Friday, January 5, 2018


Bobby Derie

Silver-flake hollow points, carved with a cross, blessed and sealed in smooth brass cases. Shit for accuracy at range. Too much air resistance. No good for hard targets. Not enough penetration. They tended to splatter when they hit anything like bone. So they were strictly short range, aim for something vital - an eye, for preference; or the base of the skull if you could get behind them and that close. Biters, when the jaws gaped wide, could give you a nice shot, let you punch through the thin bone toward the brain. For soft tissue hits - jugulars, genitals, all the sort of thing - I preferred buckshot, silver filings and kosher salt. Wouldn't scrape the paint off a golem, but did the trick against anything that was still basically meat wrapped skeletons.

I considered my options, then loaded the hollow-points into my back-up piece. Too many questions if I have to turn in my service weapon and there are bits of silver stuck in the barrel. You had to think about those kind of things.

Devils have a shelf life. Vicious cycle. They get hard in hell. Scrappers, survivors. It takes intelligence and resourcefulness to fight your way up the hierarchy of the organization. Only the strong and ruthless make it up here. To this cold, soft world. Not many blaze out - at least, not as many as you'd think. These are the ones that made it to the top of the ladder. Patient and nasty. They know had to lie low, hide their kills, build their powerbase. It's sweet and easy, up here, if you're careful. A whole world to bleed.

Then the life gets them. Gets to all of them, eventually. Humanity. Too much soft living. Easy deals, souls for the plucking. They lose the edge. Get whimsical, develop personalities, quirks. Maybe they foul up a deal here or there, but they're having fun. Win some or lose some, what does it matter when you have eternity?

A lot, to the boys downstairs. The number-crunchers. Tallymen of the Damned. They notice, and they know the signs. Then they give someone like me a call. A name and a number. Who and how much. Yes or no. I've never yet turned them down, and something tells me I'll be damned for that some day.

They don't call it a hit. They call it retirement.


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