Dear Soldier of Fortune,
I remember when they stationed me in Xiaolongbao. I was on special assignment to save the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley. He was being imprisoned in a cave outside of town. My mission was simple: infiltrate the town, posing as a merchant from Dangzou province, make good with the locals, and then find someone working in security, take their ID, and break into the cave stronghold. So there I was, selling mangoes to a Chinaman and making eyes at the shopkeep’s lovely daughter, Mei Wangtese. We’d been in a torrid love affair for some time, and were to be wed by the local sheep herder, who also ran the Buddhist temple on the other side of town, next to the Safeway. I promised her good luck and fortune in life, and she promised I could touch her boobs. It was kismet.
Anyway, this Chinaman seemed awfully suspicious to me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about him felt wrong. Maybe it was that he paid me in Swiss francs, or how he pronounced his ‘r’s, but something was definitely wrong. When I handed him back his American Express card, I noticed the watch on his wrist had its numbers written in English instead of Chinese, and I knew his presence in town wasn’t kosher. So once I saw he excused himself to go to the restroom, I snuck in behind him, karate chopped him on the back of the ass, and took his wallet. Inside I found a membership for the NRA, two unused Skyline Chili rewards cards, with the holes punched out, and a “Federal Breast Inspector” acronym ID card, but that wasn’t going to do. Searching his pants pockets, his shirt pockets, and his underwear without finding exactly what I was looking for, I was about to give up when I noticed there was a seam running along one side of his hair. Pulling gently, the man screamed loudly as it turns out that was just his hairline, and I’d managed to wake him up. Punching him in the face with my own mouth, I demanded he tell me who he was, and where his ID could be located. He spoke in some kind of foreign language I didn’t understand. It was like American, but if you were shocking someone in the balls while they were trying to speak it. Frustrated, I shoved his head into a urinal, and dispatched him by forcing him to lick the urinal cake at the bottom. He died instantly.
As I stepped back, I saw that one of his shoes had come off his foot, and right inside the heel was his ID card. Bingo.
Later that night, I made my way out of town hitchhiking on the back of a Ford Torino, until I could approach the entrance to the cave system. There, standing out front, was a sentry llama. I mean, it looked like a llama, but it was more than likely a security guard dressed as an inconspicuous llama. I wasn’t so easily fooled, however, and pulled my Magnum P.I. from my back pocket. Easing in closer to the entrance, I mimicked the mating call of an Asian Crested Ibis, or just Crested Ibis if you lived in Asia, and waited. Sure enough, a flock of endangered Ibii soared down from the heavens. Due to my hiding spot being so well hidden, they didn’t see me, but they did see the sentry llama, and must have mistaken it for a female Ibis with a glandular problem. It was fortunate for me that monsoon season had passed, and the birds had not yet migrated to the north pole, as they were in heat, and immediately set upon the llama, who ran away braying so convincingly, I almost believed it was a real llama. The coast was clear.
I sneaked inside, following the cave system downward into a maze of tunnels. I looked down at the compass on the Birkenstock of my Magnum P.I., and realized that it was dark. This presented a problem, as I had never been trained to see in pitch blackness. All of my classes had been given during the day, the shortsighted bastards, and so now, thanks to the inefficiencies of our military, Praise Be Unto Them, I was up pit creek without a saddle. I had no choice but fall back on my Navy Seal training, and began making clicking noises, as a form of echolocation. I was fortunate in that it seemed there was plenty of places underground for sound to bounce off of, and after three hours of effort, I found my way into the ante-chamber, where there sat a single floor lamp, a Mad magazine, and the King himself bound to a wicker chair, gagged and unable to move. He saw me, and I motioned to him to remain quiet, by making a brushing motion under my chin with three fingers. He got the message.
Now, with less time, I took off my sunglasses, creeped over to his location, and began working to loosen his bonds. No sooner had I removed the bungee cord from around his legs, several angry men burst into the room. Firing my Magnum P.I. at their leader, or who I assumed was their leader based upon the size of the ascot he wore, I helped the King to his feet, only to find he couldn’t walk! Taking another shot at the enemy, I put him on my back, and fled the cave, hauling him up each step in a fireman’s carry. We made it out right as the NAFTA helicopters arrived.
Unfortunately, as I was stepping onto the craft, my hand scratched a rusty bolt. Two days later, I died of an infection. Everyone mourned me except the shopkeep, probably because I touched Mei Wangtese in a most unclean manner. Fortunately, the INTERPOL Army had been working on a new drug to revive people who had died from freak accidents, and gave me a pill that saved my life. How apt that he called it a “lifesaver.”
I owe that pill, and the obstetrician who gave me that life saving drug, my very existence. They are forever in my debt.
Godspeed, soldier of fortune. Amen.
Dear Soldier of Fortune,