Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Hank Rockjaw in 200 Pounds of Destruction! Part 4

Hank was wedged in an air vent in the Nazi base. He had recovered his enormous steamer trunk from the flaming wreckage. Only a few scorched stickers from his travels bore the scars of the inferno. Between that two-hundred pound case and the captured Nazi that he was dragging along with him, he'd gotten all three of them stuck at a bend in the vent.

"Ach! Let me go!" the Nazi cried.

"Shut up, or I'll knock your jaw off," Hank said.

"With what arm? You're as tangled up as I am, and I can't even scratch an itch on my leg."

"Here?" Hank said, wiggling a finger.

"Yes! Thank you!"

"You're welcome. You're a Nazi, so you don't know what compassion is, but that's the backbone of right-thinking people everywhere. Now, urgh, damn. Can you give me a push?"

"How?"

"Isn't that one of your legs back there? Kick against my trunk. It may look shabby but it's plenty sturdy."

"It's not doing anything."

"Push harder!" Hank said.

"How about noooowwwww-"

The vent jiggled, then wiggled, then broke open and they spilled out of it. They landed in a pile on the concrete floor. The room looked to be the nerve center of the environmental controls of the secret Nazi base. An enormous boiler at the other end of the room spewed steam out of every joint while enormous fans at the terminals of ventiliation ducts cut through the air with staccato thwaps. Swastikas covered the walls.

"Nazis!" Hank shouted. The Nazis unslung their Sturmgewehr 44 rifles and opened fire on Hank. He dove behind a nest of pipes, dragging his trunk and captive behind him.

"I've got one of your own, and I'll kill him if you don't lay your weapons down!" Hank yelled. He fumbled with the latches on his trunk.

Laughter filled the room. Hank frowned at the sound as the lid of the trunk popped open to reveal an armory. Rifles, pistols and grenades covered in the inside of the case, along with rope, tools and what looked to be a collapsible spear.

"Do you know who you have captured?" one of the Nazis called.

"No," Hank whispered to his captive. "Who have I captured?" Hank looked over his captive's uniform, which was completely plain. No adornments of rank, no Nazi armband, just a faint smell of must and soap.

"You have captured Herr Wilhelm, untersoldat!"

"I don't speak fascist," Hank said.

"It is a term of derision. And my name's not Wilhelm. I made that up to fit in. Like I said, I'm from Wisconsin. My name is Adam," he said, his eyes downcast. "Literally, it means under soldier. Functionally, it means non-stop latrine duty. Scrubbing boots. Laundering clothes. What these men do to their clothes," Adam said, with a faraway look in his eyes.

"But you came out to capture me!" Hank said.

"I came to empty a washbasin and tagged along with those others to get some air! In the beautiful Alps and all I smell is sweat and dirty laundry!"

The other Nazis were laughing. Hank considered this.

"Do you know where Herr Oblong's office is?"

"I have to. He keeps a spittoon," Adam said, shuddering. "The things that come out of his throat."

"Take me there," Hank said.

"It's through the door at the other end of the room," Adam replied.

The Nazis had suspected that Hank was unarmed, and had sent one of their fellows to flush Hank out.

Hank rose to clobber the Nazi, but Adam was already on his feet and had seized a nearby broom. He swept the Nazi's feet out from underneath him. The Nazi hit his head on a pipe on the way down and was knocked out cold.

"You're really cleaning up this base!" Hank yelled. He pulled out two Thompson submachine guns from his case and leapt from behind the pipes. The guns roared to life.

"Enjoy some hot American lead and leave the goose-stepping to the birds!" Hank shouted, the muzzles of the guns flashing as he sprayed down the room. The stream of bullets cut through the straps holding up a stack of crates, and they tumbled down onto the Nazis.

After guns finished emptying their drums, Hank tossed them to the ground and hefted his trunk onto his shoulder. From a sheath beneath his pants he pulled out a knife that would've been a sword in the hands of a smaller man. Adam guided them through grey concrete tunnels that made Brutalist architecture look organic in comparison. Hank never once got a chance to use his blade as Adam's eyes burned red with pent-up rage, fueled by humiliation and expressed via the long end of a broom.

"Here's Herr Oblong's office. The skinny bastard's probably inside, asleep, drooling out some tobacco slime. That I'll have to wash out of his collar. That I used to have to wash out of his collar," Adam said, with an evil grin.

"Rise and shine, all that beauty sleep ain't helping!" Hank said, shoving open the door and brandishing the knife at...nothing. The room was empty of everything except a laptop sitting on an empty desk.

"Where's all of Herr Oblong's stuff? He had maps and charts strewn all over," Adam said.

Hank didn't like the look of things. He walked over to the laptop and, on a hunch, flipped open the top. There was a hand-written note.

"You Covert Secret Ops Agents are stupid, and I have captured Regina Riasonovski. She is being held at Festung Kleinschlange and will be executed unless my own secret agent, Herr John Smith, is exchanged tomorrow at the coordinates contained within this laptop," Hank said aloud, reading around the drips of brown tobacco drool. "By the way, CSOA is a terrible acronym. And you're stupid. Love, Herr Oblong."

"Regina!" Hank said. "I'm coming to save you!"

The Moral: your princess is in another secret Nazi base.

To be continued!

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

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