Thread: Alpha and Omega
Mr. Alpha and Mr. Omega strode down Grafton Street, a fashionable albeit mainstream curve between Trinity College and the crowded haven of St Stephen’s Green. Commerce, the pursuit of the false prophet of coin, inserted itself wherever it could. Vivid styles clamoured for attention, where somehow the multiplicity of brand identities rendered them a single, homogeneous mass. Shoppers leant on windows, occasionally popping into stores to see how much they could spend, if only their credit cards could take the strain. A band of failed singers sang at a crossroads further down, pretty young girls sweating behind snorkel jackets, vocally revealing why they had failed. Flower stalls seemed to be everywhere.
‘You have to stop hating everyone so much,’ said Mr. Omega. ‘You’ve got to be more detached than that, almost clinical, mate. Rail against me if you must, you disrespecting little shit, but come away from the people. You are above them; you don’t need to hate them.’
‘I don’t hate anybody, mate.’
‘I’ve seen the way you look at people. Sin is natural. Our long-term goal is reduce sin, control it, save them from themselves. Hate the sin, love the sinner.’
‘The cliché cowboy strolls into town.’
‘So, look at the girl over there. Have a good look.’
Outside one of the brightly-coloured fashion shops, in front of inviting sexed-up mannequins, a solitary teenage girl stood. The short-haired blonde, clasping a mobile phone as if it held the cure to cancer, was dressed in a short, tight magenta skirt; her arsecrack peeked out and it was not clear whether she was actually wearing underwear or not. A dark tattoo stood guard over this domain, a Chinese character of some kind that probably meant ‘whore’ or ‘fucks here’. A tight, white top was wrapped around her breasts, making no attempt to cover her midriff. Nipples shone through its surface.
‘Now,’ Mr. Omega said, ‘your average man is looking at her, thinking about poking her up that skirt. They probably wouldn’t even take it off. We’re trained not to think like that. What are you thinking?’
‘I’m thinking about stabbing the slut up it with a knife.’
Mr. Omega shook his hands around his head, as if pretending he hadn’t heard. ‘Holy fucking Jesus, Mr. Alpha. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Can you tune down the volume a bit? Jesus Christ.’
Mr. Alpha shrugged.
Mr. Omega grabbed one of his shoulders, to shake the shrug out of him. ‘Look, mate, there are many stories of Clothmen gone bad, who took the urge to cull sin too fucking far. We’re not meant for normal life – a world full of Clothmen is a dead world – we’re just the harbingers of the future. We’re bringing the future to the people today, because they’re just too whacked out to do it themselves. Clothmen who can’t see the wood for the fucking trees have to be put down like the ones who run out on us.
‘Ten years ago the big Cloth scandal was that of Mr. Carve and Mr. Chop. They tortured ordinary people who weren’t of interest in the grand project. They would pull people off the street every day, torture them, convert them to a “pure” lifestyle and sometimes kill them afterwards anyway. The kind of insanity they used to get up to is legend, boy. Ever thought of tying a bloke’s wife to the underside of his car but only telling him after he’d driven to work? Ever thought of injecting faeces into a sinner?’
‘Shit,’ Mr. Alpha said. ‘That’s just fucking bonkers. Mental.’
‘Exactly. Eventually, the pair of them were executed. They had screwed up too many Cloth plans, lost them a number of snags.’
‘Well they probably deserved it.’
‘Oh yeah, for sure.’
‘But I call it as I see it, Mr. Omega. Mr. Carve and Mr. Chop were off the fucking scale but, come on, how on Earth are we are going to make The-God-To-Be out of this shitty band of sinners?’
‘Who said The-God-To-Be had to be sin-negative or even sin-nought?
Mr. Alpha stopped dead. ‘What kind of cockjerk thought is that? And how does any of this explain what we did to that old guy in Grimmer’s hidey-hole? Was that clinical and necessary?’
‘Nothing in the lessons…’ Mr. Omega started, but said no more; something had caught his attention. ‘No way.’
Mr. Alpha followed the old man’s eyes, but couldn’t spot anything out of the ordinary amongst the fleets of shoppers tacking across the road.
‘I swear that’s Morgana. On the right, just past the alleyway, beside the lamppost.’
Mr. Alpha looked and he saw. ‘No way.’