From the Archives – 20200311

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The 3 Worlds of Gulliver: Courting Peril

Elizabeth is quite content to remain a pampered palace pet in the court of Brobdingnag, where she and Gulliver are protected and provided with every material need and comfort. Gulliver, however, is frustrated by their lack of autonomy, and as a Man of the Enlightenment he resents humoring the court’s conceits and superstitions.

27 May 2016


Image: Deities – Juracán by MangoMendoza

So I finally cracked and wrote a political size-fantasy story. This one has death, destruction, hard vore, scat, and more catharsis than we’re ever likely to see from our actual political system. Felt good to write it, though.

I was on the observation floor when it first hit.  It wasn’t very long, less than two seconds.  A sharp jolt shook the Monument, and I felt it worst on top.  I didn’t have time to worry about the Monument falling down, and afterward I spent several minutes just holding a railing and convincing myself that it was over and that I would be okay.  I was mistaken on both points.

Then the air raid siren went off.  I had never heard that in Washington before, and like everyone else I thought the jolt had been a nuke and more were coming.  Despite the lack of any possible reason for a nuclear attack, it still would have made more sense than what actually came.

I know a guy who was out at Cape Charles and saw the tsunami before it hit the bridge-tunnel.  He says the wave was two hundred feet tall, but I don’t know how you can really gauge that against the ocean horizon.  Anyway, it completely swamped the bridge sections and the artificial islands, surging past the cape into Chesapeake Bay.  I heard the Navy lost everything at Norfolk not in dry-dock.

I heard the water before I saw it.  I was still looking at the sky, expecting to see missiles or planes or just a mushroom cloud.  Then I saw the spray as the surge came up the Potomac, inundating docks, bridges, and buildings.  It kept coming, pushing through and over the Tidal Basin, flooding the National Mall and surging past the Monument and around the White House.

I was sure we were going down then.  They refitted the Monument after the 2011 quake, and they did more reinforcing when they upgraded the elevator, but no one anticipated the quake-tsunami combo that hit that morning.  The power went out, of course, and I was torn between trying the stairs in the dark or staying up top and risking collapse.

My friend said he was too busy running to high ground to watch the distant ocean, but when he looked up she was already at the bridge-tunnel.  The DOT cameras only captured her feet sloshing through the span, obliterating it.  Like the surge that preceded her, her pace did not slacken as she waded into the Bay and up the Potomac.

At some point I unfroze and looked out over the destruction.  The air raid siren was still going off, and now it had been joined by all manner of first responders, municipal and federal.  Any vehicle that had been at near the level of the river was flooded, and some were flipped over.  I heard some choppers, but they seemed to be coming in from far out.

All the streets were still flooded, as was the Mall and the Ellipse.  A couple of fires, but nothing major.  I could make out people struggling through the waters, trying to reach safety or help others do so.  My heart went out to them, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do, even if I could get out of the Monument.

Then I heard her footsteps.  Every twelve seconds, a sphincter-clenching thud, rattling the buildings and rippling the floodwaters.  I thought they were aftershocks until I noticed their regularity.  I raced around the platform, looking out in each direction, until I came to the south side and saw her.

There are hundreds of videos out there, and I’ve seen dozens of fakes.  The FCC has censored all “official” videos, and everyone has picked their favorite pirate versions.  I didn’t think to record anything, but I saw it all.

I couldn’t get a sense of her scale until she got to the Wilson Bridge, which came up to her knees.  It had been swamped, of course, but I’m sure there were still people on it, trapped in their cars or trying to extricate others.  She didn’t care.

She just halted briefly, raised her foot a little higher, and brought it down midspan.  A score of cars plummeted into the Potomac.  The splashes and debris cloud obscured the damage until her next stride swept through the adjacent section, which was scattered across the river by her driving shin.  And on she came.

Apart from her unreal size, I could only make out a few details at first.  Not a stitch of clothing covered her brown skin, and her dark brown or black hair flowed out behind her like a cape, reaching all the way down her back.  A twisting forest of the same color covered her groin.  She never lowered her gaze to the death and destruction caused by her footfalls, and from my elevated vantage point it seemed she was staring straight at me.

As she waded up the river past Alexandria, it was impossible to do anything other than watch.  Flight wasn’t just futile but simply inconceivable.  When the universe decides to intervene in your life, you just have to bear witness.

I was brought back to my personal concern when she crushed the Jefferson Memorial without breaking her stride.  By then she was close enough for me to see her stern face and terrifyingly furious eyes.  Her skin was the color of chestnut, and she looked like she might be from down Caribbean way.  Except, you know, six hundred feet tall.

She crossed the Tidal Basin as if it were a kiddie pool, and it was when she stepped onto Floral Park and I heard the screams that I finally understood in my gut that I was in a monster movie.  Perched atop the tallest building in the city, I felt both exposed and trapped.  I desperately wanted to believe that her relentless march would take her safely past the Monument, and I went to the southwest corner to confirm it.  Indeed, even allowing for the swing of her arm and the sway of her hip, it looked like her path would have her clear both the Monument and the base, if the tremors of her strides alone didn’t topple us.

I paid for my curiosity, however.  I could see that the observation platform was level with her powerful shoulder, which heaved past too close for comfort.  Worst of all, as she thundered by those eight-foot-diameter eyes flicked to the right and fixed me with her pitiless gaze.  Centuries of wrath shook my frame and froze my heart.  Unconsciously, I crept back into the shadows, my limbs numb and my mouth agape.  I closed my eyes and waited for death to strike.

I knew I was still alive when I realized I had shit my pants.  Her steps still shook the world, but they had doppler-shifted to the west and north.  I leaned against a wall, hugging my limbs and smelling the stench of my fear.  I’m alive, I thought.  She hadn’t gone away, though.

Tentatively, I moved to the north side to see her cross the Mall and arrive at the Ellipse.  Despite the lack of any media feeds, I knew that the whole world was watching this moment, willing her to reach the White House.  That’s the point where most censored videos end.  I wish that’s where my memory ended, too, but until then I’ll just have to keep drinking.

She headed straight for the East Wing, stopped on the South Lawn, planted her left leg and brought her right leg back.  Everything stopped for the swing; even the floodwaters were still.  Just after her leg swung forward, she turned her right foot out so that she struck the East Wing with the side of her foot, like a soccer player chipping a shot over the wall.

The building disintegrated, rubble flying to the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Nothing was left of the East Wing above ground level.  She got down on one knee, then brought her arm back for a pair of terrific punches down into the demolished wing.

I was so fascinated with the destruction that I didn’t notice the six Apache attack helicopters approach from the east before they launched their missiles.  Explosions engulfed her torso and head.  The smoke and flames obscured her upper body for an unbearable moment, but when they dissipated I could see that she hadn’t left her kneeling position and I noted that her hair didn’t appear to have caught fire.

Here’s where I have to rely on video evidence published by others, mostly anonymously.  She had been looking down into the wreckage of the East Wing, but observers (at elevations comparable to mine) to the north and east reported that after the missile attack she lifted her head to face her airborne assailants.  Having withstood that gaze, there’s nothing I wouldn’t believe it could do.  Some people reported seeing her eyes flash with orange-red flame, but it’s possible that could just have been reflections from any of several explosions.  I’ll never forget the one video focused on the Apaches, showing their fuselages quickly shifting from carbon black to tomato red, as if their crews were being cooked alive before the helicopters exploded.

She didn’t even watch the six flaming hulks crash to the ground before immediately turning back to the ruined East Wing and excavating the sublevels with her hands.  Watching her powerful muscles work I could see that, apart from a couple of scorch-marks on her shoulder and back, the missile attack had left her unscathed.

Despite the cacophony of the burning choppers and the roiling floodwaters, there was no mistaking the reports of small arms fire from around, inside, and underneath the White House.  She seemed to take notice of it, however, scooping earth, rubble, and bodies out the hole and flinging them hundreds of yards in different directions.  One handful came sailing my way, including one poor fellow who lived long enough to scream before disappearing into the sodden turf with a squelch.

After the Apaches went down, the news copters kept their distance, so it must have been someone on the ground who got the footage of her pulling the president out of the hole.  We’ll probably never know for sure if it was fake, but it’s as plausible as anything else that happened that horrible day.

The president wasn’t the only one trapped in her fist, but she stopped digging for a moment and selected him with her other hand before tossing the rest of the handful over her shoulder.  He was uncharacteristically silent as she pinched his body between her thumb and index finger, his saturnine head and ridiculous hair exposed to the indifferent elements, and brought him up to her wrathful eyes.

She spent no more than a second regarding the pathetic man before curling her upper lip in disgust and tossing the president between her exposed molars.  Her expression didn’t change as she brought her teeth together, his limbs spasming reflexively and his blood spraying out surprisingly far.

The ground-perspective video stops there, but I saw her with my own eyes bringing her hand to her mouth and then returning to the hole multiple times.  Once her intentions became clear, everyone started screaming.  There’s been no official statement about how many perished between her teeth or in her belly, but I’m pretty sure that’s when she got the vice president too.

Her feeding seemed to go on forever, but most reports say she stood up and moved on after less than two minutes.  She resumed her stately march, heading east on F Street, which could only barely accommodate her stride.  Facades, awnings, utility wires, and streetlights were all trampled like so much underbrush.

She must not have completely swallowed everyone she dug out of the East Wing, because when she passed the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, she turned her head and spat a bloody loogie right into the center of the plaza.  I haven’t looked online for any photos of those remains, and I don’t plan to.

When she reached Columbus Circle, she paused briefly to stomp on the fountain six or seven times, leaving nothing but a dust-choked pond.  The Metro station is still out of commission.

I lost sight of her bottom half when she passed behind the Capitol as she crossed 2nd Avenue into the Stanton Park neighborhood.  Her path became erratic as she stooped to punch down into various residences and pulled people out to be devoured.  She grabbed the Senate Majority Leader and his wife, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as well as the new guy.  Don’t ask me how she knew where they all were, but I had become more familiar than I wanted with her posture and expression as she plucked helpless wriggling people from their homes and knocked them back like beer nuts.

I don’t know what happened to the military or the cops, but the carnage was enough to demoralize even the most fanatic stormtrooper.  No one tried to stop her when she turned back to the west.  Everyone thought she was going to demolish the Capitol Building next, but she passed it by just to the south.  She did put a foot through the northwest wing of the Rayburn Building in passing, however.

She then left the street grid entirely, crashing through buildings and blocks without slowing her progress in the least.  Indeed, she seemed to speed up, as if she were late for an appointment.  The noise was terrific, not only the buildings being wrecked but also the hundreds of lives being callously crushed.  I dared not look into her eyes for remorse or pity.

She crossed the Channel and East Potomac Park and smashed into the cluster of bridges just south of the Jefferson Memorial.  The bridges were full of cars and pedestrians trying to flee, and she slaughtered everyone in her path.  We know now that the bridges were just in her way to her true target, but that didn’t prevent her from taking out every support column and dumping each span into the river.

When she had satisfied herself that all five bridges were thoroughly severed, she stepped up onto the west bank of the Potomac, marched up to the 110, put her hands on her hips, and looked down onto the Pentagon.  I try not to imagine what her face must have looked like at that moment, but I expect it will haunt my nightmares forever.

The 3rd Infantry Division had partially mobilized by then, including some armor and self-propelled artillery.  With her back to the river and threatening the Pentagon, someone decided to authorize a general salvo.  She didn’t even flinch as the shells and rockets exploded against her skin.  She was again wreathed in smoke, but from my vantage point behind her I saw that several gunners had somehow missed their immense target and fire rained down upon the Lagoon as well among anyone who had survived the bridge massacre.

I could not detect any visible cause, but I was not surprised when the Army positions in and around Arlington National Cemetery erupted in balls of flame, as if unseen and unheard bombers had dropped a load of napalm.  Vehicles, men, and trees shriveled and carbonized like marshmallows dropped into a campfire.

They were still screaming when she advanced upon the Pentagon.  Rather than crashing through the E-ring, she lifted her leg high and stepped into the C-ring.  Where her previous building demolitions had been arbitrary and careless, now she became quite methodical, trampling the inner three rings as she marched around the inner perimeter.  Hundreds more died, blood and bones entombed in plaster and concrete, all compressed into agonizing paste beneath her mountainous feet.

When she had completed her circuit, she moved to the Courtyard, turned back to face northeast, leaned forward slightly, placed her hands on her thighs, and started pissing.  I was over a mile away, surrounded by the effluvium of her previous atrocities, but the deathly stench she unleashed then struck me like a physical blow.  It didn’t smell like urine but rather like blood, ancient putrid blood slowly dripping from stalactites of death.

Hundreds of gallons of the fetid fluid poured out of her and splashed over the wreckage of the inner Pentagon, drowning whoever might still be alive.  I’m sure the smell alone incapacitated everyone from Arlington to Crystal City.  But of course that wasn’t all.

My eyes were watering, but when she squatted further down I wiped them clear and strained to see her face.  I swear a grim smirk flashed across her face before she started evacuating her bowels.  As noisome as it was, it was obvious that the avalanche crashing down between her heels contained not only shit but was also thick with decaying earth, the stinking muck from a hemisphere of low tides, and corpses.  Hundreds of thousands of corpses, the rotted fruit of a half-millennium of conquest, carnage, and crime.  They rained down upon the ruined Pentagon, splashing into the deluge of blood and throwing up sprays of putrefaction.

The vapors of death were almost visible as they billowed across the river and enveloped every wretched soul.  The poured into my sinus and I didn’t have time to bend over before I began vomiting.  My entire body was wracked with revulsion, spasming in every direction, trying to escape the miasma of misery.

I fell on my hands and knees, heaving and pissing and shitting.  When I tried to clear out my sinuses by blowing my nose, I only ended up sneezing blood.  When at last my body felt as if it had nothing left to purge, I staggered to my feet, shucked off my soiled pants and underwear, then collapsed in a dark corner, weeping and trying to die.

I heard and felt her thunderous footsteps resume, and I prayed for her to come destroy the Monument and me.  Cruelly, she ignored my pleas and marched away to the south.  By the time I had summoned the strength to crawl back to the south side of the Monument, she had already cratered and cracked every runway at National and returned to the Potomac.  She did not further dally or diverge from her path as she crossed the Bay and disappeared beneath the surface of the Atlantic.

She had struck before the Monument was to open for the day, so no one came looking for survivors on the observation level until the next day.  The power was still out, and I had had nothing to eat or drink for 24 hours, not that I could have kept anything down.  I don’t remember how they got me out of the Monument, but they must have done it somehow.

No one knows what to do now.  The Speaker of the House has been sworn in as Acting President, and she’s made a couple of televised speeches from her undisclosed location, but everyone’s still in shock.  The Navy says they’re guarding the coastlines, but what good that’ll do I don’t know.

The entire District still reeks of death.  They say you can smell it as far away as Philly.  Even if you could get used to the stench, there’s no escaping the memories of that day.  You see it in the eyes of everyone you meet.  The shock and horror and grief are familiar, but what’s most haunting is the universal, no-longer-deniable recognition of what we did to provoke this.

We had it coming.  We’ve had it coming for a long time.