“Back off you CIA motherfuckers!”
When you get right down to it, that’s not such an odd thing for me to say, or yell as it were. The phrase is practically a litany for me and can cover the gamut of meanings from “Please don’t sit next to me, I realize this is a public cafeteria but I don’t care for the way you smell and I prefer privacy.” to “Please pass the potatoes.” In all fairness it’s the kind of thing that I would say to close friends and total strangers on the bus, I’m actually relatively well known among the students and staff at the university for being the kind of guy that will blurt out just about anything offensive to maintain my conflicted introvert/extrovert lifestyle. Rumors that I suffer from tourette's syndrome are fueled mostly by an ignorance of psychological disorders and are completely fabricated. I’m quite stable, just terribly anti-social.
No, what I was saying (or yelling I guess) wasn’t that unusual. I guess what really concerned the judge wasn’t what I was saying, but that I had leaped atop the public defender’s table and was wielding my sturdy wooden court chair between my manacled hands and above my head like a latter day Viking. That was a little unusual for me, for although I had a problem communicating with most people in what my counselor called the “inside voice” it wasn’t so often that I escalated my seething hatred of humans to actual displays of aggressive violence.
I didn’t really take the time to ponder the rarity of the situation though, as I had a squadron of mirror goggled spooks to beat back with a forty year old piece of office furniture. My lawyer, the dirty traitor, appeared to have taken the enemies' cause. Despite my frequent warnings I suspect he had not bothered to screen his food and drink and had been lured against me by the hypnotic serum of some devil grinned company man. If you do more than blink at a Krispy Kreme these days you’ll find yourself an unwitting pawn in some international conspiracy to devalue the Croatian kuna against the yen in preparation of a land invasion of Haiti. You gotta keep one eye open and always on the guy in the dark suit pointing his fountain pen at your cup of luke warm coffee.
This is what happens when you trust public defenders with your secrets, they waste them. Mr. Lawyer (his name was no longer relevant) had grabbed one of my ankles and was attempting to restrain my graceful electric slide maneuver across the table. My pappy never really told me anything useful. He wasn’t the type to spew spiritual advice that might ease the growing pains of a young man. If he had been that kind of guy though, I’m sure we would have mentioned something like “Never grab a dude by the ankle who’s swinging a thirty-five pound chair over his head.” I’m guessing Mr. Lawyer’s father wasn’t that kind of guy either, or he just wasn’t very good at paying attention. The thwack of the chair leg against Mr. Lawyer’s temple signaled the beginning of slow motion.
Lawyer slowly fell to the tile floor without a word. His eyes turned glassy and his face was frozen in a shocked grimace of confusion until the grey tile of the courtroom wiped the grin off his head, but his eyes stayed open. I kept swinging, and now I was slowly yelling again, as if my voice was crawling up the steep hills of Astoria in first gear. “Keep your filthy hands to yourself you crypto fascist shit eaters! The next secret agent that makes a grab for me gets to take an oak nap too!”
That mouthful of syllables took my entire life to force out as my vision shifted between hyper surreal awareness and ultra slow quagmire. Mr. Lawyer’s spreading pillow of crimson caught the light and held my attention for the briefest of nano times. Between those two heartbeats I felt no sympathy for him. He could have listened to his father or me. Either one of us had given him adequate advice to avoid this situation. Darwin himself had rested a heavy hand on Lawyer's inability to heed important warnings. He was a genetic dead end, the kind of gene pool mollusk the world was better off without.
The Judge’s visage had subtly shifted from outright surprise to muffled shock. It wasn’t a big change for her, but I was beginning to suspect she was a robot anyway. A poorly programmed one to boot. Her displays of emotional restriction to my legal plight had only enhanced this intuition and I was not surprised that she spared no glances of concern for Mr. Lawyer. She had raised half out of the craggy cliff face of her high judicial seat. One arm speared straight out from the black-cowled heap of her chest and shoulders and her mouth, though silent to me, was projecting visible waves of mind-controlled venom. Her directions slowly took effect on the trollish bailiffs and their progress towards me increased.
I’m sure it’s not her fault that she was being forced to railroad me through the gauntlet of the judicial branch. My meager crimes were not enough to warrant the display of force now levied against me. I’m sure that somewhere there was a toaster oven or television set that loved her for her cold and heartless PVC coated interior. Her fleshy circuits and room temperature steel siding undoubtedly held the romantic sway of a cheerleader among her robotic kind. For that, I also felt no remorse and if I had any other weapon than my improvised and Pleather cushioned cudgel, I would have thrown it at her. She may not have been programmed to kill me, but she was certainly programmed to hate me. I was more than capable of hating her in return, no matter what electronic trysts she was involved in. I felt more sorry for the appliance that returned her faux love, as she was clearly incapable of expressing any emotion.
In my extended moment of introspection, the bailiffs had made progress towards both me and the plastic side arms that dangled from their night black belts. My swinging pendulum of softly sanded office decor had made another circuit and felled another of the foulsome orcs that the CIA was hiring straight out of the former Soviet Union. These surplus debris of the cold war were simply issued junior G-man badges, signed in crayon, and the mirrored platters that protected their eyes from the soul searching children of starving inner city blocks and then set about like wolves among the fox to gather about them the abuse and proof they needed to clean up the country. Their final solution was the ultimate clean slate provided by genetic manipulation of a carefully catalogued subset of the population.
Don’t write a check, use a credit card or carry cash. They can trace it all and the first time you buy a bubblegum flavored happy meal and pack of Marlboro candy fillets, they have your number. Within twenty seven hours they’ll know who you are, where you slept, what food you ate last week and whether or not it was part of the corporate approved feeding schedule for twenty something males who work in IT and watch reruns of Love American Style. Tagged, bagged and synergistically action orientated towards a proactive paradigm of aggressive objective assault mechanics. No life spared. No love lost. No child left behind. Total white out. Total victory. Total net loss of all company assets. Bankrupt.
This orc fell like a little girl. One sturdy leg of my Louisville Sitter had nearly torn his jaw from its communist reinforced hinges and he lay face down screaming through the surgical mess his face had become, his legs twitching like the Wicked Witch of the East, crushed beneath the solid foundation of a Sears and Roebuck constructed Kansas farmhouse. Him I felt sorry for, and I couldn’t tell you why. In that moment I blamed MGM and decided to move on with my life. At least I was human, even if the increasingly ambulating Judge was not.
I turned to face the Bailiff at the precise moment that a miniature explosion in his side arm forced a canister of nitrogen against a penetrating plunger, releasing 1800 pounds per square inch of compressed gas and projecting the slim darts from the yellow striped barrel of the taser at 180 feet per second.
I stood transfixed and terrified as the silver metal darts slowly crossed the room, 50,000 volts of electricity cascading and sparking along the length of the wires that trailed them. Before they reached me I felt the slightest pinch along my back that was immediately followed by mind numbing and paralyzing electricity. The dirty bastard behind me had shot me in the back at nearly the same moment I was shot in the chest. My brain spent several fractions of a second too small to be measured in any significant amount formulating what it thought would be the best verbal attack to respond to my dilemma before it was entirely shut down by the cracking report of the electrical impulses being delivered straight to my nervous system.
When I awoke I was alone, and screaming. My limbs were securely fastened to my bed and I can only imagine I had been violated any number of ways with painful alien technology designed to fill my bowels with tracking and monitoring devices. I had been tagged Mutual of Omaha style but not yet released. I lay awake for several more minutes before I realized I hadn’t stopped screaming. Oddly enough, I found I couldn’t stop. In fact, I didn’t seem capable of doing anything other than listen to myself. I could neither move against my restraints nor could I command my mouth to close.
In time, a man approached from the whitewashed periphery of my vision and introduced himself as Lawyer #2. He stood some distance away and filled me in on the details of my courtroom drama. The tasers had their normal effect on me and had also rendered me unconscious. When my muscles obeyed the siren song of the electric arc and convoluted upon themselves, I had fallen from the table, very close to Mr. Lawyer where I was apparently beaten for good measure. You know, just to make sure I wasn’t going to get up. Lawyer #2 was of course very irritated by that fact and promised that We had a good chance of appeal based upon that alone. He’d get me off; he promised. I’d be out of here in a week. I could go back to my job, eat at Burger King, buy Sony music and do all the rest of the things any citizen had the right to do. They had no right to treat me like an animal, he claimed. After all, I wasn’t crazy, just a tad antisocial.
Some part of me I could control couldn’t stop laughing.