Today the SASR buries one of its own. See the previous post I left for details.
JSB gave me the day off to pack for my trip to the Red Court nest in San Fransisco and to keep training in the SASR’s gym. Conditioning is important for a hunter, and so are the right essentials to get the job done. This post will give faithful readers a good idea of what to expect should you take up my work.
Conditioning workouts at the SASR run very heavily around body-weight conditioning and cardio. A comedy film back in the States–Zombieland–covered this very lightly, but I can’t stress the importance of cardiovascular training enough. I run a 5K each day as a way to “wake up,” then do some old-school pushups, sit-ups, and squats until I hit muscle failure.
After that, it’s time for hand to hand training. We’re lucky to have two great martial artists in our hunter ranks, and I learn quite a bit from them. One guy’s a Thai boxer–trained at Fairtex and had about sixty professional fights in Bangkok before he got kicked out due to “unsportsmanlike conduct.” That makes me laugh every time I think about it. You have any idea how hard it is to get disqualified from a Muay Thai fight?
The other martial artist at SASR is one of the researchers, but I wouldn’t mess with her on a bad day. She’s ex-Israeli Special Forces and very, very good at Krav Maga. If you’ve never heard of Krav Maga, it’s a form of self-defense taught to all Israelis that focuses on two things: using whatever is around you to defend yourself, and making sure that the opponent stays down for good.
Which leads me to the “tools of the trade.” First is a set of oak stakes. I keep about three. Two more slots in the holster built by R&D house silver spikes, in case I run into a Were or a vamp that might be susceptible to such things.
Next up is my go-to melee weapon. Bertha. It’s an elaborate Bowie knife with a titanium and silver compound blade. R&D designed the hilt to look like a crucifix, which works as a great Faith symbol since I am a devout Catholic. Titanium is also strong as all get out, and the blade has enough silver in it to make any encounter with the Supernatural very, very unpleasant.
I keep a shovel around too. It’s an Army issue foldable shovel with a sharpened serrated edge. I ever lose my knife, I’ve got this thing handy to bury in a zombie’s skull or decapitate the Undead. It also works well in a pinch as a field knife.
Last is a sawn-off shotgun. Black Betty. We get all kinds of shells from R&D to test–holy water, garlic, silver buckshot. Most of ’em don’t work. The gunpowder in the shell either evaporates the water or cooks the garlic. Silver is good for making baddies angry, but it’s expensive to produce those shells in mass quantities. We even had a guy try to give us a shell with blessed slivers of wood he claimed were carved from Christ’s cross. JSB fired the idiot the next day.
I keep a few spellcasting items around as well. Chalk, salt, a couple of small candles–just enough to put a circle together and focus my will into a problem. JSB doesn’t approve of Magick, but he takes the tack of “as long as it’s used for good, I’ll look the other way.” Me? I’ll use anything that kills off the Unholy.
I’ve got to get back to training, but the most important rule I’ll leave readers is this: When packing for a hunt, make sure that every tool in your arsenal works, and serves multiple functions. That way you’ll never be without, regardless of the situation.
Any suggestions on improvements, readers? I’ve heard about this French martial art called Parkour lately. Seems like a great way to make sure you don’t get bitten by the Walking Dead. I might have to look up some videos on that one after lunch.