VIII : In Spades

The Amateur was settling in for an all-night Scooby-Doo marathon, so that he may shout names and pull faces at Scrappy-Doo, when suddenly he picked up a sound near the door. A bell ring to be precise. Well the Amateur isn’t that easily fooled. At the end of the marathon, he found this sheet slid under the door, clipped to a “you were unable to receive this parcel” card.

Finally, The Amateur would be able to pick locks at the speed of Geoff Houdini, or Geoff Blaine. In fact that was probably the same guy, he wasn’t as good as the people he named himself after. And now the Amateur would be part of that heady showbiz world. But first, to business without Show. The giver of the card had clearly raked through Muldoon’s facebook to find the most classy picture out there. To the Missippissi!

Upon arrival, The Amateur noted that the cargo-workers had been playing too much Tetris, and decided to ascend the box ramp they had laid on with huge manly strides. Once upstairs he met the first of what would be many, many sailors with their back turned to him.

Incidentally, The Amateur cannot help but notice how ridiculously musclebound every single man on this ship is. This is because of his fine sense of vision, context and placement, not because of Gay. Well, unless they were to proposition him with an adorable little candle in a bottle.

The Amateur is not made of stone. Shame he’s unable to proposition or, indeed, see. Next to the wonderful bottle is an engine room key, so The Amateur has his next location.

As part of a test, The Amateur resolves to see exactly how much noise you can make before it filters through those fearsome earmuffs. Basically, it turns out a lot. After stealth-shovelling a member of the Gator gang (five to go!), and two inquisitive engineers, including one Benny Hill chase down a corridor, The Amateur successfully gets behind and spades a sailor. He comes across a waiter of some description who is smoking. The Amateur, infuriated that his message is not getting through, puts it out for him.

A couple of sailors later, The Amateur realises there’s no-one but that original engineer left on the bottom deck. In many ways, he has only himself to blame, The Amateur would have picked that level of noise or lack of it straight away. Or the sound of a fire extinguisher being stealthily wielded.

The Amateur then begins the long process of throwing everyone overboard. He is keen to point out that he didn’t actually kill anyone yet, that blame rests with the Misspississippi. Also that he found a shortcut to avoid dragging bodies down stairs.

The Amateur wonders if there is much ship left to go.

Bugger. Better get on with it. The Amateur devises a 6-step plan to clear the ship of occupants in a co-ordinated and organised fashion.

1. Look through keyhole of door. If target is facing away, go to 3

2. If target facing door, open door and, in full view of said target, throw coin at some surface in the room. This will distract them

3. Run at target and batter about the head with fists or shovel, trying to avoid getting shot.

4. Change clothes with the newly-unconcious mariner, to throw the investigators off the scent.

5. Drag them through what is probably 18 miles of corridor to the nearest railing.

6. Toss into the Msizpippee. Chalk up another accident and tut at the Health and Safety Board that thought this cruise was a good idea.

But The Amateur does not wish you to think he is a purely brutish creature. He keeps two shots of subtlety about his person at all times, to deploy in emergencies.

Well, one shot now. By the time the third deck is empty, The Amateur has acquired a master keycard to get in any room, a VIP pass to quantify exactly how important he is, a bitchin’ tuxedo for swanky purposes, and a profound hatred of people who do not stay in rooms with sea views. Up to deck four, then.

Ah geez. The Amateur could well do the same here. That is, after all, how he earned the title that came with the answer phone, but something stirs within him, the memory of that little bottle candle, the thought, the love, the care…The Amateur resolves from this day forth not to kill for the sake of killing. These people shall be free! Free from his reign of terror!

The Amateur heads up to the top deck, to apologise personally to Captain Muldoon, but is accosted by another waiter, who is very insistent he can’t come this way. A struggle ensues, and…he may have fallen into the mxikixsipppi.

The Amateur, feeling super-guilty, is in no mood for the taunts of this Gator gang dude, but he wont’ let up and soon enough he, too, is tumbling into the drink. The Amateur will make up for this, he must! In the kitchen he espies a giant cake.

The Amateur must confess his fingers twitched here, imploring him to fill the cake with explosives but The Amateur held firm. A cake must be a delicious cake. And what is he doing with all these guns! Ugh! Into the river with you!

Well, uh, maybe not the Nailgun, that’s got sentimental value. Skipper Muldoon seems happy to receive the cake, and all is well in the world, when suddenly The Amateur hears choking noises and rushes in to perform the heimlich maneuver.

Shit, the rest of the gang might be choking on this deadly cake, or worse have the hiccups. The Amateur has heard that being upside-down can help them.

The Amateur administers this treatment to the whole gang and helps himself to some payment. If he’s not going to be killing people for money he needs to make ends meet somehow.



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