Wednesday, September 26, 2012

8/9/12 - Sometimes, You're Better Off Dead

So, now what?

That's the question that's been !@#$ing with me since I got back from my unexpected month-long siesta, courtesy of the big !@#$ divine conceptual blowback that punching alternate earth Unhappy Jesus in the kisser got me. And I've spent all !@#$ing day, and all !@#$ing night, and then all of another !@#$ing day and night trying to figure it out.

See, usually, when some !@#$ing !@#$holes and their super army of !@#$heads tries to conquer the world, I've got so much !@#$ firepower I'm practically tripping all over my options.

I got strategic talents on speed dial, and super soldiers lined up around the !@#$ing block. I got mercenaries in every nation, spies in ever henhouse, and assassins just ready to go. I can call up the Emperor of Atlantis for a favor, too, if I don't mind him !@#$ing bragging about everything and asking me when we're going to forget that little mistake he made back in the 30's.

I got technology we haven't even !@#$ing figured out yet, except that it goes BOOM when we throw it and BANG when we pull the trigger. Trains, planes, and !@#$ing automobiles. I got human bombs and living lasers, talking planes and exploding monkeys.

!@#$, son. I've got killer islands, lurking out there in the !@#$ing Pacific Ocean, if I need them. You do not want to know where they come from, or how they work, or what I !@#$ing had to do to get them on our side. But I make a call and someone sends a command, and you can just kiss your sorry aquatic offensive the !@#$ goodbye, buddy.

And, to top it all off? We got Deep !@#$ing Ten, up there, making sure they can't call for help from the !@#$ing Spider People, or something. 

But this time?

Well, son, I'm sorry to say that, in the wake of the first successful takeover of the entire !@#$ing planet, I ain't got !@#$.

GORGON went and did an expert !@#$ing runaround on me, son. They stalled me, kept me guessing, and then came from !@#$ing nowhere with this amazingly effective !@#$ plan of theirs.

They took over people, years in advance, so they could sneak in and get us where it hurt. They neutralized us, kept us from seeing what they were really !@#$ing up to. Then they got me off planet on the mother of all !@#$ed up rescue missions, knowing it was almost a sure !@#$ thing that I would not be coming back from it. 

And then, on the day, they pointed Deep Ten's guns the wrong !@#$ing way around and blew the !@#$ out of our ability to make war in the sky.

And now? Now they've got the whole !@#$ing world fooled into thinking that they're the !@#$ing good guys, here. They've changed their name and their image, and convinced them that the big, bad US of A was going to conquer the world, first, but they stopped them.

It's just that, now, they need to control everything because a really bad menace is coming from outer !@#$ing space, and if we don't all pull together, we're !@#$ing doomed.

Hence the labor camps, the observation platforms disguised as television screens, the child hostages, and everything that I !@#$ing missed while I was being tossed forwards in time by a !@#$ed off super-kid with some control problems and a lot of anger issues.

Hence the trials I couldn't stop, the executions I couldn't prevent, and god knows what other !@#$ing atrocities have been going on this whole time.

Hence this !@#$ty world I've come back to, and my sudden and sad !@#$ing shortage of options to deal with it.

Now, given this kind of a situation, most people would probably dig themselves in for the long haul.

See, people like me aren't !@#$ing stupid, mostly. Faced with these kinds of realities, they should figure that we're pretty good and !@#$ed. They should know that if we make too much noise, too soon, they'll pick us off from orbit and then blow the !@#$ out of what's left, just to be !@#$ing sure.

So the best thing to do is move slow, organize in secret, infiltrate the enemy, and eventually dig ourselves into them so well that they could never !@#$ing find us in a million !@#$ing years. And then, one day, we strike, and the planet's !@#$ing free, again.

And it's a good plan, really. It makes perfect !@#$ing sense. It plays to our strengths and their weaknesses, and while it might be really !@#$ slow, and more people might get killed during that time, we'll eventually win.

Why? Because we're good, and they're evil, and therefore the world owes us a big !@#$ing break.

Unfortunately, we don't have the time for that kind of !@#$, right now.

You see, son, when GORGON, or Imago, or whatever the !@#$ they are, talk about some menace coming from outer !@#$ing space? They aren't !@#$ing kidding.

It is real, son. It is coming. I'm not 100% sure of what exactly it is, yet, but I've got some nasty !@#$ing suspicions.

And all I !@#$ing know for certain is that, whatever these Imago !@#$s are planning to do when it gets here? I don't think it's going to be for the aggregate benefit of the whole !@#$ world.

So no, son. We're not going to dig in and infiltrate and take them out within a !@#$ing generation or two. We're going to gather our forces in secret, get an army together, and get it ready to go. And once I've figured out what they're !@#$ing up to, and how they're !@#$ing doing what they're doing, and why, we're going to !@#$ing strike.

Preferably well before the outer space monster comes here.

Can I do it? Of course I !@#$ing can, son. Who do you think you've been dealing with, all this time? Elmer !@#$ing Fudd?

See, I may not have all the options that I used to, but I still got quite a few. I still got my safe houses and bolt holes. I still got my arms caches and little secret holdings and hideouts, here and there. And I got a few allies, out there, working together or separately.

!@#$, I may even be able to turn some enemies into allies, at this point. 

Best of all, Imago probably still thinks I'm !@#$ing dead or missing in action. And so long as I don't give them any !@#$ing reason to think otherwise, they won't be ready for what fresh !@#$ I'm gonna cook up for their sorry !@#$ !@#$s.

 It's gonna be a long, hard haul out of this !@#$, son. They denied me my No-Suits, back when they shot that dumb!@#$ Governor. They have control of my !@#$ing flier. !@#$ only knows where my cat got off to, and I shudder to think what happened to METALMAID without me to give her directions.

And I can't go too !@#$ big too !@#$ quick, or innocents will pay the price. They have Deep Ten, and I know the kind of !@#$ing damage their big guns can do. I've seen what's !@#$ing left of Choibalsan's airport, now, and I can only imagine that scene replayed all over the !@#$ing world.

I act up too loudly, or play my cards too soon? Maybe they just incinerate me and whoever I'm with. Or maybe they incinerate a whole !@#$ing city, just to try and kill me. Or maybe they !@#$ing incinerate some other city, like Neo York, just to bring me to !@#$ing heel like a bad dog that !@#$ on their carpet.

Or maybe they do something really nasty to the kids they're keeping !@#$ing cooped up in their little "school habitat" things. And that would be even !@#$ing worse than losing Neo York, quite frankly.

Yeah, quite a barrier, there. Big !@#$ barrier. Anyone else with any !@#$ing sense might say "!@#$ it" and pack their bags for Jupiter or something.

But I think I got something down, over on that weird, alternate future Earth that I wound up in. I can do any !@#$ thing I set my mind to, so long as I don't factor on living through it.

That's not to say I'm gonna count myself amongst the !@#$ing dead, yet, son. I'm not !@#$ing looking to go out and go bang. That's not my !@#$ing style (except when it occasionally is, of course.)

But I am very !@#$ ready, as of this moment, to put any worries about my personal survival to the side, and put the survival of the world and its' people first.

It's no different an attitude than when I started out. When I signed up for the Army, after Pearl Harbor, I did so to protect my country. And I did it knowing !@#$ well (even if I didn't really understand it, yet) that I might wind up dead on some battleground, somewhere.

It wasn't until they realized I had "special qualities," and sent me to Camp Rogers, that the idea that I could actually really live though the bad !@#$ing !@#$ the enemy might throw at me came into the equation. And then, when I got the Chandra Eye, and not only got even more !@#$ing superpowers than I know what to do with, but effective !@#$ing immortality?

!@#$, son. I've been living so high on the !@#$ing hog it's a wonder I don't !@#$ing oink when I talk.

But not being able to die has made me forget what it's like to be !@#$ing afraid. And that forgetting has made me a !@#$ leader, and a really !@#$ poor strategist. It's damaged my planning beyond any sense of repair.

And now, in hindsight, I have to say the only reason I've won through so many times is probably because I had so many !@#$ options that I was !@#$ing tripping over them.

So this is where I learn to be a !@#$ing man, again. A soldier. A leader.

This is where I learn to crawl through the bush and eat snakes and bugs. This is where I learn all I can before I start !@#$ing shooting. This is where I learn to reassemble a big !@#$ army and get it marching in the right !@#$ing direction.

And if there's one thing I know, learning is a !@#$, especially for someone as !@#$ing stubborn as I am. Thankfully, I'll have someone along with me to kick me in the !@#$ing skull when I start getting too high on my own !@#$ fumes, again.

So it'll be me and the President, leaving Choibalsan and heading off to the rest of Asia, and then the world. We will take in the sights, hide in my boltholes, and see what kind of allies we can find. We'll also be looking into certain things that I either didn't really look into before, about our enemies, which at this point is absolutely !@#$ing essential to whatever we're going to do.

And hopefully, at the end of it, I'll have all the pieces of this puzzle ready to put into play.

A tough road? !@#$ !@#$ing right, son. But after that little incident I had after I knocked out unhappy Jesus (which I'm not going to talk about, just yet) I've had my horizons broadened just a little.

And I think, now that I've had some time to contemplate that !@#$, I'm ready for it.

Consider this my apology tour, then, planet Earth. I'm sorry I !@#$ed up so bad. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. And I'm !@#$ sorry for what's going to have to come next.

But Imago, or GORGON, or whatever the !@#$ they're calling themselves these days? They're going to be !@#$ing sorrier still.

Payback isn't just a !@#$, son? It's murder. Pure, bloody murder.

And Imago gets to find out all about that.


Nice evening, here in Mongolia. From here I can hear that one, lonely satellite I made contact with when we got back here. It's still calling to me, wondering where it is, and what happened, and why it's been left all alone up there.

I raise a glass of proper beer up to it in a toast. Maybe someday we'll meet, and laugh about all this !@#$.

We two survivors, needing to learn how to really survive in this frightful new world.

(SPYGOD is listening to West End Girls (Pet Shop Boys) and having a Har Horum)

Monday, September 24, 2012

7/8/12 - 8/8/12 - "And"


I cough and look askance, somewhat. The President just looks at me, sipping extremely !@#$ing pungent tea from an old, chipped cup like he's got all the !@#$ing time in the world.

"And, well... you could !@#$ing tell me better, sir. I just woke the !@#$ up not an hour ago, didn't I?"

"Well, yes, that's true," he says, putting down the cup and leaning back, running a hand through that !@#$ beard he's grown in his time, here: "But do you remember anything after you hit him? Anything at all?"

I smile and shrug. What the !@#$ can I say?

Plenty, actually, son. But we'll get to that in due !@#$ing time.

* * *

So, yes, son. I am !@#$ing alive. Halleluiah, praise !@#$ing Jesus and all that. 

Now how I managed to still be alive after hitting Alternate Earth Unhappy Jesus square in the face with a weapon that will most likely kill you after you use it? I honestly have no !@#$ing idea. 

You see, the moment I cold-!@#$ed that !@#$ing son of a !@#$, I hit him so !@#$ hard that his head turned inside !@#$ing out. And I guess reality couldn't !@#$ing handle that big of a !@#$ing concept getting its brains splattered by a knuckle sandwich, because the fabric of the !@#$ing world literally caved in around his smashed skull. 

A wave of bad energy flew outward from the impact, and I got caught up in it with a !@#$ing vengeance.  I had only enough time to see that, yes, I'd !@#$ing knocked his holy !@#$ into !@#$ing orbit, and then I flew the !@#$ back about a quarter of a mile and cracked right into a !@#$ing hill. 

I know that my body was flying the !@#$ apart all the way there, too. I probably would have been in super double black secret shock from that, if I hadn't been vibrating like some !@#$ing cartoon character does when he walks into a !@#$ing gong.

See, that ultimate weapon I used? It was not meant to be used, even by someone as !@#$ing durable as my fine, gay self. And I knew that going into it, but I did it, anyway, because this !@#$ world needed saving. 

Same old story, son. When it's crunch time, and the bad guys are pulling their triggers, put me between the bullet and the target because, most of the !@#$ing time, I can !@#$ing take it.

This time? I wasn't so !@#$ sure. But no sooner did I realize that I'd tossed alternate Jesus off of Alternate Earth, and incinerated all those !@#$ing angels who'd been cheering him on, and that the Anti-Cities were all !@#$ing smashing into the Moon, than I blacked the !@#$ out and...



* * *

Next thing I know for certain, I'm waking up here, in Altan Aduu's underground fortress, and I feel like I've slept for five hundred !@#$ing years.

Of course, once I wander out of the hole they !@#$ing dumped me in, and all his people throw up a !@#$ing cry of "he is risen," or whatever, and I have to !@#$ing punch someone in the !@#$ face when they get a little too overly !@#$ solicitous of my unrequited man-hugs, I find out that it wasn't 500 years. I was out for a month.

And I wasn't just out for that month, son. I was !@#$ing meat.
Turns out that those Shamans who crashed my skull!@#$ing saw me !@#$ing disappear, not long after the ghost sex incident, and decided to sit around and drink my !@#$ing Kumis until I showed back up again. I mean, free booze and a fire? Chance of more !@#$ing ghost porn? Who could !@#$ing say no?

So they waited by that fire for three days and nights, and then a weird door opened up in reality. Someone walked through, shining like the !@#$ing Sun and carrying what was left of me in a large, plastic box. And while they couldn't really say who it was, I speak enough Mongolian to know "lizard king" when I hear it. 

He drops them the box, tells them to go find my friends, and to say "thank you," and "see you next Armageddon."

And with that, and a smoldering wink, he's !@#$ing gone, again. 

So Altan gets this !@#$ing knock on his cave door, and there's the shamans, all yellow hats and red smiles, carrying a big, smoking box filled with me. And they'd like some alms for this service and more of that yummy, glow-in-the-dark horse hooch they've been guzzling since they crashed my !@#$ing pity party. 

(What's he do? Give them the dregs, knowing that it'll probably cause !@#$ing stomach cancer. Horse-faced bastard's nothing if not highly ungrateful.)

The Spygod Box goes into a corner. Every so often someone comes by and checks on it. Someone also pours in some proper !@#$ing beer, every so often, either to bring me around or !@#$ing keep me out. 

And over the course of a month, the pile of smoking me-mulch slowly heals back up again, and I sleep and dream, occasionally coming around enough to say "!@#$ this hurts" or "more !@#$ing beer, !@#$hole."

A smoking !@#$ing skeleton becomes a skinned !@#$ man. A skinned !@#$ man becomes a god!@#$ burn victim. A god!@#$ burn victim becomes me, more or less, sleeping off the mother of all trauma !@#$s. 

And then, one hour ago, I wake the !@#$ up. And boy am I !@#$ing relieved to know that (1) I'm !@#$ing alive, (2) I'm back in my own world, and (3) I am not wearing the !@#$ing ultimate weapon, anymore. 

(No one found a plastic, glowing ring in the box with me. So either it blew up when I hit Jesus, it fell off when I flew away, or Jim collected it at some point. Hopefully he throws the !@#$ thing down the mother of all bottomless !@#$ing pits and seals it up, or something. That !@#$ thing is way too much bang for one man to handle.)

* * *

Oh yeah, the !@#$ing President. 

When I left him, he was in as much shock as I was, and wandering around the caverns like a !@#$ing ghost. I told Altan Aduu that his men better not !@#$ing use him as a toy while I was gone, or there'd be !@#$ to pay when I got back. And after finding out I was under a whole !@#$ing month, I feared the worst.

Turns out I didn't need to be !@#$ing afraid at all. A few days after I was gone, he got his head out of his !@#$ and his heart out of the gutter, and started making himself !@#$ing useful. He actually went out on a few !@#$ing raids and scrounge operations, and has apparently learned to handle himself pretty !@#$ well with a bow. 

In fact, when I first saw him, I didn't even !@#$ing recognize him. It was like seeing some weird, alternate President. It wasn't until he smiled at me, clapped me on the shoulders, and told me that he'd missed having me around to pick on that I realized that, yes, this was !@#$ing him.

Of course, he wanted to !@#$ing know everything that happened. So I told him. And he listened to the whole crazy !@#$ing story, sipping his tea, and didn't ask too many !@#$ing questions. 

At least until the end, when he wanted to know what happened after I lost !@#$ing consciousness. 

And... well, let's just say that's nothing I want to !@#$ing talk about. Not right now, anyway.

So, we get "And." Word. Full stop. End of sentence. 

For now, anyway. 

* * *

So what does he !@#$ing ask me, next? Just the question I've been trying to ask myself, all this !@#$ing time, and not being !@#$ing sure where to start.

"So what now?"

What can I do, son? I sigh, have another hit of that outrageously stinky tea the President's grown a taste for, here, and tell him I'm working on it. 

And I am, son. I really am. 

I learned something, over there, on that world I ghost!@#$ed my way into. But it's going to take me a while to really apply it to what's going on over here. 

Still, it's not like I don't have any pieces to this puzzle, son. I know what's happened. I know some of what the enemy is, and some of what I don't know. I have balls in the !@#$ing air that I can pluck out and use when and how I need to, provided they were smart enough to !@#$ing duck when the !@#$ hit the fan.

But tomorrow's for planning and plotting, son. The world will keep for just that !@#$ing long.  

Tonight? I just want to do nothing but drink tea, talk !@#$, and eat like it's gone out of !@#$ing style. I just want to go get used to being !@#$ing awake, again, and make sure there's a difference between dream and !@#$ing memory, again. 

I want to walk out into the desert, look up at my stars, and see how many of them want to !@#$ing talk to me tonight. 

You know who you are, kids. Sing out loud and proud. Rainman's !@#$ing back in town.

And tomorrow, he's gonna want to change some luck.

(SPYGOD is listening to L'america (The Doors) and having really smelly tea)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

7/3-7/12 - The Gate is Straight, Deep, and Wide - pt. 7

Ever had one of those days that you just knew, somehow, you'd be playing "kill or be killed" with a major religious figure?

No? Well, I guess you're !@#$ing !@#$  lucky, son. I've had this happen a few times, before, in my long and rather interesting career, though usually with secondhand saviors, replaced deities, and beings whose names are only remembered by neo-pagans looking for something cool to name their !@#$ cat.

And, like I said, before, it really doesn't tend to !@#$ing end well.

But it's the twilight of this crazy future Earth I found myself on, after Mongolian Shamans interrupted my big !@#$ Skull!@#$ing with dead people who wanted to talk to me, and another dead person who wanted to !@#$ me, and now that Jim Morrison's off doing his part of this crazy-!@#$ plan he and I "clubbed together" (as he put it) it's down to me and this alternate Earth's version of Jesus !@#$ing Christ, and I don't think we're going to get to talk this one through like gods.

No, son. Looking at the eyes of this man, I think we're going to have to battle, here, today.

And that suits me just !@#$ing fine, son. Because after the crazy !@#$ I've walked, flown, fought, killed, and smashed through to get here, I figure giving JC a major knuckle sandwich is going to be just what the !@#$ing doctor ordered. Provided he doesn't smite me, first.

But hey, son, it's like Jim always said: "No one here gets out alive."

And boy don't I !@#$ing know that by now.

* * *

But, okay, let's back what's left of Jim's poor but appropriately-named hover platform up a bit, so as to set the scene.

I'd just fought a major, nasty and bloody battle against an entire !@#$ing legion of Angels, all here to do the will of Heaven in the face of what seems like the best excuse for Armageddon they're ever going to !@#$ing get on this hyper-techno-planet. And, seeing as how they waited about three !@#$ing billion years for that rough beast to come 'round at last, and Babylon's nothing but a filled-in, semi-sentient trash pit at this point, they really don't !@#$ing care to have some !@#$ing tourist from an alternate !@#$ing timeline come along and ruin their big !@#$ plan to bring the !@#$ ing house down.

So when one of them succeeded in taking out my hover discs and my ride, I floated down to the ground in a shield ball, which is how they handle midair ejections in the year three !@#$ing billion and change. Unfortunately, the very small writing on the squeeze box said nothing about avoiding another !@#$ing legion of Angels who, incensed at how easily I went through the previous one, assembled down on the ground to kick my fine gay !@#$ into powdered meat the moment I got down there.

Perfect timing, too. I didn't the guns to fire or club them with, anymore, and I dropped the flaming sword I was using for a while there. So all I had left was my penis (which can be !@#$ing deadly), my SPYGOD VISION, and a certain something I'd been saving for a special occasion for what now seemed like for-!@#$ing-ever.

But then, along comes one of those massive, white wings and golden gears things that keep popping up in the Old Testament, and all the Angels kneel, and I just knew it was Jesus Christ, come around to tear me a new !@#$hole, or at least get crucified trying.

This was also part of the plan, son. Well, maybe not the "getting my !@#$ kicked by you-know-who" bit, of course, as I still got a long !@#$ing road to go from here. But if I can keep his !@#$ distracted just long enough for Jim to do what we got him into that Anti-City to do, this will all be !@#$ing worth it.

Again, provided I live long enough for that part of the plan to actually !@#$ing work.

* * *

Oh yeah, the plan. I haven't really told you what the !@#$ing plan was, now have I?

That was kind of intentional, son. You never know who's listening to these little talks you and I have, together. For all I know, my foes are listening, too. And it would be a !@#$ shame if they knew what the plan was well ahead of it going off, and therefore giving them enough !@#$ing time to stop it.

Yes it would, wouldn't it?

So for now, let's just say the plan is "don't get smited" and leave it at that, okay?


* * *

A little thing about recurring cosmic characters, son? In every alternate Earth that we've encountered, we've determined three things for certain: every world gets the Jim Morrison it needs, the Devil it wants, and the Jesus Christ it deserves.

If that's the case, then I think this Earth must have really needed a massive kick in the !@#$ing pants in ancient Judea, son, because the guy that walks down the extending, golden off-ramp from this crazy-!@#$ metal and feathers orinthopter archangel reminds me of nothing more than the snake-eating, epithet-hurling Drill Sgt. from "Full Metal Jacket," only in a one piece robe and with a beard down to his nipples. His eyes are on the wrong kind of fire, his brow is stern and commanding, and there's no smile or wisdom at his lips. 

No, there's just a cold sneer of contempt, there. And it's asking me who the !@#$ I am, and what the !@#$ I think I'm doing here, and why he shouldn't just !@#$ing zap me off the !@#$ planet.

He strides forward, confident as !@#$. The Angels all cry "halleluiah!" like extras from the start of that one bad film where James Bond is running around in a red diaper and shooting psychic hippies. The trumpet blast goes again, just as the Sun gets completely !@#$ing blocked out by the Moon overhead, and I swear gravity !@#$ing hiccups again.

And me? Well, I got nothing, son. I just smile at him as the glow ball fades away, drop the used box at my feet, and hold up my hands.

"You know," I say: "When I read about you in Sunday School, I kind of thought you'd be taller?"

"I do not know you," he says, simply.

"Well let me introduce myself," I say, and haul off and punch him right in the !@#$ing face.

Bad idea, son. Really !@#$ing bad idea. I break every bone in my hand, crush everything in my wrist, and my ulna and radius shoot out the back of my !@#$ing elbow about an inch or two.

And while I'm just starting to register the big !@#$ pain that comes from trying to suckerpunch the mother of all !@#$ing immoveable objects, he just sneers at me, and waves a hand, as if to brush away an insect. 

Just a wave, son, and then an invisible, charging rhino's hit me in the !@#$ breastbone, and I go flying about thirty feet, landing in a heap of broken bones and torn muscles just at the edge of the Angel circle.

They cheer. I groan. And as soon as I get myself put back together, maybe five long seconds later, and get to my feet to look at him, he's about three feet away from me, just smirking.

I swear I didn't even see him !@#$ing move over to this side of the circle. 

"I do not know you," he says, and his voice is deep and cruel: "Why do I not know you?"

"Different world," I explain, putting up my dukes and getting ready for another smackdown: "I'm kind of passing through."

"You should have stayed at home," he says, and smacks me again. This time I bounce off the angels, fly over him, and land on the other side of the circle. And it takes me just a little longer to get back up again.

"Well, if you knew me, you'd know I tend to get stuck into this kind of !@#$..." I say, getting back up. But before I can he's actually crossed the distance without moving. And then he puts his hand out and pushes down on the air with his fingertips outstretched, and the wave of force it exerts smashes me to the ground.

"You should endeavor to not be placed in such a position," he advises: "It serves you ill."

"I keep !@#$ing hearing that."

"You shall hear it no more, stranger. I am the wrath of Heaven made flesh. I am your death, here and now-"

"Whatever happened to turning the other cheek?" I ask, stalling for time.

"Excuse me?"

"Didn't you tell people to turn the other cheek when they hit you? Forgive your enemies? All that !@#$?"

"No," he says: "I did not say that, but I think I now understand your confusion. I am not the one you have encountered, stranger."

"I'd have never !@#$ing guessed," I say, and he drives me down just a little more, so that it's almost impossible to !@#$ing speak.

"I came to Earth to find a people subjugated and crushed. I lifted a flaming sword above their heads and used its fire to ignite their hearts. They took up arms and ran out their conquerors, and created a empire that lasted for more than five thousand years."

"And then what happened?" I try to say. Unfortunately, I'm talking into the dirt, so he can't really hear me, and I don't get a !@#$ing answer.

(Though, given what Jim told me about the history of this !@#$ing alternate Earth, I can kind of !@#$ing guess.)

"I taught them to be merciful, yes, but only in victory to a conquered foe. I might have spared you at any other time, stranger, but this is here and now the final battle, and you have chosen the wrong day to test my patience, and my resolve.

"And now you will die here, alone, and neither Heaven nor Hell will take you in. Because you are outside, here, stranger.

"There is nothing here for you but death."

I try to say something, but Jesus flips me over so I can see his face, and the look he's giving me is beyond !@#$ing frightening. I remember being told that he had a crowd kill the moneylenders at the temple, and exhorted the woman to stone the crowd for their sins, and made people blind and sick and lame when they offended him.

I remember that this is not the gentle, kind person whose only weapons were truth and grace, and suffered mightily for using both of them. This is the Jesus Christ this world deserved, and !@#$ only knows what it could ever have done to !@#$ing deserve this.

So I smile, do my best to put my hand up to my face, and flip up my eyepatch, so as to give him a face full of SPYGOD VISION. 

(I find that !@#$ing settles most arguments, son.)

Jesus doesn't like it so much. In fact, he actually screams and staggers back, holding his hands to his eyes and coughing up bile. !@#$, he actually pukes.

The Angels gasp and take a big !@#$ step backwards. Jesus screams in anger and fury. And just before he can round on me the entire !@#$ing world shakes, and a succession of great, big !@#$ booms and roars sound out.

And judging from the look on his face, it's not what he was expecting, nor the Angels for that !@#$ing matter.

So I use the moment of confusion to do three things. One is to get the !@#$ up and out of the SPYGOD-shaped hole in the ground. The other is to get ready with a certain something, in such a way that he can't see that I've done it.

The last is to look at what's left of my !@#$ing watch, and see that, yes, it's been exactly two minutes since I stepped into the squared circle with Jesus !@#$ing Christ. 

And that means the booms are what I thought they were, and the plan is well !@#$ing nigh.  

* * *

Oh, yeah! The !@#$ing plan I didn't want to tell you about? It's working right now.

Now, son, I know you're pretty !@#$ bright, and probably pretty !@#$ing observant, even if you were terminally damaged by hippie teachers in our nation's sad and sorry public schools. Sometimes I think it's a wonder you don't think Thomas Jefferson sang for the !@#$ing Who.

But I'm sure you might be wondering what the !@#$ing !@#$ the Anti-Cities, Electronauts, and the Moon about to crash into the face of this !@#$ing messed-up future alternate Earth all have in common with one another?

The answer is simple, son. It's the Singularity, come around to bite this planet on the !@#$ at long last.

You see, some time ago, during one of the big technology booms, the rocket scientists actually did a really !@#$ing stupid thing: they turned on the !@#$ planet. They made it so they could harness inexhaustible energy from it, and gave it defenses and environmental controls, life support, everything but the !@#$ing kitchen sink.

In other words, they fixed it so that, even if the Sun blew up and a black hole came flying through and planet !@#$ing Nemesis showed up to !@#$ us in the !@#$ without a condom, again, Earth would survive, and so would it's populations.

Nice of them, huh? Well, there's just one problem with that, son. They didn't just turn Mother Earth on. They woke her the !@#$ up.

That's right. Earth is the possessor of a low-level artificial intelligence. It's not enough to have a long !@#$ing conversation about !@#$ing Wittgenstein, or anything, but it's enough to be able to see, comprehend, and properly react to threats. And it can do this without any real prompting from some human, somewhere.

In fact, once they woke her the !@#$ up, they threw away the off switch and the manual, because they were rightly !@#$ing terrified of what would happen if someone got their hands on the controls.

Who knows how many Singularities ago that was? Who !@#$ing cares? Bottom line is, the Earth's been keeping herself, and her human cargo, in one !@#$ing piece for however many billion years since those long-ago, long-!@#$ing-dead scientists did this to her.

So humanity rises from the ashes of the last big techno-apocalypse, and builds giant, techno-miracle cities that draw energy from the core of the planet, and, maybe unknown to them, brush up against the big brain of the Earth, who monitors things up top through them.

And then these Electronauts show up, and take over certain stationary cities, and turn them into Anti-Cities. And these Anti-Cities get mobile, disconnect themselves from the Earth, and start trying to infect other cities by !@#$ing smashing into them.

And once all the cities are turned, they will begin replicating. They will take over the whole !@#$ing planet's surface, and turn it into a giant technopolis, kind of like what they left behind when they launched themselves out into !@#$ing outer space. And then they will wind their tendrils down into the core, where Earth's scared and frightened AI will be grabbed, overwritten, and destroyed.

Got all that, son?

So if you were an AI that had really kick-!@#$ powers over the environment, and the understanding that you were meant to play the long game, and keep Earth viable for however long you could, and therefore your continued survival was of paramount !@#$ing importance, what would you do?

If you were this Earth? You'd use gravity controls to bring the Moon down on you.

The cracking will shake up the entire planet. It will create a frightening wave of explosive force and fire that will wipe all intelligent life off of its boiling surface. The oceans will vent into space, the atmosphere will burn away, and all that will be left will be !@#$ing heat resistant bacteria.

Bacteria that will, once the Earth's surface finally settles down a bit, be nudged into developing into a new, higher form of life, once the Earth AI gets its !@#$ back together again. And maybe this time, the bacteria will be smarter and less destructive than the humans of this Earth have been.

And that's why there's a Moon coming into the !@#$ing atmosphere now, son. It's the pest control of the year three !@#$ing billion and change.

And that's why the Angels are flying and Jesus is here, because when the human pests are about to all be wiped out, that's their job done at long !@#$ing last. 

So what was I stalling Jesus for?

Well, son, you remember that Jim took control of that !@#$ing Anti-City? And you remember that electronauts turned themselves into carrier beams of information, which is how they traveled, and infected cities, and made new bodies for themselves?

Guess what else they have? A !@#$ing Hive Mind.

Yes, son. They can talk to each other in their !@#$ing brains, and send rudimentary commands and instructions back and forth. It's how they kept tabs with each other out in space, even over vast !@#$ing distances, and compared notes. It's how they all knew to start heading back to Earth at the same time, and form a plan to convert it back to what they remembered.

Now, Hive Minds are !@#$ing great, sometimes. But only if you make sure they're !@#$ing locked down so tight that no one and no thing can !@#$ing bust into it and take control of it. Otherwise, some really bad things could happen to your !@#$.

And I know, son, that you know that Jim Morrison isn't just going to let a small matter like the mother of all unbreakable firewalls stand between him and that !@#$ing Hivemind.

So here's what's happening, right the !@#$ now.

Jim Morrison just got that Anti-City we invaded to reconfigure its travel capabilities for short-distance spaceflight. And he just got every other Anti-City on the planet to do the same thing.

They all just took off. And they're all heading for the same place.

The !@#$ing Moon.

Yes, son. The Moon is going to be smashed into by every Anti-City on the planet. They may or may not survive the explosions, and Jim probably isn't going to even have a !@#$ing chance at all. But either way the Earth is going to realize the infection is !@#$ing off of it, and reverse the gravity well it's created to bring it in.

And if the Anti-Cities survive and take over the Moon, well, any time they get antsy and try to return, the Earth can just fling the !@#$er further out into space, or do any number of other things to keep it from coming down again. So Earth stays healthy for humans, the Electronauts can have the Moon, and everyone's happy in this snappy little thing we like to call "detente."

Unfortunately, that means Armageddon is about to get !@#$ing called off, and I don't think Jesus is going to be too !@#$ happy about that.

Which is why I'm getting that extra something out, before he can turn around, and putting it on.

* * *

And what, son, is that something?

Well, I told you about the time I went toe to toe with THAT, right? I used the ultimate weapon, and knocked it into outer !@#$ing space, and we went back to waiting for the next crisis?

Well, what I didn't tell you was that using that thing !@#$ed me the !@#$ up.

It's a simple piece of theoretical physics, son. You want to destroy a physical target? Use a physical weapon. You want to do the same to a spiritual target? Use a spiritual weapon, but be ready for some major !@#$ing blowback into the physical realm when you do.

And if you want to destroy a conceptual target? You have to make a big !@#$ conceptual weapon.

And then you have to be ready to suffer blowback through the conceptual and spiritual realms when that !@#$ing thing goes off.

They tell me I was out for a week, after that. The damage that !@#$ing ultimate weapon did !@#$ed me up so bad that it was all they could do to find all my little, crawling pieces, put them together in a big !@#$ing bag, and leave me in a warm corner to put myself back together.

(I think someone might have poured in a beer or two, towards the end there, and for that I am more !@#$ing grateful than words can say.)

But hey, son, we won. THAT was blasted off the planet, and we never heard so much as a !@#$ing peep from it, or the hungry space god it served, ever again.

(In fact, I hear tell that other worlds and empires out in the galaxy haven't been visited by THAT, either, so maybe we just !@#$ing killed it. Who knows?)

However, we still had a massive problem on our hands. The ultimate weapon survived the encounter, and actually got !@#$ing stronger. 

Now, you know me, son. I like big !@#$ing guns. I sleep with them, for !@#$s sake. But there are some weapons that are too !@#$ing powerful to have around, period. So you use them, trash them, and then try to make !@#$ certain that everyone who ever had !@#$ing anything to do with making them loses their memory, or gets !@#$ing lost, themselves.

Only problem is, the ultimate weapon could not be destroyed, even when it wasn't so powerful. And while I could do my !@#$ best to contain it, or hide it, or whatever, it would only be a matter of time before some !@#$hole came along and took it. And then, if they gave it to someone who was strong enough to use it on a !@#$ing frequent basis, or, worse, even fed off the energy that !@#$ thing gave off, you'd have a one-way ticket to world domination.

So I confiscated the !@#$ing thing, put it in a black box, put that in a shadow box, put that into a null box, and then deposited it into a certain Swiss Bank that's well-known for handling things that you simply do not want anyone !@#$ing with, at all. And there it sat for decades, trapped in space and time and surrounded by a layer of pure !@#$ing nothingness. 

And I would have !@#$ing left it there, too, if it hadn't been for those GORGON mother!@#$ers and their attempt to fake the President's assassination, and leave him trapped on the nasty, open sewer we call Alter-Earth.  

See, in order to get us over there, I needed to wake someone up that was so !@#$ing powerful, that I wasn't 100% sure I could corral his !@#$ if he decided not to play ball. Poor Simon Pure had a rough go of it, to be sure, and if I had to take him down I was going to need the mother of all weapons to do it.

So, just after I busted him out, but before I woke him up, I went to Switzerland, withdrew my deposit, and got the ultimate weapon back. I carried it with me all the while in Alter-Earth. And, at the end, when Simon finally went !@#$ing ape!@#$, like I was afraid he would, I got on my hands and knees, distracted him with a long overdue apology, and made ready to use it if he didn't accept.

Did he feel it coming? Is that why he flipped out and pushed me away, and sent the President and I back home to the !@#$ing future, too late to stop the takeover I'd been trying to prevent? I have no !@#$ing idea.

All I know is that I still have the ultimate weapon. And Jim knew I had it. And that's why he came out to meet me, and wanted me in on his plan. Because I had the one thing on this whole !@#$ing planet that would disable the largest X-factor in !@#$ing existence, and the one person who could !@#$ up his plan to save the world.

Jesus !@#$ing Christ.

* * *

Jesus has his back to me. He's howling at the Anti-Cities as they streak up into the air, destination Moon. He's about to call out orders and tell the Angels to stop them at all costs.

But I'm not !@#$ing giving him that chance.

The null box comes out of my pocket. I take the shadow box out of the null box. Then I take the black box out of the shadow box.

When I open the black box, the ultimate weapon is in there, shining with a strange, opaque light of its own. It looks like nothing more than a glowing, plastic, white ring, but the second I put it on my right hand, strange and deadly energies start to bubble up out of it.

Within seconds, my hand and lower arm are covered in a gauntlet of off-white, crackling energy that hisses and spits. I can almost feel my body starting to unravel as it takes its final shapes around me, and I know that if I leave it on too !@#$ing long, it'll kill me as !@#$ sure as anything.

Not that I'm giving it that chance.

I run up to Jesus Christ as quickly and quietly as I can. I do so knowing that, the moment I punch him, I'm probably going to !@#$ing kill myself in the process of !@#$ing him. But suddenly I don't care so much.

Is that what Jim meant about accepting your death before you walk out to meet it? Is this what he meant by being able to do anything at all so long as you aren't prepared to live through it?

I don't know, son. Half of what's going through my mind's regrets and things I've left undone, and whether the President's going to be able to fix the world without me there. And the other half's a calm, clear voice telling me that those regrets and concerns are all someone else's worries, now.

I've crossed over, son. I''ve gone beyond it all. I've walked on down the hall.

I've broken on through to the other side.

He turns just in time so I can punch him right between the !@#$ing eyes. Somewhere I think I hear the song "Relax" starting, but maybe it's just another !@#$ing trumpet blast.

And I hit him.


(SPYGOD is listening to Light My Fire (The Doors) and may or may not ever drink anything ever again)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

7/3-7/12 - The Gate is Straight, Deep, and Wide - pt. 6

So, you remember back in the 60's, when things got really !@#$ing weird, and for a while it seemed like we could do anything at all?

Well, there was a flip side to that, son. The good news was that there wasn't a challenge we couldn't kick square in the !@#$ing ding if we put our mind to it, but the bad news was that every time we turned around there was some crazy-!@#$ threat to America, the whole !@#$ing planet, or god!@#$ reality itself popping up at Five in the AM on a Sunday, banging on our front door and saying "gimmie all your !@#$ing livers, now," and therefore necessitating that big, bad !@#$ing kick in the ding.

What kind of threats? !@#$, son. All of them.

Extraterrestrial invasions and ultraterrestrial incursions. Planet eaters and world beaters. Interstellar hijackings and planetary piracy. Reality storms, hostile physics, and Gods gone !@#$ing wild and crazy. Big bad !@#$ science gone really !@#$ing evil and wrong, and strange and weird magic that should have stayed locked the !@#$ up, but somehow always fell into the wrong !@#$ing hands.

And always when you really didn't !@#$ing need to get a god!@#$ trouble alert.

Of course, this was before we had Wonderwall, now Deep Ten (now the big !@#$mother of all !@#$ing big !@#$ liabilities, floating overhead and threatening doom) to shoot such massive !@#$ing threats through the noggin and send them back to wherever the !@#$ they came from. But even if we had possessed that weapons platform, back in the day, there were still some threats that would have been so massive that even all of its biggest guns wouldn't have seen them off.

Yes, son, I'm talking about THAT.

No need to rehash that memory by saying its name. No need to talk about the city it came down in, still a smoking hole in the ground, filled with crumbled buildings, chemically inert dirt, and dead bodies we don't even dare get near for fear of what the thing's lingering effects might do to the retrieval teams.

No need to remember the soul-crushing three days and nights THAT held dominion over the entire Earth, and promised us only that, by the end of its reign, the entire planet would be devoured to feed its monstrous, far-away space god -- which was even larger, uglier, and more dangerous than THAT was.

No, son. All that you need to know is that, after a feverish three days and nights, we beat the !@#$ing thing.

We called in every available strategic talent we had to go up against THAT, and try to slow it the !@#$ down. And while they were shooting and blasting and psychicing it to no real !@#$ing effect, every available supergenius we could call up, draft, or force to work at !@#$ing gunpoint was put together to collaborate on an ultimate weapon to use against THAT.

And then, when that ultimate weapon was done, we hand a small, terrible device that could fit in the palm of your hand, but yet release such amazingly bad and awful energy that no one could wield it without dying, themselves.

So, of course, it fell to me to pull the !@#$ing trigger.

I did give THAT a chance, son. I swear to !@#$ I did. I walked right up to THAT and give it one last chance to leave, even though just being in the shadow of that thing was turning my skin to water and my bones to ash and every organ in my stomach was trying to run the !@#$ away to Tahiti.

But then, looking up at the face of THAT, and seeing the look that crossed what passed for its eyes, I just said "!@#$ it," and pulled the !@#$ing trigger before it could open its mouth and promise me more !@#$ing doom in that horrible, mega-lugubrious bass boom voice it had.

Did it work? Jesus, son, you're here to hear me tell the !@#$ing tale, aren't you? What, did you think for a moment there that your whole life was one big M. Night Shyamalan movie?

Well, here's your !@#$ing twist, son: I beat THAT, right then and there. I !@#$ing blasted THAT right in the !@#$ing face with the ultimate weapon, which had the effect of turning everything above its six sets of shoulders into a big, smoldering smear of metal and meat. And that single blast was so !@#$ing powerful that, even after smearing its noggin across the sky, it still flung the rest of him off the Earth, past the other planets, through the !@#$ing Oort cloud, and out into interstellar space.

And then we went on to deal with the next massive, world-shaking, the-end-is-!@#$ing-well-nigh threat after that. And another. And another.

And even after that era came to a halt, and everything got simpler and less miraculous, we were still dealing with crazy-!@#$ dangers from outer space, inner space, extra-space, and weird packets of potato chips that no one ever saw !@#$ing coming.

Because we were heroes. Because we drew the line in the sand. Because we had the powers, skills, talents, and pure !@#$ing gumption to defend that !@#$ing line.

Because we were the ones who stood right at the edge of that precious, fragile line and said "no."

So when I tell you that, here on this weird alternate future Earth, after saying goodbye to its alternate version of Jim !@#$ing Morrison, and watching its !@#$ Moon come so close to the planet's surface that the Sun's getting !@#$ing blocked out and gravity's starting to get really !@#$ screwy in places, I'm getting ready to get into a !@#$ing fistfight with their somewhat less-Christlike version of Jesus Christ, and his armies of killer angels while Jim goes and saves the planet, you're just going to have to believe that I am not making this !@#$ up.

And you're also going to have to believe that, as !@#$ crazy as the odds are right now, and as !@#$ing desperate as the situation seems, I am going to !@#$ing win.

Because I have to. And so I !@#$ well will.

* * *

See, I didn't come here to get into a fight with a major religious figure, because, as I've learned in the past, that never !@#$ing ends well. At all.

I really came here to have my brains alcoholled out of my !@#$ing noggin by way of a gentle, soothing ritual us military folks call Skull!@#$ing. The idea being that, after a really outrageous binge of whatever hooch my poor, sad, little tummy could still handle (bottles and bottles of radioactive, fermented mares' milk, in this case) my sorrow and regrets for having failed to save the world would be exorcised, and I could then stand the !@#$ back up, take a deep !@#$ing breath, and see what I needed to do with much clearer eyes. 

That was the plan, anyway. 

But, you know, Mongolian Shamans show up, bringing the dead, who want to crash my pity party. And then the dangerous, Chinese super-agent I spent my life since Korea trying to kill and !@#$, sometimes at the same time, shows up and lets me know that he's actually been dead all this time, given that GORGON's technology kills its victims as sure as a bullet to the !@#$ing brainpan. And after we have a long-overdue big !@#$ ghostly gay mega-!@#$, courtesy of powers I didn't really know I !@#$ing had until I tried to use them (go !@#$ing figure), I wake up here, in the year three !@#$ing billion and something, and Jim Morrison's here to greet me, ply me with wine made from fermented, grape-heavy dinosaur diarrhea, and talk me into working with him to save this !@#$ing world from its own bad and deadly history.

Yeah, son. Trying putting all that on a !@#$ing postcard back to momma!

Phase one of the plan was jumping into one of the roving Anti-Cities as it prowled in search of another city to infect with its hostile, citizen-eating virus. Phase two was getting in and taking over its controls, so Jim could point it on a new course, up up and sway.

And Phase three? Well, that's me running the !@#$ out of the Anti-City before it reached !@#$ing escape velocity, and then jumping back onto his hover platform as it came around to get me. And then I'm making as big of a !@#$ing mess with as many of the killer angels as I can before the magic guns Jim gave me run out of ammo, and then juice.

All of this angel-slaying being done in the hopes that Jesus will ignore the Anti-City flying towards the Moon (which is, as I speak, flying right the !@#$ towards us) and focus on me, instead.

Think that's !@#$ing crazy? Wait till you see what I've got up my !@#$ sleeve to win the day.

* * *

Ever fight angels before, son? Well, let me tell you something -- it !@#$ing sucks 

And that's because whatever you might think of higher powers, or what they represent, angels have a quality of beauty that is so powerful that to look on the face of one is to fall utterly and totally in love with it.

No, really son. I don't care if you're an atheist, a pagan, or a god!@#$ alien robot who's never ever !@#$ing heard of a god!@#$ Angel in the first place. You look into those eyes, and that face, and see power and love and faith and hope just !@#$ing radiating out of it, in heavy waves. And you want nothing more than to crawl up to it on your !@#$ing knees, wrap your arms around its ankles, and say you'll do anything, say anything, be anything if only the angel will love you as much as you love it, now.

And even when the angel's in armor, with a flaming sword and a silver shield, and is very clearly here to !@#$ing kill you for some weird reason known only to God? Even then, son, you're still wanting nothing more than to be loved by it. 

Even when it slices you in half with barely any exertion, and keeps on !@#$ing walking on to the next target, your two halves will whisper "I love you," as you're laying there dying.

And fighting back against an Angel? Trying to harm it, or even kill it?

It's like shooting wide-eyed, little scared children, son. It's like stomping on kittens or drowning puppies in a bathtub. It's like abusing the mentally handicapped or elderly, or raping your !@#$ mom.

Every nerve in your body is screaming "NO!" and you're not able to pull the trigger or slash the sword. You're just a short-circuited mash of contradictory impulses and tingling neurons, and by the time you get your !@#$ together enough to even think about thinking about attacking, it's already been and gone and taken your confused little head along with it.

Of course, son, that's you.

Me, on the other hand? I not only have no problem killing these smug !@#$s, but I !@#$ing love killing them. And I do it by the truckload whenever I can !@#$ing get away with it.

Part of it is that I know they can't really die, per se. They'll reconstitute somewhere back in Heaven within the hour, and then put on some new armor and get a new sword and come the !@#$ back, wanting some payback. So I don't really feel terrible, seeing as how I've given them a valuable, maybe once in a thousand years lesson on what it feels like to be !@#$ing dead for a little bit.

And part of it is that, well, after hanging out with Aaron for so !@#$ long? And knowing just a little more about angels than I should? You know how they say that familiarity breeds contempt?

I got a !@#$ing ton of contempt for those winged sons of !@#$es, son. And here I am with two magic guns powerful enough to turn Krishna's elephant brigade into !@#$ing micro-pachyderm burgers.

Extra !@#$ing ketchup.

So of course, as soon as I jump onto the hover platform that catches my fine, gay !@#$ just seconds after I leap from the edge of the Anti-City, I tell it to fly right into a !@#$ing cloud of them, as they rise to meet the Moon, and start to turn them all into falling smears of holy blood and bone and perforated feathers. Of course I !@#$ over the side on them as they plummet down, screaming, their flaming swords extinguishing themselves on the way to the dusty, gravitationally-confused ground below.

And when the guns finally run out of ammo, I activate the hover discs I was using earlier, in the Anti-City, leap from the hover platform, and launch myself right into the bleeding, confused knot of what's left of them, using the guns like clubs and smashing their god!@#$ divine skulls in.

Oh, this is Heaven, son. Those !@#$ing Angels are all screaming and crying and trying to skewer me with their weak-!@#$ flaming swords and they won't and can't ever !@#$ing understand why I won't submit to their holy presence, why I won't die from horror as they shriek and fall, and why I just won't give up and let them do what they have to do.

What am I? Who am I? How dare I stand against them?

Well, !@#$ them. !@#$ their insistence that this is Judgment Day, come around at long last. !@#$ their insolence at getting to decide that it all comes down to now, and that, at long last, they can lay down their wings and grace and !@#$ing sleep.

!@#$ that noise with a big !@#$ing holy trumpet, son. And cancel my subscription to the resurrection while you're at it. If I don't get to lie down on the !@#$ing job, then neither do they.

And so long as Jim's got a chance to save this world, and I've got his !@#$ing back, these holy divers can go screw.

* * *

Of course, eventually the fight gets !@#$ close and !@#$ing nasty, and that's just about when the guns Jim made up for me finally flake apart like glowing flocks of fireflies. So all I can do is leap onto the nearest Angel, bite his !@#$ing throat out with my teeth, use SPYGOD VISION on the others to distract them for just a moment, and then grab this bleeding, sorry Angel's flaming sword to use on them.

And yes, it's amazing. It slices through them like crazy. And the look on their faces when they see one of their own !@#$ weapons being used against them is so !@#$ing priceless it gets me hard as a rock.

(And I think the sight of my pulsing, happy love-shoggoth, squirming around in my pants, is making them !@#$ing throw up.)

That's about when I hear what may or may not be a trumpet blast from on high.

I swear the sound rattles my entire skeleton down to powder, and as I gasp from the sudden shock of pain, and lose my concentration, I actually drop the !@#$ing flaming sword.

That's all those !@#$ing Angels need. Another big !@#$ blast of sound hits me without warning, and before I can recoup some !@#$ Angel nearby puts his !@#$ing sword through the control pack for the hover discs. They short out before I even !@#$ing realize what's going on, and down I go, my mouth full of Angel blood.

From this high up? I'm a big !@#$ smear on the ground. Even with the gravity being !@#$ed up by the Moon, I'm going to be splattered. And by the time I knit myself back together, they'll have come down and used my fine gay !@#$ for stationary target practice.

The end? !@#$ no, son. Shish-SPYGOD is not going to be on the menu in Heaven's giant commissary today, because I planned the !@#$ ahead.

See, I told the hover platform to hang around at a distance, just in case I needed it. And, lucky me, the !@#$ Angels left it the !@#$ alone, realizing it didn't have any weapons to speak of. So it was nearby and mostly !@#$ing unmolested when I screamed "Pick me the !@#$ up!" on my way down.

Good hover platform that it is, it actually catches up with me, matching my speed exactly. Then it eases right up to my flailing, falling body, and effectively scoops me up when it arcs to miss the deserts below. And the fact that it has maybe ten !@#$ing feet to spare when it does this is just a sign of either how !@#$ lucky I am, or how good this platform's AI actually is.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that one of the Angels isn't taking "no" for a !@#$ing answer, today, and actually plummets down to strike the hover platform just as it's cleared the desert floor, and just before I really realize that, no, I'm not a big, gay smear all over the desert floor. I have enough time to think about thinking about a new plan of attack, and then there's a !@#$ing Angel slicing through the front of the hover platform with his flaming !@#$ing sword.

Just as yet another trumpet blast shakes my whole !@#$ing world.

The Angel splatters on the ground, his big work for the day done. The hover platform makes apologetic noises and starts to lose altitude, listing just a little to port as it falls towards the deserts. And I'm on my feet, holding onto whatever the !@#$ I can hold onto as I reach for the emergency landing gear and pray this !@#$ actually works.

You know what they have for parachutes in the year three !@#$ing billion? Small, white boxes that, once squeezed, form a combination force-field bubble and inertial dampener around you. It'll slow you down and protect you as you fall, so that when you hit the ground it's as gentle as stepping off the bottom stairs onto the pavement. But the trick is to roll over the !@#$ing side and then squeeze it, so you don't gently float down into the raging inferno that'll be left when the vehicle hits.

As I do, and as the force bubble forms around me, I can't help but notice what Jim named his hover platform. Of course he would, wouldn't he? But in spite of that, I salute her with my free hand as she goes down to her final rest, exploding just over a nearby bluff.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Well done. 

"We'll meet again."

* * *

Of course, it takes a while to float down. As I do, the Moon gets closer, the sky gets darker, more flocks of Angels show up, and the big !@#$ing trumpet goes off a few more !@#$ times.

In that time, the Angels come down to the ground, and wait for me. They are, of course, not !@#$ing happy, and have walked back a bit so as to form a massive circle for me to fall in, all the better for them to rush me with their swords once the shield comes down.

What can I do, son? Well, I have a few options, and none of them are good. But just as I'm weighing whether to use a certain something I've been saving, or just see what I can do with my fists, my cock, and all the SPYGOD VISION I can throw against them, the Angels all look up, cry out, and then fall to their knees in utter, total supplication.

I look up and see what they saw, and smile. Something that looks like what happens when a flock of birds crashes into a giant clock full of golden, spinning gears is coming towards us, and I know who's inside.

Jesus Christ has taken the bait, and is coming to kill me. 

"Okay, Jim," I say, ready to make like one of his precious !@#$ing samurai: "You got two minutes, and then it's Phase Four. Better make it count."

Of course I don't hear anything in return, but somehow I know it's been heard and understood. And that's good enough for me. 

Time to stand on that !@#$ing fragile line, then. 

Time to say "no." 

(SPYGOD is listening to Bird of Prey (Doors, by way of FatBoy Slim) and is all out of !@#$ing drinks)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

7/3-7/12 - The Gate is Straight, Deep, and Wide - pt. 5

You know, son, when I realized that I was actually !@#$ing immortal, and not just long-lived, anymore, I had a few nights when I lay awake, staring at the !@#$ing ceiling, and wondering what life might be like in the far, far future.

It was the 60's, and I was between missions, and I couldn't get that one !@#$ing  'in the year 2525' song out of my !@#$ head. And I wondered, if I lived long enough to see the year 9595, what would it look like? Would any of my friends be there with me? Would I actually have a !@#$ing purpose, or would I be some weird-!@#$ creature in a zoo for Martians, or something?

Would I really want to be there?

Well, son, it's the year three billion and change, and this parallel future Earth's interpretation of Jim Morrison and I are fighting like madmen to save what's left of this !@#$ed-up ball of dust from angry, walking cities carrying a techno-virus, localized entropy gone bad and rotten, and a decidedly non-Christian form of Jesus Christ.

All at !@#$ing once, no less.

The good news is that, even in this world, Jim's still got his sword and his his combat magic, and a keen focus that he didn't used to have, back in our world. The better news is that he was able to magic me up some big !@#$ing guns that don't seem to run out of ammo, much less miss.

(Even better news? He found me the world's last stash of tjbang sticks, and boy do I feel !@#$ing good right now to be chewing on a handful.)

But, as you might guess, there is bad news.

For one thing, the Moon's about to crash into the Earth, right over our !@#$ing heads, courtesy of a really !@#$ing weird thing. For another, an army of killer angels is flying here to destroy us for you-know-who, courtesy of His having returned at the worst possible !@#$ing moment, ever.

And, last but not least, and most !@#$ing pressing, we're running out of room to fight the !@#$ bio-automatons the anti-city we've just landed in is sending out to capture and convert us.

"You know," Jim says as he throws a wave of white-hot fire from the flat of his sword, boiling several cyborg brains in the process: "I really don't like this scene, man."

"Yeah?" I reply, firing away and relishing the utter lack of recoil on these things: "What's !@#$ing wrong with it, other than the obvious?"

"Expiring these people, man. They're just victims in all this. It's not really their fault this city got hijacked and decided to eat them all up."

"You got that !@#$ right," I tell him, nailing another wave of battle-borgs right in the groin, and watching with no little satisfaction as the blasts make their legs violently separate from their hips, dropping them to the ground like maimed cartoon characters: "But I think they'll !@#$ing thank you for it, later."

"They'll probably be the only ones left," he laughs, pulling off some complicated sword- and spell-craft to try and clear us a path so we can be done with this !@#$ faster. But we've got miles to go before then, waves upon waves of frenzied borgs to fight through, and I can see the !@#$ing waves of killer angels from here...

He sees the angels, too, and then something in him changes. The worry and concern are gone, suddenly, as though someone turned those feelings off from inside his skull. He half sings, half speaks a poem that I know all too !@#$ing well:

Bird of prey
Bird of prey
Flying high
Am I going to die...?

And then leaps behind me, watching my back with his sword and sorceries so I can blast our way through the waves with these lovely, big !@#$ing guns his magic has provided for me. With that change in tactics (which, to be honest, I should have !@#$ing thought of first) our way just got a little !@#$ing easier.

Will it be enough to succeed? !@#$ed if I know. But as the moon comes down so low it almost looks like we can reach up and write "!@#$ YOU" in its surface dust, I remember that Jim is never more !@#$ing magnificent than when the odds are stacked against him, the stakes are all-or-nothing, and the end is well and !@#$ing nigh.

So there's really no way we can lose this one, is there?

* * *

Did I mention this was turning out to be the craziest skull!@#$ing I ever embarked on? 

I don't know if it was the radioactive mares milk I was slugging, the Mongolian Shamans, the dead they whistled up, or that spectacular session of ghost-!@#$ing that I and my best ever frenemy had, back at the campfire. But I came to in this strange future on an alternate Earth, and here's Jim Morrison (More, as he's called here) to ply me with strange wine and listen to my numerous troubles. 

Of course, there's a trip involved. Ours takes us over a nearby Anti-City, slowly stalking its way to Yul4n-B4tt4r, and a close scan of its layout and defenses. Jim tells me it's part of the !@#$ing plan, too, but he's still figuring out what that plan is.

Not that he has a lot of time, by that point, given the Moon and the Angels and Jesus !@#$ing Christ, back and wanting to reign in blood. But there's a certain ritual about these kinds of things, as I've found out time and again with him, and he's not eager to disrupt the magic just to adhere to my sense of urgency in the face of the Moon coming in to crack this Earth open like a !@#$ing egg.

"You just got to be, man, you dig?" he tells me, pouring me more of that weird, bubbling, black wine as we rocket past the last line of the Anti-City's defenses and hurtle back into the deserts, well clear of its ability to harm us: "We're engaging in sweet subterfuge of the rules of the world, here. Every step we take from here on out is predestined for greatness, but only if we remain aware that the dance is half choice, half chance. You go too far one way or the other, and it's all over, man."

"You know I never get tired of hearing you tell me to calm down and follow your lead," I tell him, clinking my glass against his.

"'Gotta love your man,'" he sings, and I laugh black bubbles, unable to control myself. 

"Was I like this, then, too?" he asks, once I've stopped almost choking on dinosaur poop grape wine: "Back in your time, I mean."

"You were !@#$ing amazing," I say, having a heady swig: "Or he was, anyway. How do we talk about you?"

"He is me, he was me, he will be me," Jim intones, gesturing to the controls of the hover platform so as to make it slow down, change course, and take us towards his desert stronghold: "Many mortal lives, one immortal day. Into this house we're born, into this world we're thrown. Ever and ever, amen."

"So how do you know who's who?"

He laughs: "When the sun's at the horizon, do you know if it's morning or night if you don't know which way you're facing?"

"Good point."

"Yeah," he says, easing us down into the dunes: "Except I think this is night, here, man. The Moon's got something to say about that."

* * *

So what's this Jim like, then?

Well, son, he's Jim, after a fashion. His hair is lighter and straighter, worn down just past his skinny hips. He's got darker skin, maybe from somewhere on the Indian Subcontinent, and he's a head taller and quite thinner than he used to be. Wider nose, maybe. Thinner lips.

But it's the eyes, son. The eyes are exactly the !@#$ing same. Heavy and portentous, with a depth you could get !@#$ing lost in forever, and smoldering hot enough to catch even the coldest of hearts on fire.

He's wearing some weird, light robe that goes just past his ankles, high-tech sandals that seem to be synched up with all the electronics I've seen so far, and a green tabard that's part armor, part Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Every so often the brocade re-arranges itself, either to let him move easier or because it's adjusting to the differences in temperature, humidity, and exertion. 

He's also got enough metal in his ears to weld a !@#$ing Heathkit television together. Gold, silver, copper, brass, and a few other alloys and elements I'm having a hard !@#$ time identifying, all looped and stamped and dangling from every available millimeter of skin.

Oh, and he sounds almost exactly the same, too. His accent's a little off (Minneapolis by way of New Delhi, I'm thinking) and some of his slang's made up of weird Indian colloquialisms and concepts I don't have a reference for, yet. But the basic cadence and rhythm is almost exactly what I remember: slow and halting but yet strangely sure at times, and quick and winking at others. 

And he still sings like a !@#$ing angel, which is nice, seeing as how we might wind up having a fight a whole !@#$load of them, this day.
* * *

The change in tactics works like a charm, and before long my guns have cleared us a path right down the gullet of the anti-city, and straight towards its tall, beetling control center.

Of course, getting in there is going to be one big !@#$ing party. Between the fact that it's !@#$ing out battle-borgs like it's got angry metal diarrhea, and the way it's growing iron tentacles to try and grab us for a conversion job, this really is a case of going headfirst into the mouth of the !@#$ing lion to try and eat its heart out.

"We need to shift, man," he says, preparing some sort of more complicated spell as we go forward: "I'll tell you when to jump. You still remember how, right?"

"Yeah, I think I'm not gonna !@#$ing forget that one time in Reno with your band anytime soon."

"Ha," he says: "I'd almost forgotten about that. Those were some times, man. They still okay?"

I don't have the heart to tell him the truth, now that we're up to our !@#$ing clavicles in post-humans with bad attitudes, long silver talons, and brain-filled Cuisinarts for skulls.

"They're alright, man," I lie: "But the last reunion tour sucked !@#$."

"So did our last album," he says, unleashing a bright, pulsing light from his hands: "Jump!"

And we do.

* * *

Jim's stronghold can best be described as a massive, high-ceilinged, neo-retro-absurdist-Italianate mansion that someone had the good taste to completely bury under the dirt and sand.

The ground !@#$ing opens up as we approach to let us in, like invisible hands were digging us a massive grave, and then filling it in just behind us as we glide down into the front foyer of his place. And I can almost feel the oppressive weight of the earth above, leaning down on the roof and walls, and actually cracking through in places as little falls of dust and rock tumble down, their rustling echoing off the white and gold walls.

The place is filled with classical, white marble statues in varying degrees of togetherness. It reminds me of a scene from that stupid, weird-!@#$ movie where James Bond was running around in a red diaper and shooting psychic hippies, only without the strange need to choke the living !@#$ out of my guide.

"I've been working on saving as much of the really good old stuff as I can," Jim explains, walking us up the massive stairwell to a large hallway, which is also jam-packed with as many !@#$ing statues as could be in there, plus about ten more.

"What did you do with the bad old stuff?" I ask.

Perhaps in response he smiles, pulls out his magical sword (which is always right in front of him, even if you can't see it), and promptly decapitates what I hope to God isn't the Venus de Milo.

"Don't worry," he says, smiling, and putting the sword back where he keeps it: "It'll grow back, eventually."

As we walk away, I see that it does. The !@#$ing head on the floor turns to a cloud of steam, and then vanishes. Then a cloud of steam appears where it had been on the statue's neck and begins to reform there, where it had been.

Nanotech, maybe? Son of nanotech? Who can say? But this age has already impressed me with its almost casual miraculousness.

And scared me !@#$less, too.

* * *

Case in !@#$ing point? The tower we just teleported into is a meat machine, and we're dodging the blades as we go.

Leave it to whatever crazy-!@#$ electronaut decided to recreate this city in his or her own, insane image to put the city's central processing unit right under its control center. Does he stride around the parapet up there, watching people get conveyor belted into machines on his !@#$ing coffee breaks? Jesus !@#$.

Lucky for us, our sudden appearance gives us about five !@#$ing seconds to orient ourselves and come up with a new !@#$ attack plan before the machines over the conveyor belts turn right around and started try to fling us into the giant pen of victims at the other end. Unfortunately, there are a !@#$ton of machines, and only the two of us, not to mention all the poor victims of this city's hijacking that need a !@#$ing rescue, right about now.

So what do we do? Look at each other and laugh, and then start fighting again, we two killers on the road.

Fight our way past the borgs that are running off the other end of the reassembly line, all oiled and shiny and ready to kick !@#$ for their master. Fight the steel tentacles and iron waldoes that are trying to trip us up or hold us down. Fight through the lines of slicing blades, cutting beams, circuit printers, and other implements of reconstruction that should be remaking the anti-city's victims, but are trying to take us down, instead.

Fight off the floor and up the parapet, launched up by hover discs and magic spells, slashing up and shooting down and then changing the game around when we experience different obstacles, or weirder adversaries.

This is how we do this, son. This is how we win.

* * *

Of course, when he tells me the plan we're going to win with, in the first place, I have to not !@#$ing laugh, because it's quite literally the craziest !@#$ing thing I've ever heard. 

(And, considering some of the crazy-!@#$ schemes yours truly has come up with over the years, son, that is !@#$ing saying something.)

So what does Jim do? Lean back in the deep, cushy chair he plopped into when we got into his "office," which is just a large room full of teetering, vertical stacks of old books, outcroppings of comfortable chairs, and what seems like a fire in the center but is really the holographic interface for his mansion's AI, and smile at me.

"Look, Jim," I say, having more of that weird, black froth he's been plying me with: "It's not that I !@#$ing doubt your sanity, but are you !@#$ing crazy? That plan's got more holes than a wheel of baby swiss."

"I miss cheese," he replies: "All the mammals are gone, now, and the stuff they make and call cheese just isn't the same. So I want you to promise me something."


"Have a really big piece for me when you get back," he says, closing his eyes: "On my way, I'm going to imagine you biting into it, and taking your time to savor that everyday miracle. I'll take that thought with me, gladly."

"And that's another problem. Do you really think that'll get me back? I still don't know how the !@#$ I got here?"

"I do," he winks: "And when the time comes, you'll remember."


"You see, you're too hung up on the specifics, (REDACTED)" he says, leaning forward and talking with his hands: "Sometimes you just have to club the basics of the plan together, and let it evolve on the go."

"That usually leads to sloppiness, and being sloppy gets people !@#$ing killed."

He smiles: "And there you are, man. Why are you so afraid of that?"

"Of not getting people killed?"

"Of getting yourself killed."

I cough: "Jim, maybe you're forgetting? I can't !@#$ing die."

"I know. And I can't stop being reborn, maybe. But you do have limits, (REDACTED). I've seen them happen. And you are afraid of them."

What can I say? He's got me !@#$ing cold. "Okay, yeah. !@#$ it, I am afraid. But I wouldn't be human if I wasn't."

He shakes his head: "They had Samurai in your world, right?"


"Those men were fearless of death, man. And that's because they were already dead. The moment they took up their swords to fight, it was as if they stopped breathing, and were nothing more than the will of their leaders. They sought out death, then, because it would mean that the spiritual reality they had accepted would finally meet the physical, and they could rest in peace. But until then...?"


He smiles, and pours himself more of that weird, black wine: "Until then, they dared do anything, because death was no longer a barrier. They had transcended it, dig? They had walked through that door. And they weren't the only ones who learned that trick."

"So how does that save the world, today?"

"We remember the first rule of assassination," he says, getting up to pour me some more of that froth: "You can kill anyone, anywhere, at any time, so long as you do it without fear, and without worrying about your own life. As soon as you realize that your life was made forfeit the moment you made a plan to end someone else's, anything becomes possible."

"Who told you that crazy !@#$?" I ask him, scowling.

And he smiles, pats me on the shoulder, and points a finger in my face. 

And he's right. I did. A long time ago, in a dusty, dark bar, early in his career. And he sat there, looking at me like I was !@#$ing crazy, but somehow understanding on a level that was just below the surface, working in secret behind those amazing, dark eyes of his.

So now the student's become the master, and he's schooling me like a Trainee during Hell Month. Not a great feeling, let me tell you, son. But it's Jim, and he knows what he's talking about, and always has (even when it seemed like he didn't) so I'm happy to follow him into his madness, again.

I just have to hope I don't have to dig that second grave, today.

* * *

"You won't... you can't..." the Electronaut is insisting, getting weaker by the word.

He's in ten pieces on the floor, smeared and sliced and burned by all the power that Jim and I could direct his way. We didn't even give his sorry, metal and flesh !@#$ a second to gloat and monologue before all but tearing him to !@#$ing flinders. 

And yet his misshapen, too-many-brains-for-one-!@#$ing-skull head is still looking at us, and still talking. The weird, 80's progressive rock album cover metal suit he's wearing is trying to staple his body back together, but Jim's got his pieces warded from one another, so !@#$ that.

"We can, we will," I tell him, firing my guns down into the floor below, making sure the machines following us don't get any !@#$ing ideas. A few more shots free the prisoners in their pen, for which they're grateful, but they sure as !@#$ better get moving, because this !@#$ train's about to start moving.

"I think I've got it together, over here," Jim says to me, over by the central control nodule the Electronaut jumped out of when we got up here. He's ripped it apart and reassembled it in a new, strange configuration, and most of the lights and screens floating around it are lighting on and off in time with Jim's computerized sandals. 

"Will it work?" I ask, shooting a few more times at the Electronaut's sorry head as I stride over. It goes skidding across the floor, losing teeth and circuits as it goes.

"Well, if it doesn't, this is going to be a really weird trip," he laughs: "You ready for your bit?"

"As I'll ever be."

"You have it, right?"

I smile and pat my pants pocket: "I got it."

"Good. Now remember, as soon as I leave, I can't concentrate on the guns, anymore. You'll have to go it alone."

"No great problem," I lie, and clap him on the shoulder: "I wish we had more time."

He just smiles: "Time's all we'll have, soon, man. You get back and do your thing. You'll see me soon enough, after that."

"I'll... I'll look forward to that," I say, and head for the parapet. I don't want to look back because if I do, I'll probably get all !@#$ing misty-eyed or some such, and I really need to have my !@#$ing butch on, right now. 

"Hey, (REDACTED)?" he shouts after me.

"What?" I ask, looking down and seeing the masses of angry borgs trying to climb up to get at me.

"Just remember, the way out is the way in."

I look back at him, but by that point he's turned around and is convincing the anti-city to do the thing he wants it to do. I can't tell if he's !@#$ing me, or dropping one final pearl of wisdom. It's always hard to tell with him.

Of course, he's singing:

Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
This life will never end
Gotta love your man... 

And it's so beautiful and perfect that it makes me want to cry. But if I cry, I'm going to run over and hug him. And if I do that, I'm going to fall down and thank him for giving me the gift of this day, and these battles, and his simple wisdom that's finally kicked me in the !@#$ing !@#$ enough to be able to go home reborn, and take up my plans and my guns and go save the !@#$ing world again...

But there just isn't time. There never !@#$ing is. 

So I leap over the !@#$ing parapet, down into the teeming masses of borgs, and hope the magic guns hold themselves together just long enough to get me the !@#$ out of this !@#$ anti-city before it converts for space travel, and launches itself towards the !@#$ Moon. 

Cause that's the plan, son. And if you think that sounds !@#$ing crazy, just wait until you see the rest of it go down. 

(SPYGOD's listening to Riders on the Storm (The Doors) and having more of that weird !@#$)