Scene: Deep in the bowels of the underground complex beneath the White House, 4:35am. A heavy-set technician in a bulky boiler suit is standing at a console in a Batcave-like assemblage of huge machines covered in blinking lights. Clouds of white fog belch from the floor. There is a humming of massive engines throbbing somewhere out of sight. A second, pretty young female technician in a white lab coat enters the room.
"Hank," she says, "I’m going to need you to do another rapid-thaw."
Hank, in his greasy boiler suit, sets down his pastrami sandwich on the edge of the console and sighs, rolling his eyes. He picks up a clipboard, "Who is it dis time, Theresa? Gingrich?"
"No, Hank," says Theresa, pushing a stray tendril of her brown hair behind her ear, "It’s Matalin."
"Again?!" says Hank, "We keep doin’ dese rapid thaws, she’s gonna lose some functionality. Is it that bad? Can’t we use O’Beirne this time?"
"No," says Theresa, "The engineers are still having problems with that rasping sound when she walks and her teeth aren’t right. Besides, they’ve got to float a real stinker this time. Matalin’s probably the only one that will do it."
"Christ," Hank shakes his head, "I can maybe have her ready in an hour. She doin’ Matthews this time?"
"Jesus, this is a bad one, then."
"It’s the blowback from the Coulter thing. Karl says we need someone to back her up before people start asking about the real issues, you know, what the 9/11 widows were upset about to begin with."
"Christ. That bag o’ bones is a more trouble…. I need to get her back in and service her mother board before long."
"That’s nice, Hank, but get Matalin ready. We only have a couple hours before she’s due in makeup."
"Yeah, I’ll have her ready."
An hour later, Hank is standing before a tube filled with glowing green liquid. A form vaguely distinguishable as human floats in the tube. He taps a series of buttons.
"Ending Warm Liquid Goo Phase…," a soothing female voice says from overhead.
The level of green liquid drops in the tube and we can see that the form inside is Mary Matalin, nude and blinking dazedly in the harsh lights, "Where…?" she mutters.
"I’m coming, Mary!" calls Hank, "We’re gonna putcha on TV again, honey."
"On…? Teee veeee…?" she echoes.
Theresa strides into the room, checking her watch. "Is she ready, Hank? The limo’s here."
"Dammit, Theresa," says Hank, "You can’t rush this process. You can damage the units!" He clicks more buttons and throws a lever. The walls of the tube slide into the floor. Hank walks from around the pedestal to the MataTron, a propaganda and protocol droid that has been years in the making. "Can ya hear me, Mary?" he says to her, peering into her eyes.
"We’ll be right back after this!" says MataTron, blinking rapidly, "Kate O’Beirne, what do you think? Airplane! Big JET PLANE! WOWEE WOWEE!! I love George Bush! He’s a pilot! Big PLANE! I like PLANES!" Her eyes roam wildly around the room, but don’t focus.
"That doesn’t sound like her software," says Theresa, looking worried.
"No, it don’t," agrees Hank, "But whose is it?"
MataTron smiles vacantly, "Planes. George Bush is just like Abraham Lincoln!"
"Oh," says Hank, disgustedly, "It’s Chris Matthews."
"I like boobies!" says the MataTron, "M-O-O-N, that spells BOOBIES!!"
"What’s she doing playing his signal?" asks Theresa.
"I told you, with the rapid thaw, you have to wait a while between uses. Their systems start to degrade from the strain." He goes back to the console and makes some adjustments. MataTron’s eyes roll back and her body goes limp for a second. Theresa catches her before she can fall over.
"Ick!" says Theresa, "What’s this goo they store them in, anyway?"
"You don’t want to know that, honey," he says.
The MataTron’s eyes snap open wide and she says, "Mama? Is Daddy ever coming home?"
"There we go," says Hank, "Now, give me a minute to load her talking points and shoot her up with Adderal and IV Valium and she’s all yours."
"I’ll tell the driver to sit tight," says Theresa, "She looks a little rough."
"Yeah," says Hank, "We might need to do this one by phone."
Hours later on the Don Imus Show:
IMUS: What did you make of the Ann Counter deal?
MATLIN: I take her larger point that in the absence of being able to make persuasive arguments you throw out messengers that — can’t be — it’s politically incorrection to argue with, you know the verbiage is a little, a little stressful.
IMUS: So you thought her comments about these women…
MATLIN: I take her larger point, which is —
IMUS: Why can’t you comment on her calling these women harpies.
MATLIN: Because that’s not her point. That’s completely not her point.
IMUS: Well no, but saying that they were happy their husbands got killed and were going to divorce them. And yeah, that they’re getting long in the tooth. Maybe they ought to think about appearing in Playboy, which is an option.
MATLIN: What do you think about her point? Her point that you can’t — you know Cindy Sheehan — if you throw yourself in the political arena, then you should be able to address political issues, and people should be able to speak back to you.
IMUS: I agree with her point.
MATLIN: Well, then that’s what I agree with.
IMUS: But i think it’s repugnant and repulsive and gutless to, and cheap and cheesey to call these women all these names. I mean, whether it’s right or not, it’s just something there’s just. You don’t go there.
MATLIN: That’s her stock and trade.
IMUS: But i’m surprised that you won’t condemn her for these repugnant remarks.
MATLIN: I don’t know her. I haven’t read the book.
IMUS: You don’t have to know her. You know what Hitler did. Did you you him? You condemn what he did.
MATLIN: Are you comparing her to Hitler?
IMUS: No, I’m not. Of course not.
MATLIN: This is the point. This is complete the point she’s making. These lefty crazy people go around calling us [unintelligible] and Hitlers and Nazis and everything and nobody say anything. She calls somebody a harpy and you’d think that the whole world was on fire.
Immediately after successful completion of her mission, MataTron suffered another system error and was put back into storage in anticipation of her upcoming fundraising dinner for Scooter Libby.
Image courtesy of Princess Sparkle Pony.