RANGE: Marching upon the land, or burrowing (like moles) beneath it; upon the sea and under it; up in the air and full of it, this most bellicose spirit patrols the war room, the boardroom, the ward room, the sword room, the barroom, and the powder room of the Pentagon. She has also been sighted (and cited) behind the throne, inside the velvet glove, between the lines (and well behind them), under deep cover, lobbying in the lobbies off the corridors of power, and attending the occasional clandestine strategy conference, deep in somebody else’s jungle.
HABITS: Operation Self-Perpetuation.
Code Name: Bloat.
A: Strategy: Military expenditures shall increase by triple the rate of inflation and/or in direct inverse proportion to perceived and/or potential National Security threats.
B: Tactics: Infiltrate and snafu existing defense projects by altering design specifications and off-lining production schedules, to insure vast cost overruns and eventual production of obsolete and inefficient ordnance equipment; utilize leaked media exposure of critically obsolete and inefficient ordnance equipment to justify immediate requisition of greatly increased military appropriations, etc., etc.
Optimal Scenario A (Hardware): Commission nuclear-powered helicopter-submarine-scout-craft, to secure aircraft carrier bottoms from subversive encrustations by insurgent crustaceans.
Optimal Scenario Β (Software): Obtain Congressional Grant for (CIA front) Costa Rican Aural Medicine Institute; surgically deafen indigenous population to facilitate utilization of area as secret rocket testing target.
HISTORY: As its name suggests, the Pentagorgon is of Greek ancestry— Spartan, to be precise. She served as military advisor to the forces laying siege to the city of Troy and recommended the fabulously difficult fabrication of an enormous and realistic dead rat on wheels, stuffed with Argive guerillas, to be left at the Trojan gate. Although the ruse was apparently unsuccessful, the Pentagorgon achieved her objective of prolonging the war another twenty-one years. The Pentagorgon has an aversion to the sights, sounds, and smells of actual combat. Her interest (and hence the interest of the mortals in her thrall) is strictly in the financing, development, deployment, and maintenance of weapons. In her capacity as Military Advisor to the U.S. of Α., she has recommended the pig iron plating of Civil War barges, the manufacture and testing of many wonderful nuclear weapons, the spraying of defoliant into the wind, and is at present urging the Powers That Be to arm patriotic American dolphins with nuclear warheads—a national sense of porpoise, she calls it. The Pentagorgon’s proudest American achievement was the battle of the Alamo, a gory encounter which resulted not only in the obliteration of the American defenders, but caused what seems like a three-hundredfold increase in military spending on a per annum basis from that day to this.
SPOTTER’S TIPS: A speech about the urgent need to up the megaton-nage; a prattle of slogans, a rattle of sabres, a flutter of flags, and a clatter of drums; a bluster of orders, a cluster of corpses; a gold star and a ribbon where your arm used to be.