Along The Watchtower
In a bar in Washington
DC, not far from Capitol Hill, two smart young fellows met one evening
and spent a while impressing one another: covertly checking the tailoring
and the accessories while the snow fell thick and fast outdoors, turning
all the mighty public buildings into bridal confectionery. They had
a few drinks, conversation became pleasantly indiscreet. They were both
in positions to be indiscreet about great affairs, but Frank could see
that tonight the other guy had the good story. Without haste, he drew
his friend to speak. Businessmen came and went, beautiful women sashayed
by; the neat, discreet waitresses plied refills, and in due course it
came out. Lavoisier, the weirdo place. Something about that awful secret
buboe on the body politic, which the Pres had been revealing to the
select behind closed doors: audiences from which Fred Eiffrich's friends
and enemies, both emerged grey in the face and shaken.
These two, along with a few other smart folks around the citadel by
now, were savvy on Lavoisier, without benefit of one of those solemn
need-to-know sessions. A desert nest of terrorists, Manson family on
the edge of going critical with their home-cooked occult superweapon.
And the raid, how about that raid
! The FBI and the National Guard
were on the point of going in. With a division of infantry, in their
chemical suits and their breathing apparatus, deep stealth, full metal
jacket, you betcha Bob-
'-Meanwhile these two English guys dress up as cowboys, ride
over there on horseback, and shoot up the town!'
'It's hilarious,' agreed Frank: waiting to be told something he didn't
'It's a scream. It gets better, bro. We have live coverage.'
At this Frank stared, truly impressed. 'You're kidding.'
'I'm not kidding.' The man with the story shook his head slowly, and
leaned forward into the dead space that every one who talks in bars
believes can be found, directly above the mid point between their two
drinks on the polished mahogany tabletop. 'There is footage. This Baal,
the Black Dragon had the town wired, hidden cameras everywhere, and
he has the true-life movie of what went down that night. He's dickering
with our acquisitions guys right now, from his undisclosed place of
'Protective custody, mister.'
'Whatever, he's open for business. Detainees' rights are a wonderful
'What, he had the stuff with him? On an eyesocket chip or what?
And our great Homeland Security experts let him keep it?'
Not like that. He knows where it is, though. This is the
real deal, Frankismo. I can't tell you how, but I've personally seen
the trailer. You want to see Mr Ax Preston garroting a poor misguided
Gaia-loving martyr? You want to see the expression on our rockstar peacemaker's
pretty face, when the kid's windpipe cracks?'
'You want to see holier-than-God reformed bad boy Sage Pender dealing
with the soft-bellied little geeks at the hideout's back gate? Some
of them women?'
'You have to be shitting me-!'
They contemplated the potential mayhem. It was nice.
'You know, Jude,' said Frank at last, measuring his words. 'Joking apart,
this could be a serious bummer for that Kill The Evil Research, Ban
The NeuroBomb route. This sounds like bad doody for Mr Fred Eiffrich
'Yeah, well. Don't know about you Frankie, but I voted for the other
They laughed, immoderately. Then they had one more drink and went their
separate ways, as the hour was getting late.