O.F.M.G. -- Digital Copy -- HL/HL015

Words were written by Croix Clayton (The Saint).



JOIN OR DIE

Read the headlines, dickhead: Council confirms danger. Though actual plans of further mind war insurrection cannot be confirmed as of yet, Archon Council spokesman Blaise Hamilton speaking earlier today in the Senate Rotunda, made clear that neither can the threat be fully discounted.

“Should foreign interventionists suspended in space mount further assaults on our sleeping minds, an informed and vigilant populace could be our only line of defence…”

The total number of Hive Org citizen and United Sentinel Peace Occupation Inc. employee forces deaths in April and May is the highest period since January of last year. That 80% of those deaths were caused by various types of will-projecting thought forms or by will-projection-aided conventional weaponry (WPEs [up from 50% last month]) has prompted some critics to question the effectiveness of the sixteen billion dollar Neural Net Defense Grid (NNDG) which was installed and activated at undisclosed underground caves beneath the city earlier this month.



ENTER MYSTERY PRIESTESS

Ram-horned ponies of high steppeland ice tribes stamp black hooves on hillside. Steam rising from gray nostrils in yawning frost dawn green skies. Ice Chief leans in close to hear her pronounce his fate. Probability involutes as Vag Mage closes her eyes and begins incantation. Billows of feathered pink smoke wreathe the Chief’s blessed head. Larks burst into flight from impossibly flat manila envelopes sealed with red wax, their wings beating out a dry cannonade of timpani and rasp of brittle rakes dragged over warm desert dusk concrete.

Smoke lazes from her mouth and ears as she speaks the round, cool syllables. Envelopes, fileboxes, brass-belted1930s steamer trunks, mirror-fa├žade wardrobes, ancient briefcases and goat-leather wallets, dried and hard all blow forceful upward around them, like space tore open and vomited into the sky. Upward sweeping cone of bird flight, roar of beating wings. An enclosed parking lot where every key in every ignition has been turned at once. Headlamps explode into light, shuddering to life breaking something awful echo against the eardrums. All the while the Ice Chief stares expressionless as the priestess whispers in his ear; a rictus of gold, a gossamer halo of shining fog spills over them, blotting out the moon as it fills softly with a dark fluid.



“I SHALL RETURN BABE”

Wreathed in fear and a high-altitude jumpsuit, the lone paratrooper drifted in and out of atomization. It was very bright and very quiet inside the “cold ovens,” as they are called among inmates. He was being analyzed on a molecular level to determine how he had made it through Skull Tower’s air defenses, which had been previously thought unassailable.

Breathtaking mid-air casualties of an outsourced somersault war. Above the bomb bay doors in a B-50 Superfortress, someplace your heart remembers. Dig your fingers into your palms and remember what happened here.

“Maybe he got a lucky rabbit’s foot or something. Why you ask me, I don’t fuckin know. One guy out of a thousand gets in alive? I say those are pretty good odds, Charley. It’s the two thousands…take what you can get.”

Far from homefires burning, far from the warm tents and furs and cooking pots of home: Remember and pretend your tears are only sweat from the summer’s heat.



PHANTASM /ALBINISM

Deep biological memories of grade and slope. Angle of incident, a certain crag, an outcropping of alder and birch leaning out over a sheer drop, crumbling sandstone and exposed strata of shale forgetfulness. In my grasp, it breathes warmth. Blood pulsing in my neck though physical examination is contraindicated.

I saw the door open and the hammer swing back. No, stop. He was dying, sluggish blood pooling on concrete. A thick drizzling sound rises in the stainless steel drain. Sad bovine eyes stare in uncomprehension.

“I’m not gone yet, but soon. Is this the notebook? Is it important?”

Rays of sunset smeared gold and pink through twin panes of glass. Stand in the alley and see through one window, and out another into welcoming arms of the sky. Leaves rattling against the old wall lit up inside with polished copper and wood smoke. Breeze kisses tousle hair and all around you all indicators whisper home. Removed from respirator for fifteen hours. Further requirements pending, so don’t turn off the heat.



NAILS FISTS AND TEETH

Wrapped in fear and heavy furs under a rising moon, the ice tribesmen squatted in a circle below the night wind. Lephikak bared his teeth and looked away with an angry wave.

“The Sentries didn’t listen to a word we said, what makes you think these assholes will?”

A few dozen of them sat in small groups, cooking food over fires, talking, dozing against packs.
Find ourselves completely discorporate — flesh scissored from mind, cold ghosts lost in our own bodies, thought and expression distended and swollen through cubes of empty air, stretched through curling neuronic cables. Long filaments of black rubber ganglia winding through open fields of tall grass and glacial boulders.

“We’re gonna get killed.”

“Maybe, maybe not. The sentinels are getting paid to be here. That’s why they don’t care one way or another. They’re eating twice a day and their minds are elsewhere. The free corps, though…”

“The horsemen…”

“Yeah, that’s another story. They’re here on their own dime. They’re eating moss off the fucking rocks. Come on, you saw them. You saw their clothes.”

“Yeah, and I saw them kill Nef Madh too.”

Breath rising in black air. Miles spin out down the open chasms, sweep down to deep salt lakes and cold marshes.

“Those were Special Ops witches in disguise… Madh never would’ve fallen to three spring puppy horse barbarians like that. Not a chance. They were operatives. We side with the nomads.”



FLASH CLICK FLASH

Someone cleared his throat. The camera crew stood by diligently and recorded the archon’s speech, but their faces registered shock and a slowly dawning animal fear. Though the bacterial cloud had caught the metro area fully by surprise, few imagined it possible that archon council members would appear on evening viewcom talking gibberish and grunting like pigs. Doctor Webster touched the mute button on his remote. His colleagues were silent.

“You see now, gentlemen? They’re getting desperate.”

“I’m guessing that was a coded statement.”

“Probably so, Jim. Either way, the council’s cracking. They don’t know if the army’s on their side anymore.”

“Not with after what happened in the waterfront districts, anyway.”

“Precisely. They’re flailing out like malfunctioning toy robots. Population’s losing its faith in their governance, and when it hits the fans, we step in like the cavalry. The pot’s already boiling, so now we hold back and let it simmer on its own. This is going to work out just fine.”

The doctor smiled. On screen, a white haired patrician in a flannel suit frowned thoughtfully and moved his mouth.

“And look who’s on stage now, the north-district chancellor elect himself.”

Basingstoke looked into the cameras with an air of casual superiority gleaned from a lifetime of political careerism. One hand rested in his suitcoat pocket, fiddling absentmindedly with a slimline two-shot over and under colt derringer. One can’t be too careful these days. The other hand gestured mildly with an upturned palm; the posture of a reasonable man trying to politely assert himself in the face of utter irrationality. Without much real interest, he wondered if they were buying this crap.

“Now, the fact here is that this particular threat,” here he paused for effect and pursed his lips with an air of easygoing disapproval, as if speaking to a truculent child, “can be mitigated, minimized, and made into nothing more than a nuisance. But unless we’ve got full support to let the right people get the job done,” here he stabs the air with a manicured finger, “the situation may well continue to deteriorate.”

“There is not now, nor has there ever been any so-called ‘Lurker Council’ making any executive decisions in Hive Org City Metro whatsoever. The idea itself is preposterous, another chicken little fantasy concocted by groups with an interest in destabilizing our culture. Another pack of lies and pipe dreams…”



OPERATOR ABANDONED

They kill for food, so they can eat. Situation must be controlled. Still out there, waiting for us. Spawning in lower tunnels. Be all over if the gatehouse wasn’t there. What choices remain?

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Savagery and what else remains? Nothing, probably. What are they?

Repeat post is currently inactive.

No further information available. God what are they? Fortification or withdrawal. Rationing and what else?

Error code 1705E.

Post is currently inactive.



POCKET THE WEAPONS

Don’t want to make them suspicious now. See them on the balcony? Storm belts getting closer every day now, probably be here by the new moon. Can’t camp out indefinitely. Close yr eyes and look in.

Up through hissing corona of teal and yellow flame that encircled her brow, Nissa saw not one but three suns ruling the soft blue kingdom above. Soul-heat’s geometric refraction -- her wet eyes flash and shone with the holy troika’s incandescence. A triangle of mystic fire, a cryptic pyramid, head and two shoulders — a nuclear godhead. She shuddered with the awful immensity of it.

A sharp sting in eyes as staring into the scorching white disks above, and so do tears flow. Fingers of blue fire lick her upturned face. A gout of pink milk and yellow blood surging upward in rivers of cool feathery light. As vision returns, she speaks.

“Main gate branches into many corridors, but there’s one what has a security elevator right to the catacombs. I can see the whole complex now, boys.”

Three Feathers and Lephikak tightening sinews on spears, pulling on chainmail hoodies and aprons and shivering, loading a lucky silver bullet into a well oiled old .38 special.

“Good work, babe. Now put that fire out so we can look innocent at the gate. None of these fucks need to know who we are.”



PIT BOSS

The cave interior was probably ten stories high, at its tallest point. Hacke toyed briefly with the idea of confessional force, pushing an accused perjurer to the balcony’s edge. With a criminal, there’s no telling when their penitence is sincere, or what the real score is. Cross your fingers and check the eyes regularly. Only way to know if an outer agent is trying a long distance possession or what have you. Boys by the big subterranean gate are restless. Unshaven and chain-smoking, they keep looking over their shoulders for no reason and sighing angrily. Starting to wonder if someone’s gonna get beheaded before tonight is over.