Mac and Bill–The Way of the Sword (unfinished)

The folder was titled “The Way of the Sword”. The dossier inside was complete–maps, photos, bios, everything that could be useful. It wasn’t going to be an easy job but the more intel, the better. The fact that it paid well didn’t hurt—but this job was gonna feel good.

Two men were examining the materials in the dossier. One was a large, heavily muscled man with black hair and brown eyes. He was in his early to mid-thirties. His name was Bill Ramsdale. He’d been a Navy SEAL, but had left the military. At the time, it was his only option; Bill was gay.

The other man was gay as well, but his departure from the military had been less pleasant–he’d been dishonorably discharged for his sexuality.

He went by the name of Mac Anderson, but Bill suspected that was an alias. He was certain the last name was.

Mac was the same age as Bill and built just as well. His hair was red-gold, kept in a buzz-cut. His eyes were flinty blue, hard eyes that could watch a man die without blinking. The circumstances that attended his leaving the military had left Mac with no bitterness–but it had also left him with no overweening patriotism.

A target was a target, no matter his nationality or occupation.

Mac and Bill were business partners offering an expert service. Their service was killing. They were very good. And they enjoyed their work very much.

They specialized in silent infiltration and stealth kills, no questions asked. Usually they operated with minimum information–in and out, acquire and waste the target and any collateral obstacles. This time was different.

The only thing normal about this job was that they didn’t know the name of their employer. It didn’t matter. They’d already confirmed the wire transfer. Half up front, half when the job was done. And this one paid well; there was a lot to do.

The photo of the first subject in the folder had been clipped to a bio that ID’d him as the main target. His name was Adam Kintzler. He was the head of an extreme neo-Nazi paramilitary outfit called The Way of the Sword. He was much the same age as Mac and Bill. In the photo, obviously taken without the subject’s awareness, Kintzler was dressed in combat fatigues with white-laced black boots up almost to his knees. His dark hair was shaved even shorter than Mac’s and came to a sharp widow’s peak on his forehead.

He was good-looking in a hard way, his eyes cold and shifty. Danger and propensity for violence were obvious, even in a photo. Even though Kintzler was nowhere near as well-built as Mac or Bill, it was clear that he’d put up a fight. The real question, though, had to do with infiltrating his compound. The dossier was somewhat vague on the number of guards.

That information would be handy–but, ultimately, not necessary. Mac and Bill had been given carte blanche to kill as many guards as they needed to reach the target.

It usually turned out to be “necessary” that all guards be killed. Sometimes Mac and Bill went back to make sure they’d gotten everyone, even after the main target had been taken out. You know, just for the fuck of it.

Judging by the dossier, they’d have plenty of targets to waste this time. Looked like Kintzler was building himself a fucking strike force–although there was no hint of what he wanted to strike. But the man was a domestic terrorist manqué. He hadn’t made a name for himself yet, which made the situation even more dangerous. If all the lunatic was looking for was publicity, his target could easily be a school or a hospital.

Included in the folder was an aerial photo of the compound, along with a map. Marks on the map indicated likely positions and numbers of guards, but the accompanying documentation indicated that these were educated guesses, not based on actual observation.

The terrain map was informative. The compound was located in the western part of the state. The heavily-wooded land was not far from a state park, but was privately owned. Legal documents showed that Kintzler had worked around the unwanted prying that taxes would incur by registering his vicious organization as a church. The property itself was extremely isolated and approachable along a single gravel road.

The map of the compound showed that the whole place was fenced–indications were that it was chain link topped with barbed wire. The single gate in the fence was on the gravel road and faced due east. This gate was likely heavily guarded.

Facing the gate was the entrance to the main building. Just to the north was a smaller building, labeled ‘arsenal’. The entrances to both buildings were also likely to be guarded. The main building consisted of communal living dorms along with a kitchen, mess hall, lavatory and rooms evidently designed for training. Kintzler’s private quarters were also in the main buildings. There was no way to tell how many men would be inside at any given moment.

Scattered around the grounds were various areas designed for paramilitary training–obstacle course, gun range, etc. Mac and Bill were planning their assault for after dark; it was unlikely that any of these areas would be in use. They would focus on the main building.

The vast majority of Kintzler’s men were young, raw punks whose only training was that given by Kintzler himself. There was a dangerous handful of more seasoned men. Some, according to the dossier, were experienced mercenaries adding to their resume–but not many. Kintzler wasn’t capable of paying much. Most of his inner cadre of warriors were as bat-shit crazy as he was. They had joined The Way of the Sword for ideological reasons and were united in their insane goals of ridding the country from gays, Jews, blacks, and any other minority they wanted to blame for their own failures in life.

Raw or not, they all knew how to fire a gun. Mac and Bill both knew that movies were the only place for a dramatic entrance with guns blazing. The success of this mission would depend on their reaching Kintzler before anyone else became aware of their presence and raised an alarm.

Every guard they encountered would die quietly–in unimaginable pain, if they could help it, but silently. To that end, they did pack guns with silencers, but decided to work with hands-on weapons. They usually used this type of weapon anyway; they liked to feel their victims die in their arms, but this time it was necessity, not a personal preference.

They packed light and traveled separately on motorcycles, agreeing to meet at a point five miles south of where the gravel road left the state highway. They’d pull off into the woods, hide the bikes and reconnoiter the area before going in.

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As in everything they did, Mac and Bill timed the meeting perfectly, Mac arriving three minutes after Bill. This stretch of the state highway was a bypass; the business route ran southeast through a small town near the main entrance to the state park. But there was an interstate less than twenty miles away that got the brunt of long-distance travel. Since most local traffic went through town, this stretch of road was invariably deserted.

That, of course, was why Kintzler chose this area. He was a hate-filled killer, but he wasn’t stupid. Mac and Bill knew better than to underestimate the fucker.

They hid their bikes in the underbrush, then got themselves geared up. They had decided that stealth was the best bet to reach their target with a minimum of resistance. To that end, they each wore a tight black jumpsuit with black soft-soled combat boots, black knit caps, and black leather fingerless gloves to improve their grip on their weapons. Even the camouflage paint they smeared on their faces was black.

They would be completely invisible in the darkness. As long as they kept silent, the first clue their targets would have of their presence would be the agony of a death blow.

To reach the compound, they hiked west from their meeting spot. Five miles straight back through the woods, then north for another five miles. Mac and Bill were in perfect physical shape; even so, it was a wearying trek, made even more tiring by the need to keep absolutely quiet. But they covered the ground quickly and were soon in a position to scope out the compound’s main gate.

There were four men guarding the gate, patrolling the area in pairs. According to the intel, this was the only spot on the perimeter fence not covered by motion sensors. To get in, they were going to have to whack the guards, quickly and quietly.

Mac and Bill withdrew into the woods to make sure they were fully prepped before the assault, double-checking their gear and weapons. As Bill slipped an extra knife into his boot sheath, Mac stowed a wire garrote in a pouch on his jumpsuit, then bent down to make sure his own boots were tightly laced.

Suddenly, he heard voices–a pair of guards was approaching. He and Bill crept forward through the underbrush to point about ten yards off the gravel road.

The guards themselves were still on the road. One of them–the younger one–was bitching about needing to piss. The older one nodded towards the woods, in Mac and Bill‘s general direction. “Go take a leak over there,” he grunted. “But hurry the fuck up. I don’t wanna be out here all night.”

After a brief consultation, it was decided that Mac would circle around and take out the guy on the road. Bill would wait for the younger one to approach him.

Mac hunkered down and waited for the kid to pass him in the darkness. The punk passed by less than two feet away, oblivious to the mortal danger hanging over him.

The kid looked like he was about fifteen, but looks were deceiving. Kintzler had had legal issues in the past with recruiting minors. He had a tendency to pick up troubled youths who were especially vulnerable to his brand of hate and violence. Eventually, relatives had objected and The Way of the Sword had forked out a small fortune to keep things quiet. But this time Kintzler was planning something major and didn’t want to be derailed by an investigation into the ages of his henchmen. However young the guards may have looked, there was no one at the compound under the age of eighteen.

This punk had shaggy dirty-blond hair. He wore a purple t-shirt without a jacket, despite the cool temps. It was too dark to see if his tight jeans were black or navy, but they were tucked into yellow lace-up work boots that had black leather around the upper openings.

The other guard was about the same age as Mac and Bill. He was likely a hired hardman, employed to train the worthless rejects that comprised the bulk of Kintzler’s force. Probably acting in a mentor capacity to the kid he was with. He was blond, with a brown leather jacket and skin-tight blue jeans that were tucked into combat boots. Strapped over his shoulder was a worn-out AK-47 that was still a better weapon than his protégé held–an ancient .38 revolver with what looked like a homemade silencer clumsily attached with electrical tape.

Once the kid passed by, Mac crept down to the roadside and readied himself. He waited to attack until he was sure Bill had the punk in complete control.

It didn’t take Bill long. Like Mac, he had his own garrote. The boy had paused a little over a yard away, exposing his massive uncut dong and urinating on a tree. He never heard Bill coming. The wire flashed briefly in the moonlight before cinching tight around the little shit’s neck.

The guard jerked back abruptly. The flow of liquid from his dick had eased momentarily before the knife-like pain encircling his throat startled a new splash of piss from him. He clawed at his neck in panic but the thin wire had already sunk into his skin. There was no way for him to grasp it.

Mac heard the kid choke and struggle. The sound was so faint that the older guard didn’t hear it, but Mac had been listening for it to tell him that the coast was clear. He maneuvered closer to the edge of the road, loudly snapping a twig with his boot as he did so.

Exactly as Mac had planned, the merc whipped around at the snapping sound. He could make out a dark, terrifying shape rising out of the darkness, but his attention focused on a bright point of light that swelled to encompass half his field of vision with lightning speed. Then there was blinding, overwhelming pain that started in his face and enveloped his entire body.
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Bill was getting hard. It happened on virtually every kill, but this time he wasn’t the only one. He kept a steady backwards pull to keep the punk off balance. The kid’s boots scraped furrows in the dirt and his swelling dick bobbed as he desperately tried to remain on his feet. He was young and inexperienced, but he knew that if he fell, his own weight would tighten the wire.
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Mac’s target was already dead; he just didn’t know it yet. He kept standing, a look of dull surprise on his face, soiling his jockey shorts as he lost control of his bladder and bowels.

The last coherent idea in the hardman’s consciousness was that he’d been hit by lightning. The expanding flash of light; the nightmarish electric pain that was shorting out his nervous system; it had to be lightning…

The same bright full moon that had made night vision unnecessary, the same light that had reflected off Bill‘s wire, had reflected off the tip of Mac’s knife as well. As the mercenary turned towards the sound of the breaking twig, Mac had stepped forward, holding his Ka-Bar knife horizontally. He jabbed it forward, spearing the merc’s right eye. The seven-inch partially serrated steel blade sliced through the stunned hardman’s socket, meeting no resistance at all until it impacted the bone at the rear. Mac applied a little more pressure and the knife punched through, traveling along the path of the optic nerve into the brain.

Traveling forward horizontally, the blade shaved off the base of the frontal lobe before sinking deep into the fucker’s cerebrum. Cold hard steel blocked the electrochemical impulses that made up the man’s mind, his moods and personality and dreams. It was all gone in a moment, leaving nothing but a quivering piece of meat, shitting and pissing itself.

Just to make sure, Mac angled the knife up and yanked the meat puppet back towards him. Gripping the dying guard’s face with one huge leather-gloved hand, he brutally twisted the blade inside the eye socket, shattering the bones of the orbit.

Mac closed his mind off to the stench of the motherfucker’s shit. He’d been through this dozens of times before; they often shit themselves or pissed themselves. He was used to it. As he jerked the knife back out of the guard’s head, the corpse dropped straight to the ground.

Mac wanted to hear if Bill‘s target was still struggling. Problem was, the fuck he’d just wasted still didn’t know he was dead. The synapses in his savaged brain were firing randomly. The merc was almost literally humping the road, his reflexively erect cock creating a bulge in his jeans that wore a groove in the gravel surface. His shuddering boots kicked up a small cloud of dust. It was making too much noise. Mac was gonna hafta stick him again.
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Bill could see long strings, glinting in the moonlight. Not the wire; that was buried so deeply in the punk’s neck that it seemed miraculous that his throat wasn’t cut. One gleaming string was a streamer of drool dangling from the kid’s gaping mouth, pushed out by his dark, swelling tongue.

The other string was a drizzle of precum forced from the violently bobbing head of the dying boy’s dick. The vicious little fuck was too busy fighting for his life to realize that he was on the verge of shooting a wad. Still gagging and struggling, he sank to his knees as he pawed desperately at the immovable force locked around his neck.
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Back by the road, Mac knelt by the trashing hardman and placed his knee on the guy’s back. He slid the tip of his blade down the meat’s neck, feeling the vertebrae through his skin. He stopped at a point about an inch below where the guard’s skull met the spine.

Mac braced himself by gripping the guard’s head tightly. He forced the knife into the back of the man’s neck, slicing clean through the spinal column. The asshole stopped convulsing instantly, quivering tensely for a few seconds before going still. Mac stood up and turned to rejoin Bill. He didn’t know if the guard was completely dead yet or not, but it didn’t matter. He would be in a few seconds if he wasn’t already.
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Bill‘s meat was slowly sliding into death. The kid was no longer grasping at Bill‘s hands and arms; his twitching hands flopped limply at his sides. The boy had collapsed from his kneeling position and was huddled on the forest floor, his work boots quivering feebly and stirring up dead leaves.

Mac emerged from the underbrush just in time to see the little fuck’s bulging, bloodshot eyes roll back into his head. Suddenly the worthless punk went rigid. Mac grinned at Bill as the boy’s cock began to writhe and spunk, spewing a huge jet of semen that splashed everywhere–the tree trunks, the meat’s hair–it even splattered in Bill‘s face. As Bill wiped his face clean, he unwound the wire from the corpse’s neck. It was embedded so deeply he had to tug hard to get it off.

Two were down but there were a lot more to go–and at least another two to deal with before they reached the main gate. The warriors returned to the hunt, leaving the still-quivering youth to ooze seed from his exposed member as his body started to cool.

As Mac and Bill scoped out the gate, it was becoming clear that Kintzler had instituted a training program for his guards. Just like the last pair of guards, a raw teenaged recruit had been paired with a hardened mercenary. If the kid slipped up, the hardman was there to handle things. And maybe teach the kid a thing or two about killing.

Bill glanced at Mac, a broad smile on his face–they were both wondering the same thing. They were wondering if the merc would teach the punk a thing or two about dying.

The kid could stand to learn a thing or two. He was a cocky little shit in a black leather jacket, wearing his cap backwards. His tight white t-shirt and jeans showed developed pecs and thigh muscles; he wasn’t one of Kintzler’s usual scrawny teens. Mac and Bill concluded this kid may have been in his early twenties—he was trying to rock a soul patch and mustache, black against his pale skin. Black lace-up boots with thick soles, even a thick silver chain around his neck—the complete douchebag look.

His partner, again, was older, perhaps about thirty-two or -three. He had a Teutonic look—short white-blond hair, squinty pale blue eyes and thin lips. He wore a green bomber jacket of a type favored by skinheads, with jeans so tight it looked like he’d had to have help getting them on. They were tucked into knee-high white-laced boots.

This little fucker was getting a full indoctrination from one of Kintzler’s expert hatemongers. His “church” had a great affinity with neo-Nazis and the older guard was one of the cross-overs. Perhaps Kintzler had noticed some special skill in this punk and wanted him pumped full of his vile ideology—so he got paired with a devoted member of the church.

Time to nip that problem in the bud, so to speak.

They were still on the south side of the road. The guards were at the gate itself, but they were both on the north side. Mac and Bill were close enough to hear them talk, but they needed to come up with a plan of attack quickly. It wouldn’t be too long before they noticed their compadres were missing and raised the alarm.

“Yeah, dude,” the older one was saying, “you see how it works? With the Jews runnin’ the economy and the fags runnin’ the media and a nigger runnin’ the govuhmint, ain’t no white guy gotta a chance to make a livin’. They gonna kill us if we don’t kill ‘em first. You see how it is!”

A lure was needed. Something to draw their attention that didn’t seem overtly threatening. The snapping of a twig had worked earlier—why not again?

What they eventually used was larger than a twig, but Mac had decided they should move father back into the woods. It didn’t appear from their map that the gate was visible from the entrance to the main building, but there was no sense in taking a chance. They wanted to draw the guards away from the gate before offing them. At that distance, they wouldn’t have heard a twig…

“What was that?” the kid asked.

“I didn’t hear nothing,” snarled the Nazi wanna-be. “You think there’s something out there, go check it out. That’s your job. I’m gonna stay here; somebody’s gotta watch the gate. And where the fuck are Joe and Larry? When you get back, we’re gonna go find them and I’m gonna fuck those assholes up!”

This time, Bill turned and moved east—he was circling around to cross the road and come up behind the guy at the gate. Mac was waiting to ambush the kid. As it so happened, Bill got there first. The kid was scared and took his time.

Bill managed to maneuver himself so that he was directly behind the guard at the gate. The Nazi was standing facing south, across the road, smoking a cigarette as Bill approached from behind.

Bill had already decided that the best plan of attack would be to come in low and overwhelm the guard with trauma-induced shock. He hunkered down directly behind his oblivious target, and exploded in a fury of violence. Grasping his knife, Bill thrust his arm forward repeatedly, slashing up between the Nazi asswipe’s legs. One thrust of the knife cut through the fucker’s scrotum, spilling a pinkish fluid of blood and semen intermixed. Another sliced open the hardman’s femoral artery.

The fascist punk gasped as his voluntary nervous system shut down in the face of intense agony. He rose up on the steel toes of his boots, his mouth gaping as he tried to draw a breath to scream. Even as he did so, the horrible pain was back. Bill slammed the knife into the fuckwad’s back—a thunderclap of pain and the blade was embedded in his kidney; the lighting agony as the serrated blade was yanked out of the wound—and then the orgasmically excruciating sensation as it slashed into his intestines just below his ribcage.

The Nazi hardman sank to his knees, mouth agape, staring dazedly in front of him. He had no idea what had actually happened to him. Bill gave him a final thrust with the blade; it slipped between the dickhead’s ribs and penetrated his left lung. “Hunh!” grunted the guard as the blow collapsed his lung and forced the air out. He faceplanted, kicking his legs out several times. Blood trickled from his mouth and pooled in the dust of the road.
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Mac was crouched behind a tree, waiting for the punk to come close enough to grab. He had to be patient. The kid was scared shitless. His arrogance was all talk; he knew he was a worthless little shit. Here was a group—a church, no less!—that told him it wasn’t his fault. That was a reason to live. But it didn’t make up for his natural cowardice.

It was easy enough to blame others for your shortcomings, but if those others can fight back…

But they couldn’t. That’s what Adam said. That’s why the Way of the Sword would win in the end. It was only the straight white male who had the intelligence to govern; all else would produce chaos.

The punk gulped and moved forward. This was what was right.

And then it all went wrong.

Mac rose silently in front of the kid, an avatar of death. The boy was shocked to his emotional core; even without any physical contact, he was completely immobilized by terror. He tried to scream but found that he couldn’t breathe. Somewhere in the recesses of his mind, he registered that the warm flow he felt down his right thigh was piss.

The little fuck had hated himself for as long as he could remember. As terrifying as this moment was for him, deep in his craven pig heart, he knew that this was what he deserved.

Mac knew this. As he rammed his knife into the worthless little bitch’s larynx, he whispered, “Die, motherfucker.” He then yanked the blade from a horizontal to a vertical position, slicing the boy’s tongue in half. The tongue is a very large muscle and Mac had to apply some force to cut through it. For the kid, it was extremely unpleasant and indescribably painful…

The boy’s cap had fallen off in his struggle, revealing short black hair. His black boots with the thick soles gouged furrows in the dirt as he kicked out in agony. Mac could feel the punk’s facial hair tickle his fingers—his black leather fingerless gloves were protecting his palms.

Mac held the boy close as he forced his hard steel blade up through the kid’s soft palate and into his sinuses. As the hardened steel blade punched up through the base of the motherfucker’s cranium, he arced backwards, his cheek stubble scratching against Mac’s own cheek as the little shit reacted to unspeakable agony.

He didn’t have long to react. As Mac’s blade slashed into the douche’s cerebrum, he angled the blade back a bit before slamming it home. The razor-sharp time tore into the punk’s medulla, destroying the brain’s ability to send signals to the spinal cord.

The result was an immediate orgasm.

The kid’s hips bucked up and down like he was riding a bronco as his dick, clearly outlined in his skin-tight jeans, spasmed repeatedly. As Mac ground his hard steel blade into the fuckwad’s skull, slicing his brain into hamburger, a large moist dark spot began to grow in the crotch of the meat’s jeans.

Too soon, it was all over. The hot little punk in the leather jacket was dead. His silver chain was stained not only with the blood that had leaked from the horrific wound in his throat but also with brain matter that had been ripped from the interior of his skull.

There was a white froth of semen in the youth’s groin; he was literally young, dumb, and full of cum and despite the trauma his brain had already suffered, his autonomic nervous system responded to imminent death by trying to preserve his genes—a last spunk in the hopes that his sperm would somehow survive. Instead, there was nothing but the fishy smell of dying sperm mixed with bodily waste as his corpse sank into death and he voided his bladder and bowels.

It took Mac a moment to regain his composure. His own huge rod was stiff and burning like a red-hot bar of iron in his crotch.

They’d cleared the gate. Now they needed to clear the main building—and the arsenal.
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Mac and Bill passed through the gate unchallenged–the four men who should have challenged them were quivering piles of meat left to rot in the woods. Once inside the compound, they turned to the right, making for the armory on the north side. They moved silently–somewhere on their left was the guarded entrance to the main building, but they were planning to take out the only other guards left outside before they went after the main target. This way, they knew there wouldn’t be anyone circling behind them during their attack.

The “armory” was a steel shed, about twenty feet square, backed up close to the perimeter fence on the north side. Two men were standing near the entrance. Neither of them were kids; Kintzler wasn’t taking chances with his weapons. These were professionals. After conferring with Bill, Mac and he decided to separate again and take the hardmen out simultaneously. It was going to have to be swift, though. These guys knew how to fight; only instant incapacitation and death would prevent them from raising an alarm.

This had to be quick, quiet, and brutal.

The difficult part would be making an unseen approach. Luckily, the two mercs were standing facing east, not the direction from which Mac and Bill were approaching. It didn’t hurt that Kintzler hadn’t made clearing the compound a priority; in fact, the amount of shrubbery left standing was a clear indication of his amateur status. A professional would have cleared the place right away, making sure that every inch could be seen and survelleiled when necessary.

By keeping close to the eastern perimeter, Mac and Bill were able to skirt past the guards without attracting notice. Once they reached the northeastern corner, the metal shed that Kintzler had wishfully designated his armory served as the perfect cover. They’d be able to take the hardmen from behind, before they knew they were being hunted.

Mac crouched down and retrieved the combat knife from his boot sheath as he peered around the corner of the shed. He could see one guard whose back was to him. The other guard wasn’t visible because he was standing directly in front of the armory door. Mac turned his head to Bill and nodded towards the other corner. Bill took the hint and started in that direction.

They were moving from the back of the building–the one spot it never occurred to the guards to check–towards the front, one on each side of the shed. Mac’s knife glinted in the low light. Bill didn’t have a weapon out; he planned to take his target out with nothing but his leather-gloved hands.

Again, timing was critical. Both men had to be wasted at the same time. Mac and Bill had already worked out the timing for this maneuver; in the past, they’d spilled a lot of blood with it.

Death came to the guards with the speed of lightning.

Mac’s target was ex-Marine, judging by the insignia tattooed on the right side of his neck. He was in his mid- to late-20’s and very powerfully built. He had an ethnic appearance, with copper-colored skin, black hair, and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Under his leather jacket, he wore a sports t-short and jeans, both straining so tightly against the hardman’s bulging muscles that they looked painted on. His jeans had small horizontal tears running down the front of both legs; they displayed smooth firm skin running down to his combat boots, which had zippers as well as laces.

Bill‘s target was slightly older, perhaps early 30’s. Not quite as well built, this guard was thin and wiry, with a hard craggy face. He too wore jeans and a t-shirt, with brown work boots pulled up over the cuffs of his jeans. He had short red hair and red-gold stubble on his face.

Both men were armed with shotguns. As Mac and Bill crept closer, they could hear the hardmen laughing and boasting about their sexual exploits. The younger one, the ex-Marine, was describing in detail how he’d fucked a local whore, while the older guard chuckled and added his own comments. They were so involved in reliving their conquests that they never realized they were being sized up for the kill.

Mac reached the northwestern corner of the shed at the same time Bill reached the southwest corner. The guards were facing away from them. They nodded quickly to each other to show that each was ready.

The killing was swift and simultaneous.

Bill jumped forward and clamped his hand over the hardman’s mouth. At the same time, Mac lunged ahead and buried his knife in the Marine’s back. As the kid gasped and rose up on his toes, Mac jerked the knife back out.

At the same time, Bill yanked the older guard’s head violently to the right. The motherfucker’s vertebrae shattered with noise that sounded like a zipper being quickly undone. Bill twisted the guard’s head past 180 degrees, so that the dying fuck spent his last few seconds on earth looking into the cold eyes of his killer.

Bill held the body close to him. Massive nervous system trauma caused it to tremble and quiver in his arms. As Bill watched, a small trail of blood leaked out of the right nostril. The hardman’s eyes, wide with pain and panic, looked beseechingly into Bill‘s, the expression of bewildered terror impossible to miss. The man had no idea what was happening to him. The thought that he was actually dying never occurred to him. The excruciating pain, the inability to breathe, all overwhelmed his ability to think rationally.

He’d have fallen to the ground if Bill hadn’t continued to hold him upright until he died. As life drained out of the guard’s eyes, his bladder voided, filling his boots with piss. His respiratory system paralyzed, the hardman’s face turned blue, then black as he suffocated. Bill let him collapse in a heap, still alive for at least a few more seconds. He got to watch his buddy die before sliding into death himself.

Mac’s target was taken out just as efficiently, if a little more painfully. The knife in his back had induced shock, rendering soldier boy defenseless. Mac slashed between the kid’s legs, slicing open his femoral artery. The punk would have bled out, given time–but Mac wasn’t giving him any time. He kept plunging the knife into the kid’s body with lighting speed, fucking him over with the blade. His arm moving so fast that it blurred, he plunged the tempered steel blade repeatedly into the hardman’s tight body.

The boy was unable to deflect the blows. Each wound sent a shockwave through his body that incapacitated him. There was a horrible tear in his side, but before he could understand that the knife had been jammed into his flank, it was withdrawn, only to slam back into his chest. Before the punk’s lung could collapse, the knife was gone. Then it was back. Mac aimed low and the razor tip speared the boy’s groin, penetrating into his bladder and nearly severing his scrotum.

Mac hadn’t even given soldier boy time to piss in terror. His urine drained out, diluting the blood pouring out of the kid’s mangled sack. The guard could feel the agony but before he could react, the knife was inside him again, tearing and slashing his guts.

The attack had happened quickly; it was over in a matter of second, then Mac stepped back. Soldier boy stood swaying, still deep in shock. His tight clothes were red with blood, his boots stained with blood and piss. The punk turned to Mac and opened his mouth, as if to speak. He reached a hand out to Mac, his eyes silently pleading for help, for some way to understand the vast wave of pain that had swept over him. He coughed, a thick gout of blood splattering from his full lips before he sank to the ground in a shuddering, bleeding mound of hamburger.

Mac and Bill now had free access to the armory. The shed was dark and dirty–Kintzler evidently didn’t know how to care for his weapons–but they each grabbed a handgun and a silencer. Before leaving, Mac set a small incendiary device on a timer. No need to blow the place to fuck; a small fire would render the weapons inoperable just as well and would draw far less attention.

It would be a while before the timer went off, though. In the meantime, Mac and Bill would be busy. There were several more fucktards waiting for them. And they all needed killing, bad.

Having taken out the guards at the armory, Mac cautiously approached the main building with Bill trailing silently. They anticipated that there would be at least four guards between them and the entrance. If they didn’t want the entire army–such as it was–of the Way of the Sword to come down on them, they needed to be very, very careful.

As it happened, luck was with them. There were indeed four guards, all together at the entrance to the building. Mac and Bill hunched down in the underbrush to recon. As they watched, they could hear the guards talking. Bill grinned and nudged Mac when he heard one of the hardmen say that since it was a quiet night, he and his buddy would take turns patrolling with the other two. As the guard went inside, he bolted the door audibly behind him, having made sure that one of the two guys taking the first patrol had keys.

That just left Mac, Bill, and two walking sacks of meat who didn’t know they were about to die.

These two were young. They weren’t kids, but they weren’t seasoned mercenaries either. They looked more like locals who’d somehow gotten caught in Kintzler’s orbit–unluckily for them. It was a fatal mistake.

The local punks separated, one going to the west and one to the east. After a brief and quiet conference, Mac and Bill separated as well, Bill going to the west and Mac to the east.

Mac moved a bit more swiftly than Bill. If his target moved to far to the east, it was possible (not likely, but possible) that he would stumble upon the corpses or the armory guards and raise the alarm. Mac wanted to take him down before he got too far from the building. He had just begun to sidle towards the target when the punk wheeled and called out to his buddy, bumming a smoke. As the guard moved to take the cigarette, Mac took the opportunity to cross his path on the east side of the building.

Lighting the smoke, the local boy turned back and resumed his patrol, the bulk of the main building looming on his left. The corner of the building was ahead of him, and around the corner was sudden, agonizing death.

The unsuspecting youth was in his mid-twenties, with dark blond, curly hair. His broad, blond face, cheeks smudged with golden down, had a slightly Germanic look. He was about six feet tall, well built, with narrow blue eyes. He wore a plaid button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows, showing hairy, muscled forearms with indistinct tattoos. A wide brown leather belt circled the hips of his tight, worn jeans. He had on brown shitkicker boots that matched his belt and were just as worn as the rest of his clothes.

Mac hid in the shadows on the east side of the building. Immediately behind him was a roughly-built work table of some sort; it had been slapped together out of rough pine boards. Despite its weathering and general dilapidation, it was still sturdy. Mac crouched beside it, ready to spring.

Mac was on the kid the moment he passed the corner. There was a brief, desperate struggle while the kid fought vainly for his life, but Mac slammed him against the side of the building and stunned him with a blow to the face before he could cry out. Then he swung his knife up and rammed into the little fucker’s throat, just behind the angle of the jaw.

The kid’s head turned to the right with the force of the blow as the blade sliced through the thick, muscular base of his tongue. His eyes slitted in extreme agony, the punk was unable to scream. His mouth stretched back in a grimace of pain. Mac could see the boy’s tongue clearly–it was protruding and wriggling, pinned in place by the knife skewering it. The little shit was unable to draw it back in his mouth.

Mac grabbed a handful of the boy’s shirt and threw him down on the table, on his back, yanking the knife out as he did. The kid coughed up a gout of blood, but his useless attempt to scream in pain and fear was cut short as Mac flipped the blade around and slashed repeatedly at the guard’s throat.

The kid’s scream became a gurgling moan as the razor-sharp edge of Mac’s Ka-bar knife tore open his windpipe and sliced into his larynx, severing his vocal chords. The punk’s hands clenched and snatched convulsively at Mac’s arms but had no impact on the brutal assault. Mac’s blade became an excruciating blur of death, moving so fast that even Mac had trouble aiming. As a result, the worthless little shit suffered several vicious slashes across his face, cutting open his cheeks and lips.

It was over in less than two minutes. Mac stood over the guard, breathing deeply, admiring his work. The kid lay on the table, his mangled face covered in blood. His stunned blue eyes stared at Mac. The punk tried to scream again, but the only sound that came from his shredded throat was a hissing moan. The kid blinked twice, shuddered violently, and died. A stench filled the air as the dead punk shit and pissed his pants.

Mac ambled back around the corner to wait for Bill. He didn’t have long to wait.

Bill‘s target was slightly younger and slimmer than the first guard. He had a bush of brown hair on his head, with large brown eyes under it. He wore a maroon v-neck t-shirt and skin-tight jeans over combat boots. He also had a gun tucked into his waistband at the back. Bill, approaching from behind, could see the grip pressing against the small of the fucker’s back.

Bill jumped the punk from the rear, clamping one gloved hand over the kid’s mouth while pulling him back tightly. He could feel the kid’s gun pressing into his belly, but the kid had no way to reach it now. And no time, either.

The guard struggled in Bill‘s arms. Bill raised his knife in front and the guard’s squirming became more frantic–he could see the knife and knew it was coming for him. The knowledge didn’t help, though. He was trapped in Bill‘s iron grip and could only follow the blade silently with his eyes as it rose in front of him. It hung in front of his face for a suspenseful moment before plunging into his chest.

The kid’s cry was muffled to a grunt by Bill‘s black leather glove, still gripping the guard’s face. Bill tightened his hand, his thumb sinking into the boy’s left eye as he squeezed the kid’s head, eliciting another agonized moan. Bill had needed to get a better grip so the punk wouldn’t slip out of his hands as Bill jerked the knife away and thrust it back in, on the left side this time.

He could have let the little shit go at this point and still have been perfectly safe. The blade had punctured both of the boy’s lungs, causing them to deflate like leaky balloons. The guard was no longer able to shout and would suffocate soon enough anyway. But he could still make noise, still alert others. Bill had no intention of letting that happen.

Besides, it felt good. The dying fuck jerked and rubbed his ass against Bill‘s crotch with each thrust. His boots kicked out, digging into the dirt.

The punk spent the next sixty seconds in horrible pain as Bill continued to pump the knife into him in a steady rhythm, almost as if he was fucking the kid with the blade. The boy’s shrill grunts faded as seven inches of tempered steel tore through his smooth skin and firm muscles, grinding his organs to hamburger. By the time Bill stopped, the guard was already dead, an oozing pile of meat in his arms. He dropped the quivering mass of flesh which fell straight to the ground with a thump and turned to rejoin Mac.

They didn’t know how many guards were at the main entrance. They began circling the building, looking for another point of entry.

Things were about to get dicey. They prepped themselves to deal with an unknown number of armed men within a confined space. It was time to go own some punks.

As the corpses of the outside guards cooled and stiffened, Mac consulted with Bill on the best way of gaining access to the building. They figured that the other two guards they had seen were most likely still just inside the main door. After all, it had taken no more than a couple of minutes to drop the hardmen outside.

Again, the simplest, most direct approach is usually the best. Mac knocked on the door. It opened a crack and the guard stuck his head out.

Mac had gotten a good look at these guys before they’d ducked inside. They looked more like experienced mercs than the kids they’d left outside. The one who opened the door was in his mid-twenties, with cold, slitted eyes and a shaved head. He’d groomed his facial hair into a knife-edge soul patch. He wore an olive green t-shirt and amazingly tight jeans, the cuffs of which he’d tucked in into a battered pair of ropers.

“Damn, dude, if you lost that fucking key again–” the merc snarled as he peered into the darkness. Mac never gave him the chance to finish his sentence. With lightning speed, he buried his knife in the kid’s throat, impaling his larynx so he was unable to cry out. Mac dragged him out of the door just as the other guard stood up.

There was a small entryway behind the main door, with another door directly opposite, leading further into the building. The other guard had been sitting in a chair by this door. He was about the same age as the other merc, with shoulder-length blond hair and stubble. His shirt was more of a khaki color, but it was a size too small and it stretched tightly over the guard’s heavily muscled chest. He also wore a pair of torn, soiled jeans and boots with squared-off toes.

He rose from his chair and reached for his rifle the moment his buddy was yanked out of the door, but it was too little, too late. Another large figure loomed in the doorway. It was Bill. The silenced 9mm in his hand caught the light as it coughed quietly, twice.

A hole appeared on the right side of the merc’s chest, knocking him back at an angle. Before he had a chance to react, his right eye vanished and a cloud of red mist and tissue erupted from a jagged hole near the top of his head.

The hardman stood still for a moment, swaying slightly. His face went blank and a stream of blood spurted rhythmically from the top of his skull. He sank to his knees, drooling, arms out and hands scrabbling for purchase. Even after hot lead had torn a path through his brain, the hardbody punk was still fighting a losing battle to stand and resist.

As the kid knelt, massive brain trauma reflected in his vacant expression, Bill could see a large dark spot forming in the guard’s groin as his physical control slipped and he pissed himself. With a deep, hiccupping gasp, the young man toppled over and convulsed, blood still spurting from his shattered cranium as his boots kicked jaggedly at the chair he’d been stating in just seconds earlier. The small room began to stink as the dying hardman shit his pants.

Outside, Mac was making quick work of the skinhead punk. The kid fought him, his face a tight mask of agony as he choked and gagged on the coppery taste of his own blood filling his mouth. His hands grasped weakly at Mac’s shoulder while Mac jerked and twisted his blade in the little fuck’s throat, slashing it open, flaying the kid’s trachea like a fillet.

Mac didn’t want to get too much blood on himself. He kicked the merc hard in the balls, then punched him in the face. The kid staggered back, fell, and did not get up again. He died face down in the dirt, awash in agony, not realizing that his useless life was over.

They’d managed to gain access, killing the guards before they could raise the alarm. But now they were in the hornet’s nest. Some of Kintzler’s crew were kids, violent, troubled youths. Mac knew that he and Bill could handle the kids–could handle anyone they met in the compound, for that matter–but not all at once. And some of the men inside were hardened, experienced killers.

Mac and Bill were going to have to ensure that no alarms were raised at any time they were inside the building; they could be overwhelmed by too many adversaries at once.

This meant they were going to have to kill everyone they saw inside. Just to be safe.

The entryway they’d entered was near the southeast corner of the building. The inner door revealed a hallway running straight back into the depths of the building and another hall to the left, running along the front of the structure. The hall going back had doors on its right side only–rooms looking out on the north side of the compound. The hall to the left had doors to rooms in the front and a couple of doors on the right, evidently leading to a single large room.

Both halls were empty. The dossier on the structure had been necessarily vague; Kintzler’s quarters were likely in the back, on the other side of the building, but there was no way to tell for sure.

They were going to have to hunt.

Since the hall directly in front of them led towards the back, they decided it made the most sense to start in that direction. It was a bit easier than the other hall would have been, anyway, since all the doors here were on one side.

Guns drawn, the two shadowy figures of death stalked the darkened hallway. The first couple of rooms were overgrown supply closets. The third room had a pair of bunk beds, both empty.

The bunk beds in the fourth room weren’t empty. All four beds were occupied by sleeping men. Bill nodded at Mac and approached the beds on the right, while Mac went to the left.

The men in the bottom bunk never woke up. They died like dogs in their sleep, jerking and grunting as silenced bullets tore through their skulls. As quiet as the silencer was, though, the faint punching sound and the flash from the barrel disturbed the men in the upper bunks.

The guard on the left sat up, running his eyes blearily in the dim light. He looked up just in time to catch Bill‘s next shot full-on in the face. The bullet caught his mouth and ripped straight back into the brain stem. The unsuspecting merc slumped back onto his bed as his teeth littered the gore on his pillow. Bill grinned at the results of his 9mm facial.

The guard on Mac’s side was just awake enough to realize what was happening. He sat bolt upright in the bed, frozen with horror, his long curly blond hair caught at his shoulders. The hardman saw the muzzle of the gun pointing at him and instinctively put up his hand and turned away. It was useless, of course. The bullet punched through his palm and lodged in the man’s skull behind his ear. He jerked forward and fell out of the bunk, causing Mac to leap up and grab the merc’s hard body before it hit the ground. Mac laid him down quietly before both killers stole silently out the door.

They left the room behind them reeking of death and gunpowder. The blond guard wasn’t completely dead yet, but he was no longer a threat. Mac left him on the floor, marinating in a puddle of his own blood and piss.

The next room was also empty, but the one after that was occupied.

Bill crouched down and peered through the crack of the door. Another bedroom with two bunk beds. The lights were on. There were two men in the room–but that was being generous, Bill decided; these two were kids. Neither of them was over nineteen years sold, by the look of it.

One of the boys was already undressed and in bed. The other was sitting on the other bunk, still dressed in a tight blue t-shirt, jeans, and white leather hightops. He was a big boy, with an incredibly broad, firm chest; his jeans strained tightly around his muscled legs as well. His dark curled hair was kept short, showing his blue eyes, now red with alcohol and drug use.

He’d evidently just gotten back for a night out. He sat on the bed, sharing a joint with his roommate and bragging about the whore he’d banged in town.

His friend was smaller, with a fringe of very straight brown hair hanging low over his forehead. He was sitting on the bed with the blanket thrown back, revealing his smooth, slim, firm body. He was wearing nothing but his white briefs, so Bill could see nearly every inch of the boy’s skin. The boy was seriously fucked up with a glassy-eyed grin and was clearly enjoying his buddy’s tales of conquest, judging by the tent pole in his shorts.

As Bill stepped back to confer with Mac, they could still hear the kids talking. The smaller one mumbled something about getting a beer. This time, it was Mac who perked through the crack.

Muscle boy was still sitting on the bed. He was stoned out of his gourd and wasn’t going anywhere. The other kid didn’t bother to dress. He slipped a pair of combat boots onto his bare feet, leaving them unlaced and open at the top, as he prepared to leave the room.

Mac and Bill consulted again, quickly. This needed to be a quiet kill. The silencers were starting to wear out and they didn’t need to take any more chances.

This one was going to be hands-on. Mac drew his knife from his boot sheath. Flecks of dried blood from his earlier kills floated off the blade. He and Bill flattened themselves against the wall where they’d be hidden by the opening door. Then it was a matter of waiting.

The boy in the skivvies came out and turned to the right. He never saw the two men behind the door. Mac had already marked him; Bill was gonna take out the guy in the room. But this kid needed to get a bit further from the door or he’d end up blocking it.

Mac watched the kid’s back as he stumbled down the hall, his boots clomping loosely on the floorboards. White cotton cupped the boy’s tight ass as it flexed with every step. Mac sidled after him, creeping forward to allow Bill enough room to get through the bedroom door.

It was time. They sprang simultaneously, taking their targets utterly by surprise.

Bill burst through the door into the bedroom, his knife drawn, his rubber-soled boots gliding soundlessly. Muscle boy looked up at him in wasted confusion, his drug-addled mind not comprehending the avatar of death standing before him. He gaped slack-jawed at the blade, fascinated by the glint on its razor edge.

The boy in the hall never saw it coming. Mac clamped his hand over the kid’s mouth and held the firm, struggling body close to him as he thrust his blade repeatedly into the punk’s back and flank. The useless little fuck fought hard, his hands trying to pry the merciless grip of Mac’s leather-gloved fingers from his mouth so he could call out for help.

There was no help, no alert. Each thrust of the blade made the kid writhe, causing him to grind his firm, tight ass into Mac’s groin. The boy’s muffled grunts and moans became louder.

“Shh,” whispered Mac into the kid’s ear. “Almost over. Let go, you little fuck. Stop fighting it. ”

The teen’s hands pawed and grasped helplessly at Mac’s arms, desperately seeking some escape from the agony of the knife. The boy could feel the muscles like iron bands in the body of the man who was holding him tight in a death grip. Every thrust of the blade left the kid weaker and in more pain. And then it stopped.

Mac stood, breathing heavily, as the youth slowly slid to the ground. As he sank, first to his knees, then onto his face, the boy tried to remain upright by grabbing Mac. The hard killer could feel the kid’s hands grasping him weakly, on the arms, in the groin, down the legs.

As the punk huddled at Mac’s feet, his life blood draining out onto Mac’s combat boots–and his own–the boy turned his tear-stained face up to Mac’s, trying to understand what had happened, how a quick trip to the kitchen had engulfed him in a screaming vortex of pain and death…

He got no answers. He slid into death as confused and ignorant as he’d ever been. Mac watched the boy’s face intently. As he saw the light fade in his eyes, Mac could feel his own cock, straining in the crotch of his black commando jumpsuit, start to spasm. He knew what he needed to do.

Mac crouched over the dying teen and slowly sliced open his throat. He was silent; the only sign the he’d filled his own shorts with cum was his ragged breathing as he sawed through the boy’s neck.

Bill, of course, was just as hard as Mac—but this was business, not pleasure. It was his job to drop this piece of shit. If he got off while doing it, great.

This time, he thought he’d be able to get off. The kid was way too fucked up to resist. He was helpless in the face of a stone cold killer determined to off him quickly and quietly.

The boy’s red, half-open eyes had focused on the blade, mesmerized by his approaching death like a rabbit hypnotized by a snake. He was lying back across the lower bunk at an angle, his head against the wall and bent forward at the neck. His legs splayed like thick overstuffed sausages, his left sneaker resting on the floor, the right one dangling in the air to the side of the bed.

Bill was patient. He waited as the kid’s eyes moved slowly up from the knife to his face, then locked onto his own eyes.

“Wha th’ fuck?” slurred the wasted teen.

“Time to die, motherfucker,” Bill replied, grinning. Then he fell full-length on top of the youth and began plunging his knife into his young victim’s squirming gut.

The punk gasped in anguish as the seven-inch serrated carbon steel blade sliced its way through his intestines. He inhaled deeply, preparatory to a scream, but Bill slammed the heel of his free hand up into the kid’s jaw with lightning speed and pressed his head against the wall.

Throughout what followed, Bill kept up the pressure on the boy’s jaw, grinding his head ruthlessly into the wall.

The kid was young and strong, a teenager in the prime of his life and very well built. He fought for his life with unconscious desperation—unconscious because he was fighting for something he’d never valued, something he’d wasted completely.

Even as Bill’s knife tore through the youth’s smooth, taut belly and parted his six-pack abs like they were warm butter, the boy wrapped his legs around Bill’s torso and began to squeeze. It wasn’t a deliberate defensive move so much as a form of flailing. He was in agony.

His hands grabbed and snatched at Bill’s face, causing Bill to have to turn and bob his head to avoid them. It got old; Bill moved higher up on the boy. Now Bill’s groin was level with his victim’s; each pump of the knife made the kid’s pelvis buck like a bronco and grind his package into Bill’s junk.

It was unbelievably swift and brutal—although it undoubtedly felt like an eternity to the poor punk who’d started the evening by getting fucked, then getting fucked up—and now getting knife-fucked.

But it was literally a matter of seconds. When the boy started making loud incoherent noises out of the corner of his mouth, it was more an instinctive cry of agony than an intentional call for help. Either way, it meant the end.

“Shut the fuck up, you piece of shit,” Bill hissed. He shoved the kid’s head into the wall as hard as he could, bending it back to expose the underside of the jaw.

Bill hunched down, using his body to restrain the teen punk, the hardman wanna-be, and slammed his knife deep into the exposed tender flesh under the boy’s jaw. The worthless little fuck had thought he had what it took to be real killer. He spent his last excruciating seconds of life learning what a real killer could do.

The knife wounds in his gut and chest were nothing—pinpricks. The fountain of agony that erupted as the sharpened steel blade sliced up through his tongue was literally indescribable. The teen’s muscled body quivered in shock as his face contorted unrecognizably. His legs tightened around Bill’s body, his leather sneakers digging at the backs of Bill’s thighs.

The pain in his jaw and tongue were only the beginning. Over the next few seconds, the boy spent eons in pain, coming to understand the death to which his wasted youth had brought him. It damn sure felt like eons as the blade continued upwards. The pain as the steel tip penetrated his soft palate was phenomenal, but nothing could have prepared him for the horror of hearing and feeling the knife punch through the bottom of his skull behind the sinuses.

There are no nerve endings in the brain. The sound echoed within the teen’s mind, ablaze with terror, but he couldn’t feel the massive trauma being inflicted. Which isn’t to say that he wasn’t in pain—Bill’s blade was very thick. As he kept inserting into the punk’s skull, it kept slicing the wound open further.

The boy lost voluntary muscle control. Poor little fuck, he’d been so proud of them, too. Bill grinned as the kid’s hard body convulsed involuntarily. He planted his hand over the fucker’s face, twisted the knife violently inside the skull, and jerked it out.

Bill found himself holding the kid down with both arms as he thrashed uncontrollably. Suddenly Bill could feel a moist warmth in his groin. The sensation made him shoot his load, clamping down and holding the trembling teen hardman tightly to prevent any noise. He hadn’t specifically meant to do it, but his blade had shorted out the boy’s brain at some point, overloading the central nervous system to the point of producing an involuntary orgasm.

Fuckin’ A. Not everyone got to get paid doing something they love.

It took Bill a few seconds to recover himself enough to continue. No more than a few seconds, though. He was a professional and this was an occupational hazard. He knew Mac experienced it as well and, out of respect, allowed him a moment to recover also.

After no more than fifteen seconds, Bill stepped back into the hall, ready to continue the job. He looked down at the boy crouched at Mac’s feet, catching Mac’s grin. They dragged the corpse back into the bedroom and closed the door. Luckily, the hallway was dark enough that the pool of blood and urine wasn’t visible at a distance.

They fully understood that this was still a dangerous situation. Not all of the men ahead would be as easy to take out as these two had been.

The hunt was on.


 

“Yeah, man, let me hook you up with my accountant. I dunno what the fuck he’s investing me in, but I’m making a wad of cash. If you wanna earn serious interest on this bonus money, I’ll get you his contact info. He ain’t exactly public, ya know?”

Chris looked up at Chuck. “Dude, that’d be great,” he replied. “Hey, do ya think this Kintzler wacko really has the extra money he promised us?”

“He’d better,” growled Chuck. “Yeah, he’s a psycho, but he knows better than to hire a bunch of professionals and then stiff them on their pay. If he jacks us, he knows they’ll find him in a hundred pieces, each one cut off while he’s still alive.”

Chuck Allen was thirty-four, ex-Marine–a hardman. He had sandy hair that he waved with gel, even “on duty,” as he liked to think of himself. He was about six feet tall, well-built but not overly muscled. A dark blue t-shirt with an American flag stretched tightly across his chest. His fatigue pants were tight as well–Chuck was well hung and liked to show it off–down to his lower calves, where they bloused into his combat boots.

Chuck was in his room in Kintzler’s Way of the Sword “barracks” in the madman’s compound. It was a small, bare room with two sets of bunk beds.

Despite the four beds, only one other person occupied the room. This was because Chuck and his roommate were experienced men. Most of Kintzler’s “army” consisted of deeply troubled boys, virtually all of them between eighteen and twenty-five. Stupid kids, that is. They had to sleep four to a room.

Hence the bonus Chuck was referring to. It was extra pay for training the kids in the art of war (in keeping with his low IQ, Chuck liked to think shooting unarmed civilians was an “art”). Although Chuck, with the contempt typical of the older male towards the younger, doubted any of the punks would rise to professional quality; they were utter fuck-ups, one and all.

Chuck’s roommate was Chris, Chris Jacobs (real name Jacowitz, but he had no intention of letting Kintzler know that and end up losing a good gig because the dude was a racist nutjob). Chris was thirty and ex-military as well, although he’d never advanced higher than lieutenant captain in the army. Still, basic training and a brief stint in Afghanistan—where he’d been in the motor pool—made Chris ten times more experienced than most of Kintzler’s punks.

Of course, Kintzler had hired other mercs as well. Chris was on the low end of the totem pole among the men (as opposed to the boys). Chuck had taken him under his wing, more or less, and Chris was grateful.

Chris had dark brown hair in an untidy shag over his head and a scruffy beard to match. He lounged back on his bed, looking up, his large blue eyes looking up at Chuck out of his broad and somewhat naïve face.

His nose was large, his lips full and his lashes long, all of which combined to give him a look of innocence, of vulnerability—when one looked at him, it was easy to understand why he’d washed out of the military; he didn’t look hard enough to kill.

Yet here he was, selling his skills to a lunatic who had every intention of killing innocent people. And he did indeed know how to kill. Despite his face, there was nothing innocent about Chris.

He wore a tight, worn, and very faded pair of jeans. In deliberate imitation of Chuck’s bloused camos, Chris had tucked his jeans into his light gray ropers. He was in the process of getting ready for bed; he wore nothing above the waist, showing his smooth bare chest. He was slim, but not scrawny; his pecs and biceps were visible if not pronounced. On his right shoulder was a tattoo of a smiley face with a bullet hole in the forehead, leaking blood.

It was a shame he’d never get the chance to appreciate the irony.

In fact, he was so engrossed in his financial discussion with Chuck that there was a lot he didn’t appreciate.

Not that Chuck appreciated it either. And he had less excuse, since he was more experienced. But he was enjoying dispensing wisdom to his protégé so much that he never saw the fiber-optic camera peering under the door.

Chuck had been looking down at Chris when the door burst open. He looked up and had just enough time to gasp at the figure in the doorway when there was a flash, the taste of smoke—and Chuck’s brain stem splattered on the wall behind him.

Chuck didn’t know what had happened, which wasn’t surprising. Even his killer, Bill, hadn’t expected the exact sequence. Chuck’s gasp of surprise had kept his face from being destroyed by the silenced bullet that ended his life. The bullet had entered through his open mouth, torn through the back of his throat and ripped out his brain stem through the back of his skull.

Chuck dropped down bonelessly. The part of the brain that controlled all involuntary physical functions had been physically torn from his cranium along with top of his spinal cord. As he crumpled to the ground, there was a sickening “liquid” sound as his bowels and bladder voided.

Problem was, his brain was still alive. He couldn’t breathe, his heart had stopped, he was on the verge of death—but he could still see, hear, understand.

It took nine seconds for his brain to die

One-one thousand

The figure in the door had faded, only to be replaced by another. Chuck had no way to know it, of course, but it had been pre-arranged that Bill would kick the door in and shoot the hardman in the back of the room, since his silencer was still working. Then Mac would step up.

Two-one thousand 

Chuck lay still on the floor. The pain in his mouth and head was overwhelming, but he wasn’t able to feel or control any other part of his body but his head–mostly because there was now a gaping bloody hole where his spinal column met his brain.

He was still, inert, his mind aflame with pain and the terror of death. He couldn’t feel his bowels and bladder void, but he could smell it. He could see the pool of urine spreading around his body and inexorably creeping toward his face; he could hear wet slurping sounds as his underwear filled with shit.

He could see Chris, who had risen from his mattress and stood, staring down at his roommate, frozen in shock.

Chuck couldn’t see the man who’d killed him; he’d stepped back into the shadows beyond the doorway. But there was another, dressed in black as well, another killer coming forward with a knife…

In his fog of agony and fear, Chuck could see the dark, hard figure with the knife move on Chris, but there was nothing he could do, no way for him to warn the younger man. He was trapped and would have to watch him die as Chuck died himself.

Three one-thousand

Chris stared down at Chuck in confusion. With less military experience, he wasn’t used to thinking quickly in critical situations. He could only gape down at Chuck and wonder what the fuck had happened and where all that blood came from–and what the fuck, did Chuck just shit himself?

He’d have caught on in a couple of seconds–but he wasn’t given time. He knew he was fucked when a leather-gloved hand clamped over the lower half of his face and dug in painfully, preventing him from crying out. His eyes bulged in fear as the realization of what was happening sank into him.

Then the knife was inside him.

Lying on his side with his face turned slightly up, Chuck had a ringside view of Chris’s death. Chuck knew that he himself was badly injured and dying, but he had no idea how bad his injury was. Deep in his traumatized mind, he’d hoped that Chris would get help, would somehow save him from pain and death. With a chunk of his brain missing, there was no way he could have survived–but he didn’t know that; it had all happened too fast. He still thought he had a fighting chance.

Now he knew differently. They were both going to die and Chuck could do nothing but lie there, helpless, and watch.

Four one-thousand

Mac’s assault targeted the same part of the body on Chris as Bill had targeted on Chuck, and for the same reason–a need to cause instant and permanent disablement to the hardmen. The central nervous system couldn’t take much damage without rendering the victim immobile.

The guards didn’t need to die; they just needed to be silenced. Neither Mac nor Bill had time to fuck with these guys; they’d taken too long on the last kills and needed to clear this hall swiftly, before anyone found the bodies. The attack was quick and brutal, but wasn’t specifically designed to kill.

This was unfortunate for the victims, since they died anyway–but not quickly.

Chris had instinctively braced himself for pain, but when it came, it was far worse than anything the merc had expected. Mac’s knife slashed into the top of Chris’s neck on the right side, the carbon steel blade sliding smoothly between the C1 cervical vertebra and the base of the skull. A quick flick of Mac’s wrist and the knife ripped upwards through the foramen magnum, the hole by which the spinal cord entered the brain.

Five one-thousand

Chris stood rigidly, frozen in place by sudden massive brain damage. The blade had sliced through his brain stem, cerebellum and occipital lobe, utterly disabling him. The brain stem controls involuntary muscles used for things like the lungs and heart–which was why Chuck was lying in the floor, paralyzed, brain dying from lack of oxygen; his brain stem had been blown all over the back wall by Bill‘s bullet, along with part of his cerebellum.

This latter part of the brain controls things like balance and motor control. The occipital lobe controls vision.

Chris was sucked into a howling black vortex of agony as his body went limp in Mac’s arms. Mac had to shift himself quickly to keep hold of his target and prevent him from making too much noise when he fell.

For a brief moment, in the midst of his death agony, Chris could feel his killer’s hard body pressing against him and holding him up. The knife hadn’t completely severed his spinal cord, so some signals were getting through. But this inflicted more trauma on Chris’s mangled brain; to grab him, Mac had to let go of the knife, which stuck grotesquely from the back of the hardman’s skull. The violent motion caused by Mac’s grabbing the falling body made the knife bob back and forth slightly in the wound, each swing carving further into the guard’s brain tissue.

Six one-thousand

Chuck saw Chris grow rigid in pain and rise up on the toes of his boots. His eyes rolled back, showing only blood-streaked whites as his body began to convulse, causing his killer to clamp down on him even more tightly to lessen the impact of the sound. From his position on the floor, Chuck could see a dark stain spread across the bulge in the crotch of Chris’s tight jeans, a dark stain that started running down both legs. Soon Chris’s boots were filling with his own piss.

As Mac got a better grip on his victim, he slammed the knife up into the fucker’s skull as hard as he could, penetrating much further than before. As the knife tipped forward inside Chris’s cranium, it shredded his frontal lobe, which contains the personality.

Chris wasn’t dead yet, but he had ceased to exist. Now he was nothing but meat with a pulse, shuddering in the arms of his killer. Mac lowered the body until it was resting on its knees before pulling his knife back out of the skull and wiping it off on the guard’s clothes. He lay the quivering mass of flesh on the ground directly in front of Chuck’s horror-stricken eyes.

Seven one-thousand

Chuck could make out the face of the killer—just barely, in his peripheral vision. A hard, sneering face, taking pleasure in watching him die. The image was seared into his mind by terror even as his mind began to dim and fade.

Cold, cold and pain were the only physical sensations left to Chuck; his savaged nervous system wasn’t capable of transmitting anything else. His thoughts were slow and feeble as a geometrically increasing percentage of his brain tissue died.

The only senses left working were sight and hearing—and his hearing wasn’t really working; he could hear nothing but a loud buzzing that drowned all else out.

Chuck’s body had randomly twitched and jerked a couple of times, but he had never been aware of it. And now, even this had stopped. There was nothing left but one last little flicker of consciousness whose pain-wracked universe consisted of the very limited field of vision of Chuck’s eyes.

That flicker got to watch Chris shoot his death wad before it faded, though.

Eight one-thousand

Chris was lying on his back. His convulsions had grown increasingly severe. Unlike Chuck, his nervous system had been fatally damaged but not completely severed. There was still a connection of a kind between the brain and the body.

The pathway between the two had been horribly mangled, though. And much like Chuck, the part of the brain controlling involuntary muscles had been thoroughly reamed out. The muscles were responding to the random firings of the voluntary system.

Chris’s eyes were still rolled all the way back. The small amount of blood leaking from his nose was barely noticeable next to the amount that spewed from his mouth and matted his scruffy beard. He’d bitten through his bottom lip. His smooth chest, slick with sweat, heaved with each spasm of his diaphragm, causing his lungs to expand and contract arhythmically. Saliva bubbled up out of his mouth and, mixing with the blood, formed a pink foam that got caught on the brown bristles on his chin.

Chuck could see all this from the corner of his eye, but they were pointed right at Chris’s groin. He’d long since lost the ability to move them. Hours ago. An eternity ago.

He would never understand just how quickly his life had ended. Even had his brain still been fully functioning, he simply could not have comprehended that this much pain could fit into such a short time.

And he couldn’t have comprehended the physiological conditions that had created the tent pole in Chris’s tight jeans directly in front of him. He would not have understood that the uncontrolled firing of neurons had tightened blood vessels and caused Chris’s thick cock to swell and turn as purple as if he’d been wearing a cockring.

It was a shame that Mac’s knife had slipped; the punk might have enjoyed his death woody. As it was, there was nothing but a meat puppet thrashing on the floor and oozing enough precum to leave a new dark stain on the crotch of the jeans.

Nine one-thousand

The bulge in Chris’s groin—that’s all that’s left. The world has shrunk to one small circle of color focused on a patch of moist, straining denim. Everything else is cold and dark.

It doesn’t matter if the killer is still in the room or not. There is no killer, there is no Chris, there is only that circle of light in which a denim bulge swells and spasms and spouts a shiny white froth, where a shuddering sack of meat convulses itself into orgasm.

And finally, there is no Chuck, but not before the final realization that his own stupid choices led him to a nightmarish death, one into which he slid, screaming silently, utterly alone.


 

It wasn’t until they reached the back hallway that Mac realized that their information was incomplete. This was a problem.

They paused and conferred in tight whispers. They were at the northern end of the hall that ran down the west side of the building. The huge rooms to the left, an auditorium/gym and a cafeteria, with kitchens, storerooms and showers in between, were exactly as expected. It was the right side that was off—but this was where Kintzler was supposed to be.

It had been given that Kinztler had a bedroom and office in a couple of rooms down this hall, with bodyguards posted in the hall as well as in the rooms on each side; his room would be obvious, since it was the one being guarded.

Problem was, there were no guards in the hallway. What’s more, there was another hallway off this one, running back to the west at a right angle. That wasn’t supposed to be there.

Evidently Kintzler had been busy since the info had been gathered. Either the number of his recruits had increased to the point he needed more room, or he’d felt the need to distance himself from his troops. Whatever the case was, they needed more info before proceeding. That hallway was a potentially fatal bottleneck.

Conferring briefly, Mac and Bill decided an interrogation was in order. Standard operating procedure–find a pair of guards, force one to watch while the other gets wasted, pump the terrified survivor for info before whacking him too. Works every time when dealing with an undisciplined opponent.

They crept silently down the hall on the toes of their rubber-soled combat boots, long razor-sharp utility knives gripped tightly in their gloved hands. They paused outside each door, listening; the first three were silent but the fourth–last one before the unexpected hallway–was occupied by a couple of men whose voices they heard before they got to the door itself.

The fiber-optic cable camera was one of the most useful toys they pressed into service. The tiny video head on the tip of the cable allowed them to run the thing under a door and see what was going on on the other side.

What they saw in this case was interesting. The room was occupied by two men. Their appearance was foreshortened due to the extreme angle of the camera on the floor, but was clear enough to give an idea of what Mac and Bill were up against.

While they didn’t pay attention to the details of the conversation they could hear, they picked up enough of the gist to identify who was who between the two men in the room.

One of the men wasn’t that undisciplined. He was instructing the other on the proper use of his handgun—and was dead-on accurate, too. Even more noteworthy was his outfit.

Warped as the image was, it was still possible to identify the patch on his shoulder; he was wearing the uniform of the local police. This guy was a cop.

Mac had caught Bill’s faint grunt of surprise and didn’t have to ask if he’d noticed. They both became still, trying to eavesdrop and figure out what the hell was going on. It seemed to be another situation like the last; someone with experience sharing a room with a raw recruit. In this case, the cop was an admirable mentor.

They hadn’t been warned that any of the local law was involved; that could complicate things. Plus, this guy had an ethnic appearance that was surprising to find in the Way of the Sword. Kintzler didn’t like anyone Hitler wouldn’t have approved of (and maybe some he would have).

This guy was in his late twenties with a distinct appearance. Bronze skin, blue-black hair, short and very straight, a long, aquiline nose—Native American or mestizo, perhaps. He was still dressed in his uniform, but was getting ready for bed as they watched.

He removed his black cap and his shirt, revealing a well-developed chest, bulging biceps in the arms and a couple of tattoos. There was a large dragon—in outline only—running down his right arm from the shoulder to below the elbow. In the tender flesh between the navel and the waistband of his tight black slacks was a pair of Chinese characters in green ink.

Bracing himself against the wall with one hand, he continued to lecture his punk roommate about center-mass targeting and takedown shots. He’d clearly had some tactical training and it was suddenly obvious why Kintzler had been willing to overlook his racial inferiority; he had an invaluable skill.

In fact, Mac decided—and Bill agreed—this guy was probably the main firearms expert in the camp.

His hand against the wall, the cop reached down and unzipped the tightly laced utility boots he was wearing. Slipping out of them, he undid his belt, laying it on the dresser. His gun, baton, handcuffs, mace—everything, really—were out of his reach as he shucked off his pants to reveal white boxers that looked painted onto his thick, firm thighs, the thin cotton stretched over his large package. He stood there in his underwear, his hairy calves dropping to his white athletic sock, without his weapons.

They couldn’t take the chance of him getting within reach of his gun. They worked their plan out carefully.

When they went in, Bill would grab the cop and Mac the kid. The cop would have to go quick, before he had an opportunity to resist. The kid would likely be cowed by the cop’s death and give up all the info they needed. And he’d be easier to waste silently when they were done with him. They turned their attention to him.

He was in his early twenties and somewhat shorter than the cop (who was about six feet), being only five-five or so. Brown hair, coming up to a point, brown eyes in a broad face ringed by a scruffy but well-defined beard and goatee. He was wearing nothing but a pair of shiny navy blue gym shorts, ankle socks and tight white leather sneakers. His broad, muscled chest was smooth and unblemished, flowing down his rippled abdomen to a slight hint of dark fuzz just above the shorts; the same hint of dark fuzz trailing down the legs that kicked restlessly as the boy gazed up into his mentor’s face with an expression bordering on love.

He was utterly unprepared for the brutal death that was tensed to spring just on the other side of the door.

Bill leapt forward, planting the huge sole of his combat boot against the door. It gave like cardboard. As expected, the cop whirled and went defensive instantly; experienced hardmen were dangerous opponents. Bill was ready with three blows in quick succession, a right across the jaw to stun the traitorous fucker, a punch to the groin to show him who was boss and remove any lingering defensive capability, and finally a kick to the back of the knee to drop the cop to his knees and lock him in place for the kill.

Before he could regain his breath from the crotchshot, the cop found himself pinned to the ground on his knees with a phenomenally sharp knife at his throat.

The kid, predictably enough, froze during the attack, allowing Mac plenty of time to slip over and grab him roughly, manhandling him into position on his knees, facing the cop, no more than three feet away. Crouching behind him, Mac forced the kid’s head towards Bill, hands wrapped around the boy’s head, the tips of his fingers prying the eyelids open.

The kid was being forced to watch his mentor die. Bill made sure to give him a good show. But he needed to understand that this was the consequence of resistance, so the interrogation got started.

“Where’s Kintzler?” Mac snarled into the terrified boy’s ear. “C’mon, motherfucker, don’t make me hafta hurt you.”

“Don’t tell ‘em a goddam thing!” cried the cop, “fuckin’ bastards are gonna waste us anyway! Keep your mouth shut, Mike, or you’re gonna fuck us all!”

“Yeah,” sneered Mac, “ya think so? Watch this fuckwad. Watch what happens if you don’t tell us what we want.” He nodded to Bill.

Bill was kneeling behind the cop. He’d grabbed a handful of the deep black hair to steady the man’s head as he poked his knife against the man’s throat. This was a specially-made blade, identical to the one Mac held against the kid’s neck; the blade, machine-edged tempered steel, was nearly nine inches long, with jagged serrations running most of its length. Bill gripped the molded rubber hilt firmly in his leather gloved hand, clapping the other hand over the cop’s mouth, letting him inhale the strong scent of the leather combat glove.

With a quick thrust, Bill punched the knife through the man’s throat. The cop’s face contracted in agony as the blade sank in smoothly, meeting no resistance until it encountered the larynx. Bill had to grab hold of the cop’s jaw firmly to ram the knife through the cartilage of his voice box; since the rubbery tissue put up a fight, it took several seconds of sawing. The cop’s muffled screams were nightmarish; Mac had to clamp down on the kid to keep him from screaming in sympathetic terror.

With a final grunt of effort, Bill succeeded in slamming the blade out the other side of the cop’s neck. The hardman’s face, a mask of shock and agony, gazed directly into the boy’s eyes, foreshadowing his own awful fate. The kid began to whimper as the crotch of the cop’s boxers went dark and the acrid stench of urine filled the air; the dying man had pissed himself in terror and pain, his wide, dark-rimmed eyes communicating to his young protégé more effectively than words the horrors in store that were the end result of this life of hate.

“Watch him die, motherfucker,” Mac whispered into the boy’s ear. “Imagine how much it hurts to have your fucking vocal cords cut out of your throat. Tell me what I wanna know and I might not do it to you. I wanna gut you like a pig, bitch, just gimme a reason.”

The kid’s eyes grew huge. He trembled on the verge of physical shock and was well beyond the point of psychological shock. It was time to end the show.

Bill began slicing the knife forward, cutting his way out of the cop’s throat. The hardman’s bulging arms flailed at his attacker’s grip, his belly heaving in excruciating pain, beads of sweat matting his stomach fur and dripping down to obscure the Chinese characters on his desperately heaving belly.

His body went rigid in agony, his hot flesh turning to quivering stone in Bill’s arms. A deeper stench filed the air as Bill’s knife slashed up through the front of the cop’s throat and opened his windpipe to the outside air.

As the cop gasped and wheezed, gurgling on his own blood, hacking it up in a viscous spray over the kid’s face, Mac muttered in the boy’s ear, “Smell that, fuckwad? He shit himself. He’s fucking toast, fucking bleeding meat and you’re gonna be the same if I ain’t happy with your answers. So where’s Kintzler and what’s down this hall?”

The kid gave up the details, of course, alternately sobbing like a baby and pleading for his life. It took a few moments for it to emerge that Kintzler’s room was at the end of the hall to the west, that the single door into it led to a well-guarded anteroom and that at least two bodyguards were in Kintzler’s private quarters.

Bill let the cop sink to the floor, jerking convulsively, his shredded trachea making involuntary squealing sounds as his body frantically fought to draw air into the mangled esophagus. The hunched, helpless body continued to gurgle and squeal as life faded from the slashed pile of muscle.

The boy watched it all, tears and snot streaming down his face and matting his beard as he babbled away information that he’d sworn to give his life to protect. The horror of actual combat death, the knowledge that this was what his unreasoning hate had led him to, caused the boy such fear that he didn’t realize he’d pissed himself until he felt the warm fluid soaking through his gym shorts.

He gave it all up, pissing and sobbing like an infant. When he was done, sniveling like a worm, Mac glanced over at Bill and grinned.

“Hey, man,” he chuckled, “think we got what we needed. Any reason to hang onto this fucker?”

The boy, his eyes wide with terror, looked desperately into Bill’s eyes, seeking mercy and finding cold steel.

“Nah,” shrugged Bill. “Waste his ass, we ain’t got time to fuck around with a piece a’ shit like that.”

Mac grabbed the kid under the jaw and pulled his head back so he could look straight down into the punk’s eyes. “You heard him, dude. Nothin’ personal, motherfucker, but we don’t need ya anymore. Fuck off, asswipe.”

Mac jammed his knife into the kid’s throat—not horizontally through the larynx, as Bill had done, but upwards at an angle from the base of the jaw.

Mac had wrapped one arm around the boy’s head, grabbing his mouth. He had to clamp down now, feeling the kid’s beard scrape against his leather glove, in order to force the tip of his blade through the thick, resistant muscle in the base of the tongue.

The boy stiffened in agony as sharpened steel slashed apart his tongue and sliced his gum to the bone as it ricocheted off his jaw with such force that it bounced up to and through the soft palate.

The punk’s arms flailed wildly as Mac’s blade continued its upwards path, shearing through the back of the sinus cavity before lodging in almost the exact center of the brain. Every muscle in the boy’s body went instantly rigid with brain trauma. As his legs kicked out, his tight sneakers beating a sharp rhythm of death against the floor, a noticeable bulge began to grow in the dark satiny groin of his shorts.

A swift and brutal twist of the knife, slashing mercilessly through the knotted mass of tissue in the brain that controls pleasure, sent an irrepressible signal through the nervous system. From a yard away, Bill could see the spasm in the center of the boy’s blue shorts as his thick cock convulsed and spewed a thick wad of semen, white foam bubbling up through the silky material as the hard-bodied punk quivered and kicked away his last seconds alive.

Mac grinned broadly as he stood up, letting the body hit the floor with a dull thud. Bill couldn’t help but notice the throbbing ridge in Mac’s groin, matching the one in his own. Nothing like taking a control of a situation to make you feel like a man, he reflected. Well, there were more guards to be controlled. Now that they knew where they were, maybe they could have some fun along the way…

There was a single door, armored, at the end of the hall. A hurried consultation between the assassins was left undecided; they really needed to get more info about the setup on the other side of the door, especially since they’d already been made aware of multiple targets nearby and neither of them had working silencers any longer.

Mac deployed the fiber-optic recon cam under the door again. The image was necessarily distorted by the floor-level fisheye lens, but it was clear enough to give them an idea of what they were up against. Opposite this door was another; otherwise, there was no other entry into the anteroom.

There were three men in the room. One of the men was seated in a chair beside the door. Mid-thirties, just under six feet, short black hair—he was a professional. Muscles bunched at the corner of his underslung jaw; the rest of his body was as hard as his face. Over a tight olive-green t-shirt, he wore a leather shoulder holster holding a .357. His jeans were worn and soft, bulging at the crotch, outlining his thick tool. He had black tactical boots laced halfway up his calf.

On the left side of the room, seated at a desk so that he could be seen only in profile, was a young man with brown hair shaved down closely. He appeared to be in his late twenties, lean, hard, with a grim slit of a mouth and dark narrow eyes. He wore khaki cargo shorts that displayed his firm thighs covered with fine brown fur down the calves to his white tube socks and combat boots. His arms were smooth, with just enough definition to his biceps to show that he could fight if he needed to. He had tattoos just below the bends of the elbows—a skull on one side and an elaborate cross on the other. From the camo-pattern sleeveless t-shit the kid wore, he evidently considered himself a professional too, although it was clear that he was the weak link in this chain.

The third guard was around the same age as the others, perhaps thirty or so. He had curly golden hair, bright blue eyes and a shit-eating grin. He was slightly taller than the other two—just over six feet—and muscular but not over-developed. He had on a skin-tight white cotton t-shirt that was much too small and stretched to the point of transparency. He wore long camo-patterned fatigue pants, also too small, clearly proud of the way they displayed his huge package. He too wore utility boots laced up his calves, but his were soft-soled and wrapped tightly around his feet like leather socks.

Mac drew Bill back from the door a pace or two. Keeping one eye on the monitor, they discussed their options. From the outset, it was clear there weren’t many.

Part of what complicated matters was the need for silence. They had to presume that Kintzler was on the other side of that far door, with at least two guards by his side. And Mac and Bill had only cleared one angle of the large complex; they hadn’t gone near the main barracks. The bulk of the Way of the Sword force was still out there. Even undisciplined and leaderless, the sheer numerical superiority of the men would be fatal if an alarm was raised.

They would have to wait. At some point, someone would have to leave the room. They’d improvise when the time came; there was no other choice.

But Mac and Bill were good at that kinda thing. It’s why they got the job in the first place. And even the “professionals” on Kintzler’s team were unprepared for the kind of death that awaited them.

The obvious place to wait was to the right of the door. It opened outward into the end wall of the hall; between it and the doorways in the side of the hall was a good twenty feet of bare space that could clearly be viewed through a peephole in the anteroom door. The peephole had been surprisingly well-disguised; Mac hadn’t noticed it until Bill pointed it out as he was feeding the fiber-optic line under the door.

They had been lucky—but it had been a calculated risk; their adversaries were an incoherent group of violent young men with multiple motives. Young, dumb, and full of cum, as the saying goes.

At any rate, it appeared that Blondie had the door post but was too busy lecturing the others (who seemed determined to ignore him). The door was too thick for sound to carry but based on the crotch grabs and pelvic thrusts, the blond guy seemed to detailing his sexual conquests. They weren’t prepared for any kind of trouble; in fact, they looked bored as hell—even the guy by the far door, who was probably the most experienced member of the three.

Sudden movement on the monitor caught their eyes. Mac had slid the camera over to the right side of the door. If it opened; they’d be behind it. If this worked out the way they hoped…

It was close. They could hear voices, growing closer although still too muffled to discern the words. The shaved-head kid in the shorts had thrown down on the desk whatever he’d been looking at and approached the door. A loud argument ensued, the details of which Mac and Bill were spared. Suddenly a loud clank signaled the unlocking of the armored door. The hitmen crouched silently behind as it swung out and a voice rang out.

“Dude, I don’t give a fuck how many chicks you banged! What, you think we ain’t ever gotten laid? I gotta go take a piss–and when I get back, I don’t wanna hear any more about where you done stuck your dick!”

The kid stepped out, his thick-soled combat boots making loud contact with the floor. He’d backed out, actually, making his last remark as he exited—then whirled counter-clockwise, slamming the door behind him. He might have considered himself a professional hardman, but he never checked the dead space behind the door. And in his case, it literally became dead space.

After the door was fully closed, he hadn’t gone more than two steps before Mac was on him. It was imperative to both incapacitate and silence the kid, especially since he didn’t know if his departure would remind Blondie of his watch duty.

By the time the kid was aware that something had happened to him, it was too late for him to have any impact on the outcome. His ability to resist was taken from him before he realized that there was something to resist…

He hadn’t expected—or even ever trained for—an attack on his left, on the presumption that everyone would be right-handed (Mac was ambidextrous). Mac’s right hand clamped over his mouth as his left hand brought his blade up; in a flash, the steel shaft had sheared through the kid’s side and slashed deep into his liver.

And that was all it took to take the kid out. Of course, he wasn’t dead—or even really dying, for that matter—but physical shock had set in. Mac kicked viciously at the back of the punk’s exposed knee, dropping him to a kneeling position. He was free to release the little fuck’s mouth; the boy gasped raggedly but was unable to cry out.

The kid felt the man behind him, holding him close in a grip of iron. On a certain level he knew what was happening. He knew he was fucked; he knew he’d walked into a trap and was gonna pay for it with his life. He didn’t know he’d been holed in the liver—but he damn sure knew it when Mac brought the knife up, reversed the blade, and sank it deep through the collar bone into the superior vena cava.

This is the where the jugular vein drains the deoxygenated blood from the brain. It’s under much less pressure than the carotid artery that feeds blood into the brain.

In other words, it took a long time for the kid to bleed out. And because the blood was draining after it left his brain, he couldn’t pass out from lack of oxygen. He could only struggle and claw uselessly at his killer, feeling the hard muscled body that was straining to end his life. His hands flailed back along the hard arms holding him tight, desperately seeking some vulnerable spot in vain.

A rough voice growled in his ear. “Shh, you little fuck,” it whispered, “stop fighting. You’re dead, bitch, just fuckin’ let go.”

The boy’s eyes dilated as his nose filled with scents of testosterone in his killer’s sweat combined with his own blood and piss. He’d lost control of his bladder at Mac’s words, knowing he’d been taken down by someone much stronger than he’d ever been.

As his boots slowed and finally ceased their frantic drumming on the floor and his hands, batting and flailing in the air, sank jerkily to his sides, the punk’s heart began to fail from lack of blood. He was aware of an intense cold grayness, a loud buzzing—and a sense of surrendering his life to someone who had a superior ability. Everything faded into a loud white field of ice; the last bit of warmth the dying guard felt was the stiff rod of Mac’s swollen cock, still hot to the touch through several layers of clothing. As the boy slipped away, he was aware that his killer was getting off on his death…

Mac continued to hold the boy as his body kept twitching, his arms up and jerking his dangling hands loosely. As his struggles slowed to an arrhythmic quivering. Mac lowered the corpse to the floor.

One down, two to go. Bill pulled the punk’s shirt off, exposing his smooth, pale chest. As Mac dragged the body out of sight behind the door,Bill used the shirt to mop up as much blood as he could; at least enough that it wouldn’t be obvious through the peephole.

And then it was time to wait. Mac and Bill kept an eye on the video monitor, watching the anteroom from the lens’s vantage point in the corner of the space under the door. There wasn’t much to see for a while.

Blondie had gone and taken the dead kid’s place at the desk and was leafing through something there. The older guy at the back of the room was flipping through a magazine. Although he was too far away and his image too distorted to make out the magazine cover, the way he kept rubbing his hand in his crotch convinced the assassins that it was a nudie mag. Even at this distance, the bulge in his groin was visible. That was good. He’d probably wanna go jack off soon.

There was enough downtime for Mac and bill to plan the kill. Two guards left, one for each of them. They knew they could take these useless pieces of shit out easily; the problem was doing it so that no one else knew anything had happened—especially the people in the room beyond.

The hitmen geared themselves up. They’d have to time this right for it to work. There was something about the prep work, though, that always got their motors running, so to speak.

They’d discussed it when they started working together. There was something about the combination of factors—the intense focus necessary, the adrenaline rush of the danger involved and the deeply sexual thrill of killing another man—that fused together in a kind of rush that overwhelmed them and made conscious effort almost unnecessary. Their bodies knew how to kill automatically; their brains, heightened in situational awareness, were able to note and savor every detail as if recorded in slow motion.

They liked to make their victims cum, but they killed for more than just the pure pleasure of killing. They’d learned that they weren’t always able to manipulate their victims to orgasm, but that didn’t stop them from creaming their jeans themselves during a nice tight combat kill.

After all, they didn’t really care if the punks shot a load or not; there’d always be more punks.

The older guy would be out first; they knew that. He’d be heading out to beat off. Once he stepped out, Mac would take him. The idea was to leave the door open and lure Blondie close enough to the doorway for Bill to take him by surprise and so prevent any outcry. This meant a certain amount of skill needed to be exercised on Mac’s part; he had to get enough dominance over the older (and probably more experienced) guard to impose utter silence. Killing in complete silence is as difficult as enforcing its maintenance on your subject. One way or another, Mac needed to establish control immediately.

He could feel his dick oozing just at the thought of it.

The amount of skill needed for Bill’s part was little less. Blondie couldn’t make too much noise without alerting the men in Kintzler’s inner sanctum. But that wasn’t to say he couldn’t kick a little when the time came; as long as his death throes couldn’t be heard through the door, a few moans and grunts wouldn’t matter.

Both men were primed and ready to kill. Hard minds, hard knives, hard cocks, all ready to spring into action and leave these fucking punks shuddering and gasping their lives away.

There was already movement on the screen. As they’d thought, the older guy got up. His olive-green t-shirt strained and showed that despite being squat, he was strong, with a well-built chest. The tent pole protruding from his faded jeans was obvious, even at this distance and angle (or perhaps because of it). As he moved towards the door, the fisheye lens bent the image until all that could be seen of him was his tightly-laced black tactical boots, the fabric and leather flexing with each step. Suddenly, the door clanked, creaked and began to open. As the sliver of light from inside began to widen, a voice became audible in mid-sentence.

“…and it’s time that motherfucker was back anyway. I’m gonna go find him. It don’t take him that long to beat his meat; he’s prob’ly getting’ high. If I find him, I’m gonna beat the crap outta him and take his weed. Little fuck’s gotta learn what happens when ya don’t share.”

Adrenaline and testosterone coursed through the killers’ veins as they breathlessly anticipated the moment of action, the moment they’d hold a man close to them and feel him die, unwillingly, in agony, in their arms…

As the older guard stepped beyond the open door, he turned to glance behind it. As expected, he was an experienced hardman and he moved instinctively, certainly not expecting any kind of threat. As a result, he had just enough time to gasp slightly at the bright flash that tore at him.

The wash of pain was indescribable. Even with his training, the hardman hadn’t realized that he’d been taken out; his first thought was that he’d somehow been struck by lightning. In the throat. Nothing else could explain the electrifying pain that so stunned him. And that coppery taste in his mouth; his shocked brain had spat up the nugget that it was evidence of lightning.

The gloved hand that clamped over his mouth, the force holding him against an iron frame—surely that hard, rigid pressure couldn’t be a man—these things didn’t make sense, But nothing had to, not in the wake of the pain. The hardman knew something bad had happened; he hadn’t yet picked up on the fact that he was dying, but it didn’t take long for him to catch on. He had two clues.

The first was his inability to scream. And oh fuck, how he screamed. But how could it be lightning when his screams were nothing but agonized wheezes accompanied by fountains of blood and more of that coppery taste? His terror-stricken mind suddenly realized that the long hard cold shaft he felt in his throat was actually there. There was no lightning; his larynx had been reamed out by a knife; his vocal cords ruptured like hymen, reamed out like a virgin hole torn open by a hard cock.

The other clue came from lower down. He realized his feet were wet. It took a second to realize that this moistness could be traced back up to his crotch.

Even though his dick was still fully erect, he’d lost control of his bladder.

He’d laced his tactical boots tightly around his calves that day, fondly imagining that they’d help support his feet if he was called into desperate action. Instead, they were filling with his piss as he died in excruciating pain.

Mac held him close, breathing deeply, feeling him die, controlling him and manipulating him so that he was unable to raise an alarm. He died vainly, in silence, useless as a watchman, his worthless life spattering onto the floor along with the blood coughed up from his heaving lungs. He’d spent his adult life—and most of his teenage years—as hired killer. He’d always known that this was how he’d end up. Not many men retired from this business (those who did were incredibly rich, hence the draw). He hadn’t known it’d be this soon.

And he damn sure didn’t know it would hurt this bad.

Mac tightened his grip on the guard’s face. He twisted the knife in the wound one last time to properly position the blade, then, with a grunt, tore it violently out of the front of the hardman’s throat, sawing viciously through the rubbery esophagus.

The man’s hands grasped frantically at the air, seeking some sort of support as he felt his throat being torn out. He was an experienced professional—and that made it worse. He knew exactly what was happening to him physically now; he’d done the same thing to other men himself. He knew that taste in his mouth was blood. He knew he was gonna die.

He knew it wouldn’t be soon enough. There was still a phenomenal amount of pain that could be inflicted on him before he died. Silently, he sobbed and cried, trying to increase the blood flow so that he could pass out oh dear god let me go I don’t wanna be awake for what’s happening…

The only sign Mac saw of the guard’s attempt to face death was a slight increase in his struggles. He’d been hoping for that. He pulled the dying man close to him, feeling him writhe and convulse in agony. Behind him, Mac was vaguely aware that Bill was initiating his own kill. Much as he’d liked to have watched, he was in a kill zone himself. Every part of him was focused on the jerking mercenary, shuddering his hard body uncontrollably against Mac’s.

His hand still clamped over the dude’s mouth, Mac pulled his target’s head firmly against his chest, letting the hardman’s boots scrape and kick uselessly against the floorboards. The guy’s ass, outlined in his tight faded jeans, ground against the bulge in Mac’s groin as he convulsed. Mac took a deep, shuddering breath. This fucker was dead—and Mac’s dick thought it was time the piece of shit started acting like it. As his tool swelled in excitement, Mac readied his knife for the kill thrusts.

Bill had been deep in bloodlust for quite a while now, but watching Mac’s assault had intensified his awareness of what was needed for a successful takedown. He honed his focus on his target to pinpoint precision. A sense of lust had to take second place–discipline must be first.

Once Blondie was under his complete control, Bill could enjoy killing him. But as in every combat death, establishing dominance—both physical and mental—is key.

Bill had crouched to the left of the door, knowing Blondie, if he got close enough, would be attracted by the sounds of his buddy’s death on the other side, behind the door. He looked like he had some experience, but was way too cocky to have much. As Bill slid his blade free of its boot sheath, he figured that the stupid little fuck wouldn’t even have the sense to check his right side when he heard something on his left.

The problem was getting the punk close enough to hear the faint gurgling and scuffling sounds—little enough noise from a man dying in pain and fear. If Blondie was gonna join him in death tonight, Bill had to get him closer. A single quick sound ought to be enough, he thought, so he rapped the serrated blade of his steel utility knife against the metal door frame—not hard, just enough for a slight clicking sound.

Since he was on the other side of the door from the monitor, Bill couldn’t see what was happening in the anteroom, but he could hear Blondie get up from his chair well enough. His tread was very light—his black leather boots were very tight and had soft soles; it was more like someone in leather socks padding across the floor. But it was still enough for Bill to track his progress, feeling the rush of adrenaline in his blood and the almost painful swelling of his tool as his target came within killing range.

The golden rectangle on the floor created by light streaming from the open door was obscured. Blondie had arrived at the party. A little late, to be sure—but Bill was ready to bring him up to speed.

“Dude, you okay?” he called out hesitantly, trying to peer into the darkness behind the open door. He had brief dim impression of two figures writhing in the shadows, one repeatedly bucking and jerking its pelvis back into the groin of the other. Blondie froze, his jaw hanging open. He’d jumped to the conclusion that he’d been left alone by the other guards so they could go fuck each other.

“What the—“ he started, but never finished. Bill had him before he could ramp his voice up loud enough to be heard in the room beyond.

It was quick and quiet, but Bill had a little more leeway in terms of noise than Mac had been allowed. He took advantage of it, grabbing Blondie’s mouth and slamming his back against the left wall, using his jaw as a handle.

Bill pinned him against the wall, one hand over his mouth, the other holding the blade to his throat, point in, right at the bulge of the adam’s apple. He leaned forward, pressing his hard body full length against the guard’s, pressing him against the wall. Blondie’s legs, tightly wrapped in his camo pants, had to spread out and circle around Bill’s. He planted his boots up against Bill’s soft-soled combat boot in an effort to steady himself. His hands were around Bill’s biceps, squeezing in an instinctive attempt to free himself.

Behind him, Bill heard a loud squeal, followed by gurgling and splattering. Mac had just cut his way out of the older dude’s throat. As Blondie tightened his grasp on Bill’s arms, feeling his massive biceps tense in preparation for his death, Bill looked directly into the punk’s eyes.

Physical dominance had been established. It was time to dominate the fucker’s mind. Bill enjoyed this—a lot—but it had a purpose as well; demoralize them enough and they’ll resist less. A little whisper now saves a lot of kicking and scratching later.

“Fuck yeah, hear that, dude? That’s your buddy dyin’ over there. In fact, you lucky motherfucker, you’re gonna outlive both your buddies, by at least a minute or so. You thought you were hard enough to be a professional, huh? Dude, you’re gonna die cryin’ like a bitch and pissin’ yourself.”

Bill grinned impishly into Blondie’s terrified, uncomprehending face. The gagging and splattering intensified behind him. He didn’t need to see what was happening—the important thing was that Blondie could. Bill could feel the man’s hubcap pecs shuddering against him as his breathing became ragged in terror.

Bill ground his hand into Blondie’s mouth, pinning him painfully against the wall by the back of his head. He pressed the point of his blade into the guard’s throat, making a dimple in the skin and leered into the hardman’s shocked, tear-stained face. “Ready to die, fuckwad? It’s gonna hurt like fuck, but this is what you signed up for. Enjoy dying like a punk-ass bitch.”

Bill slowly inched the blade upwards. Blondie moaned as his skin parted, but the higher the knife rose up in his neck, the shriller he became.Bill could feel the moment the thick base of Blondie’s tongue, just above the larynx, scraped over the razor-sharp tip of the blade. His dick began to throb with pleasure as he bunched his thick bicep in a precision jerk, thrusting his blade completely through Blondie’s tongue. Near its base, the tongue is a very thick mass of muscle and it took pinpoint control for Bill to impale it without going any further.

And he didn’t want to go any further quite yet. He’d done what he needed to. Blondie was firmly under control; his hard legs in their tight camo slacks splayed apart, his toes curling inside his boots in agony, his white t-shirt completely transparent as a slick sheen of cold perspiration coated his hard chest, heaving in labored breaths.

Bill could enjoy himself. A little; he didn’t have long. Judging by the sound, Mac was finishing up behind him.

Mac was aware that Bill had taken care of the remaining guard, but the details escaped him for the moment. He was too busy shooting his load, filling his shorts with semen as he offed the older hardman. The dude was already gagging his life away with a ripped-out throat, but Mac wanted to make sure the fucker died in as much pain as possible.

He repeatedly thrust his knife into the dying man’s convulsive body at random. A stab in the guts was followed by an excruciating plunge of the blade into the guard’s scrotum. Before the wave of shock from that blow subsided, the steel shaft was rammed between his ribs into his lung. Mac spewed load after load of sperm as the hardman flailed against his groin in agony, sinking into death beneath huge combers of pain at some unnoticed point. Mac didn’t care if the fucker was still alive as long as he kept quivering.

The older guard’s dance of death was clearly audible, the drumming and scraping of his boots on the floorboards emphasizing the agony he felt at the moment of death. Looking into Blondie’s eyes, Bill could tell by the huge black circles of shock and the glint of utter panic deep within he dilated pupils that he’d gotten the point. Or had he? Bill grinned. He’d make sure Blondie got the point—right in his head.

For the next eighty seconds, Blondie experienced the Hell his momma had always told him about, but in which he’d never believed—until now.

Bill had aimed his knife towards the back of Blondie’s throat in order to spear his tongue. Now he angled it forward, pulling the thick muscular mass up with the blade. The tip of the tongue was forced out between Blondie’s lips, waggling and twitching in agony. Bill slid the knife slowly upwards, letting Blondie savor the sensation of the razor-sharp steel piercing the soft palate on the roof of his mouth as it slowly, lovingly crept up towards his sinuses. The kicking and squealing was almost more than Bill could take; he wanted to cum so bad—but he wasn’t done with Blondie yet.

Bill held the mercenary’s hard muscled body, slick with the cold sweat of extreme bodily trauma, tightly against him, one hand pressing his head against the wall, the other inching his vicious serrated blade into Blondie’s cranium. He was enjoying every last twitch and jerk the dying hitman made. This was why he and Mac were so good at this; it was more to them than just the money. They did this often, and did it well.

Blondie was in no position to argue—or to do much else besides shit himself in horror. He’d already pissed himself; his soft-soled tight boots slipping in a puddle of his own urine. Now, as he heard—and felt—Bill’s steel blade shearing up through his sinuses, the last scent he could detect before blood and carbon steel flooded out all else, was his own crap.

And then that’s all there was; the last thing he was conscious enough to truly experience was the smell of his own shit as he died in agony and terror. By the time Bill’s knife slashed into the knot of tissue that controlled Blondie’s sense of pleasure, it had already reamed out his personality and what little intellect he’d possessed.

Bill grunted and grimaced, holding Blondie’s thrashing, spunking body close as he filled his shorts with seed, his testosterone overflowing his balls as he wasted the worthless punk.

Bill stood hunched over, gasping for air. He glanced at Mac. They were both in black, so the stains in their groins weren’t visible, but it was a moot point. The bloodlust had kicked in. They nodded at each other, each too caught up in the moment to speak. They weren’t done venting their sperm and adrenaline. It was time to move into the inner sanctum.

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