Thor Slaymaster pushed the elevator button for the first floor. He was traveling light–a shotgun, a sniper rifle, two handguns, and the usual assortment of knives and grenades. Thor Slaymaster was never a Boy Scout–some said he was never a boy–but he was always prepared.
The elevator stopped on the fiftieth floor, and a man in a cheap blue suit got on and eyed Thor’s arsenal. “No chainsaw?” he asked.
“No chainsaw,” Thor said. “Chainsaws snap. Chainsaws jam. Chainsaws overheat. Chainsaws run out of gasoline just when the next zombie horde shows up.”
“That’s a good line. Mind if I use it?”
“Why? Do you need to impress your girlfriend?”
“I’m a reporter,” the man said. “For the Sun-Herald. Where are you going with all that?”
“Helicopter,” Thor Slaymaster said. The week before, a flying killbot armada tried to take out Thor Slaymaster’s high-rise office. Thor attacked the killbots with remote artillery and a laser-pulse rifle, but one of the dying killbots impacted on the building’s roof and damaged a support column under the helipad. That meant that Thor Slaymaster had to use the elevator to get to the secondary helipad on the adjacent parking garage.
“So, Thor, when you get in your helicopter, where will you be going?”
Thor Slaymaster gave the reporter a long, withering stare. Thor Slaymaster wasn’t on a first-name basis with anything except death.
“It was just a question,” the reporter said.
“Helicopters go up in the air,” Thor Slaymaster said. “Then they come down. If you are lucky, you come down with them. Did you bring a parachute?”
“Well, no,” the reporter said.
“Reporters don’t need weapons. The pen is mightier than the sword.”
“Whoever said that,” Thor Slaymaster said, “had a pen and not a sword.”
Thor Slaymaster’s helicopter didn’t have a name, like “Airwolf” or “Blue Thunder”. It was just “Thor Slaymaster’s Helicopter.” It had a picture of Thor Slaymaster on the tail, in case that anyone looking at the twin machine gun mounts and the flamethrower attachments wouldn’t immediately figure that out.
“It’s quite the machine,” the reporter said, although nobody heard him because the helicopter had started its engines. Thor Slaymaster pointed to the door, and he and the reporter got on board. There were headphones dangling from the hook, and the reporter put them on.
“Everybody strapped in?” the pilot asked. “We’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.”
“Fifteen minutes?” the reporter asked. “There’s no zombies within a thousand miles of here.”
“True,” Thor Slaymaster said.
“If you’re not killing zombies today, then what? Killbots?”
“Aliens? Vampires? Alien vampires? Godzilla? What?”
“Animal rights protesters,” Thor Slaymaster said.
“Animal rights protesters? You’re not serious. You can’t be serious. Why would anyone send Thor Slaymaster out after animal rights protesters?”
“It has been a slow week,” Thor Slaymaster explained.
“This is an outrage. Regardless what you feel about animal rights, protesters have a right to get their viewpoint out there. As long as they’re peaceful and not causing anyone problems, they shouldn’t send you or anyone else out there to intimidate them.”
Thor Slaymaster let the left corner of his mouth curl up, just a touch. Thor Slaymaster didn’t believe in intimidation. He believed in gunpowder, chromium steel, and blunt force trauma.
“You’re not going out there to intimidate them. You’re going out there to murder them. How can you do something like that?” the reporter asked.
“You aim the machine gun and pull the trigger,” Thor Slaymaster said. “Unless you would rather use a pen.”
“This is ridiculous,” the reporter said. “This is insane. You can’t just turn machine guns loose on peaceful animal rights protesters.”
Just then, the helicopter hovered over a clearing in the forest below. The reporter looked down and saw a large group of snarling, angry bears.
“They don’t look peaceful,” Thor Slaymaster said.
“You said they were protesters,” the reporter said.
“Look.” Sure enough, one of the bears was carrying a sign that said “KILL ALL HUMANƧ.”
“How can a bear make a sign like that?” the reporter asked.
“They are not true bears,” Thor Slaymaster said. “They are hyperbears. They were genetically engineered to fight Russian zombies on the Alaska front. These escaped the lab.”
“That means they’re intelligent. You can’t just slaughter intelligent creatures.”
“Hyperbears are not that intelligent,” Thor Slaymaster said. “If they were, they would have invented a rocket launcher.”
The helicopter swiveled around to give Thor Slaymaster an open line of fire. Thor Slaymaster took control of the right-side machine gun and unleashed a furious barrage into the protesting hyperbears. His precision fire mowed down half of their contingent. The other half disappeared into the woods. Thor Slaymaster affixed a laser sight to his sniper rifle, and picked off three of the retreating hyperbears.
The last of the hyperbears found a clearing in the woods. He was still carrying his “KILL ALL HUMANƧ” sign, and waved it at the helicopter. “Come down and fight me like a bear, Thor Slaymaster,” he said.
“If you like,” Thor Slaymaster told the reporter, “you can go down and interview him.”
“No thanks,” said the reporter. “Are you going to fight him like a bear?”
“I am going to fight him like a human,” Thor Slaymaster said. “Richie?”
“Yes, Mr. Slaymaster?” the pilot said.
“Are we out of the heat-seeking missiles?”
The missile caught the hyperbear square in his belly, and little bloody scraps of bear meat spattered the forest floor.
The helicopter turned back towards the city. “Do you have your story for tomorrow?” Thor Slaymaster asked the reporter.
“I was thinking something along the lines of ‘Heartless Lunatic Wipes Out Innocent Forest Animals,’” the reporter said.
“Richie, did you install the passenger ejection seat yet?” Thor Slaymaster asked.
“Can’t remember,” Richie said. “Want me to hit the control and find out?”
“Wait!” the reporter said. “How about ‘Thor Slaymaster Saves City from Hyperbear Threat.’ That work for everyone?”
“The press,” Thor Slaymaster said. “So fickle.”