With a tremendous crash the Cossack horsemen soared through the window into the store, their sabers barred. They masterfully cut across the home video aisle and charged over rows of vacuums and water filters and descended upon the demonstration area, their horses’ eyes wide and the air filled with glass and the stark presence of utter domination.
The sales team was shocked beyond imagination. The pimply boy who always wore his headphones wet himself and trembled. The others were motionless. More Cossacks rode into the store through the wreckage, securing exits and earmarking loot. The captain wheeled about and with a single motion flocked the staff before the service counter.
“Kneel!” he commanded.
Their heads hung low, they heard footsteps approaching, crunching glass and debris. It was the Hetman, draped in skins and high fur boots, accompanied by an escort and a priest. The Hetman surveyed the scene.
“No prisoners!” he barked.
The sales team was rounded up when the door to the back storage area swung without anyone entering the showroom.
The captain grabbed a teenager named Ivan by his long greasy hair and shook him until his name badge fell off his bright yellow Technoland shirt.
“Are there others? How many? Speak fool!”
“M m m m mmanagewr,” he gasped. The captain threw him down with one hand and Ivan’s head struck and cracked the vitrine with a thud. Ivan remained where he fell, his fixed eyes wide in the glassy stare of death.
The captain signaled and two riders deftly pounced through the double doors. There was a great crash, shouting and then silence. They returned to the room without dismounting, the manager under one of the Cossacks arms. He deposited the manager before the Hetman.
“A woman?” gasped the Hetman incredulously.
“Yes, a woman,” said the manager boldly. Her name badge indicated she was Masha.
“It is their custom,” the priest informed the Hetman, “to defile positions of power with female rule. They submit to them willingly.” There was murmuring and a clutching of sabers among the horde.
The Hetman cracked his knuckles inside his tight leather gloves and drew Masha’s brown hair aside, revealing her potato shaped nose and dark, pointed eyes. She was a big woman, bigger than the teenagers who worked for her. She showed no fear.
“You live as a man, so prepare to die like a man. Speak your peace, manager Masha, and then prepare to meet your pagan gods.” The Hetman spat the words out.
“We of Technoland are not afraid of death and pity they who take life with such force and cowardice against the unarmed,” Masha cried, her eyes never leaving the Hetman. The boys, some of who had begun to cry, looked at their manager with something approaching horror. Masha turned her gaze to them for an instant and winked.
Some of the Cossacks put their swords across the pommel of their saddles and leaned forward on their horses, grinning at the managers boldness. This would be entertaining, at least.
“Give us but a moment to open the eyes of our gods and you may slay us at your leave,” she finished.
The Hetman, his scowl never changing, rose his had to signal patients among the horde. Some dismounted and began to pick among the espresso machines and CD players. He nodded at Masha.
Masha shook off the hands of the escort guards that had been holding her and with a remote control in her pocket, turned on an entire wall of flat screen TVs. The showroom, silent since the last debris had settled among the mounted horsemen, suddenly sprang to life with color and sound. It was Bruce Willis. He charged ahead amidst the flames and carnage of some ruined set, shouting tragicomic obscenities of revenge.
The Cossacks were hit as with a broadside. There were pale faces of disbelief and a hurried, confused rise to arms. Their movements slowed, and their eyes settled on the screens.
Bruce kicked a man in the groin, tossed him aside, and leaped up a staircase to some tower. Alarms were raging; a swat team mobilized on the roof and began their decent to the scene of action below, where Bruce was defusing a bomb with his teeth.
Spellbound, the Cossacks were riveted to the events that had taken them completely by surprise. Masha crept about silently behind their backs and slit their throats, one by one.