CHAPTER 2: A FRENZIED TRIBUTE TO THE VOID
"Herr Doolan, I have taken the liberty of purging your files of certain unpleasant materials. The Korps has informed me that my services are required elsewhere, but if you need further assistance just dial 999 on any touchtone phone..."
By now I'd stopped wondering why my secretary always left the building as soon as I'd returned, and as the door slammed shut behind her I glanced at my day bed, its hospital corners so sharp they could circumsize. She worked hard for the money, and work liberates us all. It also put grub on the table, something I'd been hurting for.
See, I was classified freelance, with a wink and a nod from the boys at the Virtual Vice Korps. When it came down to necessary force, the VVK was untouchable, no rodents in the apple pie, but everybody in the know knew that my days in the Korps were numbered.
Imagine a kind of Salivation Army, keeping this world free from recreational sex and too loose expressionism. The guys who snuffed Stravinsky and replaced him with a bust of Lawrence Welk, sans the champagne, and I'd gone from top of the class to bottom of the barrel when I'd discovered just how good a bad time can be.
Mars was a hell of a spot, with too many channels and nothing but filth in the dragnet. That left me home most nights, drunk and tweeking the dials that spun in my watery melon.
I didn't miss the action, though. Empty days were filled with visions of the Earth, of my mother's land. That world was big and wide and green; and populated by harlots fully seven feet tall. It was said you could cut lines of gak on their flanks and douche them with Dom Perignon, then go home and watch the whole sick spectacle on daytime TV.
Something like that.
Anyway, it was all just a leadpipe dream. Martian NASA was strictly from hunger, so like it or else I was stuck here, watching the minutes pass like mud through an hourglass.
A dusty 45 skidded across my ancient Victrola. I fixed a highball and a hot-shot in a frenzied tribute to the void. Later, an angry red light called the teleview awakened me.