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, August 05, 2012

Olympic Fever

Out in Potomac Manors, Basia Karbusky was at her computer reviewing Olympic results, the comforting sound of Mega Moo drifting in from the eastern pasture of her estate.  Three more of her athlete-clients had won gold before she even woke up this morning, and she was very proud of the formula she had sold them this year.  She looked at the framed photo of herself with her grandfather, the family dairy farm aglow in Wisconsin sunlight behind them.  Karbusky wondered whether he would have approved of her supplying chemical compounds to people he would have called non-Aryans; she would have told him that competitive athletes made the best experimental guinea pigs, but, truth be told, she also needed the money.  She had a lot of political clients from Washington eager for a variety of mood-altering substances which could not be detected in security clearance drug tests; however, she had made more money in performance-enhancing sales in the past two months than the entire previous twelve when she was only selling to political appointees and military brass.  The truth was, she had made a lot of progress with the scientific journals she had inherited from her grandfather, but she was no closer to understanding--let alone achieving--his dreams. 

Several miles to the south, Charles Wu was "entertaining" junior (and rogue) operative Angela de la Paz in his backyard.  "Dreams don't always come true," Charles Wu said to Angela de la Paz.  "I wanted to compete in the Olympics, but it would have compromised my career."

"Which sport?" she asked, sitting stiffly in a garden seat while the spy observed his infant daughter splashing in her kiddie pool.

"That's not important--"

"I want to know," she said.  (She had abandoned patience as a virtue a long time ago.)

"I excelled in a lot of sports at university," the spy said, fondly recalling his days as a competitive athlete in England.  "But if I had competed for an Olympic spot, I would have ended up training in Beijing."

"Sounds like a good cover for spying for England," she retorted.

"A spy needs to travel and maintain a very flexible schedule," Wu said.

"Maybe you just didn't want to win a medal for Beijing," Angela said.  "Too bad there are no Olympics for people to just win medals for themselves."

Wu was now accustomed to her snarkiness:  it was her defense against the gray world of moral ambiguity she now inhabited.  He didn't really care what she said as long as she kept listening.  "Today I want to teach you about the Ottoman Empire."  (She rolled her eyes, and Wu was starting to wonder if Dr. Rajatala might be correct that Angela really needed to go to college.)  "It's not ancient history, Angela.  Empires exist for centuries by uniting large numbers of diverse people over large swaths of territory.  This has never been done peacefully, always by the sword--always by a tax collector brandishing a large sword.  If the empire dies, then the people run around like fire ants competing for territory.  There's always more blood shed after the empire dies:  the death of the Roman Empire, the death of the British Empire, the death of the Ottoman Empire.  You were a baby when the Bosnians descended into near-genocide after communist Yugoslavia fell apart."

"Well, the indigenous in the Americas suffered near-genocide during the expansion of the Spanish Empire, not afterwards," said Angela, indignantly.

Wu shook his head.  "That was primarily from disease, Angela."

"Well, what's your point, anyway?" asked Angela.

"You need to learn the laws of unintended consequences," said Wu.  "Whatever the Heurich Society was before Henrietta took charge, it certainly paid attention to that."

"You just think women aren't good enough to run the Heurich Society!" snapped Angela.

"You're so young, Angela," said Wu.  "I just want you to understand that there are a lot of forces in play.  I know you were in Syria last week."  (Angela looked up in shock.)  "The Sunni-Shiite war goes back a long, long, long way.  I can't tell you how many times the CIA screwed up in thinking it was smart enough to place bets on that one."

"Well some people think everything that's wrong with the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan is the fault of the British!" she retorted.

"If you remove the alpha dog, the hounds will fight violently amongst themselves for control.  Don't be so certain that you know how to pick a better alpha dog than the one that's already there."

Meanwhile, alpha dog Glenn Michael Beckmann was experimenting with doing his first live blog, after having read a few covering Olympic events.  However, he did not see any reason to confine his live blogging to a single event, so he was roaming around the city just randomly describing things as he saw them.  "Just got on an X2 bus," he said.  (He did not realize he was saying out loud everything he was typing on his laptop.)  "The war on body odor is losing badly here.   A really, really stinky guy just walked past--reeked of coffee breath, arm pit sweat, and new-shoe-hot-leather smell.  Kids at home:  never wear new leather shoes when the temperature is over 85 degrees!  Now we have a urine soaked fellow getting on at THIS bus stop--another homeless wretch.  Have you ever noticed how people wear masks in public places--expressionless masks so you can't identify them as commies or feminazis or serial creditors?"  (If Beckmann had looked up from his laptop, he would have noticed then that several passengers had dropped their expressionless masks and were now glaring viciously at him.)  "The beauty of the bus is that there are no rich snobs on it.  As Neil Diamond said, money talks, but it can't sing and dance, and it can't walk--and it can't take the bus.  I'm almost at McPherson Square now:  I'm going to kill a few ducks for lunch."  (Several riders gasped and groaned at this.)  "The Hunter-Gatherer Society didn't want to have any meetings in August--why does everybody think you can't have meetings in August in Washington?  It's WEAK, WEAK, WEAK.  When I was in Iraq, we fought the commmie Arab bastards when it was 110 degrees outside!"  (Beckmann had false memories of fighting in Iraq.)  "People in this town are too soft.  That's why nobody from Washington ever wins an Olympic medal."

"That's true," said the man who smelled like urine, and Beckmann looked up in shock.

A mile to the east, Roddy Bruce looked up from his beer in shock at the synchronized swimming being displayed on the bar's widescreen tv.  "Are you joking?!" shouted the military commando, recently posted as attaché to the Australian Embassy.  "Please tell me that's not the only bloody Olympic event on today!"  

A raven-haired beauty sat next to him at the bar.  "I love your accent!" she cooed. 

Bruce had heard rumors about how easy it was to pick up American women when you had an Aussie accent, but he had not put much credence in those rumors before.  "You should hear what I sound like in the bedroom," he whispered, with a leer.  (At that, the woman frowned, got up, and went away.)  No worries, he thought.  I'll figure 'em out eventually

A few miles to the south, a half-dozen boys were running races in an abandoned lot, pretending to be in the Olympics--ignoring the hot, sticky air in their Southeast slum, ignoring their asthma or ill-fitting shoes or hand-me down shorts, ignoring the depraved starlings chattering about them near the bushes, ignoring the cursed water coursing through their body tissues courtesy of Ardua of the Potomac.  For a half-hour or so, any dreamer can be glory-bound--even in a town like this.

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