Greetings, Doomed Monkeys. It’s Uncle Mort back with another week of sundry bits. This week marks the publication of the 400th thing we’ve insisted you look at. You can tell that’s an impressive milestone because it’s a round number. Anyway, have we got a week for you! First up, the Ruiner is back and kicking off a brand new adventure. A. Wizard dropped by because he had nothing to do and wanted to tell you about it. Psamurai starts a new year off by making a bunch of new enemies and the Weekly Column About Monsters is proving to be an adequate place holder this week. All this is brought to you by our new sponsor, catering to what everyone is subconsciously aware of. Have kids and until next week, prijestolonaslijednikovica!
Troy New York 1:13 am
The Ruiner didn’t get paid to justify or question the reasoning behind his orders and he had a strict internal policy about working for free, but he often found himself thinking about why he was doing what he was doing. Why did these people need to die? What crime necessitated a visit from someone like him?
It was rare that he felt what he was doing was as important as he was told it was. Many of his targets seemed to receive the death sentence because it was the easy, lazy choice and not so much because the fate of the nation, world, or universe depended on him killing someone for acting a little bit weird. It was something that never really made sense to him, but it seemed to be getting worse.
For example, last week he was sent to kill a man named Chuck Johansen for the crime of accidentally receiving mis-delivered mail. Yeah, the mail was from a highly important intelligence asset, and yeah, it contained some pretty wild information about a small third world country’s attempt to get a nuke, but it was encoded, encrypted, and written in some sort of invisible ink. It meant nothing to anyone other than the intended recipient and it also looked like a piece of junk mail offering a low-interest credit card. There was no reason anyone one sane could assume this situation was a high level threat.
None of that mattered though, not to the people who told Harris who to kill. To Harris it was senseless to kill someone who accidentally got a hold of something they had no idea was important, but his thoughts about what constituted sensibility were never asked for. It would have been less messy to wait for Chuck to toss it in his recycling bin and have some Agents dressed as trash collectors come by and pick it up before the usual trash guys came. That was less messy by spades, but sending Harris in was cheaper, and either way, the result was the same to those upstairs. He was starting to feel like a Stradivarius that was exclusively being played by a tone-deaf toddler. He was the magic eraser for a bunch of power hungry creeps who could no longer tell the difference between becoming a monster and fighting one.
With a Little Help From My Friends
The news was calling it a comet, but Engelbert knew better. He imagined most people knew better but didn’t want to think what happened last year might happen again. If it did, most people felt secure in the notion that there was a line of defense between them and annihilation. Engelbert was determined to prove he knew better on that account as well.
“There will always be the weak minded, ready to rationalize anything away,” he once said in a lecture to his A.I. and Ethics students, “That’s how Holocausts happen.”
These days Engelbert wasn’t lecturing anyone about anything, save for his cat who received the occasional admonition to not shit outside the box. His former student, Cheryl Ellers, had him ousted from academia years prior for misappropriating his Ph.D. candidates’ work. Every day since then he’s burned with hot rage and planned his revenge on his old protege. After tricking her, last year, into upgrading the Tabula Rasa protocol, he had almost all the pieces he needed to carry out his plot. Getting her to save the life of her arch nemesis, Simon Vyx, was just an extra insult to the injury.
He just needed to tie up some loose ends. Cheryl had a posse. They would need to be neutralized. For that he found himself trudging through poison ivy and thorn bushes in the middle of nowhere at three in the morning.
The beam of his flashlight swung through the dark and misty air in the dense woods off of the interstate. He knew the ‘comet’ had landed here. He was expecting it. He had invited it. His short, round body waddled through the underbrush, grunting and swearing with every step until he came upon a faint glow a bit deeper in. As he approached the glow, he noticed a small spacecraft parked and covered in hasty camouflage. It was crude cover, but sufficient enough this deep into the forest. Kneeling before a small glowing orb on a carpet of fallen leaves was a lithe figure, clad in leather, holding its hand before her in a way that Engelbert read as ceremonial or meditative. The figure seemed transfixed by the moon, as it stared up, unblinking.
“Devana the Mage Hunter?” Englebert croaked.
Come On Down
Byline: A political prisoner
Dateline: February 17th, 2018
Hi, kids. This Barry Usmellin just reminding everybody that Gary Llewellyn will be appearing at the Laugh House in Des Moines on February 17th and 18th. Tickets are still on sale for the second show. You can get them at the box office, online, through Ticketron or through the mail via Kenbro (allow six to eight weeks for delivery).
There’s nothing to do, so I find some stuff to do and get a special treat in the end.