Part Three: Blood
You, reader, may or may not be a man-slayer. It is not the same as being a monster-slayer, no matter the appearance of similarity to one observing both in action. The primary difference cannot be appreciated until one becomes either sort of slayer, and most fail to achieve that state until they slay both men and monsters, for most men are foolish dullards that cannot—or, worse, will not—master such wisdom until they initiate themselves as slayers of men or monsters (or both). In this respect, it is too much like knowing the difference between loving and mating despite the appearance if similarity. (I believe that this is the Creator’s idea of a joke.)
I had already become a monster-slayer years before, for I had elder men in my family that took up the responsibility to teach me how to stalk animals, kill them cleanly and then make best use of what I killed. While this was not the sort of monster-slaying I would do after the Azure Flames, it was slaying monsters nonetheless. Before I went this far, I already shed the blood of living beings by my own hand and slew those beings utterly. I killed. That I killed animals that preyed upon others for food, for clothing—to provide—does not matter; all that matters is that I killed. Dead is dead, and killing is killing; how one dies matters not to the slain.
I had already become aware of these truths by this time in my life. It was the foundation for my becoming something of a pacifist, as I refused to kill another man out of hand. Instead, I become quite interested in the morality of man-slaying as a youth, and by then I acquired a certain useful guideline that I adhered to in deciding my actions- one that put the abusive husband above past the limit of my forbearance. Even then, I refused to shed blood until I found it necessary. Now, however, I expected that it would become necessary. The members of these gangs were notoriously violent, and did not take much provocation to go from beating and maiming to crippling or killing a victim- especially if it a victim that they saw as deserving of death. This was how I prepared for what I was to do next.
I kept an eye on the two gangs’ clubhouses, surreptitiously tapping into the authorities’ efforts, and through those efforts I deduced when each clubhouse emptied out for the night as well as when the last gang member left their respective clubhouse. I also spent time training extensively with my choice of weapons and unarmed techniques, preparing for the move. It was what I had to do to prepare myself for the task of initiation, because that is what this was- initiation into the Brotherhood of Man-Slayers and if I did so much as to hesitate—to disrupt my state of mind—I would fail, and failure meant death. I would think, reader, that you would have some ability to comprehend the gravity of my situation.
I acquired a suitable disguise and a motorcycle, and then I went forth to execute my plan. By now I found that the Hell’s Angels clubhouse closed first, though not by much, and that my best chance to successfully ambush the last man out came during the middle of the interim between when the Old World’s decadent society engaged in its rituals of ceremonial violence that they called “sport”. I went to that gang’s clubhouse when I knew that the authorities watching it took a break knowing that they’d have time to eat and drink before the last man usually left.
I knew where their watching devices lay, so I knew where and how to avoid them. I crept into position, drew my knife and waited but a few moments before my man exited the clubhouse and walked toward my position. I banished all sympathy from my mind and hardened my heart against this member of the Hell’s Angels, for I knew what monstrous deeds he’d done before and that justified his death at my hands. Once I focused my mind, he came into view and I ceased all reflective thought; I now acted on reflex, without conscious thought, and leapt upon him.
My practice and training proved its value, for I struck home and drove my blade deep into his back. That staggered him long enough for me to withdraw my knife and finish closing with him. Now so close that I could grapple him, I seized him with my free hand and using my knife I stabbed his throat and eyes repeatedly. Then I cut deeply across his throat to ensure that I’d severed the flow of his blood in his neck and instead caused it to gush forth like a tidal wave upon the soiled street at his feet. I threw him to that very street and stripped off his “colors”. Before I stole away with them, I paused to use what was once a ubiquitous device to capture that image perfectly. It all took a few long moments to ambush this man, slay him and take my trophies.
I had not yet allowed the fullness of my deeds to come to my attention. I could not, for I still had work to do. I took my trophy and return to my motorcycle by stealth, riding away without being seen. So far, my plan worked without incident, but I never assumed that it would end that way. It did not, for when I arrived at the Outlaws’ clubhouse I found that there were two there. Furthermore, I found that the authorities watching it had disappeared; a check on their communication devices told me that they got called to assist with another incident. I had to improvise, so I took a pair of rags out my pockets. I tied one about my head and the other concealing my face. I wore goggles over my eyes, and then I put on the stolen Hell’s Angels vest. Now utterly concealed, I drew the longer of my firearms and approached the clubhouse.
I attacked them both, brazenly opening fire with my weapon. I made certain to bloody both of them, so that they would not follow, and to be seen clearly so that they would make the assumption that their rivals attempted to raid their clubhouse. Then I fled, running to my motorcycle and riding away- again, ensuring that they saw my disguise. Once well out of sight, I slipped out of my disguise; I took the time, while sitting at home, to send the image of the slain Hell’s Angel member with the lost colors to a place where the Angels’ membership would see it.
I discarded the clothing, except for the stolen vest, at a homeless shelter. I held on to the weapons, as I had no reason to believe that anyone would be able to track them. As for the motorcycle, I kept it around for a while; I assumed that I should be prepared to follow-up on this if necessary, and if I did then I would need that vehicle. Satisfied that this hunt had concluded with no immediate retaliation to worry about, I slept. I learned the next day that I succeeded; not only did I become a man-slayer, I also became a war-monger for both gangs declared all-out war upon each other and the city felt it.