“ … 1, 0! … Geddit? “
Information. Goddamn'd information. That's what it's all about, me ol' china. Everything. Reality. Qubits. Zero & one, not standing defined, not staid, not solid but that holy whole hole zero being endlessly fucked (optimism) or raped (pessimism) by an erect & phallic one. A super-positional orgy.
Reality is the divine come-face.
A wanking divinity at war with itself. Atum endlessly tugging the multi-verse into being.
Well, we all have our quirks, don't we?
Our little foibles.
I deal in the messy business of information & at times, when need be, spreading disinformation. It has a high price does the right sort of information. It can literally be bloody murder to get hold of. In one sense or another. I acquire information on all you naughty boys & girls & then I act upon it. The more surprising my course of action, the greater the information created & so it goes on & on.
Under its wheels.
“Into the PANdemonium!”
A right royal subterranean shriek-fest. The walls of The Stalagmite Club groaned with pleasure as the ball-tickling bass, scratchy-pitched gurning geetars & explosive battery of the Black Blast band onstage throbbed & hypnotised the devotees gathered; some of whose troglodyte heads banged as their hair whipped the damp air in Dionysian frenzy; others just stood & gently swayed, eyes closed, arms raised, transfixed in worship.
Blood Forest, the purveyors of the unholy racket that spewed forth from the stage, were in full swing & might I say, being an Elvis man first & foremost, but also a man of eclectic tastes, that they did not so much ROCK as bring WAR to our feet that night. The geetars buzz-sawed & flailed as fingers & hands moved like queer arachnids. It was total riffage with just a hint of melancholy. The perverted intagrams & hateniks around me lapped it up, by the Horny One's own plastic pitchfork!
Onstage, Vlad Skaldheim - the screecher, gnashed his teeth & grimaced his way through the cacophonic melodies as people fainted & were trampled under foot. He commanded that stage like the emperors of olden times or a power mad general & I bet even groovy ol' Satan himself would have thought twice about trying to invade the stage that night. It had been a while since I'd seen Vlad set the stage alight in his own particular dark fashion. Damn, he was impressive. Made the waiting for him all the more entertaining.
I looked over at my companion for the evening, the scrawny Middle Finger McPhee, who had been pulling a I-just-smelt-the-fat-bloke's-fart face all evening. His eyes darted back & forth & his sideburns bristled with the fear of being out of place. Or was it out of depth?
“Not a music lover, then , Mr M?”, I shouted over the noise/music.
“Wha …? This? Music?”, he bumbled. A man of few words was our Mr M. Well, only to those who didn't feel the urge to cough up the readies to help his skinny arse look the part of a dandy bad boy. All tight black silk shirts & gold pentagram pendants. Straight out of a bad vampire flick.
I tapped him on the shoulder, grinning & let my suit jacket open just enough for the sour-faced purple drainpiped creature to glimpse the handle of my trusty ol' Luger that hanged from its white leather holster all deadly negative beauty against my black shirt. It did well to remind him why he was here. That he was going home soon. That running now would be a very bad idea. He twisted his greasy head away from me, face pulled in (mock?) horror, leaning back as his hands darted pushed out in front of his chest, clawing the air & pulling his brylcreemed hair from his eyes.
“Calm your bones, my pretty Mr M. You'll be back where you belong soon”
Where he belonged was probably not where he wished to be right now. McPhee had been picked up by H.A.D.E.S while haggling with a flesh-vendor to procure a young boy in the spice market at Al-Bhazzelag Square for Elvis-knows-what purpose. We had been meaning to talk to this particular weaselly Tenebrisite. A supplier of all manner of nasty things to contribute to all manner of nasty plots. Crafty schemes that could cause all life to go phhhuuuttt! Just like that. We drilled the information from him as a dentist removes teeth. With necessary cruelty. Now it was time to give him back to his umbrac masters & let them do with him what he deserves for being a dirty little squealer. & each & every one of us knows he had no choice in the matter. None whatsoever.
“I won't dance”
Blood Forest had reached their eyesore crescendo with the bass player finishing the set by placing a sawnoff in his mouth, pulling the trigger & decorating the stage all grey & scarlet. I pitied the cleaners. Silence had descended upon The Stalagmite Club & a child passed me with ears a-bleeding. I waited.
Then I felt it.
A celtic frost had descended upon us.
Skaldheim was as much of a mountain as I. His long hair fell over a deathpaint smeared bearded face. Spikes & bullet belts jutted through a lean leather body.
“Vlad”, said I & we shook hands from a distance, staring down deep into the other warrior's eyes always looking for the weakness & yet never finding it there.
“Blake. You feel ze musick good?”
“Not good, Vlad. Strong. T'ain't nuthin' good about you”
“HA!”, the giant laughed for an instant then his glaring face set in stone once more.
From under his arms I saw her.
That black shortcut punkiness & lop-sided grin.
Skaldheim felt the slight studded figure emerge from behind him & let her pass.
She stood next to Vlad, leaning on his thigh, coming up to just above his hips. She coyly placed her right hand forefinger to her lips as a greeting. I nodded.
The best damn infiltrator I've ever met. Cute & deadly to boot. Like a salamander. I'm glad she works for us & not any of those other bastards. Problem is, she really does like to kick the hornet's nest, so to speak & this time she got stung. Thank The King's white sequined flares that we'd just drained Finger dry & had something to bargain with. Not that they would want the rat back out of love you understand. Just spite.
“Didn't tell th'miserables nuthin', I hope?”, I asked her, knowing full well that her Plan Bs would put the most apocalypse-fearing mad dog survivalist's preparation to shame. They would have gotten absolutely nada from my Jo-Jo.
She stared at me straightfaced. Those black coal eyes burning.
“Some fool tried to open my 'puter. It took out a whole floor when the rigged probability bomb exploded in a sea of goat's entrails & offal. For a bunch who enjoy a good sacrifice, I guess that would seem ironic”, there was no hint of sarcasm there. Just the plain facts.
Foreign chicks, eh?!
I winked at her & a sly smile flashed over her pale moon-white face for an instant. She winked one of her Cleopatra eyes nonchalantly back.
Vlad glared down at her, his face immobile, his mouth a steel downward curve. He roughly patted her head.
“I vill feel sorry to see zis vun go! She is small Amazon. From ze Nord, like me! Even as death play with her, she laugh!”, he bellowed.
“Now ve exchange”, he stated.
Finger bolted but slipped & I leapt a good three metres & reached down in front of me & grabbed McPhee's collar. He had been cowering at my back the whole time, clawing & muttering pleads. I felt nothing for him. He knew what might happen the moment he chose sides & if he didn't, then he might well be so stupid as to deserve such a fate. Either way it was between him & Jo.
Jo edged her way towards me as long haired freaks stumbled & crossed in front of her making their way to & from the bar as the next band prepared to start.
Finger was on his knees now as I tried to drag him by his hair across the stone floor. He was putting up a hell of fight, his fingernails must have been digging into that stone. This was no time for compassion & I wanted to be rid of him, his bad shirts & faux crocodile shoes.
Vlad's nostrils began to flare & I knew that the situation was precarious when he began to howl. I did not want to fight. Not tonight. Not him.
I saw Jo stopping. She knew the rules. They needed to pass each other in a neutral place.
Fingers curdled a scream but all around the hateniks & Iron Crosses were shell shocked from the aural assault of Blood Forest & to have their god stood within their midst barking for this creature really got their blood up. They began to join in, pulling & kicking at the vile dog until Fingers could take no more & his body went limp as he began to moan, a low moan, a terrible moan. & as I let go & felt my for my weapon, he was carried to his new master on a sea of bodies & placed gently at Vlad's feet by a multitude of baying hands.
Jo ran at me. We hugged & she nuzzled into my jacket. Surprised as I was at this uncharacteristic show of emotion, I knew it wouldn't last & she pushed me violently away & kicked my shins with her steel toe capped biker boots as if I'd touched her smoochie pie without permission. I didn't mind. We both turned to look at Skaldheim.
Vlad had picked up Fingers by his head with his left hand & from his belt he pulled out a large hunting knife with the other. Fingers trembled with such force that Vlad's own hand shook.
“Hail Satan!”, cried the demi-god in front of us & all the hands answered with devil-horns.
The night became an arc of red.