Review Summary: The year is 1983. One man, a bitter, broken, beat, scarred, shamed, lifeless shell of what he once was, looks to a simple low-paying security job for redemption. However, his salvation is not without its cost.
Robert Thompson ran his fingers through the small shot glass of Bacardi 151 before him, already in a daze. It had been fifteen years since he had last seen Tom Franklin, and a lot had changed in those years. How many Zombie Fascists had they eradicated, Robert asked himself as he summoned the strength to finish that shot of 151. The Mutant Zombie Freemason wars had ended in the eyes of their government, but Robert knew all too well that the war was still raging in secret.
The bar’s double doors opened, and in walked Tom Franklin, a behemoth of a man sporting a dim goatee, a black suede leather jacket, and several aging scars across his face. Franklin spotted Robert Thompson and shuffled toward his booth in a hurried fashion, taking a seat opposite Robert. He extended his hand, which Robert deftly shook. “Good seeing you, again, Robert. How long has it been? Ten years?”
“More than that,” Robert replied. “We should probably get down to business. I don’t have much time here.”
“Fair enough,” Tom said. He reached into his jacket and removed a thin envelope, setting it on the table before Robert. “How long has it been since the Zombie Terrorists killed your family?”
Robert’s fists clenched at the mere mention of that atrocity. He looked back to that singular moment, his own apocalypse. The sight of those Fascist Zombie Terrorists bursting into his home, spouting their propaganda while devouring his young wife and daughter plagued Robert all throughout the war. Each kill only fueled his rage. After the war, however, Robert had nothing to his name; nothing to live for. He thought of suicide. Perhaps self-immolation would redeem him from his failure to protect his family. No, he said to himself. I can only honor their deaths by living.
“Not long enough,” Robert eventually answered. Tom nodded at this, noting that his friend had not moved toward the envelope.
“Well, you’ve got a shot at revenge. I’ve got a job for you,” Tom said. “Look inside that envelope.”
Robert raised an eyebrow as his hand crawled toward the envelope. He opened it slowly, not knowing what to expect. What lay inside was a photograph of four men he didn’t know. They were holding instruments: guitars, drumsticks, etc. “What is this? Me-tall-ica?” Robert looked at his old friend, confused.
“They’re an up and coming band,” Tom explained. “Their first album, Death Magnetic, is slated for release in a few days. They’re going on tour in support of it, and I’m in charge of security. One of our guys backed out when he heard we might go up against Zombie Freemason Fascists on this tour.”
“And you thought of me,” Robert concluded.
“How many Zombie Terrorists did we kill during the war?” Tom asked his old friend. “You, with that Winchester 1887 shotgun; Me, with the XM29 OICW advanced assault rifle. We were Zombie Executioners, then, but you and I both know the war’s still going on. The battlefields are different. For your country, no, for the memory of your dead family, you have to take this job. Wife, kid, house, that was just your life. If you loved that life at all, you’ll take this job.”
Robert Thompson knew he had no choice. It was his destiny.
Sure as ***, no sooner than when the band started their third song, “Brick by Boring Brick”, the Zombie hordes attacked. It was too bad, because Robert was starting to enjoy himself, for the first time in over ten years. The four men on the stage at the local “Last Gasp Tavern Bar and Grill” were putting on a hell of a show, even though they didn’t look a hair over twenty. Just as Lars Ulrich finished the third blast beat of the song, the bar’s double doors burst open and the Zombie Freemason Fascists’ chants of “NEW WORLD ORDER, NEW WORLD ORDER” echoed throughout the drunken tavern.
The rest of the security personnel immediately drew their pistols and began firing on the Zombie assault squadron. Tom and Robert looked at each other and shook their heads. “Where the hell did you get such noobs?” asked Robert as he loaded shotgun shells into his 1887 Winchester. Tom only shrugged his shoulders and loaded a magazine into his XM29 OICW.
As Kirk Hammett started the solo to “Slave of Puppet Master”, The Zombie Fascist Hordes moved closer to the stage. Most of Tom’s security detail was being devoured or dead, leaving him and Robert as the band’s last line of defense. Robert had flashbacks to that horrid, unforgivable moment when the Zombie Terrorists killed his family. The memories only instilled more hatred in his heart, and his trigger finger moved faster to smite the Zombie Freemasons. Each shotgun burst brought some solace to Robert’s mind; brought him a little closer to the day when he might see his family, again; the day that may never come for him.
Tom Franklin fired several programmed air-burst 20 millimeter grenades at the approaching Zombie squadron, but even with the XM29’s automatic grenade launcher and 40 round 5.56 millimeter magazines, coupled with Robert’s shotgun work, the two were finding themselves hopelessly outmanned. The Zombie Terrorist Fascist squadron was closing in, and the two security members were backed into a corner. Robert’s shotgun had jammed twice, and Tom was down to his last 5.56 mm magazine.
Tom fired his last 20 mm HE airburst grenade into an approaching Zombie, causing the corpse to explode into a thousand rotting pieces of flesh and corroded brain matter. He turned to his old friend and said, “We’ve reached the end of the line, old buddy. We gave them a hell of a run, didn’t we?”
“I’m not done, yet,” Robert snarled, loading his last shell into his shotgun.
“Are you kidding? I only have 28 bullets left, and you’ve only got like six shells in that gun! We’re dead men. We’re dead men!”
“Bull***!” Robert looked to the band, who were just finishing their song “No Justice for Nobody…” He loosed a loud whistle, alerting the band. “Metallica….Now!”
James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett nodded, pressing buttons on their guitars. The guitars turned into AK-47 assault rifles. Lars Ulrich’s drums transformed into two .50 caliber heavy machine guns, and Dave Mustaine’s bass guitar transformed into a single-shot LAW bazooka. The band turned to the encroaching Zombie Horde and raised their weapons. Gore, gunshots, blood, rotten zombie testicle meat, and more gunfire ensued. Robert knew the Zombie Fascist Freemasons all too well. He knew they would have brought enough Zombie Terrorist soldiers to overwhelm any security force. He had made preparations to counteract their plot, preparations Tom had not been aware of.
When the dust settled, roughly four thousand Zombie corpses lay at their feet. However, most of the band’s audience had fled after the first song, so only Tom and Robert had heard the band’s entire setlist. Both men had differing opinions, but they would promise the band they would download their album from the internet and give it a good listen. The band didn’t mind.
“So,” I said to my editor, “what do you think?”
My editor gave me a look as if I had raped his daughter in front of him and asked him for a fifteen hundred dollar loan afterward. “You’re ***ing fired. There’s no hard drive with enough space that could contain the number of things wrong with this review.”
“***,” I groaned.