Ah, to be kill-horny in France. This country has a long history with murder, taken to epic levels during the Revolution. I’m something of a fan of that kind of history, and was able to impart some of my knowledge over the course of a few days while I waited for my army to show up.
I walked around my small encampment where I’d caught a trio of… something. As far as they’d been concerned, I’d been sleeping during the day and formed a rudimentary shelter against a downed tree. One had moved quicker and seemed to be sniffing me out. Didn’t heal any quicker from that spike wound to his leg from when he approached the fake camp. Screamed pretty good when I hauled him up out of the pit, and put up a struggle that hinted at extra strength. Just like the morphine he’ll need now for that hole in his leg. The next in his trio was a step up even more, with battle axe, stout shield, and chainmail. I had a pair of arms for each weapon, though I had to aim low for his face to break his nose instead of my skull on his helm.I grabbed his well-trimmed beard and tossed him in the spike pit with his hairy friend. The last fellow seemed to be nothing but human. He had a hunting rifle, a ski mask, a bulletproof vest, and night vision goggles, but no real frills.
Perhaps I’d been wrong to hop out of that chateau after all, especially when they could so easily be bound with their own cables, bungees, and handcuffs, and hung upside down from trees. But open wounds and blood rushing to the head was no reason to ignore a little history lesson. “Now, most people, if they know any history of the revolution at all, are acquainted with the idea of the guillotine. Quick, easy, and less chances of screwing up than with an axeman or a hanging. But fewer people know about the ships. Fun idea. They loaded ships up with prisoners, tied up so they couldn’t swim. Then again, these were the days when sailors probably couldn’t either. So they’d take a boatload of prisoners out there on the river, get a lifeboat ready for the skeleton crew, and pull a plug built into the bottom. The crew would get away, but the prisoners were left to sink to their deaths. I think they called them Republican Baptisms since the first ones were clergy. Nuns and priests. Thousands of people in mass drownings. Bodies floating everywhere.”
I leaned in close to the one with the bad leg wound. It bled down his outfit, which was simple camo, easily purchased from any hunting or outdoors store. He actually snarled from behind his gag. I leaned in and pretended to recoil. “Someone could use a bath.” He kept on trying to intimidate me, so I shoved his gag even further into his mouth. “Might teach you to wash your socks next time,” I said. I wasn’t working with my full complement of bondage gear, but I can adapt.
I tapped him on the forehead with this knife I got from disarming them. He looked so funny, annoyed like that. I laughed, watching him squirm, all red-faced. I took the handle of the knife and smashed it into his jaw again and again. Then I grabbed his ear. “No piercings, I see. Well, don’t say I never gave you anything.” I grabbed his lobe and pulled his ear out to the side, then jammed the knife right through that fold in there that’s part of the tougher part of the ear. I whispered to him right in his ear so he could hear me over his own muffled yelling. “Or do so that, I guess. Lots of double negatives going on.”
The regular guy made some noise too. Poor guy, just needed some attention. “Hey, cut that out,” I stepped away from my stinky plaything and took the knife with me through the side of his earlobe. I brought the knife over and rubbed it against the ski mask where it covered his nose, “If you keep making noise, your little mask is going to get all bloody.” I traced the knife up along his neck and over the vest. “If your mask is all bloody, it’d be hard to hear you if you spill. Your. Guts. Ahahahahaha!” I ran the sharpened metal over the exposed skin that showed on his belly where the shirt had pulled down from gravity.
I smacked the flat of the blade between his legs and discovered I had misjudged the sex of my pursuer. “Oh, pardon me, ma’am. Didn’t realize I was dealing with someone of the fairer sex here. Unfortunately for you, fairer or not, you appear to be nothing ut a human. So fragile.” I plunged the knife into her soft belly and left it there. I turned then, holding my head next to hers. She screamed like you wouldn’t believe, so I tugged the vest down enough to cover her head. Not easy to do with all that wiggling.
I stepped over where the Medieval LARPer hung, a curtain of chain mail keeping him particularly blind and deaf. I lifted the chain mail up enough to look down at his face. “Paying attention down here?” I let it fall and smack him in the face, then jumped up above the treeline.
As Sir Isaac Newton once said, “Holy shitballs, either this weed’s really fucking lit, or the planet’s attracted to me.”
I fell back to Earth, grabbing the knife, and bringing it all all the way down and out the top of her chest. I turned to the bulge-eyed tracker whose knife I borrowed. “”Ya know, I was gonna torture her, but it looks like she already spilled her guts. Hey, I’m gonna go ahead and split. Mind if I keep this? Thanks.”
I’d have loved to leave some parting gifts for them, like conveniently places claymore mines, or more spike pits, but I didn’t have forever. If one bunch could catch my scent, another could, especially after I’d gotten some red on me from the hunter back there.
It wasn’t a couple hours after leaving those three alone in their camp that I had my next close encounter. He leaned against a tree, not even hiding. I hiked along and then there he was, in denim jacket and plaid pants, like some old British punk. He looked at me over a pair of sunglasses and asked, “Don’t you ever feel your astonishing talents are wasted fighting your own people?”
I threw the knife, but he wasn’t there. He was behind me, walking toward me. I turned to punch and it went through him, as did he. I turned again to see him staring me right in the eyes. “You cannot hurt me now, but you should loosen your elbow and shoulder more when you throw.”
I waved my hand through the guy. “A hologram?”
“I can confirm this is a projection.” He looked me over. “Your planet breeds impressive killers. I especially enjoyed your lesson to them. Mass drownings… everyone lifting off their feet as the ship sinks from beneath you. The cold water embraces everyone, left to stare at each other as they watched the water overtake them. Some float more than others in waters murky with other drowning victims.”
“Sounds like it’s something you’d heard of,” I said.
“I have also undertaken a study of the history of this planet.”
“Well aren’t we just two perfect little nuts in a sack,” I said. I pulled one of my drones from scouting ahead so I could spy behind me and see how much time I lost to those tracking me. “I bet they all suddenly know where I am, right?”
“No, deadly one, not at all. You have attracted much interest from my… coworkers.” He kept up with me despite never seeming to walk.
“Doesn’t sound like you’re fond of them. One too many stolen lunches?” I crashed through bushes and broke small branches on a tree off in one direction before jumping over the treeline to land in the opposite direction and kept running, making some effort to avoid doing the same this-a-way.
“You’re no favor to him, but that’s a good thing for the both of us,” He motioned from himself to me.
“Something tells me you’re not doing me any favors either.” I headed down a hill.
“I’m more sympathetic to your cause than you know. Why not aid each other while our interests converge?” He pulled his sunglasses off and hung them from his jacket pocket. “We don’t have to be allies of friendship, but of convenience. I want the Great Wolf dead. You want to punch him in his glass jaw. I hope things work out. I’ll be rooting for you.” He grabbed his glasses again and slipped them onto his face. “I leave you to deal with it.”
A howl echoed through the woods, close by. I skidded to a halt at the bottom of the hill, calling my drones in closer. Another howl from closer touched something unthinking inside me, something that wanted to run, no matter what would chase.
The giant wolf approached through the trees, drooling onto grasses and weeds. “None violate my house and live.”
I cracked my all of my knuckles through my gloves. “I’ll violate your corpse when you’re dead. Doggy style.”
“I am the King of the Wolves! And you are but a bitch,” he growled out before charging me.
I disappeared, holograms of myself racing out to take a fighting stance. He snapped fruitlessly at a couple before a black-haired ghost woman appeared in the wolf’s face, screaming. He flinched back, which is when I fell on his snout. I’d meant to get him in the head, but he moved back further than I’d prefer. An uppercut clacked his teeth together and knocked a fang loose. Glass jaw, eh?
I jumped and punched him in his wet, snotty nose. “Bad doggy! Learn to take a punch!”
He lunged, snapping his mouth at me. The fangs started to crush me, but I got both pairs of arms pushing on the top and bottom portions of his damn muzzle. I got my knee under me to free one hand that went to my belt. The drones moved in, blasting the Great Wolf’s eyes with lasers. He howled in rage, then snapped his jaws shut on something he chewed on.
I looked down at him from up the hill, juggling rubber chicken heads. “Suck my cocks, bitch.”
When the grenades went up and blew apart the wolf’s head, releasing one last howl despite the utter impossibility of it from a headless beast. A last few heavy splats of blood hit me from the open hole at the top of the wolf’s neck before the shaking body collapsed.
The sky got darker and I looked up to the sight of Psycho Flyers taking up position near me, firing down on my pursuers. I turned to see a drop cable land near me and noticed that denim dude standing near the corpse of the giant wolf. He held an oversized heart in his hands, something I figured had to do with the hole in the wolf’s body because I’m a master detective. The landing of one of my armored soldiers obscured him for a moment. The denim disappeared, heart in hand.
The soldier near me bowed. “We are here, Empress.”
I patted him on the shoulder as he stood back up, others dropping down near us. “Good. Let’s get this war started.”