Jackbooted feet stamp in unison quick-march as the “Could They Beat-Up China Miéville?” security team, a dozen strong and lethally trained, head for an alert triggered in the lobby. The Omega Protocol has been enacted: China Miéville is in the building. As they burst through, filing in in pairs through five doors to surround the intruder, they draw their batons and scream for China Miéville to lie on the floor with his hands behind his head. He smiles his dissent.
Up in their office, Tomcat and Thom watch the impending disaster on the building’s CCTV. They see the smile and recognise it, a trace of China Evil’s dark humour on China Miéville’s lips. When it arrives the violence is sudden and brutal, coldly efficient. The security team have been trained to fight as a unit, a score of fists and feet working in aggressive unison, and they swarm China Miéville seemingly gaining the upper-hand by force of numbers, but they are no match for the rage of a righteous man. One by one he cuts them down, bruised and unconscious, battered into submission as they try and fail to stop him. There were ten, are now seven, four, three, now one. He grabs the baton from one of his fallen colleagues and charges China Miéville, but Thom and Tomcat can see he is resigned to his inevitable thrashing.
Their building breached, their elite and extremely pricey security force incapacitated, they can only watch as China Miéville goes through into the security office, turning to stare down the lens of the camera therein before driving an appropriated baton through the heart of the CCTV and IT systems control console, reducing the feed to a moment of static before an ominously dead screen.
In the top-floor penthouse office, Tomcat is pacing back and forth; “He’s coming” he says “he’ll be here any minute”. Thom stands still, calmer, his eyes on the lifeless security monitors. “We’ve done this to ourselves” continues Tomcat “if we hadn’t thrown so many assailants at China Miéville, then he wouldn’t be the battle-hardened maelstrom of vengeance he is today. We’re the authors of our own demise”. Gunshots and screams echo up through the building. “He’s on the floor below us!” And then: silence.
The two bloggers exchange fearful glances before a loud crash breaks the hush; China has kicked in the doorway to the office and stands in the aperture; panting, angry.
Tomcat charges into China Miéville and grapples with the towering novelist. They turn and spin, fighting in a violent mock ballet through the large office, knocking over chairs, tables, monitors and cabinets as they scramble and scrap. But soon China gets the upper-hand, and with a cogent push, he casts Tomcat to the ground.
Tomcat lies prostrate and dizzied; but wiping the back of his hand against a small cut on his lower lip, he begins to laugh. He shows the smear of blood to China; “is this the best you can do?” he snarls, “I guess we overestimated you. You will never defeat me!” In response, China merely raises an eyebrow, as if to say ‘I already have’. Tomcat’s sneer vanishes, and a mask of creeping horror begins to spread over his face. Small lumps are worming under Tomcat’s skin, travelling up his cheeks; “no, NO! You couldn’t have” he screams. He begins to jerk in violent spasms of panic, his hands clawing at his face – but all to no avail. During their scuffle, China Miéville implanted his cybernetic worm-like earrings into Tomcat, and now they’re working their way under his skin, up inside his skull. With an eruption of blood and fragments of bone, the worms explode through Tomcat’s eye sockets and he collapses to the floor, wriggling, blind, in anguish.
As Tomcat writhes and twitches towards agonising death, Thom grabs his closed laptop and steps forward, swinging it at China Miéville’s head. The author doesn’t flinch, moving into the arc of the blow and driving his fist through the laptop, which splits in two, and on into Thom’s nose. He rears back, spluttering through the explosion of blood and pain, and stumbles over a chair. Falling now, Thom cannot see past the agony and collides with the plate glass window, shattering it. He screams as he falls, and Tomcat has finally stopped moving.
China Mieville turns to leave, only to pause as a huge screen on the wall sparks into life. A huge numeral five flashes ominously and an automated voice chimes in.
“Life signs lost. Automatic detonation in five, four,” China Miéville looks at the door; it’s too far, even if only this floor’s rigged to blow. “Three, Two…” Turning, he runs toward the broken window and throws himself out. “One.” His coat whips around him in the wake of the explosion, and despite the danger of the fall he smiles…
This is the end of “Could They Beat-Up China Miéville?”.
WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE