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Ace Blogs: Ghosts From My Past

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    Ace of Blades
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    Ahhhh, it’s that time of the week again where I get to regale you fine folk with another one of my stories, so gramble ’round the campfire and I’ll yarn you a yarn.

    I think it’s about time I revealed my mysterious past. So mysterious that even Doc doesn’t even know about it, nor has he really bothered to ask.

    I used to be a part of a culinary assassin squad called The Broil Flush. We would be hired by those to carry out some dirty work while we posed as a catering company, because no one suspects the cooks. Seeing as how we were all trained in the deadly culinary arts, it made us undetectable as we infiltrated the premises and began our work.

    Our operations began with “Prep”; where we scouted the area and located our target. Then we would move into “Service” starting with “Appetizers”, if the kitchen area we were operating out of was guarded by our targets’ private security, we would dispose of them forthwith. Then we set off the oh-so-sensitive fire alarms or overload the circuit breaker (which is nearby most of the time). The second stage was called “Entree”, where we would move through the darkness of the building dispatching any who came in our path (Setting off the fire alarm made sure that innocents got out, only leaving behind those who wish to die). Then came “Dessert” where we located our person of interest and act as instructed by our benefactor; whether as to bring them in alive or just their head on a silver platter.

    We often got creative with such presentations, like the one time we delivered a guy’s head with a lobster in his mouth, or coated another’s face with burnt sugar.

    The Broil Flush was accredited with being, and I quote, “the most sadistic, twisted and ruthless cooks I’ve ever seen. They make Gordon Ramsay look like my grandmother.”

    There were five of us in the team, each with our own particular set of skills.

    There was The Joker of Juicing, probably the craziest S.O.B I’ve ever worked with. He was known for his fear tactics, chemical warfare and interrogation techniques. He used a high powered air cannon that shot the stones and pits of fruits, would create methane bombs with bananas and avocados, he found a way to increase the acidity in certain fruits to actually use as a corrosive acid, and his interrogation techniques…it’s kind of where he got the juicing mantra from.

    The Knave of Knives was our wheelman and often sourced out our “ingredients”. He was a real hot head and thought he was tough shit because he was King’s little brother. He and I didn’t have the greatest rapport, mainly because I caught him on several occasions stealing my knives and getting his blood on them. I thought that he wasn’t ready for the business but King said otherwise. He tried to be the jack of all trades, but was really just getting in our way sometimes; he really just couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

    The Queen of Cleavers was probably the toughest out of all of us. She was from a long line of butchers who suffered from psychopathic tendencies (think berserker rage) and short fuses. She was missing her left hand after a “training incident” back in the home country, in which she promptly attached a cleaver to it thus giving her a namesake. She had taught herself to use both hands for combat and often leaves a trail of limbs in her wake. We recruited her not because of her ruthlessness, but as our combat trainer so we could at least keep up with her. The reason I don’t feel fear anymore is because of that woman.

    Then there’s me, I often took up the strategizing role and I handled all the information and the briefing; a job which no one wanted to do so they made the new guy do it. Even though my shinobi background allowed me to participate in missions without getting injured (fuckin’ Knave), I did most of the scouting ahead and sneaking about. I remember one time Queen was trying to sneak through an air vent and all we could hear was *thump* *clang* *thump* *clang*, good times. I was also helping King out with inventory a lot, which is how I learned to carry more than blade on my person.

    Lastly, there was our leader the King of Knives. Rumour had it that he could carry 100 knives on him and no one would know. He was the elder brother of Knave; there must’ve been at least 15 years between the two, but he would never say exactly. King was our smooth-talking liaison to our clients so we could get jobs and our money at the end of said jobs. He used to operate alone until his age started to catch up with him, so he started the Broil Flush to act as his shadowed hands within the operations. There were countless times when our client did not want to pay our “modest” fees and wanted to dispose of us, only to find that we had compromised their organization as a failsafe and we would get our commission plus a bonus.

    Then everything changed as King just disappeared one day.

    Knave tried to claim leadership as his own, believing it was his right, but Queen and Joker challenged him to fight for his title. Knave had thrown every knife he had at Joker before Queen had severed his spinal cord but accidentally smashed into Joker’s acid tank and was almost immediately dissolved.

    At least that’s what looked like what happened when I came back from my coffee break, and I was going to assume that the survivor of this was going to come after me. Bullet dodged, I guess.

    So I decided to go solo after that, but it was hard for me to land jobs until an anonymous benefactor put a tag on Doc’s head.

    And you guys know how that story goes.

    I thought I had left my past behind, but sometimes there’s that last skeleton in the closet you don’t find; and when you do, it just may freak you out a little.

    Today I was walking around my local shopping center in Australia, when a lit sign caught my eye. I turned around to get a good look, and I stood there with my face as pale as a ghost.

    The sign read, “King of Knives.”

    I couldn’t believe that my mentor and friend had been alive for these past few years, and in my new home nonetheless. I raced over to look into the shop window and I see him…and sadness washed over my face. Instead of the suave, charismatic leader I once knew and respected, I saw a tired old man, unkempt in his little shop. Taking inventory of his day’s sales, as he had been since he disappeared that day. He looked out to the storefront where I was looking in, he gave me the faintest of smiles, as if he didn’t recognize me, and returned to his worksheet.

    I walked away from the store with a cathartic cloud hanging over me, memories flashed back to me of me spending long nights trying to find some lead of where he went, the countries I’ve combed through looking for him and the failures I’ve had to endure because he wasn’t there to guide me when I needed him. All of this has led to me finding him in his little shop in an Australian shopping center…and he was happy with that.

    Now I find myself writing about this story I have never shared previously, not even to my friends, and I think he finally taught me his final lesson.

    “Success is not about what you get, it’s about what you give.”

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Ace of Blades.
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