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Go buy a copy here!
I recently got a book self-published! It contains seven short stories that I've written during the latter half of 2010, hence the name. They're not enormous, but quality over quantity is easily the better way to go.
Feel free to snag a copy and share it around with family, friends, acquaintances, randoms, whoever.
For years, I'd sat on this old porch, swinging life away. Suburbia was a far cry from the locales that had spawned my existence. White picket fences, immaculate green lawns - hell, even I must be contributing to the stereotypes; an old man rocking away in his chair. For many, I suppose, suburbia represented an amalgam of everything they could've ever sought after - society, family, wealth. I, though, was the polar opposite. I sat on my porch not to indulge in the quaint little society that had been formed through back-breaking labour and visceral bloodshed. As I rocked, I cast my mind back years, decades, centuries. I stared off into hte clear sky, my mind apparently blank, except for my marvelling the natural aesthetic of the world.
My thoughts, however, were otherwise occupied. As I watched the bulbuous clouds hanging suspended in the inverted ocean of blue, my mind took me to places I hadn't envisioned for years. The same sky my eyes now bored into was the one Cortez has been beneath when he razed the world of the Aztecs. Bonaparte had meandered below it, as he soaked in all the natural beauty of the Parisian countryside. Breathing in the same air as I was now, Hitler and Churchill tossed millions of tonnes of steel toward each other, and millions of lives had been lost in the same sun my skin was now drinking in. These were all world-altering events, I knew, but I wouldn't trade my porch and my chair to return the globe to those comparably barbaric eras. Cortez, Napoleon, Caesar, Hitler, Churchill and I had all inhaled the same oxygen, experienced the same winds and been scorched by the same sun. Aside from the publicity of our endeavours, were Ghandi and I really so different?
Humanity, over the centuries, and millenia, has remained rather the same, I mused inwardly. If I had betray and murder me, surely I would have felt both emotional - guilt, sadness, perhaps vengeance? - and physical pain. As Brutus thrust his blade into the chest of his father, would Caesar have not felt the same? It seems indisputable. Were I to build a house, only to have it destroyed by flames, would not devastation grip my heart? As he watched his Reich fall, I'm sure Adolf felt similarly.
My eyes drifted downwards, to children playing across the street. Even in their youth, and happiness, I would not wish my plight upon them. One of the boys stopped playing, and sprinted across the bitumen to see me. I'd lived in the street for more years than he'd been alive, and had developed a strong friendship with his parents. I knew that, in time, I would have to sever those ties and move on, but my heart yearned to experience the present. I obliged, as the boy clambered onto my knee.
"Hello, Ben." I greeted him, a warm smile accompanying my words. An enthusiatic, "Hello!" was my response.
"I was looking at the sky again, today." I told him.
"Cool! What'd you see?"
The boy laughed. "Wouldn't it be cool to live forever? See the sky every day?"
His young, naive mind amused me, yet I was possibly the only person in the world capable of answering the question based on my experiences. Some of history's most powerful, most influential - greatest- men, had personally asked me the same question, in a multitude of languages. I voiced a false response to him, but silently, inwardly, responded with the truth.
"I've missed having you around." Her words were smooth and comforting, like cold water on a hot day. We were sitting across a wooden, circular table, opposite each other. My pocket, as always, carried two metal objects. Given their omnipresence, I often felt like one of Tolkien's two particular Hobbits. Her soft gaze pressed into mine. "I'd miss me, too." I joked, rather solemnly. She chuckled, a sweet, innocent laugh. Beautiful white teeth permeated the dim lighting. Her teeth weren't perfect; one was on a slight angle, and she as really self-conscious about it. All the times I'd told her it didn't matter didn't do anything to ease the pressure she put on herself.
I looked up. "They say you never know what you have until it's gone." I began, not quite sure what to say next. I clasped both my hands around my half-full glass of water. "But I knew. I knew what I thought we had. Now that it's gone, I'm not so sure." I paused for a second. "Hell, maybe they were right."
She eyed my carefully. "What do you mean? I thought you said -" She began, before I interjected.
"Maybe I didn't know that I had nothing until the source of that nothingess was gone." I took a swig of my water. She looked visibly hurt, and spoke her next words quietly. "I didn't tell you that I honestly miss you so that you could have a go at me."
I tried to feel bad, but I couldn't. My heart felt dead, but my mind, and my lips were as alive as ever. "I suppose you felt that a year later would be best to tell me this?" My words were strong, and harsh. "I've not seen you in a year!" She tried to defend herself, weakly.
With those words, that feeble excuse, I felt my heart rip open, and a year's worth of anger, resentment and hopelessness spilled out. "I haven't bloody well moved. Or changed my number, or my Facebook. And you say you're offended now? I didn't tell you I love you every time I could so that you could leave me alone in this evil little word!" My hand reached into my pocket, and grabbed the two metal bands. She was just about in tears, as I began to feel I was making a crescendo.
"I'm sorry." She muttered, between suppressed sobs. My fingers wrapped around the metal, and I slammed my hands onto the table.
"I didn't c -" My voice gave out as tears began to well in my eyes. "I didn't carry these around for months, waiting, because I ever wanted to hurt you." My fingers slowly uncurled, and my hand, almost poignantly, revealed two rings. My body was trembling as a salty drop trickled from my eyes. Her hands covered her mouth, as she saw the rings. "My God."
I'd hit my crescendo, but I still had things to say.
"I have money, respect, freedom; everything a goddamn autocrat could want. But I'm not an autocrat. I'm a lonely little man who, a year ago, had absolutely everything, with the world at my fingertips. You empowered me. You made everything I had, did or thought worthwhile and meaningful. I wanted your love every day of my life. But you didn't want mine. You just upped and left me."
I wiped tears from my eyes.
"Now it's my turn." I stood, watching my once prospective fiancee cry a river of tears onto the hard word. Without looking back, I thought of everything we'd done together. The list was extensive.
I felt the building, a quiet little club, with light pockets, but a heavy heart. Still shaky, I grabbed my phone from my pocket, and speed-dialled a number. She answered.
"What goes around comes around." She stated concretely.
"Yes," I replied. "It does."
"I love you."
"So did I."
I hung up, and continued my long walk home in the semi-darkness of the street lights.
The three men stood at the helm of a giant galleon. The enormous warship was sailing right for a pirate vessel. The privateers were under the employ of the Brits, and were all former inmates. Ironically, they'd all served time for dereliction of duty aboard the Marines, and had all been placed within the confines of the same island prison. Their sentences had been brutal acts of slavery and torture; every one of the men onboard bore numerous scars that reminded them of the harsh place they would return to, were they caught once again. The captain, standing at the helm of the boat, his left- and right-hand man behind him, watched eagerly as they closed in on the vessel.
As the galleon battered it's way through the waves, the captain retired below deck. His helmsman smiled to each other. They both stood stock still as salt water splashed them. Deckhands spontaneously clambered to the lower decks, gathering their weapons for the showdown that was to follow. A shadowy figure was busy rearranging the gunpowder barrels into the hold. They were in positions that were difficult to hit for anyone who didn't know where they were. Satisfied with his work, the man slowly trudged his way carefully back through the shadows.
The captain resurfaced several minutes later, as the galleon was just about bearing down on the pirates. The long nose jutting from the ship's helm served as more than an aesthetic device. The captain stepped lightly on it, balancing himself. His crew had gone reverently quiet. The entire ocean seemed to go quiet. The two helmsmen stepped forward, above the bow rail. The pirates could all see the three men that commanded the enormous vessel.
The captain stepped further up the spear-like attachment at the nose of the ship. The crew of pirates had assembled on their vessel, staring up at the majestic galleon. The captain was clutching a stick with a white flag tied around it. He held it up high. His own crew was bewildered, as were the pirates. He turned his head slightly, and his two helmsman unholstered their pistols. His lips spread into a cheeky grin. He stood tall, lowering the flag, and began to run up the wooden extension, towards the pirates. As he leapt, he drew his own pistol, threw the flag in the air, and pulled the trigger. As he had done numerous times, he had aimed so that the bullet flashed through the flag, catching the white fabric on fire. The small metal ball tore into the pirate captain's chest. Stunned, and not quite accepting of his own death, the man stood for a second, as the privateer captain sailed through the air. The privateer's helmsman stepped forward, aimed their weapons at the floor, and pulled the triggers. As they did so, they stepped up onto the same wooden pole their captain had leapt over seconds before.
The two bullets struck small pieces of flint on the lower deck, smashing through the wooden floors. A small trail of gun-powder ran around the side of the deck, and eventually ended amongst a stockpile of powder and rum barrels. The friction caused by the bullets on the flint sent sparks shooting out amongst the powder. The grey substance caught fire instantly. The flames rushed down the trail of gun-powder, and engulfed the barrels. The explosion ripped the ship apart. The two helmsman saluted their former crew, as the debris spiralled into the air. The mast, bearing the British flag, came crashing down slowly. With a mighty creak, the helmsman felt their part of the ship began to lurch forward into the ocean.
The captain landed as the explosion went off. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. He landed with a graceful roll, quickly swinging his pistol back into it's holster. WIth the same hand in the same motion, he grabbed a long and thin cutlass, and stabbed it into the wooden floor. He came to his feet, and the flames and smoke floated slowly into the air. WIthout even thinking, he grabbed a second cutlass, and ran the pirate directly in front of him through. He figured he had a second or two to kill as many as he could before they realised. As quickly as he'd stabbed the man, he retraced the blade and set his sights on a second victim. Underhanded, he slashed the man's stomach, and spun to grab his second blade. The two gutted pirates collapsed to the deck with a thud. The captain ripped his second blade out of the wood, and tossed them both into the air. He spun once again, distracting his prey, and grabbed each sword in the opposite hand. He swung them down in an X-motion, slashing two men across the face. Twirling the blades in mid-air, he thrust them both backwards, stabbing a man with each weapon. Five down, and the pirates had only just started taking notice.
The two helmsmen had cracked a smile as they watched their captain set about massacring the pirates. They stood proudly against the desolate backdrop of smoke and fire. Feeling their small chunk of galleon lurch forward, they stepped forward, ready to make the small jump. The front of the boat almost tossed itself toward the pirate vessel. The spear-appendage of the ship plunged itself into the wood-work of the pirate boat, and the two helmsman drew their swords, clutching their pistols in their off-hands.
The captain spun to see his two allies step onto the boat behind a stunned and confused group of pirates. He'd cut down another man in the time it had taken the men to step aboard, bringing his total to six. Swords crossed over, and slowly drawing the crowd away from his comrades, he stepped backwards, towards the opposite end of the ship. One of the pirates braved up, and lunged toward him. The captain slammed one of his swords down on his attacker's blade, and swung his other arm around, swinging it down on his burly neck. The blade tore right through the muscles, bones, tendons and skin, and the pirate's head dropped grotesquely, and began to roll toward the cabins. The dead pirate's comrades cringed as they watched the brutality. The captain quickly took the chance, and struck down two more men. The heat was causing him to sweat, and it gave the illusion that he was tired. He was, in fact, far from tired.
The pirates seemed to swarm, suddenly, like a hive-mind. The captain seemed to be wildly swinging his lethally sharp blades, as the pirates swung violently at him. Quick flicks of the wrist sent his weapons spiralling on ridiculous angles, cutting through blood-thirsty pirates. His two helmsman slowly strode up behind the group of pirates gathered around their captain; their friend.
Jack stepped up off the street. His white, 'drug-baron' shoes rapped quietly against the concrete. The mottled black-and-grey skinny jeans he wore protected him from the wind, while his upper body seemed bare to it. He wore a simple, long-sleeved cotton shirt, a light bluish colour. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, despite the cold. It was just the way he liked it. To others, it seemed he was insane, given his lack of warm clothing, especially in the cold of the rural Australian winter. At six degrees Celsius, the day was by no means warm. However, the athletic, surfy-looking Jack's choice of clothing resonated from the simple reason that he didn't feel the cold as badly as others. It was just something he'd been blessed with. Looking cautiously about him, and into the trees surrounding the area, Jack began to step faster. Despite his insensitivity to cold, he had a rather low pain threshold. Maybe they went hand in hand? He didn't know, but he'd always speculated. Stepping of a low road island; a thin road division, used to separate lanes, he quickened his pace, and almost leapt the last two steps to the kerb.
Jack continued walking, not losing a second, as he began to travel along a lengthy driveway. The driveway, and accompanying house, belonged to an old 'acquaintance.' Jack shook his head. It'd been far too long since he'd even seen the person he was now trying to visit, let alone talk to them. They say that age messes with people. The man he was now planning on visiting was the embodiment of this term. Head down in the wind, so as to maximise his walking speed, Jack continued. His pace gradually become faster and faster, until he was at a near jog. His ears pricked, and he started jogging. A faint rumbling wafted in through the trees surrounding the driveway. Jack began to run. His heart rate started surging. Sweat immediately broke out on his forehead; something that was generally seen as a deformation, but it was just the way he was.
The rumbling loudened. It swiftly turned into a dull roar, as a Jeep rocketed out of the woods, barely missing Jack; he rolled to the side, as he felt the breeze from the huge vehicle that had passed him by bare centimetres. He felt the roaring heat of the overworked engine as it passed. The huge, khaki vehicle slammed into the ground, bouncing around on old, crappy suspension. Kicking up a huge dust storm, it pulled a U-ey; a full u-turn. As the dust settled, it became a bizarre, almost Western, stand-off. The Jeep's wheels spun to life, kicking up dust and small stones, the driver slammed his foot on the accelerator. The behemoth vehicle rushed at Jack. Leaving it to the last second, Jack pulled a combat knife from a small, concealed pocket on the inside of the skinnies he wore. Diving to the side, as the Jeep again narrowly missed him, he began sawing at his jeans. Long jeans were shocking for manoeuvrability and agility. What he really needed were short pants. So he was going to make them. Careful not to slice into his leg, Jack cut his jeans just above the knee, so as to allow the greatest movement. With his heart racing as fast as it was, and the adrenaline kicking in, he didn't need warmth. One of the pant legs was severed, now. Tearing it free, Jack threw the fabric aside. One leg to go. The Jeep had turned again, facing Jack. Standing, looking slightly awkward with one long pant leg and another short, but too focused on the Jeep to care, he held the knife low, at his side. Again accelerating, the Jeep driver had other plans of action for this pass. Just as Jack was about leap, he gave up on the idea, and the driver swerved in the direction Jack's leap was to be. The Jeep slammed into a rut on the side of the driveway. Still turning to the left, the huge vehicle was overcome by gravity. The behemoth came crashing down, still sliding several metres, before coming to a grinding halt. Unaware of the ruts previously, Jack looked to both sides of the driveway. Sure enough, both sides bore a rut, looking more like a trench than a small, lengthy ditch.
The Jeep's right door, at a forty-five degree angle to the ground, came flying open. A black-clad assassin stepped into the doorway, hunched over, standing on the edge of the door. Pulling a small Glock pistol from the dashboard of the Jeep, the assassin fired several shots at Jack. The booming sound of the bullets racing at immense speed caught Jack by surprise. Stunned for a second, before two bullets sped past his chest, one burning into his shirt, leaving a thin, charred trail, Jack dived to the ground. An army roll to the side of the road, and he was on his feet. Running blindly toward the forest, he forgot about the rut. Misjudging his stepping distance, Jack rolled his ankle as he fell awkwardly into the ditch. As he screamed out in pain, the assassin stepped out of the Jeep. Raising the Glock again, the black-clad mystery attacked fired off several rounds around Jack, to frighten him. Death by gun wasn't nearly enough fun for the assassin. The only way he would be satisfied was if he killed the poor sod with his bare hands. Approaching the ditch, it was deep enough to completely hide a person from view, until about two metres away. The closer the assassin got, the wider the smile became. Stopping momentarily, the assassin pulled two gold knuckle-dusters from his pocket. The grin covered the man's hidden face. As he stepped closer to the ditch, he blinked, slowly, wanting to take in the view of.... Nothing. Jack had gone. The assassin swore, loudly.
Seeming to materialise out of nowhere, Jack's fist slammed hard into his assailant's knee. Groaning, the black-clad man fell to the ground. Ripping the knife out of his pocket, Jack stabbed it into the man's back. Trickles of blood emerged from the wound, and the liquid seemed to explode out of the assassin's back, as Jack ripped the knife out. Not quite content, he slashed side of the man's neck. Blood trickled out, seeming to catch itself in the folds of the assassin's clothes. Despite the two massive injuries, the man stepped back up, as Jack backed off. "Doubt it." Stepping deftly forward, Jack swiped the gun from the assassin's back pocket. Quickly throwing the gun up, he pulled the trigger, once, twice.
The assassin's body fell to the ground with an unceremonious thump. Dark red blood splattered onto the ground. The blood was pooling around the body. Jack stood over the body, and raised the gun one more time. This time, the bullet was going straight into the heart. Jack pulled the trigger for a second time, and the 9mm burst to life. It tore straight through the skin, burning it's way through the assassin's body, and buried itself in the dirt. Just to make sure, Jack checked the pulse, kneeling as he did so. His finger lingered on the neck of the corpse, for one, two seconds. There was no pulse. He was well and truly dead. Dropping the gun, Jack stood, turned around and walked back to the house.
He hadn't noticed it before, but the closer he got to the house, the more Jack realised his head was throbbing. Clutching his head with one hand, he squeezed really hard. The throbbing subsided quickly. Shaking the pain out, Jack kept walking. His feet lightly crunching the dirt beneath his feet, he stepped onto the wooden porch at the front of the completely wooden house. Cautiously, Jack crept over to the window. There were curtained by flimsy pieces of cloth, but managed to allow some light to filter in, creating blurry shadows. Aside from a strange, circular shadow in the rough centre of the image, it was basic living room furniture. Satisfied with this basic surveillance, Jack approached the door and lightly rapped his fingers against it. There was no response, even after several seconds. He again knocked, this time slamming his knuckles into the door. The door, completely loose, fell away. As it did, a machine gun was kicked to life. A steady stream of bullets poured out of the barrel of the aging weapon, slamming into and splintering the door as it fell. Jack quickly spun to the left, out of the doorway, and out of the gun's sights. Bullets sped off into the woods, at blistering speeds of 710 metres a second. Trying not to get shot again, he checked the window again. The circular shadow he had seen previously had seemed to retract, and shrink. Odd, he thought. Through the door, a faint click sound emerged. "The hell?" Jack asked himself a rhetorical question, as he usually did. As soon as he finished the question, a huge boom rocked the entire house. Jack dropped to the ground, as a massive log came bursting through the woodwork of the house. The two-metre wide piece of wood tore out a huge chunk of the house's front. On it's way out, it collected one of the porch's beams, tearing it completely free. Jack rolled to the side, as the rest of the four-metre long log cleared the house. The wooden missile fell to the ground just past the porch. The entire window to Jack's left had been torn out, as had much of the surrounding panelling. His ears were almost burning. The ringing in them was absolutely intense. Cringing, Jack laid his head on the porch, shutting his eyes, hard. He groaned, wincing as the ringing began to die out. As it did, he failed to hear the second click. Only the ungodly boom. Another log, slightly smaller than the first came crashing through, barely above Jack. It had been fired from a different position than the first. It too tore down a large piece of the house's woodwork. Splinters, dust and chunks of debris rained down. The log slammed into Jack's side, throwing him forward, off the porch, and onto the hard ground. He felt a rib instantly break, and several others cracked. The air was forcibly ejected from his stomach, as he was driven at speed into the rocky driveway. Stones dug into his back, and a huge log was pressing into his side. The log had lost all its energy when it had hit Jack, and as such was only carried forward by immense momentum. Jack struggled to inhale, and coughed every time he exhaled. He spat blood twice, the red liquid landing on the dusty road. His raspy breathing was almost painful to listen to. Rolling onto his stomach, Jack desperately tried to crawl. His energy drained, all he could do was collapse every time he tried. His entire body was burning with pain. He couldn't move. Only lie, and wait. He rolled onto his side, and then onto his back again. Desperately weak, he flopped his arms out at his sides, at right angles. From above, he look as through he was being crucified on the ground. Eyes bloodshot and red, Jack closed them, and welcomed the silent, black embrace.
His eyes raced open. Sunlight burned into his retinas. Jack groaned, covering his eyes with his arm, blinking sorely. Nothing had changed since he'd fallen into his coma. Well, he wasn't sure whether it was a coma, or unconsciousness, or if he'd just fallen asleep. It didn't matter. He was here for a reason. Dusting himself off, Jack realised how much pain he had been in, before he'd fallen into whatever submissive state into which he'd fallen. Looking up, he saw the two gaping holes in the side of the house. Pieces of wood hung limply from the house. Two massive steel columns, the cannons that fired the logs, were hanging perpendicular to the floor. "How in God's name did they manage to get that working?" Again, a rhetorical question directed at himself. For a third time, Jack began walking towards the crippled building. Stepping onto the porch, again, he checked for traps. "Wouldn't put it past him." Talking to himself was one of Jack's favourite pastimes, though he wouldn't admit it. Click. "Shi-" Jack didn't finish the sentence before a third and final log came spiralling out of the house, this time on the right side of the door, not the left. It too destroyed one of the porch's support beams, and the roof above Jack couldn't deal with such little support. With an almighty creak, the overlooking room came crashing down. Still bearing damaged ribs, Jack leapt off the porch, as the room collapsed into the, also wooden, porch. The sound of wood tearing and scraping against itself was a hellish noise. As the entirety of the room fell, it seemed to explode outward, with a speedy Jack trying to outrun the devastation. Wood, like water, spilled onto the driveway, with large chunks of debris rolling along the ground awkwardly. It was the second time he'd been forced to evacuate the house, due to the seemingly random, albeit, decisively planned destruction. Ever since Jack had stepped into the vicinity of the house, destruction and death had been the object of his life. An omen, perhaps? Nothing, it seemed, could stay intact with Jack around. He looked back at the still smoldering Jeep. Including people's lives. Seeing the broken, bent and damaged vehicle still smoldering left Jack wondering how long he'd really been out. A few minutes? Hours? Maybe a day, tops. But, he thought, that meant that the log firing had been triggered by someone inside the house. Or perhaps it had been his activity outside, on the porch. Or even timed, perfectly? Timing it, however, would imply that the person responsible had an impeccable ability to see into the future, with split-second timing. Highly unlikely.
For the fourth, and 'what bloody well better be the last', time, Jack approached the house again. The collapsed room was now strewn all over the ground. Huge pieces of splintered and broken wood poked out from the wreckage like spears. It looked like a grisly, unnatural formation, resembling that of the Greek phalanx. A breeze blew in. the most disturbing thing about it, was that Jack couldn't feel the temperature of it. He felt the breeze, but no heat or cool; nothing that is generally associated with a breeze. Rubbing his tired eyes, and shaking out his tired legs, he stepped toward the house. Amazingly, the room had not collapsed over the doorway, at all. For the 10 or so centimetres either side of the doorway, there was no evidence of any destruction at all. However, the door lying at an awkward angle on the floor spoke otherwise. It was covered in bullet holes. Beyond it, was a mounted AK-47; the gun that had fired when the door had fallen. Now that he could see inside the house, Jack realised it was all a big set-up. An engineering marvel, to be honest. Wires and electrical connections had rigged all the traps to be set off. The gun was rigged to a small pressure pad on the floor, and the door now lay on top of it. The first log had been set off by a motion sensor on the right side of the window, which Jack had looked in prior to the door knocking. It was timed, too. The second log was timed to go off exactly 12 seconds after the first log was fired. It was absolutely ingenious. But that still didn't answer Jack's question of how in the hell it was all arranged. It was a wooden house. How where these traps connected to power outlets? There were none in the room. Jack kept looking around the room. Something on the other side of the room struck him as odd. It was stone-walled fireplace. In a wooden home. Seemed like an odd decision, but whoever lived here obviously enjoyed it, as they had left several bottles of wine and other alcohols in bottles underneath a nearby table.
Just before turning away from the fireplace, Jack was struck by a thought. "Fireplace. Wood home. Extremely flammable substances." He paused. "Another trap." Shaking his head, Jack ran to the other side of the room, as quick as he could. But the fire was quicker. The fireplace fired a small block of grease at the table in the middle of the room. It knocked over a glass of whisky, and the liquid spilled out. It caught fire. What Jack couldn't see was that a small hole had been drilled in both the table and a bottle of wine. The trickle of whisky, aflame, reached the bottle. Instantly, the bottle exploded, as did the other bottles of fairly expensive wine. Molten glass fragments were flung across the room, in every direction. One struck Jack in the back of the left thigh, and he fell to the ground. Reacting quickly, he managed to almost leap forward to the other side of the room, and throw himself against the wall as the entire other side of the room exploded in a spectacular alcohol-fuelled reaction. Bricks, mortar, wood and glass were flung at incredible speeds around the room, and out into the open air. The roof had caught fire, and Jack could barely walk, let alone escape. Cinder burning all around him, and the smoke filling the already thick air, Jack shut his eyes and began feeling the way around with his hands. The seemingly endless wall gave way, suddenly, to a thin doorframe. Clutching the right side of the frame, Jack jumped to the side, landing on one foot, and swung himself, backwards, into the room. A huge explosion of glass and flame tore out the rest of the overhanging roof. The wood was thrust up and out, clattering to the ground, still smoldering, several seconds later. Ripping his eyes open, Jack dived to the black and white checkerboard tiled floor. The room was tiny, and filled with appliances. It was the kitchen of the wooden house, and it was the only thing not comprised entirely of wood. In fact, there was no wood in here at all. It was all metal. Which, theoretically, meant it could stop the flames and the ensuing explosions. Looking around, Jack desperately sought an escape. There was a large windows at one end of the kitchen. It sat a metre off the ground, and a metre from the roof. Two metres in length, it was perfect for Jasan to jump through. He stepped quickly over to it, and pushed against it. A massive fireball tore through the door frame to the kitchen. Instantly, the wooden frame caught fire, and the metal around it turned yellow, almost pulsating with heat. The tiles were charred beyond recognition. It was all a big, black mess. The heat was becoming unbearable. The air around him was getting distorted, as it did in immense heat. His arm hairs stood on their ends, erected by the heat. Stepping backwards, Jack ran up to the window.
With a quick, almost insufficient run-up, Jack leapt onto a nearby stool, and jumped off, curling into a little ball. Arms covering his face, he slammed into the window. The glass pane shattered under his weight, and tiny transparent splinters dug into his arms. Glass clattered onto the driveway, which was covered in pieces of debris and smoldering wood. Uncurling from the ball, Jack landed on his good leg, and tried to bounce, before he fell, rolling a metre or two. Clumsily getting to his feet, Jack began to limp hurriedly away as the remnants of the house exploded in a gargantuan fireball. Huge pieces of flaming, burning wood rained down around Jack's ears. Covered in dust, debris and a little bit of blood, Jack was a complete mess. But he wasn't down and out, yet. Stepping slowly away, a piece of wood that had sailed tremendously high came crashing down on his back. Too weak to resist, he collapsed instantly. The wood charred his shirt, and singed his skin, but he didn't notice. He'd slipped into unconsciousness the moment he hit the ground.
However, it was offline.
So it won't show up Xbox.com.
I'll jump online when i can next.
A grenade tore a massive hole in the giant reflective glass wall ahead of them. Jasan dived behind an overturned mahogany desk. Bullets slammed into and through it. Jasan pulled another grenade from his pocket. He popped his head up momentarily, and hurled the grenade.
Bullets slammed once more into the table, splintering the wood. A tracer burned it's way through.
Two or three more tracer rounds penetrated the table.
Jasan's grenade exploded. The men in the hallway had not seen him through the small explosive, and failed to notice it lying at their feet. The explosion tore the men apart, and they died instantly. Those across the long corridor where thrown off their feet. Several men clamped down involuntarily on their guns triggers as they fell. The sound of shattering glass, smoldering, collapsing metal, and the roar of gunfire. It sounded to Jasan as though the world was ending. For him, it was.
Jasan bounded over the table, and ran down the corridor. Glass fragments and blood and wood was spiralling around in the fiery maelstrom that was the grenade explosion. Arm up, covering his face, he began sprinting. The men that survived the explosion watched helplessly as they either died, or reloaded. Jasan reached quickly into his pocket, pulling out a smaller lighter-esque device. He fumbled with the red flick-top. The opposite glass wall was getting closer. Lowering his head, looking down at the floor, Jasan kept running. The flames from the grenade had began to subside, but massive scorches marked the roof and the remnants of the floor. He used his now free hand to grab a small grenade lying on the floor, and, looking momentarily up, threw it.
The grenade shattered the wall, and huge glass fragments cascaded down into the floor, and then out into the air. To the people who bothered to look up, they saw a huge shower of glass, that soon became a beautiful display of lighting as the midday sun glistened upon it. The people on the ground screamed and began running for cover from the man-made storm. Jasan just ran forward. Then he hit the cascade and began falling through. One of the men had just reloaded his gun, and, slightly dazed, opened fire. The automatic fire of his Steyr AUG assault rifle tore through the glass.
Jasan fell quickly, on an angle. He needed to fall quickly. Arms rigid at his side, and his legs straight back behind him, he fell like a bullet. But his eyes were fixated on a nearby rooftop. 12 more feet... The rooftop was rushing toward him VERY quickly. 10 feet. 8 feet. 5 feet. 3...
In a single, fluid, fast movement, Jasan had his hand outstretched in front of him. His hand hit the roof first, and he bent his am at the elbow, and lowered himself. He quickly moved himself over the hand, and lifted it, landing on his forehead. Rolling once, twice, then thrice, he stood, and dropped the gun in his other hand. He realised he'd left the lighter on the building. He shrugged. A good thief comes prepared. He pulled a second, larger object from his backpack. It was a detonation device, similar to the one still on the building. He quickly jabbed a small spark plug into the side, turning the device on. As his finger hovered over a small orange button, the huge building behind him exploded. To the untrained eye, it seemed that an entire floor; the kitchen, conveniently, had spontaneously combusted.
"Run." Jasan's whole body was trembling. Something was wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. He began moving backwards, dropping the device and his backpack. Huge flames spewed into the open air, as hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians watched, all horrifed. Many were concerned for the dead. But there were no dead. Today, that floor was vacant. The only casualties were the soldiers. And there it came. The rythmic whump whump of rotor blades.
"Shit." He spat. 'Run, run, run, run...' His body told him to run, to flee, but he stood still rooted to the spot. But why? The whump grew louder, as Jasan was rooted to the spot. A German-made Tiger UHT came slowly into sight. "Run." As the helicopter's tinted, glass cockpit came into view, he finally did. Awkwardly dropping his backpack to the floor, he sprinted. The helicopter rotor blades drew a heavy wind, and his messy, blonde hair flew in his face. As the entire helicopter became visible, Jasan reached the edge of the roof. He took a long step, stood on the edge of the roof, and leaned forward. 90 degrees. 80. 65. 45. 20. 0. He was on a 180 degree angle to the roof now, and gravity took complete hold.
Deacon hung by a tiny thread of high-tensile rope, launched from a pneumatic grappling hook; the same hook that had hit me, and left four bloody holes in my stomach. Jasan was slipping, I could see that, as he sturggled to keep Deacon elevated, and tried desperately to keep him alive. Then the second bomb. A white contrail rose high into the bleak, Amazonian sky. Towering above the green expanse of rainforest, it detonated. Flattening the trees, it's shock wave headed straight for us. And this was the second one. It hit the chopper, and Jasan let go. Deacon plummeted. Jasan grabbed Troy, the pilot and tore him from his seat. They both dived for the rear, as the chopper crashed.
Pain surged through my body. I couldn't stop the blood. I was dying. And couldn't do anything.
Carlos lay dying, bleeding on the ground. Deacon's gun, an M16, had torn up his chest with it's burst-fire. Three huge, bloody bullet-holes had torn his chest apart. Jasan and Troy were already on their feet, running toward Deacon's body. From the darkness, Troy had fired a single shot. With spot-on aim, the bullet had hit his forehead; an instant kill. "Move, Troy!" Jasan screamed, picking up Deacon's M16.
The huge cavern came to life almost instantaneously. Gold-coloured men rose from among the huge piles of the gold. The second most precious metal on the face of the planet sat in seemingly infinite amounts, within easy reach. But it was run, or die clutching the gold. Jasan decided to run. More men streamed in from another of the holes, the Incan side. They weren't clad in gold paint. And they had guns. Then the reality struck Jasan. The Spanish conquistadors had never truly destroyed the native Americans. They had hunted them to near extinction, but they were by no means dead. Here, they could see, was where they had thrived.
Three words echoed throughout the cavern, all different. All the men standing upon the gold held something up. Bows. The tiny metal tip of the arrow head glinted in the counterfeit light. Three more words. Bows twanged, and arrows soared. Only six or so arrows flew in Jasan and Troy's direction. Raising his gun, Jasan was about to fire, when he saw the men on the other side of the cave get impaled by a frighteningly accurate hail of arrows. Dashing forward, he grabbed Deacon's corpse. The gunmen opposite them recovered from the withering hail of volley fire. Now they were prepared. Nine more words echoed around the cavern. Three sentences. Three words per sentences. As he dived into the blackness, Troy realised what was happening. "They're Aztec, Mayan AND Incan." he unintentionally said aloud. Jasan jerked his head in the pilot's direction. "Really Sherlock. You're a-fu--"
Gunfire erupted from the Incan tunnel. The white flashes of automatic gunfire lit up the darkness inside the Incan cavern. Several Indians dropped to their knees. Others went sprawling backwards, thrown off their feet by the withering volley of arrows. An Indian roared something in Aztec. An arrow was sent flying high into the cavern. The thin, wooden projectile shattered a thin piece of grass rope, high up above the door the gunners had charged through. Two of the Indians fell face first onto the gold, blood pooling around them. One of the others was hit in the shoulder, and spiralled backwards.