DIME STORE CYBERPUNK
R. J. Forsyth
In a world so bad, you have to be crooked.
8/ 28/ 26 – I am in the Sea Jack Lounge on 11th street with the president (i.e. The Pierce Brosnan as James Bond look alike to my left – asshole even tries to intone himself with a fake British accent.) under a Freedom-Beam ®, bouncing booze adds onto my jacket, illuminating it with a separate color scheme, with each cut. Why is he with a guy like me? It ain’t for my block-jaw: my I’m-going-to-compost-you-physique/ composure. The man outlawed such life modes. What is the president doing in a place like this? It ain’t the cacophony hiss of wire against water: not to measure carbon-decay of the patron collection: not the varying emotive structures & tones of the 5 part movement symphony of fist/knife collided with/pierced into flesh. It’s… Well… Just the way our country works. The “Master of Disguise” is about to give a speech – minute till we see this glorified snake slither up to the podium to dangle out tongue and hiss a broadcast all over the country. We (i.e. The president and myself) are both going to watch it on the little flat-screen stationed behind the bar. I suppose you want to know how he/ I both can be watching him speaking, while he/I: is/are drinking. No. It is not prerecorded. It is live… LIVE… LIVE. Like a bullet when it leaves a gun and is about to hit an asshole. But in truth…he can’t. That is why someone is going to stand in for the bastard. Why should someone be so special, as to, temporally mimic the royal image? OH, THAT’S SIMPLE. Someone is scheduled to shoot the bastard. (i.e. The president.) He is going / was going to send Mr. Pres., Mr. LEADER-OF-THE-FREE-WORLD himself to that “Undiscovered country from where no traveler returns.”
The biggest spenders/ cash suppliers (B.S.C.S.) CAN-NOT let that happen. There would be all that trouble of the Vice President taking his place.
This wouldn’t be good at all. The chemical compound the B.S.C.S engineered, ever-so-carefully, would disintegrate. All thanks to a pesky, radioactive/free electron (i.e. vice president). Radioactivity’s cause = all-that-free-thinking, of which, THE ROGUE ELECTRON is guilty. This has caused him to be well… not so easy to go and give money to. He is a…. a little hesitant, so to speak. Some say he is starting to give / suggest doses of humanistic venom to the populace (i.e. The common man of no political use/importance.)
B.S.C.S. can’t let that happen. The entire course of affairs would have to go in for some major revision. This would cause: hold ups, price adjustments, document re-rights, new buddy-buddy formations, etc.
Es-sen-tchally… a lot of minor/ major complications – all leading to a major migraine – Situation: caution level red.
The B.S.C.S. & the government had to come up with a long-shot-of-a-cover-operation to combat the assassin shot, yet they had to find out where the shot was coming from and indict those in charge of instituting the business of planned rifle-shot-procedure, so they could be hauled to court, sentenced and shot.
This is where I perform. I am a major import / export manager/ agent. I: run, manage, handle, take-care-of, work the daily operations and procedures of the business. Daily functionality fairs well. No KABOOMS, CEASE AND DESIST OR I’LL SHOOT so far.
Unusual… because… let’s say… What I do… is not, ex-act-ly: by the books. The items I deal in/with are not exactly: smiled upon, according to the legal code of the country.
This poker-hand is not a dud. The leaders of this great land of ours do not have much of a problem with my employment, as it’s dealt. Why am I so special? Well, it’s not so much that I am special. It’s … well… expensive. NO. I do not hire gunmen to keep my affairs secret. They know very much about them…(i.e. process /procedure) of my affairs. There is little I do / can hide from them. A little… rather a lot of, cash sent their way from my operation, induces their flight/oversight + keys in/ prints out a good form readout on me with those at the top.
I DO NOT LIKE THE GOVERNMENT… DO NOT THINK I AM IMPLYING SUCH… though; you can put my like/approval of them on record, if you so wish to publish my opinions on them.
TRUTH: I hate all the bastards.
SITUATION/EXCUSE: A guy has to do what he needs to do in this world. People are either up or down. Up in the penthouse or down in the gutter begging for handouts from those in the penthouse. Off-course, there are those little charity organizations… if you enjoy cults, that is. C-u-l-t is a strong word you say. We-ll… O-K. Do you just love to sit, walk, eat, piss & shit and have every aspect, of every hour of your life… Mo-N-i-To-R-D – no private thought/ moment to yourself – even OH, I FORGOT MY CAR KEYS, THAT WOMAN IS A BITCH, OR SECRET DIGI-ARCHIVE you use for… purposes: observed, browsed, monitored and/ or censored?
Yep… straight talk. It’s all within their all mighty gaze. Don’t believe me. Test it. I dare you. There are several of these establishments to choose from.
Choose: name, flavor, color, or location.
WHAT DO I BULLHORN – out of all the variety- what do I say to any/all of them: Yes/ No/ Give it to me baby/ I think I’ll have to pass.
ANSWER: I say HORSHIT. I ain’t living that way. You’re going to kill me first. Right now, I don’t plan on dying… so this is my little shortcut around that. Some may find it morally inept. Crooked.
Many: may/ will/do, call me a bastard. I call myself Smart. Yea … Clever. I know how to work it baby. I am a SURVIVOR. I WILL SURVIVE, with a daily dose of NON SERVIAM, without which, it would not be worth sur-vive-en.
I suppose your want to know how this little hide-and-seek covert operation shit is supposed to work/ was set up. As I said, they called me up.
Yea, I am pretty much the shit at what I do. Unlike Han Solo, I do not get boarded. I am not a hack. I accept nothing less than 100 % accuracy. Less than that is for amateurs. I will get my cargo through. Business will proceed. There is not going to be a next time, because there will not have to be a next time. (nor in this world is it an option.)
I was told complications/planned procedure via text. I arrived at scheduled local. They delivered… rather the goods (i.e. the president.) walked out with his escort service. No… the president is not a bright guy. He is good at what he does. He is good at what THEY need him to do… The B.S.C.S. and the pres. Both are pretty happy with their: meeting & greeting… continual exchanges of gifts & promises. It’s a very pleasant relationship; they are both happy. (i.e. he continues to takes in the money, smiles for the camera and accepts each of their proposals/ overlooks a few infractions here/there) This state of affairs has kept up a steady and predictable economy (continual downslide.)
Those at the top, keep eaten each crop of government-print-green up, as it prints out. Those not so lucky to hold these elevated positions … tend to… well… settle at the bottom. You know, just like sand-n-water.
The term bottom feeder has become a catch-phrase/label for at least 60% of the population. You hit the street; you beg.
Well, that or someone is… ever-so-kind… to take on a new man/woman servant. Talk to them. They will tell you the reasoning for this situation. “Some are just meant to be servants,” or/and “It is their God given place.” followed with “Who are we to interfere in the way of the all mighty.”
You argue with one/two or all three of the above statements, you starve till you have learned your place. Every moment in servitude is a state of humiliation.
A man… or…HELL… a woman cannot live like that and remain human. EV-ER-Y day you have to declare/ fill out responses to: “Who takes care of you?” or “Who do you love?” / perhaps, one occasion, “Who is your buddy.” You must say them with fear of being cast to the street and left to beg for change if you fail to acknowledge/ answer to their liking, any of these.
Otherwise pack up & hover elsewhere are to munch-beg, if you can get a munch, before word spreads
“ THIS IS THE UNGRATEFULL ASSHOLE WHO DID NOT RECOGNIZE WHAT/ WHO HAD GIVEN HIM LIFE SUPPORT. TAKE NO HEED OF HIS SIGN. GRAB IT. HEY THEIR CHIEF! … BATON HIM/ DRIVE HIM OUT, AS YOUR HORN/LIGHTS: SOUND/FLASH. RID THE TOWN OF HIS ORGAN BAG.”
How do I know this? I LIVED IT… YEA…. NO…I do not want to talk about it. I learned one statute/ moral code: do what you got to do to maintain dignity, do what you have to do to be in charge of bringing in your own change.
Coming back to the little meet-up arrangement. They explained the pres. would be wearing a DX-UNDERGUISE 500 ®. This accessory emits a holographic image of another individual. The DX-UNDERGUISE 500 ® comes in a variety of looks and colors – from generic to elegant. The president had to choose the ritziest. The asshole had to light it for the rest of the world to see (i.e. strapped to his wrist)… like he was wearing a glam-watch, which is what this thing looks like … a really fancy watch.
If you don’t look under the face of the thing you would not know it was anything but a ritzy watch. The president’s stupidity & greed has its advantages/disadvantages to both the president’s buddies/his enemies. This stupid choice-of-the-moment is an advantage to his opponents. I have to remind myself to keep an eye on any asshole wishing to steal it… or FUCK & FUCKED.
That is all you need to know for background. The speech is a commercial away.
The Bartender’s name is Frank. We are backgrounded to each other in a history of bar-bound discourse. He and I spend hours over whiskeys… discussing the politics in/of this asshole country. Today, he looks a bit more pissed-off/pissed than usual. The speed of the wiping of: glasses, plates, stool and counter is a bit faster paced than usual. No, he ain’t working harder, 3 glasses have expired so far, during our stay, at/ to/ or from his hands.
“Seem to been having at the glasses tonight” I said
He jerks his head down. He glares. He shakes head side-to-side
“It’s the asshole government. I have been making my payments…. I have…. I try never to be late with them. My daughter died last week. This was followed by my mother getting sick. Money dropped from my account, needless to say. A payment I was expecting did not go through; hence the rent money… we-ll… is a bit late this time around. You how they deal with late payments” Frank said.
I stared into my whiskey and circled the ice: left, right, left; right handed.
“Yea” I said.
“Its that damn laxidation that did it. Doctors can charge whatever the hell they want. Renters can do what the hell. There ain’t nu-thing protecting anyone. It’s fucking obnoxious. Tomorrow, I’ll be see-in the inside of a cardboard box and standing in line for a cardboard sign. You want to talk; you will have to see me with a can on 5th street. It’s not like I can work. Having a homeless guy here is bad for our image and all that shit.“
I continued to stare at the iceberg flow, going on inside my glass.
“Well, its not the company’s fault you couldn’t pay” the president said
The faux president stepped onto the podium. The crowed cheered. Vice president and Secretary of State stood left and right of carpet, stretched from and fit-to sides of podium. Both eye-sets set for glistening, as each frame digitized into on-looking cameras.
Frank corkscrewed head over to the president. Tilted his head-down. He looked as if he was going to concussion him with a glass.
“Who is this asshole? Why the hell did you bring him here? I thought I fuck-in knew you.” Frank said.
I lean head down, slightly. My eyes closed. I moved thumb and pointer finger to eyes and mildly rub-pinched to nose-edge.
“Man… I really don’t want to discuss this right now. I have a migraine.” I said.
The president’s eyes darted to the TV – target set-on faux pres. suit. The faux president smiled, as the crowed cheered.
I speak to you tonight on the subject of money. Cries throughout the country have carried through to my ear. It seems like many people expect to be paid for service performed for a full days work at a full day pay when the customer flow has not yielded an expected result for the business. Now ladies and gentlemen that isn’t fair. During these tough times, how can you expect your superiors to supply you with the salaries you are used to … Now that does not make sense… Now does it?
“Didn’t do up the third button. Not the Armani ® shirt…Armani ® is the only way…embarrassing tchh.” The president said.
Patrons set on the bars surrounding stools; overhearing the president’s remark, rotated their heads toward him, briefly. Each: rolled eye-set, jerked head down & glare posed, rotated head back in place, swigged a mouthful of: ale, lager, wine, tonics – both/either vodka and/or gin.
Frank: tends to & touches up dirty glass. Chest pumps air to and out his mouth. Does a minor arc-jerk forward of torso.
“MI-GRAIN! …(eyes bulge) I am about to set up residency behind the second street dumpster and you have a fu-cking headache.” Frank said.
I reach in my jacket pocket, fidget and feel for pack & lighter. Got it. I pull out stick, flick for flame, then light up. I puff, blow a chimney full, side-grimace.
“Well” I said.
“My life is a fucking headache. Hell, it’s a FUCKING TUMOR. MY LIFE IS CANCER. MI-GRAIN. FU-CKING-ASSHOLE” Frank said.
“Stop Moaning… I am trying to watch the Tellie. I don’t care about your shit.” The president said.
Frank places a glass under Pabst-Blue tap. Beer flows down and foams up. He continues, till glass is brim-full. He raises it, as if to toast. The glass tilts, slightly forward. He jerks right-arm forward.
BANG: A shot is fired. Blood seeps through faux presidents right-breast pocket. BANG: A stream of red gushes out his skull.
Faux Pres. falls. Cameras flash. 24 fps carnage feeds into video equipment. Crowd Gasps, screams (falsely) … cheers (inwardly).
The Lager swirls, then fountains. A pillar of water juts forward into the air. Target = presidents face. President moves arm to block. Arm of choice = arm with DX- UNDEGUISE 500 ® strapped. Beer fails to reach face, lands on DX UNDERGUISE 500 ®. Total Score of zero; yet, 100 point bulls-eye total.
DX-UNDERGUISE 500 ® switches to white noise. It flashed: white – black – white-off. DX-UNDERGUISE 500 ® circuits are fried. The president is revealed.
Frank’s eyes darted to the president. His eyes radar-fed target data into his brain. He reached under the bar, slid left hand to the left, fingers clutched over to .22 revolver.
My arm flung to my hip. My glass flung to the floor… shattered. My finger sprung on the .44 magnum, on my holster. My arm catapulted out. My eyes did a second lock onto Frank’s chest, coordinated 100% with barrel. My finger pressed down. BANG. Franks hand limped to his side. Blood oozed through his cotton shirt. His head hit the bar.
The president’s eyes widened. He breathed in, jerked-up straight, stared down at his would be/should be killer.
A dozen chairs skidded and shrieked. A dozen feet hit ground. A dozen legs erected. A dozen eyes targeted us. I kept my hand steady. My eyes surveyed the dozen. Numbers were going to fall one side or the other. My cigarette dangled down from my left, mouth-corner.
END/ TO BE CONTINUED
- Will I / the pres. Make it out alive? =
- How fucked up is this world? =
- What is the vice president going to do while/ if the pres. makes it back to the White House (Will it douse in a little humanism? (hope so)) =
- Does the Pres. deserve to die? = DUH!
- Do I deserve to die? (answer yes: I WILL CLIMB A GRAMMAR TREE INTO YOUR WORLD AND BEAT YOUR ASS) =
- How much of an asshole am I? = FUCK YOU!