"So what's it going to be, eh?"
Officer Bill Blattroot rolled the words over in his mind as he sat in his patrol car alongside a dusty road in New York. The summer heat was merciless, but Blattroot's sweat wasn't caused by the weather. The local police station had gotten a visit from a Government Man (the capitals implicit in his thousand-dollar suit, his immaculate ID flashed too quickly for the eye to catch, and his own personal helicopter - in black). Seems that some cult by the name of the Church of the SubGenius was planning to have a gathering a few towns over in Sherman, New York, at that faggy campground where all those hippies went to run around naked. The Government Man indicated that some of the attendees at this "X-Day Drill" might well be people engaged in sedition, sabotage, and conspiracy against the government. He had tendered a pile of photographs, some weird-looking equipment, and a card with a phone number on it; then he'd zipped away in his helicopter.
Most of the guys had groaned in complaint as they affixed the strange equipment to their cars and headed out into the heat of a July day. A day that could have been spent back in the squad room, drinking coffee and bitching about the lack of women in town ever since the whorehouse on Route 17 shot down, and getting ready to nab themselves some kids playing with firecrackers later, would instead be spent looking for some maybe-criminals who might, if they were lucky, drive through their town on their way to Sherman.
But not Officer Blattroot. He'd put the cylinder and the dish with the weird iridescent finish on his dash with great care, and strapped them in like they were his own children. He'd double-checked the blank arrest warrants (needing only to be filled in with one or more of a list of names), and made sure that he brought an extra speedloader. Blattroot, you see, knew about the Church of the SubGenius. Oh yes. And he was sure that if any showed up on the road in front of the bug-speckled windshield, they would soon know him.
Very, very well.
Blattroot jumped when he saw the white car coming around the curve of the dirt road towards his hiding place; his mind was far, far away, thinking of a woman with deep brown hair the color of chocolate. Walking away, fading away ...
"Shoot 'em now and let God sort it out," growled Blatroot to himself. "If it's just some damn tourists, I'll tuck 'em into the shade and they'll wake up eventually. If not, well, I can do whatever I want so long as I bring their asses in alive." People who knew the officer slightly knew that he often talked to himself; nobody knew him well, which was the rason why he talked to himself.
Blattroot's hands clenched until his knuckles turned white. He grinned a grin with absolutely no humor on it, and tapped the pad on the back of the government machinery strapped to the dash. The dish gave off a "chi-THWING!" noise, and there was a burst of blue light that seemed to be behind Blattroot's eyes, rather than in front of them. The approaching car slowed as the driver lost consciousness and her foot slipped off the gas; the last thing she saw was a police car pulling out from behind a stand of lilac trees to block the road.
"Bingo!" gloated Blattroot. "Now what's it going to be, eh? Man, if we could only use this thing on speeders! This car was only going 20 or so - if it had been on the highway, going 85 ... " Blattroot squeezed out of the police car and slamming the door behind him; his hand rested gently on the grip of his pistol.
When Blatroot got to the car he started . "Bingo, bingo, bingo," chanted Blattroot, his whole body started to shake with pure rage. It was the way he'd been shaking when he'd strangled that junkie who'd planted a knife in his thigh ... The verdict had been suicide, at least after Blattroot had finished wrapping the rope around his neck in the police cell. His rage was centered on a seemingly innocuous piece of paper taped to the inside of the back seat window: the picture of a grinning, pipe-smoking man. He tore open the driver's side door and grabbed the occupant by the hair, lifting her half out of the seat and turning her face to the light. He studied the snub-nosed, pale face with care, even pulling back to look at the roots of her red-brown hair, before muttering "Not her!" and dropping her back into the seat. Going around to the passenger side, he saw a hefty man with long blond hair whose limp hands encircled a large, ornate-looking electronic keyboard. Blattroot knew a pawnshop that was always looking for music stuff ... He reached in, only to snatch his hand away when the keyboard moved, writhing like an earthworm in the hot sun. Now that he was so close, the police officer could see the sides of the keyboard move in and out like it was breathing, and see the veins pulsing across its surface. He changed his mind: maybe the pawnshop wouldn't want this particular keyboard. Instead he patted the burly man down, awkwardly through the open car window, and finally came up with a wallet.
"Bill T. Miller," said a satisfied Blattroot, reading off the (long-expired) Massachusetts driver's license. "And the lady is ...hell, she's no lady, she's a SubGenius!" Groping through her pockets - and groping a fair bit of the lush flesh underneath in the process - he turned up a SubGenius membership card made out to Friday Jones, a pocket knife, and a roll of Trojans.
"You won't be needing these, you sweet thing," crooned Blattroot, preparing to drag Friday out of the car. Leaning in, he noticed that the back seat was packed with camping gear and sound equipment ... but there was a women squeezed into the middle of the heap, long brown hair covering her face. Blattroot pulled open the rear door and unceremoniously dumped sleeping bags, tents and several tape decks onto the ground. The woman - no, man - slumped on his back.
"Oooohhhh - yes," Blattroot slurred, dragging the slender, long-haired man out of the car and pinning him against the side of the car, head lolling. "What we have here is the B-I-N-G-O spells fuckin' Bingo, head of the Church of the SubGenius himself, Ivan Stang." Blattroot pulled out his gun and rubbed it against Stang's cheek almost seductively. "Do you remember Alice, sweet Alice?" Blattroot said in an almost conversational tone to the unconscious man in front of him, who drooled a bit in reply.
"Remember my WIFE, you idiot, ALICE my WIFE!" screamed Blattroot. "I loved her and I always told her what to do and then one day she was gone and do you know why she was gone?"
Any hypothetical person looking on at the drooling madman haranguing an unconscious person, with a gun clenched in one fist, would have been prudent in making no reply.
"She was gone because of HIM!" Blattroot pointed the gun at the picture of "Bob" in the back window of the car, and then whipped it back to point at Stang's face. "She read about this fucking CULT, and the next thing I know she's in fucking MALAYSIA, and when she comes back and I try to give her a talking-to, tell her to come home, she goes off with some SubGenius GOON and I NEVER - SAW - HER - AGAIN!" Blattroot was screaming now, and he holstered his gun so that he could grab the SubGenius leader by both arms, leaning forward and spitting in his unconscious face. "You know what it's going to BE? You and your fucking "Bob" FUCKED up my life, and now it's time I started to FUCK BACK," said the deranged officer, as he grabbed Stang by the collar and started dragging him away. Blattroot chucked Stang face down across the rear of the car and started haranguing his unconscious form, while squeezing his own crotch. He was working himself up to a red thrashing lather, bloody froth dripping from his bitten lip, and when things reached their peak, he let go completely.
The Government Man who had provided the officers with the stun equipment had been absolutely certain that it would put any humanoid flat on his, her or its back for a minimum of four hours. He had after, tested the equipment - or rather tested the people the equipment had been tested on - to destruction.
Unfortunately, all of these tests had been done in a laboratory in a rather dry part of the country, and the Government Man never had the chance to discover that the saliva of the common mosquito contained a declotting agent that, when present in the blood of the subject, limited the stun effects to only a few minutes.
Nor did he know that all of the cars' inhabitants had been bitten by a mosquito that had flown into the car through an air vent in the trunk, before it passed out in the haze of smoke. Luck's funny that way, sometimes.
Stang woke up first.
Friday awoke to two sensations: a distinct ache at the roots of her hair, and a thin, high scream from somewhere not too far away. As she came to her full senses, her nostrils flared, smelling a combination of car exhaust, sweat, semen - and blood. Quite a lot of the latter two. She poked Miller in the ribs and he groaned in his daze, his hands going automatically to soothe the writhings of his Living Keyboard. A glance over her shoulder revealed that the back seat was empty. Friday stepped out of the car, and saw Stang coming around the police car that had appeared in their path just before they all blacked out. The Sacred Scribe was doing his best to look dignified while tucking his T-shirt back into his pants, and buckling his belt. The thin screaming turned out, when Friday looked, to be a police officer lying in a widening pool of his own gore, trying with weakening hands to staunch the geyser of blood from the remains of his genitals.
Friday looked at Stang. Stang shrugged while lighting up a 'Fropstick. "Hey, I bet that guy couldn't even pronounce 'anus dentate,' let alone understand what it meant," the Scribe drawled. Friday rolled her eyes in mock disgust. "Of all the things to have your medical team add in during the rectum-retrofit ..." Stang got back into the car, dragging the sleeping bags in after him and rebuilding his nest. They drove past the other car, with Friday pausing a moment just to toss a thermite grenade onto the dash, next to the stun equipment. The ball of flame demolished most of the vehicle and did a good number on the expired officer, too.
Friday was checking her carefully highlighted map and batting at a passing mosquito when Stang inquired, "Could we stop if we see a gas station before we get to Sherman? I need to use the bathroom." Friday grinned broadly. "Why of course, Reverend!" Then she coughed, and under the cough could be heard the word "dickshitter." "What did you say?" said Stang, pointing the fiery end of the 'Fropstick at the back of the driver's head.
"Nothing, nothing at all!" said Friday. "(Cough)dickshitter." Bill T. Miller also seemed to have developed a nasty cough, punctuated by faint riffs on his Keyboard.
Stang sat back and glowered, like a sullen king looking over the vast expanse of his kingdom while meditating on his hemorrhoids.
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Original file name: Friday's X-Day V. 2
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