The Real Thing   

This story is ©Arne Sommer (arnesom@ifi.uio.no) 1998/2000/2002.

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Beeing a mercenary has it's fair share of occupational hassles, infested manoeuvres beeing one of them.

'See the world', the recruiting officer had said. He hadn't mentioned the rest; 'shoot at it, and get the hell out of there before it shoots back at you'.

I was sitting in a bar somewhere in Africa, drinking my way to executive status with the barman, when a soldier in a similarly non-descript uniform as my own aquired my attention.

'Do you mind if I join you?'

I gave a careless motion with the left hand, mindfull of the glass in the other one.

We chatted about everything, but something nagged me. It finally came back; he had said that he was with the light brigade, but we didn't have one. Perhaps the other lot had one, and he had gotten lost?

'Which army?', I inquired.

'The army of God.'

An empty whisky bottle and politeness don't quite mix. 'Oh, another fanatic?' I didn't know of any religious implications in this particular conflict, but one never knows.

'No!'

That narrowed it down quite a bit, and left a single - and stupid - solution.

'The Salvation Army, then?' I said with heavy irony.

'No. The real thing.'

And he was gone.

real.mhtml © Arne Sommer 17. Jan 2017 00:13:32