From the remarkable keyboard of allium, in the comment thread for this post:
"Rocky...is that you? My God, what did those Pottsylvanian bastards do to you?"
It was my own government that did this, I think in jagged letters ten feet tall. Of course after the cyborging I can only talk in Bluetooth, 802.11, and half a dozen classified military frequencies, and I left my loudspeaker module back at the base during my escape, so all Agent B hears are the chainsaw buzz of my rotors. He only knows it's me because the boys under Groom Lake painted a cartoon of...what I was...on my fuselage. As a joke. They thought it was hilarious.
So I yaw back and forth, hoping he'll interpret that as a "no".
Steam rises from B's nostrils as he tosses his massive, antlered head back. "When I see Fearless Leader again. I'm gonna pull a can of whoop-ass out of my hat!"
By the Great Acorn Above, he's dense. I dispense some eka-meth from my internal drug reservoirs to focus; two point eight seconds later I come to a decision and warm up the excimer.
"But wait a second...the Admiral told me you were dead! He spoke at your funeral! He..." B trails off as he sees words of fire appear vertically in the bark of the trees in front of him, one word per trunk. My targeting system is very precise - assassination tools generally are.
"PEACHFUZZ BURNED ME. CALL CLOYD AND GIDNEY."
Two hours later and thirty miles to the west, B paws at a nondescript hillock of frozen earth to uncover the squirt transmitter we buried there after the Upsidasium Affair. As dirt flies into the air, I idly wonder whether there's room for a squirrel brain in a Metal-Munching Mouse chassis, and how long it would take to get through a certain flag officer's sternum with its gleaming titanium teeth.
My latest LA Times review is for William Gibson's new novel Agency, sequel to his outstanding 2014 novel "The Peripheral," which marked his return to explicitly futuristic science fiction after his amazing and audacious "Pattern Recognition" novels, which treated the recent past as though it was a speculative future setting.
Snickelsox's guide to playing animated armor that is full of bees is full of surprisingly well-thought-through advice for anyone who should be tempted to role-play such a thing, despite their protestations that "this is dumb."
Jason Klamm from the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) writes, "In late 2018, I uncovered the true identity of comic Dick Davy. Since starting his archive, I've come across some real gems, but in August, one find took the cake. His niece, Sharon, mailed me two records that had been sitting in a box, and […]
Thanks to a series of progressive movements throughout the United States, more and more states are allowing people to smoke in the great outdoors with absolute freedom. Unfortunately, most pipe-makers have been slow to catch up with this new reality, which leads to avid smokers stuffing a cumbersome glass pipe in their pocket every time […]
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