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, October 21, 2007

Dragonfly Season

Dr. Devi Rajatala was catching up on her email before the Friendship Gardeners arrived at the National Arboretum. A couple of weeks earlier, she had emailed a biologist friend overseas about the odd dragonflies she had seen at Lafayette Park during the peace rally, and the friend had emailed her back a few articles about dragonfly behavior...and a 10/9/07 Washington Post article she had missed entitled "Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs." She read through the article, not certain whether to be bemused, alarmed, or insulted. Surely her friend did not think she could mistake robotic insects for live dragonflies? She read the article through twice, then sat back, no longer certain. She closed her email and walked outside to wait for the busload of kids. She breathed the clear autumn air and turned her face up to the sun. The butterflies and bees were gone, and the dragonflies were probably also gone for the season...or were they?

Several miles west, Marcos Vasquez was rowing Golden Fawn out to Roosevelt Island for a romantic afternoon of invoking curses on Ardua of the Potomac. Nobody in the world knew they did this except Dubious McGinty, Golden Fawn's grandmother, and possibly Perry Winkle--or so they thought. Marcos had expected Golden Fawn to feel exhausted after her first week of work back at the National Museum of the American Indian, but she was energized and happy, and more than ready to have another go at Ardua. He pulled the boat ashore, and they set up a daycamp complete with picnic lunch and mojo paraphernalia. The sunlight danced off her spiky black hair, and her skin seemed to be glowing for the first time in months. She looked up in surprise at some dragonflies buzzing a few feet away, but Marcos said it had been a warm autumn and they still had insects to eat. Some ducks glided by their beached canoe, then abruptly took to the air as they felt Ardua's growing agitation beneath the surface.

Thirty miles to the north, Dick Cheney was relaxing in his official Undisclosed Location, a bunker underneath a rural area of Maryland bordering the Potomac River. Lynne thought he was a workaholic, but nothing made him more relaxed then heading to his bunker on a Sunday afternoon--that or shooting birds. "We've made identification matches for 1,600 individuals, sir." The security official didn't tell the Vice President that this was only a 0.0000002 success rate since the launch of Operation St. George and the Dragonfly; nor did he inform the Vice President about the number of obviously false matches they had to weed out, including several dead celebrities. "We did pick up on forty-seven federal employees, including a Coast Guard officer from Puerto Rico. We're keeping an eye on him." Cheney smiled, licking his butter pecan ice cream cone; he got to cheat on his heart-healthy diet when Lynne wasn't around. "He has been spotted hanging around the Potomac even while off duty." Cheney paused, mid-lick. "He's aways with a woman, though, so it could be nothing." Cheney took another lick, then started thinking about eating potato chips and onion dip during the football game, since the War on Terror was perfectly under control.

Many miles south, Charles Wu walked his brand new Brooks Brothers suit into Dragonfly, took a table in the back, ordered a sake, and waited for his new contact to come in. Asia was turning upside down, and for the first time in a long time, he really needed some new contacts. Pakistan was becoming a wildcard, North Korea could only be reuniting with South Korea for one reason, the Myanmar government had derailed its tourism revenue by beating up monks, Russia was telling the U.S. to get out of its Iranian backyard, the India-U.S. nuclear agreement was already collapsing, and China was--

His new contact strolled up, sat down, ordered a sake, and pumped Charles Wu for information. After twenty minutes, Wu knew that he knew more than this guy did, but he might prove useful in the future. Wu politely excused himself and exited the lounge, but his contact lingered another hour until a woman came in, looked around, then walked to the back to sit down at his table. She was covered from head to toe like an Afghani woman under Taliban rule, but the man recognized her eyes gleaming out at him and smiled. He wasted no time, passing his sake glass to her to sip under her veil, then ordered more sake and a sushi platter. An hour later, he knew she was ready. He escorted her out the backway, through an alley, and up a staircase to a secluded roofdeck where a private karaoke party was underway. The sight of her burqa drew many a stare away from the spirited performance of "La Vida Loca" already underway, but Condoleezza Rice didn't mind--she hadn't done karaoke since college, and she was really in the mood now. She was very pissed off about Laura Bush's upcoming trip to the Middle East right after her own, thinking it absurd for a First Lady to go tell Arabs about breast cancer while Condi and George were preparing the region for World War III. Sometimes, Rice really wondered if the White House had the slightest clue about how to prioritize. You tell the world that Iran is leading us towards World War III, then you send your wife to talk to Arabs about breast cancer?! "Woooooo!!" Without realizing it, she had begun applauding for the close of "La Vida Loca". And she hated Putin, how easy it was for him to do what he wanted, shut the press up, put dissidents in jail! She downed the last of her sake and signed up for her turn at the microphone. The puzzled crowd grew silent as her turn finally arrived, and she strode confidently up to the microphone, still covered from head to toe. Four minutes later, the astonished crowd was on its feet applauding her performance of "We Will Rock You!" And she was just getting started!

On a ledge above Rice, a catbird pounced on a dragonfly, then choked to death trying to swallow it. The bird fell down to the rooftop, where a stoned woman clad in black leather stared at it in surprise, then turned back to the party.

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