Of Gods and Men
Elton slumped onto the small couch they had dragged down into the abandon platform they called The Farm, and attacked the bowl of cornflakes ravenously.
“C’mon,” he said between bites. “Try it.”
The gleaming metal face of Roger Armstrong peered over the flatscreen. Eventually, the monitor would get hung up somewhere, but with the construction of the base hardly begun, they had propped all 72” on two milk crates in the center of the platform, and Roger has spent the last few minutes setting up the router.
“Two seconds.” He said.
“One one thousand, two one thousand…”
Roger arched an eyebrow. Minutes later, he flipped the unit on, and in full, glorious 4K, they saw -
“Billy Mays here! Do you want your whites whiter than you’ve ever seen?”
“I thought this guy was dead?” Elton said, pouring himself another bowl of cereal.
“He is.” Roger almost flopped onto the couch, remembered that he was still a nearly two ton coil of organic metal, and instead settled onto the broken section of a marble column he had been using as a chair. “You know why he died, right?”
“Cocaine or something I think.”
“He was a mutant.” Roger said.
“… No way.” Elton stopped mid bite.
“Na,” Roger grinned, “I’m just fucking with you.”
Elton rolled his eyes. “Ha. Hey turn it down, Sue is still asleep.”
Behind them, near a newly stolen pile of steel beams and fiberoptic cable, Susan slept behind a recently erected French privacy screen. It was nearly six am, and while Susan had been with them for two days, she had hardly gotten any sleep in that time. Between Elton’s penchant for only sleeping an hour a day at most, and Roger’s inability to rest at all while transformed, the presence of a normal human being with real a need for REM sleep had made the two realize that they had pretty much been working none stop, and had abandoned any sense of a regular, human schedule. When it became obvious that for at least seven hours a night Sue would need to rest, at least for the time being, Roger and Elton had decided they needed a TV.
“So what do you want to watch,” Elton flipped stations rapidly. Roger had stolen the cable from the main pipe, so the Farm now had some 1,500 channels. “Dancing with the stars rerun or…”
“Give me that.” Roger made to grab it from him, but Elton was too fast.
“Um no, you’ll crush it!”
“I know my own strength, Elton…”
“Tell that to my old apartment building.”
“Fine,” Roger sighed. “But we should watch some news. We’ve been pretty isolated the last week or so, and I’m not really even up to speed as it is.”
“Ugh, fine.” Elton flipped the screen to the expansive news block on the channel listing, and the twenty four hour cycle provided them no small amount of coverage. “But I’m getting a beer. Want one?”
Roger rolled his slate, metal eyes to meet Elton’s.
“the question I have and, and uh, I know the American people have, is where is out President at a time like this? I mean, where is the administration?”
“I think thats a great question, John. We’ve heard a lot about this new initiative, a ugh. Well the White House is calling it the Liberty Bill, but have we really gone far enough with it? Will this make our children safer, or is it just another in a long line of this administrations kowtowing to the liberals mutant positive agenda?”
“Absolutely I think it is, Matt, absolutely. And speaking of the White House, when we come back, has President Walker conceded defeat to the mutant dictator of the European nation of Latvia? That’s right, it’s hard to believe, but the nation of Latvia, after losing it’s prime minister and head of state in the destruction of New York have, well, supposedly they, they uh, they elected some mutant leader, and this week the Walker administration is going to formerly recognize his rule after almost two years of debate!”
“That and more when we come back with -“
“inues today in Cairo with U.N.T.I.L. touching down in the region as of last week to quell what has become an increasingly violent situation in the middle east. What started as protests to the Egyptian governments signing of the U.N.T.I.L. Charter have erupted into massive riots that have so far resulted in the deaths of almost six hundred people across the region. U.N.T.I.L., the United Nations Tribunal on International Law was created after the second world war to respond to changing global political climates with a uniformed response corps. U.N.T.I.L. was a relatively small and underfunded group until x-possitive scientist Jacob Pyre killed most of the western worlds leaders before untimely destroying the island on Manhattan five and a half years ago. In the vacuum of power that ensued, nations across the globe poured massive amounts of funding into the U.N.T.I.L. program which today has transitioned from an international peace keeping force to a response group to the x-gene plague that has left hundreds of people all over the globe with amazing and sometimes destructive powers and abilities.
As of this broadcast, only the Peoples Republic of China, the Russian Federation, Iran, and Argentina have failed to sign the treaty. The United States was initially opposed to the U.N.T.I.L. Charter before the events of November 27th , but they capitulated shortly thereafter.
Stay with us through the break where our reporter Holly Golightly is on the red carpet in tinsel town and she’s – “
“ust going to say the word; mutant. Mutant. That is what these, these people are, that may not make me a saint in liberals eyes, but x-possitve? No that is not what these people are, and honestly I don’t even know if they are that.”
“People, you mean?”
“Kelly, what do you think?”
“It’s offensive, Jon, its utterly offensive to use that word. I mean, had breast cancer in-”
“- Okay that argument is-”
“No listen! I had breast cancer, I had a genetic mutation, and do you want me to line up and slap a gps tracker on? Do you want to call me a mutant? Do you think the world would be a safer place if I weren’t in it?”
“Your breast cancer cannot level a house, Mrs. Price. Your breast cancer doesn’t shoot fire, doesn’t control dangerous vibration frequencies, it cannot read minds, I mean, look, when someone buys a gun, we ask then to register that weapon-”
“-they weren’t BORN with a weapon in hand, Edgar-”
“But they were! I’m sorry, they were and they are! Look, if we had an outbreak of Ebola, no listen to me, if we had an outbreak of Ebola in Washington D.C. Tomorrow morning, the CDC would quarantine the area, wouldn’t they? Am I wrong? They would forcibly detain anyone showing symptoms and they would contain the outbreak.”
“But it is, Mrs. Price, it is. I don’t like saying this, I don’t like saying this, honestly I don’t like agreeing with it, but we don’t know exactly what causes this to happen, and until we do, until we know how to contain the problem, until we can assure regular american citizens that they are safe we have a duty to protect them!”
“About the U.N.T.I.L. Program?”
“Honestly, it’s a good idea, its one of those ideas that works well on paper, and Colonel Edge is a fine leader and a great choice by the administration, but isn’t that typical? The United States is always the primary money behind U.N. Initiatives, so they get the most say in who oversees them, and that, I think, you know, that isn’t right.”
“It’s the realities of the modern world though. We’ve done what we always do, and we’ve created this massive, ugh, agency. This huge, secretive, wasteful government agency, and now that nations are finally recovering from the devastation of New York, we want all that power back, and it just isn’t an option.”
“I think thats exactly right, Karen, I think we should be prepared to live with U.N.T.I.L. For a very, very long time.”
“since markets stabilized in the wake of Pyer’s attack. In other news, the Latvian dictator known only as the Iconoclast has announced plans for a summit on the state of the European Union in Geneva next month. Since taking power two years ago, the Iconoclast has been very private and made no public appearances. The European Union commissioner says the committee welcomes the summit, reiterating that the Iconoclast’s election is in fact legal, and that the EU recognizes his authority. The United States is set to recognize Latvian sovereignty officially for the first time since the Iconoclasts rise to power.
Meanwhile, religious groups are hailing the increased x-positive presence as a sign of the end times. We go to-”
“mies S.P.E.K.T.R. Program? I mean, they won’t even tell us what that means, does that not make you wonder?”
“Honestly, Bill, I don’t care what it means.”
“No all I care about is that it works, and that it protects the american people from mutants!”
“Okay, okay, I mean, I know the Republicans must be glad that somehow they’ve found another minority to hate…:
“Does it not worry you, Bill?”
“It does worry, me, of course it does, but its life, its evolution, I’m sorry, Gods will…”
“Look, it does worry me, it does, but you know what worries me more? That it took god only six days to build the heavens and the earth… and it took his son Kenneth Light six years to build Millennium City.”
“Seriously, when are we going decide enough is enough, and stop bowing down to Morgan Light and his lobbyists? There is a bill, right now, on the House floor that corporate america wrote! Does that not bother you?”
“What bothers me, Bill, is the Democrats and their lack of-”
“Oh some things just never change, do they?”
“Okay, Lets move on to New Rules!”
“oting begins on House Resolution 33118-A, presented as an emergency bill by Senate Majority Leader Raymond Hillary in the wake of this mornings attack in San Fransisco.”
Roger arched his eyebrow and put the remote down.
“The bill includes harsh penalties for both x-positive persons and their families should they fail to comply with the Registration executive order, and indeed it extends that order, set to expire next week. The bill also requires x-possitve peoples convicted of a crime to spend a minimum sentence of ten years in a federal prison, and, when deemed necessary by a federal judge, persons deemed as having abilities too dangerous to be unregulated must be quarantined by U.N.T.I.L. Forces, or join the armies S.P.E.K.T.R. Program that is currently searching for a cure to the x-positive epidemic.”
“A lot of passion in this bill, Erika.”
“There is, there is, for lots of reason, Mike, none less important than the friendship between Senator Hillary and Light Industries CEO Morgan Light. Critics of the bill, including civil rights groups, point to insider nepotism and unfair corporate interest.”
“I mean, Light makes the things that stop mutants, Im sorry, x-positive, I apologize. X-positive peoples, and. Well, the guy has an interest here and-”
“Yikes.” Elton looked back at the magazine he had started rummaging through. “What does that mean for us?”
Roger looked back at the French divider, and the silhouette of Susan rolled over on the cot through the milky opacity of the paper.
“It means,” Roger said, muting the television, “That we need to get back to work.”
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