From Tajikistan With Pain |3| Joe’s Got A Gun

Part 1 | Part 2

She stormed into the room and continued shooting. I peered around the corner and saw three bodies lying on the floor. One person was hiding behind a huge desk holding their gun over the desk and firing wildly. I heard shouting and boots stamping behind me, a group of guards were making their way up the stairs. It was Joe’s time to shine.

I ran to the stairs and pulled the trigger laying down a wave of deadly metal and lead and noise. Unfortunately the guards were not yet on the stairs but just entering the door leading to it from the store room. I saw them through the gaps in the banister as they stood in shock.

“Omega team! US Special Forces! Make another move and I’ll blow this place like a cheap whore on Paddy’s day!” I shouted down at them. They starting talking rapidly then put their guns on the ground, waved at me and went back through the door. I scuttled down the stairs and picked up the four AK-47’s, ran back up and walked in to the room where Lilya now had a man on his knees with a gun pointed at his head. I threw down the guns in triumph in the center of the room and took another beer out of my pocket. The room was pretty fancy. Like what I imagine Brian Dobson’s house is like. A lot of big old wooden furniture with a lot of gold leaf on all the chairs and couches positioned about the room. Paintings, mostly large landscapes were on the walls, a thick red carpet on the floor and a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Lilya was shouting at the man on the floor. He was dressed in a military uniform with lots of gold braids and dangly medals. He must have been very good at sports. I myself have several medals from competing in 5K fun runs and nodded gravely to the man. A sign of respect from one athlete to another. He seemed to take my nod badly and started crying, he pointed to a picture on the wall behind the desk, Lilya motioned for me to check it out.

I ambled over sipping on my beer. As this was a large painting of a woodland scene it was obviously a cover for a safe. Bad guys watch movies too ya know. I swung the painting on its hinge and revealed the safe. It was about two foot tall and three wide and looked very solidly built. From the front I could see that it had some type of scanner and a keyhole. I said as much to Lilya and she grabbed the man by the hair and dragged him over to the safe. She grabbed his hand and forced his thumb onto the scanner, it beeped and there was the sound of a mechanism unlocking. Lilya shouted at the man again and he continued crying but fished around under his shirt and withdrew a golden key on a chain around his neck. She grabbed the chain and yanked it, breaking it. She opened the safe with the key and opened it.

“Grab everything inside the safe and store it in your bag.” She commanded me.

A wall frame safe -
A safe much like the one Joe is currently ransacking. via

I took off my bag and did as she said. There were multiple USB drives and paper documents, I stuffed all of them into my bag. There was also a gold plated pistol! I took that too and shoved it into the pocket of my coveralls along with the beer. This was turning into a very profitable night for me. Not so much for all the people we killed though. Got to break some eggs, etc.

I heard a bang behind me. Lilya had shot the man in the head and was now attempting to move the bodies into positions so that it looked like they had shot each other in a fucked up Mexican standoff. I finished my beer and threw away the can into the corner of the room. Being a badass mercenary can be thirsty work. Finally Lilya finished playing with the meat dolls.

“Let’s go, further up the corridor and into the last room on the right. There’s a fire escape there we can use to make our escape.” She propped her gun back to her shoulder and moved to the door. She turned and flashed a smile at me “Nice work taking out all those guards.”

“Pscht, it was nothing.”

“You might want to reload your gun.”

“Oh yeah, of course.” I pulled the bullet holder basket thing on the gun on the gun but it wouldn’t budge. Lilya walked over, pressed a button on the gun and it dropped to the ground. I fished a new one out of my belt and slotted it in. Lilya cocked (hahahahaha!) the gun for me then turned back to face the door.

She bounded out and I followed at a leisurely pace behind her cracking open another can as I did so. I followed her back up the corridor and though a door into a conference room, she had the window open and was checking out the ground bellow. There was a lot of noise coming from outside, sirens wailing and people shouting and screaming instructions. It reminded me of that time I tried to take part in a St. Patrick’s day parade but with less vomit.

“The guards are on the lookout for us.” She whispered back to me. “We’ll make our way down as silently as possible then make our way through the back alleys to the outskirts of town where the helicopter will pick us up.”

“Awesome. This is the best half-birthday I’ve ever had.”


“Yeah, it’s been six months since my last birthday and six until my next. Half -birthday. To be honest I was a little annoyed no one got me a half a cake.”

“I’ll buy you a whole cake if we get out of here without you causing a mess.”

I considered this wager for a moment. “Can I still get half a cake if I do cause a mess?”

Lilya had already exited through the window while I was mulling it over. I finished the beer, threw it on the ground and stamped it with my big boots then clambered out the window. It was a tough fit with the massive backpack but I made it after Lilya pulling on me only five or six times.

We snuck down the fire escape, stepping lightly on the metal stairs. Around us it was almost total darkness, just around the corner, at the front of the building swarmed dozens of armed guards and their dogs, bathed in the hash white light of multiple floodlights.

We reached the bottom and took off in a sprint towards the alley opposite us. It was at this point where I ran into a few bins. The noise was like when you run into six metal bins really fast while carrying a big metal gun, I’m sure you all know that sound so no need for a metaphor or simile. As I picked myself up (Thanks Lilya) and swept the detritus off my coveralls and face I heard a lot of shouting and dogs barking. I may have notified them of our position. Whatever the cause of their new found attention, I thought it prudent to run as fast as I could after Lilya who I could just make out leaping over a fence in the distance.

I ran after her and leapt over the fence landing gently on my face in the mud. I was in a pig pen, my head lying beside the food trough. I was pretty happy with this all things considered as pigs are one of my most favorite animals. Not only are they intelligent, able to solve complex puzzles, great swimmers and very tough and resilient but they are also apparently happy to be put in tiny cages where they will live their entire lives unable to even turn around or have contact with another living being before being shot in the face and being stabbed in the neck to bleed to death at six months old. Then we grind them up and from there we get sausages, lovely, lovely sausages.

A model pig sty -
Scale model of the pig sty where Joe is currently located. via

“Hello sausage.” I said to the nearest pig, giving it a little wave too. The pig oinked and walked over to me. Pigs are much bigger in person than on TV by the way, about the size of a couch. I could hear shouting coming closer from behind the fence; if I stood they’d see me. Suddenly I thought of an ingenious plan. I cracked open another beer and called over Sausage the pig.

“Here piggy piggy, I have some lovely beer for you.” I whispered in a stealthy but still also sexy way. Pigs appreciate a sultry voice. Sausage plodded his (her?) way over, took a sniff at the beer and squealed in delight. I poured the beer into the trough and then quickly squirmed underneath my new best animal.

Just in time too as the shouting reached the fence. Guards shined flashlights over the sty and beyond searching for me but they never thought to look under a drunken pig. Idiots. As soon as they departed, dogs growling and lights bouncing off the alleyways, I squirmed out again and sat up.

“That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” I said rubbing my new friend on the head while also quoting my fourth favorite film. I took another can of beer from my pocket and poured half of it into the trough as a thank you. I skulled the rest and threw the empty can away to the other side of the pen.

“Psst” came a sound from the opposite fence. I looked up and saw the top of Lilya’s head poking over the fence. I patted Sausage one last time then crawled on my hands and knees over to Lilya. I stood up and she helped me over being careful not to get all the mud that covered me on her.

“You did well there. Except for knocking over all those trash cans and causing them to chase us in the first place.”

“I’ll take the compliment!”

“It wasn’t much of a compliment.”

“I’ll take whatever I can get. Most people just shout nasty things at me.”

“Well, I…”

“Stop drinking the perfume samples in Brown Thomas Joe! Stop pulling at old peoples’ faces ‘cos you think they’re actually just wearing a mask Joe! Stop rehoming stray cats by breaking into people’s houses and leaving them there Joe! Gaaa! I could go on but I won’t.”


“Oh, alright, I’ll go on. Stop exposing yours…”

Lilya cut me off.

“We have to move now. Quickly. The helicopter will pick us up in less than half an hour. We have to be at the extraction point, they won’t wait long for us.”

“Uck, fine.”

“Follow me, I found a route while you were cowering underneath that pig.”

We clambered over a few more backyard fences then into a long and narrow alley. Think of the little alleys behind the houses in Coronation Street then add more real rats and subtract love rats. After about twenty minutes of hoping over walls and sneaking around we stopped on a dark corner on the outskirts of town. In front of us was an expanse of gravel and dirt about half the size of a football pitch. It was completely dark and silent, we couldn’t hear or see anything of the search for us.

Lilya took out her phone and started messing around with it so I took out my new golden gun and started messing around with it too.

“OK, helicopter will be here in five minutes.”


Then I accidentally fired the gun. It was super loud. Lilya hit me in the head again. She dragged me up and after her to a boulder on the edge of the field.

“Take a firing position, they will send a search party. And then they will all come running once the helicopter arrives.”

“Oh, so they were coming anyway then. Well I don’t feel too bad so.” I said in a cheery the-missions-almost-done-so-no-point-in-blaming-me-for-this way.

She hit me again.

We propped our guns up on the rock and waited for the search party to arrive. Which happened pretty quickly actually. If there’s one thing I can say about Tajikistan it’s that they sure can organize a search party pretty quickly when a major politician has just been executed by mercenaries in the dead of night. They emerged from the same alley we had just left shouting. Always bloody shouting, they’d never make a super-secret spy/mercenary like me.

There seemed to be about five of them, although Lilya opened up with her gun once they arrived and had shot at least two of them. They started returning fire just as the noisy whirring of the helicopter approaching started. They were just leaning around the corners firing wildly, shooting mostly far over our heads. I was being more restrained in my shooting, laying down depressive fire. I guess it’s called that because it’s really depressing if you get shot.

The noise of the helicopter turned into a roar as it circled, shining spot lights down on the entire field and began landing about twenty meters behind us. I loaded my last bullet basket thing into my gun and let rip in the direction of the bad guys as the copter’s wheel’s touched dirt.

“Go, go, go!” Lilya screamed into my ear.

“I heard you the first time!” I screamed at her rapidly retreating back.

Taking in full awareness of the situation I crawled away from the rock then jumped up and absolutely legged it to the open door of the copter. I jumped in but slightly misjudged my landing as my belly hit the edge of the floor leaving me half hanging out of the copter as it quickly ascended.

“Huruhghg!” I exclaimed loudly as Lilya quickly grabbed my arms and pulled me in the rest of the way. She moved to close the door as I sat up and looked around. There was someone else in the room with us.

“Mr Kennedy” said the dark man standing against the entrance to the cabin “We have much to discuss…”

Main image via