(A Tony R-9 story)
By Marc Olmsted
Miley Cyrus had just died. The funeral was held in the sky. I did not attend.
What to tell you, Lear. You know I’m good hash, down in Los A investigating humanoid rip-off. So I had the language from this creeper, see. The real thing on Johnny Op, you know the same as 12-87 but better, Lear, a case of crystals long as yer arm. This creeper has me in the back alley, we’re smoking and he says do you want Frankenstein?
How’s a Peace Man supposed to nod? I said sure, thinkin this more code along the Johnny lines of similar humanoid illegalities. I finished the hemp tossed it in the gutter and offered whiff which this creeper gratefully gorged, smiling dumb in the Los A haze, snapping back his air mask quick-like but his orbs red through the snaps.
So you say come to the point (I guess in miking this down) but I’m supremely gone beyond, Lear, understand your good agent.
“I’m Tony R-9,” giving my real so he knows. I’m straight – creepers having that uncanny sixth about Peace Men. “What’s the mighty Frankenstein?”
And he starts going jane on me, laughing way down belty. “You think I’m kidding, 9, but I mean it, the real Doc like out of Karloff.”
“Oh?” Cool for I know the whiff. Hoping on an honest drop for a good Peace Day, not much else, just standing there and easy. “Double oh” I say since he no answers in the new dark, street lights winked and floating.
So he pulls a Y out of his pocket, places the bulb at his third eye, soft grins. “Follow, 9, do ya wanna light?” offering the Y but I say no since I love my brain cells a little. “Go infra, creeper, on with it” snapping on the filter eyes.
We moved in the dark neath the metal road, then through tubes past ever Creeperville.
Soon we’re over to the left of the vast heat run, I’m sweating neath my mask and the creeper nods over shoulder, “Where, Tony, I’m on my way.”
He disappears on my flesh, most creeper. “Hey, where to. Don’t faze out on me. More whiff! More whiff!” but even this most charitable offer brings no sound in the tube, save voice echo still ghouly in the metal depths. And a steady hiss. Air? I chance it and pull the mask. Clean O.
So sat sweating in my plastic wondering next outta town and decided only a finger’d get me clear, smoking it and watching the blue curl up through mystery vents, someone living down here and much chance of humanoid crime. A corp perhaps? Should I geeze on my throat box and call down Jess 1-12, others? Smiled in the dim.
This was mine, Lear be proud. Or so I though, Big Dad.
Unholstered the stinger and held it loose, doing a little tai chi to get my head one general halo, balancing on the warm tube without fear there is no other.
Sudden the vent hissed back and out comes this humanoid green uglier-than-creeper, like old Hulk or maybe…Yamantaka no! ’twas monster Frankenstein right down to the shiny bolts & scars.
I did the Horse, then the Praying Mantis, circling, circling, my hands drifting in front my eyes like separate underwater plants no scare my aura clean. Then I pulled a Bruce Lee snapped at his veiny throat but this fist that no boards stop just bounces and with more than minor pain. His jagged wristy hands come down and clamp my either main nerves going blank in the soup.
Woke from black ether, some white-haired old cyborg leaning over gassy spiral of my face.
“I am Dr. Frankenstein,” one flesh hand crossed the plastic other. White smock did not conceal that more than half his body was synthetic.
“Tony R-9, Doc, you ending my life force?”
“I’ve gone through your magnetics, Mr. 9, unless they’re excellently forged, you really are a Peace Agent.”
The Green One came shuffling in
“Master, white heat on the outer tubes.”
“Undoubtedly Brother Jonah.”
I lay stiffed while they ran out. No trace of body sense, dull noise on either side of throat. Dead meat? Left hand twitch proved no.
After long blue lights in the skull, all feeling slowly faded back. I slipped off the electric field that held me, doing best Kung Fu to silence out there quick. The soft copper glow of tubes was no comfort as I scanned for exit.
At tubes’ end, the Door. It crawled with molten light, and the heat it gave prevented any touch. Feeling most dejected 20 units under Los of A, I knew suddenly another presence there.
A thin black man in a cowboy hat.
“Is this the way out?” I asked.
“No, friend,” with a 3000 year voice.
He walked over to the Door, put one skeletal black hand on its radiation. He did not flinch.
“Ahhhhhh. Most sweet. Do you know Her?”
“The Virgin Mary. Isis.” Turned with evil silver eyes. “Kali.”
He then walked around me with a slow smile.
“Guess what happens when I open this Door too soon. Guess.”
“It’ll be too soon?”
His yelllow teeth flashed long. “The Doctor has worked hard. But if She’s out before the end of Incubation…” He shrugged. “You tire me, son.”
He slowly pulled at the cowboy brim. Red light began to seep from under it. And the sound of distant screams, souls in Hell.
“Tony R-9!” I looked to the end of the tube. It was Doc and the Green One. “Don’t look at him! OM AH HUNG BENZAR GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG!”
The black man stiffened.
“It’ll take more than that, dear doctor. Egypt taught me such sinister things.”
Doc saw my puzzlement.
“An old enemy, Tony R-9. Quite jealous of my final experiment.” Doc turned to the old black coot. “Brother Jonah, I doubt even you’d survive if She entered this plane now.”
“Perhaps if I broke the seal myself. But what about him?” And I got shoved deep into that energy.
Like old shoe of time in white light no hope of ego left good riddance Tony R-9 evaporating atoms of nuclear collapse now swept up brilliance impossible to spy own skin or hand of self. The previous job & need gone wind.
Only to solidify in physical thought a milky wall of ectoplasmic fluid and is this heaven like on morph without attachment to whatever next.
“Greetings, Tony R-9 and well done.”
I realized a tall strange being of light addressed me. Outside the wall of fluid, clouds and blue, beneath my return-ed real feet Los A swam in a spot of brilliant orange.
“Greetings in return. Are you outer space?”
Doc & the Green One appeared across the sky in another ship of light. He looked young and radiant. A hand raised angelically, waved.
“He returns with us. You have work to do beneath.”
Glad his feeling thus while swimming over air, Los A like my mom below. “And Her?”
Above he pointed. A second sun slowly faded from my eye, leaving crawly blue-and-green. I rubbed, felt sad mysteriously why.
“The Angel will return. The Doctor thought himself alone. We have careful plans.”
“Victim of his own anti-matter. Last seen trapped in the closest neutron star.”
The light man paused. Los A closer, streets and dark gas. Tired faces without sight of us.
“Go to them, Tony R-9. Tell of Her Return.”
Found myself on same metal streets but with new heavenly thoughts & praise.
Began to tell whomever of the Angel, the Sweet One that will come again. And of the man, St. Frankenstein.