Project Overview: Untitled Document is a serial comedy novel dealing with the sort of topics that we so frequently make fun of here at Something Awful.
This Chapter: Not quite strangers on a train make time when Raylene takes her lovesickness out on one of her unfortunate young soldiers. She's got an itch for disintegrated lover Tara that only any random attractive woman can scratch! Meanwhile, down in the Illuminati bunker complex, loyal commander Axion makes the final push on the besieged defenders of the Sisterhood of Enoch. But bad news is waiting in the wings for Axion; bad news that involves a skin melter!
Raylene's face was smeared with dirt and she had a long, nasty looking, but ultimately cosmetic gash running down her left arm. Of all things a decorative sword had caused the wound, knocked from the wall by a blast shockwave as she was attempting to inject some semblance of order into the panicked flight of the delegates. Raylene had been mid-sentence in directing traffic towards the maglev trains waiting in the escape tunnel when the enormous broadsword, dull and not weighted for battle, had dropped vertically and sliced through her sleeve. The blow had stunned her. It was an irritation but also a bizarre reminder that, try as she might, Raylene was not yet immortal.
Raylene watched through the pressurized double glass of the train's windows as tunnel lights beat past rhythmically. The Turbo Trains. Another of the NWO's unfortunately named secret projects, the trains were incredibly fast underwater rail links from England all the way across the Atlantic on the sea floor. Even being incredibly fast and a Turbo Train and all that the voyage seemed to be dragging endlessly for Raylene.
She had boarded the last of the five trains to leave the bunker complex, surrounded by a detachment of Amaranthine Conservators and followed by a crush of technical personnel and office workers. Some of these workers had bravely volunteered to remain behind to fight the Imperatrixians, but knowing her foe as she did Raylene could not allow such a pointless waste of her dwindling resources. She needed them alive and breathing for another fight at a time yet to be determined.
Watching the hypnotic strobe of the sodium lights Raylene's thoughts drifted to her lover Tara. She rarely permitted herself any time for introspection, but the physical and intellectual drain of her position combined with the isolated tedium of the maglev had put her in an unusual mental state. She allowed herself a few minutes to sift through jumbled memories of Tara. Flying air cover in Apaches over a downed alien probe vessel. Making love on the floor of Congress while it was closed thanks to a planted terrorist threat. Their incredible teamwork whenever they tortured the truth out of a suspected double agent.
Raylene knew that Tara had been special. She had been the closest to a soul mate that anyone in her line of work could ever hope to have.
She fondly recalled the day she had been introduced to Tara by her then second-in-command Megan. Megan was one of those women who came to the Sisterhood by way of the National Organization of Women; a real flower-power hippy with an ultra feminist streak who had somehow made the transition to one-world government loving secret fascist. Raylene did not really care for Megan very much. She was a good looking woman and decent enough in bed, but she was too fond of relying on politics to solve everything. She never advocated a good nose-shattering head butt or a firing squad for a dissident.
Tara, on the other hand, had been introduced as a failed recruit to a secret assassin program Raylene had ordered. For some reason Megan saw that Tara had failed because she was too spirited and too intelligent to succumb to the program's hypnotic and chemical identity regression. Megan had brought her to Raylene to say "here, one of the failures you ordered executed turned out to be something pretty amazing" and it had worked. In fact it had worked so well that Tara was working as one of Raylene's bodyguards inside a week and had murdered Megan and taken over her job as second-in-command inside of a month. Tara did not really go to any lengths to conceal from Raylene that she had killed Megan, and that was the sort of honesty Raylene had come to cherish in their relationship.
Like all good things other than circles Tara had come to an end, and it was Raylene herself who had sentenced the young woman to death. Raylene reassured herself that the act had been a necessary show of strength. But, every time she imagined the inescapable white light swallowing Tara and dozens of others doubt crept into her mind. Could they have rallied and fought off the Imperatrixians? Might a resounding conventional victory have been even more impressive than her nuclear gambit? Raylene had to accept that she would never know the answers to these questions but acknowledging this did not prevent her mind from asking them again and again.
"Ma'am?" The voice came from one of the Amaranthine Conservators who were sharing the front car with Raylene. It was a nervous and fidgety girl Raylene somehow recalled was named Eliza.
"Yes Eliza, what is it?" The girl seemed surprised that Raylene knew her name and was speechless for several seconds.
"Uh…yes…uh," she stammered. "We are approaching the exit terminal. Ninety minutes more. Princeps Augustine has transmitted the safe signal and is waiting for our arrival with Conservator Platoon 6 and the majority of battlegroup East."
"Any word on the situation?"
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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