"You thinking this up as a way to help out Alvin makes it seem like you've almost got a Heart" -said Winter as he sorted out the wiring that was going into the drivers door.
Helping him do that was Wang Chung; who replied:
"Don't get the wrong idea, I'm doing this as part of my mission...just like you guys are doing this to relieve yourselves of some of the guilt you feel about screwing with Alvin's love-life...now be careful with that speaker, if you put a hole in the damn thing I'll put a hole in you"
"I know enough about audio equipment to realize how fragile a speaker is!...man..can't even have a normal conversation with you...and we're not here to work off pent up guilt...Alvin is a good guy and we wanted to do him a solid is all...not everybody is out to gain something by doing right by others, there's such a thing as giving just for the sake of giving"
"Uh huh...just keep telling yourself that...and we don't need to be having conversations, because, just so you know, and you can inform your Force pals too...I'm the one who will be tasked to put each or even all of you down if you go rouge"
WC fished some wires through a small pipe meant to separate them from other sets of wires, and when they appeared on Winter's end, he plugged them into the component they were meant to be hooked in to.
"Is that your orders from the Councilor?"
"No...not direct orders...but I know that I'll get that job when and if the time comes, because if THE actual Heaven has to come in and clean up a mess you guys cause...well lets say that the whole Intermediate Heaven thing will be flushed...you got those things plugged in the right way?"
"Yeah, they're plugged in...it'll work like a charm"
"We'll see" -and then WC pushed the button to send the driver's door window down (it was at the halfway position)...
and it went up.
"Hey whatever man, I'm not some wrench head like Dru B.!"
"Go chill with the others!...I was just talking about you half baked Angelic being wannabes causing messes that need cleaned up and here already I'm having to actually do it"
Winter said nothing; he just went to Alvin's RV where the rest of the Force was having a mid-morning break after having roughly half the truck reassembled.
"I'm not going to call that dude Wang Chung anymore!...Wang Chung was all about spreading good feels, but that guy is just a miserable old melted tootsie roll out on the street who's only fun is messing with people!"
"You and your bestie have a falling out?..how sad" -mocked Dru.
"That mean SOB never had a bestie and never will"
"He's actually pretty nice to Alvin..." -chimed in Drew- "...by the way, what does Wang have him doing?"
"Alvin is off getting "spruced-up" is what the grand master A-hole said...whatever that means" -answered Barney.
"It means I sent him to a salon and then a clothing store where I paid people to make him look like an actual human being instead of a Bigfoot..." -as soon as Wang Chung spoke, it startled all but Barney...WC being adept at moving from place to place in near absolute silence- "...and I've had a few besties in my time in the mortal World...the last one being a fellow I met in Germany back in the Fall of 1958"
"Someone being a friend of yours?...must have been a supreme bastard among bastards" -quipped Winter in the kitchen making himself a sandwich.
"He was actually a supremely good and decent person...too good for this world in fact...that's why I had to take him out"
"Of course you did..why would we expect anything else...so this guy..was he some kind of doctor doing free services for like war orphans, or someone doing charity work for the poor and homeless?...but you get this poor sucker to be your friend and you send him to meet Saint Paul at the Pearly Gates" -said Dru with disgust.
"He was a person with extraordinary influence on the culture at the time, and the real pullers of the strings in this World become afraid of people with that amount of power who are too good to be led by their noses...there is a Great Plan being worked out that is ancient and persistent and that involves the destiny of mortal humans...and it would be naive to assume that a measure of tragedy wouldn't come as part and parcel to fulfil the hope of countless generations of mortal humans, Angels, and even most certainly, the One and Only"
"Huh?...blah, blah, mumbo jumbo, hoodoo voodoo, bullshit!" -exclaimed Winter.
"The machinations of those with supposedly great plans, and shadowy figures behind the scenes, and even God him, her, itself is no excuse to kill good people...I even have a problem with terrible people being killed..but there is NEVER a legitimate reason for people who do good in the World to die before Nature takes them...NEVER!" -was Drew's take on the matter.
"It's just like that light chocolate skinned hottie said...you guys are so naive...let's not even talk about what I did to one of the few humans I actually respected back in the day..let's talk about what Miss Egypt said about the DOD and how it relates to her riling-up mush-minded young females...mother issues" -he looked at and talked to Barney.
"What?...you don't know me or my mother so don't talk about her...you don't even have a mother..which is why you're such a terminal creep and a jagoff"
"Jagoff!...I've never heard that before, but it sounds so funny!...that's a contender for your new name, not-Wang Chung!...I'll mention it to the Councilor when we get called back"
Wang Chung ignored Winter.
"Everybody and everything has a Mother...anyway, yesterday you told Egypt "the power that comes from hating a whole group of people and feeling superior to them isn't the kind of power that can carry someone through when things get really tough"...quite an ironic cliche chocked comment coming from you since the Department of Defense whom you worked for at one time has a long storied history of getting the whole Nation, and particularly young males to hate and feel superior to whole groups of people...and that carried you quite well through tough times as your combat record shows...your hatred of those evil Middle Eastern Muslims must have been quite a boost to you and your battle buddies...running around and shooting them and blowing them the hell up while they committed the "despicable" act of opposing Big Brother America trying to run the place and take all the resources"
Barney grimaced and took a few seconds to respond.
"What do you know of it, butthole?...seems to me you just went around killing for the jollies..and you're pretty much invincible, so a full on firefight is like a walk in the park for you...when a REAL soldier is in a fight and the bullets are whizzing around, and smoke and dirt and sweat fills his eyes, and yelling and gunfire and explosions fill his ears, and his mind is trying to process orders, and moving to cover, and managing his rate of fire and ammunition used, and checking to see where his buddies are and if they are wounded or dead...and a hundred other things...there's no room for hate or thinking you're better than other people...even amongst your allies...I've served with and been in charge of KKK, white power bastards who would jump on grenades to save their black squad-mates when the stuff hits the fan...you're just a pretender...a know-nothing...a reject of Heaven...have some damn humility and be thankful that the Councilor didn't just smoke your ass last mission"
The former Purge Angel looked furious but Barney just sat on the sofa looking thoroughly relaxed; unaware of how tensed-up the "muscles" of his teammates had become.
Surprisingly, Wang Chung mellowed-out and said in a thoughtful and yet uniquely arrogant way:
"You could be right...as a higher being there are perspectives that I'll never be able to see things from...like a regular human will never see things from a worm's perspective...but you're still being horrendously naive...the hidden one's actually in charge, through the Government, through the DOD, through the CIA and other covert groups, through their water-carriers in the news media and big social platforms..they manipulate the collective Mind of the bottom feeders known as the general public, and in ways subtle and blatant, they make disparate groups of people and whole Nations look like caricatures of evil and/or insufferable foolishness...in your case, it was those muzzies in the Middle east who were made to look like out of control terrorists, so you went to fight them like a good patriotic American, right?...and of course you weren't told how...let's face it...white people..went in there and engendered a butt-ton of bad will toward the West over the course of many decades"
"Once again..you don't know me...I joined the Army as a way to get out of the boring hood I lived in, not so I could go to war out of patriotism...that came later...and I was shooting at those people in the Middle East because that was what I signed up for and because they were shooting at me...but yeah some of the joe's hated those bastards...so what, doesn't prove your point"
"My larger point is that without all the BS fed to the American public, you wouldn't have had to go over and shoot at anyone...and there's an even larger point about economies and how the difference between growth, stagnation, and utter demise is decided at the end of a gun...I mean honestly, do you really think the good ol' U.S.A. fought World War Two for liberty, justice, and to save the Jews of Europe?..and not because Japan and Germany were about to bloom into economic superpowers that would challenge and surely dwarf this Nation in it's desire to be the biggest and baddest kid in the playground of international trade?"
"I get what you're saying...and I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to you when I say that another hidden reason for World War Two was to expand soviet influence..that way there would be an enemy for the West to grow it's Military/Industrial Complex based economies while about half the world was taken out as serious competition in the world marketplace" -said Drew solemnly.
"Wow, I'm truly shocked...normally you peanut-brained "woke" types never get any further past realizing that white males had the run of most of the place when a lot of bad stuff happened...and then you conclude that whites and males are universally bad..and that's as far "woke" as you all get...in other words, "woke" trash take in one percent or less of the available information, but think they know all there is to know about the whole World since it began...but you got a bit more wisdom somehow...I guess wonders never cease in this plane of existence"
"Yeah whatever, you've said a ton of words and still not explained why we're the supposed naive ones like that Egypt chica said" -argued Dru.
"You need to realize that the young woman Egypt is first of all crazy..and second of all thinks she's in the right...a very dangerous combination" -added Barney.
Wang Chung simply ignored all the snap-back he was getting.
"Just like the Country needs enemies to animate people in ways positive to the aims of those in charge, so do smaller groups need enemies to keep them from falling apart and to even justify their existence in the first place...and even individuals need enemies to keep them from just sitting around and drinking and screwing all the time...in the past Nature Herself provided those enemies, but post flood mortal humans have devolved to the point where pretty much only other humans have to be and provide the kind of stresses that keep populations in check..."
"Hold up now!..you're just all over the place mang...you started with Government and the DOD and CIA needing enemies, then bounced to WWII where you spat out something about Germany and Japan challenging us on some playground..then you bounced to how even small groups and also each single person needs enemies to keep from having drunk sex or whatever, and now you're on to keeping population in check?...man I'm out...I'll get back to work on the truck because it makes a whole lot more sense than you"
"I'll join you" -followed up Barney.
WC's reply was strangely calm.
"Listen..I don't have to be doing this for you...I've benefitted for most of my time here on Earth by keeping both enemies AND friends as much in the dark as possible about me and the ways of the World...so far you guys have just been wandering around in mortal life and even in your current states unaware of the bigger picture...it's gotten you by so far, but sooner than later you'll be facing off against the monumental forces that work for the completion of the Great Plan that I mentioned before...reducing population is a major part of that plan...if you're wondering what that has to do with anything related to your mission here, then understand that the gender civil war you were meant to stop is a way to shut down population by not just killing a butt-ton of people, but by also removing a butt-ton of the producers of population...that being women of course..."
"Uh, just so you know..it takes a woman AND a man to make a child"
"Oh gee, thanks for the heads up Winter!..." -said in a mocking tone- "...but...uh, just so you know..a man can get "impregnated" any number of times and no bun will ever come out of that oven...killing off women is the surest way to curb-stomp population growth...it was a case for most of World history that Nations would send out their young men to get killed in droves, but it was decided far later than it should have been that females needed to step up to the plate and do their fair part for the Great Plan"
"Great Plan my culo!...that Egypt chick just wants to knock all the other girls out of the race for el hombres, simple as that...she's a crazy nympho and will find out one day that even the thirstiest of bros don't want the bottle that's been passed around to all the other homies at the party"
"That crazy nympho is a whole lot more driven and assured of what she wants in life than most of the people I've ever met!...and she's right about there being too many females being vacuous sponges of male energies...she might churn out a bunch of bitter abrasive women with her radicalization efforts, but those kind of women truly are the future of females...in that, they will refuse to be coddled by men, thereby destroying the old paradigm of males generally safeguarding and doing grueling dangerous work for females, who in turn were relegated to generally bearing and caring for children and doing relatively light work...anyway, setting a fire in the minds of women is all very Department of Defense and CIA instigated and Government approved...get the People all riled-up through part truths or BS or both, then provide situations and opportunities for all that hate to be acted out on whomever the enemy of the week, month, year..whatever..may be...and then BAM!..things get done and human evolution gets pushed forward"
"Gullible females who think that their empowerment comes through hating others is NOT human evolution being pushed forward...pitting genders against each other is NOT human evolution being pushed forward...violent conflict is definitely NOT humanity being pushed forward!" -insisted Drew.
"Well that's where you and the Councilor are on the same page...oh well, trying to tell you guys the great truths of the World is a waste of time..." -it was shocking and unnerving to hear WC talking and looking depressed; but that didn't last long- "...break's over you clown college dropouts.
And back to work they went.
~ In a rental mini-van, on the way to Alvin Alpern's RV ~
"Holy cannoli I'm so glad you found me and gave me a ride!...I thought my legs were gonna fall off and my feet feel like out of date, raw hamburger!"
"Aw heck, it'twernt nuthin...I was out roundin-up some vittles an saw yuh by the side of the road, rubbin yer little feet an lookin lahk yuh was sufferin somethin fierce"
"It's because of that big wonderful dummy Alvin...I was worried about him being in the company of...a new friend, I guess?...and called him when I woke up, but couldn't reach him..so I decided to hike it on down to his office...but he wasn't there and hadn't checked in...so I decided to go out to his place, but girl...I've just been walking so much lately, and it's super hot for the middle of Spring and I didn't bring anything to drink because I grabbed the wrong bag when I left the house" -she held her tan canvas bag partially up, but since the main compartment was unzipped, something bark brown and hairy fell out.
"AH!" -cried out Gurdy, and she jerked the vehicle into the opposite lane; but fortunately there were no other vehicles on the road for a mile or more.
"OH GOD, I'm so sorry!..it's just a fake beard and mustache"
"Lord baby Jesus, I done thought it was a dang ol' roadkill groundhog...hows come you got something lahk that?...fer one'a them thar wacky costume play parties?"
"It belongs to Hilly B...or B Dawg I guess is what some people know him as"
"Hilly B?...B Dawg?...man, that's some crazy, city feller kinda names"
"He's a cool dude...most of the time except when is brain injury acts up...his real name is Barney Hill..not to be confused with the Barney Hill and his wife who got abducted by aliens...this bag is the one I was using at the Fair...which is where Hilly the B Dawg dropped the roadkill beard while he was on the run from some weirdos who thought he was Kid Mystery, but he escaped when his friends tossed him into something that was like a half an ambulance blaring insults at people out it's blow horn"
Gurdy thought about it for a long moment and surmised:
"Well I'll be dipped in molasses and tied down near an ant hill...makes me glad I'm from the country..city folk have it rough"
Diesel suddenly leaned forward in her seat and pointed at a gravel covered road going off from the main street they were on.
"There it is...take that white rock covered driveway to the right up there"
The first thing Diesel noticed was a white rental sedan (that she assumed was the mysterious Wang Chung's) that was parked beside Alvin's FULLY INTACT truck.
'What?...nah that can't be Alvin's original truck..Egypt said it was taken fully apart and Alvin didn't know how to reassemble it' -she thought.
After they had pulled off in the yard (the concrete slab parking space could only fit two vehicles at a time), Diesel immediately went to the RV and called out for Alvin while Gurdy was looking over the vehicles. The former heard noises coming from the back part of the Home/vehicle and then heard the voice of Wang Chung.
"He'll be out in a second!..." -and then at a lower volume-"...go on and show her your transformation"
A couple of seconds later, Diesel was confronted by the sight of a ruggedly handsome, clean-shaven man in an expensive looking suit. He appeared to be the same size and shape as Alvin. Had his same color eyes and hair (that was shorter and styled a bit more than just combed straight). And this...stranger?...even had the same voice that he used to say:
"H, hey there Diesel"
Wang Chung came up from behind and stood next to the "new and improved" Alvin Alpern.
"Have a good look little princess..." -and then he took on an ominous look and tone- "...because you may not see this Alvin two-point-oh when the reset happens"
The confused Diesel couldn't think of how to reply to that; but even if she did it wouldn't matter...
because a moment later it was 5 September, 2026 all over again.