I write classic "good vs evil" creative writing pieces with smart twists inspired by vintage action cinema, gaming, and heavy metal.
Today onwards, I'm no longer an average rifleman in the Soviet 35th Motorized; as soon as Shihan (master instructor) Kenshiro deemed me worthy of carrying the Ujigatana/Katana sword, I became the first-ever Soviet Samurai warrior. How did that happen?
It's a very complicated story involving not only the Almighty saving me from certain death but also, a couple of foreign mercenaries aboard an oil tanker bound for Afghanistan. That disaster has brought me to the shores of Okinawa, the birthplace of Kyokushin-kai Karate-do. Where Masutatsu Oyama fought a 100-man Kumite/fight and won. Where Japanese peasant warriors trained to face those of an oppressive Shogunate; pushing their strength to the absolute limit where not even body armor could sustain their strikes.
However, before this triumph, I have to go back to the beginning; how I got here in the first place. It began with someone selling us out to the West since this operation was off the books and no one except for top-ranked officials knew of its existence. It was like the foreign mercenaries were let in since we woke up to M16 rifles staring us down in our beds. They didn't give us a chance to fight back - total genocide as we all got shot seconds later. I survived purely because my killer was not only a miserable shot but didn't do his due diligence to check if I was dead.
I played dead as the masked men carried the bodies of me and my comrades to the upper deck; my ears started picking up more and more foreign accents and footsteps - it was like a whole army was aboard now. The rest didn't even exist in my head; like my brain got split in between; couldn't remember even if Sergeant Mataibayev, the most feared of our NCOs ordered me to.
Time ceased to exist for a while after I got washed ashore and returned to reality by a not-too-happy group. They got me to my senses with slaps and brandishing huge knives; yelling at me in a language I didn't speak. My silence drove them insane and therefore, earned me a bag on my head and a barefoot walk across the hot sand and jagged rocks to I guess another settlement since here; I got put to work after a bowl of plain rice and water. These people obviously had too much work and too few people who could do it.
Carrying rocks from one end of the village to the next, usually the furthest one, I got some heat on me; they really didn't like foreigners here. A well-dressed guy who looked like he stepped out of any Soviet youth's TV; from the martial arts action films we loved dearly. How ironic, the action hero I looked up to is harassing me now. "HOI!" was the only thing I understood as he pointed at me and gestured to come closer. I kept working in the hope he'd abandon the attempt but, as my peripheral vision detected; it wasn't meant to be.
"KUSO-KURAEEE!" my assailant yelled going for his waist which housed 2 swords; short and long. Just my luck, he chose the longer blade. Using the boulder in my hands, I executed an overhead block; he surely didn't expect retaliation therefore, I used his confusion to my advantage. Bringing the boulder down hard; he lost his grip and his weapon. An armbar takedown on his dominant hand calmed him down as his bone gave way to a tried and true takedown. Now the movie hero was thrashing on the ground akin to a drunk in the park back home.
"Jukucho Kenshiro-Shihan!" the crowd kept repeating; didn't even notice that I had a large audience. As I tried to collect my boulders to resume working, a man of average height who while looking old, had an intimidating and strong presence reminding me of Nikolai Stepanovich, my neighbor back home who was a paratrooper during World War 2; age didn't even phase his strength and physical shape, he stopped me halfway. Grabbing my wrist and gently guiding me along, I didn't dare resist.
"You are Soviet, yes?" the man broke the silence.
"Yes." I replied, "You speak Russian?"
"I speak 5 languages but only when required." he answered, "What you did back there; you are not a normal person, military; yes?"
"Yes, we got attacked on a ship; I'm the only one left." I tried explaining what happened aboard the tanker but he stopped me, "No need to say what I already know - one who sells his country, doesn't deserve it!"
As we talked, the man, Shihan Kenshiro told me of a renegade KGB Major who colluded with CIA sleeper cells in the area. Who spoke of a large payday/the tanker of military hardware we were on as many a mercenary drank with him at the bars in town. Shihan Kenshiro was no ordinary village hermit; he was an exiled Samurai warrior who also fought for the Emperor during World War 2. The man had eyes and ears across the Pacific Rim; keeping him updated on world events in case something attempts to attack Japan again. While he was mentally stable, he still considered Japan to be vulnerable and thus, still stood guard in his own way.
"I hold no animosity towards America but, the politicians and desk-sitters have my endless wind of hatred and anger; they disarmed Japan and made our men act like women, confused our children's minds with poison." Kenshiro's tone gained anger, "They will soon do this to the rest of the world and so, as you were able to defeat one of my best soldiers, I will make you an offer."
"I'm listening, Kenshiro-san," I replied.
"I can return you to your country; a good man I know in town, he's a Soviet just like you and can easily take you as far as the Kurile Islands," the exiled Samurai's tone changed from neutral to passionate, "or you can become a supreme warrior who stands for true justice and not what the corrupt define as so; a true soldier who fights for those that deserve his protection, who doesn't feel pain, whose anger terrifies the devil himself!"
Master Kenshiro's offer has convinced me, ever since the war in Afghanistan started, I realized we were in the same boat as the Americans in Vietnam; fighting a war we weren't allowed to win. Where our real enemy was politics and corporations who ultimately, were the real winners here since their riches have grown massively. I heard stories of Americans coming home after wars only to hear their own children regurgitate the enemy's message at them. Where war veterans who gave it all for their country had to suffer, die alone, and forgotten. I'm gonna fight for them. Fight for my people and my country; defending them from the real enemy.
I got to my knees, bowed down at Shihan Kenshiro, without a second thought, I answered; "Teach me, Kenshiro-Shihan!"
Fast forward to now, years of training behind me with each day more painful and arduous than the next; 100-man gauntlet fights, real-sword sparring, eating snake venom glands; to name a few. Long story short, one day of this would have killed a lesser man and has almost killed me. Before I left Okinawa, Shihan Kenshiro has given me not only a duet of swords that Samurai carried; long Ujigatana and short Wakizashi but scarification on my dominant arm in Kanji. It read; "REJECT ALL POISONS - EXPEL ALL FEAR."
© 2021 Jake Clawson