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For Your Toys Only (Episode 21)

Episode Twenty-One
Jack Came Back the Very Next Day
Directed by Robert Rodriguez

I will admit irritation when I got back to Johnson’s house outside Milan. In fact, I’ll even admit to crashing through his big metal gate with The Cat’s Ferrari because I was angry. I kept the two copper colored colts on the seat next to me and I grabbed for one of them as I spun the Ferrari out on Johnson’s lawn. Bits of turf flew up around the car, blurs of green and brown shooting around me as I aimed the colt at the first guard dumb enough to run towards me. I was as shocked as anyone that I could actually hit the guard while doing doughnuts in a guy’s yard. Normally I would call such things completely ridiculous, however when I look back on the events of that week I’m terrified someone will ask “Compared to what?” and then my whole day would just fall apart.

The problem is, I hadn’t actually intended to kill Johnson when I went there, just beat him up a little. When he came rushing out of the house with a gun that looked like an M16 on growth hormones though I grabbed the second gun in my left hand and started to run from the car. I’d noticed an artificial hill that some landscaper had put in and decided that would be a better cover than the car. I was right as whatever rounds he was using punched right through one side, came out the other and kept going until it hit the concrete wall that kept his land separate from the rest of the world.

He came running as I dived behind the hill, screaming that he wanted me to meet someone. I have no idea who he wanted me to meet, because he started to shoot grenades from the attached launcher at that moment. I was in a significant amount of trouble as there were now guards coming to my left and my right. I decided that the dumbest thing I could do was to charge at Johnson and hope I could kill him with the two colts as I ran towards the house. As dumb things usually pay off, I got up and started shooting at him as I ran forward. A round went through his neck and he grabbed his throat while he started to spit blood.

I didn’t have time for subtlety, so I hit him as hard as I could with my elbow as I went past. Something went snap, and I prayed that it was his nose and not something in my elbow. He went down and his guards started to shoot at me again. I got into the house and turned to fire at them, finding that the abject terror I was feeling seemed to have increased my shooting accuracy. I also noticed that The Cat had bought some kind of special hand gun because I counted about 75 shots from the twin colts before they refused to shoot anymore.

I let the two guns drop from my hands and noticed that there was a lack of return fire. I scooted to the side of the door and looked out at the yard, only to find that I was possibly the only person left alive in the world. My nose started to hurt, and it was joined by a sudden pain in my right hand. My left arm, seeing that complaints were being registered and not wanting to be left behind started to scream as well. I took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm the pained places. It didn’t really do me much good, but I could at least try.

“Good lord ‘n Butter!” A familiar voice said from behind me. “You just killed everyone didn’t you?”

I turned, drawing out the Webley, and looked up at the top of the stairs to see an old acquaintance. He was dressed as I’d always seen him, walking calmly as if he weren’t surrounded by the evidence of a massacre. It would have been impossible for me to hide the shock and surprise on my face, so I didn’t try. I watched him come down the stairs and eventually found enough presence of mind to say him name.

“Church?” I asked. “What the skull fucking of Raymond Chandler’s corpse in hell are you doing here?”

“You may remember I do quite a lot of business out of Rome.” He smiled at me as he came closer. “You look taller, hair’s lighter too.”

“You look the same.” I said, proving that continuity doesn’t really matter much.

“I’m just well preserved.” Church smiled.

“I’ll bet,” I said. “This isn’t Rome though, this is Milan.”

“I happen to know Mister Johnson.” Church shrugged. “But I don’t like him so much I’d want to avenge him.”

“Well, that’s a great relief to my mind I can tell you.” I explained.

“What are you doing here? Besides slaughtering the entire household?”

“I’m supposed to be finding Mrs. White, who is supposed to be in San Miguel.”

“Yes.” Church nodded. “That’s what I was told too. I think you and I may be working along the same purposes right now.”

“How nice for us.” I said sliding the Webley back into place. “You know where this San Miguel place is?”

“I do.” He said.

“Shall we go then?” I waved towards the shattered remains of the doors.

“How can I be sure that this isn’t some government trap?” He asked. “An old friend suddenly showing up at the right time and the right place like this?”

“We’re both on the same trail.” I said, not wishing to get bogged down in the fact that Church and I were not friends. “It’s pretty inevitable we’d start hitting the same places.”

“Still, a guy from the old neighborhood shows up just as I was closing in.”

“I’m with the Agency though, not with Unicorn.”

“That’s true.” He accepted. “I don’t suppose that car you came in is any good now?”

“I would guess not.” I told him.

“I’ve got one we can use.”

“I’ll meet you out front. I need to get something from that car.” I picked up the two colts and walked towards the Ferrari. There were extra clips in there and a pair of guns that can shoot as many times as these did might be useful. There was something else I would defiantly be needing in the car as well, but more about that later.

As I waited for Church to come, I looked around the battle ground. I was getting really tired of the sight of dead bodies really quickly. I folded my arms, waiting for church to come and looked at the flowers growing in the piece of ground in front of me. Most those flowers hadn’t been splattered with blood when I shot Johnson. It was still depressing though. I more or less decided that if I lived through this one, I was done with the Agency. It had been progressively turning me into something I didn’t like, a maddened killer who would shoot first and ask questions if I got around to it. I’d killed more men on this one mission than I had the rest of my entire life. I didn’t want to keep having to do this, killing just to stay alive. It was like I’d become a parody of my former self. I shuddered at the thought and shook it off as Church pulled his car around to where I was standing.

“I thought you’d have some luggage or something.” Church said leaning out the open window.

“All my bags were in my actual car.” I said walking around his car and getting in.

“I see.” He nodded. “You’ll have to explain what happened to your car on the way, we’ve got a way to go anyway.”


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