4 March 2002
Before we even get into this, I have a question.
Why is it that when somebody says "Rally the armies of the West," they always mean me? Trojans? "Rally the Armies of the West". Afghans - armies of the west. Fucking goblins - armies of the West, I dare say.
And what does that mean? It means that yours truly is going to end up bleeding and sweating, covered in mud and with some poor fucker's viscera halfway up my arm. Have you ever razored somebody's bowels open? It smells. It actually smells worse than shit. For some reason this always comes as a surprise.
And what thanks do I get for all this tireless bloodshed? For providing such banquets for the crows that the skies are black for two days after? You tell me.
Spoil? Stuff which I could have taken from the dead anyway? It's not as if I need to espouse a cause for that. I could just be the world's first mass mugger. If all I'm getting out of the whole sorry affair is several hundred pairs of slightly foxed army recently surplus boots, then ...well, why not save on the shoe leather in the first place, know what I mean?
And don't even imagine that I get thanks, or gratitude. Maybe once, but not now. Everyone's too fucking pussy. I tell you. Come into a room, and everybody gets this look, like they know that this is the closest they are ever going to come to feeling another human being's carotid artery between their teeth. And then hearing the little noise as it surrenders, all the way through the jawbone up into the brain...
Ah, well, my father, he was what you might call a real man. Definitely. No messing around. Didn't talk around the point. To be honest, I didn't see him much. But do me a favour? Don't go down that road. These days I get psych evaluations at the end of every job. What do you think about when I say "mother"? Who would you rather spend an evening with, Jennifer Love Hewitt or Jimmy Smits? What kind of a monster are you? That kind of thing. Like I say, it's a thankless task.
Oh yeah, the brains thing. The amount of stick I got for that at school. It's the laziness I can't stand... think of it like this. If you're burning corpses after a scrap, you're going to inhale a good few bits of crispy human. Lung tissue. That's floaty. And, you know, with the biting, tell me a little bit of somebody has never just slipped down there. But one minor moment of temper - and the man was in pain, you know - and all of a sudden he's like some big brain-eating pariah. It's just the hypocrisy of the whole thing. We gnaw skulls so you don't have to, you know?
It just makes me so tired. Tired of petty disputes and border wars. Tired of taking hostages, freeing hostages, killing hostages, killing one hostage every hour...dull dull dull dull dull. I miss the good old days; just you and the other guy, a few introductions, a quick speech and a spear-cast. One lives, one dies, everybody goes home friends. When did everything get so personal?
And if it isn't personal, it's impersonal. Sit there in a metal box picking people off from ten miles away. Squat behind a wall with sniper scope picking people off from half a mile away. Do people even bother to fix bayonets anymore?
I don't know. It feels like the whole machinery has been on a downward slope since forever. You'll just end up sitting in bunkers on opposite continents lobbing things at each other - that's where you've been heading all this time. And guess who'll be wandering around the wasteland finishing off the wounded and storming the bunkers? Who'll be breaking bones and crushing limbs? Who'll be cutting and stabbing and biting and getting the taste of dead skin and blood caught behind his teeth and -
Oh God. I don't care what it's for. Summon the armies of the West. Just please. Please. Let me hurt something.