giovedì, aprile 07, 2005

Agent Jonny Constant: Part I

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Agent Jonny Constant
Part I: In The Beginning
By Eddie G.


Our story takes us to the depths of a bustling metropolis in the distant future, known as Kayel City. It was named after the Capitol of a country long forgotten. There were no longer any countries after the Fallout anyway, but rather individual cities that arose with the preference of being self-governed, for the people by the people, auspicium melioris aevi, blah blah blah, yada yada yada, so on and so forth.

On the up side, individual cities meant that they would be easier to both manage and control. It also meant unwavering loyalty on the citizens' part, most because leaving the City for another had recently knocked off "detonating a bomb with your teeth" from top spot in Riddly's Top 10 List of Messy Suicides.

On the down side, the leaders of various cities happen to take a very feudalistic view when considering their neighbours (if they should consider them at all). This probably meant that throwing up on the wrong side of the City border could very well spark off another inter-City holocaust.

Most of Kayel City's trouble came from a fine, island City about 300 kilometres south called "Sg". Petty disputes that were perennially "settled" between both Cities resulted in nuclear warheads becoming so commonplace that the microwave oven shot up to first place in Riddly's Top 10 List of Redundant Home Appliances overnight and had stayed there ever since.

The City of Sg was nothing more than a mere, insignificant speck on the World Map, meaning that it wouldn't take more than half a warhead to sink it to the bottom of the ocean. But ironically the good thing about being small and insignificant was that Sg was exceedingly hard to target, and even harder to hit. It therefore came as no surprise that whatever ballistic missiles Kayel launched at Sg either landed in the sea or in the Cities further south, making the haze and the smell of clove cigarette smoke passably bearable.

It wasn't as if the Sgians were spot-on either, but whenever Sgian warheads missed and landed in one of Kayel's many disgruntled neighbours, they would in turn retaliate by bombarding Kayel with warheads of their own, and the message "I believe this belonged to you" would follow shortly after.

Consequently, the two cities had settled for a truce (which is a probably a nice way of saying "let's not fight until I restock on WMDs and find other 'good' reason to use them on you"), nevertheless the residual gamma radiation did unspeakable things to the populace. Those who were more susceptible to its ravages had begun to take on weird mutations, while a selected few had resisted, attaining superhuman powers in the process. And then there was the majority of Kayel City who were so bloody apathetic and whose genetic structures were so inert that even the fiercest of gamma persecutions could not alter them.

As a result, a Caste system was formed, prejudicially placing the "Superiors" on top and leaving the "Mutants" at the bottom. The apathetic ones naturally wanted nothing to do with it and were invariably filed under "Miscellaneous". And since the Miscellanea wouldn't even lift a finger to save themselves from their own existential quandaries, nothing was being done about the Mutant predicament of being forced into slavery.

Jonathan Constantire gave a sigh from behind the newspaper he had been reading. Keeping abreast with the news (or at least what the newspaper decided was "news") was tiresome at best. He paused for effect, and when he was pretty sure that nobody was paying attention, he gave another sigh. This time more emphatically.

"Yes, what is it Constant?" a voice from the coffee table had said.

"The Mayor wants to see me again today," replied Constantire without looking up from his paper.

"As yourself or as Agent Jonny Constant?"

"Myself of course. Apart from you, nobody else knows that Agent Jonny Constant and Jonathan Constantire are one and the same." The newspaper turned a page.

"So why are you telling me all this?"

"I want you to come with me."

"Hmmph!" the voice from the coffee table had sniffed, "As if I have a bloody say in this whole thing, seeing as to how you carry me around wherever and whenever you should fancy. I swear, if I had a pair of legs, I wouldn't even be on this table. Bloody uncomfortable if you ask me."

"I thought I'd just be nice and let you know," reasoned Constantire, "at least you have one less excuse for asking 'are we there yet?' every five minutes. It annoys the hell out of me."

"Umm... do you mind?"

"Huh, what? Oh yes. Sorry about that." Constantire reached forward and picked up a katana (samurai sword) from the table and shifted it gently to the sofa.

"Ahh. That's more like it," said the voice, this time from the sofa.

"Enjoy it while you can, Rausvorne, because after I come out of the shower it's back into your scabbard for you," smirked Constantire as he headed for the bathroom.

"Hey! Didn't you say you were going to polish me today?" the voice suddenly recalled.

Constantire looked thoughtful for moment. "Maybe not today," he said eventually, "you'll probably get dirty again."

*****

In the heart of Kayel City stood a foreboding tower called the Left Half. It was short for the "Left Half of The Kayel City Centre [something] Towers" (names, like buildings, eroded with each turn of the Centuric Hourglass). Unlike its surrounding buildings, the Left Half only sported less than a hundred storeys, and possibly had the least glamourous of futures. Yet, of all the buildings in entire Kayel, it had the most glamourous past. Millennia ago, in a relatively happier Era and when there were still such things as "Countries", there were two such towers standing side by side, connected by a skybridge. It was truly the envy of the World, especially after a certain Country in the West had theirs blown up when a couple of planes crashed misguidedly into them; and all because their pilots had decided to leave their consoles unattended just so that they could go for a nice, long piss.

And then, about, oh say a few decades back, in a situation best described by the children's song "Ten Green Bottles", one "green bottle" had "accidentally" fallen because a Mayor of the past had idiotically decided to build a missile silo directly underneath it. Initially there was no cause for concern, not until the Sgians - after one too many bottles of refined sewage - had claimed that Kayel should show them a little more Respeckt!

"Respeckt! eh? I'll show them Respeckt!" declared the Mayor then, and pushed the red button on his console. As the silo doors began to open and the foundations of the Right Half gave way, the entire tower began to lurch sideways slowly, unsteadily, before picking up speed as it toppled headlong towards the ground, taking along with it the Mayor's office, the Mayor, the console with the red button and the skybridge along with a thousand screaming citizens who had woken up early that morning just so that they could be there.

The City of Jha-Kharte, which was in relative proximity to Sg had laughed at Kayel's predicament. But seeing as to how abysmally aimed the warheads were, they had not laughed for very long.

*****

"What are you doing, fool?"

"Trying to find out how to get to my car," muttered Constantire as he stared frustratedly at a massive oaken bookshelf, his sword hanging casually in its scabbard from his shoulder.

If Rausvorne had any teeth, it would have clicked them in disapproval. Four years ago, a Mutant blacksmith had forged a katana under immense gamma exposure, causing some of the DNA from the smith's hands that was initially on the sword blank to meld into the platinum alloy. Adorned with intricate runes and magnificent engravings, Rausvorne, as it was later named, became the result of months of dedicated, meticulous smithing. Metal atoms and humonoid DNA had rearranged themselves in the intense heat and radiation to give it, literally, a mind of its own. No one could explain how Rausvorne's thoughts were able to vocalize, despite it having no mouth. And no one, especially just after owning it, was composed enough to entertain the idea of finding out.

"You know, my last owner said I was sharp and edgy."

"Oh really now?" mumbled Constantire dismissively as he futilely shuffled the books around with increasing agitation.

"Have you tried 'How To Get Rich Quick by Robin Banks'?"

Although the katana had no eyes, it possessed limited prescient capabilities, enabling it to foresee the immediate future that is the now, effectively becoming its "sight". Constantire found this exceedingly useful, since it could see about three seconds into future - which was approximately the time it takes a television set, when thrown out the window by an inconsiderate Miscellaneous, to hit him. On the other hand, prescience had its annoying moments too, especially during that week when Rausvorne had undergone an identity crisis and began thinking it was a Magic 8-Ball.

"Yes I have," Constantire sighed.

"What about 'Psychiatric Woes by R. Yukrayzi'?"

Constantire hummed thoughtfully as his fingers reached for the leather bound tome. No sooner had he given it a gentle tug when the entire bookshelf began to whirr as it slowly started to revolve.

"Am I smart or am I smart?" burbled the katana happily as the half-circle revolution concluded with a click.

"Yea whatever," Constantire was heard to have said.

"Dude, did you bring your keys?"

"Oh bugger!" there was a long, uncomfortable silence, followed by the sound of more volumes being shifted, and then "which book to go back again?"

*****

A young Mutant tore across the street, having just exited from the Left Half. She was a teenage girl in her early stages of mutation. Already she had grown two extra fingers on either hand, but her final form - or Terminal as it was called - had yet to be determined. In her hands she clutched a yellowish-brown paper bag close to her budding chest while she constantly stole glances behind her as she ran.

The doors of the Left Half exploded in a massive fireball as two Superiors ran out, with shouts of "THAT'S COMING OUT OF YOUR SALARY, HOMER!" trailing in their wake, in hot pursuit of the girl.

"No one steals from The Gahmen!" declared one of the Superiors as he hurled another fireball in her general direction.

"Homer, you idiot! You might damage the package!" hissed the other Superior, on whose jacket a badge that said "Kye" was pinned. "Let me handle this one."

In a blink of the eye, Kye, who was standing beside Homer a mere split-second ago, now stood before the girl, blocking her progress.

"Going somewhere?" Kye asked as she made a lunge for the Mutant who had nimbly side-stepped to avoid her. Swivelling around, the young girl lashed out a well-aimed kick at the Superior's shin. And just when contact seemed imminent, she had suddenly found, in the twinkling of an eye, that Kye was holding her foot in a vice-like grip.

"Let go of me!" she cried.

"You see, Mutant, resistance is -" but she did not get a chance to finish her sentence because a television set had bounced squarely off her head. The girl looked up to the window above where four Mutants had poked their heads out.

"Wasn't me," announced a Mutant with two noses, his hands raised, and gave a knowing wink. The other Mutants had begun their whistling and cat-calls on how The Gahmen should go take a hike to Sg.

Homer was seething now, and was about to lob a fireball into the window when suddenly a car that looked more like a lunchbox on wheels turned in from the bend, slid, skidded, screeched, flipped over three times and landed in a halt, roof-first, on the sidewalk.

The tall figure of man, dressed in a black trenchcoat, sporting a black leather hat and a pair of outrageous shades crawled out of the window of the upturned lunchbox of a car.

"Gotta work on your parking, mofo!" the tall figure seemed to complain to himself.

Homer peered quizzically at the crawling figure with mild apprehension. Where had he seen that character before? Let's see now: lunchbox-like car, black trenchcoat, black hat, act-cool shades and occasional bouts of schizophrenia. Fear gripped him as realization slammed home in the hardest way possible.

"Jonny Constant!"

"That's Agent Jonny Constant to you!" said the man as he got to his feet, katana drawn and at the ready.

"Incoming!" yelled Rausvorne, giving Jonny ample time to roll away just before a jet of flame, courtesy of Homer, roared past the spot where he once had stood.

"How did you..."

Agent Constant leapt forward, aiming a slash to decapitate his opponent. He would have succeeded if Homer had not ducked. The Superior countered with a roundhouse to the stomach, and sent Constant doubling in fire and pain.

"Let's end this now!" cackled Homer as his fists began to glow an unnatural red.

Constant had to recover quickly if he didn't want to be the official mascot of the Kayelian Inept Fire-eater's Association. And he did, narrowly escaping the second blast by a mere few inches. He skidded dramatically to a halt as he changed his bearings from dodge to advance. Adrenaline went into sheer overdrive as Constant closed in on Homer, feinted right, switched sword hands and impaled the stunned Superior's bladder in a vicious lunge.

On the 66th Floor of the Left Half, the Mayor of Kayel watched in disconcertion as Homer crumpled lifelessly to the pavement. The Mutant girl had already disappeared behind an alley, but he filed it mentally until "KIV" until further notice. For now, there were more pressing matters at hand. His gaze fell upon one triumphant Agent Jonny Constant as his mouth twisted into a silent snarl. And then he looked at his watch, and his snarl contorted into a product of unthinkable annoyance. What the hell was taking that idiot Jonathan Constantire so damn long?


In the blink of an eye:

  • Agent Jonny Constant: Part II
  • Ye who seek for audience, let ye speak now!

    And so it came to past that at 08 aprile, 2005 17:31, in the presence of The Eddie G., Blogger mUsHrOoM had spoken the following...

    not bad! lotsa intertexuality i must say..heheh but nice! i like it! ;)

    yay! i am the first to comment...see i so nice! hehehe =P

     
    And so it came to past that at 08 aprile, 2005 22:03, in the presence of The Eddie G., Blogger Eddie G. had spoken the following...

    Thank you thank you thank you. Readers are hard to find these days :)

    thanks for dropping by :D

     
    And so it came to past that at 09 aprile, 2005 19:16, in the presence of The Eddie G., Blogger imprisoned_soul had spoken the following...

    down wid e gahmen!!

     

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