Mondo’s fangs retract. Her other teeth blunt and straighten, losing their demonic sharpness. She’s dripping juicy fruit. Said Bug juice is a corrosive mixture of an insectoid’s acid blood and venomous saliva. This caustic goop, and their equally poisonous, sweetmeat are considered delicacies near-akin to ambrosia by demons. She walks slowly over to Jelly, who’s still standing at the mouth of the blind alley. The hailstones have stopped falling. An inch of sleet covers the ground. Her would-be nemesis is brain-burned and isn’t going anywhere soon via his own intent.
“In my profession, it isn’t diamonds or industrial-strength vibrators that are a girl’s best friend, Jelly Roll. It’s her gats. Treat them nice. Spoil them. Make love to them. Be their moll. And they’ll never betray you.”
Jelly is cadaver cold. Eyes are open wide, staring blankly. Mouth’s open slackly. Breath’s measured. And he’s extremely non-verbal. He’s displaying the physical manifestations of having his brain looped by her Hogs. His signature move of finishing off an opponent with their own weapons has proven to be his ultimate undoing, just like she planned.
“Bitch,” he finally manages out of his slack mouth, with great difficulty.
“Now, now, Mr. Roll. Mustn’t be such a poor loser. And don’t worry, genie, ‘bout getting lonely for the company of your frog. Soon, you’ll be reunited in the afterlife. But, first, where’s the stuff you stole from Margo Miller’s vault? You know the one built by the Mason Jar Company of Seattle. She’s since zapped the hat to prevent your ilk from getting into her jam again.”
“Gooo. Fuck. Your. Self.”
“No shit, Sherlock. What was your first clue that I should do myself?”
She pauses, as if she’s waiting for an answer. But she knows that none is forthcoming. Then, she resumes her sarcastic oration: “Being coy ‘bout your sources. Huh? No matter. Right now, I don’t need suggestions for my sex life. This here big girl loves to play sexual solitaire, especially after a gig. No needs for prompts in that arena.”
Mondo pries the Hog out of his clawed left hand and holsters it. The right side of his skull caves in.
“Where’s the stuff, slave.”
“In … booby trapped … room … mistress.”
“Lead on then, my near-zombie sidekick. Kill anyone who gets in your way. The gun will work for you, now. It knows you’re mine: mind, body, and soul.”
This time when she reenters the lobby, they’re ready and waiting for her.
Mondo’s first commandment is used to clear a path through the opposition: when you draw a weapon, kill something, preferably a lot of something. Jelly proves to be a big help. His friends shouldn’t blame him for killing them. After all, he’s merely an extension of the gun, which is in turn an extension of its mistress, and its mistress wants them dead.
They take the stairs to the fifth floor where she has him enact Mondo’s second commandment, which is also the infantryman’s eternal credo: when in doubt, make sure of the way being clear and friendly with grenades.
Mondo yells, “Fire in the hole!” Then she adds: “Jeez, Jelly, think I should’ve yelled that, before you grenaded the hallway, instead of after?”
Jelly’s response is unintelligible.
“Don’t sweat it, slave. It’s only ‘bout spilt milk. Well, we’d better not dawdle anymore, else we’ll have to deal with the fried crispy critters up here and any well-ventilated downstairs, when they resurrect.”
Mondo gingerly steps over the carnage as Jelly shuffles his way through the smoldering bodies, some of which have been melted together. He unlocks his apartment door and deactivates the booby traps.
“Stole stuff … over … there.”
Mondo makes a careful inventory. Once she’s satisfied that nothing is missing and the seals are intact, she stuffs the booty into a knapsack that’s sitting on his dresser.
“One more thing, slave. Who employed you to breach Margo’s safe?”
He tries to form the words, but cannot.
“Ummm. A blocking spell. Your client must be the very careful one. No matter, I wasn’t paid to find that out. Parting is such sweet sorry. Say good night, Jelly.”
Jelly sticks the muzzle of the borrowed gun into his own mouth and blows the back of his head off. Yep. Another guaranteed slow-as-molasses-in-January resurrection.
Kane leaves with both Hogs holstered, shouldering the knapsack, and still dripping juicy. By the time this sick fuckin’ show reaches the streetcar stop, the rain has washed the juicy off and the police have arrived at Jelly’s hotel.
“Jeez, where’s a cop when you need one. Ha. Ha. Ha. Time to report in and get screwed.”
“In former ages, the art of war, often neglected and forgotten, was as often recovered from books and reestablished by the authority and attention of our generals.”
Vegetius, the Roman military writer