Where do you go when you die? For your entire existence, the answer to this eternal question has been, “1525 Jade Street.”
You bolt awake in a bed in the Albany Medical Center, nostrils filled with the stench of bedpan and sulfur. Smells like these were why you left the Old Country in the first place. You wonder what it is about death that fills your nose with rotten eggs. Perhaps it is not even death, you muse, but being brought back to life, which smells like the back end of a stripper’s booty shorts.
Your daydreams are cut short by a stern voice to your left. “Now that you’re awake, I can get your name.” Rolling to your side, you see a man in a dark blue uniform. This is your cue to check out.
Tossing your bedpan in the cop’s face, you rip out your I.V. and wrap it around his neck. As the color drains out of his cheeks, you notice your own sloppy attire: a flimsy hospital gown and paper shoes. That won’t do, so as soon as the cop’s eyes droop shut, you begin the arduous task of donning his clothes.
Leaving the uniform vest and badge on the corpse, you step out of the hospital. Throughout this entire ordeal, there has only been one thought nagging you: “I’ve never driven a Porsche.” Panting, you scan the street with bleary eyes, but all you spy is one lone ambulance. Just then, your phone rings.
“Who the f-,” you begin, but are immediately cut off by a man’s voice, gone falsetto from hysteria.
“Where are you? I’ve called, texted, paged, and searched your apartment!”
“I- I died, Mr. Spoony,” you stutter out, “Somehow, and re-“
“I can’t take jokes like that, now. Loan sharks want our heads!”
“Tell me,” you respond, calmly moving aside for a wave of police officers rushing into the hospital, “When was the last time you left your house? Did you see that shrink I-“
“It’s called management. I excel at it, you don’t.”
“Okay, Mr. Management,” you respond, “How do you plan to shake these sharks?”
“I know three people I can call in favors from: Aaron, Landham, and CeCe. Get to one of them within the hour. And watch your back.”
You mull it over, absent-mindedly punching a bystander in the head, which helps you think.
Crossing the street towards the ambulance, you are hit by a speeding Porsche. As the sports vehicle crushes your pelvis and torso, you can’t help but gaze admirably up at the underside of the superior-engineered German chassis before you slip into oblivion.
The phone rings so many times you lose count. As you are about to give up, a husky voice answers, “Don’t hang up!”
“Aaron, my boss needs to call in a favor.”
“Anything for Spoony! You name it.”
“We’ve got a tank full of dirty sharks. We need them scrubbed.”
“Whoa!” Aaron’s voice becomes noticeably softer, “I didn’t know you meant an illegal favor! That’s different! That’s not something I can just go and do, I’m a reputable businessman!”
“Look, he’s desperate.”
“Ohhh,” Aaron’s voice returns to its normal confident tone. “I didn’t know he was desperate. That’s different! I can take care of ‘er, I just need you tie up a loose end for me.”
“And by loose end, you mean-“
“I left some luggage at the airport. Three bags exactly. You kill the three politicians I need whacked before they fly out, and I’ll take care of your shark-scrubbing problem. Understand?”
“The metaphor kind of fell apart, there, but I get it.” Hanging up the phone, you put your hand up in the air. A brightly-painted yellow Chevette pulls up in front of you.
The site is unmistakable. A ten-story crane occupies most of a fenced-off construction site. Rocks crunch underneath your feet, which kick up a cloud of dust as you approach the foreman’s trailer. Before you can give the door a rap, it slams open against the side of the trailer. The doorway is filled by a hulking, hardhat-wearing frame. Ducking his head, the foreman rumbles out of the trailer and down the steps.
“You the cleanup man?” his voice sounds like rocks grinding together.
“If you’ll take Spoony outta the fryer, I’ll do whatever,” you reply.
“City’s been riding my ass to finish the Dwyer building downtown in time for the parade.” Landham points a large meaty paw at a sparkling new building down the street. “Had to rush that so much, there’s no way the building inspector is going to let us stay in business. I need to have a little accident, and make the city suffer,” Landham thoughtfully chews on the tip of the cigarette hanging from the corner of his wide mouth. “You’re gonna hijack a parade float that I’ve filled with explosives, then reroute it straight into the new building.”
You find yourself frowning so hard, the corners of your mouth are beginning to ache. “What about all the witnesses? I don’t think I’m the right guy for this mission.”
Landham’s mouth broadens into a surprising grim. “You’d rather let Mr. Spoony die?”
Your mind flashes back to your childhood, Spoony plucking you from the run-down orphanage in the Old Country, enrolling you in a private school. Looking at the ground, you state, “I’ll do it.”
The hot midday sun causes the road to ripple as you cross into the shadow of a fifteen-story tenement building. Barefoot, torn-clothed toddlers seem impervious as they dart in and out between honking cars. Deciding the lobby elevators look too risky, you climb four flights of graffiti-laden stairs, holding onto the handrail until it breaks off in your hand. Banging on CeCe’s apartment door, you notice that the peephole is missing. This mystery is soon solved as you find yourself eyeing the barrel of a gun sticking through the hole in the door.
“What?” A woman’s voice snarls from behind the thick wooden paneling.
“Mr. Spoony sent me, said you might be able to help out.”
You hear the rattling of multiple locks being unfastened. The barrel of the gun recedes into the room, the door swings open.
“Silver sent you, why you gotta say it so loud?” CeCe punctuates her question with a thrusting forward of her hip. You can’t help but notice shapely curves between her tight jeans and half-shirt.
Stepping into the room, you realize you aren’t the first person to have eyed her curves. The apartment is littered, wall to wall, with children’s toys. Stepping around a high chair and through a playpen (where an infant playfully hits your leg with a rattle), CeCe leads you to a small kitchen, where two folding chairs hug a plastic table.
“What’s the deal?” you ask in between the wails of a child in the next room.
“A cruise liner is setting sail. One notable passenger is drug kingpin Escondido De La Escobar. Claims he’s on vacation, but I know it’s a front. He’s taking 150 kilos of pure Peruvian platinum into Europe.”
“Tell me which dock,” you say quickly.
“Not so fast, Papi,” Cece says, swinging a leg over the back of your chair and straddles your lap. “Why you gotta rush out?”
Looks like you picked the wrong castle to attempt to blow up. As you recover from the nuclear aftershock, the castle sorcerors catch you and turn you into a cat
The cabbie recognizes the notorious serial murderer who recently pulled a daring hospital escape. He bolts from his cab and runs away, screaming.
Rolling up to the airport, you bounce your newly-purloined cab up on a white curb and exit the vehicle. A shrill whistle tweets in your ear as an airport traffic guard tells you to move your car, punctuating his command with several more shrill toots. You kick him in the stomach and his whistle flies into his mouth. Leaving the man choking on the ground, you stroll casually towards the airport. Your phone vibrates upon receiving a text. Just two words: Charles Mitchell. You’ve never heard of the guy, nor have you the faintest clue what he looks like. But, you’ve got to find and kill him before he leaves the airport. You owe at least as much Mr. Spoony for changing your life.
Jogging to the parade site, your ears pick up the unmistakable sound of marching band music. Cresting a hill, you see the parade is already in full swing. Thousands of people line the streets. You push your way through the crowd just in time to see your float driving by. It looks just like Landham described it: a truck-sized bundle of dynamite sitting on top of a crepe-paper base.
Turns out, Landham had his shins blown off in some war. It also turns out, instead of the standard metal alloy limbs, Landham decided to pay the extra few bucks to have super-bionic Inspector Gadget legs installed. When your foot collides with his cyborg shin, it activates the electric self-defense system. 500,000 volts course roughly through your body. You twitch violently on the ground for several seconds before your heart decides, casually, to explode.
Arriving at the docks on foot, you are greeted by the strong smell of seawater. Ahead, a pastel-painted ocean liner is docked. A queue of people slowly winds up a staircase ramp. At the front of the line, passengers are showing their tickets to a pair of armed security guards. Upon approval, the guards admit them onto a gangplank leading into the cruise liner. While you’re not sure what Escondido de la Escobar looks like, you know his room: 1088. Now, it’s just a matter of getting on board.
Years of practice alone in your room have made you an impressive lover, in your opinion. Now is the chance to finally try out those skills. After 5 seconds of expert lovemaking, you feel pretty done. However, you’re not done, because CeCe had a new virus called Syphillaids, which takes your life within minutes.
Leaving your message on the white courtesy phone, you hang up and hear a loud P.A. voice proclaim, “Charles Mitchell to the bank of white courtesy phones, Charles Mitchell to the bank of white courtesy phones.” Stepping away, you hunker down and watch. Soon enough, a squat man with white hair waddles up to the bank of phones. Trailing him by about 10 yards is a man in a black suit. Aaron never said anything about a bodyguard, you curse your luck. In order to get the job done, you’re going to have to lose the muscle.
Boosting some supplies from an overpriced airport store with an underarmed clerk, you make a sign. Waiting by the entrance, you do your best job to impersonate a limo driver, slouching your shoulders and generally trying to look like a thug. Soon, a white-haired, pudgy man in a neat blue suit walks up to you and says, “Let’s go.”
You take this as confirmation that he is Charles. Heading outside, you realize that you don’t really know where to take him. The cab you left on the sidewalk is currently surrounded by law enforcement officials. You decide to do the job, here. Grabbing Charles tightly by the hair, you push him into the street. A semi truck whizzes by at that same moment, making short work of Mr. Mitchell’s existence. However, you realize too late as a bullet bursts forth from your chest, that Charles Mitchell had a bodyguard.
In one swift motion, you grab Charles by the head and use it to bang open a security door. An alarm blares, and three security guards pull guns on you from the other side of the door. Whirling around, you see the black-suited man also has a gun held point-blank at your chest. You attempt to disarm the four men using karate, but fail miserably. Mainly because you don’t know karate.
You trail behind Charles and his bodyguard. After a few yards, Charles makes a hand signal to his hired muscle and ducks into the bathroom. Entering the restroom after them, you spy the bodyguard standing stiffly outside an occupied stall.
Holding your stomach, you mutter something about cinnamon buns and stumble into the next stall. Sitting down, you slide your foot into Charles Mitchell’s stall, and tap it against the ground three times. You can tell Charles is excited by how quickly he reaches for the toilet paper. Exiting the stall, you hear a gruff voice ask, “Ready to go, Mr. Mitchell?”
“One second, I have some … business to take care of. Why don’t you wait outside?”
Footsteps sound on the tiled floor, then recede. Your stall door opens, and Charles Mitchell jumps in your lap. You slam his head against the coat hook, then hold his head in the toilet until the water is dark red and his spastic body twitching subsides. Some people die like wusses.
Leaving the bathroom, you are met with the piercing gaze of the bodyguard. “He’ll be out in a minute,” you tell him. “I exhausted the poor guy.”
The bodyguard goes past you into the restroom. You hurry away and duck into a restaurant. You call Aaron; he picks up on the first ring.
“Did you get him?”
“Whatever, who is my next target?”
“Chelsea Bowman. She’s five-foot three, red hair, blue-“
“You think I can’t recognize a famous actress, but you expect me to identify Charles Mitchell by name?” you interrupt.
“Her flight leaves in one hour,” Aaron continues, unfazed. “Make sure she’s not on it.”
“Wait, should I just make her late for her flight or-“
“Kill her, dammit!” A click indicates Aaron has punctuated his order by hanging up.
Finding the popular young actress doesn’t take too long, as a crowd of security and paparazzi sweep the starlet through to her terminal. As she wobbles along, you suspect that her high heels aren’t the only thing making her unsteady. Getting close to her won’t be easy, though.
You punch the bodyguard in the face. He reaches for his gun, but you are faster, knocking him against the wall and flipping him onto the ground. The sound of a creaking door makes you look up. Charles Mitchell is standing there, pants around his ankles, gun in hand. Sadly, your last sight is of a fat old man’s junk.
Getting the outfit turns out to be quite easy.You grab a slower-moving paparazzi, take him into the restroom, and kick his ass. Camera in hand, you join the ranks of tabloid reporters jostling to get a picture of the hot young actress, perhaps even a prized snap of her engaging in her well-known drug habit. Arriving at the gate, she slumps into a chair. A young, mousy woman brings Ms. Bowman a large coffee.
Your all-black outfit and dark sunglasses (which you got during a side trip that was so boring it wasn’t worth mentioning) already makes you a perfect look-alike for Ms. Bowman’s bodyguards. Slipping through the pack, you catch up with the starlet and soon find yourself within arm’s reach of her.
Chelsea Bowman tumbles to the ground, “I’se don’t … I’se don’t feel …” she mumbles before expelling a large amount of puke. You marvel at how drunk she must be. Bodyguards scramble to help her up. You shove one out of the way and put Ms. Bowman’s left arm around your shoulder.
“Ms. Bowman,” you inquire sheepishly, “May I have your autograph?” Chelsea Bowman turns a bleary-eyed gaze at you. She asks you why paparazzi are asking for her autograph at exactly the same time you realize you have lost your pen. In a frantic attempt at improv, you attempt to bring your camera down on her head, but ten bodyguards tackle you and pummel you to death. Then they kick your corpse around for a bit, which hurts your pride more than anything else.
You punch the young actress in the back of her head, unknowingly reenacting a scene she had once filmed under a fake name. Unfortunately, a lifetime of falling down on cold concrete has toughened the actress’ skull. She stumbles forward, and before you can get in a follow-up blow, you feel the rough hands of security. A large group of guards pulls you outside and splays your organs across the tarmac.
You attempt to stick the blade of your hunting knife between Ms. Bowman’s ribs. However, the blow is impeded by a large band of hard plastic. As you are beaten to death by her bodyguards, you realize that Ms. Bowman’s body is wrapped, neck to ankle, in dozens of alcohol monitors and house arrest bracelets. Her bodyguards subdue you, carefully remove some of your teeth for body identification purposes, then beat you into an unrecognizable pulp.
Pulling out the hypodermic needle you keep for party emergencies, you inject a pure cc into Ms. Bowman’s arm. Security does not seem to notice, and Ms. Bowman is far too intoxicated to even feel the shot. Soon her eyes roll back in her skull and white foam pours from her mouth. Mumbling an excuse, you hand her off to the nearest security guard and make your exit. Blending in with a crowd of debarking passengers, you ring Aaron one more time. Again, he picks up immediately,
“Is she dead?” You can hear panic in his breath.
“I am ready for the final assignment.” You really hate people who don’t use code words over the phone.
“There is a large shipment being smuggled aboard a jumbo passenger plane, flight 159462. It is supposed to leave in forty minutes. Make sure that doesn’t happen.”
You stammer, “You want me to take down an entire flight?” You weigh the morality of defending your adoptive father versus killing hundreds of innocent people.
“No, idiot. I just need to keep the plane grounded long enough for my men to remove the shipment. Kill the pilot.” With that, Aaron hangs up.
You check the departure screen and find the gate for 159462. You take a minute to feel pride that you managed to make it through the entire airport without dismembering someone. Arriving at the gate, you notice a man in a pilot’s uniform standing nearby, talking to two stunning blonde stewardesses. Their beauty has obviously not gone unnoticed by him; he is so busy flirting them up that he has left his bag unattended, several feet away.
“Excuse me, sir, Airport Security,” you bark in your most official-sounding voice. “Have your bags been in your sight the entire time?”
Turning slowly, the pilot looks you up and down, then pokes a finger into your chest. “Where’s your badge?” he shouts. “Where’s your uniform? I can do whatever I want with these bags. I own the sky, bitch!”
Sliding over to the pilot’s bag, you unzip it. Leaning over, you wiggle all sorts of suspicious-looking stuff from your coat and into the pilot’s bag.
“WHAT’S THIS?” you shout, pointing at his bag. “LOOKS LIKE A BOMB! AND A ROCKET LAUNCHER!”
Airport security rushes over. One guard rifles through the pilot’s bag, saying “You’ll have to come with us, sir.” The guards lead the pilot away, while two stay behind to clear the area and alert bomb control.
“I’m undercover, you’ll have to take your bag and follow me.”
“Why? Just search my bag right here.”
“Sir, I would hate to open your bags in front of all these people. Who knows what embarrassing things your luggage may contain … SEXUAL ENHANCEMENT DEVICES?” you proclaim as loudly as you can, noting many heads turning in your direction.
Apparently, this struck a chord, as the pilot hastily grabs his bag and follows you.
Angry that the pilot gave you lip, you pick up his bag and shout, “I AM IN CHARGE HERE,” throwing his bag through the giant bay window. It shatters with an enormous crash. Airport security approach you, guns drawn. You punch the pilot in the mouth, taking two bullets to the chest. You let out a triumphant roar, for no apparent reason, and jump through the broken window. Landing in a heap twenty feet below, you roll around, laughing maniacally, until you bleed to death.
You bring the pilot, bag in tow, to a nearby Admiral’s Lounge. The lady at the door gives you the stink eye, but then sees the pilot and opens the door. Entering the room, you notice several people, as advertised, lounging about on plush chairs. An armed guard stands alert near the door from which you entered. Taking the pilot down might be harder than you had planned.
“Right here, sir,” you announce, pointing to a table. The pilot lifts his bag onto the table, and unzips it. You begin sifting through it, when the pilot punches you in the side of the head. The security guard is quick to rush in and help him. As it turns out, everyone in the lounge is a retired martial arts expert, angry at the world and with a chip on their shoulders. All of them. By pure coincidence. They all take turns beating you until you die. To assure mutual silence, they all do something despicable to your corpse, together.
Figuring you’re never going to get away with murdering an airline pilot in front of an armed security guard, you hoist a lounge chair above your head and heave it at the guard. He goes down hard, while all of the lounge’s occupants scramble for the doorway.
You grab the pilot by his coat and shove him to the ground. Using your pistol, you empty the pilot of all his consciousness. Satisfied, you holster your weapon and leave the room. Dozens of police and security guards face you, guns drawn. To your credit, you manage to take down three of them before dozens of bullets slice hot ribbons through your flesh.
Standing in front of the door, you pick up a nearby salami tray. One by one, you smash each person as they arrive at the door, attempting to flee. You note that, oddly, seeing the first three people get smashed in the head by a meat platter does nothing to deter the fourth guy from trying to push past you out the door. One dent in his skull later, it’s just you and the pilot, alone in the Admiral Lounge (and cash bar). Dropping to his knees, the pilot pleads with you, “I am a powerful man, I can give you anything!”
One bullet later you leave the room, the cold smell of blood in your nostrils and the pride of a job well done warming the back of your pants. You stroll out of the airport and catch a cab by putting your foot squarely through its driver’s side window. Dragging the bruised and bloodied cabbie from the vehicle, you jump in, landing with both feet firmly on the gas.
Hours later, you are flying over the Atlantic ocean, Black Hawk controls in one hand, bottle of bourbon in the other. However, as your rotors sputter, then stop spinning entirely, you realize that you fell for the old, “half tank of gas trick.” Your chopper plummets into the ocean, you pass out upon impact. A shark has its way with you, then you die.
Pushing through the crowd of people fleeing the supposed suitcase bomb, you catch up with the guards leading the pilot away. They open a security door, you push through before it can close. This causes the guards to take special note of you with the aim of their guns. You try to bolt away, but the door has latched behind you. Realizing that no one knows you’re here, the security guards unload on you. It’s illegal on many counts, but that’s little solace to your bullet-riddled corpse.
Heading to a familiar bank of white courtesy phones, you dial the number for airport security. A friendly automated voice prompts you to “push one for bomb threats.” As your finger presses the appropriate key, you feel the hard push of cold steel against your neck.
“Found you,” says a gruff voice says you recognize as belonging to Charles Mitchell’s bodyguard. “Don’t move, and don’t make a sound.” You obey, but soon find that his commands were meaningless, as he plugs one through the back of your skull, leaving a horrible mess on the formerly-white courtesy phones for the janitors to clean up.
Running into the street, you are run over by a crazed man who is driving a garbage truck full of dead bodies. The man stops his truck, heaves your corpse into the bin, and continues on his maniacal way.
Grabbing a bag of candy from a nearby child, you run onto the street behind the float. Tossing candy into the crowd, you scream, “Happy! Happy!” You boost yourself onto the back of the float, the oversized dynamite fuse brushing against your face.
You ignite the black coil. It burns a lot quicker than you’d expected, going up in about thirty seconds. This is nowhere near enough time for you to get away from the three-block blast radius. As a consolation prize, you did blow up a huge, if random, portion of the city.
Prying away loose cardboard and crepe paper, you make a hole to the driver’s door. Opening the door, you grab the terrified driver by the hair and toss him onto the street. You take the wheel.
You ram your float into a building-sized replica of a popular cartoon dog. Sparks from the collision ignite the dynamite. This doesn’t kill you, but only because the cab explodes seconds before the dynamite blows up everything in a half-mile radius.
You make a swift right, through a temporarily-erected grandstand full of people. The road gets very bumpy for a few seconds, then smooths out as you reach the city streets. Several police cars screech behind your float. The authorities seem interested in talking to you. Pressing the pedal, you feel a surprising amount of pickup.
Pulling the pins on several grenades at once, you smash your side window and toss all three out of the cab. They hit the mark, the booming explosion throws several police cars high into the air. The resulting fireball ignites the dynamite fuse. You try to run away, but Landham made his bomb well; the detonation destroys an area the size of Disneyland.
Narrowly making it onto the entrance ramp, you look ahead to see four black N.O.O.S.E. police vans blocking the road. Pushing the gas all the way to the floor, you ram the convoy. You hear several loud pops as your side tires blow, tipping your float onto its side. Several police agents surround your cab. Sadly, they decide to use the jaws of life to pry your head from your body.
Driving the float downtown, you spy the Dwyer building several blocks ahead. Its sparkling new windows gleam like a disco ball. Unfortunately, the parade has traffic gridlocked.
All that’s holding up the dynamite float is a cab with a bed attached, so you find it difficult to get on top of the cars in front of you. However, your enormous mass is useful as you plow into the stopped vehicles. You manage to push the pile about half a block before your cab grinds to a halt, engine dead. Cranking the ignition does nothing.
You jump out of the car and dart to a nearby tow truck. While violently yanking the driver out of his seat, you take a bullet from a nearby police officer’s gun. The impact is enough to stun you, and the tow truck driver kicks you in the face. The police office unloads his clip into your lifeless body, then beats up the tow truck driver just for good measure.
You dial the first number on your phone, hoping it will bring your engine back to life. It doesn’t make any sense, but you saw it work in a video game, once. Sadly, not only does it not work, but the person you call is your elderly Aunt Angela. Picking up the phone, Angela is treated to the shocking sounds of her favorite nephew being violently dismembered by police agents.
Steering the float into oncoming traffic gives you a direct view of the screaming, ashen-white faces of the passengers in oncoming cars. You gun the engine as a taxicab tries to swerve out of your way and plows into a lamppost. Some cars are not so fortunate; your huge vehicle smashes into them without losing any speed. Soon, you find yourself outside the sparkling new Dwyer building.
You pull into the parking lot. Extracting your lighter, you hop out of the cab and look for the fuse. Walking behind the float, you find a N.O.O.S.E. sniper waiting for you. Impressively, he puts a rifle bullet in each of your eye sockets before you hit the ground.
Trying not to smile and failing, you crash into the bay windows of the Dwyer building’s three-story lobby. People pour out of the hole in the glass, screaming and scattering in all directions. Security guards jump out from behind their desk, shoving people out of the way in an attempt to rush to safety. Figuring this will buy you some cover, you hop out of the cab. Strolling casually to the back, you light the long fuse on the end of the enormous bomb.
Trying to stay mixed in with a pack of fleeing people, you run through the giant hole in the three-story bay windows. Waving your hands in the air, you attempt to look like a panicked innocent, but your swarthy Easter European looks are a dead giveaway. Despite the crowd, a sniper manages to burst your head with an exploding bullet.
You spring over the security desk, kicking aside a chair and crouching underneath the eave. This turns out to be insufficient, as the three-ton bomb blows up enough stuff to make a metal video. The song for the video would probably be about the thousands of pieces into which your body separates.
Bolting up the staircase as fast as you can, you wonder how long the fuse will go. You are still wondering this as you crest the fourth floor.
Trying to get as high as possible, you ascend several more flights before a huge rumbling shakes the building. It turns out, the cheaply-erected foundation of the Dwyer building is no match for a 5,000-pound bomb. The building collapses like so many Las Vegas casinos, crushing you under the weight of millions of particle boards.
Spilling into an office hallway, you are greeted with a calm workplace setting. Unaware of impending disaster, receptionists chat away while suit-clad workers rattle on keyboards. Ducking into an office, a worker stands up to greet you. Just then, you see a large flash out the widow and the ground starts to shake.
Curling into a ball, you just manage to fall to the ground before the entire building collapses. Funny, you were pretty certain that would work.
Whipping out your wooden bat, you slap the office worker in the mouth. He falls to the floor in a growing pile of blood. You feel the warm glow of satisfaction for a few brief moments before the entire city block explodes.
Putting your shoulder into the window, you fall out the window moments before a giant shockwave destroys the entire city block. Pulling your parachute out of your pocket, you glide to safety a few hundred yards away. Tossing your spent chute on top of a confused hot dog vendor, you set off towards your next destination.
Entering your apartment, you flop down on your bed and instantly fall asleep. You wake up to a police officer’s knee on your chest.
“What is your name?”
“Who wants to know?” you reply.
The officer hauls you to your feet and cuffs you. You notice the room is filled with cops, several detectives in coats and ties are rifling through your belongings.
“Do you know a Mr. Silver Spoony?”
“He says he knows you. He says you confessed to him about blowing up the Dwyer building, even showed us some photographs of you at the scene.”
“Not Spoony!” The devastation must have registered on your face, as the cop pats you on the head, sympathetically. You kick him in the crotch and sprint out the door. You stumble down the street with both hands cuffed behind your back. Regaining your balance, you begin to sprint, the only notion in your mind being the burning wish to find the traitorous Spoony and kick the life out of him. You clumsily run about a block before a hail of police bullets extinguishes any desires you may have had.
Grabbing a well-dressed man from the back of the line, you toss him behind a tree and press your hunting knife firmly into his ribcage.
Jumping in the water, you realize there is nothing on this side that will allow you to climb on board the humongous ship. You duck underwater and swim to the back of the boat. Just then, the motor starts up. Giant blades churn up ocean water. Your swimming skills are useless, and you are quickly sucked into the whirling propellers. Fisherman pull up record hauls that day, as your chum is quite popular with local marine life.
Dashing to the road, you spot a fat biker sitting on his hog at a red light. Rushing the biker, you clothesline him to the ground. After stomping on his head, you take his Harley and open the throttle. Steering the bike towards the staircase ramp by the cruise ship’s gangplank, you hit the ramp at top speed, launching yourself into the air. Staying on the bike is impossible, you spill onto the wooden deck. Your stunt has alerted several guards who sprint down the gangplank, shouting at you to stop.
Twisting your knife into his abdomen, you deftly reach in the man’s back pocket and extract his wallet. A glance at his I.D. reveals that he is Escobar. His bodyguards catch up with you and take turns clubbing you to death before heading off to loot Escobar’s house.
“Where is the stash?” you growl at the man.
The man points at a crate on the cruise ship’s stern. Glancing at the crate proves to be a fatal mistake, as the man wrestles the knife away from you. He stabs you thousands of times, each time punctuating the blow by screaming, “Don’t ever cross Escondido de la Escobar!”
You hop into an empty barrel. Unfortunately, you are spotted by several guards. They tie you up, take you a few miles off shore, then do things to you that one can only do a few miles offshore.
CLICK TO RESPAWN
You climb up, smashing the front window and wiggling into the control room. The captain stands up, pointing a small pistol at you. You kick it out of his hands and toss him out of the window.
“This is your new captain speaking,” you say into the P.A. system. “We’ll be departing a bit early today.” You toot the horn and start the engines. Pulling away from the docks, you see dozens of irate tourists and police officers on shore. The cruise ship turns out to be slower than you thought. Soon, you are surrounded by police boats and a sniper-wielding chopper, forcing you to drop anchor.
Leaning out the window, you spray your machine gun at the dozens of police boats floating nearby. This sets off a huge chain reaction of explosions. The multiple blasts give you mind-blowing visuals, but not as mind-blowing as the sniper bullet that splatters your brains all over the front of the ship.
Stepping onto the top deck of the ship, you take careful aim with your sniper rifle. Hit square in the neck, the shooter falls from the helicopter. His three-hundred-foot fall is stopped by your wide-mouthed face. The net result flattens your guts on the cruise deck like shuffleboard disks.
Stepping onto the top deck, you take aim with your own sniper rifle. The pilot’s head is rocked back by an expertly-placed bullet to his temple. The helicopter tailspins into the cruise liner – the resulting explosion rocks the ship sideways. When you regain your balance you see a huge hole has been blown into the ship. The deck is tilting towards the water and the boat is sinking quickly.
You arc majestically over the edge of the four-story-high cruise ship. Expecting to feel the cold slap of water against your face, you close your eyes and brace your muscles. However, instead of the ocean breaking your fall, you swan dive face-first into a cruising police boat.
Trying not to lose your balance on the slowly-tipping deck, you climb into the ship and stumble down several flights of stairs. Coming to a hallway, you can either go right to the sleeping cabins, or left into the room where the porters have stowed the luggage.
You climb into the musty-smelling luggage holding area. The ship lurches hard as water begins spilling into the room through several large cracks in the walls. Adding to the mounting tension, the gushing water really makes you have to pee.
You stare at the bags, questions running through your mind. Which one looks like it might hold a giant stash? How do police dogs do this? You choose a crushed leather brown suitcase. Unzipping it reveals a heap of dirty clothing. Holding your nose and sorting through it, you are interrupted by a loud “CRASH!” The aft wall comes down, water floods the chamber and throws you violently against the opposite wall. Your head cracks against a tasteful ivory hatbox, which is a pretty unique way to go.
The floor is tilting at a forty-five degree angle, but you manage to make it into the area with the private rooms. Climbing your way down the hallway requires one foot on the floor and the other on the wall. You arrive at room 1088, now set into the ceiling.
Grabbing the door handle, you give a firm yank. The room safe falls on top of you, crushing your ribs. Sadly, this isn’t fatal… for a few hours.
Stepping back, you pull out your pistol and unload six shots into the door handle. The door swings open, the room safe comes tumbling out. As it slides down the hallway towards you, you put out a boot and stop it.
Pulling the safe up through the tilting ship proves as difficult as it looks. You barely make it to the first flight of stairs before the ship breaks apart, flooding with water. In what turns out to be your final decision, you cling to the safe, hoping it will float.
Sticking a bomb to the front of the safe, you stumble away and press the detonator. The safe blows open, but so does the aft window. You see the stash, encased in a waterproof plastic bag, fly out of the safe and up through the porthole.
You stumble through the tilted hallway, trying to climb up to the top deck. However, the ship has turned almost 90 degrees sideways, creating a funhouse effect. Upon reaching the staircase, you can’t figure out which way goes up, and which goes down. As water floods in, slamming you into the wall and knocking you unconscious, your last thoughts are of how M.C. Escher paintings contain a sinister brutality.
Climbing into the room, you see the tilting ship has left the furniture in extreme disarray. You can barely pull the bed away from the closet before the room’s porthole window explodes from water pressure, sending glass shards through your face like that dude from Hellraiser.
Squeezing through the porthole, you swim into the ocean. The water is strewn with debris and bodies. More so than usual.
Kicking your legs, you swim towards the black depths below. The sinking ship continues to pull you under like a wedding ring in a bathtub drain. As your lungs began to heave for air and the world grows black, you spot the corpse of the helicopter pilot and give him a friendly wave. A joker to the death, you are (just like Fozzie Bear right before he died from Muppet Flu).
Splashing to the surface, you notice the water is even more crowded. Police boats and screaming people add to the mess of debris bobbing on the waves. One police ship starts a sweep towards both you and a nearby fat man struggling in the current. You spot the stash nearby and snatch it out of the water, hoping the police boat did not notice you.
The police boat floats to a stop next to you. The fat man is hauled aboard. You wait to be hauled up, but receive no assistance. Finally, a police officer sticks his head over the edge.
“Can’t! I’m swimming!”
The policeman points a gun at your face. Two others haul you up and handcuff you. They search you and find the stash. Instead of due process, the two cops and the fat man get really high on the stash and dismember your body in a fit of Clockwork Orange-esque ultraviolence.
Pretending to help the fat man, you wrap your arms around him and shove the plastic bag deep into his shorts. The police boat floats by. You and the fat man are hauled on board, and toweled off. A burly cop sits down in front of you.
“We understand that you’ve been through a lot. But the culprit is still at large so we’re going to have to ask you some questions.”
Just then, a commotion breaks out on the other side of the boat. You look over and see the other policeman handcuffing the fat man. The stash lies at the fat man’s feet. The burly cop stands up and heads over to help his partner.
You grab the plastic bag and leap into the control seat. As you hit the gas, the ship lurches forward. Looking back, you see that one cop and the fat man have tumbled overboard, but the burly cop has managed to grab onto the motor, and has his pistol aimed straight for your head. Before your vision fades to red, your last thought is that police boats are crap.
After a trio of well-aimed shots, you find yourself standing over three fresh bodies. Picking up the stash, you hop into the captain’s chair. Speeding away on the boat, you text Cece and let her know the stash is safe.
Arriving at your safehouse, you dial up Your Guy to do the deal. A half-hour later, there is a knock at your door. Your Guy enters, with three huge bodyguards. He’s never needed this much muscle before. You’re opening your mouth to ask if he is in trouble when one bodyguard slams your head into the wall and pins you to the ground. Your Guy leans forward until he is an inch from your face.
“Spoony says you’re setting me up. Says you’re gonna sell me a bunch of hot stash that belongs to Escobar, then tell.”
“I didn’t! Spoony must’ve set me up,” you exclaim, admiring the clever triple-cross.
Just then the door breaks open and three men enter wielding machine guns. Everyone draws their guns.
“We have come to reclaim Escobar’s stash!”
Your Guy spits in your face, “I knew it.” He shoots you in the head, kicking off a bloody end to the Mexican standoff. Sadly, you don’t get to see the gunplay, as brain matter oozes from your skull and gets in your eyes.
Tossing the homemade C4 bomb at the flying saucer, you scream “not today, Alien scum!” The explosion is brilliant: alien bodies and strange technology rain down on Liberty City. Sadly, a particularly fat alien lands on you, crushing you to death.
You arrive at Mr. Spoony’s mansion. It has recently become Spoony’s four-story solitary confinement cell. His latest obsession with pesticides has made him self-quarantine himself in the compound, eating only meat and starch. Knocking on the door, you prepare yourself for whatever ritual Spoony will demand of you today. As the door opens, you instantly recognize Spoony’s butler by his massively wide frame.
“Take off your coat, shoes, and socks. Spoony’s orders,” a baritone voice booms. You strip off the indicated garments and hand them to the butler.
“Oh, wait, I left my gun in my coat,” you say, stepping inside.
“This gun?” is the reply, as the butler pulls out a silver glock. You reach for it, but the butler yanks it away and punches you in the face. You struggle to get up, and receive a pistol whip across the nose. The butler pushes you outside and slams the door. Staggering to your feet, you notice several police cars have pulled up outside the house.
“Spoony! Let me in,” you cry, banging on the door. When this gets no response, you dial your cell phone. Spoony picks up.
“Mr. Spoony, you’ve got to open the door, the cops are here.”
You hear a click on the other end. Figuring Mr. Spoony is on his way down, you are shocked when he flings open the shutters on his fourth-floor tower.
“HELP! Police! This man tried to break into my house!”
“Spoony, quit the jokes and tell them you know me!”
“I don’t know him, but he is responsible for all kinds of horrible things for which I am currently the main suspect!” Spoony slams the shutters. Heeding Mr. Spoony, the police approach you, guns drawn.
You remove your pistol from your ankle-holster, but you aren’t fast enough for three already-drawn police weapons. Bullets slice ribbons through your body from three different angles. Then, the police take turns beating your lifeless corpse, simply to prove their beatings aren’t racially-motivated.
Kicking down the door, you sprint into the mansion just in time to avoid a hail of bullets striking the porch. You find yourself in Spoony’s luxurious foyer. A chandelier takes up most of the room, impulsively bought by Mr. Spoony on a trip to Paris despite your objections that it wouldn’t fit. The chandelier overhangs an enormous marble table. Spoony was a “spend first, find a space for it later” kind of guy.
You hit the stairs two-at-a-time. Unfortunately, you are not fast enough for the police streaming into the foyer. Their first shot takes out your leg, knocking you over the ornate staircase balustrade. Lying on the floor, you are defenseless to police bullets and, later, urine.
You slide against the door frame and peep out of the house. The three cops are approaching through the yard. As you prepare to open fire, two loaded police trucks screech to a stop at the curb.
You check your clip. It’s full. You look outside: The foot cops are a few dozen feet away. All you need now is something real catchy to yell while you spray the area.
“By the power of Greyskull!” you shriek, stepping into the doorway. The three cops are blown back by the storm of bullets raining from your gun barrel. They collapse in the yard, bleeding out in unison.
“Stop what you are doing and surrender! I’m super serious!” a voice blares from a police truck’s intercom.
After tossing grenades into the yard and street, you duck behind the door frame, fingers in ears. An enormous blast shakes the foundation of the house. Peeping out, you see cop bodies and shrapnel covering the yard. One police officer stumbles to his feet, fumbling to get his gun out with a hand he has not yet realized has been blown off.
Transferring your anger from years of abandonment at the hands of father figures, you dash outside and begin pummeling the wounded officer. This gives the sniper in the newly-arrived helicopter ample time to take aim at your head. Still, due to heavy alcohol abuse, his first shot misses, hitting the downed and beaten police officer in the stomach. The sniper’s second shot is true, slamming into your brain like a hundred motion sickness pills.
You step into the doorway looking like an action hero, bazooka mounted firmly on your shoulder. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room in the doorway for both your handsome pose and the bazooka. The rocket fires directly into the door jamb, blowing up the porch and scattering your severed limbs hundreds of feet in all directions.
Police bodies are strewn everywhere. You proudly survey the scene, even as you hear the sound of approaching sirens and the whir of what can only be the blades of a police helicopter. Ducking inside, you lock the front door and head upstairs. As you reach a long arched hallway full of art, three of Spoony’s bodyguards spill out of nearby rooms, using a support column for cover.
You fling a bomb at the support beam, it sticks. Pushing the detonator brings down the entire floor, crushing all three bodyguards and you to death. Your last thought is that Mr. Spoony really needs to meet some reliable construction guys.
You roll behind the replica of Michaelangelo’s David, just ahead of a slew of bullets. One round shatters David’s manhood, spraying bits of stone into your face. This flimsy statue will probably only withstand a few more shots.
You give the statue a shove, sending it toppling over onto the nearest guard. He goes down hard and doesn’t get up. Blood oozes out from underneath the statue. That statue, however, was your only cover. The other two bodyguards unload eight close-range shots into your chest.
Shouting, “Enter the Matrix, bitches,” you run off the wall and plug the first two bodyguards in the face before they can even react. The third manages to squeeze off a shot that errently shatters David’s head. Your aim is not as faulty, and you pop a bullet right between his eyes. Stepping over the warm corpses, you make your way to the end of the hallway, bent on making Mr. Spoony pay.
Climbing the stairs, you stop short when a bodyguard rolls in front of you.
Shooting out the window, you spring onto the ledge. Looking down, you see the yard is filled with N.O.O.S.E. trucks. At least two police helicopters circle the house, flipping on their searchlights to counter the effects of the rapidly setting sun. From the ground, an officer shouts and points at you. Furtively searching, you spot a balcony about four feet above you and a drainpipe within arm’s reach.
Summoning all your strength, you pounce off the ledge. Pushing your foot against the wall to gain an extra bit of height, you grab the balcony with both hands. Before you can boost yourself up, a helicopter sniper shoots your right hand, blowing off three fingers. You dangle precariously from one arm before dropping into a sea of angry police officers. Although you die instantly, the officers will later testify you fought like a madman, and that is why every last one of their bullets had been emptied into your body.
You make it about five feet up the drainpipe before you hear a sharp “CRACK!” Looking up, you see your weight has pulled the drainpipe free from the wall. Falling away from the wall, you gain speed rapidly before crashing hard into the ground several stories below. The police have no trouble handcuffing you, putting you in the back of a police cruiser, then beating you to death.
The bodyguard dies in a pool of blood. You continue up the stairs to the third level. The room is bare except for a nine-foot-tall man sitting in a ridiculously small folding chair.
“Get out of the way, this is between me and Spoony,” you tell him. You’ve never met this bodyguard before, but you’re determined not to let him stop your revenge.
“To get to Mr. Spoony, you must first get past my Kung Fu,” he replies before springing to his feet and swinging a long arm towards your face.
Before you can move more than an inch, the lightning-fast strike of the Kung Fu man lands on the bridge of your nose. Your only consolation is that this makes it impossible to see the Kung Fu man’s systematic dismemberment of your body (using Kung Fu). It still hurts really bad though.
You pull your pistol, but are not fast enough. The Kung Fu man’s fist comes crashing down on your face. Smashing against the floor, you fire blindly and kick with your legs like a screaming baby. After a few moments, your vision returns. A few shots actually hit the Kung Fu man, and he lies in a motionless pile of blood. You shoot him a few dozen more times, just in case he is playing possum. Scrambling up the final staircase, you find yourself in Spoony’s private chamber.
Although you haven’t been here in years, you find many of the familiar comforts of your childhood still as you remember them: the walk-in humidor where you would smoke with Mr. Spoony every day after school, the refrigerator where you would sneak beers, and the fireplace in which you would throw them up. It’s as if Mr. Spoony hasn’t changed the place in twenty years. Heck, he still even has the corpse of his dead mother arranged into a sprightly pose, perched casually on her stone casket, legs crossed, a worm-eating grin across her decaying skull. Spoony sits behind his desk, shelling peanuts naked as always. Two enormous bodyguards advance on you.
You roll out of the room, crouching against the door frame. As you pull your pistol, you hear the unmistakable beeping of a sticky bomb. This is the second-to-last thing you hear, the last being the sound of your skull bursting.
The incendiary ignites both bodyguards. They comically roll around on the ground, screaming as the flames grow, until you “assist” them by stomping on their heads until the fire has gone out. As their charred bodies set off a nearby smoke alarm, you pull your pistol and point it at Spoony’s head.
“You’ve got some explaining to do.”
“What’s to explain?” Spoony puts his hands at his sides and shrugs. Mounds of peanuts fall from his lap. You try to look away while still keeping the gun trained on Spoony. “I train you since birth to be a killer. Now that you’re too old to be of service, I use you to… how you say, carry a few of my problems up the river.”
“Well it’s your time to die, now,” you croak. Spoony stands up to reveal a bomb strapped to his waist – the peanut shells had done a great job of concealing it. Shocked, you ease off the trigger.
You aim your shot and hit dead-on between Spoony’s eyes. With his last breath, Spoony pulls the detonator. The resulting explosion can be heard five miles away. Parts of your body are later discovered in the next county.
You toss your pistol on the ground and show Spoony your bare hands. “I don’t want it to end like this, Mr. Spoony, after all we’ve been through.” You see the corners of Spoony’s lips start to tremble. “Let’s just work it out, like that time when I was eight and I sold your kilo for some Pogs. Remember?”
Tears pour from Spoony’s eyes. “Come here,” he cries, stretching his arms out towards you.
You wrap your arms around Spoony and embrace him. Unfortunately, your bear hug is a little too tight, and the pressure causes the homemade bomb to detonate. You die from explosive male-on-male contact.
Lunging forward, you pull your knife from your coat and stab Spoony through the chest. He tries to pull the detonator, but you pin him to the floor, holding his arms until he’s bled to death. The explosive situation defused, you look around the room for a getaway.
Jumping out the window, you pull the cord on your chute. It catches when you are about twenty feet from impact. You sail to a graceful landing a few dozen yards away, and are treated to a fifty-man police beatdown.
Mounting your bazooka on your shoulder, you bound down the stairs towards your destiny. There are dozens of N.O.O.S.E. vans and police cars, but you’ve got a healthy stock of ammo. You fire rocket after rocket, tearing a huge hole in the line of vehicles. Before you can escape, the chief of police orders a nuclear strike on the entire city block. For centuries, his negligence will be cited by promoters of peace. This does you no good, however, because your ass got nuked.
You run down three flights of stairs and into Spoony’s four car garage. Hopping into a purple sportscar, you crank the ignition and hit the gas. Bursting through the garage door, you catch the police off-guard and manage to mow down a few before they turn their artillery on you. Dozens of bullets fly into the hood, which makes the car explode for some reason and destroys your skin’s ability to contain your organs.
You fire off two rounds, each bullet shearing off one of Spoony’s hands. Desperately, he paws at the detonator trigger with bleeding stumps. As you move to restrain Spoony, he manages to catch the detonator pin with his teeth. You only have seconds before Spoony blows you sky-high.
The detonation blows away most of the house, including you. Your last thought is quite mature and philosophical: “I hope none of my dismembered body parts land anywhere near Spoony’s naked dismembered junk.”
You smash through the picture window, wrapping your wrist around your parachute cord. This turns out to be futile, as the force from the detonation is enough to knock your spine through your neck.
Leaping into the stone coffin, you replace the lid just as the explosion tears apart the entire house. The coffin absorbs most of the blow before falling apart. You glance around to find yourself high in the air above the ruins of Spoony’s mansion. Pulling your rip cord, you sail far over the heads of a large group of angry police. They stare, dumbfounded. Some take a few half-hearted shots, but you are far too high for anyone to hit. Sailing towards the ocean, you quickly manage to put a good amount of distance between you and the police. Assured of your getaway’s success, you take in the picturesque skyline as you drift towards the ground. Mentally scrolling through a list of all the people and corporations who somehow assisted you on your adventure, you resolve to call all of them and invite them bowling.
As you land in the street, you hear the approaching sound of loud disco music. A black semi-truck screeches around the corner and heads straight at you. Diving out of the way, you reach for your gun when a familiar voice hollers, “You never came to party, so I thought I’d bring party to you!” Glancing up, you are relieved to see Akhmein, your lovable, overweight gun-running buddy.
“What party?” you ask. He hustles you to the back of the truck and opens the bobtail. Inside is a disco ball and at least one dozen strippers. Hopping into the back, you get acquainted with the dancers as Akhmein bounces the truck on souped-up hydraulics.
Evan Hoovler also writes for Gamespy, Blastr, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket, and Ranker. He is lead puzzle designer for the Telltale game, Puzzle Agent 2, and wants to be your