Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ghost of War (Reviewed)

So good ol’ Sparkle Pony is going to write a war story. Well, that’s bad enough that I need Calculon to weight in…

Me too, Calculon, me too.

First of all, this is covered by fair use, since I will undoubtably be nearly doubling the size of this piece of pig shit just in trying to review and critique it. After all, it’s a piece of work by Nickolaus Ablert Pacione AKA Sparkle Pony.
Photo of Author
Photo Of Author

Which means this is going to be a total piece of pig shit. For Pacione, doing research for a war story means watching The Crow and then reading the covers of some Sergeant Rock comics he found on the internet after hitting himself in the face with a hammer until he couldn’t see them correctly.
Pacione regularly lambasts other authors for having written fan-fiction, acting as if he never wrote this goddamn disgusting abortion. Lucky for me I still have half a bottle of Wild Turkey left to help numb the pain.
But, enough bitching…

Let’s start reviewing this goddamn thing.

Ghosts of War Written by Nickolaus A. Pacione

Holy shit, I’m amazed he fucking managed to spell his own name this time.
No shit, he once misspelled his own name on the cover of one of his shoddily put together anthologies and then tried to blame everyone who pointed it out for the mistake.

I’ll be surprised if the vowels don’t fall out of the screen while I read this.
Inspired by James O'Barr

Who wrote “the Crow” comics. So, not inspired by him, but a direct ripoff. Fucking nice.
Word Count: (3,388 Words)

3,388 words that somehow make the world a worse place to live.
1944; European Theatre.

OK, right here…

I want to point out that in 1944 the fighting was, to put it mildly, GODDAMN FUCKING FIERCE! D-Day happened on 6 June, 1944, Operation Overlord after that, the Battle of the Bulge after that, which did not end until January of 1945.
Any Allied troops in Germany in 1944 were involved in heavy fighting, we’re talking “foot by bloody foot, yard by blood soaked yard” not just wandering around like goddamn half-wits.
Sgt. Howard Pym was approaching the streets of Berlin

No. No he wasn’t.
Allied forces, even the Russians, were nowhere near Berlin in 1944. Remember, the Battle of the Bulge hadn’t happened yet. Holy shit, Pacione, do some goddamn research. It literally would take five minutes of fucking Wikipedia to see exactly when American and Russian troops began racing for Berlin. (It’s still contested to this day who entered the city first) But there is no way that this guy and his unit were anywhere near Berlin.
with his unit when in a shadow of silence was killed in a surprise attack by a unit of Nazi soldiers.

Excellent ambush. Could have used some detail. Were they moving down a street and a Nazi “stinger” cut loose, killing them with hypervelocity rounds, or was it just normal rifles and grenades from upper windows? I mean, this could have used fleshed out.
But because Fat Horse refuses to do research, we get jack and shit.
No one saw them coming, and his entire unit was killed.

A very successful ambush.
In a matter of hours he saw his own fate pass before his eyes until death followed in form of a crow.

Wait, this ambush took HOURS? Holy shit, was everyone fighting in a molasses factory? Or were they all hyped up on Slo-Mo?

A pair black eyes looking at him, knowing that his time was not yet. He left behind a wife and two kids; he was 29 years of age.

Ugh, just… Ugh.
He’s 29, an E-5, with a wife and two kids. OK, so… he’s typical of most American casualties in WW-II from some of the statistics I’ve read.
He had a brother in the same company as well but he did not live to see his death as well.

Holy shit, they wiped out an entire COMPANY in an ambush? OK, it might have started as an ambush, but this takes a long while. I was picturing like a platoon at the most, or maybe a squad. The firefight raged for hours, yet nobody called in artillery, air strikes, or screamed for backup? A firefight that rages for hours is something that everyone in the area hears about and commanders decide if they want to pour in more reenforcements, or let the ambushed company hold off the enemy while they shore up lines behind them.
For fuck’s sake, Pacione, do some goddamn research.
And his brother was killed too?
I don’t know if he’s trying to make us feel empathy or sorrow for Pym or not, but all I can think of is this…

So… yeah. I’m just going to imagine this guy in a doofy helmet for the rest of the story, that’ll be funnier.

The grim reality was that the place he was killed was the cemetery of souls, and where he rested was a bird observing him.

What kind of bird?
A crow.

‘kay, thnx
He couldn't say anything,

Because he’s fucking dead.
though in his mind he did not feel he was dead

Tough shit, buddy. You’re fucking dead. Your ‘feelings’ don’t really matter here.
but heard the Nazi soldiers talking among themselves.

That has to suck. He probably doesn’t speak German.
"Holy shit, looks like we killed some American Soldiers.

Were they expecting Spartan soldiers? And Pym can understand German? Holy shit.
Made our quota for today,"

Nazi’s, well known for battlefield quotas.
one quipped to the other in his platoon, "though something about this made me seem unwary, someone was looking at us."

Unwary: Incautious, reckless, without anxiety.
And of course someone was looking at you. People have a tendency to shoot back. Christ, this Nazi is a fucking dipshit.
"How do you mean," the other responded.

Probably asked just out of politeness. He’s probably hoping to go back to his tent and get something to eat.
Killing people’s hard fucking work.
"Because it looks like one of them is looking back at us;

That is one of the more disturbing things about taking a man’s life. His eyes do seem to stare at you, though probably not in the way that Pacione thinks. Pacione’s probably imagining just his protagonist staring at the Germans, or maybe the crow, but ALL of the dead stare at you.
You get to see that quite often in your dreams as the years go by.
true they might be dead but we should remove his eyes for trophies.

Said no soldier ever.
Take that flag off his person and use it for toilet paper;

Wait, one of them is carrying a flag? Seriously? Does Pacione just picture these guys going into battle wrapped in the American flag? Holy shit…

Totally, Pacione, that’s just how an American infantry company looked in World War II.
Plus, I know that everyone views all Nazis as evil, but honestly, it was just those SS fuckers, the rest were just normal guys who were drafted or volunteered because they thought what they were doing was right.
And even the SS wouldn’t take the time to wipe their asses with an American flag. They’d probably take it as a trophy, but not wipe their asses.
that would show them not to come into our country. Fuckers," one answered back, "still something doesn't seem right for some reason. Did you hear that? It sounded like a bird and it is just staring at us."

Battle hardened soldiers, creeped out by a crow that is just waiting for all the humans to go away so it can start eating eyeballs.
"No you are just seeing things, lets go and bury these soldiers before they start smelling up the place.

Yes, because one of the first things they teach you is to bury the enemy dead right after a battle instead of continuing on and marching forward.
Christ, Pacione, do your research.
Grab a few of them and put them in that mass grave.

That suddenly appeared.
We earned our keep today, take any valuables that they have and we will put them in our trophy room."

Looting. Trophy room, like they’re playing Skyrim.
I mean, I’m willing to accept a lot of evil from fictional Nazis, I mean, they were the assholes of WW-II, but come the fuck on.
Pym's unit were dumped into the graves like they were part of a trash heap,

If you’re lucky enough to get buried after a battle, instead of left there for wild dogs to eat, birds to eat, and all that, it actually kind of paints your opponents in a good light that they were willing to give you a burial instead of, you know, leaving you behind.
But of course, Pacione doesn’t see it that way.
but as Pym laid there in his mind he felt he was still alive; barely breathing.

OK, if he’s barely breathing, he’s still alive.
Fuck you, Pacione.
He can see the shadow of a bird looking at him, an outline of the bird. It was a matter of hours before he pulled himself out of the grave, the bullet ridden holes in his chest were still evident of what had happened.

Umm… OK?
So he wasn’t breathing and wasn’t alive? Then he clawed his way out of the grave. Sure, OK.
He slowly found out that he was dead and brought back, by the powers of a bird looking at him – that bird being the crow.

I have a bad feeling this is going to get worse.
As he walked, he still felt the blood flowing out of his wounds

How much fucking blood is in this guy?
but slowly they began to close and picked up the flag that was desecrated before him.

Ugh. Of course they did.
Of course he did.
He knew what he had to do,

Of course he did.
in the name of his brother that he saw murdered in the hands of the Nazis –

OK, point of order…
Being ambushed, during wartime, is NOT being murdered. Being murdered is pretty much shooting EPOW’s, shooting surrendered troops, shooting helpless or otherwise out of the action soldiers.
What occurred was NOT a murder, it was a legal ambush, against legal combatants, during a legal conflict, in a legal area, with legal weaponry.
Hell, it’s like the exact opposite of a murder where killing is involved.
in his mind and heart, the bloodthirsty bastards are going to pay.

Bloodthirsty? They’re just German troops, doing exactly what Pym’s company would have done if the situation was reversed, despite the cartoonish actions of the Nazis that took place because Pacione doesn’t know shit about war.
As he was walking, he heard the bird cawing and flying closer to him. The bird saw everything that happened, and knew in the time of war there was some things that could not die.

It’s buttsecks, isn’t it?
I’m betting buttsecks.
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In his mind he knew, all the memories he had of his younger brother were the reason why he was brought back. He grabbed the tattered American flag and placed it on his brother's place of burial.

So he placed it on the mass grave?
And were the memories of buttsecks?
I’m betting buttsecks.

"Those Nazi bastards are going to pay for what they have done to my platoon,

more for what they did to my brother,"

Legally ambushed him.
he said to the bird, "I think I knew why you came, I know the story of the crow."

Of course he does.
This is one of the problems with Pacione stories. Everyone knows everything automatically, there is no wonder, no confusion. Remember how confused Brandon Lee’s character was when he first woke up? Yeah, this guy doesn’t suffer that, we don’t get to see any characterization through his pain.
Fucking Unknown Soldier comic books had more characterization than this.
The sound of the bombs and guns were flooding the silence while P-51 Mustangs continued to flood the sky with bullets and fire bombs,

Shall I go all military sperg about the P-51? No? OK.
Sgt. Pym proceeded into the darkness with his new found ally. Still clad in the blood covered uniform, picked up some of the face paint and applied it in the form camouflage.

Wait, where did he get face paint? Holy shit.
You just know Pacione pictures it like this

When it should be applied in order to reduce reflections from oily or sweaty skin and you make the higlights subdued and the lower sections appear higher, so that the face appears flat rather than human shaped.
But Pacione wouldn’t know that because he flunked out of Navy basic training and couldn’t be assed to do his research.
Time did not show the signs, and in a period of war they did not mean anything especially when death was all around.

Wait, what?
He knew that his family would be awarded a purple heart and already a war hero,

Ugh. HE would be awarded the Purple Heart, I guess. Shit, I don’t fucking know, remember, or care how medals are awarded and taken away. But Pacione is telling us ol’ Pym here was a war hero. Umm, good for him?
but he was going to make sure that his brother did not die in vain.

Shall I go on a rant how every man’s death in war is futile and in vain, as politicians will ultimately trade away every victory made in blood, or should I just show you a picture of something cool?
Something cool it is then:

The story of the crow was something he heard while he was in basic training, and a little before his brother entered the Army.

Oh for fuck’s sake.
Gay ass crows are NOT what gets talked about in Basic Training. The last thing anyone wants to talk about is some gay ass crow. You’d rather talk about the last piece of ass you got, how hot your (nonexistent) girlfriend is, how you totally know your wife is gonna stay faithful (she won’t), how you can’t wait till you get out Basic Training, how you can’t remember what the fuck you were thinking when you signed up.
Some bullshit ass crow lesson is really down there on the list. Right below proclaiming your love for your DI and right above licking out a urinal on a dare.
His brother was the one that told him the story about how the crow carried the souls to the land of the dead.

Of course he did.
He thought to himself, I will make sure your death and the death of our entire platoon is not in vain.

Man’s futility blah blah blah futility of war blah blah blah Kant blah blah blah
Slowly he was checking what armory that his platoon had in total, and carefully exhumed the remains of his fallen friends and brother, vengeance was in his eyes and heart when he placed the shovel to the dirt.

Wait, he ran back to check the armory? Holy shit.
OK, he should have said that Pym was gathering up the weapons from his fallen men, but instead, Pacione just… Ah, fuck it.
And why did he exhume them? To get the ammo? That’s a pretty long job to be doing.
The bird looked on with a greater purpose cawing with conviction. The ghosts of war have awakened, and for centuries man had fought in wars to keep their existence in tact.

Umm… shit. It’s, fuck, this is just goddamn stupid.
This was a war that became more than just a war of countries, Sgt. Pym knew this as he was digging up graves of his unit and found some bullets and a service pistol took about 7 cartridges.

Wait, that was it.
“Some” fucking bullets and goddamn pistol? Holy shit, no wonder these guys lost the battle. They didn’t have any fucking weapons!
Then walked into the chapel near the burial ground to forge a plan to lure out the Nazi troopers that killed his friends and brother.

Oh my fuck. OK, you know what, just… no.
They said when storming the beach that War is Hell, and knew what he was getting into when he enlisted.

OK… War is Hell is attributed to General Sherman.

And NOBODY knows what they are getting into when they enlist. Or a lot of people wouldn’t enlist.
But in his mind he could see the epitaph of his grave reading; Howard Pym, loving brother, husband, and father –- b. Aug 20, 1914, d. 1944.

But no day or month for death.
Fuck you, Pym, I mean, Pacione.
My brother, Samuel James Pym, b. 1917, d. 1944; year he enlisted in the Army was 1940.

So his brother enlisted a year or almost two before Pearl Harbor? Well, it is a way to get out of the Great Depression and put food in your family’s bellies.
I enlisted 1938, about a few years before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I was a Corperal when it happened stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

It’s spell CORPORAL you fucking baboon. And I’m not even going to bother to look up Fort Sheridan…
Yeah, I am, because. I am. A dick.
It was a training and processing center. Huh. Closed in 1993. During WW-II it was used as a processing and training center.
But, having reviewed Pacione’s works as long as I have, I know he chose it just because it’s in Illinois.
I was just finishing up my class work for the rank I am at now;

I knew I was going over to Europe when I got note that FDR made the Day of Infamy speech when they sank the Arizona.

No you didn’t. Stop lying.
There were about 20 in my unit,

No. Fucking. Way. That’s a platoon, hell, by Cold War, WW-II levels, that’s barely half a fucking platoon.
we parachuted into Berlin while the rest were storming Normandy.

No you didn’t.
So apparently he timejumped from 1941 to 1944? He didn’t fight in the Pacific, or in Africa? Holy shit, this guy sucks.
No one knows the true horrors of war unless they hear the sound of bullets as they impale the flesh, no one can feel it until they hit bone.

I want to smack him in the face for this line.
You can too feel bullets even if they don’t hit bone. THEY FUCKING HURT!
"Before we go get the Nazi bastards, we have to come up with plan to single them out," Pym said to his black feathered ally,

In other words…
Ambush them?
the bird was holding a grenade in its claws.

Holy shit. Of course it was.

Did it have an American flag flying from its beak?
The cawing was its way of responding to what Pym was saying, almost as it understood every word.

Of course it does.
"This will due,

Do. DO.
a bayonet and the Nazi's own rifle.

Wait, why did the Nazis picked up all the American gear but left their own rifle on the ground? So now he has a rifle in addition to the shitty pistol?
For all those people they killed in the concentration camps,

Full. Fucking. Stop.
In 1944 the Allied rank and file had NO CLUE about the concentration camps. Even the upper echelons, who knew, kept it a goddamn secret to keep Allied troops from going blood fucking crazy on the German people.
There’s no way this Pym motherfucker knows about it.
I will make sure they are not going to be killed in vain.

All of those people in the death camps died horribly, brutally, and futilely. I don’t think you quite understand those words you are typing, Pacione.
Their deaths will be avenged. I found an American flag on my brother as they buried him, the sick bastards mutilated his face and kept his bones as some macabre trophies.

Of course you did.
Of course they did.
Of course they did.
Holy shit, it’s bad enough they’re Nazis, its bad enough the guy was killed, but ramping up the EVIL of Nazis is like trying to ramp up the butter in a fat man’s coffee. It doesn’t matter. We don’t need told that Nazis are evil. Look in the fucking dictionary, you see an SS officer preening next to the word Evil.
I am not sure how long have you lived for, but my brother had known of the folklore that goes behind the crow.

Maybe the crow should have resurrected the brother?
Talking the souls to the land of the dead,

Great, not only are you dead, but your soul is escorted to the afterlife by a fucking bird that won’t shut the fuck up.
but I know the reason you are here comes at when a person dies in a way that was unjust.

Then the sky should have been thick with crows all through WW-II.
Reasons that were inhuman, I felt you watching me as I couldn't see the rest of those animals shoot the rest of my platoon.

I thought it was a company?
I am a soldier in life and a soldier in death, I got a country to serve even though the news of my death hadn't reached back to the states."

YOU’VE BEEN DEAD LIKE SIX HOURS! And holy shit, you can practically see him saying that line with a flag flying out a hooker’s ass and fireworks shooting from her tits as he puts one hand over his heart and stares at the sky manfully while an eagle sheds a single tear in the background.

I write HOOAH HOOAH ARMY shit, but for fuck’s sake…
He found a Jeep that was abandoned

Yeah, they just leave working vehicles just lying around.
and used that to drive into one of the bases the Nazis used as camp,

Of course he did.
Because nobody is going to stop a dead guy in a US Army uniform driving a fucking jeep, which was an American vehicle, driving into a Nazi base.
being that it turned out an abandoned death camp.

Of course it was.
The deathcamps weren’t near Berlin, you fucking mouth breathing gibbon. Oh, my God, even then, they weren’t fucking abandoned, they were in full fucking swing when Allied troops overran them.
The bird flown close behind him, and as he parked it landed on his shoulder.

Was it trailing an American flag behind it as it flew?

It was cawing without end.

Holy shit, Pym’s trying to ambush the Nazis and this goddamn crow won’t shut the fuck up.
"I know, go fly into the stronghold and do some recon. I will follow close behind.

What Pacione knows of military tactics is even less than some 11 year old playing CoD.
I am not just doing this for my brother, but I am doing this for every life that the Nazi bastards taken during this war.

This is so goddamn stupid I don’t know what to say…
I am gunning for every animal with that Nazi symbol on their arm. I need something to light on fire to catch the attention of these fucking assholes."

Of course you are.
Of course you do.
"Nice, this will due – found one of their Jeeps.

I am going to use some of the rags torn from the uniforms of the dead to ignite their gas tank. Here goes nothing,"

So he’s just carrying rags he tore off of the dead that he exhumed AND NEVER REBURIED for starter.
Goddamn it, talk about no respect for the dead.
At least the fucking Nazis buried them.
Sgt. Pym muttered to himself. In the background he heard the cawing of the crow. "I was trained to kill in life, now I get to put what I learned in basic training to the test on seeing if I can exact some vengeance.

Wait, he doesn’t know if he has the skills? Holy shit. So, from 1941 to 1944 this guy never engaged in combat, and yet was chosen to jump into Berlin during Normandy?
Someone hated Pym and did this as a trick to get him killed.
He should have put what he learned in Basic to the test by Jan 1942.
Pym, you suck.
Samuel, I know you are with me as well as our fallen friends when I do this. Let's see if the bastards can see this."

Holy shit, this is the problem with Pacione’s writing. This whole thing is taking place on a flat gray plane, like when you fall through the geometry in a video game. There are no landmarks, no terrain features, no nothing. We have no real idea where he is, what the buildings, ruins, or landscape is around him.
For all we know he’s just sitting outside the gate, babbling on and on to the fucking bird, sitting in an idling American jeep, while the gate guards just stare and wonder what the fuck is going on.
The sound of Mustangs were overhead dropping bombs miles around, the soldier ignited the gas tank and took cover the explosion caught the attention of one of the Nazis,

But just one.
Explosions are very tricky that way.
"What the fuck is going on? Could that be the British commandos trying to organized an escape, better kill some of them to make sure that the others remained."

Is this Stalag Luft 13?
He muttered some more vulgarities in German before he saw a bird staring back at him, greeting him with an ominous cawing. Sarge had a sheepish grin on his face while he executed a hard punch in the Nazi soldier's face, hard enough to break a few bones.

OK, he’s got a sheepish grin, like he’s embarrassed,
P(Hey, it showed up under Google for ‘sheepish grin’)
right before he punches a guy in the face hard enough to break facial bones? Facial bones aren’t made of goddamn balsa wood, you gotta hit someone pretty fucking hard to break a facial bone.
And the bird is just suddenly in his face?
Did he walk out to investigate the explosion without calling it in? Without summoning QRF?
This guy sucks.
The soldier looked with some horror to his face,

His broken face.
"what the hell, I remember you. We killed your entire unit and you, I took great pleasure in killing your brother."

Notice that he has broken facial bones and can still talk and see normally. I broke my orbital socket once and holy shit…
Pacione, stop getting your combat from watching other people play Mortal Combat at the fucking mall.
And how the FUCK did the Nazi know that he killed a pair of brothers? Is he a magical Nazi? Does he have ESP?
So many questions…
That soldier continued to spit out blood from that bone shattering punch, then thrown a few punches of his own before Sarge caught the hand of the soldier and busted it in half with his elbow.

OK, let’s parse this…
Pym punches the guy in the face hard enough to break bone. The Nazi spits out blood, then throws punhes of his own (that we’ll assume miss), then Pym grabs his hand and… breaks the hand in half with his elbow. I cannot fucking run this combat in my head to save my life when the hand breaking happens.
While locking up his arm, he looked into the face of the Nazi, "Remember me now you Nazi fuck?

He just said he remembered you, you brain damaged gibbon.
Oh, now he grabs the Nazi’s fist and does an arm lock. OK, so he breaks the elbow with his own?
The look on your face is the same look my younger brother had before you killed him.

Except he didn’t see his brother die.
Oh God, this is going to get worse, isn’t it?
How does it feel to have pain and fear in your eyes, the plea for their life. I am going to make you plea for your death."

Shut up and fight.
"Fucker, that was my arm. I am going to enjoy killing you again!" Responded the Nazi, "Hilter would pay to see a few heads of Americans."

And besides, who is this Hilter guy? I mean, Hitler ran the 3rd Reich, but who’s this HIlter guy?
Wait, you mean that Pacione misspelled HITLER? AHAHAHAHAHA! How goddamn stupid do you have to be to misspell one of the most famous men of the 20th Century? How do you fuck that up?
And of course, the Nazi with the broken in half arm just normally speaks instead of doing what most people do when their arm gets broken… SCREAM IN AGONY!
"Oh really, you son of a bitch," Sarge Pym responded, still having an arm lock on the soldier. Grabbing him by the head and ramming it into the jeep he set on fire.

Wait, so now they’re in front of the jeep that’s on fire? They’ve been in front of this jeep the whole time?
Goddamn teleporting characters.
While ramming the soldiers head into the hood of the jeep, he started to rant, "two days ago you killed my entire platoon one being my best friend, and the other being my younger brother. This is for my brother." With a dark look in his eyes, he impales the Nazi with the bayonet and sets him on fire.

Holy shit dude. Setting him on fire? That’s a little over the top. He ‘impales’ him on the bayonet, then lights him on fire, even though he’s already slamming his face against a burning jeep.
Overdone much?
"Tell me something, Kraut, how does it feel to be burning in hell? The reason I ask because I am taking you to the gates of hell by my hand, for all those people that Hilter eliminated for who they are.

Great, he’s going to give an anti-genocide speech while he’s beating this guy’s ass. Great.
Taking your life saves a couple hundred of theirs.

No, no it doesn’t. This is just some random fucking Nazi, not one of the death camp workers, you already said this camp was abandoned.
You cannot kill that is already dead, but when you see the Crow arrived at the grave that was taken from their loved one or family –– a soul is at unrest, and this is why I must come for you and your entire platoon."

So it’s OK when Pym does it, but not when the Nazis do it?
Holy shit.
As the body of the Nazi burned, the ominous cawing proceeded to get louder.

Even the bird is telling him to shut the fuck up.
Sgt. Pym was the bringer of the damnation's hand to those who killed the innocent.

One of the first casualties of war is innocence.
"One for my country, the United States is gunning for every single one of you mother fuckers." Time of death with the first Nazi soldier, midnight.

What, is this CSI?
So, now we know it is midnight. So nobody but that one guy heard or saw the explosion at about 11PM? Holy shit.
"I caught the name on the sad bastard's uniform, too hard to pronounce but a good Nazi is a dead one. Better take that SS off his collar, could use that for a trophy but decided to leave that on."

Umm.. what?
An hour had passed since the first soldier was killed, and the one that was supposed to relieve his watch started to take duty. A high ranking officer, possibly a commander

Goddamn it, you’re the one writing this. Is it the CO or not?
because he was wondering what happened to the one that was supposed to be standing watch.

OK, standing military practice when a guard doesn’t report in is to summon QRF and get everyone the fuck up and on Stand-To. Not just stand there scratching your ass and wondering.
He was armed with a Luger pistol, and wondering what was going on. Thought nothing at the dark bird staring back at him from the shadows. Nothing until he found a piss soaked flag, the same flag that they desecrated after killing an American platoon.

Wait, what?
So Pym’s been carrying around a urine soaked flag?

The officer muttered in an incoherent German,

So he can’t even speak his own language? Or is he mumbling INTO an incoherent German? Is this some kind of strange homoerotic first aid? Is he a necromancy? Does he think that mumbling into an incoherent German’s ass will make the guy coherent?
Because I refuse to believe that a German cann’t speak his own language, even in a Pacione story. And since we saw that Pym understands German, he should have been able to understand the German guy.
but seems to be universal in the expression on his face. He's dead but doesn't even know yet that he is going to die. The look on his face was that of nervousness and paranoia, the question of where it came from.

The flag. Right.
The smell of the urine was what brought him to the day that he was within his platoon killing an American patrol, but he was thinking that someone was just playing a prank on him.

It’s war. He knows better. A wartime prank is putting a big-ass spider into someone’s helmet, or something like that. Putting a piss-soaked enemy flag into your encampment is less joke and more serious punishment.
He realized it wasn't a prank when he felt the eyes of the crow looking at him, they appeared without a soul while the figure stepped out of the shadows grabbing him by his neck.

So Pym is inside the base, hiding in the shadows.
Attacking from ambush.
"Remember me, because I sure the hell remember you, let me tell you a story. Last night you put my platoon into the grave and saved my brother as the last person you killed before you killed me. You see your friend over there, he is burning in hell because of what he did. I saw you in with that party who ambushed my platoon.

Wait, now they’re outside?
And he’s just grabbed this guy by the neck and started lecturing them, neither one of them moving.
Remember what I said about Pacione’s characters being omnipotent action figures or cardboard cutouts?
So the CO sees this burning jeep, with a dead guy with a bayonet stuck in his chest on the hood, and a urine soaked flag, and doesn’t think anything of it until Pym jumps out the shadows like the shittiest jack in the box ever?
This story sucks.
Now let me show you why I am here, you see this grenade? Pay close attention, the pin is pulled and has a blade attached to it."

Of course it is.
Of course it does.
The officer looked on in horror, "you ignored the plea for life that my brother, Samuel, had before you killed him.

I can’t believe I’m arguing for the Nazis.
But this Pym guy is a goddamn lunatic.
I am going to make you plea for yours but really all you are doing is giving a plea for your death ."

In a split moment, the grenade was impaled into the chest of the officer and Pym walked away. The bird flown into the flames without a singe of its feathers, cawing and rejoining its human ally.

Looks cool in the movies, sucks to read.
They left behind a path of blood and flames, what the Nazis did was resurrected the ghosts of war and one of the four horsemen came to bring their hands of death.

Could it be.. umm… War?
No, he’s too goddamn incompetent to be War, and he isn’t Death, because he sucks at his job.
Jesus, this story just gets worse all the time.
The anger of Justice was looking in the eyes of two lifeless bodies that took the life of family and former comrades, knowing he had a mission to do and one that was greater than the one that he was on with the platoon.

Wait, what?
Over head more bombs were hitting the ground, and they left a trail of fire behind. Within the wall of flames even in the eyes of vengeance, the soul can carry the appearance of iced during the time of war.

War is hell, and one is walking within the flames of it. Walking into the flames with a shower of bullets coming from his rifle, and each bullet hitting its mark. Impaling meat with each hit and shrapnel from the bombs ripping away at the flesh of the Nazi guards.

OK, so now the bombers are hitting the base, while Pym walks through shooting with his rifle (which he didn’t have earlier), just shooting all the bad guys.
See, this is what happens when Pacione tries to describe something. He just somehow makes it worse.
The soldiers from the Nazi Party were thinking, "what the hell is going on; and why the hell they cannot defend against this surprise attack?"

Because you’re in a Pacione story, buddy, sorry.
"What is going on?" One solder asked with an alarm to his voice. "I don't know, looks like we are under a surprise attack from the Americans. I heard the thunder of P-51 Mustangs, and that is an unpleasant sound.

Understatement of the year.
That guy is obviously a British spy.
Did you hear that? It sounded like a bird, like a cawing.

That I can hear over the rifle fire, the screaming, the bombs, and the sound of the bombers.
I am not able to see it but as loud as it is, it sounded close. Who the fuck is that coming into our direction, but I don't want to stick around to find out."

Holy shit…
"Do you realize that you are both dead and you don't even know it yet?" Sgt. Pym responded to them with a dark tone to his voice, throwing a knife at the one in the throat with a grenade attached to it and bayoneting the other.

So Pym jumps out of the shadows, throws a grenade with a knife attached to it, or vice versa, hitting one guy in the throat, then jumps forward with his bayonet and stabs the other.
Why didn’t he just fucking shoot them? Holy shit, bayonetting sucks.
Thrust, twist, pull the trigger to blow them off of it and keep the blade from getting stuck, recover, turn, repeat.
Pull trigger, next target.
Which one kills faster?
They had no idea that the person who took their lives was a wraith, they tried to hit him with everything they got as far as the bullets they have but he continued to keep attacking them.

So one guy is stabbed in the throat, we’ll assume the other is stabbed in the abdomen, and they both start shooting, but of course it didn’t work, and he CONTINUED to attack them?
Hey, a knife with a grenade attached and a fucking bayonet should do the job.
The glassy look in their eyes was that they cannot begin to comprehend because what they were dealing with was not of the living world. Leaving a path of blood and fire as Pym proceeded past the wall of flames.

Wait, he was inside the wall the flames from the fucking bombing? So this takes place in a flat gray space surrounded by flames?
Good God, this is making less and less sense.
"Commander what the hell is going on?" One had asked their commanding officer,

Who’s already outside, dead, in front of a jeep, blown to goddamn chunks of salsa by a fucking grenade.
seemed as a little worried.

Just a little, though.
"Should we call the higher command requesting our surrender?"

Wait, what?
"No we must keep fighting these red, white and blues.

A common name the Nazis had for American troops.
AMERIKANER! Wasn’t coined until centuries later in Pacione’s WW-II masturbatory fantasies.
Man the guns, aim to shoot down the P-51s.

Shouldn’t they have been doing that already?
For fuck’s sake, Pacione, you drill for everything. The minute those P-51’s were detected they should have manned the AA guns. See, P-51’s had a bad weakness, in that small arms could damage the cooling system and make the Mustang land or explode in mid-air.
They have a weakness but we cannot seem to find it.

Bullets. The P-51’s weakness was bullets.
What the hell is that – or the question should be, who the hell is that? Soldier, speak to me. Shit. What the fuck hit him with the bullet,

Either a P-51 or the guy who’s walking around your base shooting everyone.
who the fuck is out there walking into our base?" The commander responds, hearing a bird cawing and staring at him without a soul. The bullets rattling at a lightening pace, each one hitting their mark on the bunker.

Wait, so now the commander is hiding in a bunker?
The pace of the bullets hitting the bunker, each bullet impaling meat of the corpse that was just killed.

Wait, what?
Each shot killing their targets, and blowing up everything around them.

HOLY SHIT! What kind of fucking bullets is Pym firing? Goddamn 20mm mission configurable?
They've awakened the ghosts of war, and the sky was raining blood. The horror is in their eyes when they see a blood soaked American flag standing before them,

OK, now it’s blood soaked, and Pym turned into an American flag? WTF? I’m sooo lost.

and the figure jumping in the bunker had vengeance in his eyes. The head commander was still standing, staring with a fear that he could not begin to fathom of why the person was able to take so much punishment and still be alive.

Weird shit happens in war, you just keep fucking shooting.
The SS officer was looking on in an absolute horror when the crow stared at him, and the American wraith grabbed him by his throat. The wraith growled, "How does it look to you to be staring into the eyes of demise? Do you see what is going on in the sky to your precious soldiers. You see the stygian skies, that is your graveyard."

Less talk, more fight.
The SS commander spoke with a broken English, and spit in the wraith's face. "Surrender or meet your men in the gates of hell," hissed Pym, "I could kill you myself or let the rest of Europe put you on trial for war crimes."

Umm, what war crimes has this dude done?
"Fuck you," the commander responded with a fast punch to the face and pulls out his Luger pistol. Shoots Sgt. Pym twice but to his horror stands there laughing,

There’s a quote from Warhammer 40K that comes in when you shoot someone and they don’t drop…

Pym hissed, "Pain is my power, each bullet you hit me with. I will get stronger."

Wait, what?
The crow cawing in the background, and each punch delivered by Pym broke bones with each impact to the SS commander. The commander tried to wrestle him to the ground, but Pym overpowered him and snapped his neck.

Jesus Christ, this story reads like the fat kid who smells faintly of spoiled milk trying to describe Saving Private Ryan to you during lunch based on what he saw from the commercials.
"Rot in hell. I just gave you the faster way to go down there," Sgt. Pym responded. As the saying goes, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." The rest of Hilter's SS solders surrendered to the Allied forces. They had no choice since their commander was killed.

See, there’s this thing called the Chain of Command, which…
You know what, I might as well not even bother.
Pym returned to the place where he was killed; his brother –- Samuel, and the rest of the platoon returned. They were greeted by the crow, "Mission accomplished. Your deaths have been avenged."

Holy shit, this is straight out of a video game.
Jesus this story sucks.

Where they disappeared into the darkness, one can see the crossed rifles as a memorial of the place they were murdered.

Holy shit.

OK, this story is a complete fucking train work. Action that is badly described, massive continuity errors, tons of research fails, lousy with exposition in the middle of fights, and frankly, it’s fucking boring. A combat action story that is fucking boring. It’s goddamn terrible.
Pacione shows that he can’t even write fan-fiction.

I give this a full bowl out of a bowl of dicks.

Eat up, Pacione.


  1. Atrocious writing, hilarious review. Sorry you had to read that, man. Thanks for throwing yourself on that grenade of crap, soaring the rest of us.