by Thomas White
part 1 of 2
SNOW BLACK AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
PERFORMING HERE TONIGHT
flashed the red and yellow neon marquee/holograph, hovering above the squat, darkened building in Sydney’s far western suburbs. Over its door, a smaller sign flickered dark red:
It was about two hours until show time.
Bored, Chops and Smolley slumped lazily on their low-slung go-bikes parked nearby.
Chops, petting his laser, grumbled: “Matee I dunno about yer, but I didn’t sign on with Salo and his Convict Nation team to be a bloody club security guard... ” Yawning, he stretched his artificial legs; his real ones had been blown off at the Battle of Broome just before the surrender of Australia to the invading Indo-Chinese military. Gawd, Chops murmured, shaking his head, that was a bloody five years ago!
Squinting at the paper delivered to them earlier by a Salo messenger, Smolley nervously replied. “Chopo, yer know da Salo oft means more that he sez... Suppoz dat der messenger had gotten caught with dis,” he motioned toward the paper, “ we’ee be boiled in hot piss by the bloody Force if it exposed the real story.” Smolley then reread the message’s text:
Great new shipment of toys arriving tonight after 7pm tonight. Go to 1031 Devlin Place and get your jollies as the guards. See the manager there for further details.
“So you really dink it means more than it sez?" Chops asked.
Smolley nodded: “Bloody A, mate, Salo always duz. We just have to wait... ”
A car door slammed: a hunchback, with a long well-groomed beard, and nattily attired in a white leisure suit, and sparklingly dancing shoes, bounded gracefully from a rusty Holden sedan a few feet from them. Smolley nudged Chops, and whispered “Da manager, I bet”.
Smolley, gripping his concealed laser, scurried toward the hunchback who, frightened at the dwarf’s sudden approach, loudly farted.
“Not a nice way to greet some mates,” Smolley joked.
“If you want to rob me, I ‘ave no cash, ” stuttered the manager.
“No mate, we are here becuz of dis,” said Smolley, pushing the message paper into the hunchback’s face.
“What’s your ID?” mumbled the manager neutrally, worried about the police.
Straining mightly, Smolley hooked his stumpy wrist in front of the manager’s eyes, flashing a helix-shaped tattoo. The manager touched his heart, nodded and whispered, “All praise to Salo. Follow me then if you want to get your jollies”. They quietly moved toward the club’s premises, Chops’ artificial legs humming peacefully in the dark.
The hunchback-manager, who identified himself as Mullet Blackstone, flicked a pocket-held unit as they approached the entrance; the door unlocked automatically while the interior was instantly bathed in whirls of darkish-silvery shapes radiating from a massive, spinning disco ball: a retro-crafted shrine to the traditionally popular 1970s party scene. The manager led Smolley and Chops across the squeaky dance floor, littered with streamers and trash, past the bar, into a dingy, rear receiving area.
“So what ‘new toys’ are goin’ to give us ‘jollies’, asked Smolley amid the smells of musty boxes, oily machinery and rat bait.
“Too right,” assented Chops, still irritated at running mere admin errands better assigned, he thought, to one of Salo’s sex slaves.
Mullet frowned, waved one hand–missing three fingers, Smolley duly noted–and said: “ Your new ‘toys’ is a top-secret shipment of killer Involuntary Transgenders arriving in about an hour from the Western Deserts.”
Chops whistled softly. Smolley’s little eyes simply went wide.
“Yeah no body thinks ITs, ” Mullet went on smugly, “can lift a freakin’ butter knife, let along a gun, to the Occupation. But the bloomin’ IC fascists are about to face a new enemy. ITs always can get service jobs inside their headquarters or domestic positions in the mansions of the fat-cat IC arse-lickers, because the Force thinks they don’t have a violent gene in their entire body. But the Great Salo is about to prove their cruddy science wrong, by God!”
Chops and Smolley simply stared, mouths gaping stupidly.
“Yes our mighty Salo is opening a new chapter of liberation,” Mullet’s beard bobbed with such frenzy that it seemed madly alive, “in the history of the genetically dispossessed’s valiant struggle against our repressive IC invaders. Even ITs are being empowered to destroy the Evil Doers through the genius of Salo the Magnifico.” Now Mullet’s entire body violently shook as if controlled by aggressive, loud music: another CN True Believer was spewing, thought Chops wearily.
Finally Smolley weakly stammered “How da we know dis will work?”
Bristling and swelling so proudly that his hunched back seem to engorge itself in itself, Mullet gleefully declared, “Have you not, my mates, heard of the Col Wallop story ?”
Smolley and Chops allowed that they vaguely remembered seeing something on the tellie a few years ago, but Mullet waved his two-fingered hand dismissively. “Bugger that mate; you know we can’t rely on Occupation-run media for the straight dope. Let me tell you the real story: Convict Nation’s street intel learned that Col Wallop, a drinking pal of some IC Force hotshots, had a sexual hang-up about ITs. In fact, in disguise, he used to cruise pubs and bars like Club Big looking for “action”. He’d pay ITs for sex and take ‘em home.”
“When Salo learnt of this, well, he was so happy he creamed his jeans. During the war, a resistance brigade stole a DNA Reconversion Systems Kit from an Old Gov lab, and later the brigade’s chief sold the package to Convict Nation for a pile of cash. The Occupation has never known that Salo has built some boffo gene recode labs. You know, you’d be bloody well amazed at the smart scientific arses he has on his team... ”
“Ok, Ok mate, get to the bloomin’ moral of da story,” Chops pleaded, his eyes glazed with boredom.
“Salo had been looking for a ‘test’ case, so to speak. So boy did he jump on the Col Wallop chance. He ordered his mob to kidnap an IT and recode the thing to kill: they kept the queer bugger hold up in a retraining camp until it was screamin’ for blood. Then they sent the IT to Club Big to pick up Col Wallop... well the rest is history; after sex on the floor, the IT ran a butcher knife through old Col’s gullet and then chopped him up like sausage... ”
Faintly queasy in his stomach, Smolley squeaked, “What happen’ to da IT?”
Mullet indifferently clicked his tongue. “The poor bugger later went crazy; Salo had it shot and ground up at that dog food processing plant Salo and the ACN manage on the sly.”
As Chops and Smolley goggled their eyes, Mullet glowered darkly, his beard thrusting like a sword: “You keep this info secret mate, or that is where you will end up: as a bloody dog’s breakfast.”
Mullet suddenly cocked his head. “Someone’s outside. Cover me” .
Flanked by Smolley and Chops, their hand lasers pulled, Mullet furtively slid up to the service door and breathed gruffly through his teeth: “Solo, Salo, me Oh my-Oh.” The melodious voice outside rang out like a bell, in reply: “Salo, Salo, my Oh my-Oh.”
Mullet nodded. “We’re golden; the shipment is here.” He flicked the security alarm off and opened the door. A pair of drooping, fleshly jowls molded themselves into a bold smile: Sully O’Sullivan, Certified DNA Lab Tech for the Force’s Forensic section and the secret team captain of the killer IT consignment, had arrived. Bowing gracefully, his shapely hands folded into a prayerful greeting.
Sully was feeling very pleased with himself. Earlier, a security agent for the Force had enlisted his confidential assistance in an effort to rat out traitors to the Force within their ranks. Jwan, the agent, had even paid for the beer. However, little did he know–Sully’s bold smile got even more brazen–that it was actually Sully who was not only leaking useful information on Force staff sexual-hormonal problems to Salo , but was deeply involved in the Killer IT Project.
If Salo wanted to use genetics to subvert the IC Force’s Occupation, Salo needed Sully’s help. Data on the sexual lives of Force staff, especially those who were undergoing natural, involuntary sex changes or a secondary puberty (Midlife Reversal), was invaluable to Salo. Drastically mutating hormones, Sully well knew, meant unstable, angry emotions and (usually) unstable, malleable DNA. These “in the closet,” yet emerging changelings were perfect targets for genetic conversion into assassins and subversives working against the hated occupiers.
The team of Sully and Salo– yeah: that had a nice sound... but even better, Salo was a bit of an old geezer now, while Sully was much spunkier, younger. Hell he could even be the top bloke in Convict Nation’s insurgency in a few years if he played his cards right... .Get rid of the religious crazies maybe... go more mainstream, become legit... Maybe Salo was not so important after all. Sully’s eyes were dreamy with pleasant ambition.
“Well don’t just stand there blocking the bleedin’ doorway,” snapped Mullet, humorously.
Sully bitterly detested this worm Mullet Blackstone. It was well known in Convict Nation/insurgent circles that Mullet was currently one of the most active of Salo’s sexual partners. What was it about bloody hunchbacks that made them so sexual randy and politically aggressive?
“I am trying to keep the rain from blowing on your beard,” replied Sully sarcastically.
The hunchbacked manager coldly chuckled, “You’re a real mate.”
Sully bowed again slightly. “At your service,” he said coolly.
Chops interrupted: “Hey we didn’t come here fer a love-fest or tea-time chat. Where’s da IT meat?
Copyright © 2007 by Thomas White