The only enemy that matters is the man in the mirror. How do you fight yourself and win?
|The Back Story;
This is the conclusion to the first two parts. If your jumping into this without reading the first two you’ll be a tad lost. I’ll bring you up to speed…After getting traumatized, blown up, irradiated all the while doing something seriously illegal and at the behest of Uncle Sugar the team reassembled at our normal digs. Now the real war began, the one we have to fight with ourselves. That’s what’s at stake here, conquering yourself. The real war.
Mr. You Said, You Will and a Ms. I’m Not Here had just left, they made Stone an offer which he refused. It left them confused, however, Stone wasn’t, it was one of the best decisions he made at the time. After they left as was his habit, he hung his Dress Blue jacket on a hanger and hung that off a hat stand by one of the cargo doors. The support technician is folding up the chairs and the table they used.
The Wolf’s Den, a commercial building the Army rented in Frankfurt was built for a small trucking outfit. In the garage, a former livery stable from the last century, the wooden doors were open to a narrow alleyway. They moved the hearse to the singular bay out front…It just looked like a hearse. In reality, was an armored mobile surgical ambulance. Moving it opened the three bays up even more. Part of the bay was a propaganda studio; film processing and the cameras were in the back offices along with a sufficiently outfitted radio/satellite communications set. On the wall is a printed poster sent in from the next higher level, of three rabid, they were foaming at the mouth, wolves running at you with a bright lightening thundering lightening storm behind them.
Atomic Blonde had a problem with it morally. She pointed out the ‘Wolf Cult’ of Viking fame represented thuggery. She wanted a bear. Reason being the ‘Bear Cult’ is were berserkers come from. Stone nixed that off the bat, Russians were symbolic bears and how would that look? That and the fact wolves won’t hesitate to try to kill a bear or for that matter much of anything else. As for the thuggery implication…He simply pointed out their job entail killing bears or anything else that Mr. They Said and Mr. You Will wanted.
The service technician handed him a manila folder of paperwork and her leave request which he signed without scanning more than the dates and other paperwork. She asked him what kind of dogs he liked.
He like beagles.
She was shocked…She figured he’d like Dobermans or German Shepard’s. Macho dogs that bite. She also asked him why he didn’t take the offer from They Said, You Will. He said he was tired of looking over his shoulder all the time and turned away. On the way back, engrossed in paperwork he bumped into Air Dave who wanted to talk. Stone had already fallen into the fog of his own thoughts and the routine paper work. They chatted a bit about Satan’s Whore he then said good job about Terry, shook his hand and then rapidly left for Ramstein AFB. It took Stone a second to catch on. He then muttered out of sight and out of mind while sliding toward his office trying not to think about that.
“See Satan?” Mortician asked him as he passed by not really seeing anything or anybody.
“Signed her cast,” he answered looking up. “They put pins in her leg…She’ll be okay.”
“So how you doing?” she prodded.
“Put your undershirt on,” he noted blandly.
“You let Little Brother walk around here without his shirt on,” she glanced at him, pleasantly.
“Okay, your tits are nicer than his…AR670-1, put your shirt on and get Dingo Balls in uniform…We’re on the clock…”
“You sure you’re okay?” she asked. “Normally you don’t mind.”
“Consider it a new day and I’m turning over a new leaf…”
“Did you see Bavarian Fox?”
“And?” she questioned as her paramour Super Dyke TNT strutted past. Before he could answer they stole a kiss from each other.
“Cut that out love birds…PDA’s on duty are frowned on…Just saying…” he whistled.
“And your other sister?” she reminded him arching both eyebrows.
“Lost,” he exhaled. “Before you ask whether she stays or goes home is up to the medical review board.”
“What do you want?”
“What I want isn’t important…Now I need to finish these up and get them off to Wiesbaden before close of business,” he dismally muttered then found his desk. He thought about breaking into his private stock of whiskey, located in the bottom left hand desk drawer. He declined officially as he wanted to be sober enough to see the printing on the paperwork and not sleep it off in the store room as he was won’t to do from time to time.
“So Chief,” Atomic Blonde chirped as she walked into their shared office. “Whatch’a thinking?”
“Thought you had a funeral to officiate?” he grumbled without looking up.
“I did. Many ways to die too…So can we talk?” she inquired lightly, but firmly.
“Give me a minute as I finish up,” he replied and took the next ten minutes crossing ‘T’s and dotting ‘I’s. When he looked up, much to his dismay, she was still standing there.
She stood there in her white vestments, blonde hair loose to her shoulders wearing a blackface dotted with small white and yellow Edelweiss flowers.
“I’m not dead yet,” replied and wondered if she wore that from Stuttgart in public. He elected not to ask.
“Could be,” she shrugged and asked for permission to sit.
“Your office also,” he shrugged and found his whiskey. He then poured himself a double and threw it back. It didn’t cause him to flinch any more than other beverages, that surprised him.
“Passing out in the store room again? You do that allot anymore…”
“Just a couple of times…”
“More than that,” she insisted as she counted off the number.
“Okay, so I’m making alcoholism a hobby,” he shrugged it off. “Now what are really here for?”
“I heard Mr. They Said offered you the fast track to fame and glory…You said no. Why?”
“I don’t do this for fame and glory…”
“Heard about the aircraft incident…Do it for blood?”
“No…They killed my half-sister Terry…” he stared though her while leaning back in his chair. He then leaned forward and poured himself another.
“Well you threw a draftee out the cargo door at five hundred feet…”
“He was dead already…” Stone pointed out as a matter of fact excuse.
“How’d you talk your way out of it?”
“Who’s going to put me in jail for it? They didn’t put anyone in jail for Terry…I pulled the reasoning off a Monty Python skit. Why were you there? Mom, God and Apple Pie? Like killing or is this about money for you?” he angrily threatened her, albeit unintentionally. “War is about murder. Why does it matter how it gets done? That’s the point…Kill the other guy first. You can do it because Mr. They Said, You Will throws you a couple of bones. You can do it because of the notion your ideas on politics are better than theirs. Trying to free the slaves of a commie state? Admirable, but now you’re killing the bobbleheads you’re trying to free so I think that would be a bit disingenuous. Why you doing it?”
“Don’t talk to me like that,” she seethed while leaning forward.
“I’ll talk to you anyway I like,” he leaned forward, meeting her eye to eye. He then added, not bothering to discipline any cold calculating malevolence. “I love you to death but don’t make any assumptions…”
“On our corkboard you have the scalps of the three out of the five Russians we wasted a couple of months ago…” he went on growling, snarling almost while thumbing toward the corkboard. “I understand Mortician collects ears…”
“You know about that?” she gasped.
“I’m in charge…I’m supposed to know about that,” he barked. He then smiled with an inner artic blast that he even missed, but she didn’t. He then whispered almost. “I’m the Big Bad Wolf…This is my den…You want to bring religion into it? There is no honor in killing the weak or helpless. True. Here’s something to think on…There’s dishonor in not avenging your family. I didn’t gain anything in that…But I didn’t disgrace myself either…Now what?”
He poured himself another as she sat there at a loss. She then acted like the sanctimonious bitch she could be. She stood up and told him to have another as he was already dead.
“I’ve been dead awhile and now you’re noticing?” he replied in his best smart-ass.
“Kill them all and let God sort them out, eh?” she shot back smartly. “Christians say that…”
“Kill enough of them, you’re bound to hit the right ones…” he shot back, feeling that fire burn on his face. “A Pagan said that! You’re a bigot…You’re dirty like the rest of us.”
“And if they get you?” she shot from the hip.
“You said I’m already dead,” he replied. “We all die…It’s how we live that matters…”
“You’re drunk,” she condemned him while flustered.
Reading her face, through the black cosmetics and Edelweiss proved problematic if not impossible.
“On alcohol,” he rapidly answered. “You’re dead also. You hide it behind being a Volva…Truth is you’re straight out bloodthirsty…You like killing.”
“And you?” she retorted, the wind deflating from her sails.
By the way she stood and, in a sense, smelled, he knew he hit pay dirt.
“I do what I have to do, sometimes I do what I want…” he furiously spit as he cocked his head to one side. “I got one dead sister, one with a busted-up leg worrying about if her dance career is over…And one bouncing off the walls in the psych ward. I have to ask myself for what?”
Super Dyke TNT knocked on the door frame and asked if there was anything to send to Wiesbaden, as she was closing the commo-shack. At first, he refused, rather off key politely on the grounds he would. She then reminded him what happened the last time he said that.
She left with the routine but sensitive documents.
“Well, looks like we both have somethings to think about, don’t we?” Atomic Blonde croaked.
“Yeah we do…” he answered as he watched her leave.
He then poured another double for himself. He listened to Mortician, Little Brother and her talk quietly in the hallway. They thought he was too intoxicated to hear the conversation. She told them it was about Terry.
She got it right.
Minutes later, Little Brother marched into the office, reported formally and asked for permission to speak freely.
“If it was my sister,” he stated plainly. “I would’ve done the exact same thing…”
He then smiled like the cat that ate the canary, then asked for a drink. Stone agreed and as he fiddled around the lower left drawer looking for a glass, Little Brother grabbed the bottle then, drained it. He then shit-faced burped, thanked him for it, then asked to be dismissed.
Stone sat there stunned.
“Well, I got the emergency war reserve over here,” he giggled as he found that pint in the lower right-hand drawer. Naturally, he slept it off in the upper store room.
“You sure my face isn’t cocked-off to the side?” Satan’s Whore obsessed as her brother stood behind her with a curling iron. If you didn’t know, you could never tell, she had her face re-built five weeks earlier. It wasn’t a major surgical issue; however, it was big enough. As for her brother, he knew her cheeks were different but just that, different.
He was pleating her long blonde hair in the kitchen of the apartment he shared with her, Slut and Bavarian Fox. Satan patiently steady herself on crutches being prepared for a date with somebody named Robert.
“The surgical scars are like heavy paper cuts, they’ll clear up and the barrette covers them,” he replied. He then with great care placed the hair slide on her crown, then used a tape measure to verify the centering. “There…You’re good to go. Oh, I put a condom in your purse…”
“You think of everything…” Slut gawked. “That’s why you’re Steinlitz!”
“How can I get nailed with my leg in a cast?” Satan’s Whore chirped. “Really? I barely know this guy…”
“Ah, it’ll do you good…” Stone laughed. “Besides it’s your leg that’s broken not your kitty.”
She craned her head back and stared at him as fire shot from her eyes. He then mentioned she looked like the original Alice in Wonderland. Albeit taller.
A knock came to the door then Slut yelled from the bedroom, she’d get it. As she carried a canister of curlers toward the door Satan asked Stone about the aircraft.
“I know you did that,” she went on before Slut could open the door. “Would you do that for me?”
“Go get him killer,” Stone answered as he gently nudged her forward.
As for ‘Bob’ he sheepishly walked in, and looked Satan over and then asked Stone why he had a curling iron in his hand.
“I do my sister’s hair,” Stone coldly stared back.
“I’m getting a perm next,” Slut smiled, while bouncing up and down hard enough to rattle her cannister of curlers.
“Are you gay?” ‘Bob’ asked out of nowhere.
Satan’s Whore froze, then stiffened up, it didn’t take too much imagination to see a spiny ridge form from her spine along with fangs dripping neurotoxin extend from her mouth. She made a sound like Godzilla.
“Why? You want your hair done?” Stone replied lowly. “This is a hot object…I can really make somebody hurt with it.”
Slut stared at 'Bob' maliciously.
“My brother always does my hair,” Satan's Whore bristled. “Why is that a problem for you?”
“I was just curious…He’s you’re brother…?” ‘Bob’ muttered producing a stupid facial expression that surpassed Stone’s.
“You can’t tell by the family resemblance?” Stone asked with an obvious tincture of hostility.
“Why are you staring at me like that? Who are you anyhow?” he then asked looking at Slut.
“I’m his other sister…You ain’t getting any stud,” she smirked.
“Let’s get on with it,” Satan’s Whore announced and hobbled toward the door. “Hope you brought money…I’m expensive…”
Once in the hallway the conversation is clearly overheard and one way.
“Are you gay? I ask because the last two before you were trying to put the sister act on me…Yeah, I do think you’re light in the loafers…That’s why you wanted to know if my brother was a faggot…Now shut up and heel! If you’re a good boy I’ll let you rub up against my leg after you buy me the lobster…” Satan’s Whore ordered or threatened, depending on how you wanted to take it.
“Dumb question,” Slut asked Stone as he washed her hair in the sink. “I heard about the aircraft thing…”
“Really? Word gets around huh?” he commented hoping he’d never hear anything about that again.
“Yeah,” Slut went on as he wrapped a towel around her hair. “Would you do that for me?”
Stone stared at her incredulously. He couldn’t believe she even needed to ask the question. She snapped her fingers before his eyes, asking what he thought.
“Yes, I would…” he finally answers, after regaining his senses.
“What were you thinking?” Slut questioned. “You went somewhere else…Where?”
“How much more for a wife?” Stone clarified. “Strangest thing…When you asked me that…The only thing that went through my mind was the question; How much more for a wife?”
Slut stared at him for a moment contemplatively. She then sadly said, “If you weren’t having problems with that, I wouldn’t want to know you. That said…Thank you. The Russians took a sister from me I never met…Another sister I wanted to know. I hate them for that…One day I might forgive, but until then I guess we both have our problems…”
“We do, don’t we?” Stone sadly agreed.