On July 11th 2018 a friend of mine succumbed to cancer. His name was Josh Spencer, he blogged under the name “Macker” at a place now taken over by a Law Firm called Mackers-World. Josh was a gentle kind and funny man. He has an incredible sense of humor.
Josh was also quiet the science fiction fan, and his most beloved science fiction series was “Battlestar Galactica”. Josh wrote a series of short stories based on certain themes from Battlestar Galactica that quiet frankly I absolutely loved. They were utterly irreverent and quiet political in nature. So, not to everybody’s tastes.
Those Stories were titled Meanwhile in Download City. They were about the Cylon version of Hell, and Josh took considerable pleasure sending the worlds most notorious miscreants and evil doers to Download City where John Cavil, the baddest of the Cylons was the devil incarnate who took great pleasure in their eternal torment.
Tragically I am at this time only able to find 4 of those stories, and I am posting them here in the hopes that they may live on for some time more now that their creator Josh Spenser has shed this mortal coil. If you like sarcasm of a political bent, and like seeing the evil get their just rewards, then please take the time to read Josh Spenser’s Meanwhile in Download City.
“You gotta be kidding me!” Saddam exclaimed under his breath as he rushed to the central command hub of the base ship. After the last debacle which transformed him, Barney Frank, Fred Phelps, and John Cavil into pillars of salt, the former Iraqi dictator was very loathe to step foot onto the abomination which it had become.
But, a request from his boss (not necessarily The Devil) was not simply a request, and so he went straightaway.
Fifteen minutes later (considered immediate in the Infernal Realm), Saddam arrived, and he found Cavil in the darkened control tub location. “OK Cavil! Who have you conjured up this time?”
The Number One Cylon laughed. “I assure you no conjuration was necessary. She just arrived today.” He plugged the cable in and the tank lit up the entire room.
“Son of a bitch! HELEN THOMAS!” He silently thanked both his bosses that he didn’t have to throw his shoe like he wanted to do with Nancy Pelosi back in the day. “Man, you sure work fast!”
“You’re welcome,” replied Cavil. “By the way, the Boss will still have her fulfill her Punishment Battalion duties when needed. At least we now have fresh DNA instead of a transmitted sequence the last two times I tried this.”
“Awaiting instructions,” said the Hybrid. The ship throbbed.“So,” Cavil inquired. “Who would you like to invite to this unveiling?”Saddam had to think for a moment. “I have two people in mind, both of whom were her peers when she began her career at the White House. May I go and fetch them?” “Certainly,” smiled the Toaster.
Thirty minutes later (not considered immediate), the Iraqi returned with Ted Kennedy and Fidel Castro! The Senator thoughtfully brought along his best bottle of scotch when Saddam asked him to attend. The Cuban dictator dutifully carried a box of cigars and a lighter.
Cavil retrieved some shot glasses from a nearby cupboard in his office, poured out the scotch (sans ice of course), and passed them around. “WHOOOOAAAAHHHH!” Kennedy happily muttered. “I’m not even gonna ask.”
“Good thing too, Comrade Ted,” Castro replied. “If there’s one…ahem!…good thing I can say about The Opposing One, He knows who to send our way.”
“Indeed.” Cavil was even enjoying the cigar, the scotch, and the company, a rarity for him.
After another fifteen minutes, everyone was satisfied. “Let us begin,” said The Number One Cylon. “Hybrid…status, please.” “A teacher praised my work, and I liked the bylines..all systems nominal, FTL online, weapons systems online…When you’re having fun, why stop having fun…end of line.”
Saddam shook his head. “Don’t look at me. I know better!” “Comrade Fidel?” Cavil shook his head. “I suppose I owe you one after the unceremonious matter in which you arrived here.” “Thank you.” Castro placed his hands into the nearby data stream water console, and simply said, “I miss Havana.”
Ted Kennedy gasped. “Holy Crap! We can’t go there! That’s outside the Infernal Realm!” Cavil stroked his chin. “An interesting choice, actually. Hmmm….” The Hybrid complied. “We won’t really know what will happen until it happens…JUMP!” The Hybrid arched its back in ecstatic transition. One moment the base ship serenely floated above the ancient fortress… …the next, it appeared over the exact same coordinates. Except inside the ship, the atmospheric pressure was rapidly dropping! Cavil, Saddam, Kennedy, and Castro began to turn blue as they reached for the next breath which would never come; not even the Number One Cylon had a chance to utter his last words as the Hybrid issued its status since it was unharmed.
“I’m a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die… internal life support offline, FTL offline, weapons systems offline… Oh my God, they’re going to fire me… end of line.” In a corner of the control tank area, two figures observed the Centurions enter to retrieve the corpses; since the Bulletheads did not rely on oxygen, it was simply business as usual for them. “Will they ever learn?” said the male. The female shook her head. “I highly doubt it.” Then they vanished.
Everyone watched the video screen, intently listening to John Cavil’s express instructions to be carried out in his absence (not that he was leaving Hell any time soon). The Number One Cylon concluded:. “I am sorry I cannot be there to guide you all. I shall be, as you are fond of saying, laid up…for a couple of weeks. After all, as our Infernal Leader said not too long ago, ‘Even I need a break.’ And so, I’m going to take the best recuperation possible, given our circumstances.
“And with that, I bid you adieu. Be seeing you….” Cavil finished with a gesture forming a monocle over his right eye with his index and forefinger, and the rest of his fingers extended diagonally above his forehead. With that, the screen faded. “That’ll sure piss Mr. Johnson off,” muttered Saddam. “That is, if anyone ever told him about it.” He snickered and tapped a monitor set into the table to check on the Centurion’s progress. Sure enough, the bicycling blogger was being disemboweled on schedule. Adolf Hitler piped up. “Now that he left us in charge, I want to propose a final solution to the question of resurrection!”
“A lot of good that schtick did you back on Earth, Schicklgruber!” countered D’anna, a Three who posed as a Colonial Officer in her former existence. “There are also the rebels!” added Tom Zarek.“Then what do you propose?” D’anna asked. Hitler replied, “By disabling the resurrection subroutine for everyone else but us, we would have the proper hierarchy here. Remember who created whom!” He slammed his fist onto the desk. Der Führer had actually learned something about the nature of the Cylons. “Don’t you understand? We’re being merciful to all damned souls. It’s the least we can do since we can’t escape here.” “And we need to put the rebels in their place!” Hitler raised his voice.
Aaron Doral popped up. “Why not ask the Hybrid for its opinion?”
The entire table shouted in unison, “NO!” Congressman Murtha added, “What, you wish to become one with another city?” Laughter ensued. But before anyone could do anything about it, Doral rushed over to the tank where the Hybrid rested peacefully and plugged it into the net. It awoke and spoke: ”Democrats will fight to make sure that Republicans do not turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble….FTL drives spinning up…If I were to cry for anything, I would cry for them and the policies that they’re about to face…JUMP!”
Everyone held their breath as one moment, the meeting room overlooked the ancient fortress…
…and the next, it was one with a palatial bedroom with Cavil engaging in some activity with a Tough Six; they both were furious for the interruption. “Um…sorry Boss,” meeked Doral, “My bad.” The group moved to beat a hasty exit. Which was, of course, put to a screeching halt as a phalanx of Centurions surrounded them. They extended their left forearms which revealed hidden blades, and all turned to Cavil. He was not happy at all.
“Ah, I see when the cat’s away the mice will play. Would you do the honors, Six?”
She nodded amd smiled. “Off with their heads….”
Jack Kevorkian awoke to the sound of a monitor emanating a single, continuous tone. He thought it gone as he closed his eyes only a moment ago. But it was still there…and would be there until he was unhooked from the electrodes.
A tall, dark man stood at the foot of his bed. “Ah, I see you’ve arrived. Welcome, Dr. Kevorkian. I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you. Do you have any idea where you are?” “I’m afraid I don’t. I thought I would just fade away into…nothingness,” replied Kevorkian.
“Far from it. My name is Simon O’Neill. I was a doctor in the Colonial Fleet a long, long time ago.”
“Colonial Fleet?” gasped the pathologist. “I’m not aware of such a thing.” He was even more confused.
“I didn’t think you would be.” Simon decided to unconfuse him. He went over to the window and flung the shades aside. Kevorkian beheld a crimson landscape and an even more churning boil of crimson and black clouds.
On the grounds of the gothic institute, he beheld a strange metallic guard disemboweling a middle-aged bicyclist, who screamed in agony as his punishment was carried out.
Kevorkian sighed. “I’m in Hell, aren’t I?” “That is correct,” Simon replied. “And it is because of your sins against the dying. You were known as Doctor Death.” “So why are you here?” “I committed suicide,” the Toaster answered with a heavy heart, “because I cared so much for the human I married, I did not want to kill her and her kind as my superior wanted me to. Still, it is the most grievous sin against The Opposing One.”
“The Opposing One?” “Sorry, we are not allowed to say the name in this realm. Besides, it is up to Him to determine when we are to die…and I crossed that line in defiance of that. And so did you.” “And you mentioned…her kind? What, may I ask, is your kind?” “I,” Simon paused, “am a Cylon. A CYbernetic LifefOrm Node. There is a lot for you to absorb as the eons pass.” He walked out the door and continued to talk to Doctor Death. “But for now, I have to take care of some business from my superior.” He wheeled in a familiar device on a gurney.
“Hey! That’s my Thanatron!” exclaimed Kevorkian, just as two Centurions appeared, ready to accost the euthanasia activist should he refuse to cooperate, their redeye scanners buzzing back and forth. “Then you know how it works,” said Simon. “Please hook yourself up to it.” There was no way for Doctor Death to escape, so he did as instructed. “i take it this is my Eternal Punishment?” “Yes,” nodded the Cylon doctor. “Since you administered such a solution to your clients in life, My superior found it to be fitting.”
He produced a syringe of a saline solution with sodium thiopental, potassium chloride, and pancuronium bromide. “And this works just as well here as it does up there.” He handed it to Kevorkian who sighed and administered it to himself, so that the Centurions wouldn’t. “See you tomorrow, Doctor Kevorkian.” Simon walked out and the bulletheads followed. “Huh?” Jack Kevorkian muttered as he breathed deeply, and the deadly solution took effect….
The ancient fortress appeared almost pristine for once. Tapestry from throughout the ages lined the stone walls, and the place was packed with thousands upon thousands of the most Evil individuals in all of human history, feasting and breaking out into song to commemorate their deeds…and also to sing the praises of their Ultimate Leader. At the head of the great fortress’ hall sat a number of folks who curried the favor of The Infernal One, and as such, received more breaks from their eternal punishments than the rest of the damned souls: They all appeared in perfect health!
Saddam Hussein, his sons Uday and Qusay, his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, along with Yasser Arafat, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar al-Gaddafi, and Osama bin Laden, all dining on the largest chickens they had ever seen here.
Adolf Hitler feasted on massive roast eggplant while sitting next to Genghis Khan with a massive plate of beef. For once, he was not repulsed to seeing the beef, which was also being consumed by Tom Zarek.
John Murtha and Ted Kennedy were slated to be treated to pork, more pork, and even more pork although the former Senator from Massachusetts was too busy downing more scotch! In any case they were used to it and were finally happy. Fortunately, they were kept away from Saddam’s contingent for good reason
Charles Foster “Icarus” Johnson stuffed his face with what seemed to be endless supplies of Mountain Dew and Cheetos galore. Lost in the crowd were Fred Phelps, Iceweasel and Killgore Trout, some other models with grievous sins, and other humans who were mainly vassals or servants of some authority.
And at the very center of the table sat John Cavil. One seat to his right was empty, being reserved for the Prince of Darkness. When the time came, he stood up and raised his hands for all to see, and the crowd fell slient. Everyone in the Infernal Realm heard and saw this broadcast.
“The time has come, my friends,” said the Number One Cylon, “to bring in our patron! The ruler of this realm! THE INFERNAL ONE!”
The crowd roared as he materialized at the center chair! While the Muslim contingent immediately bowed down in worship mode chanting “Iblis Akbar!”, Saddam remained standing and gasped. During the cacophony of the celebration he said, “You look NOTHING like I experience every day!”
The Infernal One smiled. “What…you expect me to appear like my demonic creations with an anvil-shaped genitalia 24/7? This is, after all, my true self. Even I need a break!”
This appeared to ease Saddam’s fears…and he too bowed down to worship him. The deafening cheers continued. Iblis then raised his hands to quite the minions, and they fell silent. “Today…I have granted you all a special reprieve from your eternal penalties! In exchange, my left-hand man,” placing his left hand on Cavil’s right shoulder, “has graciously offered to share with you all his ultimate experience from so long ago. BRING IT FORTH!”
The crowd cheered, not knowing what was to occur next. This went on for five minutes and suddenly, a strange craft materialized in the crimson skies directly above the ancient fortress. The cheering turned to muttering, when at last, the strange craft launched a single object which approached at incredible velocity, yet the time seemed to pass at a snail’s pace…so they all beheld the object: a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle.
The strange craft then launched more of these, all of which vectored off to the various cities all over Hell.
Cavil shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry I couldn’t retrieve any of my base ships.” He pointed upward. “All those hybrids touched you-know-who! This was the best I could do on such short notice.”
“That’s quite all right,” replied Iblis. “Let’s sit back and enjoy the moment, shall we?” They did so, as the muttering morphed into sheer panic.
Everyone scurried about, desperately seeking shelter except for Charles Johnson, who kept munching on Cheetos and slamming down even more Mountain Dew. He erroneously continued to think this was just another game scenario until he finally realized this was for real. He screamed, “Oh SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!”
The MIRV stopped, now floating…or so it seemed to the damned. The last thing they saw was a blinding white flash and the last thing they felt was the flesh melting away from their bones….
Special thanks to coldwarrior over at The Blogmocracy where these stories are still hosted, and The Ospery for finding them for me.