August 05, 2022

Strategic Asshats

Captain Reynolds just needed a drink.  He just needed one drink.  The
world had been going to shit for too long, and now it was just a pile
of crap with houseplants growing in it despite the most parched odds.
Captain Skippy had been due to report back for over a week.  The
situation in the Middle East had reached a head when a creepy Muad'Dib
character over there had risen from the ashes of everything Holy and
started making horrific demands.  The situation was rapidly
snowballing into one deadly avalanche.  Far too many people were
following the crazy asshat now.  Far too many people.

Reynolds couldn't drink now.  There was too much at stake.  It had
become too much of an issue.

He was supposed to be on vacation going skiing, too.


PFC JJ Sanders had never wanted to do anything, per se.  He had always
wanted to be the happy husband of a happy wife.  He stood a little
under five feet tall, but he had always packed a wallop.  He was a
lover, not a fighter.  He had done his time and been honorably
discharged twice basically, happy to go.  It was nice to feel that he
had made it through nothing much, to a happier life with enough of a
pension and a good job, a bit more attractive, a bit more seasoned.
He always explained to people that he had made it out of it all with
flying colors, ranking on par with dirt, not lower than it.

He had fallen right into the perfect job as a ski lift operator,
selling weed to beautiful snow bunnies on the side.  Life couldn't be

Sanders' sergeant had gone insane.  He had also been honorably
discharged, a little before Sanders.  It had been one of the defining
factors in his choice.  Sanders had always missed the sergeant after
he left, and he had pulled as many strings as he possibly could to go
home too.  He knew a lot of what had happened to the sergeant, and a
lot of it seemed to add up.  JJ had been horsing around when the
sergeant had been toting a shell one day well in excess of his own
weight and dropped the fucking thing right on its tip, right on the
detonator.  The sergeant had screamed and literally crapped his pants,
but the shell didn't go off.

The sergeant had almost hit PFC Sanders, and he was known to be able
to throw a punch that would kill an Elephant.  Sarge had broken down
in tears, sobbing on JJ's shoulder.  He left for a while to get to the
bottom of what had happened.  When he got back he explained the whole
thing to JJ, but he was clearly driven insane forever after that.

The last thing Sarge had said to JJ was, "the rifling arms the sons of
bitches.  There's somethin' hinky about Skippy."

JJ knew Sarge had grown up homeless, been honorably discharged once
before, and been homeless again after that.  He loved that man.  It
was disturbing to see.


JJ's twin brother Spec.  Sanders, another Specialist, and Sarge had
been detailed to a strange task.  Big bro never should have even told
JJ, right?  How do you explain a wound like that, though?  The three
of them had been detailed to guard a vast field of opium poppies.  It
stretched on beyond the horizon.  It was a strange mission.  Sarge was
spooked.  The other Specialist was shaking like an electric dildo on
high.  Sanders didn't grasp what he wasn't getting.  Sarge was being
too careful, he thought, and it didn't make a single bit of sense.

Sanders took one round through the upper right part of his chest on
that mission, but all three of them lived.  Sarge is at the end.  The
other specialist went home to just do heroin forever, until the day
both his wife and mom died.


Reynolds was done with this shit, but he wasn't going to drink.  Not a
drop.  He was going to take Skippy's plane and clean up the mess.  He
marched up the nose of the fuselage of the ancient bomber, pulled out
his sidearm, and put two bullets in the place the man had insisted
that a fake nickname be painted.  "Damned".


JJ had enlisted a second time.  He needed to see Sarge again.  He told
no one, but he figured he had it all figured out.  They had lied to
him that he wouldn't be sent overseas again, but he had enough strings
to pull to get stationed at Mardi Gras.  JJ knew what he was doing.
When he saw Captain Skippy again though, his blood ran cold.  He tried
not to stare.  He knew his life depended on not staring.

It was great until the hurricane was coming in.  Everyone panicked.
The troops stayed to keep things orderly while panicking.  Civilians
disorganized rapidly.  It was chaos.

Someone was firing on them, right before the hurricane hit.  A
civilian took out the guardsman next to JJ with one shot to the head
from what looked like an ancient bolt-action, then froze in shock.  JJ
went to take him out, but his commanding officer stopped both him and
the dude to his left and screamed to leave the man.  Leave the poor
fucker alive.  The dude to the officer's left was going berserk.  He
stood up to deliver spent uranium into the open mouth of the civilian
standing there anyway but was gunned down first by another one.

Skippy was late to get them support.  He rushed them all to a
warehouse where they would be safe.  JJ was the first to figure it
out.  There were glowsticks everywhere and all the different drugs
anyone could have ever wanted laid out like a buffet.  They had been
left there to die.  Most of them were tripping too hard on something
to operate their fingers, much less any machinery, as they stumbled
down the nearly-empty streets of New Orleans right as the Hurricane
hit.  JJ survived it, and he just changed his name after that.


Reynolds was in the air with one poor sap on one gun in the shitty old
bomber.  It moved painfully slowly at the best of times.  He didn't
have to fly all that far, but he was done.  He was going to nuke the
entire fucking city.  Skippy had to be stopped.  Sarge was down there,
Reynolds knew it.  He felt sick, but at least he wasn't drinking.

Two jet fighters approached rapidly, adding to the radio chatter
screaming at him to come down.  This was it.  The gunner was so
reluctant to fire that when he finally did it only gave away which
position he manned.  The plane was going down over a snowy,
picturesque mountainside.

The captain would be damned if he didn't drop that bomb.  It was ready
to go but the plane was wrecked in the air.  He went to bomb bay,
looking sickened over the precipous of the open doors.  He kicked the
bomb hard.  It didn't budge.  He got on top of it and started
hammering at it with both feet, stomping on it, grinding his teeth.

Finally it released, and he tumbled out after it.  Far below, his
stomach dropped simply to realize it was falling right onto that
fucking ski resort.  He saw JJ far below gazing up at him.  His
spirits lifted instantly.  He was sure JJ had died.  JJ didn't look
all that confused down there.


Sarge had cornered him.  He had done it.  Skippy had always been a
fast talker, but there it was.  In a back alley no one ever came out
of alive, Sarge sliced Captain Skippy's face off with a machete.  The
nose of a velociraptor unfurled, popping out like a normal rubber
dildo under pressure in a can.  "Fuck," it said.


The nuke landed in the snow, buried all the way down to one fin
sticking up.  The piece of shit didn't come close to denotation.  The
captain bounced off of it and landed at JJ's feet, everything in his
right leg shattered and shredded up to just above the knee.  He didn't
go into shock or anything.  JJ was there already, tying the
tourniquet.  He did an extremely good job of it.  The profuse bleeding
stopped.  Most of the snow was white.

He knew Captain Reynolds well enough.  He said cautiously to the man,
"did you know alcohol withdrawal can literally be fatal sometimes from
the shakes alone?"