Merc Rule 33

Written by J. D. Wiley --- Art by J. D. Wiley

Merc Rule 33: A shot in the dark is a sure thing. It always hit what you weren’t aiming for.

A shot in the dark never hits its mark. Which is another way o’ saying, if your pistol can see just as well as you can, don’t fire it. I mean, if you find yourself beset by enemies on all sides, and hitting what you ain’t aiming at will be just as effective and hitting what you are… then by all means, fire away. But there are certain maxims in life. Murphy’s Law ain’t around ’cause he was the only bastard with bad luck. That’s for damn sure. So before you go shooting wild, consider the worst that could happen as what is bound to occur. If you find yourself okay with that, take the shot.

Me and Spivey found ourselves back down in the Midtown Tunnels. We were down there with a few of the Solid-cast Soldiers clearing out mutated dogs the size of small horses. And rats the size of small dogs.

A big fella named Samson Delgado with two cybernetics arms. The name was no coincidence. He’s a mean son of a bitch, but he’s nothing compared to his lady, Luna Vasquez. She carries around a knife as big as her arm and likes sticking it into things that talk too much.

So the four of us are creeping through these subway tunnels. We’re stepping over broken railway cars and crushed glass. The further in we get, the darker it gets. Until eventually we’re operating under the light of torches made of bone wrapped in kerosene rags. We’re following a series of pipes around a bend when a pair of gleaming eyes flickers in the dark. Then another. Until were surrounded by an entire horde of only God knows what. But these vermin are hissing at us and it’s getting louder.

I catch a shimmer of Luna’s blade as she draws it. Samson’s arms are swimming with the light of the flames. But the eyes. The eyes are more menacing than the other two combined. 

I might’ve got a little twitchy. But the bottom line is we needed more light, and spraying sparks out the end of my revolver seemed like a good idea.

So I lay back on the hammer and the whole tunnel is flashing with light. I’m shooting at big rats. Huge rats that I could throw a saddle on. These bastards were as big as I’ve ever seen, and they’re snarling and hissing and snapping at us. Spit flying, yellow teeth gnashing.

I’m spinning and shooting. Shooting and spinning. Luna is slashing and stabbing with her great Bowie knife, piking rats on the end of her skewer. Samson is wringing the hairy little bastards in half, hurling ’em into the tunnel walls. Spivey is picking his shots, being careful.

Not like me. I’m blowing bits of rat guts and blood every which way when I hear Spivey holler out. “You shot me, you crazy son of a bitch!”

And much as I hate to admit it, I had. I mean, I only really grazed him. But sure as shit, I got him.

The four of us took out them rats. But Spivey’s still a bit sore at me. And he ain’t real keen on going into dark places unless I’m walking out in front of him. I can’t say I blame him.

That’s why you don’t go trigger happy in the dark. Sooner or later you’re bound to hit exactly what you weren’t trying to.

Coyote Joe, Memoirs of a Merc

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