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Illustration by John Naffziger
Gus Liberty was the meanest sonofabitch in the Middle East. He killed more terrorists than any other man, and fucked a larger variety of women. “Mercenary” was the title on his business card, and since the US pulled out, business was a-boomin’. Gus Liberty never pulled out. He had a shiny bald head, a pristine white smile, and a dirty bunghole.
Most of his clients were in the oil industry. Rich fat men who worked in Texas high rises and sipped cognac and had vetted economic interests in oil wells across the Middle East. Gus was hired to look after these wells. He protected the contractors and hunted down any terrorist factions looking to disrupt the steady flow of crude liquid gold.
This mission was a little different.
There was this FOX News reporter. A tall drink of water. Thick tan thighs. Fat ass. Small tits. She had been covering the rise of a powerful new terrorist regime in the area and somehow wound up captured by the evil bastards. She was slated to be executed on a live internet video feed. The FOX execs paid Gus a hefty sum to get her back before that happened.
A Blackhawk helicopter whirred overhead as Gus zipped up his trousers and walked out of the hut. A naked Middle Eastern girl with a thick bush beckoned for him to come back. But he had already gotten what he needed: a nut, and the whereabouts of the news lady.
Gus climbed into the passenger seat of the Blackhawk as it tossed sand in the air. The riffs of Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart my Heart” blared from a boombox over the whop-whop-whop-whop of the chopper blades. They set off for the target: a large, heavily-guarded outpost surrounded by nothing but desert and camel shit.
Gus took stock of his supplies. Four frag grenades. A machete. A Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle. And his favorites, duel Desert Eagle pistols he named Mary Kate and Ashley.
He pulled out his phone and opened a video. It showed a masked man standing over the captured reporter.
“We demand $10 million is US currency and the release of five of our prisoners,” the masked man said with a heavy accent.
He placed a sword against the reporter’s neck.
“Or it’s off with the talking head.”
The screen cut to black. Gus looked at his GPS, then called to the pilot.
“Here is good.”
“Sheeit Gus, you couldn’t hit a barn door from this distance.”
“I said, here is fucking good.”
The chopper stabilized. Gus slung the Barrett .50 cal over his arm and rappelled down to the sand below. He crouched behind a rock, shouldered his rifle, and peered through the scope at the enemy outpost.
1… 2… 3… He counted the number of guards on watch. He lined up his crosshairs on the first skull, inhaled, and held his breath. He squeezed the trigger until he heard a clack and felt the butt of the rifle press against his shoulder. Dammit. Miss. Just millimeters from his head. The target swiped his hand in front of his face as if to shoo away a mosquito, which made Gus chuckle. He lined up the shot and tried again. Hit. Without resetting, he dropped the other two. Clack clack. He put his sniper rifle in the sand and started running towards the outpost.
Inside, the insurgents celebrated their valuable catch. About 30 of them. They howled and danced and fucked farm animals. Then, an explosion. Waves of bodies crumpled to the ground like tall grass under a tractor tire. Screams of joy turned to screams of terror. Gus leapt through the flames. A cigar in his mouth. Mark Kate and Ashley drawn and ready.
Gus picked a target — one in front, where his friends would see him die — and trained his pistol. The insurgent collapsed with a sucking, bubbling neck wound.
A man with an AK-47 jump out from behind a pillar. Gus aimed for his nose and connected. Blood splattered on the wall.
The insurgents howled and ran in every direction. They fired their machine guns from the hip. Mad. Raging. Inaccurate. Gus, on the other hand, was focused. Tranquil, even. He picked off target after target with a predatory look on his face.
An insurgent lunged at him with a bayonet. He grabbed it and pulled the man towards him, thrusting his machete into his stomach. Another insurgent jumped on his back. Desperate move. Gus put a pistol under his chin and squeezed. A geyser of blood and brains spurted into the air.
The terrorist’s wives took cover from the slaughter. They watched the skilled foreigner with both awe-struck fear and full-blown arousal. They reached up under their burkas and played with themselves.
Gus was running low on ammunition. He knew he needed to find the reporter and get the fuck out of there. Now. He grabbed one of the wives from behind and pressed Mary Kate into her linen-covered temple.
“Tell me where the reporter is!” Gus demanded. “Or the bitch gets it!”
The insurgents paused. They looked at the wife, then at each other. They burst into laughter.
“We do not care if you kill her!” one of them mocked.
Gus’s brow crinkled in confusion. What the — oh right. They hate women here.
He dropped the woman to the ground and held up a goat. The terrorists gasped in horror.
“Tell me where the reporter is!” Gus demanded. “Or the goat gets it!”
“Baaah!” screamed the goat.
“Please… please… we’ll do anything you want,” the insurgents pleaded. “Just please don’t hurt Martha.”
“The weapons. Drop ’em.”
The remaining enemies threw their guns on the floor.
“Take a left down that hall,” one of them said. “Last door on the right.”
Gus back-pedaled with the goat in his custody. He ducked around the corner and released the animal. He sprinted down the hall and through the door. There stood the hot-ass reporter. The masked man from the video had his forearm around her throat and a gun to her head. The webcam filmed in the front of the room. Gus fixed his pistol on the masked man.
“You’re too late,” the masked man said. “You shoot me, I pull the trigger, the girl dies.”
“You’re not fast enough,” Gus said.
“Is that a chance you’re willing to take?”
A loud pop echoed down the hallway, out the window, and across the rolling hills of sand.
The live video of the execution aired at its expected time. People across the world tuned in to watch out of fear for the reporter’s life or out of morbid fascination or for whatever other reasons people have for watching these sorts of things. But as the screen cut to the image of the room, they weren’t met with a terrified woman and a masked man standing over her.
Instead, they saw two thick, tan legs flailing in the air and a big, curly nutsack jiggling forward and back.
“OOOH GUS!” The reporter moaned in ecstacy. A goat baahd from offscreen..