A Post By: Cody DiCavalcante
The day was almost over. I had just spent 3 hours trying to find a place to charge my Cybor-1000, a robot that interplayed messages from the C.I.A. I suddenly realized I’d have to report to headquarters, personally, as soon as possible. In the meantime, I sat on the outskirts of Walla Walla Valley in California, admiring the vineyards and drinking an $8 bottle of Merlot. I read the place of origin on the label.
“Loveland, Ohio. Well, probably a small town, some nice folks, probably working-class who turned wine enthusiasts, escaping one headache for another one.” I thought.
“Here’s to loud and excruciatingly painful monotonous voices tomorrow morning!”I cheered as I looked over wine country.
I’d never really seen this part of California. I’d never really seen anywhere, to be honest. Last time I had truly enjoyed the sights around me was before I became an agent or a full adult, for that matter. That was 25 years ago. My world had become documents, leather gloves and circumventing executive orders. Yes, these eyes of mine were 20/20 but they had a subscript at the visual bottom, running left to right, secrets of the day with a percentage next to them telling me the likelihood of how many people would be sleeping with the fishes. It was an odd life but I was good at it.
As a kid, I never really had friends so I’d create secrets between myself. I’d write them all down in a notebook then schedule them out in detail. My parents were always busy so this occupied my time. A couple kids from school who bullied me got the majority of secrets against them. My parents, who were constantly working, were next in the book. I’d write out secret missions to kidnap them, hold them hostage and torture them with love from an unknown person by the alias of Robert Mooselips. One day, my father found my notebook and questioned me for what was inside. It was full of shitty poems. I just hugged him and went downstairs. He found my decoy that day. The real notebook was under the floorboard 10 inches from the east wall, right under the desk.
While I sat in the rental car, overlooking the valley, a smile came to my face. It was starting to get dark out. The cars who continued driving, whizzed by my stationary vehicle, shaking it from side to side. I poured another glass of wine and then took a huge mouthful down. Three glasses later, I was relaxed, at ease. The sun lazily crept up the mountains , like 12 hours of blanketing the wine cellars and vats, morphed it into a drunken village idiot. I began to think of my name, my real name. It made me laugh; Charles Buchannan. The air was getting chillier. I saw the car had seat warmers and I turned them on. This night was like Christmas morning. When you have been chased by a 230 pound man with a shot-put and it strikes your pelvis, nearly erasing the ability of you being able to take a piss, things like this are Heaven. I began to play with the Cybor-1000. Over the past 9 months of knowing it, I had given it a name. His name was Thunder Wasp. I began touching his eyes, doing a little dance over his nose, then I shifted its legs into the splits. I was joyful and now, turning a $50,000 voice-mail robot into a gymnast action figure. I lifted my head to the sky and let out a monstrous chuckle. When I looked back down it’s eyes were flashing.
“What the fuck?” I whispered.
The side of his head was flashing blue. This was a colored coded notice that automatically went out to all agents from headquarters, it was to inform us of a top-secret conference call. I pressed the button underneath his ear, hiccupping as I swallowed another gulp of wine. The voices were serious and dry. It reminded me of my father’s funeral. I listened in.
“We have done all we can with this situation. San Francisco’s mayor has turned around the polls, there’s no reason to keep Agent 96 out there any longer.
I listened, drumming my hiccups into a napkin, nodding with approval, I wanted to go home.
“Furthermore, specifically with Agent 96’s employment,” A voice slowly said. It was my superior, DO chief, Mike Johnson. “We have kept him long enough. It is time for his replacement.” Johnson said.
“What do you suggest we do with Agent 96?”
“Agent 96, under my orders, is to be aborted.” Johnson answered.
I dropped the plastic cup and coughed.
“Fuck! Fuck! Ah damn it, the rental agency is gonna be real happy about that shit!” I screamed.
I realized I hadn’t put myself on mute.
“Who is that?” Johnson asked.
“It’s agent 96, sir!” A voice hissed.
I thought about what was going on. My Cybor-1000 must have been shut off by an outside source, in hopes to create an assassination against me. It was like breaking up over text, low and cowardly.
The call cut out. It went silent and the only thing I could hear was my heart, beating like a basketball in a Michael Jordan nightmare, where he is getting beaten by a 6 month old baby. They wanted me out, even more, dead.
“What the hell, man? You put in 25 years of loyalty and covering up national fibs and this is how they repay you?” I thought.
Turning Thunder Wasp back on must have triggered an emergency battery supply. Somehow dancing him around like a polka girl set that trigger off, probably an idea of that crazy Polish-American, Ambrose. I looked toward the valley once more, now completely dark. I reached for the wine and took the last quarter of the bottle down.
“Fuck, well I guess early retirement will be mine for the taking. I’m thinking France. What do you think Thunder Wasp?” I said.
I pulled my gun from the glove box and loaded a clip in. The sound rang out, scaring a couple birds pecking around the car. I opened the car door and felt the air rush through my lungs. I took a deep breath and relaxed. I turned toward Thunder Wasp.
“Detonate for intruder proximity” I said.
“Acknowledged. Armed for intruder proximity” Thunder Wasp said.
“Nice working with you, pal.” I said.
I ran down into the vineyard, the ground soft and wet. The only light guiding me was the moon. The agents would be there within the next hour. I took one last look at the car, the tiny red light flashing on Thunder Wasp. This color meant that whoever opened that car door would be vaporized by a 1 square-mile blast of explosive dankness. This year’s cabernet collection wouldn’t make the cut. I ran through the vineyard, pulling off the grapes and eating them, coming close to knocking over the espaliered line of fruit. I was being chased by CIA agents and I was drunk as hell. That’s one darn interesting bullet point to add to the resume.