The Marquess of Queensberry Does Not Approve.

Posted: August 19, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Allosaurus, part 10. Part 9 can be found here, or perhaps you’d like to see how all this mess got started? Happy hunting!

Ahh, video, he mused. The red light on the camera on his computer blinked into life. Larry Forbes took a swig from the soda bottle: green, tooth crackingly sweet and hyper caffeinated. This is the end result of the century or so of progress. Flickering, static filled, prone to drop out at the whim of an errant satellite or solar flare. Astounding.

Presently, the connection was established. On the screen, Project Killswitch appeared before Forbes, unmasked. The one calling himself Teppo was a black male in his late twenties. He had the look of the constantly harassed. Kracko looked to be a few years older. Also a black male, he was beefily constructed with a confident air that contrasted sharply with Teppo’s. Oxmyx, the girl, looked like the picture of nerdy innocence.

She was the one who wiped out the SWAT team.

I may have to … replace her, Forbes thought. He decided he’d begin with a bit of history. A change of subject matter that would catch these fools off guard.

“Since the 1920s,” he announced, “the ability to transmit and receive video has given mankind the promise of instantaneous, face to face communication. It was hoped and believed that this would usher in a new worldwide utopia of knowledge transference,  learning and culture would expand to the masses, and the Golden Age, long prophesized, would at last come to be.” He shook his head slowly, deliberately.

“We were, instead, treated to a pipeline directly into our homes; a sewer fount of advertisements for toothpaste and hairspray. These noxious ads paid for the so – called comics and entertainers that served to take our minds off the gurgling crapfest the modern world had become.”

Teppo fidgeted with impatience. “This goin’ someplace, Mister F?” The poor connection speed made his words out of sync with his mouth, so that he looked like a poorly overdubbed foreign film. His voice, seemingly too deep for his slight frame, didn’t help this impression.

“I’m sorry, Teppo, do you have somewhere else to be? Prison, perhaps?” Forbes asked. “I’m sure there are a lot of people, police included, who would love knowing just where you sleep. I don’t think you’d actually make it as far as jail, however. There are less complicated means of suicide, you realize.” On the screen, Kracko whapped Teppo on the back of the head. The slap sound was delayed for a couple of milliseconds. Oxmyx rolled her eyes. “Do I have your permission to continue, Teppo?” Forbes harrumphed. “Yes? Good.  – This stuttering mess of video conferencing is what currently passes for state of the art communication in our world, as I was saying.

“On the plus side, I was able to catch the latest antics of your little coterie more or less as they unfolded, thanks to the miracle of ’round the clock news’. And I gotta say: I was less than impressed.”

Oxmyx lowered her head. Kracko looked off to study something just offscreen that suddenly captivated his attention. Teppo flared his nostrils. “Mister F, if I’m not mistaken, you asked us to ‘engage Gang Greene’. It’s hardly our fault that they decided to take cover in a school, you know, and – ”

“Shut it.” Forbes growled. “One thing I did NOT, and I mean that I specifically instructed you NOT TO DO, was to get the police involved. I also did not authorize the use of the Bio-magnetic Pulse Generator. That was you, Oxmyx? Am I correct?”

Oxmyx looked up, looked at Forbes directly. “Yes,” she said, in a calm, even tone. “I pulled the trigger.” Teppo shot her a glance, as if he could, by sheer force of will, make her take back her words and unsay what she’d just said. Hm, Forbes thought. How loyal.

Kracko finally spoke up. “It’s my fault,” he began. “Gang Greene had us out-gunned there, and then the police came … It just got a little outta hand.” He shrugged. “She was surrounded. I told her to use it.”

Forbes nodded. “I see. Who decided to bring it in the first place?”

The three of them glanced at each other nervously.

“It was a mutual decision,” Kracko finally replied.

” ‘Mutual’, you say?”

The three of them nodded. Forbes wondered what had happened in these three people’s lives that made them so fiercely devoted to each other. Replacing one of them would be difficult; perhaps prohibitively so. He sighed.

“You’re going to have to lay low for a while,” Forbes decided. “This will put a crimp in our plans. I had a client who purchased a device from me. She seems to have retired. It was my idea that the three of you would draw her out somehow.”

“What kind of device did she buy from you?” Oxmyx asked.

Forbes shook his head. “That’s not really important. She’s just another one of these vigilantes. Likes to beat up muggers and such. I was going to have you step up attacks in her usual patrol areas. She’s a bit sloppy; the Bureau had begun to take an interest in her.” He was thoughtful for a moment.

“How good do you think you’d be with a slightly more subtle approach?” Forbes asked at last.

“Like what?” Teppo asked.

Larry nodded approvingly. Get them back into line, back in the program. Back under control. “I think,” he began, “that you three might be able to exploit her weaknesses. Her loyalties. She has a, a friend, that she lives with. I believe her friend and her are rather close. A bank teller. Name’s Cheryl Jefferson.

“Francine Braithwaite might not come out of retirement to fight the odd mugger or purse snatcher, but she might just find the courage to track down her girlfriend’s kidnappers.” Forbes concluded. “I’ll give you some addresses, but I would prefer to leave myself out of the details. Forbes out.”

The screen went dark as Forbes broke the connection. Miss Braithwaite’s reappearance will, no doubt, cause the Bureau to tip their hand, he pondered. Then, Pin Mah’s clone will act, as expected.

And I will get my revenge. 

words  and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in Everyday, The Bucket Goes To The Well.

  1. […] 11 of Allosaurus. Bet you were wondering what happened to the band, huh? Or look at last week, or start over. […]

  2. […] Allosaurus continues next time in The Marquess of Queensberry Does Not Approve. […]

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