He's Shaped Like A Friend!

By all accounts, Johnny was pretty bad at killing gods. Granted, his job didn't explicitly call for that as a prerequisite, but the official motto of his department stated it quite clearly. "If you can't contain it, kill it; otherwise, contain it or your ass is off the squad." Johnny had been reminded of this more times than he could count.

Of course, he had his methods of bluffing through performance reviews. Over his years as a task force operative, he'd carefully tailored his appearance to be the toughest of MTF Xi-2, far outstripping Charlie with his single neck-scar and lackluster abdomen. Johnny displayed his injuries proudly, toned his muscles like a knife on whetstone, and kept quiet in the back like a silent dragon. All that dedication, just so moments like this became a little more bearable.

"Johnny, I'm gonna be frank with you," said Captain Hardin, a man whose biceps flexed unconsciously every thirty seconds. "I should have kicked your ass off the squad the day you showed up at recruitment. What is this? Explain these numbers to me."

Hardin lifted the papers up to Johnny's face — an obvious show of power. Johnny refused to be bullied by his commanding officers.

"That's us saving the world, sir. You send us in and we smash things up until the demiurge is dead or contained; seems like we had a 95% success rate this year."

"Wrong, soldier!" This captain's eyes gleamed with predatory opportunism. "The rest of your squad had a 95% success rate this year; how about your numbers? Would you like to explain how a senior task force operative has only managed to terminate two of his ninety-five targets?"

Johnny didn't miss a beat, framing his broad shoulders against the back of the chair. "Been doing support. Saving my team. Scoping things out."

Hardin sneered at him, tongue running over nicotine-stained teeth. "If you're so interested in support, soldier, I can transfer you to Gamma-8 to hang out with your fellow tech junkies. Now get the hell out of my office. If your next review comes back as poor as this one, you may want to look for a new career."

Johnny thought that over as he left the office. Maybe he should be looking for something new.

Maybe he just wasn't right for killing gods.


-o-

Memories.


-o-

Beach.


-o-

Memories.


-o-

Beach.

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