Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fight the Power

Eva Brown was distracted, as usual. Another year of law school was over, and she was supposed to be celebrating with her boyfriend, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness at the State Department. They were in a row boat in the Tidal Basin: he was rowing, and she was sitting back with her face in the sun. She shivered, but it wasn't because of the cool breeze. Her boyfriend was droning on about something, but she was nervous and kept looking at the water, wondering if it was possible to capsize. "Sometimes I'm just not sure about all this," said Eva, not noticing that her boyfriend had just made a second attempt to propose marriage. "Sometimes I feel like I just don't get it--I mean, what are we doing here, really?" The Assistant Deputy Administrator took that as a "no" and started paddling back to the dock. Eva leaned forward and grabbed his hands. "We need to fight the power!" He stopped paddling and looked at her in bewilderment. "We need to take it to the next level!"

A Coast Guard helicopter passed over their heads for another aerial surveillance before the queen's arrival. Marcos Vazquez was staring intently at the water while the pilot flew the chopper northward above the Potomac River. The water was a beautiful color today under a bright blue sky, and a lot of boaters were out--nothing looked suspicious. They passed over Dubious McGinty's secret home in the drawbridge, then flew past Condoleeza's perch in the Watergate. Everything on the surface and the shoreline were calm. They turned around at Great Falls and headed back to base so that they could take out the launch for the aquatic surveillance.

Charles Wu saw the helicopter pass overhead as he strolled the Key Bridge into Georgetown. He knew what it was doing--wasting more taxpayer money on physical surveillance, ignoring 90% of the terrorist chatter because there were still too few Arabic speakers in the U.S. government to make heads or tails of it. Charles had his English chatter sources in Mumbai, Hong Kong, Mogadishu, and Dubai: nothing would catch him by surprise. He stopped for a minute to look down at the crew team setting out on the Potomac River. His mind wandered back to his year at Oxford University, which seemed decades ago. He had always been too English for Hong Kong, but then it turned out he was too Chinese for England. Thinking about the queen visiting just irked him--people actually bowing to royalty in the 21st century! He loathed privilege. A cool breeze picked up, and he buttoned the jacket of his $1,500 silk suit tailored in London. He shivered and turned back to his path. A hundred feet below him, Ardua looked up at his greed and confusion and worried that he might be more trouble than he was worth. She was undecided about how to use the Chinese-British double-agent, and she told the starlings to keep shadowing him.

One of the Shackled was also shadowing Charles Wu, who had recently been turning up in all sorts of unexpected places. The thing about Wu was that everybody believed exactly what he told them--it was his great gift. Someday he was going to do a lot of damage with that trust, or a lot of good. In a city where most people looked to dogs and cats for true friendship, the master spy was developing an astonishingly large circle of friends.

A couple of miles away, Condoleezza Rice was grumpily unpacking from another pointless trip to the Middle East. She didn't know it yet, but she was about to meet Charles Wu at the White House State Dinner for Queen Elizabeth, and it was going to be an interesting week. In the distance, Dubious McGinty was glaring at her through his binoculars. He put them down and spit into the river. He was ticked off about what she had said about soldiers last week--this time, she had gone too far. "It's understandable," he chanted in a girly sing-song voice. "They're seeing their friends get hurt." He suddenly screamed so loudly that the ducks passing below the drawbridge pulled up and took to the air. "You understand nothing!!!!" A nesting sparrow couple popped out of their cubbyhole to see if Dubious was alright. "Sorry--go back to your eggs." Dubious went inside to watch TV and stop thinking about war.

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