About Stephen Brophy

Stephen T. Brophy is a living human male. He resides in the principality of Los Angeles, California USA.

the dept.

nazi rocketeer 3 by IOEFXPROCPP2323 on DeviantArt
It has been widely known for some time that Hitler had agents scouring the globe for legendary objects reputed to possess tremendous supernatural power, ranging from the Holy Grail to the Monolith of Io. During this period the DEPT. established a tenuous camaraderie with the covert limb of the US Armed Forces operations in the European theater. Setting out from the neutral territory of Switzerland, DEPT. agents followed the lead of the SS, seeking the same objects and power sources as the Nazis, hoping, if not to beat them to the coveted items and sacred locales, then at least to prevent their misusing these potentially terrible weapons in their heady grab for world domination.

Thanks to the expedient evolution of technology which entered full swing during the Big One, the once-sequestered unofficial records of the DEPT.’s movements and motives begins to be more consistently documented during this period.  Extensive tapes, photos, and file footage have been uncovered, revealing some extremely shocking occurrences that popular history ignored, or missed completely. Horrors so profound they could almost make the death camps seem like playgrounds…

REDACTED

Perhaps the greatest act of selflessness and heroism to which any of the DEPT.’s agents could ever lay claim occurred on August 3rd, 1944, more than half a year before Hitler’s suicide and the Germans unconditional surrender. Despite the shroud of mystery and the vows of silence that kept it from becoming even a footnote to the struggle until now, the Battle of the Hollow Earth was instrumental in deciding not only the course of the war, but quite probably the fate of humanity.  For the time being.
 
According to sources, members of the DEPT. had utilized their vaudevillian mind control techniques on a number of grunts, selecting the malcontent, the indifferent, and the agnostic to make up their ragtag platoon of supersecret footsoldiers. In late summer of 1944, this motley assemblage of soldiers scientists, and DEPT. operatives encountered one of Hitler’s occult teams at the mouth of the tunnel that led into the core of the planet. Rumor and legend had it that the hollow interior was home to a race of extraterrestrial superhominids who had become stranded on Earth sometime dating back at least as far as the Egyptian empire. The opposing factions, equally determined in their respective goals, clashed at the site, and by chance, an explosion and subsequent avalanche sealed the tunnel entrance, and the Nazis were foiled.

Corroborated testimony from the debriefings suggests quite strongly that the DEPT. had finally succeeded in engaging the services of an actual combat zombie, a prototype at the very least, which was destroyed in the conflagration.  Thus, it can be said that one of the unsung heroes of the Second World War was in fact an Undead Soldier. Yet there is no gravemarker nor plaque to commemorate the selfless, and quite likely mindless, deeds of this khaki-clad Frankenstein’s monster.

T. Magnus Reid
A Top Secret History of the United States
White space shuttle illustration, science fiction, artwork, retro ...
You have to understand, the very nature of their work, work so abstract, so intangible, so bizarre that it placed them beneath legislative consideration. Most of their funding came from private citizens, perversely wealthy eccentrics who had traveled and studied extensively yet never been able to draw their own conclusions about a blessed thing.  This caused resentment, even hostility, towards the DEPT. from under-funded federal agencies whose work, in a societal sense, was far more practical, if not important.  But the boys at the DEPT. were crafty and sly, and had methods at their disposal of which most of us can at best hope to dream.
 
T. Magnus Reid,
A Top Secret History of the United States
Higher dimensional beings -FreeBeats- - YouTube
“I don’t know what’s over there, but it’d sure be a trip to fuck one.”

Baba “Doc” Octagon
Practicing Herbal Shockhealer

Berkeley
7 Strange Cases of Interdimensional Travel (With images ...
“Wild rumors have been circulating regarding these regions. That we have encountered hostility, that we are or will be at war with these…foreigners. Such rumors should, I think, be disregarded, no more true than the outlandish and absurd claims made by less ethereal conspiracy theorists. All contact, albeit limited, has to this date been utterly peaceable, and we have no more reason, save understandable caution in the face of the unknown, to doubt their intentions than they do ours.”

Ronald “Rusty” Mudbathe
2nd Dept Undersecretary
DEPT. of Dimensional Transport
Pin auf deep dream instagram collect
“Take us to your dealer.”

Dubious missive reportedly
received by Dimensional
Communications Faxline
DDT (origin unknown)
Steampunk'D — spacetalin: American Bombers in England, WW2
“I’m really sick and fuckin tired of all these limp-wrist, soft-shoe, ball-less, gutless, namby-pamby pussyfoot mama’s prodigal college boys wasting perfectly good air time and column space for free forum bitchfests. To hear them tell it, every civil servant in this country would mortgage his Grandma’s house to pay his gambling debts. Well, sometimes these things have to be done. It’s a wild kingdom out there, and somebody’s gotta pay the zookeeper.”

Lt. Cmdr. Hunt Rheingolden
Global Armed Services

Billboard for Pepsi Cola Modern (1970's to Present)

“I hear Pepsi’s in contact with their man over there.  Apparently, these…beings…are crazy about the stuff.  Not so much as a beverage as an apparent fuel source.”

Barney Actman
American Association
of Convenience Store Operatives
Forget Mad Men | Used cubicles
“I believe the possibilities for growth and expansion in the extradimensional marketplace have yet to be fully explored.”

Farley Weege
Chairman
Global Cartels Board
File:Industrial High School, Science Class, Demonstration of an ...

  “The problem, as I see it, is that you have a number, a growing number, of  shockingly ordinary individuals, men and women quite limited in capacity when it comes to matters involving practices, rituals, involving very ancient, even sacred, arts. What more attuned, less ‘civilized’ societies have been achieving through real magic, without benefit of quantum theory or sophisticated technology, since time immemorial. The intrinsic difference being that these pre-cultures have developed tremendous respect and profound understanding of the realms of transcendence, and that access granted, whatever the limitations, is a gift from the Gods, an opportunity for acquiring knowledge, not for exploiting this rich resource, as we so-called advanced societies seem hell-bent on doing.”
 
Dr. Small Ajax
Extradimensional Research Team
Harvard University
Cold War espionage paid off—until it backfired, East German spy ...
“Of course the administration was aware of the DEPT. Everyone who was anyone in Washington’s real inner circle knew about it. They were the subject of gossip, the butt of jokes, considered crazier and more dangerous than most CIA field ops. But it wasn’t kosher to admit that you believed any such nonsense. Paranormal phenomena were outré in that realm. And the boys from the DEPT. were persona non grata, except of course for that brief, triumphant period at the end of the Second World War, when the DEPT. was instrumental in stopping the Nazis from gaining access to the Hollow Earth.”

T. Magnus Reid
A Top Secret History of the United States
gif portal light Black and White creepy MY EDIT b&w clouds tornado ...


“Ladies and gentlemen, congressmen and senators, Mr. and Mrs. President, and all the ships in orbit…everything we feared, everything we imagined, everything we disbelieved, is true. We have evidence that certain…we’ll call them… entities are entering and leaving our dimension and acquiring various goods and returning with them to…the other side. We have reason to believe that these entities have nuclear capability, that they have indeed stolen, or perhaps even purchased, nuclear weapons from this dimension. We have no idea at this time what the effects or outcome of a trans or even multi-dimensional nuclear conflict might be, so we want to be certain that we test it first.
 
We feel that there would most likely be losses, acceptable losses, mind you, though we don’t know exactly whose losses, nor to what extent. Due to our inability to as yet enter the gate between our world and the next, it is apparent that a toll may well have to be paid. A taxable toll. And that tax might well come due in human lives. In the name of the human future, we’re prepared to meet that cost.
 
I’m an extradimensional engineer for Biocorp.  I design portals, entryways, into different…ah, I’m not sure what the company’s calling them these days.  A rival research organization has already copyrighted the term Dimension. In fact, I’ll probably get sued just for saying it then.  We’ll call them territories, if you will.  Paranormal territories.  Subreal regions of as-yet-undetermined space, mass, and volume which we feel could be…I hesitate to use the word exploited.  No, I don’t, actually.  Exploited to our gain.  We feel that these dimensions are already being exploited but not by the right groups.  You see everything is available to be exploited, it merely depends on who is doing the exploiting and we know when we are doing it, the end result and ultimate goal is for the good of us all.  Not just on a national, but a global, perhaps even universal level.
 
I’m working on a portal right now that is triggered by a chant, a very primitive chant that I’ve recorded from people’s indigenous to the region that was once the Brazilian rain forest.

There are many indigenous peoples who are traveling in and out of these dimensions, I’m sorry, territories.  Illegally in my opinion. Indigenous and non-indigenous. Non-indigenous beings who have followed the indigenous footsteps, creating a transindigenous superhighway between this plane and others.  We at the facility refer to this as “The Gypsy Flyway”. And that is a licensed trademark of Biocorp, for the record
 
We’re talking about losses of billions of trillions of dollars in revenue due to this virtually unfettered intradimensional travel.  We’re talking about gypsies from another dimension, stealing our nukes, stealing our jobs, stealing our children.
  
The DEPT. of Paranormal Affairs, really, is about jobs. We’re for jobs. The more jobs we’re able to provide, extradimensional engineers, plasmonauts, inner space cadets, alternate reality clerks, subatomic regional managers, commissioners of entity affairs, the better service we do for this country and the species as a whole, and the more this DEPT. has proven its worth in the eyes of the American People.”

Prof. Arvin Schock
Address to the Senate Subcommittee on Historical Revisionism
1952
Famous Private Detectives in Novels, Movies, and TV
“I didn’t useta believe in any a this stuff.  Wolfmen, vampires, ghosts, the walkin’ dead, creatures from deep space. I thought that was all just midnight movies and funny books and tabloid hoohah.  A bonafide skeptic.  But all that changes when ya see yer partner devoured by an unnameable thing while you stand there screamin and soilin yer Bugle Boys. When ya see the people ya love still livin, but not in human form.  That tends to shift the ol’ reality plane a few centimeters to the side.  Some go insane.  That’s cost us a lot.  We lost a lotta good people to the madness. We’re often forced to institutionalize them. Then ya don’t wanna see em again cause, y’know, well, it’s embarassin. And of course it’s top secret.”
 
Damon Ross
DEPT. agent (unspecified)

Ronald Raygun by Jason Rutledge on Dribbble
“I met the Reagans in 1954, debriefing them after their first UFO encounter. I recommended their astrologer.  In fact, I did Nancy’s first star chart, and after that she was sold. Darlings of the White Wing, and New Agers to boot. Whoda thunk it?”
                                                                                                 
Batheson Greeley
Former Director
DEPT.
(1942-1963)

The Last Thing I Wrote Before Coronavirus Shut Down the World, Ironically Enough

ewKX10502546Does anyone else get the feeling that the complete collapse of civilization is going to be really good for the planet?

Like when a guy my age has his first heart attack—it’s a wake-up call! You start eating better, exercising, get your sex drive back, suddenly you’re in the best shape of your life. Sure, there’s some scar tissue, and you have to take your medication and pay attention to doing things in “cycles”…I mean, whether it’s your personal apocalypse or a global one, I guarantee you will start riding a bike again!

I mean seriously, I feel like there’s little hints that some kind of mini-geddon is coming. Everyone’s talking about how it’s better to eat food that’s locally sourced, that we should all be growing our own vegetables and brewing our own kombucha and cultivating our own weed and 3D printing our own protein substitutes. I am not good at any of that shit, so I’m starting to apocalypse network. Where you meet someone at the farmer’s market who grows their own strawberries and bottles their own chai and makes their own vegan cheese out of cashews and dustbunnies and you’re like “Can I get your number? Are you on Instagram?” Though what we really should be doing is asking, what’s your physical address and how can I make it to your place on foot when the shit goes down?

I’m an atheist, but I like to get high, so I’m still on an eternal quest for meaning. Like I see patterns and apply significance to the tiniest shit to make myself feel better about my preposterous life choices. “If I hadn’t gone to Burning Man that one time in ‘96 I would have never considered the possibility that I could survive the end of civilization!” (not the right punchline but a fine placeholder)

I’m at that age where I’m not sure if I’m in the best shape of my life, or the worst health I’ve ever been in. Like either I’ve got everything pretty much locked down and figured out, or it is all about to fall apart tomorrow. I mean, I eat better and exercise more than I ever did back when it would have mattered, but I also do ridiculous things to my mind and body that far fewer adults have grown out of than you would probably like to think.

I’m in my fifties and what nobody tells you about being in your fifties—or probably lots of people do in books I just haven’t bothered to read—is that this is the time in your life when you start adding up your balance sheet. I don’t mean literally; my finances remain precariously on the precipice of one-serious-medical-event-we’re-done. But it’s when you start trying to figure out if it’d be okay if you were to suddenly die. Like, how does everything stack up for you? What’s the big unresolved shit? Who do you really really really need to apologize to and who can you afford to just say “fuck it!” Because it becomes very tangible past a certain point. People start having those aforementioned “medical events.” Stupid accidents, things attacking you from inside your own body, just scary horror movie bad stuff. And you can no longer pretend it’s impossible or that it’s something that happens to other people you read about or that it isn’t eventually, inevitably, no matter how hard you slice it, coming for us all. So you have to start being ready for it. Making peace with it. Not easy peace, either. More like the kind of peace between rival gangs who know bad ugly shit could go down at any second, and inevitably will, but it’s best for everyone in the meantime to stave it off as long as possible so we can all make some money and get laid a few more times.

The Good Fight 4: Homefront Out Today!

The Good Fight 4

Happy May Day, people! In honor of the occasion, why not go and get yourself a copy of The Good Fight 4: Homefront and check out Love Vigilantes, my latest addition to the ongoing saga of Duke “HandCannon” LaRue. This one’s the wild, raucous tale of his whirlwind romance, railgun wedding, domestic disasters, and unfathomable fallout with the love of his life and one-time partner-in-crime Liza Fate. Lots of other great tales of superheroic domesticity between these covers (be they paperback or digital). If you prefer, you can always hold out for a hard copy from me, once I’ve got my order in. Thank you for your continued patronage. Both of you!

The Good Fight 4: Available for Pre-order

The Good Fight 4

Another year, another published HandCannon story. And this might be my personal favorite yet. Included in The Good Fight 4: Homefront, the latest anthology from Local Hero Press and The Pen & Cape Society, “Love Vigilantes” tells the story of how Duke LaRue met, married, procreated with and ultimately lost the love of his life, Liza Fate, aka The Dame. From their first fateful–and nearly fatal–meeting on a museum rooftop to their over-the-top wedding on a supervillain’s manmade island to their balls-out honeymoon on the open road to their preposterous attempts at normal domestic life, it’s a relatable plunge into the harsh realities of doomed relationships, all-consuming addiction, toxic behavior and couple’s therapy, but with lots of gunplay, explosions and metahuman co-workers, friends and family to keep things interesting.

The Good Fight 4 releases to the world at large on May 1, 2018. Available in ebook, paperback and as a gaseous vapor cloud that can be inhaled at your leisure.

Shandling vs. Seinfeld

I’m watching The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling on HBO, and every time I see Jerry Seinfeld (really, just every time I see Jerry Seinfeld in general) I feel like he’s this empty vessel, this guy who abhors anything honest or sincere or genuine or true. I think his slick surface smugness hides a howling well of terror at the chaos of actual existence. In everything from Comedian to Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to this documentary about his good friend to pretty much anywhere he shows up, he just comes across as unctuous, self-absorbed, one of those guys who believes he’s got it all figured out and so there’s nothing left to figure out and so if you’re trying to figure things out, you’re somehow wasting your time. He’s dismissive of actors, of the idea of acting as an art form, of spiritual truth, of depth of feeling, of others, of very nearly everything but himself.

Meanwhile, here’s Garry, this shambling rubber-faced mess of a human being in all his naked honest bent-but-not-broken weirdness stretching and struggling and staggering towards truth. I’m not saying Garry isn’t an asshole, too, but he’s an asshole I can comprehend, get behind, want to have a meal with. Jerry just seems like he’d bring down the room with his stuffshirt attention-seeking “lookee me, I got it goin’ on” way of being. Like, I wanna kick it in the green room with Garry and Chris Rock and Kevin Nealon but can someone lock the door when Jerry goes to the bathroom? Does Jerry go to the bathroom? Cause he sure acts like his shit don’t stink.

Hell, even Bob Saget comes across as a deeply feeling human being in this thing, weeping openly over a lost friendship and tossing the word “love” around with no ridiculous choking man-shame. And I’ve seen Chappelle get raw and real recently, and Chris Rock bare a little soul, and I just wonder what it would even take to get Seinfeld to get onstage, or sit down in an interview, or in his car, or even just with a friend with no cameras around, to actually rip open his chest and show anyone, anywhere, ever, what his heart looks like.

 

Last Dance: The Tall Tale TV Audio Edition

Chris Herron at Tall Tale TV has done an audio version of my HandCannon short story, “Last Dance.” Chris himself has a great personal story, having turned on to audiobooks when he was suffering from temporary legal blindness in 2015. He’s since recovered, but launched this project both as a way to give back to folks who can’t experience stories the traditional way, and to give authors like me a promotional boost without having to shell out for the expense of creating an audiobook on our own. I think he’s done a terrific job and his project deserves more eyeballs and earholes, so how about you give this, and other Tall Tale TV stories, a listen?

Thoughts on Steve Munchkin because that’s his name right? and Christ there’s a lot of Steve’s in this administration so let’s burn through ’em already

monstevenmnuchin-h_2017The Executive Producer of the Treasury. Because if you’re going to pick a man to handle all the money, you want the guy who helped make sure we got that Entourage movie. I don’t know enough about him to know why I hate him but he might be the only guy in the entire cabinet who actually likes the thing he’s been put in charge of. I mean, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos loathes the entire sum of human knowledge, and I’m pretty sure HUDsucker Ben Carson would love to distance himself from anything remotely “urban,” but Munchkin loves the ever-living shit out of that money. You don’t bankroll Suicide Squad because you give a shit about telling stories; you do it for the fat stacks! In fact, by Trumpian logic, and the Munchman’s track record, it would’ve made more sense to put him in charge of, like, the Public Broadcasting System and let him turn it into a pay-per-view channel where post-Americans can both view and participate in an endless real life livestream of Mad Max: Fury Road (which he also helped pay for so, oh, shit, does that mean I kinda have to like him? Fuck me).

Thoughts on Stephen Miller, Josef Goebbels’ and Fredo Corleone’s jelly baby love child

170212151622-stephen-miller-exlarge-169He Who Walks Behind the Rows. This is what 30 looks like when you were born already dead inside. Seriously, this guy has been alive just a few months less than I’ve been out of high school, and while I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my life, he’s already positioned himself to be instrumental in the ending of ALL LIFE. Do I resent him because he’s an overachiever, or do I fear him because he is able to stare into my soul without even bothering to focus his eyes? While most of the Trumplets appear to have been handpicked for their former status as schoolyard bullies, Miller appears to have been selected precisely because of his lot in life as one of the eternally tormented. He’s such a mealworm I wish I’d reenrolled in grade school in the ’90s just so I could’ve got a few licks in. He is to white genetic superiority what Keystone Light is to actual beer. While he would’ve happily aided Hitler in bringing about the glory of the Thousand Year Reich, he would have had to voluntarily throw himself into a Krystalnacht bonfire once the real Aryans showed up on the scene.

Thoughts on Steve Bannon, an extradimensional thuglord soul vampire

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If Gastrointestinal Distress Had a Face. Entire medical careers will be built on simply observing the various dermatological horrors scriven on this visage in much the way the Necronomicon was etched in blood-ink on papyrus recycled from dead flesh. There’s a reason for this. When Bannon’s underboss Don Trump made good on his promise to drain the swamps along the Potomac, he did so by opening a yawning Hellmouth through which eldritch evils could spill into our realm and assume both cabinet positions and semi-human form. Remember Vincent D’Onofrio’s incredible, Oscar-worthy performance in the original Men in Black as a giant alien cockroach wearing a farmer’s desiccated epidermis as an ill-fitting meatsuit? I have it on good authority that, method actor that he is, D’Onofrio actually had himself briefly time displaced from 1997 to the nightmarish apocalyptic future of RIGHT NOW in order to observe and study Bannon for the role. For all his Herculean efforts, D’Onofrio could never quite nail the squirming discomfort that Bannon displays in his attempts to walk through the world in an approximation of a real-time third dimensional homo sapiens. 

Thoughts on Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, an ostensibly human man

Elf

The Twinkly Gimlet-Eyed Elfin Racist Shitsack. A mint julep-sipping, plantation portico-sitting, Coen Brothers cartoon of a Southern politico, from his ridiculous name to his preposterous voice to his unctuous demeanor, a leftover scrap of something from what should be the distant ugly past, like a skintag removed from the corpse of Strom Thurmond and somehow allowed to reach maturity. This makes my atheist ass believe that maybe there is a god and she is some kind of bawdy satirical writer dreaming up increasingly ludicrous public caricatures to trot out in front of us as if they were actual people, archetypes that we can gawk at in terrified wonder as they endeavor to undo decades of hard-won progress right in front of our eyes…