi's side: "Is this what we've got to work with against the Motown act from Hell?"

"He means the Supreme Six," Doctor Power sighs.

"Are you...?" Krwi asks, turning quite pale: "Are you certain?"

"Yes, I've seen it," Doctor Power confirms.

"Well, I don't know what the !@#$ I saw, but it was pretty !@#$ bad," SPYGOD admits.

"And I felt the world turn the wrong way 'round just powerful enough for it to be them," the older man says, taking a cigarette from Morrison and lighting up: "Could have always been the other camp, I suppose. Maybe the man Jesus come way too !@#$ early."

"Not yet, no," Morrison says, shrugging: "Not looking forward to that, either."

"And I've felt it," the Hell Blazer says, getting up from his bench: "We have had dealings in the past. I would recognize them anywhere."

"'Dealings,'" Krwi echoes what the black-clad revenant said: "If we're the best the world has, we may as well go confess our sins and say goodbye, now."

"Who's we, anyway?" SPYGOD says, gesturing: "I know both Docs-"

"Please do not call me Doc," Krwi sighs.

"And I know the hippy, here. But you?" he points to the Hell Blazer: "You I don't know. And something about you's making my head hurt like !@#$."

"That'd be the emanations coming outta him like stink off a !@#$," the older man says: "You got a good look at the problem over in Moscow? Well, he's a chip off that block, the Hell Blazer is. But he's on our side in this."

"And how the !@#$ do you know that?" SPYGOD asks.

"He wouldn't be here if he wasn't," the older man shrugs: "This is the way of things, son. Can't get to New York if you don't cross a !@#$ bridge. He's made the cut. I suggest you trust him."

"I trust no one," SPYGOD insists, taking a step forward and looking down at the man: "And I don't know who the !@#$ you are, either. And one thing that really makes me !@#$ing angry is when someone I don't !@#$ing know tells me to trust someone else I don't !@#$ing know. Makes me feel like I'm about to get hit over the !@#$ head and dragged into an alley to get !@#$ed up the !@#$ by some pack of drunk Chinese sailors."

"Too late," the revenant says, which Morrison finds really funny for some reason.

"What the !@#$ is that supposed to !@#$ing mean?"

"It means you already crossed the !@#$ bridge, son," the older man says, poking his finger in SPYGOD's chest: "Welcome to New York City, you handsome fellow."

"I thought we were in Berlin?" Krwi asks, not getting the allusion.

"I think I'm about to kick your little !@#$ in," SPYGOD says, reaching to grab the old man's wrist. But he misses, badly, and trips all over himself, winding up in a heap on the floor.

"Now see, that kind of rash foolishness gets a fella nowhere," the older man says, standing his ground: "You got to learn to just watch and see, there, son. You got the eye for it. Might as well use it."

"And just what the !@#$ do you know about that?" SPYGOD says, slowly getting to his feet and tamping down his urge to see if the old man can dodge a bullet, too: "Who the !@#$ are you?"

"John," the older man replies, finishing his cigarette and putting it down on a table: "Just John. Nothing more than that."

"Oh, I think there's more to it than that," Doctor Power says.

"Maybe we can waggle our !@#$s in front of each other some other time, when we're not trying to shoot each other?" Morrison asks.

"How about we just say I'm a !@#$ Operator, and leave it at that," John says: "Any more and you lose sight of what's important."

"And what is that?' Krwi asks, putting a hand on SPYGOD's shoulder and helping calm him down: "I came here to stop evil, not answer riddles."

"What is evil?" Morrison asks: "Now there's a riddle for you."

"Standing back and doing nothing while the world burns down around us," SPYGOD says: "How about that? Anyone want to argue against that?"

"I won't," Krwi says.

"Neither would I," Doctor Power says, glad no one's threatening each other, now.

"Balance must be kept," Hell Blazer says: "And I have something that must be settled."

"I think we all got something to settle," John says: "But I'm here to maintain balance, too. Call it dharma if you gotta."

"And I'm here because I'm supposed to be, clearly," Morrison admits: "Alright then? So if we all know which way we're playing, how about we talk how we're going to make this band work? Because I don't want to be up there singing while you're all shooting each other. That's no way to fly."

On that note, they all silently agree.

"Alright then," John says, taking another cigarette from Morrison: "We got six against six, and that gets us back to zero. Let's us figure out how we make that happen."

And, over the course of many cigarettes, quite a few drinks, and a few more fights, they do.

(SPYGOD is listening to Piano Concerto #1 (Tchaikovsky) and having a Klinskoye or ten)

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