Max the First: A maniac with a chainsaw
A Maniac with a Chainsaw
- There’s an old saying; “Know your enemy! Because if you’re only casual acquaintances, he’ll probably take a chainsaw to your face.”
2006 Combat finals!
“What the hell was that, boy?” The figure of Gunnery Sergeant Oscar Bardue seemed to tower over the sniffling student.
“That was pathetic, just pathetic! You didn’t even try to defend yourself, you just ran away, pathetic!”
The boy, Armor, sniffled again.
“It’s...It’s not my fault, the guy’s crazy, he’s insane. Everyone knows that! He came at me with a fucking chainsaw!” Armor nearly screamed the last part.
“Mind your language, Armor.” The calm voice of Sensei Tatsuo Ito broke through the argument.
Armor flinched slightly before shrugging apologetically.
Gunny Bardue brought up Armor’s MID on the screen in the debriefing room.
“Son, what does your MID say your powers are?”
Despite already knowing it by heart, Armor looked at it for a second and read it in a trembling voice.
“Uh...Exemplar Five, PK Four A…” He looked back at Gunny Bardue.
“That’s right, Son, You’re a PK Superman! Now, what does D.E.M.’s MID say?” Gunny Bardue brought up the other student’s MID.
Armor read it over once more before responding.
“Wiz...uh...Wiz 2, Warp Five P…He’s...He’s a probabi...mangl-”
Before he could finish, the other student spoke up.
“That is an outrageous accusation! I do not “mangle” anything! I resent-” He too was interrupted, this time by Gunny Bardue.
“Shut up boy, I’ll get to you in a moment!”
D.E.M. Held up his hands, still holding the chainsaw in the left one.
“Now, son. As a PK Superman capable of punching with almost two tonnes of force and withstanding direct hits from heavy caliber firearms. And you ran from a guy with a chainsaw? A guy who doesn’t even have enhanced strength, durability or speed?
“Mind explaining that brilliant strategy to me?”
Armor did his best to not look Gunny Bardue in the eyes, he knew he had messed up.
“It’s just...It’s just that, he came running with that chainsaw and I...He’s crazy, you know that, everyone knows that. And they have pigs on his farm!”
“Pigs? What of it?” Gunny Bardue asked.
“I...I thought he was, uh, I thought he was going to chainsaw me into little pieces and feed me to his pigs. He’s crazy!”
Gunny Bardue shook his head.
“Sit down, Armor. And you, D.E.M. I’ve seen you lug that piece of junk around all semester, but not once have I seen you turn it on. What’s the deal with the chainsaw?”
Deus Ex Maximus, or just Max like he preferred to be called, merely shrugged and held up the chainsaw.
“You mean the Vice President here? Well-”
“You call your chainsaw the Vice President?”
“Sure, Dick Cheney, chainy. Chainsaw. Anyway, it was all part of the plan really. I figured that, well, okay. I believe it was our dear departed Mr. Mahren who said in the first Firearms Safety class that a firearm carried with it a universal threat of violence, right?”
Both Gunny Bardue and Sensei Ito nodded.
“Corporal Mahren did say that, yes. What’s the point?” Gunny Bardue asked.
“Well, Gunny, Sensei. A known deranged lunatic screaming like a maniac running towards you swinging a chainsaw carries with it a universal threat of, like Armor said, “Oh God, he’s going to chainsaw me into little pieces and feed me to his pigs”. That’s really all there is to it, about the Vice President.”
Both Gunny Bardue and Sensei Ito looked at him, surprise on both their faces.
“Maybe we should take that chainsaw, the Vice President away from you, until you’ve talked with Doctor Bellows, that is.” Gunny Bardue suggested.
“No no, that really isn’t necessary, Gunny. You see, since the beginning of the term I’ve been steadily cultivating a reputation for being somewhat odd, possibly even crazy up to the point that the entire school, including the faculty, thinks I need professional help.
Hell, Mr. Forrest even suggested I see Dr. Bellows or one of his henchmen. Anyway, combine that reputation with a little white lie about growing up on a pig farm…”
Max indicated Armor and his soiled uniform.
“Voila! One scared opponent and a win for me!”
“Wait, are you saying you’re not crazy, boy?” Gunny Bardue asked, a mixture of disbelief and astonishment on his face.
“Like Tom Gump said, “Crazy is as stupid does!” D.E.M. answered with his wide smile all over his face.
Gunny Bardue pinched the bridge of his nose. Despite himself, Sensei Ito slowly shook his head, not sure if he liked the boy’s logic, but understanding it all the same.
“But D.E.M. The Gunnery Sergeant has a point, Armor is PK Superman. What would you have done if he hadn’t reacted as he did?”
“Well, it was a calculated risk, besides, I do have other holdouts on me. But they are difficult and time-consuming to make, so I’d rather prefer not using them.
As it turns out, it wasn’t necessary anyway, because Armor here reacted exactly as I wanted him to.”
“So, your entire plan basically hinged on a guess?” Gunny Bardue asked.
“Well, not entirely, like I said; A calculated risk combined with what basically amounts to psychological warfare conducted against the entire school. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, that I’m exactly the kind of person who’d take a chainsaw to another student.
But sure, a bit of guesswork, I admit, but at some point, you just have to throw the crazy guy into the pool and hope he’ll chainsaw the water to pieces.”
Gunny Bardue ran his hand over his pate, clearly thinking things through.
“Armor, you failed to achieve the goal of the exercise despite having a clear upper hand, plus you allowed yourself to be intimidated by rumors and hearsay. I’m afraid we have to give you an F.”
Armor jumped up.
“But that’s not fair, the manual doesn’t say anything about chainsaws being allowed! He cheated!”
“It also doesn’t say anything about chainsaws not being allowed.” Max said with a smile.
“I’ve been carrying the Vice President around since I enrolled, just for this purpose.”
Sensei Ito held up a hand for silence.
“Enough, D.E.M. Despite them being unusual and unorthodox, your methods were clearly effective and well thought through. An excellent application of The Art of War, well done. You get an A for the Final, and a weeks detention in the sewer for threatening a fellow student with a chainsaw!”
“Hey, thanks Sens...wait, what?”