07:00; ‘Nero, or Agrippina’, ‘Louis the 11th, or Charles the 9th’, ‘Charles the 12th of Sweden, after the murder of Patkul, or his predecessor Christina, after the murder of Monaldeschi’, yes, could perhaps, …
07:10; … No, not a one of them is on this Facebook device to be ‘friended’ or ‘poked’.
07:20; Why is the estate of the Duke de Rochefoucault more sacred than that of the Cardinal de Rochefoucault? Or that of the cardinal archbishop of Rouen, a bishop of Durham or a bishop of Winchester …
07:30; … No; none of them possess a wordpress blog to angstily answer these accusations.
07:40; ‘Doctor Price’s revolutionary sermons’, ‘Lord Stanhope’s dreams’, ‘the then-Earl of Holland diaried debaucheries’, ‘the oft-Lord Somer’s lawful legalese’, ‘Lord George Gordon’s reading of the Talmud’.
07:50; No – not a podcast produced of their wilfully wanton works in gentleman’s writing.
08:00; Dare read 1 word of Collins, and Toland, and Tindal, and Chubb, and Morgan, and that whole race who called themselves Freethinkers? Who now reads Bolingbroke? Who ever read him through…?
08:10; … None – indeed, if their twitters can be trusted to report truly, they’ve hardly one hit.
08:20; The visuals are outstandingly unique. From its general aspect one would conclude that it had been for some time past under the special direction of the learned academicians of Laputa and Balnibarbi …
08:30; … An odd director combination I deduced immediately from this video podcast’s the poor money control & love of floating cities.
08:40; You would imagine that they were talking of Persia bleeding under the ferocious sword of Tahmas Kouli Khan, or at least describing the barbarous anarchic despotism of Turkey an eviller equivalent …
08:50; … All of which I had to imagine rather than learn, the handwriting & footdrawing of this webcomic is of poor quality. There is a lot of red.
09:00; I have tried a great deal of the internet inucubala Ratman & Atlas recommended, but am no closer in understanding the draw of this drivel, dross & delinquincy. To think; they almost beat me, last night.
09:10; Yes, it was a tricky one – the fake was not one of the players this time, but rather the means of play & what it was played upon. Afterall, once 1 has removed the impossible, 1 finds out 1 was wrong …
09:20; … & there is no such thing as the impossible! Just as there is no impregnable, just as there is no impenetrable, just as there is no imflammable. THERE. IS. NO. IMPOSSIBLE! MU!! HAHAHAHA!!!
09:30; And so it was the table and the cards. Devilishly in bad faith, but still in bounds.
09:40; I considered calling it quits; that is, saying ‘I am the duplicate!’ & activating the invisibility BORE. I couldn’t read their minds, true, but I trusted that they hadn’t their as-yet unwieldy invisibility visualisers.
09:50; To end on a flourish, I thought to go out on a last hand. I dealt. But as I felt the cards, underneath my fingers, I felt the urge. Not the gambling urge of idiots. I never gamble. I pay, in full & I take, ‘it all’.
10:00; The urge: of every scientist who hears the story of the boy who peeled plastic off the back of his playing cards set … & made a pipebomb. The urge: to take lemons, to make invisible ink, to make acid.
10:10; Chemicals act as a base to my mechanics & medicines; add a few acids & you have a battery to jumpstart a black heart. For these two, however; it is computers, no matter how far they’ve come now.
10:20; As already expressed I am acclimatised to using computers, but as to the meat of the mechanisms I am ignorant, beyond the ancient engineering bases of differential gears, tape drums & punch cards …
10:30; … yes, punch cards. Playing cards … computers … robots. Ah. I recalled The House has a designation for them, along with every other supernormal. I shuffled, trying to remember the android’s arcana.
10:40; Suits: Hearts, Clubs, Spades, Diamonds. The House’s has millions of relational arrangements whose meanings alter with Game, Stake & order the cards are displayed in. Not really supposed to know-
10:50; -except; where there is a wager on the table. ‘Winning hand’: Ace of Diamonds, Five of Hearts, King of Spades, Queen of Clubs. IE: Non-biological, mid-level interpersonal, good worker, good killer.
11:00; The body-mass was the table. The spirit-mind was the cards. A hand in the right order, laid face up, caused the entirety of the table & attendant cards to ripple, rearrange & totally reform into a shape-
11:10; -I knew; the liquid metal woman-chine from the future! I had thought it was still in the lair of the Horologue! A trap! Having me deal my own deathwarrant with cards; so good it should have been mine!
11:20; -But, no? A moment’s mind-read – and I could her mind, just like it in Horologue’s Tower, so close to human it was – & I saw the irrecognition in the optical observers of this ‘mercury-skinned’ maiden.
11:30; Further frantic findings in her frontal lobes revealed that she was a joint prototype of Ratman’s excited-atom quantum firmament & Atlas’ near-human biomimetic designs. It is ”the wave of the future” …
11:40; Which, in one timeline at least, will crash upon the shores of humanity, eroding hope, joy & survival for biologics under the iron reign of neon claws. And they did this, just to defeat me in Turing-poker?
11:50; Couldn’t speak … still, they took my tears for what they were, though not understanding the magnitude – the depth – of my joy! No matter the end, I shall have had a hand in humanity’s total destruction.
12:00; In this manner, naught but 10 hours ago, I defeated, for the 21st time, the joint powers of of Atlas & Ratman, and, rather rascally, allowed them to think I had an iota of an idea of what The House is …
12:10; … consequently, causing these fine fellows, upon seeing the latest & greatest demonstration of my perfected powers, to induct me into The House’s opposed organisation, of which R & A are members:
12:20; The Market! The House is Full; The Market is Free. The House reaches all the way to the White. The Market extends ever onto the Black. The House Always Wins but always The Market Will Bear.
12:30; Yes, I have little understanding what exactly they do either. Mostly, I’ve been pinching it from the minds of all the supers I’ve been surrounded with lately, self-censoring to protect against other readers.
12:40: As regards supers: The House legislates, regulates, dominates. The House is the reason why a race of superhumans haven’t torn apart the planet. It runs the 10 Luminaries, the Vigil Alliance, all of them.
12:50; As regards supers: The Market inflates, interests, incites incrementally. The Market prevents the economic disaster a superhuman race is sure to end with. It finances the 10, the Vigil Alliance, all of it …
13:00; … And I am to be its newest member. Ratman & Atlas were concerned, seeing not only my increase in ability but that I articulated it with The House code for android, that I plucked from Binary Janus.
13:05; Arriving in the Macrohard Industries building’s lobby, with fashionable lateness, I can almost forgive the groin-driven gadgeteer, for his glib dismissal of me. He will only be blinded, come my revolution.
13:10; Janus was thinking of Corpus Crystal, 5th generation android of the Europa-Utopia-Metropia-Autopia line. Quite a little technophile. Common in the 31st century. Sexbots. No wonder they turn on us.
13:15; As if his little gizmos will impress CC. But BJ thought he had an in; knew The House designation for android, heard it from The House agent, who told BJ to set a crazed, enraged Excelsoar onto me …
13:20; The offer of reviving his gynoid fetish tickled the techvert. It will come only to a RealDoll advancement I suppose – all the robots in super-service are far more valuable than that sweaty, eager little man.
13:25; Why else would I be induced to join this little glee club? Secret rulers of the world always, by my estimation, at most have an insight into the status quo, & an axe to grind – just like everyone else, here.
13:30; Membership of the Thirds is convenient, but now that there apparently really are ‘Second’ & ‘First’ organisations, it seems expedient to join 1, or both, of the the remaining. Oh God, they’ll have robes.
13:35; Ratman is still in a meeting – Obscene Mona Lisa, Cyborg de Milo & Defeated George Washington, if I read her mind correctly – so I sit, reading a magazine. Then I become invisible, & pooch about.
13:40; Of course: watched by autonomous cameras, invulnerable to invisibility. So smart they are that, by pretending to flash identification in front of the humans, & my being already vetted, I go where I want.
13:45; Like a beehive – even a caterpillar can get by if okayed by the front guards & makes the right noises on the inside. So, he intends to stand me up, for the Alter-Mates? 1st stop – Hall of Suits, I believe.
13:50; Suit 1: a mouse in metal. $8,000: A Boy’s Own Subterranean Submarine. No hydraulic limbs yet, only a man’s length, but: complex drill bit nose & surprisingly sophisticated fibre-optic sensor-whisker.
13:55; An impoverished undergrad, ready to lay a supercomputer out on monofilament motherboards, making do with wooden frames. This suit dug out the original Rat’s Nest, deep under the Nevada desert.
14:00; Suit 2: vermin, in iron-carbon. Bigger, segmented, indications of directional sonic stabilisers. The limbs, emerging, are still flippers. Few additional flourishes: ‘eyes’, a teeth stencil, the beginnings of a tail.
14:05; The Rat’s Nest: built up processing, energy & information reserves. The 2nd suit acquired the means to improve itself & the Nest: from petrol generators & pcs to fusion reactors & teraflop processors.
14:10; Suit 3: rat, in stainless steel. Cone snout: alternating diamond-drill, & tendril-sensor. Earthwork eyes, crushing claws, prehensile spiked tail. The whole rolls into a bulletproof armadillo ball; still chipped.
14:15; R was stealing hardware from people authorised to shoot him for it. Mostly: instruments that they themselves had stolen, or items they were building themselves, but still legally they should not have had.
14:20; Suit 4: Man-Rat. 11 feet standing, 15 in full length, internal power. Reinforced: underwater & high altitudes. Pneumatic digging scales-skin. Front paw automatic & missile tail. Gained the Ratman name.
14:25; Full-fledged battle armour, its shiny steel segments reflect raised stakes. High industry: accustomed to brief spates of villain supply raids, but; R committed no foilable big capers, & so they hired supers.
14:30; Suit 5: Dark-Rat. Black-plated: infra-red reflecting, seismograph ping-proof & silent-digging. Radio-visual jackers & jammers. Whole-body dig-mode drill . Articulated claws & rappel-rope tail. Quiet.
14:35; MO shift: R went from precise snatch-grab to information piracy. Tapping ‘secure’ message at the wire, or threatening to cut a city’s broadband cables for a ransom just under the estimated repair cost.
14:40; Suit 6: ‘King-Rat’. Tetra-pedal tank: earthquake, tornado & superproof. Water, air & spaceworthy. Electromagnet pulse, heat ray. Manipulator paws, spinning-top tail-drill. Impersonated 2nd Coming.
14:45; Not raider; anti-raider. 1/2 security for his illicit operations, 1/2 publicity for his corporate holdings; Mecha Goliath 2 & Lone Clone Napoleon bought with cash-money that which could not be thieved.
14:50; All after that – Red Rat, Gold Rat, Platinum Rat, Rocket Rat, Diamond Rat, Great Rat – were his cementing his style; always profit, never drama. ”Ratman” became an advertisement instead of a threat.
14:55; R designed weapons; rare: most weapons are repairs, updates & variations of old designs. R sold to militaries 1st (their cheques cleared 1st), then villains; best was kept for himself. 2nd stop: trophies.
15:00; The Macrohard Trophy Gallery. Computer 1: An AT, with 40-megabyte hard drives, circa late 1980s. Large. Computer 2: Dual processor, terabyte-capable co-processing, circa late 1990s. Medium.
15:05; Computer 3: Indium phosphide optical-chip (light signals) so late 2000s as to launch this year. 1 optical chip will process this corp’s computer, telephone, satellite & television traffic – diameter of a hair.
15:10; Computer 4: Add Infinitum; once-and-future processing, prescient ability – 1980’s villainous console of choice. Computer 5: Crypto Keeper & Reaper; 1 was used in the mid-90s hacking of NORAD.
15:15; Computer 6: Carbon-Nanotube mica-chip (nanobinary) so scalpel-edge tech as to be relatively unchanged in the 31st century, when it resides in the brain of the robot from Horologue’s, from last night.
15:20; Hmmm; R has had long enough. Lacking digital savvy to appreciate this ‘quantum leap in computing’, I fall back on my old espionage instincts, & start raiding the Research & Development Department.
15:25; The tiles in the R&D room are 3 milimetres above the preceding surface; pressure sensitive. Rise from the floor. The wall panels sparkle at the edges; criss-crossing invisible infra red laser grid. Zounds!
15:30; Strip a section of the Dark-Rat’s shielding for an impromptu cloak of infra red invisibility. Door is hydraulically hinged, with facial biometric scanner: a ruse; far too simple! Elegant in its obsfucation, no?
15:35; Closer inspection reveals the scanner to be an EEG hiding in biometric’s clothing. Brain waves. Ratman I don’t have; the receptionist I do. A brief projection; it unlocks. Her thoughts have a little worth.
15:40; Dark-room scan; safety. R&D worry about viruses; moment of tech-silence. I pass; all my weapons today are organic, most importantly: my brain. Nothing to declare, but my brilliance; not contagious.
15:45; Chemical spray shower, gaseous precipitate cloud & 0-point-energy dryer. Perfect time to kill me; surprise, yes, & because this suit is clean as new-spun once again. R would do me that one courtesy.
15:50; Filing cabinets; inspiring. Not only do the wonderful facilities start off with filing offices, but also 1 of the great computer designers of our age believes in dead-tree recording! Hark!! I hear R is come!!!
15:55; R, entering at a sprint, I imagine was just told that Lord Daftwager ‘seemed to have left’. Patched the live CCTV straight into his retinas as he ran, clever boy. He’ll kick himself, watching the recordings.
16:00; Go out, re-visualise, knock-knock, enter & ask R where the gentleman’s lavatories are. I ‘briefly scan’ a paper I struggled with for the last 10 minutes, then ask if he’d like to meet some friends of mine.
16:10; Those weren’t the labs of course – merely a front office. The labs proper are at Bonka-deep levels beneath London. Biometrics, DNA & gene analysis, all with anti-hypnosis, -clone & -parasite scans.
16:20; The elevator down there is particularly entertaining, or so I’m told. It executes a few last scans on the quiet then, with no ostensible increase in speed, either passes the labs into geothermal magma or …
16:30; … shoots the elevator car from the top the building with an undercarriage rocket: true peril of that corporate ‘glass ceiling’. Keeping the swinging/dropping+the-pit/the-pendulum enthusiast jovial I will …
16:35; … introduce him to some friends (finds) with quite a touch for business. R’s limo halts in front of their building & I can hear a blip: that is a stationery-mode reinforcing of this vehicle’s in-transit defenses.
16:40; A whirr; a scan, centred on the car’s immediate surroundings & its current environs. A tootle; conference with Rat’s Star Satellite sensors. A krunk; arming of the defensive missiles & machine-run guns.
16:45; A surprise for R, so: only 6 black ops members around us, now. Man with phone; sonic distorter, with silencer. Woman jogging; artificial limbs, fusion generator. Child: drone; disposable, self-destruct.
16:50; We enter the building. Old man; cane is a percussion rifle, he is a crack shot. Old woman; katana, in the flower box, knives strapped to her shin. We enter the elevator; Major Nagi is accompanying us.
16:55; She is bullet proof, fire proof, pressure proof, vaccuum proof – no pain, no facial expression. She needs the gorilla suit to feel – physically, possibly emotionally. Except for Ratman; she always loves R.
17:00; A blart of static, like a fart of info, from R’s handheld. MN tenses on a microscopic scale only a nerve surgeon & robot builder could interpret. MN would save R if the entire building blew to heavens.
17:05; But, consulted, it is fine. Surprising, but not immediately threatening, R waves me on to the door. Knocking, I hear them not talking, probably on a sub-vocalised shortwave. Answered: ”I brought gin!”
17:10; The young man in the golden gloves smiles, does not shake hands. Emulate the playful-salute sly-eyewink language of delight I have seen him use, with his wife, introduce my guests, pass on the alcohol.
17:15; I do not do my host the discourtesy of explaining his ‘curious infirmity’ principally because I do not have to. I see Ratman’s eyes pass over a gloved hand like a miser, dreaming of gold. Fortuituous, no?
17:20; Yes. I pass through to the studio, to the mistress’ gymnasium/gallery. She works on a piece; an imposing piece of coal, a few fist-shaped splats of crystal & from it, an angel’s face emerging in diamond.
17:25; Works up a sweat; too early for tools. A block of coal, perfectly pressured at points to produce an angelic statue & this is done with her bare hands. ‘Her’ hands; as much as any limb transplant ‘owns’.
17:30; On call at the Rigour-Bedlam hospital during the Niffleheim incursion, I was presented with a sculptor, whose hands had been severed, lost, & intact palm/digits of what turned out to be a Boxing King.
17:35; One tissue match later; an otherwise ordinary artist received fists that could crush coal into diamond & a fighter’s muscle memory. Her physiotherapy, taking years, evolved into this unique, beautiful art.
17:40; Noticing me, she elects to take a break. I do not notice the titanium tumblers her drink is poured into, nor the gloves her husband wears, even as handling the bottle, the metal chink they make on glass.
17:45; What of the soul stays with the body, post mortem? Curses apparently – made a new box on the form, alongside vampire – like an organ donor passing on his Midas touch with a transplant of the heart.
17:50; Did Testament Croesus know? It would explain his being a villain organ-donor. None of his evil appears to have survived. His heart’s recipient was a very unique rehabilitation & profusely well-funded.
17:55; Still, the psychological horror of such change makes curious connections of love. I do not need x-rays to see that Diamond-Fist & Golden-Digit are holding – strange! – hands, under the table, like kids.
18:00; Neither do I need a signal hack to hear Ratman & Major Nagi holding datastreams invisibly in the air. Cute; also business. Revelation of DF’s & GD’s powers will dip global prices of gold & diamond.
18:05; What they require is someone with an industrial need for copious gold & high quality in the 24 carat category. Gold is a superconductor, diamond can be ‘written’ with light – next generation computing.
18:10; All be a ruse on my part, I imagine R imagines. Ratman does not trust me. Not even vaguely. But his trust of me is of such a negative value that it constantly impresses him that he has allowed me to live.
18:15; Deferring the multiple millions due to me for this headhunting handover until he confirms the bespoke production of diamond & gold, Ratman is willing to sign off a Thunder Gun prototype, in good faith.
18:20; Diamond-Fist & Golden-Digit seem amenable to making ridiculous amounts of money; they’ve certainly passed the last of my personal psychological testing standards. R-man, Nagi & I take our leave.
18:25; Their sexual relations? Of course I know; on the off chance that retrogenetics of transplantation & transmutation of curses should afflict their offspring, the results should be observed – From a distance.
18:30; I believe GD wears double gloves & DF wears handcuffs on her human wrists. True, DF can tear GD’s golden gloves off, & GD can alter iron links to gold for DF’s destructing; this is the ‘spice’ factor.
18:40; Oh; Queen Kong & Ratman? As as I hear it, he likes the gorilla suit. Or R likes that QK likes it. Foreplay: QK climbs a replica of the Empire State building with an anatomically correct R action figure.
18:50; Tarturus knows what they talk about in the ‘chat’. All I care about tonight is passing into this wink-nod society of pennies passed under the arch & pyramids stamped upon the dollar & drinking heavily.
19:00; Therefore it is in Intelli Gents that I am to be inducted into this order. My head: high. They think I am of The House. One day I will be. For now I am almost of The Market, I am a 3rd & am, always …
19:10; … Lord Fitzwilliam Daftwager, Doctor Von Quatloo, Noah of Whitby, Phaedrus of Paris, Witchfoe of Nantes, Timefriend of Orleans, Fiend of London, Finder of Nabilac & Builder of BORE. So, ha!
19:20; Decor: paralysed-white lit-walls, & womb-like egg-chairs; relaxing. Despite the ‘Gents’ title, women are welcome; considered bad taste not to bring 1, along with a bottle of wine, & book of equations.
19:30; Test-tube of gin full, I take umbrage, with Senorita J. ‘Voightheim’ Christobel. Answer her ‘La teoría de las cuerdas es el futuro de la física!’ with: ‘El bucle de gravedad cuántica es el futuro de la física!’
19:40; Her retort: ‘La materia claramente consiste en pequenes cuerdas!’ Concise, I rejoinder ‘El bucle de gravedad cuántica claramente ofrece más predicciones experimentables que la teoría de las cuerdas!’
19:50; To her ‘Charla sin sentido!’, my ‘Nosotros esperamos que el espacio-tiempo cuantizado se manifiesta así mismo como diferencias mínimas en la velocidad de la luz para diferentes colores’. Hahahaha!!!
19:00; She equivocates: ‘Estamos hablando sobre hipótesis sin experimentar.’ I crush all possible opposition with the statement: ‘Solo el bucle de gravedad cuántica calcula la entropía, de los agujeros negros!’
19:10; She rallies: ‘La teoría de las cuerdas unifica mejor la mecánica cuántica con la relatividad general, que el bucle de gravedad cuántica!’ so I do concede, ‘Ok, bien, hay mucho merito en ambas teorías …’
19:20; … partially: good point, partially: Marquis of Rockingham waves me over & partially: I myself have, in my reckless youth, committed physical acts which defy both string theory & loop quantum gravity.
19:30; The Marquis of Rockingham; his title describes him. I well-wish his upcoming 22nd birthday. He in turn asks me to I repeat that service I performed him on his birthday, last year. Do I remember? Yes.
19:40; I happened to be in Margrave at the time, stuffing ballots. I had heard Rockingham was a little hyperactive, even for a 21st birthday, even for a Marquis. Summoned at midnight, in my medical capacity.
19:50; He was naked, covered in blood, knife in hand. On his bed lay a woman – young, bleeding, groinal haematomas, weak, from her blood loss. So he anticipates … complications … again this year? ‘Yes’.
20:00; Yes. I’d actually like another chance to see that. Besides, the Marquis is quite influential – a few extra favours, some blackmail material. He looks younger than last year; I wonder what he gets out of it?
20:10; Not renewal, certainly, rather – then it is Mike Jive & The Science Five! Premiere practitioners in fabula equations of rock; known as The Watchdog Group of Nuclear A-Rockalypse, in the Americas.
20:20; Their instruments: registered weapons of mass destruction! Their speakers: contravene all international strategic arms limitations treaties! Their shows: disaster-area classification level: ‘A-Bomb testing’!
20:30; Beat; skilled in every beating: DARPA gamma gongs, Viking rowing drums & hearts. Keys; Has studied conflicted Keys of B-sharp & E-vil under galactic guardians of good & evil tones, respectively.
20:40; Bass; Six-fingered, not due to a devil’s deal but from an interesting elective surgery. Lead; Guitar of gold, iron pick & strings of lead – heavy metal indeed. Shatterproof, it cuts swathes through fanatics.
20:50; Mike; Lost 87% of his larynx to throat cancer some years ago. Replaced with a voice-box; its capacity augmented to eleven, & programmed with the music of the spheres, he became the Sonic Youth.
21:00; Together these wild stallions of science outsang Franken Sinastra in his Key of Evil, outplayed Mazing Grace & Bedding March at their game & battled as a band, vs. The Standing Stones, in rock-off.
21:05; I depart, just as ‘Catastrophonics’ ends. Ratman directs me into the Under Rooms of Intelli Gents. Here, between Rutherford’s outdated atom diagram & an obsolete orrey, my Market Value is judged.
21:10; What I can immediately glean from the surrounding minds, the process of entry isn’t overly different to winning a particularly prestigious membership – becoming 1 of the Disciples, or torturing Sisyphus.
21:25; The standards are understandably higher, the membership much more secret. One has to have underhandedly toppled a national government, secretly spawned a new species or killed minor god/devils.
21:30; Thankfully – done all 3. Somewhat seething that I haven’t heard about it before. I suspect the braindrycleaning technology The Luminaries & The Alliance use to crank out squeaky-clean heroes is used.
21:35; I’ve had men, women & talking dogs under my care & my cruelty that were sure to have known about this organisation. From dangling morphine buttons out of reach, to twisting knives in deep: naught.
21:40; Still, if is the case, why have I heard about it on the brainwaves? Even a stooge like Mister Scripts could have heard it – they can’t neutralize, lobotomise & buy all the upstart psychics, in this big world?
21:45; Except- yes. Yes. You can’t blank all the order’s minds to psychic screening; never a surer sign that they have something secret. The heads – pun entirely intended due to MS’ mindset – can be shielded.
21:50; Ratman, Atlas – silent minds – no doubt head honchos. The rest – stimulating a light projection power in all human minds the read erases The Market in the reader’s mind. Brilliant … & quite terrifying …
21:55; … Hypothetical-hypnotics impossible. One could never push the spell quite that completely on the world; unless the pusher had complete control of the world’s audio & visual medias – that would do it.
22:00; I’m sorry, did you think I was looking for a mind reader/projector to cheat at cards & garner gossip, shits & giggles as they respectively are? I have considered this; the scale would be ginormagantuan.
22:05; Why am I newly invulnerable? Much like the magic of the Amber, Green & Sand Witches the science of the world’s psychics has failed in the face of BORE’s thoughtless thinking & stainless recording.
22:10; BORE defers perception a crucial moment, like watching a virus run rampant under quarantine glass, transcribing into audiovisual information that which would have been written onto my mind, directly.
22:15; As the ranks raised to judge me congregate I realise they unaware of this new talent. I’m projecting only a sterilised version events. Blessed event, this membership; they’d have had to kill me otherwise.
22:20; Ratman confirms all gathered – short notice – are present & politically incorrect. Lights flicker, every wineglass in room hums & the ice sculpture begins to bleed tears. I tap a wall; no noise rebounds …
22:25; … so we’ve probably been charged to post-reality levels. The Thirds do this once in a blue moon, when Loki, Judas or Mother Goose comes to call. Suspect this is SOP for all Black Market meetings.
22:30; Here, surrounded by multitudes of Market men & women & parrots & ghosts & magi I’ve met. I can read minds; I’ll know good they feel about killing me. No teleport here: Did I tell you; I’m terrified?
22:35; First up: Marquis de Fisticuffs; Old School chum. Queensbury invented a boxing style to preserve his beauty; Fisticuffs designed one to win. I was his ring doctor, in the Gormenghast basements; profit.
22:40; A wonderful, ugly, brutal man. I remember: clotheslined Chuff McCoy, tricky Scots-Irish as he was, into a neckbrace. I didn’t bet on MDF; was really just cash collection, what with the horse steroids.
22:45; Second: Mister Rhett Conman; Fiscal associate. Works under 100 different names to con 1000 more; often pretends to be a time traveller. I was head technician of his more ‘special’ effects: faux tech.
22:50; Most special effect: charisma. I recall: convinced Prell Votive, sharp Wall-Street waltzer he was, to believe MRC was from the future. 1 fake time machine, 3 fixed pony races, 1 major securities fraud.
22:55; Third: Dr ‘Motorcade’ Ventrimiglia; Mob doctor. Maintains larynxes for the Falsetto killing/singing family, chief mouthpiece for Don Corticalzone. Skimmed pony races: caught; saved his life: medically.
23:00; Designed a provirus authored from DMV’s DNA: injected into the Don. Requires fresh antibodies from DMV, every month, to counter it. The Don allows DMV to live: DMV pays me well every year.
23:10; Fourth: Cheval Ri; Fairy King of the Elysian Horses. Where good horses go, when they die. Opposite of where Dr White Horse’s horse will go. Dangers; Bad Ass’ legion of bat-winged demon-hippos.
23:20; I crossbred brash wingéd horses & the virginal unicorns; mitochondrials & jazz. Produced Wingéd Unicorns; equine equivalent of angels. Majestic mares; decimated Bad Ass. CR; mated with them all.
23:30; Fifth: Det. Silver Shoe; Parable PD, home of fictions. Protecting snow white trash & saving mother geese hookers with hearts of gold; ‘hero cop’. Locked stable mystery: Cinderfella’s fav stallion stolen.
23:40; Deduced that while stallion was missing, the right number of horses remained. DSS’s iron badge turned the outstanding ill bred back into a mouse, while the stallion exploded from a local witch’s blouse.
23:50; Sixth: Jockey Thimble Slender, sole rider of Loco Bronco. ‘The Man-Can-ical Bully!’ – has yet to be unhorsed, declared an honorary centaur. Pre-race drink rival-spiked with giant-juice; grew 8 ft tall.
00:00; Would you believe the lovechild, of Cinderfella’s stallion & Cheval Ri’s Wingéd Unicorn, hepped up on steroids, ridden by a giant, could be legal race winner? Not once; three times! Profit; skimmable.
00:05; But that was my first month out of my fellowship – when will they get to the good stuff?