Refreshing Monologues

Desperado coverby Jonathan Turner

We’ve all been there — facing down a vampire and scraping the bottom of the ability pool for points. Next time you’re stuck for just the right moment of badass for that Night’s Black Agents refresh maneuver, use one of these and bask in the approbation of your fellow gamers along with the surge of points to your ability score.


Headbutts. Knees. Elbows. I explode in a flurry of nose-crunching, eye gouging close-in attacks. More suited for a bar-room brawl than a battlefield, but a thumb in the eye is a thumb in the eye no matter where it happens.

It’s the perfect moment, like a slow cliff-top dive into the ocean. Time slows as I duck under my opponent’s clumsy punch and flow upwards, my heel strike taking him under the chin with a sound like granite sliding over glass. Inside him, something breaks. Something bad.

This guy knows Krav Maga… but he didn’t train with the elite Maglan special forces in Israel like I did. He throws a hook punch and a heel kick, but I saw them coming last Tuesday. A roundhouse knee kick puts him halfway down, and a throat-strike takes him the rest of the way. So close, I smell the onion bagel he had for breakfast on his breath.

In aikido, you channel your opponent’s force like pouring tea into a teacup. This guy comes at me as hard as he can, which is his last mistake. I turn his straight punch into a wrist grab, shutting down his ulnar nerve and killing the hand, then I flow into a knife-hand strike to the maxilliary sinus. It might not kill, but it hurts.

This is savate de rue, not the pretty style of the dojo, but the bone-crunching, teeth-shattering style of the street. A direct bra arriére cross and a crochet hook has him watching my hands, but his block opens him up for a painful chassé italien to the inner thigh and a devastating fouetté whip kick to the head.


I didn’t learn my best knife-fighting in a dojo, I learned it in prison. People expect knife-fighters to dance around, so when I rush this guy screaming like a maniac, I can tell from the look in his eyes he’s surprised. And that lets me get close enough to ram the Cold Steel SRK into his chest with every ounce of force I’ve got.

I don’t use knives to fight, I use knives to win. This guy’s big, and he’s fast, but a blade beats a fist every time. I slash his forearm to lower his guard, then smash him in the face with the Gerber’s knuckle duster style guard. Something in his face splinters like a twig.

As this mook comes in swinging, I keep my wrist turned in, the 3.5” blade of my K-BAR hidden behind my hand. The first time he knows I have it is when I punch it sideways into his intercostal space, between his third and fourth rib. He thinks I just punched him… until he realises he’s bleeding to death.

The karamit in my fist is Indonesian, the curved blade ideal for cutting and slicing. I go at this guy like a surgeon cutting out a cancer. Wrist. Shoulder. Forearm. Ear. Anything he shows me gets sliced as I force him to back off and give me space for a proper strike.

There are lots of “experts” out there who claim they can teach you how to knife fight. But they’ll only get you killed. I’m not one of those. I’m the real deal. No wasted effort. Total economy of movement. I wait for him to make a move, then I elbow his guard aside and bury the tanto tip Gerber into his jugular notch.


Parkour’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle in a hurricane, finding where the pieces need to go at a hundred miles an hour. I sprint at this wall and hit it with a passe muraille, toe off a drainpipe, window ledge and edge onto the roof. Then I hammer across the tiles and Kong over to the next roof.

That roof in front of me is higher than this one, but in reminds me of one in London’s South Bank where I learned how to free run for the first time. I know I can make it. I spring into a Saut de Bras, knees up, kick forward into the other wall and hook my fingers onto the ledge. Up and over. All that work with my Mash Monster grip enhancer is paying off!

The fire escape is out of reach, but the alley’s pretty narrow. I kick off and Tic Tac up, twist onto the bottom rung and haul myself onto the ladder. Whoever’s behind me is going to struggle to make that jump.


My target cuts from cover and for a second I’m back in the Kill House in Hereford on that first exercise with simunition — blazing away at a moving target and not believing I missed with everything. But not here. Not now. Track. Lead. Squeeze. BANG!

The glow-in-the-dark Suresight on my Glock 19 Gen4 lines up perfectly as I swing the little pistol around, making sure my snap shot on the fly is as accurate as any on the range.

I punch my SIG P239 towards the bad guy’s muzzle flash and it goes off with the smooth Swiss precision of a Breitling: BANG! BANG! BANG! Every round on target. Every round a hit. Every hit a kill.

The acrylic custom SPD grip on my Beretta Px4 Storm nestles comfortably in my gloved hand as I lay down a constant cadence of fire from the Weaver position. Fire. Move. Fire. Move. Fire. Fire. Fire.

I snap my Five-seveN® Tactical from my Model 6005 tactical holster and cover the room. Polymer slide, DEVGRU camo scheme, custom Picatinny rail with Viridian X5L laser sight and extended mag with 30 rounds of 5.7 x 28mm armour-piercing ammo. I’m ready for anything these bastards feel like throwing at me.

The only thing better than an extended mag, fully-automatic Glock G18c is two extended mag, fully-automatic Glock G18cs. Hang two 5 megawatt ZT-EO5 laser sights off the muzzles to balance the weight and it’s more rock and roll than the Stones. As these guys I’m pointing ‘em at are about to find out…

The muzzle flash of my MP7 is reflected in the Plutonite lenses of my Oakley SI Flak Jacket shades as I lay another devastating burst into the bad guys.

I take a knee and cover the alley with my HK MP7, peering through the Sightmark reflex sight on the top Picatinny rail, gloved hand balancing the German submachinegun’s stubby Osprey suppressor.

I line up on the bad guys with my EoTech Holographic Sight and the FN P90 rocks almost comfortingly in my hands as I lay down a long burst — the Warlock 2 sound suppressor choking the gunfire into nothing more than a muffled cough.

The Magpul angled foregrip on my HK 416 makes aiming as easy as pointing. And when I aim at the bad guys, the ACOG / red dot TA01NSN sight makes it easy to find them. And when I find them, all it takes is a squeeze of the custom Geissele trigger to cut them down to size.

The PP-19 Bizon is a typically Russian firearm. Cheap, ugly and effective. The only fancy thing is the 64-round helical magazine, which gives me twice as many rounds as these mooks. But the best thing about it? If I run outta ammo, I can hit you with it as hard as I like and it’ll still work afterwards.


That tight little junction up ahead is a hazard, but like my driving instructor at the Farm used to say, a hazard can be attacked as well as avoided. I throw the Lexus down into second and push it into the red, engine throttling up into a roar as I gun for the gap, muscling oncoming cars out of the way.

I overcook it into the bend in an effort to cut ahead, the suspension sucking the tarmac like an octopus with vertigo. As I hit the apex, the big Lexus’s tail starts to swing out wide… I steer in just a touch, change down and I’m gone.

Always go less metal. I hammer towards the junction ahead, cutting into the half-empty right lane, powering through and slicing hard left. I slither past a startled looking grandmother as she bimbles out — leaving her squarely between me and the bad guys.

Mud on the road means something big and heavy and fatal ahead. A glance over the hedges and I see a tractor trundling out of a field. I change down, throttle off, don’t touch the brake, time it so I scrape past the front of the tractor just as it pulls into this narrow little lane. That trailer it was hauling looked to have something sharp and spikey on the back. I sure hope on this wet, muddy road the guys behind us don’t slide straight into it.

I didn’t spend all day driving around these back roads not to spot a few shortcuts. I cut off the blacktop onto this forestry track, slam through the gate I left open earlier and past two startled dog walkers. It’s all sliding, slippery mud, but I drove this route yesterday and I know every curve. The guy behind me doesn’t. Left onto the hill, grab some air at the top, wipers already on max as I slam through a ford, up and out onto a parallel road.

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