©1983 Puzzling Evidence


I remember Vreedees flying across the room and landing backwards on the gondola step below me, helmet askew and beginning to go into PilShock(TM)...

The second round landed on the cupola of the Pope of New York's vehicle, blowing away the flamboyant insignia, but otherwise doing nothing to stop the hell-bent flow of fire into the front of the NheeGheean Embassy. I was asleep when the SlakVan® full of priests started praying to "BoB" with around twenty NATO rounds a second, and that was exactly twelve minutes ago.

From what I can put together, I was awakened by the first blast, and Paulmer Vreedees had been sleeping through it all here in the Control, so who the hell knew at this point how the city was laid out for escape...? We'd have to try the bridges and hope one was open.

Now it looked like Pope Meyer might soon be able to secure the street, but Vreedees was out of the game till I could get over there and take a look at his BodScan Biomed® unit. The UNIBROW® was still working and the tape transport looked passable, so everyone would at least get copies of the war as vidded through "BoB's" eyes, as well as the tin ear this creeper had.

Bouncing up this street very much longer is gonna get us erased, I thought, and pulled hard on the joystick. Sure, I had to be the one on duty when the Iceheads finally learned how to play rough....

I saw the "BoB" double leave the reviewing stand as I deboarded the vehicle to grab the rest of my equipment. Don't think that guy's going to make it, I thought. Little guy farted too much anyway.

When I returned, Paulmer had come to. "Groomin' my dreams too much!!" he yelled, laughing, as he jumped into the nav spansule.

"Welcome aboard."

"Good to see ya, Commander Monobreath. Where we going now?"

"Them thinks They hit Him."

"Aw, Pils! Gotta see if I can raise Philo® on the Minimimic."


"Both Stang and Drummond show pos on the evasion sequence, so they've Launched, but no talk till we're all clear of the local band net." Good. This government stuff would be quick and dirty, I thought, and the Control will handle all the details. Soon, I'll be able to take over with the UNIBROW®, and then we'll just see who can speak Guamanian underwater.

"Feel like I'm in a dream," Paulmer hissed, looking into the rubber NaviScope®. "Tryin' to sight on these checked-suits is like matching a needle in the You-o-Grav!"

He was right, but at least the flippers were slowing them down.

The Pope did clear the street, and once we got out into the Ottobahn Arare Memorial Park and could manuever, things got hot fast. NheeGhee's people, if you can call them that, had gotten their tentacles on some high-mob armour, and were cutting tracks into the crowd pretty wide. Target City isn't the place for them, anyway, I thought, as I pulled the heap through the middle of the highway of pills and set the nose for a lateral flight through the middle, low and slow, of this madness...

Meyer could and did see the same happening at the same micromoment, and Paulmer was once again working on his rating in the middle of the rant. The score counter above his helmet had jammed and he was still jumping the button.

"Vreed, I need help," I yodeled. "Bad news ahead."

No shit. That giant Pipe could mean only trouble, a side play by "BoB" to pare down the opponents in the upcoming power struggle, taking advantage of the confusion to take a one-way rocket to the GlassMadness Arctic Glass Hideout®.

I knew that only form could show the games end a folly now.


"I got it. Avoid gridlock, don't bunch up."

"Sure, Vreed-boy. Thanks. I got to target this new stuff now, so we can see where we'll be tonight. If MADNESS® is behind this, we might get some clues from the movie. If it's MegaStang®, we can call Mark-Mother. He's its agent. If it's the Thousand-Headed-Meta-Drummond®, we'll have to go under for a week and detox. If it's Someone Else®, we'll never know. If it's you, I'll never know."

"Keep your rockets on. I wouldn't dust you, and besides, I got a better idea for my try. Not so much violence. More Bass."

Twisting and turning this rig at this speed was wearing out the dive brakes and shims rapidly. I didn't know how long this could go on tonight.

And this programming! Trying to find a source for the storm that now was breaking across the soundtrack only, starting with the Arkansas Code and returning through the Other Loop, California -- that was no easier.

I've got a better idea mys-

And then the report ended. Histo-geneticists are still endeavoring to reconstruct the final sequence of events in the last five minutes of X-Hour, X-Day, 1998. Anyone possessing hair, fingernail, or skin samples of Puzzling Evidence -- remnants of which may still be found on old audio cassettes from his Span -- is urged to submit them to Church Throne Office #1 immediately, as they may provide cellular Akashic recordings crucial to our understanding of the Xist "retaliation."