Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Chinese Whispers

Who's there?”
As the wind mustered itself for another assault on the old IZ, Industrial Zone, of Old Lurk, I pulled my brown trench coat tighter around me & bravely marched, head down & gritted teeth, towards the agreed meeting place.
The roads were as deserted as the dawn before bombs drop. Production had long since stopped in most of the factories & warehouses around here. The death of industrial enlightenment had sucker punched Old Lurk as much as any other city in any other universe.
Old Lurk. The Somnambulopolis. The original ghost town.
I entered into an alley between two dark satanic factory walls. The roofs staggered upwards like giant teeth biting into the captured & unruly firmament. There was an
unending rat-ta-tat-ing on the everywhere of corrugated iron roofs. A downpour of wet Tommy gun bullets. The weather was in a state of right unrest. The sky groaned & whinnied at me as she galloped over sheet lightening that banished the night for an instant only. Thunder rocked us, baby, rocked us all night long. I wondered for a moment if I could hear my old biking comrades, the Valkyries, up there, opening the throttles on their choppers, ready for a night of soul hunting.
I blew the blonde battle maidens a kiss & the wind gladly stamped & delivered my message. A far off cackle & shriek illuminated the sky. It brought a smile to my clenched face.
I approached an ill door, flecks of the cracked white paint that once completely covered it blowing past my nose, & I raised my fist.

Me Tarzan”
I stalked down a dimly lit corridor with the crumbling brown bricks confiding their secrets & began feeling the umska umska umska-ing of the cheap & deep bass beats of some bad Electro/Blast fusion tune giving the walls more to moan about. Every footstep brought that accursed racket louder. “Elvis”, I remember thinking, or was that, “Jesus”?
Turning the corner & stepping down the winding staircase, careful not to put too much weight on the creaking accumulation of rust that was disguised as a banister, I crossed the threshold into the most famous of Old Lurk's good old time speakeasys – Tantor's Tusk. Although alcohol is far from illegal in this town of anything you please, Tantor's has remained a drinking hole for your discerning imbiber on the lookout for cheap booze & flesh of all colours & dimensions. If I drank hooch, I'd be here every night. Probably every day too.
Looking around, through a couple of Medicii flirting with a group of Atom Girls, I saw Janey Weissmutter, head back, laughing that cockatoo ha ha. The patron & owner of said dingy debauched cellar, The Queen Of The Concrete Jungle & bosshog-esse of most of the rackets from the edges of Death Street & Weeping Corner to Mistletoe Lane. Brought up by carnivorous antelopes in the jungles of Bangoland after her scientist father's plane plummeted out of a cliché. Behind her head was the tusk of her beloved elephant, Tantor, killed by a great white hunter who, in turn, had his throat ripped out by J.W.'s very own canines. She had come to Old Lurk while still an adolescent & made a name for herself as the most dangerous & sexiest hit girl on the dirty streets. Many a man has had the life snuffed out of him between her thighs. Lucky bastards.
J.W. had seen me enter first & raised her glass.
I bowed deeply.
Respect, where respect is due.
Means a lot in this business.
However, I was not here for pleasure. Shame. It was then that I saw the familiar shine & headed across the makeshift dancefloor, squeezing through the gap made while a fat Donutter bopped a timbre with a svelte young She-Mandrake. The man in the brown pinstriped suit stood up. He had seen my own white suit coming & The Brother Bar Code offered me his leather gloved hand as protocol decreed. The Beeb was a infotarian.
Not his fault, he was born that way.
At least, I think he was born.
One touch of his bony pale fingertips to any information system & he would instantly have access to all the data contained therein & a hearty meal to boot. & that included me. It also meant that he could soar around the Netwerks & infiltrate pretty much anywhere. The perfect data thief. He never needed money, so, Thank Elvis, that long ago we had come to an arrangement. He was willing to sell info to us for free access to Old Lurk's Netwerk without any legal repercussions at all. It seemed a fair deal to us. He was trusted by everyone in H.A.D.E.S. & even got me cheap pairs of black & white brogues from time to time. Bless.
Blake!”, he croaked. “Long time no see, dear boy.”
He sounded like a queer parrot whispering through a loud hailer.
I sat down on an old Rot Gut Whisky box that served as a chair.
Beeb”, I croaked back. “What you got for me?”
Just … some whispers”, he fizzed. “Yet, the encryption tells me they are more dangerous than just Chinese.”
Any details?”, I asked leaning into the floating white screen that was his head, watching the exchanging stripes & space-age numbers all dynamic.
Something to do with an amassing of The Power Of Light into a single current. Something something tipping the balance of chaos. Something.”
I did not like the sound of this. The Lux were on the war path. Damn.
Here. Put this into your phone.”
The Beeb took his right hand glove off & removed one of his fingers at the second knuckle. He passed it over the table. There was a memory stick portal at the knuckle end. I knew that he could not access the info on my phone. I stuck the digit into my classic Finokia & watched as it downloaded.
A shard of light reflected off a table candle caught my attention & I felt the pupil of my good eye dilate. A chink was making a bee line through the seats behind The Beeb. Looming towards my friend, a glint of a blade held low in his grubby hands. A stiletto & I ain't talking about shoes, ladies.
Instinct took over.
No time to pull the Luger out of its snug holster.
I leapt to the side of the table & brought my right hand down hard onto the chink's forearm knocking the thin blade out of his hand.
Same hand, hip pivoting.
Hard bitch slap.
Then the screams of all the scared punters started.
An open palm face smash with my left, feeling nose cartilage snap, crackle & pop.
The chink's (Hey! He was trying to kill my friend, here! You think I'm going to call him a person of Asian extraction?) feet kept moving forward while his head tilted back hard & I brought all my weight down slamming his bloodied head into the floor.
He crumpled, defeated & I grabbed the blade at the same time as I mounted his chest. With my free hand I grasped his jaw like a good paid thug.
Who fucking sent you!”, I whispered while flashing the blade at his eyes.
Who …?
Suddenly, I saw his eyes begin to smoulder. Literary. Smoke began to billow from his facial orifices & I leapt back off him. His head became crowned with flames & his body caught fire as his last breath left him. A flaming djinn mess. Janey came over & gripped my shoulders. Cooing dove, whispering cool calm upon me. I was glad she understood & wished me no ill for bringing this atrocity to her den as we all watched the human shish kebab fry.
Then, it was over.
Just like that.
A pile of ash in a cheap suit.

The Master Of Heaven says ...”
Could it be the Red Dynasty from Dragontown?, I thought to myself.
My thoughts whirled like a ballerina on speed.
They have always been neutral. Just honourable crooks trying to make a dishonest living. Tradition & money plays their mahjong game of life. Never on the side of ideologues. Never been friends with the Lux. They never even went over Stalinways. Sure, their influence has been growing for years now but …?
Then I saw it, jutting out from the ashes. Gaudy like a child's plastic earring. Connected to gold chain. A pink glowing crucifix.
The Sisters Of The Neon Cross.
Waiting for the return of their Electric Christ riding on a bar sign bringing a megawattage scourge upon the unrighteous & shocking ecstasy & eternal cable TV to those who deserve it.
The Sisters have been trying their best to convert as many of the “heathens” in Old Lurk as possible. I heard their P.R. campaign was going down a heavenly storm in Dragontown. Seems this was a test of faith.
You naughty naughty nuns.
I gripped that plastic cross tight feeling it soften in the heat of my inner fury.
That Mother Superiority Complex always did have a penchant for all things hot. Burning. Hellfire. Inquistions.
I'll put her over my knee.
Sisters. I'm coming for you tonight. You mad puritaniques.
You tried to attack a friend of mine.
To destroy the world.
Hell Mary, full of disgrace
You cunt-rosaries.
Hell hath no fury
None at all compared to me.


  1. This is fantastic. Loads and loads of great lines and images. Can't wait for the next part.

  2. Omg- you debauched creature in a white suit! I'd like to see you put a naughty nun over your knee! "Me Tarazan" is way better than "Open sesame" And I can't think of a cooler underground hit woman raised by carnivorous antelopes with a pet elephant. And the opening of rain sounding like rat-tat-tating tommy gun bullets (and the walls like biting teeth) is too cool. This whole recounting is simple awesomeness, Blake. Can't wait for more.

  3. Fantastic stuff - loved it! Looking forward to the next part. (Not sure I'll put Old Lurk on my list of places to visit, mind!)