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, January 11, 2015

Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour

"I stand humbly before you," began Dick Cheney, "to make my case for returning to the Heurich Society."

"If you were humble, you would be on your knees," said Henrietta Samuelson, and several members gasped.

Cheney gave the former realtor a sinister smile.  "You really do take after your father, don't you, Button?"

"Don't call me that!" she replied.  "It's 'Madam Chair' to you!"

"The world is in a precarious state," continued Cheney, turning away from her.  "Look what happened in France!  Do you really want this young whipper-snapper in charge?"

"She's done OK," crackled Condoleezza Rice over the speaker phone.  (Like the others, she knew Samuelson had inherited enough evidence from her late father to put them all behind bars.)

"Who took care of the Darja problem?  Me!" Cheney declared.

"You?!" exclaimed Button.  "She was murdered!"

"It was a police incident," said Cheney.  "I know how to handle things!"

"Two protesters from Code Pink were just arrested at your house during the Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour!  We can't have our members attracting this kind of publicity!  It's a secret society!"

"Well, that's not my fault!" exclaimed Cheney.

"Nobody was arrested at John Brennan's house!  You clearly didn't handle things as well as he did!  You make everything worse!"

"Now listen here, missy!" shouted Cheney, but he shut up when she pulled a clear jar of formaldehyde out of her bag and placed it on the table of the Brewmaster Castle upper floor conference room.  There were several gasps, and Cheney's face grew pale.

"Do you know what this is?" asked Samuelson.  "This is the heart they took out of your body.  I inherited it from my father."

Everybody stared at it in silence for a few moments.  It was a tiny, misshapen red mass, with white and black blotches all over it.  Then Cheney tried to snatch the jar, but Samuelson was too fast for him.  "You're a monster!" he exclaimed.

"Me?!  Some people in this town don't believe you really did get a heart transplant.  Some people say you're a zombie, Dick.  My father knew the truth."

Cheney pounded his fists on the table.  "This is an outrage!"

"Calm down, Dick," said Samuelson.  "Do you want to have another heart attack?  Because nobody here is going to use the defibrillator on you."

Cheney looked around for support, but found only a sea of shifting eyes.  "I still matter!  I'm important!  I'm willing to make the tough calls!"

"Well, you can always run for President," crackled Rice over the speaker phone.

With that, Cheney got up and stormed out.  "Je suis Charlie!" he hollered, in a terrible French accent.  After he was gone, for the first time ever, the Heurich Society stood up and applauded Henrietta Samuelson.

A few miles away, United States Attorney Atticus Hawk was still peering nervously out his window, terrified the Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour would arrive at any moment.  He had never been publicly documented as the Justice Department's torture expert, but he never knew when the truth might end up on Wikileaks or, worse, get posted to his mother's Facebook page underneath her wall of son-bragging posts.  He was supposed to be at the office working on a memo regarding the contemplated prosecution of former CIA Director David ("Betray-Us") Petraeus, but how could he take the risk of being screamed at by Code Pink ladies?  It would be humiliating!  And he had no defense to such accusations!

"I could ask U.S. Marshals to escort me to work, right?  Why not?  We can't leave a 4-star general just hanging!  Holder has to decide on this indictment.  What kind of example would it be if we let a CIA director get away with spilling state secrets just because a woman is sleeping with him and writing a biography about him?  We can't allow that sort of precedent!  Not when we're cracking down on whistle-blowers, er, spies, all over the place!  Should Glenn Greenwald have to hide in Brazil while Betray-Us runs around the United States raking in huge speaker fees?  How can that be fair, and even if it is fair (which it probably is), we have to keep up appearances of justice and equality, right?"

Hawk was pacing furiously back and forth, talking to himself, when there was a sudden knock on the door.  He tiptoed to the peephole, heart pounding, and peeped.  Then he fainted dead away.

On the other side of the door stood Barbara Hellmeister (now going by "Barbie Bucephalus").  She frowned at the sound of the thud, pulled out a pin to pick the lock, but was thwarted by the chain.  She squatted down, reached in, and tried to shake him awake.  "It's me, Basia," she said.  She had been gone a long time--first in hiding from the FBI, then adjusting to life as a CIA interrogator.  (What better place to hide from the FBI than at the CIA?!)  She had used plastic surgery to alter her appearance slightly, and dyed her hair red, but clearly he had recognized her immediately, even through a peephole.  He never forgot me, she smiled to herself.  He had never told her what he did for the Justice Department, but after joining the CIA, she had found out.  It was always destiny, my sweet!  She kept shaking him, but he wouldn't wake up.

A few miles north, triple agent Charles Wu was trying to convince Angela de la Paz to go on her next assignment--a task which would require nimble maneuvering between CIA agents and rogue CIA agents in Russia.

"What's the difference between a CIA agent and a rogue CIA agent?"

"Well, this is where your telepathic powers will prove particularly useful," said Wu.

"I don't get visions distinguishing CIA agents from rogue CIA agents.  They all torture people for information, don't they?  I don't see the difference."

"The rogue CIA agents don't always follow orders.  Sometimes it's because they're being paid off; sometimes it's because they disagree with official orders; sometimes it's both.  (Angela frowned.)  There's a major CIA schism in Russia right now about how to take advantage of the political instability there.  China wants information about what the CIA is going to do--rogue or otherwise.  I think you're the only person who can go to Moscow and really figure it out."

"And then what?"

"And then we make a lot of money!" said Wu.

"Don't you think it's dangerous, selling China the CIA's secrets about Russia?  Don't you ever worry about the repercussions?"

Wu tapped his fingers slowly on the arm of his chair.  "I've been doing this a long time, Angela.  You can trust me."

Angela shrugged her shoulders to crack her spine.  (The ghost of Henry Samuelson was poking her between the shoulder blades, trying to get her to listen to him.)  "I'm worried about your judgment."

"I know you would prefer to see the world in a nobler and more idealistic way, but--"

"It's not that," said Angela.  "Something's going on with you.  Lynnette sees it, too."

"Lynnette?!  She didn't have any complaints when I took her to Jaleo for dinner last night!"

"You showed more kindness and feeling for her before you started wooing her.  There's a dark shadow hanging over you, and it's growing.  It started when you learned the truth about how Delia's mother died."

A hard look came over Wu's face.  "I don't want to talk about that."

"You have to talk about it!"

"I'll send somebody else to Moscow," said Wu, standing up.  "Stay here in Washington and wait for your next vision."  Angela stood up slowly, then left without a word.  Wu followed behind her to see if she was leaving the house or just leaving his home office, but she left the house.

Wu looked into Delia's bedroom, where her governess was reading her "Peter Rabbit" before nap time.  "Can I do that?" he asked hoarsely.

Outside, Angela started to cry.  She didn't have a vision for how to fix Wu.  In the trees, she saw a gang of starlings mocking her pink warbler, and she screamed at them until they left.

COMING UP:  Wince leaves the Supreme Court to join Lye, Cheit, and Steele.


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