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Trashgod – part VIII

4 Dec

Percival kept on mumbling poetry throughout most of the night, sleeping or awake, but Vasilisk and Mini where too tired to notice it. They didn’t sleep well though, as the ultrasound residue of the noise dragon’s booming cries trickled all the way down to them, fiddling with their metabolism and Vasilisk’s vestigial echolocation organ.

–          Which way do we go now, boss? asked Mini staring up the steep shaft they’d slid down on.

There was no way back. Noise dragon stalking on the surface or not, the way they’d come in was inaccessible.

–          Only one way left …

The scalding carbide lamp kept darkness at arm’s length, but it quickly rushed in on their footsteps as they went down the chilly corridor with a gagged and sedated Percival.

The occasional banging noise coming out of the depths as the only accompanying soundtrack got louder and scarier as they pushed on. Whenever they reached a fork in the road, Vasilisk pointed out to the one that sounded less likely to lead them to the source, until they realized that all options inevitably took them closer.

They reached the nexus after precisely 253 minutes of hard marching. The walls dissolved in a gigantic cavern, as the floor under their feet turned into a bridge of stone. Everything was glowing with fungus and leachate and they could see the pathway finishing off abruptly just before connecting to the shaggy metal spire rising in the middle. Vasilisk thought he’d heard Percival mumbling a line from Marlowe’s Childe Roland when he looked at countless other bridges and entryways throughout the entire cavern, ponting in the same way to the epicenter.

They felt like specks of dust, lost in the darkness and size of the underground chamber, not fit to receive all the unwanted attention they got when a huge spotlight pinned them down.

–          STOP WHERE YOU STAND OR I WILL GUN YOU DOWN!

Sharp sound and a line of reddish vapor added muscle to the threat. Vasilisk recognized it as the telltale mark of a relay gun.

The Government Who Shot @LibertyValance

3 May

Everything and everyone exploded instantly when the Government finally managed to track down and kill @LibertyValance. Traditionalists quickly spilled their bile or honey by buzzing, twitting and facebooking all over the web, while web 6.0 kids spun their weave of neurocasts and newshack reports on the Cyberweb.

Immediately, an infinite chain of 15-minute-squatter-parties broke out on corporate or Government  servers with crappy security. It was only fitting since @LibertyVallance had been the one to invent them after breaking into  World Trade Center 2.0 servers and selling tickets all over the web for access to their innocent and defenseless TBs during the 15 minutes of chaos left before the ICE would be raised back.

Zilliards of messages, opinions, arguments, forum flamewars and Dadaist e-ssays flowed on the topic of his execution. The official government position was that the infoterrorist had been followed for two long years before an entire Area 21 farm of atomic processors had been deployed with the mission to capture him. Of course, capture him alive, if possible, but @LibertyValance had violently resisted an IP lobotomy intervention and the men in black turtlenecks behind CIA keyboards cold-bloodedly punched in the command to inject the terminal malicious code.

The first to issue a contrary position had been @LibertyValance’s own gang of self-titled lieutenants, grunts and Facebook fans. In unison, they claimed this to be a government electoral hoax and asked for real proof of their leaders’ termination, while threatening to respond with increased attacks and proof of their own that @LibertyValance was still alive and kicking – which they immediately did, by releasing a podcast of @LibertyValance himself letting everyone know he was ok, while apologizing for voice distortion and the trademark cowboy smiley which had always covered his face in all previous podcasts. He had said he knew all his supporters understood these smokescreens were there for his own safety and trusted him to  continue his fight for informational justice all over the Internet and Cybernet – a trust which he would not betray.

Serious media provided full coverage to both extremes and everything in between, newsflashes announcing nothing new on the IT front every 30 minutes and day-long talkshows hosting somewhat sterile debates with somewhat senile experts. At the same time, the tabloids took the putrid pink tint of informational debree floating in an alleged holographic representation of the infoterrorists’ e-remains as sufficient proof of the rumor that he had died while engaged in hardcore interactive pornographic S&M entertainment with @LadyDomina, e-prostitute well-known and feared for code more malicious than anything the Government could ever dream of uploading.

Some of the most hilarious news included: a young man closing his vintage World of Warcraft account after having sworn to keep it open until @LibertyValance was caught; an eBay auction of alleged @LibertyValance’s web-jockey equipment which ended in crashed servers and losses of 1.5 billion dollars due to immense sudden traffic and irate fans with programming skills; and a discreet bar for IT afficionados opening on Oxford Street in London with the corny name of @LibertyValance’s.

Of course, conspiracy theory groups had to have the last word and cast the issue into never-ever-find-the-truth Limbo by pronouncing the assassination of @LibertyValance to be a phony setup: the Government had only killed a double which had been posing as the infamous infoterrorist for the past 2 years. To make matters worse, Government programmers had done the deed with help from the real @LibertyValance, just to help him vanish and retire from CIA service after having  blown World Trade Center 2.0 security to justify strict Government control of all communication and infringement of all possible liberties, which needed to be safeguarded by immediately dismantling the Internet and the Cybernet, the Global Postal Service, the satellite belt, mobile telephony and landline telephony networks all over the world, harsh but much necessary measures which had to be followed by a swift massacre of Amish homing pigeons  and thorough confiscation and incineration of all blankets in the last three Indian reservations. A petition supporting these demands was also launched for anyone who wanted to sign it, anonymously if needed.

Personally, I say this is all crap. People, read the message, I’ve written it on all hard-drives  on the planet, it says:

”Wife pregnant. More important firewalls to crack. Bye!

Love,

@LV

PS: If you are reading this, the message is in your boot sector and all data on your hard-disk will be deleted next time you boot (ahem … start) your computer. Never ever shut down your PC and send the message urgently to all your friends.”

Trashgod – part VII

13 Mar

The dragon’s screech followed them, but it died away before hitting. It was then that Vasilisk noticed the thick, rubber-and-cotton padding that covered the walls of the tunnel, even the floor they landed on.

“ He’s hit in the shoulder. Doesn’t look that bad,” suggested Mini as they stopped to examine Percival.

“A flesh wound, as 30 mm flesh wounds go. But that’s not what I’m concerned about.”

“What then?”

“This”, replied Vasilisk extracting a fragment fullmetal jacket.

Percival’s peculiar allergy to copper kicked in about an hour later. He was not particularly ill – no real fever anyways – and he didn’t thrash or anything, since his shoulder hurt. But it was pretty bad for his mates.

“Boss, isn’t there a way to make him stop?”

“… but I, being a poor man, have nothing …”

“We could gag him,” scowled Vasilisk.

“… but my dreams …”

“We should …”

“Fine. You hold him.”

Percival didn’t even seem to notice Mini as he was grabbed in the middle of the lyrical seizure, and kept on reciting as long as he could before Vasilisk stuffed his mouth with a dirty piece of t-shirt.

“… tread softly, for you are treading on my drhmfdsfs …”

Trashgod – part VI

9 Mar

The noise dragon errupted in a spectacular fountain of ruined treasure, leveling all piles of junk on a radius of one mile around ground zero. Vasilisk and his troopers had only gotten 0.8 miles away and the blast threw them face down in the dirt.

STAY DOWN.

The two guys nodded and did as Vasilisk gestured.

TWO? WHERE THE FUCK IS ORION?

They heard him making his way through the clutter, singing, commenting and advertising, interrupted only by the sound static as he switched in excitement between the channels in his head.

He was out to get himself a trophy. Vasilisk had know this day would come – he always wanted to take down something big.

Orion’s voice was the only thing louder than his Gatling as he switched it to tracer bullets and painted the darkening sky with red hot lines.

–          SHOWME WACHYA GOT, YOU BADLY DRAWN BASTARD!

The dragon first turned away from Orion’s AA rounds, then took a sharp turn towards the heavily armed nutcase, all garbage shattering in its path crushed by an unseen force.

Percival chose the worst moment in his life to act the unlikely hero. Later that night, hidden somewhere beneath the surface, Vasilisk thought he had to give it to him for having the cojones to run for Orion.  Useless though. He couldn’t even get to him before the dragon’s sonic blast hit his friend.

For a few seconds, Orion just stood there before his sense of direction toppled together with any aim he still possessed and went fully mad while holding a fully automatic 30 mm cannon. He shot Percival right before the dragon finished him off.

The sight of him disintegrating was convincing enough. Even the pits were a safer place than the surface. They jumped into the nothingness, with Mini dragging Percival by one leg.

Trashgod – part V

6 Mar

Cling clang went the noise of the shaman as he sunk so deep, and for so long, he might as well have gone straight to Hell. By the time he had stopped, their tinker’s brains were already having neuron barbecue from all the ides, transistors, tools and spare parts they’d collected, some of them never seen before, others downright alien.

When the noise did stop, there were 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … seconds of silence. However, when second no. 1 should have kept its mouth shut too, the growling erupted again from the bowls of whatever underworld lay beneath them. It was long, ground shattering and

“… it MOVES.”

“Aye, laddie. Fast as a ferret.”

“It’s surfacing, you dolts. Moooooooove!”

The smell of static turned into overpowering stench of freshly taken off pullover. A piece of integrated circuit threw sparks in Percival’s hand and the hair on Orion’s back stood up.

They ran.

Trashgod – part IV

3 Mar

Four plazas later they ran into the second one. Then they started finding pits in every large, empty crossroad in the junk labyrinth.

” Boss … what do you make of this fallopian tube descending into the womb of mystery?”

Shit. Why did Percival always have to talk like that?

By the time they reached the orx’s treasure, darkness had crept in earlier because of the shadowy, mangled piles of thrash rising all over the place. Vasilisk’s eyes became the only useful ones, and he saw the tribe’s wrench-shaman hoping between heaps of treasure long before they reached him. If he could’ve distinguished facial expression in infrared vision, he’d known things were going to go bad when the ecstatic chieftain jumped down the humongous pit in the middle, banging his wrench on the metal walls.

“That was too easy …” growled Mini.

He seemed somewhat disillusioned – no bashing?!?

“Too easy. Let’s collect and split. I don’t like the smell,” growled Vasilisk.

“Wha’ smell, gov’nor?” Orion was tuning into Slang FM.”

“The smell of static.”

They rushed. The smell was overpowering.

Trashgod – part III

26 Feb

Mini crushed the rusted lock in his bare fist before Percival even reached for the clippers. And then he pulled a smug face, too.

They flowed through the corridors of wreckage and junk like poison bubbling  through the veins of the scrapyard. By the time they passed the liver – a large, magenta vehicle of unknown origin, but with deliciously preserved tires and engine – the cacophonic orx shifted into their antibody attitude and began pouring in with their cries of woe-betide, their chainsaws and makeshift Thompson submachine guns and a drugged-out, huge member of their tribe flailing lamppost nunchakus. They were ferocious, but disorganized, and Orion thinned them out with his heavy machine gun and its supersonic bullets.

“Twirp, twirp, vroom, vroom, Mr. Gatling”, he’d chant while Mini pummeled hose who got through the spray with fists and headbutts. Since his resonance frequency was only surpassed by his machismo, he was safe to touch them. Percival stayed put while Vasilisk cried out the tactics and picked off a few stragglers with his gun.

By noon, they’d massacred the toughest ones – the assholes always wasted their best at the very beginning – and had reached a large ‘plaza’.

That’s where they saw the first pit.

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