With the Holy Lance, safely sealed within the bone box and strapped across my back, I set out, deciding I would walk the mile and a half journey to the meeting point.
They offered me a lift, in one of their vehicles, I wasn’t getting in a car with these suicide fuckers.
No, I walked while they drove behind me, slowly.
I had arrived at the rendezvous exactly eighteen minutes late. They looked a little pissed off when they finally saw me. In fact, the truth is I wasn’t late at all, I had just decided to watch them, congregated on the steps of the Court house, looking more and more anxious by the minute. I even stopped for a milkshake, chocolate flavour, before I crossed the rows of passive aggressive taxi ranks, all simmering and smoking in the heat of the day. Wearing gloves, as a safety measure, meant I could carry the drink without getting cold fingertips, God forbid…
The Tyrant was careful, I’ll give him that.
So I walked, they followed, as I already told you, our destination was a newly built luxury Villa, on the outskirts of Baghdad, as it were. I knew the place pretty well, even considered buying one actually. It was popular, especially among wealthy Brits, likewise those who had invested interests in the price of oil, or herione, whichever, both pretty much the same thing anyway. Only difference between them is herione singularly cripples a person while oil cripples the whole fucking world, should it be suddenly snatched away, as it often is, and held to ransom.
As I arrived at the complex I was immediately stopped at gun point by a bunch of hard looking mercenaries. They weren’t local boys, I can tell you that much. I continued to slurp my milkshake, loudly.
Eventually they let me in, the car continuing to creep along behind me.
I could hear music, it was playing from somewhere within the Villa, it was pop music! Something wasn’t sitting right with me. The Tyrant seemed awfully westernised. Did I mention, I had never, well, not up until that point, actually met or laid eyes on the Tyrant before? No? Probably should have mentioned it…
With a name like “The Tyrant”, involved in oil, drugs and tyranny, I assumed he was a he, and I assumed he was an Iraqi. O’ how assumptions can be presumptuous. Huh.
Someone was splashing around in the swimming pool ahead of me, I approached but was again stopped and searched by a well dressed thug, he examined the bone box before handing it back to me, unopened, silently stepping aside.
I walked out onto the tiled patio of the swimming pool, sunbeds and cocktails on standby.
A waiter approached, offering me refreshments.
I ignored his offer by continuing to slurp. He gave up and retreated back to wherever he cometh from.
Pink skin flashed from within the water. Blood pumping I unlatched the bone box and begun drawing the spear when suddenly the Tyrant addressed me, still not facing me.
‘Lord Game, by your definitions, well played’, smiled the Tyrant, turning around, skimpy bikini and all.
I was lost for words, truly. The Tyrant was a women, a bloody ugly women at that, but, still better looking than a man. She had tits and to top it all off, she was a God damn American!
My mouth flapped, wordlessly, spear still a quarter drawn as The Tyrant climbed out of the swimming pool, her stretch marks blazing lines across my soul.
She was powerful. I could feel it. I already admired and hated her. Both are accolades in their own rights.
She held out a hand as she approached. ‘I think I will take that, thank you very much’
I bristled, my surprise melting away as I continued to draw the weapon in response. Death was in my eye but to give her her due, the bitch kept on coming.
‘You will take this down your fucking throat!’ I roared, advancing with real purpose.
She stopped, signalling by raising a hand up high above her head.
I had no mind for silly little games, spear fully weaponised I was ready to take a bitch down.
Her hand made a fist. I stopped.
Shockwaves, thudding through my steel resolution as I watched, from out of an open balcony behind her, a large man drop, hanging from a rope. I immediately recognised him as Grim, and thankfully his neck was not broken as he continued to thrash around like a fish on a hook, his arms and legs bound fast against his lump of a body.
‘So, now I have your attention? Give it to me and I will see that he is cut free.’
Bitch was good, I’ll give her that. This was sure to be a wrench in the works. No wonder they called her The fucking Tyrant.
Milliseconds passed as I weighed up my remaining options, running scenarios over in my mind, people dying, especially her, yet each time Grim died too. She was dead no matter what. There really was no way to save him other than to trust her.
‘Give me a reason to trust that you will let him live.’ I urged, still advancing, still in kill mode.
She held her hands out defensively, I suppose it was a gesture of honesty.
‘I, Helen Gurbestine, give you my word. Know my name and hunt me down should I break it.’
That was good enough, empty words from a walking corpse. I shrugged, dropping the Holy Lance on the tiled floor, the sound making a tinny clatter.
The Tyrant smiled as she held her hand back in the air and gestured like scissors cutting. The rope hanging Grim frayed with a loud snap as his body smashed through a sun bed lounger below.
Mercenaries flooded the area as Helen dived for the spear, tucking it inside her bathing robe, her hired bodyguards forming protective circles around the Tyrant, I saw no reason to hurt her now, besides the damage was done, bitch will be dead by this time tomorrow. Yet still I had given my enemies a tool to be used against me. Grim was more Important. I carefully pulled off my protective gloves, tossing them into the water, inside out, as I gathered up Grim, easily breaking the rope around his neck. He was breathing, barely. I smiled. The poison on the spear would have been transfered all over the skin on her stomach and arms by now. Shit, it couldn’t have possibly gone any better.
And to think, I was willing to play the long game…I honestly believed that the Tyrant was Saddam Hussein! Fucking shows what I know, doesn’t it?
Job was completed as far as I were concerned. It was time to leave the desert behind me.