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I hated this part of the job the most. I never understood why command insisted that I walk among the people they wanted me to kill, but as long as they kept the paychecks coming I didn’t really care. I took the bus today in order to fulfill this part of my contract. I wonder are they trying to force me to develop a conscience? And why?

Even though my contract was specific on the ‘engagement with target population’ it didn’t specify how I accomplished that. Of course dealing with the shitbags that I did I never knew how they would ensure that I kept up with that part. I suspected they had eyes on me on from day one. I saw people trying hard not to look at me wherever I went. They were clever bastards, sending blacks to watch me but I caught on to this immediately. I did my homework. It’s my job to know my target after all.

Every morning was the same. I left from my suburban hide to head out to my ‘job’. Without fail I’d pick up the low flying drones cruising just high enough that most people wouldn’t be able to see them, but to me they stood out like coal on a snow bank. Inevitably I’d get to my ‘job’, in a mostly abandoned office block after having ditched several tails along the way. Just because they were sent to keep an eye on me, didn’t mean I had to play nice with them after all.

I could always pick out the tails because they hadn’t learned how to be black properly. I imagine they probably grew up in white neighborhoods, went to white schools, probably banged white chicks. Along the way they hadn’t learned that blacks don’t overtly make eye contact with white males; and they certainly didn’t maintain eye contact when they did.

That was one thing my watchers and the drones had in common. They never looked away. It’s enough to make a man paranoid. I liked that they followed me though– in a way. I’d spent years bouncing between Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and so many other little shit hole countries that I could barely remember what it was like to deal with Americans. My only dealings with them came through the job usually. Intelligence and policy analysts, Foreign Security chiefs, Operational Directors: American’s in name only. Dealing with them was like having a conversation with an online avatar. They had a few pre-programmed phrases to make them appear human, throw in some specific lingo to slant the appearance toward American and occasionally change the faces.

Whatever. As long as the check was good and they paid for ammo, I didn’t give a fuck.


The bus ride had been largely uneventful so far. A bunch of sad sacks got on to go to jobs or spend their food stamps, disability checks or buy their drugs.

Whatever. They were all the same to me.

I’d always enjoyed operating in target rich environments like this. When I’d first been turned loose in Afghanistan the only rule I was given was ‘don’t shoot children unless they are clearly armed and threatening’. I wondered if my employers had ever been to Afghanistan. Everybody had an AK-47–except the women. Usually–and as soon as I put one of them down, another would rush forward, grab the weapon and try to skitter off back to its hole. I smiled at the memory. I probably dropped three kids that first day; the temptation of their own Kalashinkov had been just too much. They’d run out into the street, snatch the rifle by its sling and try to run off with their prize.

I made a game of it after watching adults try the same thing. I’d let them get a step or two before firing. The kids were different though. They were smaller. I got a warm and fuzzy feeling; the trigger pull on my rifle had been exquisite.

I was drawn away from reminiscing about the good times, when two blacks got on my bus, talking loudly and trying to appear overtly threatening to everyone around them. Perfect. I sat back slightly in my seat feeling the cool pressure of the 1911 pistol in its retention holster as it pressed into my lower back.


I had been keeping an eye on everyone weeding out the immediate targets the ‘hero class’ as I thought of them, those likely to try and intervene once I got rolling. I felt pretty safe; my watcher was far enough away he wouldn’t be an issue. Not that I expected him to jump into the fray anyway. Across from me was a kind of pasty faced civil-servant type guy. I gave him another once over–something about him was wrong somehow–but whatever set my spidey sense to tingling wasn’t offering any further clues.

To my left sat a little faggot with a creepy pencil thin mustache. Ugh. They’ll let anything on public transportation these days. The faggot smiled at me and I realized I’d been staring at him. I gave him a sneering little smile and nodded at him, confirming I had been staring at him.

I turned my attention back to the guy across from me. He had the pallor of a cancer patient. I ran my check again. Hand, hand, face. No weapons visible, not making eye contact, eyes not darting around as if expecting trouble. I watched him stare at a spot on the floor for a while before his gaze shifted toward my targets. He looked away from them. No situational awareness in people these days. I sighed. Cheap clothes, probably from China-Mart, clean appearance, neat. His shoes were inexpensive and scuffed slightly. No tell-tale bulges near the ankle that might point to a concealed weapon. He fell asleep.

What the fuck?

I continued to examine him while keeping an eye on my targets.  I started flexing the muscles in my lower body as I sat there. Whenever my targets got off the bus, I’d be ready to run them down. I turned my head to see my watcher looking at me. Caught you, fucker. I said to myself as I held the man’s gaze and gave him a knowing smile.

My watcher’s glare quickly refocused when my targets approached him and stuck a bag in his face, exclaiming “Gimme yo wallet, nigga!” I held back a laugh and waited to see if my watcher went all Chuck Norris on them. He held character well though to my disappointment, handing over a fake wallet without even making eye contact with my targets.

I nodded to him when his eyes darted back to me. Nicely done. I thought at him. My targets didn’t even blink at the brand new wallet he’d drawn from his jacket pocket and tossed into their bag. From my position I could see the empty plastic window that would have contained an ID and all the empty sleeves where people would normally keep credit cards. There! Fucker smirked at me when he realized I’d caught not only him watching me, but his decoy wallet!

Now the key was to pick my moment. My targets made their way forward taking money from all the passengers on the bus. The one with the bag had one hand jammed into a jacket pocket trying to suggest he was carrying a gun. I watched the jacket as his hand came out to smack the guy across the aisle from me.  The jacket didn’t drop down with the weight of a gun. Figures. No gun, just play acting.

The bag man turned to me now. “Yo homes, give it up, I ain’t got all day be waitin’ on yo’ cracka-ass!”

I stared at him. There was anger forming on his features since I clearly wasn’t going to jump at his commands.

“No, I think I’m going to pass.” I smiled at him, waiting for the show to start.

The look in his eyes was confusing. It almost looked like he wanted to cry, but eventually anger won through “What? Bitch this ain’t no multiple choice final-jeopardy shit! Gimme yo’ money or Imma bust out my nine!”

I took a relaxing breath and thought of Afghanistan. The sunshine beat down on me in my hide. Sweat rolling off my forehead as I waited.

“Okay. Deal. Let’s see it.” I offered. It was only fair I thought. If he showed me his, I’d gladly show him mine.

“Hey mothafucka this ain’t no game! Gimme your money or Imma . . .”

Aww. Game over, I guess. I formed a fist around the small Böker pocketknife I kept clipped inside my jean pocket and drove my fist straight for his balls. There was a satisfying wet pop as the blade ruptured the ball in question. The look of surprise was priceless. I saw the wet stain spreading out from his crotch as he dropped down to his knees.

I took another deep breath. No gun for this, I thought to myself. Not necessary–the fight was over, even though bag-man’s friend didn’t yet know it. I exhaled and delivered a kick to bag-man’s throat, destroying the hyoid bone in the soft flesh beneath.

Bag-man’s comrade suddenly grew a pair and waved me on like he was fucking Bruce Lee.  I drew my left leg up swiftly and drove it down like a piston on the compression stroke, effectively curb-stomping bag-man into the afterlife.

“Whoops.” I said as I took a step forward and almost lost my balance on the mess that had been the man’s head. A puddle of blood and other fluids poured out of bag-man’s mouth creating a slick that pointed back toward his comrade.

Well fuck. I had another deep breath and made my decision. I leaped over the body and its slippery pile of waste. The comrade wasn’t much different than his friend; even though he had his hands raised to mimic a fighting stance he had no clue, no defense. I jammed my thumbs deep into his eye sockets and pressed down until I felt the soft roundness of the eyes disintegrate, spraying vitreous fluid over me and a few of those nearby.

Damn this kid could scream. He could give lessons to those Pakistani women wailing in the street over the remains of their dead husbands I’d sent off to meet Allah. I smacked him on the side of the head with the little Böker until he lost consciousness. Or died. Hitting people in the temple wasn’t an exact science.

“That’s why you don’t bring a nothing to a me fight.” I said and spat on the floor in front of what I assumed was about to be a corpse. I was sure if I hadn’t killed him my watcher would. I grabbed the bag with all the wallets stuffed into and fished out my watcher’s wallet and stuffed it into my pocket.

I thought about handing the bag to the weird guy I’d been hawking, but instead gave it to the faggot. “Make sure everyone gets back what’s theirs.” I ordered. The faggot nodded his face a mess of tears and snot. I shot a glance over at the weird guy, giving him a final look.

I pointed my finger-gun at him and tossed him a wink  “Yes, Tonto, I am… the Lone Ranger” then fired at him, smiling as my thumb-hammer came down. I stepped carefully around the offal collecting in the aisle toward the back door of the bus. As I passed my watcher I pulled his decoy wallet out of my pocket, making sure he saw the gesture.

I smiled at him and let the wallet drop back into my pocket as I pushed the bus doors open and stepped out onto the street.


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