Butch_Cole Posted October 25, 2011 Share Posted October 25, 2011 Date: April 1st 12:00 AM - 6:00 AM : Preparation "Midnight to six, man...for the first time from Jamaica" He danced. Alone. In his stateroom. Skankin' with Joe Strummer and The Clash (the Only Band That Matters!), just after midnight on April 1st, Butch was getting ready for his day. Listening to The Clash brought him back to the dancing days outside of Buffalo, when Sophie would watch him when Johnny Hellfire and the gang would go off and do...whatever it was they did. What was the guy's name...with the horns...Yuri, that was it. Loved music. Had stacks of old vinyl, boxes of bootleg cassettes, CD's, chips. And variety. Oh, man! One minute he'd be listening to The Sonics the next The Supremes followed by Iggy Pop then a little White Rain finishing with Purple Rain just to mess with you. No matter what, each time Yuri'd go on and on about the song, bands...anything and everything. The music was the only thing he said he'd ever care about again after playing the Elite game, making a ton of cash, and blowing it all on fast cars and faster women. Butch used to love listening to him yammer on and on while great tunes sonically surrounded them. Whenever the old warehouse was filled with music, Butch was relaxed. So, first, The Clash. Relaxation, a clear mind, and then the war. "Cuz it won't get you anywhere...fooling with the guns...the British Army is waiting out there...and it weighs fifteen hundred tons." Uncle Shen said they had three or four months before the Congo was going to become a warzone. The conflict would erupt in Angola, a carefully prepared conflict, from what Traveler said. Butch skanked his way over to the bookshelf in his stateroom aboard Primus, and selected Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August even before he could articulate the thought that led him to that particular book. Back at his computer terminal, he pulled up John Keegan's The First World War. "The new groups are not concerned with what there is to be learned...they got Burton suits, huh, you think it's funny?...turning rebellion into money." His mind immediately had jumped to Europe in the years prior to 1914 an instant after he thought about the situation in the Congo. Before the First World War, all the major powers were banking on a war, and so they planned for it, obsessively in some cases. Rumor had it that von Schlieffen's last words were, "Remember: keep the right wing strong." How messed up was that? The last words the man ever spoke and it was about the same damn grand military strategy he'd been working on for forty years. Didn't the man have a life beyond that? "I'm the white man...in the palais...lookin' for fun...I'm only, lookin' for fun." And so fun for now would be plowing through a thousand pages of history. "Down the road...down the road...down the road...came a Junco Partner...Junco, Junco Pard-ener...Boy, he was loaded...as can be..." The next song on the mix, Butch selected because it contained the word "Angola". He opened to the Foreward. Knowing that there was plenty of information to get through, Butch pushed on innerButch, forcing his eyes to move faster, his mind to process quicker... Speed Reading Butch has developed the Speed Reading enhancement... Roll: http://invisiblecast...r/view/3235409/ Last 2 mega, so 4 successes...he's reading 8 times the speed of the average highly educated person...figure on approximately 500 words per minute for said educated person...he's reading 4000 words per minute...without losing comprehension Exciting! Reading is good! "Singin' six months...ain't no sentence...and one year...ain't no time...I was born...in Angola...Serving 14...to 99" And there it was. Less than a minute into "Junco Partner". Butch looked at the top of the page and saw that he had read just a shade over ten pages in thirty seconds. Whoa. Good work Butch's brain... "..." It took him thirty-three minutes to devour The Guns of August. The moral of the story? Plans fail. The Schlieffen Plan, Plan XVII from France, Plan B from Austria-Hungary, Russia's Plan G and Plan A. None of them worked. War is not quick when you expect it to be quick. Failure to update your thinking about war led to horror. Europe put a gun to its head, politically, in the years prior to 1914 and waited for an excuse to pull the trigger. They got their excuse...and pulled the trigger. An explosion of brains that lasted four years, and then a piss-poor mopping up job that led to the next war. The time after a war is sometimes more important than the time during a war... "Christ," Butch said. He started with the digital copy of Keegan's book. The mix switched over to some Pantera. Johnny Hellfire had a soft spot for thrash metal, and his son had apparently inherited the same weakness. "It's forcing you down...and it's grinding against you...let the war nerve break" Ok, so Tuchman's book focused on the earliest part of the war, causes and failures of the plans. Keegan took it beyond the first month, expanded it out, which was a nice change of pace. Pages turned. Pages turned. Pages turned. "Immune...stronger than all..." And thirty-eight minutes later, Butch had finished. He knew all about the Marne and the Somme, Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes, Gallipoli, Caporetto and Isonzo, hell, even von Lettow-Vorbeck's guerilla campaign in Angola. He pulled up a map of the Congo and stared at the border with Angola, 2,500 klicks of potential. Stared and stared and stared... "When suddenly...Johnny...gets the feeling...he's being surrounded by...horses...horses...HORSES" Butch turned away from the map and stared at the speaker. Patti Smith? Man, this was a weird-ass mix. Yuri would've been proud... But that border wasn't the only possibility, was it? Who knows who else could use this as an opportunity to take a stab at Einherjar's kingdom? Surely not Zambia. Uganda's border was pretty small, but they were never the most stable nation. He studied topographical maps. He scanned the limited intelligence he was able to get his hands on. Estimated troop numbers. Reports on technological level of their equipment. It wasn't enough. Take a look at those GNP's. Could they reasonably afford an Elite or ten? "Twistelettes...Twistelettes...Twistelettes!" "Christ," Butch said. "Enough to drive a man crazy with all the possibilities. And hang on a minute. I just read a thousand pages in an hour." He paused. Patti Smith's poetry diverged gorgeously four and a half minutes into the song. "And I'm talking to myself," Butch said. "Great." He made his way back to the bookshelf. There. Hemingway. Literature. Take a step back from the planning. A Farewell to Arms. Now, he could plow through it in less than an hour... Twenty-five minutes later he felt a slight twinge in his...I don't know...soul?...when Frederic Henry walks out of the hospital into the rain. If he wasn't careful, Butch might have even cried. Manly tears. Of course. "For I am a Rain Dog, too." Tom Waits? Really? Damn, Yuri had given him one hell of a music education... Over the next three hours, Butch read The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Moveable Feast, tired of Hemingway, and switched to Faulkner's A Fable and then Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. It was 5 AM by the time the report "All quiet on the western front" indicated the end of the novel and kicked you with the awful realization that one soldier's life was apparently worth the square root of sweet fuck all. Getting up from his bunk, Butch stretched and yawned. For the next hour he shut his eyes, cleared his mind, and went blank. At 6 AM, the alarm he had set went off. He changed into his gear and made his way to the corner of the submarine bay where he had hung the heavy bag, prepared to work out for an hour or so. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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