SHARK HORSE: PART 17 (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ShArC)
by Casey Moriarty
“There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.”
– Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption
“The Ark. If it is there, at Tanis, then it is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this earth.”
– Jonathon Rhys-Davies, Raiders of the Lost Ark
SANTA ANA: PRESENT DAY
Fish. I fucking hate fish.
I know, I know, I’m in the wrong line of work… Wrong god damn species, really… but shit, look at ’em… They’re oily and they fucking stink. Just my luck, my orders had me in some warehouse full of those goddamn fish. Not only that, my boss is like, half-fish. Dammit. Ah well, I’m used to following shitty orders by now.
“My name is Lupa Akheilos, but now that you know that name, I have to kill you,” I was talking to some struggling dork. I had him pinned underneath my claws. He’d tried to go for a gun, so I’d bitten off his hand and now there was a gun digesting in my stomach. Eh, my system could handle it.
“Shit, I was going to kill you anyway,” I told the guy, whose only answer was to bleed and cry like a bitch. “That’s why I’m here. That’s what I do. I kill. It’s a living. I enjoy it. I’m damn good at it. Maybe you’ve heard of me before?
They used to call me the Black-And-White Blur. My Navajo name was Grey Wolf. I’m the guy who ate CAKE. You’re welcome.
Nowadays, they call me Sea Wolf. At the moment, I’m employed as the deputy to the Santa Ana police commissioner. Commissioner Shark Horse, maybe you’ve heard of him? Yeah, that’s my boss. And he’s here too, just outside. I wanted a moment alone with you.”
Dammit, Shark Horse doesn’t go for the whole torture thing. It’s a bit hypocritical in my not-so-humble opinion, since he’s a time traveling rapist who’s slaughtered millions of Nazis over the past few years. But, shit, he’s prey and who knows how prey morality works?
I knew Shark Horse would be pissed when he saw what I was doing to this squirming, quivering human beneath me, but I could handle being yelled at for a bit. It would be worth the fun I was having.
How’d I get a job working for the Santa Ana Police? They’re pretty forgiving in their hiring, actually, given that I killed the last commissioner and was enemies with the current one since the 1950s. I also caused the worst economic crisis the city had ever seen during the aforementioned slaughter of that stupid band… And that’s what directly led to the city coming under siege by some sort of Biblical demon.
Hundreds died. Considering my role in all that, there was surprisingly little paperwork involved in getting this job. Good dental benefits, too. Shit, if you’d told me when I was a kid that I’d end up as a cop, well…
Ending up as a half wolf/ half orca monster didn’t surprise me, but a cop? Shit, ain’t fate grand?
I was worried that this job meant I’d be some kind of goody-two-shoes, but actually, well…
Let’s just say Santa Ana’s interests have got to be protected, son. Which brings me back to what was happening at the moment; that struggling dork.
“You, my friend, are impinging on our interests,” I told him, savoring his terror, “These fish you carry are a tad suspicious. You are suspicious. I’m here for information, and I might have to hurt you to get it.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m gonna like it. I’m not exactly Mother Theresa, as you can see; my father made me in the spitting image of the top predators of the land and the sea… My father, or at least the man I think of as my father, was the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. I know you know him. From World War II, Part 1? One of the most despicable people ever to walk the earth? Yeah?
You do know him. I think you might know where he is. Don’t cry. Shhhh… Shhhh… You’re gonna make this hurt more than it has to. See, I know that you used to be a Nazi… They were everywhere for a while, secretly hiding in every government, every business… Until the Second Battle of Normandy when Shark Horse killed them all with a Kaiju. It was all over the news; the whole Third Reich was mobilized and sent to fight him, and they all died.
All except a few, that is, a few that got away. Like you! So, I ask again…
WHERE IS JOSEF MENGELE? WHERE IS THE ANGEL OF DEATH?”
The little former-SS-Officer-turned-fishmonger screamed, so I smacked him but good with the side of my head. He crashed into a pallet full of sardines, knocking them everywhere and probably getting sardine stink all over himself. Gross.
“He’s… in space!” the bastard was blubbering, “He went to space! With Hitler’s body!”
“’Somewhere in space,’ is what I keep hearing,” I snarled, growing impatient, “Let’s get a little more specific though, huh? I’m told space is pretty big. I don’t give a shit. I want to find my father. Maybe to reconcile. Maybe to kill him. It’s complicated.”
“He modified a submarine for space travel!” the man yelled.
I’d heard that one, too.
That and the rumor he was colluding with Disney – they’d been struck a blow when Jon Hammster murdered JJ Abrams (and the rest of Hollywood). Rumor had it Disney was now shifting its focus to war… Who knows? I just know I loved Donald Duck.
Anyway, Shark Horse had told me that he had heard from some of the other Nazis about Mengele’s flying submarine. The Lost ShArc, it’s called… Named after Shark Horse, I bet. My father always had a man-crush on Shark Horse.
I dunno where he got the technology for a submarine-spaceship. He’s an MD, not an engineer. Did you know he had a second doctorate in Anthropology? And that he got it before his vampire mentor Herman McAlister got a similar degree, which he paid for?
Of course you didn’t know that.
You don’t know Dr. Mengele like I do.
My story begins in 1962… Sea Wolf’s story, I mean, not Lupa’s…
I was scared… Y’know, I ain’t no pussy or nothin’, but yeah, I was a little scared. What of it? I had no clue where I was. I mean, I knew it was like South America or something, but I didn’t know where. So much of that place looks the god damn same. I knew it wasn’t Panama. That was back the other way. I hoped I wasn’t still in Columbia. The damn cartel would kill me if they found me there. Shit, like a guy can’t peddle a little dope in their stupid “territory.” Jerks.
I was in the rainforest somewhere, following a brook.
I hadn’t slept last night. I just found a cliff to sit on and I watched the wildlife. Well, I didn’t just ‘watch’ exactly; you see, I have this ability, which I’ve always had, to become these animals. Shark Horse calls it ‘drifting,’ which he got from a movie I think, but I could give a fuck what it’s called. I just liked using it to kill things. For the past few hours, I’d been watching a group of deer grazing at the edge of this cliff. They didn’t seem to be scared of me… Stupid deer.
I’d let them approach me, and when one of them got close enough, I’d concentrate and, within a couple seconds, I’d be seeing the world through the deer’s eyes. They see different. They watch the world like prey. But I’m a predator. I’d use the deer’s scrawny little legs to make it run over the edge of the cliff, and then, as soon as it was in the air, I’d jump back to my own body. Then I’d smile as I watched the deer panic as it tried to figure out what happened to it while it fell to its death. I loved the sound of the deer hitting the rocks below.
I’d finished off the herd, except for one little baby deer… He was next; but then, wouldn’t you know it, the sun came up and he ran off. Fuck. Stupid Bambi bastard. I decided I’d better get moving again.
I’d jogged a further few hours by the side of the brook when I realized I’d been running for days. I hadn’t seen a gun get pulled since Thursday, which was pretty relaxing, but I also hadn’t showered since Wednesday and my shoes were going to pieces. I was going to need new ones. I said a silent prayer to the Great Spirit that I’d run across someone who had good taste in shoes, was my size, and could be killed relatively easily. It would be a bonus if they weren’t fat. Fat people are harder to dispose of, as you can imagine.
Well, anyway, I was also fucking starving. I should’ve eaten some of those deer instead of just killing them. Ah hell, spilled milk, eh? I was thinking of trying to find some fish in the river – even though I can’t fucking stand fish- that’s how hungry I was. My face was shaggy and I’m sure I smelled terrible. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got. All this ’cuz I beat up some nerd back in Junior High… That nerd is Shark Horse now, but that’s another story.
Expulsion, assault, juvie, murder, murder, murder, murder, and more murder and now I was here. I’d have been more afraid if I wasn’t so pissed off. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t risk drawing any attention to myself.
I felt my left pocket, checking to see if my knife was still there. I was in a bad enough mood, so I thought I’d just kill the next person I came across. I’d have to do it quietly. Bonus points if he was my shoe size.
Shit, maybe I’d eat him. I’d never eaten anyone before, but I was damn hungry. I didn’t know why people are so grossed out by that. Humans are just meat, like cows or any other animals. Maybe it’s just the sheep that are squeamish, but I was a god damn predator.
I was the fucking Wolf.
Not one of those bitch Pack Wolves, neither, a fucking Lone Wolf. I appear from the darkness, I move in and rip your throat out, and then I’m gone. Silent. Invisible. Invincible.
After a bit more walking, I saw someone off in the distance. Perfect.
He looked old. White guy. Huh. He was doing laundry in the stream. Well, great, he looked killable. I felt for my knife, pulling it out of my pocket. I was preparing to rush him and stab him a few times, but that’s when I saw it: his dog. It was sitting obediently behind him while he did his laundry. A big, big one: great and grey. A grey wolf. Beautiful.
That’s how I’d do it. I closed my eyes and concentrated. It wasn’t easy. This dog was smart. It’s harder the smarter they are.
But I was getting good at it. I felt my mind ‘drifting.’ And then I was that dog. In an instant, I was right next to the old man. I saw him, in shades of grey, and his back was to me. I began to creep up on him. I’d get real close, see, and then jump him. Rip his throat out. Then I’d run the dog off a cliff. No one would ever come looking for a murderer.
I was inches from the old man’s back. I took a moment to savor his obliviousness to his own impending death. Then I jumped up towards his head.
Then, in an instant, I saw the old man turn. I could have sworn he grinned at me. Then, I felt a sudden panic: there was another will inside this dog’s head. One much smarter than me. I couldn’t make the dog move anymore. But I could still see through its eyes; and I could feel that presence inside its head. It was overwhelming, powerful, and deeply, deeply cruel.
It was steering the wolf away from the old man, and, oh, shit! We were running back towards my body… I felt a paralyzing fear, and I tried to jump back into myself; I couldn’t… That other mind was preventing me from leaving.
The body of Lupa was standing there, its eyes shut, unable to defend itself… And then we were jumping on it – on me – and biting into my shoulder… I tasted my own hot blood inside the dog’s mouth, and then, just as suddenly… I was me again, and I was in pain. I looked up at the dog, screaming, as it ripped into my flesh. I frantically tried to grab my knife, but the dog seemed to know what I was doing and went for my hand next. God dammit.
Then, I heard a voice.
The dog stopped biting me and backed off. I tried again to go for my knife, but I was too injured. The dog was sitting politely now. And that’s when the old man came back into view. His black hair was slicked back and his eyes sparkled with the cruelest blue.
“Fuck you, old man,” I sputtered.
He just grinned, “An American, I see? Your skin is so dark. Sad. But I admire your grit.”
He spoke English with a German accent. Come to think about it, he looked familiar. Very familiar. Not someone I knew, but maybe someone I’d seen on the news? Was he famous?
“What did you do? How did you kick me back into my own body?” I demanded.
“Perceptive, too,” the old man said, “You are intelligent. For an American. For an inferior being.”
“Fuck off, whitey,” I said.
“I should kill you,” the old man said, “But – loathe though I am to admit it about a nonwhite – you are like me. You took control of McAlister here… Excuse my dog’s Allied sounding cognomen, he’s simply named for a very dear friend who taught me much. But I digress: you have the same ability I do, albeit far less refined. You are like me. You can think for the beasts.”
I was still pissed. But a bit more curious.
“You… other people can do this?”
The man nodded, then extended a hand to help me up.
“Yes, though a vanishingly small amount… So, I will not kill you. I will feed you. I will clothe you. I will teach you.”
“What if I don’t want that from you, you old racist?” I spat at him.
“Then you’ll die. But I believe you’d like to learn a thing or two from me. What is your name?”
“Uh, it’s Lupa,” I told him, “Lupa Akheilos.”
“Pleased to meet you, Lupa Akheilos,” the old man said, extending his hand to shake, “My name is Dr. Josef Mengele.”
I was beating the living fuck out of that warehouse bitch. Kicking him, headbutting him. That sort of thing. He was bleeding quite a bit.
“Please, please stop! I don’t know where Mengele is! I’m just a low-ranking Lieutenant! I’m not privy to the locations of the leaders!” I hoped this guy wouldn’t talk, because I was really enjoying hurting him.
“Whatever,” I said to him, “You could have made it easier on yourself, but now I guess I’ll just kill you.”
“I can’t tell you anything!”
I guessed I’d just have to kill the guy. Oh, well.
That’s when Shark Horse burst through the warehouse door like a gigantic, grey equine killjoy.
“Sea Wolf!” he was barking at me, “What did you do to this man?”
“Hey, nothing you wouldn’t do, boss,” I told him.
“That’s nonsense!” Shark Horse yelled, “You don’t torture! You kill Nazis, but you don’t torture them! Do you understand? If I catch you going overboard again, don’t think I’ll hesitate to turn you back into a human and throw you in jail!”
I rolled my eyes. Shark Horse ignored that. Then he approached my quivering victim.
“Son, you’re going to jail,” he said to the twerp in a fatherly tone, “But only if you talk. I can’t control my partner over here for much longer.”
The whole good cop/bad cop thing doesn’t work if you’re a Shark Horse or a Sea Wolf, by the way. The Nazi fishmonger started freaking out.
“AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” he was pissing and shitting himself, “SHARK HORSE! THE HOOVES OF HELL! THE JAWS OF DEATH!”
The remaining Nazis call Shark Horse ‘The Jaws of Death,’ I guess. I want a cool nickname.
“Talk, son,” said Shark Horse.
“I don’t know where Mengele is,” the Nazi was screaming desperately, “I don’t get that information!”
Shark Horse glared.
“I swear!” the man yelled, “But he sends in orders! He’s started asking for fish in huge quantities! He needs them for his new army!”
Dammit, I can beat the shit out of the guy for a half hour and he says nothing, but just a look from Shark Horse makes him talk? Fuck. I guess that’s one of the perks of having killed millions of Nazis.
“What new army?” Shark Horse asked flatly.
“The Waffle-SS! They’re called the Waffle-SS and they love fish! That’s all I know! PLEASE!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!”
Gulp. I ate the guy in one bite to shut him up… He tasted like sardines. Gross.
“Dammit, Lupa!” Shark Horse yelled.
“Sorry,” I said, “Now, we need to find out what kind of army the Waffle-SS is… ”
“Well,” said Shark Horse, “What kind of army needs lots of fish?”
TO BE CONTINUED, NEXT TIME IN….