Tuesday, October 18, 2005

All Clear

Well, that was one intense and hellish weekend, Brother/Sister. But we're through it, you and I, thanks to the timely, forceful, and committed intervention of my Master Trainer.

Here's the short version (well, as short as I can make it) of what happened:

These past two weeks I have been learning the ancient — and very, very lethal — art of Incan dance-fighting. I made oblique mention of this in an earlier post, but I was not, at that time, disposed to elaborate, because it would have skipped me too far ahead in my story. Narrative flow is important.

I was, however, always resolved to publish a more detailed report of what I am up to here at the Secret Mountain Redoubt. I undertook to accomplish that last Friday. Certain people saw that post online and took exception to it, on the ground that I was revealing treasured secrets of the elite Incan dance-fighters — secrets that their and my predecessors in this art had gone to great extremes to keep contained. When I say "great" extremes, I'm talking about homicide — and when I say homicide, I talk about systematic dead-of-night assassinations of persons who had, for some reason or other, acquired information to which they were not to have access.

Brother/Sister, there is a reason why, to this point, you know nothing about the ancient and very very lethal art of Incan dance-fighting. The reason, snarks Burping Squid, is that you're just making this shit up.

I am not making this "shit" up. The reason you know nothing about the ancient and very very lethal art of Incan dance-fighting (which I will hereinafter identify by the acronym "AVVLAIDF") is that if you did, you would have been killed. And if, in the small gap of time between your learning something about AVVLAIDF and your near-immediate disappearance and death, you should have passed any of your information on to a third party, the elite Incan dance-fighters ("EIDF"), the EIDF would have gone out and killed that third party, too. This is because those select few persons that the EIDF elders deem worthy of rigorous and extensive training in AVVLAIDF are simultaneously schooled in certain ancient Incan arts of interrogation. (The EIDF's interrogation methods are without peer, and I defy any of your newfangled "intelligence agencies," with their electric shocks and truth elixirs, to compete with them.) Before the EIDF silenced you for eternity, they would have endeavored to find out from you just who else they needed to kill to keep their existence secret.

The reason I am alive today? Simple. There is a growing movement within the EIDF to "go public," that is, to pierce the veil of secrecy that surrounds the practice of AVVLAIDF and its adherents. As of, well, yesterday, that movement attained a majority on the EIDF Council of Elders, thanks largely to the impassioned argument of my Master Trainer.

As best I can gather, this issue has been percolating since the early 1980s, when some of the EIDF's young pups (my Master included) took note of the publicity that the Japanese ninjas, themselves a secretive group of trained assassins, were enjoying in America — particularly among suburban ninth-grade boys. The ninjas had relaxed their own secrecy controls, so that they might propagate the fallacious notion that they were the bad-assest assassins on the planet. This really rankled my Master and his friends, who well knew that the ninjas were at best runners-up in this department. Several practicing ninjas learned this lesson the hard way, but, as the EIDF's more strictly-observed Rule of Secrecy required, they did not live to admit that they were second-best.

The EIDF, like any organization of men, is susceptible to politics, and with it, faction. As years passed and my Master and his peers worked their way up the EIDF hierarchy, they felt freer to challenge the Rule of Secrecy. And so they did. This led to all manner of infighting and ugliness. Friendships were demolished over this question, and meetings of the Council of Elders deteriorated into weekly brawls. Some time ago — back in '98, I think it was — some of the exasperated hardline conservatives in the Council suggested that it might be appropriate to enforce the Rule of Secrecy preemptively. The Master received this suggestion the only way he could: as a threat to his life. And he responded the only way he could: he walked out. He took his supporters and split in the dead of night, went off to build and occupy a second Secret Mountain Redoubt some thirty miles north of the Council's. (This second SMR to the north is the one I have been describing to you; I didn't even know about the original Redoubt until I was taken there in chains.)

Most EIDF regard the Schism, or Spinoff, or Pant-Pissing (I've heard all these terms used) as the best thing that could have happened to the EIDF at that time. An awkward peace ensued — imagine if the seceded Southerners had not fired on Fort Sumter — whereby the Master reluctantly maintained the Rule of Secrecy but otherwise operated his own separate Secret Mountain Redoubt unmolested by the hardliners. They left him alone, and he pursued other liberalizations that the Council had rejected, such as admitting women into this facility — and recruiting certain foreigners from places as far away as Cambridge, Massachusetts, whom he might teach to practice AVVLAIDF.

The Secrecy issue was still there, bubbling under the surface, seven years later, when the Master encouraged me to write what I pleased about my training in this blog. My guess is that he decided now was as good a time as any for the endgame. Several of the most unyielding Council Elders had passed away recently; he had a notion that their younger replacements — although not themselves the type to defect to the Second Redoubt, as he had — would be hospitable to some limited efforts to promote AVVLAIDF among the uninitiated.

When I published on Friday, the Council hardliners reacted. I was myself unaware of the danger I was in; a group of unfamiliar EIDF captured me on an afternoon hike outside of the Redoubt. Certain Elders talked of declaring war. I was interrogated, forced to redact Friday's blog entry, and scheduled to stand trial on Saturday morning for treason against the AVVLAIDF.

Brother/Sister, I do not lie when I tell you I was this close [indicating with thumb and forefinger poised a millimeter apart] to execution. And certain of my captors were on Orbitz, making plane reservations to the States no doubt to enforce the Rule of Secrecy against my readership. I overheard them comparing air fares to Cleveland and Akron/Canton.

At dawn on Saturday, as the sun was first peaking over the mountain horizon, my Master appeared at the gates of the Council Redoubt. He was alone, unheralded, without his Piper (this is significant, for an EIDF cannot fight without musical accompaniment, leaving my Master as good as unarmed). He asked the Council for the privilege of pleading my case. They granted him that concession, on the condition that my Master agreed to submit to whatever sentence the jury selected for me. The trial lasted over three days. When it was over, my Master, more than securing a verdict of innocence, had prevailed upon the Council to alter the governing law to permit the limited disclosure of EIDF secrets! It was something to see.

Tomorrow I hope to publish certain of the arguments the Master Trainer made on my behalf, so that you, Brother/Sister, might be treated to the intensity of that court proceeding, and to the great heights of rhetoric and emotional appeal my Master reached late Sunday night. The post is written, but the new regulations require that I first submit it to a Council Committee to review. When they are satisfied that my content falls entirely within the scope of one of the newly-devised exceptions to the Rule of Secrecy, I'll have that post up straightaway!


Anonymous said...

But what does this have to do with the Astros? I mean we get one - or two if were lucky - of those monumental collapses a decade. Come on Phutzie, let's see you write about something of import.

Phutatorius said...

Dear, sweet Anonyme:

I understand your concerns about the 'Stros' prospects (we do, after all, have a satellite feed down here in the Secret Mountain Redoubt). I've talked with the Master Trainer about this. As a newbie with very little pull around here I can make no promises — but I will say this:

Keep your eyes open. There's a 50/50 chance that Messrs. Pujols and Mulder may "disappear" from the clubhouse before tonight's game.

Just don't hold me to that. It's not an easy thing to counterfeit press credentials on such short notice.