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Winnowing the Damned
The Filthy Few Planning System
Sam sat with Shayne in the backseat of the tinted SUV, driven by Bill Walls, with Big Ed riding shotgun. Big Ed was number two man on the Shadow Team. As a former Army Ranger, EMT, ER TECH, competitive shooter, who said too often to make Sam comfortable that he couldn’t wait to stack bodies” and was determined to “go out hard,” gave this mission the feeling of a bad B action movie where the director was going to have to kill off characters at such a rate as to be able to release actors early on in the shoot. Big Ed was packing a .45 auto and an AR-15.
In the third seat sat the rest of the Shadow Team: There was Manny Soprano, an Italian-American strip club owner from Jersey who actually kicked in the money to start up this mission, and instigated it with the President, who was no stranger to his establishment. He was about 50, moderately athletic, a gun enthusiast who outfitted the Shadow Team and had a personal motivation for this job. His best striper, the lead girl had been dancing for Slick Willy, former blow-job-Cuban Cigar president a month back. The slick one requested the honor of visiting Daneeshda at her home and soon after the visit she called Manny in hysterics, with news that Slick Willy had detailed his Secret Service agents to abduct her 11-year-old daughter and the lead agent had threatened her with death. But Daneeshda was a hard core Syrian hooker and demanded that Manny honor his pact to protect her and hers…
Manny was “loaded for faggot,” carrying a SAW [Squad Automatic Weapon] and matching chrome-plated .44 magnums.
Next to Manny sat Nate, an old silver back with a silver Mohawk haircut, who had been “kicked out” of the Army Airborne Rangers for being too bloodthirsty “killing kid- and goat-fuckers” in the Middle East. He fought in the first and second Gulf Wars and was discharged for slaughtering child rapists in Afghanistan. He was armed with a Remington .380 automatic shotgun, a ridiculous load of knives and two thigh-strapped Glocks.
Next to Nate sat their tech nerd, who would operate their drone and monitor law enforcement communications, a skinny little twerp who they nick-named Clued and for whom Sam had some masculine pity, as the guy didn’t cast enough of a shadow in this group to permit anyone to remember his actual name.
Bill Walls had been an army Ranger in the 1991 Desert Storm, and had served with Shayne in Central America, including the Panama Invasion. He was carrying a Glock and a knife and in a pinch would man the RPGs Manny had gotten from some used car dealer in Jersey.
Shadowing the SUV was Glasgow Ned, on a crotch rocket motorcycle, Manny’s lead bouncer at the strip club, who had a reputation for head-butting people, dressed all in black, with a leather jacket concealing a .357 magnum and a dirk.
Shayne held the folder open and summarized the file of each man and handed them to Sam. Shayne had insisted on his choice of weaponry when accepting this mission and had asked for a .45 auto and a Tommy Gun, the .45 caliber trench clearing weapon favored by U.S. officers in WWII and Korea and made popular by gangsters during the Great Depression. He wore also insisted on wearing a steel WWII era helmet, which he sat on his lap to prop up the mission brief folder and roster. These assholes were all being collected at a motel in Cheyenne, Wymoning six hours from the mission site. He also had a snubbed-nosed .38 on a boot clip, and the man was wearing cowboy boots—just thought it was the right thing to do and that for something like this you didn’t want to sneak around but crash the door “guns a blazing.”
“Sarge, I’m taking Team 1 and you are taking Team 2, just crashin’ front and back at the same time. It’s just a big house and we have no time for training. The Shadow Team here will work our extraction and will run interference with law enforcement and MCs if it comes to that. We have no time to train these guys—we’re just going for it. We got what we got—good God look at this pack of mangy fuckups!”
“Here we go, Sergeant Sam!:
“The lead fuck-up, old as dirt and takes ten minutes to get his boots on in the morning, Shayne "Not My Army" Rasmussen, war hero, Billy bad ass, CO, and murder and mutilator of big fat biker perverts, etcetera fucking etcetera—he’s also a hell of a carpenter if you need any work done on your estate after the President thanks you proper with a house worthy of your high character.
“His NCO, Samuel "Dirt Cult" Finlay, packing an AR and some flashbangs—good man. Never would have thought of that. I was an officer for too long, we just remove obstacles with artillery and such. Don’t want to nick any of the little kiddies by accident.
“First, Joey "Bone Claw" Bennet, congenital criminal, fucking retard, MMA stud and all around fuckup, the mind of a monkey and the heart of a lion it looks like. This nut-sack comes equipped with an actual conscience and is hailing from a fucked up trailer park situation in West Virginia. This idiot is a walking county music song. I want this guy by my side for beating the shit out of any of these psychopaths that back-sass me and for hustling off the victims to safety. I would not give this guy a gun. He’ll blow his own foot off. He’s a weapon in his own right. Hear me, Sarge, we can’t put guns into some of these mad hands. Fortunately this is not a military grade target. Team 1.
“Boxing coach, petty criminal, Latino fuck up, Oscar "Wrong Place-Wrong Time" Malvida, smart-ass—said to be a good cook, a bartender. He’s a fuckin’ spic so give him some knives and use him to secure rooms and children. Team 2.
Sam interjected, “Thanks Colonel—I see where this is goin’.”
Shayne winked at him like General Custer telling his men that they were about to go round up some hostiles and said, “That’s a good sergeant, knows what way shit rolls and understands he’s the honey-dipper at the base of Hardluck Mountain.”
The men in the SUV all erupted in supportive laughter.
“Good God, look at this degenerate! "Big" Rick Brentwood, Hammerskins Leader, who likes to piss on yuppies at night clubs. What a piece-of-shit. Sadistic skinhead. You can have him. Him and the spic will make a likely pair of baby sitters. Give him a bat, an aluminum bat. Send him in through a window to draw fire. It will appeal to his terroristic mindset and hopefully draw some lead better spent by the enemy elsewhere. I don’t want that asshole waving a firearm around. Team 2.
“Oh, yeah, this dog ‘ill hunt! Old as dirt, older than me, wiped out an entire SWAT team with a claymore rig. He’s our demo man. Get him two satchels of claymores and grenades and a Glock. "Moping" Drey Slavie, mass cop killer, this is your boy Sarge use him to set up a blocking position against first responders. Who knows, in a deal like this half of the security team might be in town getting dinner while the superrich perverts and the sentries remain behind.—Team 2.
“Found my gunner—this man’s near as old as my crusty ass. Luther "Putin' in Work" Wlawaslav, Military Contractor who wiped out the Jonestown people for the Agency and then got setup by his spook handlers for a hate crime rap—certified cold-blooded psychopath! Amen, the Good Lord knows when to send me a bad, bad man. Nice, this guy likes an AK. Let’s load his ass down with banana mags and have him assigned to over-watch—oh yeah, I’ll take care of those orders. He’s on Team 1.”
Sam interjected, “Colonel, my hand is fuzzed to my—the point is, I need a gunner.”
Shayne winked at him, and managed to say silently in that one act, “Don’t worry your young heart, son—I’ve got this all worked out,” and continued:
“Holy shit, "Downtown" Charlie Brown, predatory homosexual, racist biker cop-fucker, meth-dealer, killed three big Negroes in prison and had sex with their corpses—hole-ly bejesus! Wow. Give him a sledge hammer and have him crash the back door. Spell it with me, Sarge:
“Meat shield!
“Please don’t make The President pardon this monster.
“This fucker is ammunition and we are not reloading!
Sam felt like he was going to be sick, but had to agree in his heart.
Then we can let him tend to the prisoner perverts—show them some tender mercy. Team 2. If he turns on you put a bullet in his head. Do not argue with this fucker.
“Got me a good ole crook here—a North Carolina boy! Killed some Negro with a razor who didn’t pay his drug debt and caught a hate crime charge because he used the N-word. Hmmm—likes a straight razor. Apparently worked as a barber while selling drugs on the side. Shit, this asshole got his name legally changed to John Paul Barber! A big fucker who can box and has done time in the hole for laying out fellow inmates. I’ll let him have as many straight razors as he wants—we’ll just set him loose on these perverts. Team 1.
“Okay, here’s your gunner. Mean, Mean Ruben Dean......deranged grad student who thinks he is a professor who claims that he’s set up secret labs in prison cells to synthesize people's DNA into snortable drugs. He claims to use Mongol Horde DNA, Alexander the Great, DNA from psycho killers and great military maniacs before battle. What? What a sick fuck this is. One of his alter egos is Iron Mike Edson, a mythic rapist. He’s doing time for torturing and killing his actual professor at BYO [Brigham Young University, Utah] using bath salts and then assuming his identity, even though he was 30-years younger and a foot shorter... This guy is bat-shit crazy and deranged, but was on the BYU skeet shooting team—a Mormon to boot and a shotgun is perfect for this kind of operation. Here’ your room clearance man. You will have to handle over-watch with your AR. Team 2.
“And last but not least, “Alexei Nikolaevich” whose real name is Bill Withers from Plainfield Illinois, who is doing three life terms for stalking and beheading bearded men one winter in Chicago. He thinks he is the avenging ghost of the last Russian Czar and is hunting Rasputin down through Time! What the fuck—Bill, do you have any whiskey up there? He is criminally insane—no shit Sherlock—believes he is the reincarnation of the Byzantine General Belisarius and has agreed to this mission on the condition that he will be permitted to use a sword. Well, I hear tell that Bill got this nut-job a nice sword.”
Bill chimed in, “We also got him a SWAT ballistic shield and painted a Crusader cross on it so the nut will be of some use defensively if we come under fire. No way could we give this man a firearm and expect him to stop at end of OP—he’d be crusading against our employer based on his neo-fascist fanaticism.”
“Oh yeah, and this poor fucker, little black nerd got caught doin’ the time for his hoodrat homeboys’ crime. Has actually studied commercial rock-mining—what the fuck! Oh, hell, give him some C—4 and let him blow that fuck shack up once we’ve got the kids out. I’ll take the token Negro if you don’t mind. We can’t very well let him near the big Bantu-fucker and the skinhead. Team 1. God help us Sarge. And God help civilization if we don’t get most of these fuckers killed, because they will be pardoned. What a crew.”
“Amen, sir,” echoed Sam, as he thought to himself, If my luck holds I’ll get killed and these heathens will survive.
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by the wine dark sea

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