As the Jackdaw Fool Learjet coasts over Tarantino’s exclusive Maldivian getaway, El Duceador, I load my shotgun and Andrew straps on his rocket belt. We look at one another, beweaponed mercenaries, hired guns in the war of review, and our fists meet with an explosive slap.
’A good death’, he tells me.
’Dine in Metnal’, I reply.
As Andrew turns and kicks out the flimsy cabin door, a searing wind tugs us both toward the sky. We bolster ourselves until the pressure equalizes, and the plane begins to lurch into a death dive. The roar is deafening. We exchange nods, and cast ourselves into the roiling sky.
I’ve chosen to fall clean, trusting my trained muscles to deal with the impact of the ground. Above me, I can hear Andrew’s jetpack burst to life. I angle my body so my feet jut down, and feel the sweet familiar kick of terminal velocity. The ground sweeps toward me at one hundred and thirty five miles an hour. I
grit my teeth and ready for impact. The earth, when it comes, is hard. Harder than the films they ban in Thailand. I plunge through feet of topsoil like a miniaturised American in a jug of golden syrup. My trusty knees absorb the landing, and I shake off shock, climbing from the ruck I’ve torn in Tarantino’s soil.
The air stinks of napalm, and far to my left I see Andrew has begun his assault on the Director’s mansion.
I race to join the action, tearing my shotgun from its holster. Guards pour from the building as I vault razor wire fences, and swim one handed across an acid moat. It stings. I feel the useless layers of skin peel from my body as I run, as I begin to kill. Blam! a jeep explodes before me, it’s howling occupants trapped in the blazing wreck. Pow! I floor a samurai with a thrusting buckwheat. Grunt! A lucky grenades uppercut pummels me into the air. I feel one cowardly leg fall away like wet spaghetti, and crash backward on a spiked fence, pikes of rusty metal goring my chest.
Urg! I tear myself from the metal spears, collapsing to the ground a dozen feet below. I shake off the pain, and rise to my foot. Something bites at my head with steel jawed impertinence. I snap the neck of the snarling beardog, and plant my foot on the dead beasts rib cage. As I tear it’s leg off, explosions rent the mansion grounds around me. The Director has called in air support. I chew hunks of flesh from the dripping thigh stump to expose sheer bone, and jam the bolt of marrow into my pumping stump. It’s a little tall, but I can walk. I start for the mansion proper, gunning down legions of hooded chaos-magic mind warriors. Their spells don’t work on me.
Andrew lands beside the barricaded door as I arrive, and we share a respectful nod. Physically he’s fared well so far, with a scant few bullet wounds pocking his steely hide, but I can see his mind is bleeding. The fight has cocked open old scars and thrust it’s dirty fingers deep inside. In his wild eyes I see a hundred battles reenacted, Vietnam, Korea, Waterloo. My friend fights not todays foe, but a thousand dead enemies.
I heft the nuke from my backpack, as he lays down cover fire. Setting it’s one minute timer, I begin to run. My bad leg makes it hard, but I find cover, hitting deck behind a sheet of bodies as atomics ignite the sky. Half blind, boiling cancers bursting from my skin like deamon fistula, I fight the shock wave, rise to my feet. The land is glass about me. Survivors beg for death through crispy tortured mouths. The air’s a dark blanket of frying mushrooms. I start in the direction of the mansion, to find it’s wall has melted before the fury of the blast. The Directors home lies open like a half eaten skull. I spit teeth and begin to climb the staircase to his lair.
An explosion knocks me from my feet, and I flip round, twin uzi’s spinning on my fingers, It’s Andrew!
His arms are gone, but he’s kicking grenades before him like Satan’s sliothars.
’Andrew!’ I yell, and he smiles up at me, though I can see his eyes have burned to motes. He follows the sound of my voice, and together we mount the staircase.
Tarantino meets us with a hail of fire. He’s mounted anti-aircraft guns on his first floor landing, and giggles manically as he pelts us with lead welcomes. Andrew adapts to his lost vision, dodging volleys by ear alone. I leap into the air, and use the bullets as a staircase, hopping from wave to wave like a murderous Mario. Tarantino’s face crumples in fearshame as we reach his command chair, and he leaps for the safety of his bedroom.
We speed after him, taking cover behind melting furniture as he opens up with a flame thrower. As the Director piles fire on Andrew’s position, I pull a blade from the quiver on my back, take aim, and loose a throwing knife. It surfs fire to land in the eye of his weapon. Pressure builds to an explosive backdraft and erupts, launching turmoils of fiery coke into the air, and slapping the Director to the ground like a rubber fish.
Andrew reaches Tarantino first, jackboots mercilessly hammering his grubby jowls. I take a breath and begin to work on the legs with a cudgel.
Finally, we loose him, and he slips to the floor, a battered doughy lump of guts and bone. I drop to my remaining knee beside him, and grab his hair in one fist, as Andrew readies the equipment.
Now’, I bark, ’How about that interview?’