Larry Correia

Monster Hunter International

Chapter 1

On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Now, I didn't just wake up that morning and decide that I was going to kill my boss with my bare hands. It really was much more complicated than that. In my life up to that point I would never have even considered something that sounded so crazy. I was just a normal guy, a working stiff. Heck, I was an accountant. It doesn't get much more mundane than that.

That one screwed-up event changed my life. Little did I realize that turning my boss into sidewalk pizza would have so many bizarre consequences. Well, technically, he did not actually hit the sidewalk. He landed on the roof of a double-parked Lincoln Navigator, but I digress.

My name is Owen Zastava Pitt and this is my story.

The finance department of Hansen Industries, Inc. was on the fourteenth floor of a generic-looking office building in downtown Dallas. There were ten of us accountants, placed in ten cubicles in a narrow patch of office sandwiched between marketing and the women's restroom. It was your standard professional office, complete with blue industrial carpet, motivational posters, Dilbert cartoons, and some dead potted plants. I was the new guy.

It was a pretty good job. The pay was respectable. The work was semi-interesting. Most of my co-workers were easy to get along with. It was my first actual serious career-type job after college, or at least my first job that didn't require heavy lifting or bouncing drunks.

Now I had a 401k and dental benefits. My plan was to work hard, find myself a wife, have some kids, and settle down in the suburbs. I was a young professional, and my future looked bright.

There was only one major drawback to my job with such a fine, established company. My boss was an angry idiot. Mr. Huffman was the worst kind of boss, incompetent and always able to find an underling to blame for his own screw-ups. Plus he was mad at the world, not really for any specifics, mind you, but more mad at the world in a general way for being mean to him. Despite his laziness and stupidity, his little pig brain just could not comprehend why he was never promoted beyond the same position that he had held for the last decade. It was obvious to him that the world was out to wrong him. After getting to know the man, I could not blame the world one bit.

As the newest hire in the Hansen Industries Internal Auditing Department, I was the designated whipping boy for Mr. Huffman's fury. The previous newest hire had committed suicide, thereby creating the opening that I now filled. At the time I had not really made the connection between job satisfaction and the likelihood of taking a bottle of sleeping pills and washing it down with a fifth of scotch.

It had been another twelve-hour day, as had become my custom, always hopelessly behind, trying to learn as I went, and realizing that college really did not have much of anything to do with the real world. Since my supervisor, the vile Mr. Huffman, was supposed to train me, I was pretty much screwed from the get-go. Since I currently had no life outside of work (except for every Saturday when I worked on my hobby), I did not really mind staying late. Hopefully it would impress somebody important at the company, who might offer me a transfer to their department and out of Huffman's.

At least the month had been pleasant. Mr. Huffman had been on vacation camping at some national park or another. He had come back for a week, wherein he had stayed locked in his office, never speaking to anyone or returning any calls, and then went out on sick leave for a few more weeks. His annual vacation was usually my department's most productive time of the year. Go figure.

I glanced absently at my watch. 8:05 p.m. The surrounding gray-carpeted cubes were quiet. My stomach growled, signaling that the bag of Cheetos and the banana I had eaten for lunch had long since worn off. It was time to go. I logged out of my computer, locked up my files, and put on my coat as I headed for the door. Believing I was the only one there, I killed the lights on the way out. Then the intercom buzzed. It made me jump.

'Who's there?' The ponderous voice belonged to Mr. Huffman. That was a surprise. I had not known that he was back yet. Damn. I kept walking, deciding to pretend that I had not heard the intercom. If Huffman were here this late, then I did not want to get assigned whatever crap job he was working on, which, knowing what a lazy slug he was, was sure to happen. He would probably call it delegating, and pat himself on the back for being such a proactive member of the management team.

'Owen? Is that you? Come to my office immediately!' Busted. 'Now, Owen. This is important!' He sounded as officious and pompous as usual.

As I sulked toward his office I had to wonder how he had known it was me. Probably a lucky guess. He must have seen the lights go out from his office. I started thinking of excuses to give him about why I needed to leave, but knew from long experience that he would just shoot them all down. Martial arts class? Nope, he already thinks I'm too militant, and he doesn't even know about my gun collection. Church? Fat chance of that. Date? I wish. Sick mother? Worth a shot, I thought. So I approached his office preparing the story about how I needed to tend to my ill mother. She lived three states away, but what Huffman didn't know couldn't hurt him.

When I entered Huffman's office, all thoughts of my mom's imaginary sickness disappeared. The lights were off, which was very weird. I could not see my boss, as the back of his leather swivel chair was toward me. The city lights provided a small amount of illumination through the windows. I never could figure out how a toad like him had scored a corner office with a view. Perhaps he had some incriminating photos of the CFO with a hooker or something. His huge oak desk was a mess, and there was a stained paper sack sitting in the middle that must have been his dinner. Whatever was in the bag was slowly leaking a sloppy puddle onto the papers on the desk.

'Have a seat, Owen,' Huffman rasped. His voice sounded strange. He did not turn around to look at me. From the top of his head it appeared that he was looking at the evening sky.

'Uh, no thanks, sir… I've really got to be going. My mom is sick and…'

'I… said… SIT!' he shouted as he spun around in his chair. I gasped, partly because Mr. Huffman had a look in his eyes like he was insane, but mostly because he was totally naked. Not something that I ever thought I would have to see. The lower half of his jowly face was stained with something dark and greasy, as if he had gone hog- wild at a barbeque.

Okay, that's certainly different. I raised my hands in front of me. 'Look, sir, I've got to say that I don't swing that way. You do your thing. I don't care. Some guys would be flattered, but I'm out of here,' I stated as I slowly backed toward the door.

'SILENCE!' he shouted, slamming his chubby fingers onto the desk hard enough to rattle it and knock over his dinner bag, spilling its contents. I froze, surprised at the fierce intensity of the command, which was unexpected coming from a man like Huffman, who had what could best be described as 'jiggly man bosoms.' 'Do you know what tonight is, Owen? Do you? Tonight is a very special night!'

'Is it all-you-can-eat shrimp night at Sizzlers?' I replied calmly as I reached back and put my hand on the doorknob. It was official. Mr. Huffman had gone nuts. It looked like he was foaming at the mouth.

'Tonight I punish the wicked. A month ago I was given a gift. Now I'm king. I've seen how you and the others talk about me behind my back. How you don't respect my leadership.' My boss's voice had lowered into a growl. His eyes darted about as if he were seeing exciting things in the dark corners of the office. 'You're the worst, Owen. You're not a team player. You don't respect my authority. You want to steal my job. You want to stab me in the back!'

I didn't want to stab him in the back, but I was about ready to punch him in the face. My earlier assessment was right. He really was foaming at the mouth. Being attacked by fat, naked Mr. Huffman was not that much of a worry, as I was what could best be called a big fellow, and surprising for an accountant, knew how to kick some butt if necessary. The situation felt surreal and slightly amusing, but I knew that crazy people could be

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