The scene opens up within the small square behind Franks bungalow. The enclosed space, filled simply with sand, dust, fragments of brick and plaster, with all windows and doors either blasted away, boarded up or barred up with the exception of the two, oddly-polished windows of Franks bungalows which shine in the light of the sun which is hanging low in the clear sky, casting down a vicious heat. Against the northern wall, just in front of a doorway filled with impassable rubble and missile fragments, Phil Nolastname is sitting in a black plastic chair, the sunlight glinting off his bald head which is slick with sweat. He sighs, ruffling a desert camouflage shirt which has been buttoned up to the collar, clearly showing two United Kingdom flags on the collars. Rex is standing behind a camera on a tripod, which a cameraman, wearing a white t-shirt and yellow cargo shorts, points at Phil. A second man, a boom-mic operator, is slowly lowering the boom-mic over Phil, but just enough so that the shadow and the microphone itself aren’t caught on the camera.
Rex: Hey, can you shuffle to the left? Want that Staff Sergeant insignia clearly visible!
Phil shuffles to the left slightly, revealing the insignia.
Phil: Like that? Can I flash a peace sign?
Rex: HAHAHAHAHAHA No. Now, sit still and act very official, like you’re a top figure in the army.
Phil [Scathingly]: Top figure in the army? Don’t I need a bottle of malt liquor and folder labelled “Stupid Plans” then?
Rex [Rolling his eyes]: Save the smart-ass commentary for the interview.
Phil [Mock hurt]: Awwww.
Rex: Are we ready? We ready?
The cameraman nods, flipping a few switches before gazing down the lens at Phil. Phil sits there silently, hands over his lap and with a cheesy grin on his face.
Rex [Bluntly]: Cut the fucking grin.
Phil: Why? It shows them I’m happy!
Rex [Rubbing his eyes in exaggerated frustration]: This…is supposed to be a serious interview!
Phil: We’ll see whose the judge of that!
Rex: Just roll the fucking cameras.
Rex nods to the boom-mic operator, who keeps the microphone where it is. The cameraman flicks a few switches, giving a thumbs up as Rex stays behind the camera.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Position.
Phil: Phil Nolastname. Middlesbrough. Staff Sergeant.
Rex: As a Staff Sergeant, who do you have jurisdiction over?
Phil thinks for a few seconds. Rex gulps, but Phil quickly answers.
Phil: Jericho Kingston, Ivan Hellgenstrand, Steve Llarec, Brick Schmicker, Jon Manguel, Bill Sykes, Maurice Smoglin, Moe Zacharius, Karab Tevany and Dean Chevrolet.
Rex: That’s a lot of people. What’s it like being a Staff Sergeant? Do you fill the leader role well?
Phil [Smirking]: I don’t really lead. It’s just a fancy patch. If I tried to lead, they’d probably shoot me.
Rex [Sighing]: …But, do your team-mates respect you in a leadership role?
Phil [Thinking briefly]: ….Kind of.
Rex: ..Do you like them?
Phil: Oh yeah. Their all cool guys. Gotta love ‘em. Especially Karab, man, what a guy he is. Jericho, Ivan and Steve are like brothers to me, so is Maurice in a way, Moe as we--
Rex [Quickly changing the subject]: --So, before you transferred here, where were you stationed?
Phil: Oh, I was a Royal Engineer. Armoured Crewman. Serving part of the Queens Own. Whenever I got in a Challenger Two Tank, I shot the shit out of anything that moved.
Rex: So, how did you end up being here?
Phil: …I shot the shit out of anything that moved. Turns out that mistaking the Royal Chief Engineers Humvee for an enemy transport is quite a mistake to make. So, after I damn near killed him and blew the roof off a refugee hostel, they shipped me here instead of court-martialling me. After a few years down in the Academy to give me the broad swing of things..I was put here.
Rex: So what do they do in the Academy?
Phil: Fine tune you. Taught me how to aim better, shoot better, utilize basic first aid, carry a gun, carry bullets..Pretty much taught me how to replace anyone if someone gets shot. They do it with everyone.
Rex: So, it’s actually quite an impressive place?
Phil [Frowning slightly]: “Quite impressive”? If you drop out and hand in your discharge papers, or try and flee the country, you’re court martialled and thrown into jail. This is a punishment, not a fucking reward. We’re the armies back-up and cannon fodder.
Rex: Cannon fodder?
Phil: When facing a war machine as big as Ocelots, with PMCs who’d gladly kill anyone? You need to weaken them first. We’re the ones who weaken them, allowing the Special Air Service and Royal Commandos to swoop in and fuck shit up. You know in the battle of Stalingrad, the average life of a trooper stationed at the front line was a day? If Ocelot ever mounts an attack and we’re called in, that’s our life expectancy. Actually, if Ocelots ever mounts a full-scale attack, we’d love to have that be our life expectancy!
Rex: But the training helps, right?
Phil [Rolling his eyes]: Does throwing a pebble at a rhino help? Sure, makes us jacks of all trades, but it’s training us expecting us to die and someone else to take our place. Thankfully, we’ve faced the odd squad and platoon now and again, and they’ve been easy to smack around. I doubt it’s the same against a battalion. I mean, with a Battalion, you have the best of all worlds hurtling straight towards you. In the Corps, our battalion does have a few special companies, but not enough to save us if we ever get attacked head on. Fuck, we’re just the ground guys with crap equipment ourselves.
Rex: What’s wrong with the equipment?
Phil: Look at what we’ve got..for tanks, it’s Abrams. For guns, we get the M4, AK-47 or the AR-15. Our demolitions guys pack M-79s or RPG-7s. All that shit is outdated. They used M-79s in Vietnam, for fucks sake. The AR-15s were used by the Irish Republicans, and the AK? The fucking AK? Great! [Slumping back and folding his arms, muttering darkly under his breath] Don’t get me started on the fucking Abrams. Everyone knows Challengers are superior and better armoured. Thank fuck they don’t let me drive one anymore.
Rex: So you’re pretty ill-equipped?
Phil: Some of us. The United States and British Armies don’t give us equipment. They keep their guns held tight. If you come across a dead soldier, you loot him.
Rex [In disbelief]: Wow, that’s..awful!
Phil: Awful? There’s mercenaries dying out here every day because the government decided it would be easier to just hurl them at Ocelot!! If we see a dead soldier, we’re taking his stuff. Fuck me, we’ve even got a cache of guns we took off of dead Marines and Royal Commandos a while back for when the shit hits the fan.
Rex: …Wow…uh…[Quickly changing the subject] Moving on…what’s it like being stuck in the Middle East?
Phil [Bluntly]: Shit.
Phil: Aside from being saddled with the dirty work of Western governments? It’s too hot. The sand gets everywhere, and the weapons we’ve been given are becoming outdated. Also, they still classify us as mercenaries just because we’re on paychecks and apparently aren’t linked to anyone in fear that Liquid Ocelot will throw a hissy fit and destroy them.
Phil: That’s the story of this conflict though, innit? Both sides slanging out the lies hoping to cover the other in shit. I mean, both sides are just as guilty as eachother. Both are pretty goddamn crafty, too. Why do you think we’re here?
Rex: Well, you’re near the Suez.
Phil: Exactly. If Ocelot takes it, he has a trading route from here and all across the Middle East. Shipping guns would be a fucking doddle. Yet, all he has to do is promise mercenaries a few better guns and some extra cash as well, and they’d let him pass.
Rex: Would you?
Phil remains silent, stroking his bristly chin.
Phil [Thinking out loud]: ….If he offers me a kebab, maybe.
Rex [Scratching his scalp nervously]: …Umm..alright..How do you view your comrades in the United States Army, as well as the armies of the European countries and Australasia?
Phil: Their alright, I s’pose. I don’t mind the Spetsnaz, their cool..Australians are cool and have the funny accent..The Brits give us food and stuff..Yeah, their alright. I like them.
Rex [Laughing slightly]: ‘Their alright’? Wow. I expected a stronger reaction, considering you loot their corpses.
Phil: Well, I’m not going to slag them off, am I? Better equipped, better trained, and ready to shove Ocelots head so far up his ass he’ll be able to French-kiss himself.
Rex: Charming. What about your personal comrades?
Phil: What about them?
Rex: How do you personally feel about them?
Phil: I’d rather be here than with Special Forces. We’re a bunch of drunken, smoking, drug-taking bastards with guns. What’s to hate? Aside from Will.
Phil: Narcissist. Asshole. Wears a handlebar moustache. Stars in porno. Everyone hates him.
Phil [Rolling his eyes]: I just told you. Narcissist. Asshole.
Rex: Anyone you like?
Phil: Yeah: All of them. Each of these guys are awesome in their own way, even the girls are cool too. Not too serious, and living each day like its their last. We’ve got some fucking great leadership too. When the shit hits the fan, I don’t want anyone but Lynch leading us.
Rex: ..Finally, anything to say to your family?
Phil: Yeah. Don’t worry. Everythings fine here, and if I die? You guys won’t hear about it, because this place is fucking hell! KILL ‘EM ALL AND LET GOD SORT ‘EM OUT!!
Cameraman: ….And cut!
Rex rubs his brow free from sweat, giving a small sigh as Ocelot hops through the window behind Phil, scuttling off. Phil stands up, grasping the buttons of his shirt and tearing it straight off, revealing a white shirt soaked through with sweat. He spits out a small stream of water.
Phil [Looking at Rex tiredly]: ….Can I go now?!
Rex [Not bothering to look]: Yeah, run along.
Phil rubs his brow roughly, throwing a literal handful of sweat down into sands before walking out of the square and into Beale Street, raising his arms and yelling.
Phil: NYOMNYOM!!!! NYOMNYOM!!!
Jericho leans his head out of the window of their bungalow, a cigar smouldering between his lips.
Jericho [Clapping his hands together]: Oi, Phil, Stop pretending to be a Zande Warrior and get your ass in here! Ivans cooking something up!
Ivans Voice: He’s alvays like this before his coffee..
Dick throws open the doors to the Lamb and Flag, watching as Phil walks up the street. Dick gives a small, throaty groan, rubbing his brow as sweat flows from it freely. He looks up at the sky: Clear blue, without one cloud streaked across it. He gives a small groan, rubbing his brow and flinging off a few drops of sweat onto the dusty sand.
Dick: Jesus, it’s so fucking hot..
That Hispanic Guy walks past the doors, wearing a pair of maroon silk pyjamas, yellow hair curlers and walking an incredibly small Chihuahua on the end of a chained leash. The Chihuahua is panting heavily in the intense heat as That Hispanic Guy slowly walks along, whistling to himself.
That Hispanic Guy: Hot? Really? I thought it was frio, maricon!
That Hispanic Guy [Glaring at him]: …….Shut up.
Dick: Is that cold or something in Spanish?
That Hispanic Guy [Screaming in over-exaggerated disbelief]: YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! [Straightening his back and flicking his hands at Dick] Now go away, you’re scaring Beastzilla.
Dick looks down at the little Chihuahua with small pink eyes, its tiny body shaking in fatigue.
Dick [Trying not to laugh]: ……..Yeah, I’m sure he’s a beast. Looks like he’s pissing himself looking at his own shadow.
That Hispanic Guy: Well, in his defence, he learnt that from Frank!
Dick: Aye---What’s that racket, then?
Dick looks around as a quiet buzzing noise fills the air.
That Hispanic Guy: Eh, probably some killer bees or something. [Shrugging] Well, goodbye.
That Hispanic Guy walks past the Lamb and Flag as Dick leans out, looking down the street and then up it: Nothing seems to be stirring aside from That Hispanic Guy walking his dog.
Dick: Alright, goddammit, Maurice, Moe, find that fucking noise!
Nothing. Dick walks out of the door and around to the small alley which seperates both pubs: From the upper window of the Lamb and Flag, a thick black rope is thrown out through an open window in the Half Moon. Moe climbs out of the window, slowly rappelling across this rope, dressed in a solid black combat outfit, complete with black facepaint. As soon as he reaches the window, he scuttles upwards and through the open window.
Dick: …Where’s Maurice?
Maurices Voice: Holding the rope!!!
After a few seconds, Moe emerges from the front doors of the Half Moon after absolutely no noise whatsoever, just a continuous drilling. He has a tiny, square cardboard box in his hand, and he’s grinning at it.
Dick: Dude, what’s that?
Moe looks up at Dick, grinning and shaking his head.
Moe: Man, he’s got some fucking hardware in there!
Dick blinks before turning to the double doors of the Half Moon, thrusting them open and storming in, pulling a pair of solid wood nunchucks from the navy blue fannypack around his waist. Al turns around as he hears the doors shut, wearing a welders mask: Behind him stands a giant, steel machine, rectangular in shape and extending from floor to ceiling next to the small green door that marks the mens bathroom. Two large grills are embedded into the top corners of the machine, indicating speakers or microphones, while several buttons are dotted over it as well. Al flips up the welders mask, grinning as he clutches his blowtorch.
Al: Sup, fucker?
Dick [Angrily]: You cunt, what are you doing??!
Al [Excitedly]: Say hello to the Cockshield Five thousand! The best condom machine money can buy! Anything you want, it dispenses it in condom form! I WANT A PINT OF BITTER!
The gears within the machine clank and whirr in near-distress before a clanking sound rattles through the floor of the empty pub. Al extends a hand out towards a large slot carved into the center of the machine as a tiny cardboard box is spat into his hand. He pulls it open, tearing out a transparent condom before stuffing it in his mouth and chewing. Dick winces as he does.
Dick [Wincing, slowly stepping backwards]: WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? DOESN’T THAT HAVE SPERMICIDE ON IT?!?!?
Al [Muffled]: Ith doeth, buth ith thasthes oth bitther!
Dick: You are one nasty motherfucker.
Al spits the condom onto the floor, looking at Dick.
Al: You’re just jealous because your pubs an outdated pile of giant sheep-raping shit!
Dick [Narrowing his eyes]: YOU BASTARD! I’M GOING TO SHAOLIN KUNG-FU PEKING DUCK ON YOUR ASS!!!
Dick swings the nunchucks in a clockwise motion in his right hand, as if he was swinging a grappling hook rather than two small pieces of wood connected by a steel chain. Al simply clicks his blowtorch back on, slamming the welding mask over his head.
Al: Let’s boogie.
Dick lets out a primal war cry and charges at Al, slamming the nunchucks down on the helmet. The helmet rattles noisily as Al grabs Dicks white shirt, setting the blowtorch to it for a few seconds, enough time to engulf it in vivid orange flames. Dick screams, tearing off his shirt and throwing it down before slamming his nunchucks directly down onto the exposed, bald head of Al.
Al [In Agony]: FUUUUUUUCK!!!
The doors slam shut behind them, and both men turn around: Frank is standing there, hair ruffled, beard unshaved and unkempt, eyes half shut and wearing only white boxer shirts with blue vertical stripes.
Frank: I heard there was a new condom machine, and Mantis just got me up. So, can you guys stop killing eachother?
Al sets the blowtorch onto Dicks black pants. Dick screams, unbuttoning them and stepping out of them, kicking them across the floor.
Al [Cackling Inanely]: HAHAHA!! I SEE LONDON, I SEE FRANCE, I SEE YOUR DIRTY, UNWASHED Y-FRONT PANTS!!!
Dick: Get a load of this, cumbucket!
Dick whips behind Al, locking the chain around his thick neck. Al chokes loudly before Dick swings a foot behind Als legs in unison with swinging the nunchucks to the right, causing Al to somehow defy gravity, leap into the air sideways and spin violently before slamming onto the polish linoleum, a pool of blood forming around his mouth as he lays there, legs twitching.
Dick [Dusting off his hands]: And that’s the end of that chapter!
Frank simply stands there, half-asleep and unimpressed by what he just saw.
Frank: Dick, man, you should wear boxers.
Dick: Hey, gay boy, eyes up!
Frank: Your legs on fire.
Dick smells the air, which is filled with the thick scent of barbecued pork. He looks down, only to see his left leg engulfed in flames as Al reaches over, setting his blowtorch onto the hairs. Dick screams violently, running past Frank and blasting him with a wave of heat as he darts out of the doors and up the street.
Frank: ….So, does it have condoms shaped like unicorns which taste like cheese and onion crisps?
The machine, picking up the command, grinds its gears and a small box shoots out of the slot and onto the back of Als head as he lays there, fumbling with the blowtorch in his hand. Frank walks over, picking it up and grinning.
Frank: Cheers bud.
Frank pulls a dollar from the front of his boxers, dropping it onto Als head before walking out of the door.
Als Voice: I DON’T WANT THAT DICK-TOUCHING DOLLAR!!!
Frank: Yeah, well, too bad.
Frank walks up the street, breathing in some of the crisp, warm air as he does. To his disdain, he notices Mantis walking down the street opposite him wearing, despite the weather, her skintight gold-and-grey latex suit, signifying her allegiance to the Beauty and the Beast Unit, giving a small nod. He waves the box over his head manically.
Frank: HEY! WE WERE GOING TO SCREW!!!
Mantis: I have the interview now!
Frank [Bawling]: FUCK THE INTERVIEW AND FUCK ME!!
Bricks Voice [Half-disgusted]: Dude, shut up! You’re throwing off my mojo!
Frank [Slamming his feet down]: COME ON!!
Despite Franks frantic yelling, both of them eventually pass near the alleyway to the square. Mantis shrugs, slapping a hand on his shoulder.
Mantis: Well, if you go warm up, I’ll only be five minutes..
Mantis leans into Franks ear, grinning.
Mantis [Seductively]: I’m not wearing any panties..
Mantis pulls away and Frank grins, only to look over her shoulder and frown at Sal who is standing, mouth agape and eyes wide.
Sal: …I heard everything.
Frank: Sal, what are you doing in public?
Sal: I came for my newspaper!
Mantis turns around, noticing the folded newspaper in his hand.
Mantis [Unimpressed]: We don’t have paperboys in the Middle East.
Sal: I know, I just carry this to act cool--
A gunshot rings through the air. Sal holds up the newspaper which now has a giant hole in it. He tosses the shredded newspaper to the ground, growling and holding up his right hand which is heavily bandaged around the middle finger.
Sal [Screaming wildly]: FIRST MY HAND, AND NOW MY NEWSPAPER??!?!?! THAT PENGUIN CUNT!!!!!
Mantis sighs, turning to Frank and kissing his cheek lightly.
Mantis: Five minutes..
A second gunshot rings out through the air, ending with a dull crack. Sals eyes widen and he jumps into the air, screaming so loud it echoes throughout the surrounding streets. He clamps his hands to his rear, crying loudly.
Sal [Bawling loudly]: MY ASS! HE SHOT MY FUCKING ASS!!! TAVI! TAAAAAAAVIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!
Sal runs off crying towards ReLoaded as Frank stands there, dumbstruck. He looks into the distance, where he sees a small firework sparkle in the distance. He shakes his head slowly, rubbing his brow free from sweat.
Frank: And people wonder why I drink when there’s penguins shooting people..
As Frank enters the house, Mantis slinks around to the back and into the square. Rex turns to her, noticing the catsuit and grins as it shines brightly within the sunlight.
Rex: …Goddamn, Is it hot in here, or is it just me?!
Mantis scowls at him, walking over to the black plastic chair.
Mantis [Growling lowly]: Shut the fuck up, will you? I just want the interview done so I can get home and be with someone I can tolerate, unlike you, you fucking serf.
Rex: Wow, harsh words for a lady!
Mantis: I’m not nice. Not at all.
Rex: No shit, Sherlock. We’re ready when you are!
Mantis gives a small sigh, placing her legs together and resting her hands on her lap, looking dully into the camera.
Mantis hisses loudly, causing the cameraman to jump back.
Cameraman: Aww man, I think I crapped my pants!
Rex [Sighing, Scratching his scalp irritably]: Are we ready?
Mantis: Yes indeed,
The cameraman hesitantly walks forward, flipping a few switches on the side of the camera and giving a thumbs up as the boom-mic operator gently lowers the microphone a few centimetres.
Rex: Alright. Name. Place of Birth. Position.
Mantis [Calmly checking her nails]: Classified.
Rex: ….Alright then. What are you doing here?
Mantis: Independent mercenary work from a different contractor to these guys.
Rex: Then why are you here?
Mantis: Reconnaissance. We don’t get involved in hands-on missions.
Rex: Why are you on recon?
Mantis [Bluntly]: Classified.
Rex scratches his scalp again in irritation.
Rex: Alright then..Whats your past military experience?
Mantis [Smirking cruelly]: Classified.
Rex: For the love of—Alright then, so you’re military backgrounds a mystery?
Mantis: It’s all classified.
Rex: By who? The United States Government? NATO? The UN?
Mantis [Leaning back and folding her arms, smiling evilly]: A certain individual has us here. We’re scouting the place out.
Rex: Alright, I won’t even bother with any more military questions. What’s your view on this fighting?
Mantis: Pointless, really. Mercenaries and rebels stuck jostling against Ocelot. It’s useless. While Ocelot is busy spreading, all these concentrated pockets are doing is holding an invisible line. If Ocelot wanted to, he could pour all his resources forward and just smash them, but he seems to have came up with a spot of amnesia.
Mantis [Calmly]: So it goes.
Rex: Have you had any experience of the Mercenary Academy?
Mantis: Can’t say I have. Mother Mercenary, though..
Rex: Oh? What’s your experience of her?
Mantis: A cruel woman. If it wasn’t for her, I’m sure Ocelot would be ravaging this place by now. She kills anyone who poses a threat to the normal way of living around here: Protestors, PMCs, Rioters. Anyone who tries and fucks with her law is simply killed and left to rot, and yet because the UN has given her sanctions and power, none of which I know in detail or frankly want to know, it’s not like the governments around here can do anything, unless they want to be sandwiched between Ocelots forces and a bunch of trigger-happy mercenaries. Which is why towns are springing up.
Rex: So, what’s it like being stuck in the Middle East?
Screaming Mantis [Bluntly]: Awful. Plain awful.
Mantis: Look around. Pale sands, clear skies, hot sunshine which gives bodies a bronze tan. It sucks. We’re not outcasts from the Jersey Shore. Some of us actually want to kill. NEED to kill. There’s PMCs out there that need to die, yet the weather causes most of us just to lay back and think of this as a holiday. Not to mention the mercenary outposts, the constant rebel attacks nearby, and the odd PMC push forward. There’s no peace here whatsoever.
Rex: So what are your thoughts on killing?
Mantis: It has to be done. Better than me is what I say. [Folding her arms tighter] Better them than me..I enjoy killing somewhat. There’s something about taking a mans life from him that is more intimate than sexual intercourse, and more pleasurable than a thousand orgasms, you know? It’s a wonderful feeling to see a mans eyes glaze over as his soul leaves his body. I guess that’s what seperates the wheat from the chaff: Those who enjoy killing against those who loathe it respectively.
Rex [Trying to press forward]: So, you’re not a mercenary stationed in this company. Did you used to be a mercenary in a conflict? Are you still a mercenary doing this reconnaissance?
Mantis: ….It’s a really long story. Most of which is classified.
Rex: Were you a part of a unit? Team? Company?
Mantis: No. I used to be a part of a special unit..will be part of a special unit..
Mantis [Calmly]: You’ll find out later.
Rex: …Okay. So, what do you think of the equipment you get?
Mantis: How would I know? I got the good stuff. The really good stuff. [Mantis taps the side of her head.] Classified.
Mantis: Good. Now, is the interview over?
Rex: No. A few more questions…What are your thoughts on the mercenaries, as an outsider?
Mantis: Outsider? They’ve integrated me into their little company, even if it does humiliate me. They even set seats aside for me at their weekly chicken-wing eating contests! Although that does disgust me. Actually, most of them do disgust me. They lack personal hygiene, manners, and any sort of advanced training whatsoever. I mean, some of them even use their gun barrels to scratch their asses. Can you believe that?
Rex turns his head to the right, where Billy is walking north past the alley, carrying a Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle laced over his shoulders with his arms draped over it like a yoke, a magazine stuck in his mouth as he carries it.
Rex: ….Ever so slightly.
Mantis: They don’t respect the gun, some don’t even respect eachother. I mean, it’s not even a company, it’s basically the remnants of the worst that the military has to offer, banded together with some cheap glue. It’s ludicrous, especially when you look at the other companies the academies thrown out. The Academy has churned out such bastards like Reaper and Ghost Company, and masterminds such as Company Beta and Flying Thirty-First. I remember going against some of these---Never mind.
Rex: You fought against these guys, right here?
Mantis’ eyes dart from left to right.
Mantis [Nervously]: ….Somewhat. The point is, those companies I mentioned are well-trained, if under-equipped. These guys right here are Neanderthals fighting with sticks and stones.
Franks Voice [Muffled, angry]: HEY! I RESENT THAT REMARK!
Mantis looks up to her left: Frank is leaning out the window, a toothbrush in his mouth, shoved into the barrel of a Glock.
Mantis: I rest my case.
Frank looks down at the Glock, then at Mantis, but simply shrugs and goes back to brushing his teeth.
Rex [Smirking somewhat]: So, you don’t rate them at all? Fair enough. The final thing: Anything to say to your family?
Mantis [Frowning]: I have no family. It was wiped out by private military contractors.
Cameraman [Hastily]: AAAAAAAAAAND CUT!!!
Mantis wipes her brow, giving a deep breath out and looking up at the pale sky. The cameraman taps Rex on the shoulder.
Cameraman: Hey, can we go and get some breakfast?
Rex: There’s some in the car.
Cameraman: We had moss last night, Rex!
Rex [High-pitched, mocking tone]: Wehadmosslastnightwex..[Frowning angrily]..SHUT UP AND GET IN THE FUCKING JEEP!
The Cameraman and Boom Microphone operator moan loudly, leaving their equipment where it stands before slumping over and walking west out of the square. Mantis gets to her feet, running her right hand backwards through her hair and allowing a small waterfall of sweat to flow down her scalp and to her back.
Mantis: Hot weather, huh?
Rex [Ignoring her as he watches the footage]: Yeah yeah.
Mantis gives a deep sigh, rubbing her face.
Mantis: Man, I could use some breakfast..
She lowers her head back, looking around the square. Rex is busy viewing the footage, while Karab walks behind him, cutting through the square and whistling a small, shrill tune as he runs an ivory comb through his flowing black beard.
Karab: Time to head to Cairo for my morning prayers. Mantis.
Karab nods. Mantis gives a small nod back.
Mantis: Are you sure it’s safe keeping Dean alone?
Karab: What trouble can he get into?
*Dean and Karabs Kebaborama*
Dean is laying alone in his bedroom, a small bundle of covers left disturbed on the floor, while Karabs bed has been made to pristine condition. Dean gives a loud snort before quickly jolting up, narrowing his eyes and adjusting his ears to the odd, serene silence cascading through the Kebab Shop.
Deans eyes shoot around the bedroom.
Dean: Samuel? Karab? [Getting nervous] ..Assholes?..Hello?
Dean slowly climbs out of his bed wearing only a white t-shirt and grey boxers. He carefully walks forward with one foot in front of the other to cushion his footsteps, leaning down and grabbing a baseball bat leant against the foot of his bed as he does. He slowly reaches the door, lightly brushing his fingers over the brass handle with enough force to open it. He peers out of the door, looking down the concrete steps at the open door to the kitchen.
Dean [Nervously]: ..H..hello?
Dean turns around, looking back in the bedroom. Deans head snaps back around, swearing he heard the shuffling of unseen feet.
Dean: ..Samuel? [Angrily, bellowing]: THIS ISN’T FUNNY!! I’M GOING TO THRUST MY TESTICLES INTO YOUR EYES, YOU LITTLE SHIT!!!!!!!!!
Dean dashes downstairs, rolling up his short sleeves and bulging his biceps threateningly. He jumps into the kitchen, looking around: Nothing is out of place. The ovens, tandoori and spit are all in their previous positions, and no knife nor fork has been moved out of place. Everything is glimmering, a sign of Karabs own cleaning. Nothing is out of place.
Dean: …Fucking imagination..
Disembodied Voice [Quietly, Hissing]: …msggrr..
Deans head snaps around the room, eyes widening.
Dean [Panicked] WHO—WHOSE THERE?!?!?!?
Nothing. Dean sighs, turning around and looking down at the counter where a dark, illegible stain has appeared. He gives a loud sigh, rubbing his forearms against a small, dark stain.
Dean: Fucking Karab…missed a fucking spot…Dumbass pile of crap..
Dean notices the stain isn’t going away. He narrows eyes, looking down at the stain and leaning over it. The stain looks oddly like a human head, complete with dark, hollow eyes and leering, bloody teeth.
Disembodied voice [Screaming violently]: GET OUT!!!
Dean squeals in fear like a little schoolgirl, turning around and pushing open the kitchen door, bolting towards the outside and thrusting the door open, running outside and waving his arms.
Dean: MY FUCKING HOUSE! ITS HAUNTED! HELP! HELP! FUCKING HELP!
Jericho watches as he sits on the steps of his house, eating a slice of toast. He quickly shoves it into his mouth and swallows, shrugging and getting to his feet.
Jericho: Dean? Whats made you shit your pants?
Jericho [Bluntly, Rolling his eyes]: There’s no such thing as ghosts, you dumb shit.
Dean: THERE IS! IT’S IN THE KEBAB SHOP!
Jericho sighs, walking up the street and slapping a hand on Deans shoulder. Dean is trembling, the under-arms of his grey shirt soaked through with sweat.
Jericho: ..Woah, you’re fucking out of it!
Jericho: Alright, follow me.
Jericho sighs, rubbing his eyes and opening the door to the Kebab Shop, walking inside. Nothing but silence.
Jericho: See? Nothing. Hey, what the fuck man, clean that shit up!
Dean [Panicked]: THE STAIN! DON’T!
Disembodied voice [Screaming violently]: GEEEEEEEEEET OUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTT!!!
Jericho turns around, quickly running out and slamming the door shut, slamming his back against it and breathing heavily, grinning nervously.
Jericho: …Uhhhh…Dean? Your house is haunted.
Wolf [Angrily]: Whats all the commotion???!
Jericho and Dean turn around: Halfway down the street, Wolfs head is leaning out of the upper-left window of ReLoaded, looking at them in confusion at the yelling and screaming.
Jericho [Calmly]: Deans house is haunted!
Wolf laughs loudly, slamming the window shut and turning around. She climbs into her bed, the blanket now comprising of a Russian Flag, while the white plastic headboards are replaced with a more mature headboard constructed from wrought iron. Her new beau, the leader of a squad of Spetsnaz soldiers on a miniature leave within the area, is sitting up, shaking his head rapidly to relieve the tension and wake himself up after being jolted to his core by the screaming.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader [Yawning]: Vat vas that?
Wolf: ..Ahh..they think someones house is haunted.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Ha. Ghosts..just a vucking myth..
Wolf: They are, aren’t they?
Spetsnaz Squad Leader [Rolling his eyes]: ..Yes, vich is vhy I said it…
Wolf: Mmmhm. I know.
Wolf lays on top of the blanket, while the Spetsnaz squad leader remains sat up, running his rough, leathery palms over his once-smooth chest which is now dotted by small red bumps, some weeping droplets of blood.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: ….You could be a little more submissive in the bed..
Wolf [Grinning]: Why?? You know I like it ROUGH!
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Vell, da, but I don’t vant to be injured when ze Captain comes vor me!
Wolf: Oh yeah, I forgot you’re a part of an actual military..I forget, what with us being surrounded by, you know--
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Complete idiots?
Wolf: Yeah, that..
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Hey, not all of zem are complete idiots..I mean, some might make the Spetsnaz, others vould make the standard army, and the rest vould make good meat shields..
Wolf: How many would make the Spetsnaz?
Spetsnaz Squad Leader:…….Okay, I was joking. The Spetsnaz generally allow the best of the best vithin its vanks, men trusted vith guarding the safety of the motherland with an iron vill and iron fist. These men? Ve vouldn’t trust them with a tin opener in ze standard army.
Wolf: But you said others would make it--
Spetsnaz Squad Leader [Smirking]: Da. As cooks.
Wolf: Good point. We can’t have common mercenaries roaming around as special forces, can we, darling?
The Squad Leader cocks an eyebrow at her, causing Wolf to snort as soon as his eyes catch this signal.
Wolf: Baby, I’m from a special unit of mercenaries. All female. Killers. Ruthless. We carved up the world under the helm of one man….We did, anyway, but it seems his plans have came to a halt..Amnesia, so he says.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Vat? Amnesia?
Wolf: It’s a long story.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: Ve used to vace an all-female unit..Ve faced zem in Chechnya, vhere zey supported the private military companies stationed zere..Used vobots, mechanical suits, a lot of strange weaponvy. Thankfully, their gone now. Used to be a part of Ocelots regime. Somevone vinally took zem out, I guess. All Ocelots doing now is running up the vaids until he can unleash ze veal thing.
Wolf [Under her breath]: Not long now, actually.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: ..Vat?
Wolf quickly hums a small tune, looking around the room.
Wolf: Nothing. I said nothing.
Thankfully, the distraction Wolf wants comes quickly as the door to the bedroom flies open. Courtney, with a pair of black headphones clamped over her ears attached to a silver iPod at her hip, is carting along a red toboggan, which in itself is carrying along a long six-barrelled minigun. The cold steel lead-spitter sits uneasily on the tobaggon, yet even the small form of Courtney is wheeling it with somewhat ease.
Wolf: Courtney..what the fuck is that?
Courtney pulls off the right ear of her headphones, looking over her shoulder and grinning.
Courtney [Grinning]: It’s an M61A2 Vulcan gatling gun. 20mm bullets, firing 6,600 of them a minute. This baby weighs two hundred and two pounds and is an air-cooled piece of machinery. This thing rains death at--
Wolf: Alright, I get it..Why do you have it?
Courtney: Ahhhhh..The Mechanics requested one. Don’t know why, they just did. Not like I’m going to argue with them…Oh hey, Dimitri, you’re up!
Wolf slowly turns her head to the Spetsnaz Squad Leader, who gives a small flick of his hand as a greeting gesture.
Wolf [Quietly]: You never told me your name..
Dimitri [Quietly, to Wolf]: Because Dimitri is a placeholder name. My real name is not of importance, nor am I permitted to share it.
Wolf [Scathingly]: What, you can’t even tell me??
Courtney: Okay, I’ll just leave you two little lovebirds alone. I’m going to go and give Erik here to the Mechanics!
Wolf [Growling]: Oi..”Dimitri.”..Whats your real name??
Courtney: Is no-one even wondering why I’m taking heavy weaponry to the mechanics? No-one? No-one at all?
Dimitri: I cannot tell you,it’s classified information!
Wolf [Licking her lips, smiling cruelly]: Oh, I will find out.
Dimitri: Ahhh shit.
Wolf ducks beneath the covers, causing Courtney to quickly shuffle around and head towards the door.
Courtney: I wonder what they do need with little ol’ Eric here..I mean, it’s eleven in the morning. Who needs a Vulcan this early in the morning?
*The Chop Shop*
That Hispanic Guy [Yelling loudly]: WORK! WORK! WORK! WORK HARDER! WORK FASTER! LET YOUR TEARS MOISTEN THE METAL, AND YOUR SKIN SAND THE SCREWS! WORK!
Within the large interior of the Chop Shop, the mechanics are hard at work. The air is filled with the sharp sounds of jigsaws and circular saws slicing through metal while golden sparks dance across their cold exteriors. Eleven man are currently manning the various machines and weathering the intense heat which is concentrated within the mixture of concrete and metal which surrounds on them, their eyes obscured by tinted black goggles to avoid injury and to withstand the blistering light rebounding off of the metal. A long workbench, little more than a solid block of metal carved into the smooth shape of a table, holds a long piece of steel alloy upon it, scavenged from an unknown source. The unmistakeable form of Johan, hulking, arms tensed and a large lump hammer clenched in his skillet-like right hand, is busy pounding at the metal. The gigantic form of Stoofer is busy running an electric sander across the edges of the metal, his black hair tied behind him in a ponytail and a welders mask over his face to protect his feature, while That Random Guy is simply polishing the wing with a cloth soaked in icy water from a bucket at his feet, his protection consisting of little more than a pair of goggles over his eyes, and a black apron over his body.
Johan: What are we building?!
That Hispanic Guy: Oh you will see, YOU! WILL! SEE!
That Random Guy blinks, glaring at the sheet of metal he is polishing and noticing the distinct, streamlined shape it is taking.
That Random Guy: Dude, this looks like a fucking wing!
That Hispanic Guy yells unintelligibly, snapping his whip at That Random Guys back and causing him to scream in pain as the steel tips connect with his back.
That Hispanic Guy: BACK TO WORK! ALL OF YOU!
Mustafa: Sir, how will this seat do?
That Hispanic Guy turns around: Mustafa is cradling a white leather seat, torn straight from inside the limo of Rex Houghton, within his gigantic, trunk-like arms.
That Hispanic Guy: Perfect! Just remove the R and the H stitching and replace it with “EMPEROR”.
Mustafa: Good choice.
That Hispanic Guy [Quietly, To Mustafa]: Another thing, my African-American brother, do you think you could beat anyone who is thinking of slacking off before their designated times? All this whipping…murder on my wrists!
Mustafa grins, cracking his knuckles and almost crushing the seat between his arms. He turns to That Other Random Guy, who is busy hammering at a long piece of alloy, who looks up. Seeing the fluorescent light glinting off of his bald head and eyes, he gives a small gulp, quickly lowering and starting to hammer faster.
Mustafa [Evilly]: With pleasure.
As That Hispanic Guy looks over his busy garage with a sense of pride, That Random Guy looks up at Stoofer. He looks over his shoulder and sees that Mustafa has turned away to a group of three men who begin to pick apart the stitching of the seat with haste, quickly turning back to Stoofer.
That Random Guy: Psst. Stoofer. What do you think this is?
Stoofer [Calmly, Sarcastically]: Well, it’s obviously not a wing, is it?
That Random Guy: Oh ha ha. But what would he be using it for?
Stoofer sighs, tilting his head left and right.
Stoofer: Judging by circumference, width and shape? Jet. Possibly a fighter jet.
That Random Guy: Has *Beep* been screwing cashews?
That Random Guy: Because he’s fucking nuts! How are we supposed to assemble this shit?!
Stoofer [Bluntly]: With the use of both blackmailing and threats of swift violence.
That Random Guy: ..I love your way of thinking, man!
Stoofer: I hate yours, so it’s only fair.
That Random Guy: C’mon Stoofer! Just cause I’m white and your Hispanic, don’t mean we can’t be friends!
Stoofer [Calmly]: I know. I’m friends with a lot of the blancos around here, just not you.
That Random Guy: You fucking asshole!
Stoofer [Smirking slightly]: Si.
That Random Guy: …Only kidding, I like you!
Stoofer: I’m not kidding.
Johan: I wonder how we will assemble this. If it is a fighter jet, then we’ll require a much larger place of assembly than this little shop. In fact, this is probably just one quarter of the wing. If that. If it is a wing.
Stoofer: Well, it’s obviously a wing, Johan. Maybe *beep* is finally turning insane, and wants to launch an incredibly-violent takeover of the Middle East.
Johan looks up as That Hispanic Guy sits on the white leather limo seat, one leg crossed over another and his hands on his laps as he watches Mustafa patrol the floors, laughing at the top of his lungs.
Mustafa walks past the bench, whip curled in his hand. He slams a giant hand onto Johans shoulder, leaning into his ear.
Mustafa: The boss has a job for you.
Johan sets down his lump hammer as he listens to Mustafa.
Mustafa: Remember the escort humvees that the little white movie-making asshole has his security drive around in? Turns out one of them has been left just outside the street to the North. We don’t know why, but we want you to go ahead and steal that shit.
Johan groans loudly, rubbing his forehead free from sweat.
Johan: Let’s go, Stoofer.
Stoofer: Anything better than being in this fucking oven.
That Random Guy: Can I come??!
Stoofer and Johan look at That Random Guy before simply giving a sarcastic laugh.
Johan and Stoofer: NO.
Back in the square, Dean is huddled in the lower left corner, his arms wrapped around his bare knees with a shotgun at his feet. Rex is sitting in the interview chair alone, listening to the chirps of birds and the distant sounds of rattling gunfire from an unknown battle between rebels and PMCs. He ruffles his newspaper, scrolling his eyes down the articles as he listens to Dean babble incessantly.
Dean: Ghosts man. Ghosts man. Ghosts man. Ghosts man. Don’t like ghosts. Don’t like ghosts.
Rex gives a small cough, ruffling the newspaper once more. Bob Benito, wearing a pair of red paisley Bermuda shorts and a white tank-top, slowly strolls into the square, looking around. He notices Dean and Rex, nodding at them.
Bob: Hey, is he..alright?
Bob slowly walks closer to Dean, who is busy starting to rock back and forth against the yellowing wall, several small pieces of charred stone from the roof raining near Dean and hitting the sand-dusted concrete with small patters. Dean stops rocking when he sees Bob approaching, looking up at him.
Dean [Whispering loudly]: Bob?...Is that you?
Bob: Yes Dean. It’s me.
Dean [Twitching slightly]: …There’s a ghost in my house..
Bob [Underwhelmed, sighing[: …..Okay. I never thought you’d lost it, but I guess you never know what to expect here..
A small, tuneful whistling fills the air as Courtney slinks through the square, flashing a small smile as she slowly drags the M61A1 Vulcan in the red toboggan behind her, dragging it violently across the concrete.
Rex: ..No shit. You know there’s an article in here about a U-Boat being stationed in the Suez Canal which is currently trying to block Ocelot from shipping in supplies? I mean, a U-Boat! What kind of fucking idiots mobilize an old Nazi submarine to use in battle?
Bob blinks, turning his head to Rex who slowly looks up, narrowing his eyes.
Rex [Sighing]: I won’t even ask how you got ahold of one.
Bob: Good. Let’s keep it that way.
Dean [Starting to panic]: Where’s Samuel? Where’s he gone? Where’s Karab? Karab too busy praying. DEAN NEEDS KARAB!!
Bob: Don’t worry Rex, you’ll get used to it eventually.
Rex: I already know a few things. For example, I have to interview Frank now..
Rex slowly folds the newspaper, standing up and dropping it onto the ground beside him. He leans over the right side of the chair, pulling up a tanned, cracked leather messengers bag and pulls out a can of Budweiser, cracking the tab with a satisfying hiss and a crack. Almost instantly, Frank wanders into the square, his head darting around the square.
Frank: Someone opened a can of Budweiser. I heard it.
Rex gives a small grin, nodding at Bob.
Bob [Sighing]: …I’m sure I’ll find a new house somewhere someday..
**The Lamb and Flag**
Dick is standing in front of his bar, hands clasped together over his mouth as he eagerly watches Moe and Maurice hammer and bolt several planks of varnished wood together. The planks, beginning to form a makeshift stage, take pride of place against the eastern wall of the Lamb and Flag, ensconsed between both the male and female toilets and opposite the door, ensuring everyone who enters gets a full view of whatever Dick is planning. Maurice slowly stands up, wiping his forehead and rubbing the sweat against his large, wobbling gut covered with a huge white vest, revealing the several British-themed tattoos covering his thick, pasty arms.
Maurice: Ow, it’s almost done kid. Just toss on a microphone and alls done, alreet?
Dick: Yes. Yes. That is alright, my Geordie friend. [Cackling loudly] EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT! SOON, THE LAMB AND FLAG WILL TRIUMPH OVER THE HALF MOON!
Moe slowly stands up, taking off his own vest and rubbing it against his brow, practically soaking it through.
Moe: Yeah, but a stage for Karaoke?!
Dick [Quietly]: It will work. It will work..
Maurice: Y’already have yeh yankee food and shit, guv, so why d’ya want a Karaoke stage, like?
Dick: So people will flock here and try their talents! I mean, c’mon, karaoke and booze? It’s like a person with OCD and tin foil!
Moe looks up at Maurice, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Dick simply gives a giddy, evil laugh.
Moe: If it wasn’t for the two dollar an hour payrise he’s giving us for this, I’d fucking bail.
Maurice: Aye, me too little lad..Me too.
Dick looks at the ceiling above the stage, slowly tracing his plans through the air.
Dick: So, if I put multi-colored lights there..
He jabs a hand to the right of the stage, next to an old jukebox.
Dick: A projector on top of Old Sparky..Maybe a disco ball or two, and the drunks will be flocking and we will be RICH! AS RICH AS THE QUEEN!
Maurice: Aye, he’s snapped.
Moe: Dammit..I’m not sure about this. You know where karaokes big, big man?
Moe: Japan. I don’t do well around geeks and dweebs, man! Goddamn otaku and shit, I can’t deal with that..What if word gets out and Sakura Company decide to visit?
Maurice [Thinking]: ….Sakura Company? Oh, the lads who used to be Company Five…[Suddenly realising]..Oh….OH.
Moe: Yeah! I can’t deal with that shit, man! I already see their tanks up in Cairo!
Maurice: You mean they still have--
Moe: Tentacles and shit, man. Tentacles. And. Shit.
Dick [Clapping his hands together]: OI! COME ON! I WANT IT BY TONIGHT!
Moe: I say we overthrow him and kill him.
Maurice: ..Maybe later, wee lad..maybe later.
**The Chop Shop**
Back in the Chop Shop, the out-of-place Courtney, the smallest person in the room as she is surrounded by behemoths busy hammering and welding, is busy polishing the barrels of the Vulcan gatling gun. That Hispanic Guy strokes his chin as he watches her, while Mustafa is busy whipping a yelping That Other Random Guy, who has a half-eaten chocolate bar at his feet. The other mechanics ignore their surroundings, choosing to carry with great interest and dedication to the nigh-on impossible task facing them.
That Hispanic Guy: So, how many people would you say it can kill?
Courtney: Put it against a Battalion and fire it for one minute. You won’t have a Battalion left, just limbs scattered about, and blood falling like hot, sweet rain..
That Hispanic Guy slowly steps backwards from Courtney.
That Hispanic Guy: Right.
That Other Random Guy: STOP HITTING ME!!!
Mustafa [Angrily]: NO! CANDY! IN! THE! WORKSHOP!
Courtney watches as Mustafa whips That Other Random Guy violently on his back, causing a small spray of blood to hit the metal walls of the garage behind him. Mustafa simply responds by curling the whip around his fist and starting to punch him in the forehead.
Mustafa [Angrily]: NO! BLEEDING! IN! THE! WORKSHOP!
Courtney: Don’t you find it racist that the white people in the workshop are those beaten the most?
That Hispanic Guy: Racist! No! I am no racist! I just have zero tolerance for stupid people, as you can see.
Courtney: ….I guess you’re right. Anyway, if you’re going to install this thing, gimme a call, alright? Although God knows why you want to put it on a jet..
That Hispanic Guy: Jet? [Laughing nervously] We aren’t making a jet..we’re making….a…uh……chair.
Courtney looks at two mechanics, busy examining a large jet engine.
Courtney: …Okay. So a jet-powered chair. That makes sense.
That Hispanic Guy [Hastily]: I KNOW! Now get out, we’re busy, as you can see.
Courtney raises her hands, mouthing ‘Okay’ silently and walking backwards, eventually turning around and walking out of the wide open sliding garage door, heading up the street. As soon as she vanishes, That Hispanic Guy places his fingers in his mouth, giving a shrill whistle. The sounds of raucous hammering, welding and buffing are quickly silenced as all eyes turn to That Hispanic Guy.
That Hispanic Guy [Grinning]: ..Time for lunch.
The entire garage explodes into a chorus of cheers as they tear off their welding masks or goggles, throwing them into the air in joy. Mustafa steps backwards from That Other Random Guy, who is bleeding profusely from both his nose and several gashes on his back, turning around and folding his arms. Before the mechanics can move, Johan and Stoofer slowly edge in, literally carrying a Humvee with Johan clutching the front bumper and Stoofer clutching the rear bumper. Slowly, they set it down on a space designated by a hatched pattern of yellow lines.
Stoofer [Dusting off his hands]: Done.
Johan [Cocking an eyebrow]: Why is everyone excited?
That Hispanic Guy: It’s lunchti--
The entire garage empties within seconds in a cloud of dust.
As the rabble of hungry mechanics pour out of the Chop Shop and into Walkers Street, desperately heading towards the Lamb and Flag, Frank is sitting on the black chair in the square, looking at the camera. For the first time in a great while, Franks hair is combed and his beard is trimmed. His body is clothed in finely pressed and laundered desert camouflage fatigues, with a patch bearing “Daniels” on the right of his chest, and a blank patch on the right. A patch, indicating his position as a First Sergeant, is placed both in the middle of his chest, and on his left arm, just above the universal insignia for the mercenaries: A pair of crossed rifles behind a skull and crossbones on a black patch.
Rex: Perfect. Perfect. We ready to roll?
He flicks a few switches, giving a thumbs up.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Position.
Frank: Frank Daniels. Phoenix, Arizona. First Sergeant.
Rex: So, how did you end up here? Tell us your story.
Frank: I went through Officer Candidate School down in Georgia. Was a part of the standard army before then, but then I got my butterbar and became a Second Lieutenant. I was part of First Cavalry Division, leading my own platoon…God, those were the days..Me and my boys in the Black Jack, Part of the Fifth Cavalry..Acting as the heavies, driving in tanks, making sure the enemy died in pieces..Making my men drive all over the place, the feel of the Hummer skating across sand….
Rex: What happened?
Frank: I got drunk one morning before going into combat. I charged the enemy and apparently offered them a few beers, which just offended them since this was the Taliban we were fighting. I had a history of drinking since completing training, mainly because it was a way to calm nerves. Sadly though, you’re not supposed to operate a weapon intoxicated. Not only that, but my own Platoon had to get me the fuck out of an enemy town because I ran in looking for magic beans.
Rex [Amazed]: ….Wow.
Frank: Yeah. Needless to say, one of the most prestigious divisions in the United States Army decides to hurl me away, but they thought “Hold on, this guys been trained, let’s send him to the Middle East.” So they sent me to the Academy, I trained for a few months, assured them I still had control of my arms, and I’ve been here ever since, second in charge of this Company. I’ve been a heavy drinker ever since.
Rex: That’s..pretty tragic.
Frank: Not really. They have higher tolerance for drinking here, I FUCKING LOVE IT! Besides, I felt out of place down in the First Cavalry Division. Felt like I had to try too hard, y’know? Smile for the civvies, back straight, manners, don’t use forks to scratch your nutsack at the table, the usual.
Rex [Sarcastically]: Wow. Real classy.
Rex: So, you enjoy it here?
Frank: HELL YEAH! Drinking, drinking and more drinking! The guys are cool, too.
Rex: So, you like the people here? Do they like you?
Frank: I’m sure the taunting calls of rummy, drunken bastard and stupid fuck are just teases. They’re all cool guys, really. Lynch is a great leader, except he needs to loosen up a bit. I think they all bring something to the table, which is going to help a hell of a lot when Ocelot rolls in. We’ve got tank commanders, demolition experts, engineers, snipers, pilots…Bit of everything, really, and that’s what makes us the best damn company in the Corps!
Rex: Some think otherwise..
Frank: Pfff..Just because we drink, bathe irregularly and actually have fun doesn’t mean we’re completely incompetent. We’re just a bunch of fun-loving mercs! When the shit hits the fan, we work well as a team, and each one of us will fulfil our role perfectly. Even if some of them are pessimistic, and would rather tear off their balls than take orders from me, they still fulfil their roles well.
Rex: Right. So equipment and training wise, you think you’re the best?
Frank: The Academy ain’t a pushover, Rex. They have some of the toughest sergeants and coaches out there. We were beaten regularly, and we learnt to take it. After attending their, anything the enemy throws at you seems like a picnic. They strapped your wrists down, locked you in cages, and the obstacle courses? Goddamn..those courses were done under live fire. We had a few casualties in Officer classes, even. But it gets you in the mindset for war. When they send you out onto the battlefield, you almost start to enjoy the killing.
Rex: ..And you’re fine with that?
Frank: I don’t enjoy killing. I was speaking figuratively.
Frank [Blinking rapidly]: …OF COURSE!
Rex: Well that’s nice. So, do you like being stationed in the Middle East?
Frank: It’s nice enough. Sick of getting sand in my eyes, though. I mean, it’s a hotbed of violence, but we never get it over here, nor do we get shuffled off to deal with it. Not only that, but the shorelines just a few clicks north which allows for some pretty awesome fishing. It’s like a holiday resort, except with more explosions and people who want to kill you..Kind of like Texas, actually.
Rex: So you get some fighting in, then?
Frank: We’re just waiting for the big one, really. I mean, I don’t get much news to me, being First Sergeant, so I guess that there just isn’t any major battles going on. I know a few companies up in Port Said are fighting Ocelots PMCs, but nothing huge. All we’re doing right now is sitting back and enjoying life while it lasts.
Rex: Alright, Anything to add? Messages to family?
Frank; Mum. Dad. Brother Jessup. I just want to say that everything is fine, and little Frankies doing fine fighting for his country. Any care package you send gets through without censorship or hassle, so please…I need Jack Daniels. Bottles and bottles of Jack Daniels! And Jim Beam! [Clears throat] I love you guys, and don’t worry, my brothers in arms treat me perfectly well. Hopefully, I’ll be given leave sometime soon and I’ll come home.
Cameraman: Aaaaand cut.
Rex [Sighing and rubbing his eyes]: Wow, how soppy. Alright, bugger off.
Frank: I’m done?
Rex: Of course you are, now go.
Frank: Finally! Back to drinking!
Rex: One thing, though: Aren’t you worried that your drinking may be linked to psychological trauma?
Frank looks at Rex before giving a small laugh, getting to his feet.
Frank: Why should I care? Beer makes Frank feel good!
Cameraman [Quietly, to Rex]: That’s a yes, then.
**Dean and Karabs Kebaborama**
Karab [In humoured disbelief]: And the ghost..is that stain?
Karab and Dean are back in the Kebaborama. Karab, still wearing his prayer clothes, is leaning over the countrer, squinting at the stain which Dean believes to be the root of all evil. Karab gives a small snigger, quickly turning it into a cough before turning to Dean who is standing behind the counter and the kitchen, teeth chattering nervously.
Dean [Quietly]: It said it wanted me to get out! I swear it did, I’ve seen them before!
Karab: ..One, ghosts aren’t real. Two, if you’ve seen them before, what makes this one so special? He looks like a tikka masala stain, for crying out loud!
Dean: I know evil when I hear it!
Karab: Dean, I’m sure you’re just being delusional.
Disembodied Voice [Hissing]: …mnngg….
Dean: DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?!
Karab: Yes. It’s just the house settling. Nothing else.
Dean [Hysterically]: It said..’MNNNG’!!! IT’S GOING TO KILL US!!!
Karab sighs, walking out from the plastic door to the right of the counter and looks at Dean, slapping his hands on his shoulders.
Karab: Dean. Calm down. There is no such thing as ghosts.
Dean: Then what the fuck is that?!
Karab looks over his shoulder: Nothing except the kitchen framed within the small window which acts as the serviette.
Karab: There’s nothing there. I think you’re just getting paranoid. Maybe it’s time you cut down on the alcohol.
Disembodied Voice [Getting louder]: …You…
Karab slowly turns around: Nothings there.
Disembodied Voice [Screaming violently]: I WILL RAPE YOU IN HELL!!!
Karab looks back at Dean, giving a small, nervous grin before turning around, bolting straight out the door. Dean simply stands there, quickly giving a deep breath and looking around the walls, arms spreadeagled.
Dean [Angrily]: ALRIGHT, YOU INVISIBLE FUCK! BRING IT ON!
A large shadow which obscures half the wall in front of Dean materialises.
Disembodied Voice [Screaming in violent rage]: I WILL TEAR YOUR LUNGS OUT!!!
Dean quickly turns around, bolting out the door and slams it shut behind him. He quickly turns around, screaming violently as he comes face to face with Samuel. Samuel jumps backwards in surprise, but Dean quickly stops, clutching his chest and breathing heavily.
Samuel: Dean?! What’s wrong?! Where’s Karab?!?!
Dean: ..Karab ran?! THAT FUCKING COWARD--
Samuel [Exasperated]: DEAN! What is it?
Dean: A ghost, man! An evil bastard!
Samuel gives a small laugh.
Samuel: Dean. Shut up. You know what we know.
Dean [Twiddling his thumbs nervously]: And I know that you know what we know, but it doesn’t stop me from crapping my pants when it tells me its going to tear my lungs out!
Samuel shakes his head, grabbing Deans shoulder and turning him around to face down the street.
Samuel: I get it. You always used to this..Fine, I’ll buy you a few drinks and then we’ll deal with it.
Dean: ….I want tequila..
Samuel: Alright, you’ll get tequila.
Will [Angrily]: HEY! ASSHOLES!
Dean and Samuel turn around. Walking towards them is Will, his hair and moustache in small curlers as he holds Karab by the scruff of his collar, forcefully dragging him down the street.
Will [Scathingly]: I found this ugly pile of crap hiding under my bed. Now, I don’t know what you had to show him to have him vomit all over my Persian Rug and almost shit on it, but I want no part of it! Keep him away! NOW! At least housetrain him as well!
Will shoves Karab forward. Karab turns around, looking at Will and raising an eyebrow.
Karab: Says the guy with curlers in his hair.
Will: Hey, asshole, it’s called “Preening.”. Men should take care of themselves, not like you with your beard and white turban. What is this, the Maharajah?
Karab: It’s for my religion.
Will [Hesitantly]: …Yeah?
Will: …Well..uhh….Your religion dresses funny. HA! NO TAKESIES BACKSIES!!
Will laughs in a high-pitched schoolgirl giggle, turning around and running back up the street.
Karab: ..I could use some orange juice.
Samuel and Dean look at eachother, shrugging.
Samuel: Alright, come on Karab. We’ll get a few drinks and then deal with the ghos—Where’d he go?
Dean and Samuel look at the street: Only a patch of disturbed sand indicates where Karab was standing.
Wills Voice [Angrily]: GODDAMMIT, WHAT DID I TELL YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?!
Courtney slowly slumps through the doors of ReLoaded, having delivered the gatling gun and ignored the screams of Dean and Karab. She looks around, shrugging half-heartedly before hopping onto the counter in front of the cash register, laying down on it and sighing happily.
Courtney turns on her side, reaching behind the glass and pulling out a sand-blasted, worn AK-47. She points it to the ceiling, firing off a few rounds before pulling it close to her body and hugging it.
Courtney [Satisfied]: ..is a warm gun.
Several footsteps echo down the nearby set of stairs. Sal slowly emerges from the door leading up to the bedroom, followed by Tavi who is clutching a roll of bandages and a bottle of disinfectant.
Tavi: Alright Sal, if you must sit, I recommend getting a ring..You know, ones they use for haemorrhoids and stuff. Try not to strain too much, or else you’ll just cause it to bleed again.
Sal: I’m more worried about the penguin gunning for my arse..literally!
Tavi: Just try and stay out of trouble, alright?
Sal: Thank you.
Sal gives a small bow, turning around and walking out of the door. A red laser slowly dances across his temple, causing him to jump backwards and slam the doors shut.
Tavi: What now?
Sal: Can I stay here??!
Courtney groans loudly.
Tavi: I think that’s a no.
Tavi walks over to the counter, scratching behind Courtneys right ear and causing her to purr slightly. Sal simply stands there, arms slumped by his sides.
Sal: But he’s gonna kill me!
Courtney: If he wanted to kill you, you’d be dead by now. Snipers specialise in killing you before you know a bullets been fired.
Sal [Starting to panic]: YOU’RE NOT HELPING!!
Tavi simply looks at him, shrugging.
Tavi: Well, you’ll just have to grow some balls.
The doors to ReLoaded are suddenly jolted open. Sal twists around and screams at the top of his lungs as he notices the face of a penguin. Sals screaming is cut off by the sounds of laughter as Vince rushes in, tearing off a plastic mask of a penguin and pointing at Sal, laughing loudly.
Vince [Laughing]: YOU SHOULD SEE YOUR FACE!!
Sal [Angrily, Breathing Raggedly]: N-N-NOT FUNNY!! FUCK!!
Billy walks in behind Vince, laughing loudly and slapping his shoulder. Even Tavi and Courtney are starting to laugh quietly.
Billy: That’s some funny shit, Vinnie!
Sal starts to hyperventilate, clutching his chest before collapsing backwards onto the floor.
Vince: …Uh oh.
Billy: Ain’t that cute?
Vince [Worried]: He’s…barely breathing!
Tavi: He’s just hyperventilating. Here..
Tavi leans under the counter, pulling out a brown paper bag and puts the open end over Sals mouth. Sal grasps the bag instinctively, starting to take deep, controlled breaths.
Billy: Dammit, I preferred him unconscious and not breathing…..Oh yeah, what time is it?
Courtney yawns, checking her watch.
Courtney: Almost six, why?
Billy claps his hands together.
Billy: Drink, Vinnie?
Vince looks down at Sal, then at Billy, shrugging.
Vince: You buy the first round this time!
Billy [Laughing slightly]: Gotcha!
Both men turn around, heading towards the door.
Tavi: You aren’t going to leave him like this, are you?
Both men exchange quick glances.
Billy [Bluntly]: Yep.
Vince: Besides, Dicks been building something, and we wanna check it out.
Courtney slides off the counter, yawning and stretching her back.
Courtney: May as well get some drinking in….
The room suddenly fills with the sound of frantic thumping. Tavi nods, dropping Sals head to the floor.
Tavi: Sounds like Wolfs busy. Let’s go get a drink.
All four of them leave the room. Tavi flicks the switch, cutting off the lights before shutting the door behind her. Sal simply lays there, bag over his mouth as he listens to the thumping echo throughout the room.
Sal: ….Fuck ‘em.
**The Half Moon**
Will: Does it do extra large?
Will is standing in front of the condom machine with Raven at his side, scratching his nose as he glares at the steel behemoth.
Al: It’s like the Playstation 3! It only does--
Will: Three things? Man, that sucks!
Al: …It only does everything!
Will: So if I want an extra large condom that’s purple, tastes of vanilla custard, and is ribbed--
The machines gears whirr menacingly before a small box shoots out into Wills palm. He looks down at it, raising an eyebrow.
Will [Grinning]: --That things good!
Raven: I don’t like vanilla custard..Does it do strawberry jam--
The gears whirr again before a second box shoots into Wills palm.
Raven [Smirking]: Good enough! Let’s rock!
Will and Raven quickly rush out of the double doors of the Half Moon. Al simply stands behind his bar, grinning to himself as he polishes a pint glass.
Al: Yep, business is picking up..
Al looks around at his bar: There are no new faces in the bar, only several teams of PMCs from Praying Mantis, sitting huddled around the tables.
Al: ..WHAT IS MAKING THAT FUCKING BAR SO POPULAR?!?!?! I’LL KILL YOU DICK, IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO!!!!
Praying Mantis PMC: Maybe it’s the fact that we’re here?
Al narrows his eyes, nodding silently.
Al [Quietly]: ..Then we’ll have to see what we can do, GENTLEMEN!!
Al grins evilly as he reaches under the bar, flicking a switch which kills the lights and plunges the entire room into darkness…
**Lamb and Flag**
In contrast to the Half Moon, almost every single mercenary stationed in and around Beale Street and Walkers Street have crammed themselves into the Half Moon. A half-drunk Billy is sitting at the bar, a small bowl of Lucky Charms beside him. He alternates between taking deep gulps from a large silver can of Tennants Lager, followed by flicking in small marshmallows. Sal walks beside him, slapping his hand on the bar and nodding at Dick.
Sal: Yo, Dick.
Dick: Hey Sal, hows the ass?
Sal: ..Why do you think I’m standing?
Dick: Not good, huh?
Sal [Angrily]: NO SHIT, YOU PEASANT!
Dick: Uh-huh. Well, I may be a peasant, but at least my arse isn’t full of holes.
Billy: Sal. Shut up. You’re disturbing me.
Sal wrinkles his nose, looking down at his housemate.
Sal; Oh, Billy, I didn’t see you there. I thought a dog had shat on the bar stool. Thanks for scaring me, by the way, it just reminds me never to trust a Scot.
Billy sighs, reaching behind him and into the belt of his jeans, pulling out a large, thin Bowie Knife with a swift, satisfying slicing sound, jamming the tip into the bars top and glaring up at Sal.
Billy: Know what this is, you cunt?
Sal [Calmly]: A knife.
Billy: I’LL KILL YOU WITH THIS KNIFE!
Sal: Well, yeah, cause it’d be a fucking miracle if you brought me back to life with it.
Billy: If I wasn’t half-drunk I’d tear your heart out and eat it.
Sal [Rolling his eyes]: Yeah, well, you are drunk.
Jericho walks over to the bar, setting down several empty bottles of Corona with chewed lime wedges in the necks, tapping the bar with two dollar bills.
Jericho: Oi, the same.
Dick: Would you like an aperitif? How about some Hersheys Kisses? Or what would you do for a Klondike Bar?
Jericho: I wouldn’t give it a fucking stupid name. I’d call it something simple, like a Choc Ice.
Sal: What kind of name is that?
Dick sets down a few bottles of Corona with wedges of lime jammed into the necks. Jericho takes them, glaring at Sal.
Jericho: What the Brits call them, Yankee doodle.
Sal: Fuck off, limey!
Jericho nods at the bottles of Corona, giving a teasing, uncaring wink at Sal before walking over to a table which Phil, Ivan and Steve are sat around. He sets the bottles down, taking a seat between Phil and Steve.
Jericho: Here you go guys.
Ivan: So, vat do you vink that stage is vor?
Ivan nods over at the wooden stage, which now holds a microphone flanked by two tall speakers.
Phil: I don’t know. Dick getting some bands in?
Jericho: Seems like it..
Steve: It looks familiar. Like…Oooooo! I knowwwwww!
That Random Guy: You guys can’t be that dense!
Phil and Jericho look over their shoulders at a table consisting of the mechanics, busy with their feet up on the table and several bottles, some empty, strewn across the table.
Johan: That stage is not just for bands.
Big Bad Bobby: Yeah, it’s for, as the Japanese put it, karaoke.
Jericho and Phil exchange looks with eachother.
Phil: Oh fuck.
Jericho: My thoughts exactly.
Big Bad Bobby: Should be entertaining. I mean, drinking and karaoke go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.
Mustafa; I ain’t going up there, no way.
That Hispanic Guy: None of us want to. I don’t think a mercenary would want to.
Frank [Leaning over]: Did you guys say..karaoke?
That Hispanic Guy: No, we said that Molotov are going to be on the stage!..[Quietly, mumbling under his breath]..fucking maricon..
Frank leans back over to his own table, where Bob and Octopus are sitting back away from the table.
Frank: Shit, guys, Dicks doing karaoke!
Frank: ..Dammit, where’s Lynch?? He’s always good for a laugh!
Bob: Lynch, as far as I know, is swearing at rabbits. That’s as far as I know. Some people have said he’s gone to Jupiter, others say that he has simply transcended to another plane of anger. What we do know is that’s gone, alright?
Frank [Ignoring Bob]: …Fucking karaoke!
Octopus: Yes, we get it. We’re getting a dose of Japanese cultural phenomenon. God forbid we shouldn’t keep scratching our asses with an American flag, right?
Octopus narrows her eyes.
Octopus: Are you..drunk?
Bob [In disbelief]: HOW?!?!? We left the house about twenty minutes ago!
Frank: I had a drink..or ten..in the house..thing..
Octopus: Great, could this night get any worse?
Phil: It’s about to.
The lights in the pub suddenly cut out, replaced by a lone beam of white light shining on the middle of the stage. Dick, wearing a bow tie over his usual shirt and apron combination and with his hair gelled back, wanders onto the stage, smiling silently. The pub remains silent as Dick stands in the spotlight.
Dick [Excitedly]: Can I get an applause?!?!
That Other Random Guy coughs. Jericho clears his throat loudly.
Dick [Smile fading slightly]: …An applause, please??!
Bobby yawns. Billy belches loudly. Sal scratches his forearm.
Mustafa: Can someone roll a tumbleweed in here?!
The entire pub bursts into laughter. Dick frowns, but quickly smiles.
Dick: Does anyone dare take part in karaoke, the ‘hip’ thing in China nowad--
Vince [Angrily]: IT’S JAPANESE! Get off, peasant!
Vince grabs Dick, pushing him off of the wooden stage and sending him flying onto Deans table. Karab and Samuel yell out, ducking in unison as Dean quickly catches Dick.
Dean: ..Does this mean my tab gets cleared?
Dick screams, shoving Dean away and falling onto his knees onto the floor, quickly scrambling up as Vince, grinning inanely and giving a small bow up on the stage, grabs the microphone and waves his right hand in the air.
Vince: Alright, for your listening pleasure, tonight I will sing “Butterfly” by Dance Dance Revolution!
The pub falls quickly fills with an aura of tension almost immediately as people look around at their brothers-in-arms, a small mumbling going through the air.
Phil: Hang on..he’s not serious, is he?
Jericho [Wincing]: ……I…think he is…
Dean [Slamming his hands on the table]: Fuck it, that ghost don’t seem too scary now. C’mon Sam, Karab.
Karab: Do we have to? The ghost threatened to rape me!
Dean: Lucky you, it threatened to tear my lungs out!
Overtly-cheesy techno music with a constant, high beat starts to flow from the speakers.
Dean: But I can live with that. CHOP CHOP!
Samuel and Karab also get to their feet, rushing towards the doors.
Johan: Sweet Jesus, I am going to need some tequila, QUICK.
Dick quickly slides over his bar, twisting around and standing behind it.
Dick [Grinning]: Get your forget-the-night booze here!
Phil: Did Dean just say something about a ghost?
Dean: Yeah, it’s invisible, undead, and holds a grudge against the living.
Phil: Sounds almost like Lynch!
Vince: SHUT UP! THIS IS MY MOMENT!
Phil: Haha. Bad luck, Dean. Good luck dying.
Jericho: Yeah, have fun!
Vinces eyes start to sparkle as lights flash pink and white behind him, a fake, anime-style blush being projected under his eyes.
Phil: ….Fuck it, I’m in.
Ivan: Me too.
Jericho: Slumber party at kebab mans place!
Phil, Ivan and Jericho get to their feet, following Samuel and Karab.
Vince: Aye aye aye aye aye aye aye..with my samurai!
Steve: Awww..but it’s cool, guys!
Almost automatically, Billy stands up, following Jericho out, while Bill also gets up, following Billy.
Bill: Must. Escape. Darkness.
Tavi: Hang on….Slumber party? Ghosts? Morbid stuff? Meat?! COUNT ME IN!
Courtney: ME TOO!!
Vince: DON’T LEAVE, GAIJINS!! WE’RE GETTING STARTED RIGHT NOW!!
Maurice: Aye, Dick, this wasn’t a fooking bad decision at all, lad.
Dick: …How was I supposed to foretell this?
Moe: On the plus side, people are starting to knock themselves out. Which means…….something.
**Dean and Karabs Kebaborama**
Not just content with voicing their displeasure, several mercenaries have actually made their way into Dean and Karabs Kebaborama. Upstairs in the bedroom, Phil, Ivan, Jericho, Bill, Billy, Courtney and Tavi are standing around as Samuel rummages in a closet at the foot of Deans bed and deep in the right wall. As he rummages in its depths, Dean is busy fidgeting as he sits in his bed.
Dean: Fucking ghost, man..THAT’S THE ONLY REASON YOU PEOPLE ARE HERE!!!
Bill: Can we raid the fridge?
Samuel: Midnight snack? Sure. Why not?
Bill and Jericho high-five as Samuel starts to throw out several identical royal-blue bundles of material into the room. Jericho catches one, grasping it by the sides and lunging it downwards, unfurling it and revealing a sleeping bag.
Billy: Oh, hey, I have one of my own.
Phil: Yeah, me too.
Phil reaches down into the left leg of his pants, which is puffed unusually, quickly pulling out a vibrant red sleeping bag and setting it onto the floor.
Dean: What the hell?
Phil: Safety measures, just in case…y’know. Enemies attack.
Dean: How is a sleeping bag going to save you??
Phil: Oh yeah, Snake hides in a fucking box and it’s genius, but Phil hides in a sleeping bag and it’s stupid! Fucking double standards..
Jericho: It was an ingenious move from Snake. From you? It’s pathetic.
Jericho climbs into his sleeping bag, shaking his head. Phil grumbles beneath his breath, setting the sleeping bag on the floor to the tune of a small clatter.
Dean: What the fucks that?
Phil [Hastily]: Nothing. Nothing at all.
Phil quickly climbs into his sleeping bag, looking around. Courtney and Tavi simply lay there sleeping bags on the floor, slipping in and sighing in unison. Tavi grins, turning on her side and looking at Phil.
Tavi [Evilly]: Just so you know, I fling my arms around in my sleep…
Phil: Oh. Great.
Phil rolls on his side, looking at Jericho.
Phil [Mouthing Silently]: Kill me.
Jericho laughs, shaking his head as Billy slings his sleeping bag on the floor, slipping into it with a small rattling of an unknown object. Ivan lays next to him, choosing instead to lay on the carpet with a lone pillow under his head, folding his arms.
Dean: See? Isn’t this nice? We’re all friendly!
Bill rolls out his sleeping bag, slipping into it and zipping it fully over his head, fumbling with something.
Billy: You better not have a kebab under there!
Bill [Muffled]: …Nope?
Billy: Yeah. Right.
Samuel walks over to the wall, slapping the light-switch and cutting the lights, allowing the room to be swallowed in a deep abyss of darkness.
Samuel: Can we settle down?
A small silence fills the room as Samuel climbs into his own bed, made of several blankets propped up on a spare wooden table.
Ivan: ..Vell, at least ve aren’t listening to ze sounds of Japanese techno crap..
Dean [Hissing]: Quiet! This place is cursed!
Phil: Cursed? The only thing cursed about this place is the stench.
Jericho, Ivan, Phil, Steve, Billy, Bill, Courtney and Tavi remain silent on the floor. Courtney shuffles in her sleeping bag and yawns quietly, looking around.
Courtney: Anyone else hungry?
Samuel [Quietly]: Whenever you want, grab something to eat.
A slow, long squeak emits throughout the room, causing Courtney to twitch.
Bill: hehe, guilty!
Phil: OKAY, THAT’S FUCKING SCARY!!!!
Dean: Shut up!
Jericho sniffs the air, retching violently.
Jericho [Disgusted]: FOR FUCKS SAKE, BILL!!!
Dean starts coughing loudly.
Dean: Goddamn, someone cork that guy! He might offend the ghost!
Disembodied voice: …mmngng..
Jericho: I heard that. I heard it!
Dean [Panicked]: THOU ART OFFENDED!!
Dean dives deeper under his covers. Tavi yawns, unimpressed and gives a large stretch before laying back down.
Tavi: I’m bored. I might just suffer the crap karaoke.
Samuel: Whatever you want.
Tavi yawns quietly, flinging out her arm and hitting Phil in the jaw.
Tavi gives a small chuckle, rolling onto her side.
Tavi: On the other hand..
The room slowly fills with silence once more. Dean is busy shaking under his covers, while Ivan is busy tapping a tune on his thighs, yawning loudly.
Courtney: Mmm..somethings tickling my feet!
Phil: Yeah, somethings got my--
Phil is suddenly grabbed and starts to get pulled away by an unseen entity towards the door. Phil screams, digging his nails into the carpet as Jericho, Ivan, Steve and Billy grab his arms, pulling violently.
Phil : SAVE ME DEREK ACORAH! SAVE ME!!!
The men keep pulling, and eventually Phil jettisons forward, rolling in his sleeping bag and onto the floor.
Tavi: ..That was so cool!
Phil: WHY ME?!?! GET DEAN, HE LIKES IT!!
Dean [Angrily]: LEAVE ME OUT OF THIS, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!
Dean is suddenly pulled from his bed by his foot by the same unseen force that unleashed wrath upon Phil. Dean screams, only for Phil to grasp his back while Bill, Ivan, Steve and Billy grabs his arms.
Dean: THIS IS FUCKING INSANITY!!!!!!!
The force quickly releases Dean, sending him sprawling on top of Phil and Bill.
Dean [Slapping Phils arm]: YOU ASS, PHIL!! YOU FUCKING ASS!!!
Phil: HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW IT’D LISTEN TO ME??!?!
Dean: IT’S AN UNDEAD OMNIPOTENT FORCE, OF COURSE IT WOULD!!!!!!!!
The room suddenly floods with silence. Dean pushes himself up, scrambling into bed and pulling the covers over himself. Samuel simply lays there, arms behind his head. Phil sighs, slipping into his sleeping bag and laying down.
Jericho: Bunch of fucking pansies..
Samuel: Guys, it’s midnight. What are you people usually doing?
Phil: Going home half-drunk to play a game of extreme Twister.
Courtney: Playing with grenades.
Tavi: Playing “Find the vibrator”.
Jericho: Smashing a chair over Phils head.
Billy: Playing dare with Vince to see who can piss the most on Sals head without him waking up--
Samuel: Alright. I get it. But can we just..y’know, sleep?
Disgruntled grumbling fills the room, but the mercenaries slowly acquiesce the Samuels request, resting their heads on the pillows. After a few long minutes, silence floods the air finally, without a single ghost or demon to ruin it.
**Two Hours Later**
The room remains silent, and a few heavy snores and grumbles emitted from deep sleep are starting to echo throughout the room. Jericho gives a small groan, jolting onto his side and rubbing his mouth before falling back into the depths of sleep. Deans grip loosens on his covers as he starts to slip away. Phil lays on his back, mouth slightly agape and deep in sleep until a blast of cold air smothers his face. His eyes jolt open, and he watches as a pair of disembodied legs walk over his face.
Phil [Half-asleep, slurring slightly]: ….Alright, I think I got teabagged by a ghost.
Tavi: Phil..get off..
Dean grunts in his sleep. Jericho rolls onto his back, groaning lightly as he teases waking up.
Tavi [Mumbling in her sleep]: Get off..Phil..Billy…God, you’ve got hairy hands..
Tavi rolls onto her side before rolling onto her back. Her golden eyes slowly open, but she suddenly screams loudly, rocking the room into awakening as she pulls herself from the sleeping bag, Three large, thick, hairy tarantulas falling from her bare legs. Courtney suddenly jolts up, jolting backwards at the sight of the thick spiders twitching violently.
Courtney: FUCK!! I HATE SPIDERS!!!
Dean slowly comes to, sitting up in bed.
Dean [Slurring slightly]: Huh, wha—Whassat?
Dean narrows his eyes, looking at the tarantulas before feeling something lightly tickle his foot. The color drains from his face as he throws back his covers, revealing several large, bulbous bullet ants crawling straight towards his crotch.
Dean: I’d laugh if this wasn’t about to be completely fucking painful.
Dean quickly hops out of bed, slamming a hand against his thigh to crush a bullet ant, before grabbing Samuel and shaking him. Samuel jolts up, rubbing his eyes roughly.
Samuel [Yawning]: Dean, whats wrong?..
Dean: Fucking hauntings in my house??!?!
Phil [Scared]: OH, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING?!?!
Dean, Samuel, Phil, Courtney and Tavi stare ahead: Standing in the doorway is a looming black shadow. Jericho jolts up, glaring at the doorway.
Jericho: Oh fuck. It’s Jesus!
Dean: That’s not Jesus! That’s something that wants to crush our skulls!!
Jericho: IT’S GOD?!!?
Dean [Screaming]: IT’S A FUCKING WENDIGO!!!
Samuel: Dean, it’s not a wendigo. It’s never a wendigo.
Courtney: Will you guys shut up?! IT’S SOMETHING!!!
Disembodied Voice [Screaming with the force of a hurricane]: GET OUT! GET OUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!
Tavi squeals violently, jumping onto Karabs bed. Karab scrambles back in his bed, quickly sitting up at the ensuing chaos.
Karab [Half-asleep]: What the—Tavi. Your butts in my face.
Tavi jumps up, sitting down and shaking violently as the figure is replaced by an unintelligible form standing on four legs.
Dean: What the fuck?!
Samuel: Dean..shapeshifters. Know what this means?
Billy sits up, pulling a Remington Shotgun out of his sleeping bad and aiming it at the doorway which is now completely empty.
Dean: We pull a Billy?
Phil: I’ll pull a Frank: Drink til I pass out and miss the fighting!
Billy: We’re going to fight, you asshole! WE’RE GOING TO KILL SOME GHOSTS!!!
Jericho: Who you gonna call??!?!?
Ivan: Overdone joke. Minus one vespect for you.
Jericho: Fuck you, Ivan!
Phil slowly climbs out of his sleeping bag, his entire lower body covered in a thick steel armor which clangs violently as he gets to his feet.
Phil: Who ya gonna call?
The room falls silent as Phil reaches into the sleeping bag, pulling out a flowing pure-white tabard with a red cross on the right breast, pulling it over his shoulders. Before anyone can speak, he leans in and finally pulls out a Greatsword: A menacing sword crafted from steel which glints in the moonlight, and the blade measuring at least 20 inches long.
Jericho: Phil, what the FUCK IS THAT?!?!
Phil: My Crusader re-enactment kit. DEUS VULT!!
Bill: Wow, I’m going to get fucking hammered instead.
Phil: BRING ON THE GHOST!!!
Phil swings the sword forward, only for it to embed within the floorboards of the bedroom. As the sword is so heavy, Phil has to place his foot on the flat of the sword to pull it out, swinging it up and embedding it in the ceiling.
Phil: I admit, I haven’t exactly practiced with this..
Tavi: WHY ARE YOU USING IT THEN, YOU FUCKING IDIOT?!?!?!
Phil: Because it’s fucking made of silver!
Samuel: No it isn’t.
Phil: Thanks for spoiling the magic, pretty boy, now the ghost knows.
Phil is immediately thrown backwards onto Samuels bed, the armor clanging violently as he collapses onto the mattress. Samuel shoves him off, sliding out of bed and leaning under the bedframe, pulling out a sawn-off shotgun.
Samuel: That’s it. Time to kill.
Jericho: Uh, hello? We haven’t got anything!!
Dean quickly leans under his bed, pulling out a rolled up blanket and throwing it onto his bed. He grabs one end, pulling it out to reveal an array of assorted weaponry, albeit light weaponry. Dean himself grabs a solid-silver firepoker, grinning and nodding.
Dean: Silver. This’ll fuck anyones day up.
Jericho walks over, grabbing a miniature snub-nosed revolver and flicking open the chamber, noticing six silver bullets ensconced safely within.
Jericho: I won’t even ask how you got this, but it’s fucking cool.
Tavi slowly wanders over, reaching over and grabbing an identical revolver to Jerichos, quickly clutching it tight to her hip.
Dean: Everyone got something?
Phil stumbles past him, clutching his Greatsword clumsily.
Phil: I’M OKAY!! I’M OKAY!!
Courtney: I’ve got this..
Courtney reaches into the back of her pyjama pants, pulling free a machete with a foot long wide and a two-foot long blade. Bill looks up at her, then at the bowie knife in his hand.
Bill: Damn. Penis envy.
Courtney cackles loudly, slapping her hands together.
Courtney: Let’s go kill some ghosts.
Karab: They’re already dead.
Jericho: Then let’s go kick their pasty asses back to hell!
Samuel: It won’t be easy guys. We need incantations. Rock salt too.
Dean: That’s your job, pansy. My jobs kicking the fucking ass!
Jericho walks forward through the doorway, turning to the room.
Jericho: Come on assholes, ghosts won’t wait!
Samuel stands up, nodding slightly at Dean and Karab.
Samuel: Let’s get our house back.
Billy: Let’s get our kebab shop back!
Ivan: HEAR HEAR!
Samuel, Dean and Ivan join Jericho at the top of the stairs, covered by a blanket of dark. Tavi and Courtney slowly join them, with Bill, Billy and Phil standing in the room.
Karab: Aren’t ghosts hard to get rid of, though?
Jericho: Hey! It could be worse..could be zombies..
At that exact moment, the door to the kitchen is violently blown off its hinges. Below them, standing at the bottom of the stairs, a three-legged lamb stands before them, its lower jaw ripped off revealing a mould-infested tongue which lolls out of its mouth. It only has one eye, the left socket being completely hollow, while its fur is falling out, and its flesh is torn in several places. Slowly, the lamb starts to walk up the stairs towards them.
Dean: Thanks for jinxing us, asshole.
The scene fades.
=COMING SOON: PART IV
The shit has hit the fan for several mercenaries as they find themselves facing down a delicious yet inedible zombie! What have Dean and Karab done? Can they kill the zombies? Will Wolf ever leave the bedroom? When will Lynch show up? And is this rivalry between the Lamb and Flag and Half Moon over? Tune in next time to witness Foam Machines, Tasty Zombies, A Dangerous Phonecall and The real filmmaker of the mercenaries!