The first gun I ever touched was given to me by the Grim Reaper.  We met in a large dark cave that seemed to have no end. I was sent to there by the MapMaker with the promise of meeting the Grim Reaper to help him carry out a very important mission. Just the thought of meeting the Grim Reaper was scary enough; but to meet him in a dark cave was pushing the limits on the risk that I was willing to take. The Grim Reaper did not try to gently ease me into the gun running business. He  appeared from the shadows of the cave with a revolver in each hand. He slowly walked up to me and asked with deep confidence "Who sent you".  "The MapMaker sent me" I responded with no hint of fear in my voice.  I was  almost as impressed with my ability to control my voice, keeping it from shaking or pitching high from fright as I was with his stature and brazen appearance. He was tall and thin. Shoulder length black and gray hair hung down around his leathery face. The Grim Reaper slowly strolled  up to me with both pistols dangling at his side. "What did the  MapMaker send you with to give me?"  he asked  with a strong but gentle voice.

I reached into my back pocket  and pulled out the CD that the MapMaker had sent me with. "He said you would know this was from him." I said as I held it out, not knowing what to do with it since he had a gun in each hand. The Grim Reaper stared into my eyes  with a calm  almost peaceful stare. I felt like he was looking deep into my soul and mind. He slowly put the gun in his right hand into a hidden shoulder holster under his jacket. He then held out his hand just far enough to require me to step closer to him  and place it in his hand. He never stopped staring into my eyes as I handed him the disk. It was as if he was searching my mind for a hint of fear or a clue to what kind of man I was. "What is the password"  he asked as he turned and walked away. "3D" I said loudly not knowing  if I should follow him as he walked  deeper into the cave.  It started feeling  awkward that I was not following him but I felt paralyzed not knowing what to do. When he got about twenty five yards away it became clear if I did not follow him I would be left standing there alone. There was no way I had come this far just to carry some CD to him and be left with nothing to show for it. I was there to make some big bucks and if that required following some crazy guy into a dark cave then that is what I would do. Just when I started following him he walked up to the cave's wall and set the CD on its edge standing up right on a small ledge. He then turned  and pulled the gun out of its holster and walked straight towards me. I stopped in my tracks realizing he was walking  faster and with purpose. He walked  up to me stopped, spun the gun in his left hand around so the grip was turned my direction and handed me the gun. " I figure your left handed" he said as he put the gun in my hand. "I've never even touched a gun before." I said with embarrassment. " I didn't either until I was nineteen years old. That is two years older than you, so don't feel bad. The first gun I got put in my hands was an M16 and they made me go kill people in Vietnam just a few months after that." When he talked there seemed to be such a contrast from his gentle peaceful voice compared to his looks and reputation. The gun felt heavy and cold. "What kind of gun is this?" I asked just trying to make conversation. "It is called a 44 Magnum Desert Eagle. It is Israeli made and is one of the biggest hand guns you will ever shoot. Here's the deal." He said with force and authority. "You've got eight bullets to hit that CD. If you don't hit it by eight shots you go back home and  this job is over for you. If you hit the CD then we leave here and I will open a world to you that will change you for the rest of your life." By now the gun was hanging at my side feeling almost too heavy to hold at all let alone lifting it up and aiming it at some CD about twenty five yards away. "I have no Idea how to shoot a gun. How do you expect me to hit anything that small that far away. Besides why in the world did I bring you that CD if all we are going to do is blow it apart without using it." Before I got the last word out he spun around pointing his other gun in the direction of the CD and fired rapidly. His quick sudden movement made me jump, the sound of the gun exploding in my ears and the bullets hitting the cave wall were more than I could take. I could feel the tears swell up in my eyes. His fast movements' the terrifying noise and the violent site of the cave wall exploding into pieces from the bullets hitting it were more than I could comprehend or take in. My body went limp at the same time my legs started shaking.  I was way over my head and I knew it. I had never even heard a gun fired before. The noise was so much louder than what I had seen on TV or imagined in my mind. It actually sent sharp pain racing from my ears to my brain. I could feel the concussion from the exploding bullet vibrate the skin on my face. "What in the world was I doing here?" I asked myself. How did I get from the suburbs of Chicago to here? I always thought of myself as a tough Gangster Rapper but now I felt like a little boy who wanted his mama. "You can't even hit it, how do you expect me to hit it " I asked shocking myself with my words and the aggressiveness of them. It was as if a self preservation warrior guy in me was kicking in. " That was me trying to miss it, not hit it. Now you've got sixty seconds to shoot that CD or we're done." "Wait.  I don't know how to use this thing. I told you I've never shot a gun before" I spoke with rapid panic "Now you got fifty seconds." he barked back sharply. I pulled the heavy gun up with both hands and shut one eye looking down the barrel with the other and tried to aim it at the CD shimmering in on the cave wall. I jerked on the trigger hard shutting both my eyes expecting the same thunder I heard when he had shot. Nothing happened;  just total silence. "It doesn't work" I said relieved that I had an excuse for not having to shoot the CD and live through a repeat of the violence I had experienced moments before.. He reached over to the gun and pushed down a lever. "You had the safety on. You got thirty seconds"  I lifted the heavy gun back up and tried to aim as the gun shook all around from my quivering hands and arms. I felt a rush of embarrassment  swell up knowing he could see the gun trembling. Again I jerked the trigger bracing myself just before I pulled it. The explosion of the gun was so loud I could feel my ears go numb from the shock wave. The gun recoiled in my hands almost as if it was a wild animal that had suddenly come to life.  I never saw what the bullet hit because my eyes were closed. When I opened them the CD was still there. "Ten seconds" He said calmly almost as if he suspected I would fail.  I quickly raised the gun holding it as tight as I could, determined not to fail and started squeezing the trigger over and over again until there were no more blast  following the flicking of my finger. The wall of the cave seemed to turn to dust as it did when he had shot. Smoke filled the air from the spent  gun powder mixed with dust from  the cave wall, hiding the CD from site. Feeling shell shocked  I squinted my eyes trying to see if blind luck had come my way. I could not see the CD but figured it was because the dust was still blocking it from my site. The Grim Reaper turned and smiled at me. " Good Job Tony. You might make it in this business after all." He said almost like a father praising his son for hitting a home run.  As he talked I kept staring at the cave wall in disbelief. The CD was gone. It was definitely not where he had left it.  "The rocks shattering from the wall must have knocked it off."  I thought to myself. I became worried that he would find the CD on the ground without a scratch on it. I slowly walked up to the wall looking in disbelief . I searched the ground and soon saw pieces of the CD laying all over. It was definitely hit. I was not convinced I had hit it with the bullet but instead of by chips from the cave wall; but that was a kill in my book. I looked back to him and smiled. Suddenly a rush of power and pride swept over me. I raised the gun up over my head and shouted loud with a warrior scream. I had taken his challenge and won. We looked at each other grinning and somehow bonding  from the experience.  I felt sure I was somehow experiencing only a small fraction of the world he was about to take me too. As we stood silently taking a few minutes to savor my good fortune once again there was that gnawing question in my head. "Why did I bring you the CD if all we were going to do was blow it to bits?"  I asked with a lot more confidence than I had just moments before. "The CD means nothing to me. I was only after the password." he replied with what I perceived to be a lot more respect than moments before. "You mean 3D" "Yes" "What does that mean?" I asked thinking it was strange to have a password so short. "It defines the product we are after. Your next test will be to tell me what that password means"
I will give you twenty four hours to figure it out. If you figure it out that quick I will add ten grand to your take on this mission." Ten grand was more than
I thought I would get for bringing the CD to him so that was a huge bonus considering I had agreed to get five thousand and expenses for this trip to Germany.
"What about my five thousand?" I asked in an demanding voice. "You'll get your five thousand when ever you want it. There is another fifty grand in this
for you if you stay with me and help me out on this mission. That does not include the ten bonus I just offered you if you crack the password." "Fifty Grand!"
I almost shouted. "How long will it take? Is it illegal? Do we have to kill anyone?" It all flew out of my mouth and I realized I sounded like a kid again.
"Those are all good questions that you should be asking but let's start with this. You hang with me for the next twenty four hours and try to crack the code
for that ten grand. I will explain to you what the mission is and then you can decide if it is worth it or not. What do you think?" How could I loose? I
hang with him for twenty four hours just trying to figure out the meaning of some password and listen to what he had to offer. What could go wrong
with deciding to do that. "Sure I'll hang with you for twenty four hours." I had no idea what that twenty four hours had in store for me. If I had I am sure
I would have chickened out right then and there. The Grim Reaper was about to show me just how exciting  Hackers Canyon could be.

All this took place in Germany in 1999. Almost five years have past and now I am an expert on weapons contracting out my services all over the world.

Click on my pic above to hear what the mission was all about.
Dirk Lemmons
Dirkster Productions
Original Internet Gangster
Cyber Gangs

Hacker of Fortune