The scene opens to where we left a handful of our unfortunate mercenaries, Dean, Karab, Samuel, Billy, Bill, Jericho, Phil, Ivan, Tavi and Courtney, in the last entry: Staring down a half-rotten zombie lamb which is slowly ascending the stairs within the Kebaborama. Frightened by this evil undead creature, and concerned as to its origins, Dean responds appropriately:
Samuel [Retching]: Oh…Oh God..That’s…
Billy: Guys? What’s going on?
Courtney [Panicked]: ZOMBIE LAMB!!!
Bill: Pff..Zombie lamb. Yeah, who’s been drinking now?
Bill squeezes between Ivan and Jericho, who are standing petrified with their mouths agape, and glances down the stairs before jogging backwards into the main bedroom with Phil and Billy. He turns to them, laughing nervously.
Bill: ..Zombie lamb!
Phil: Fuck off, Bill! You’re drunk!
Billy [Cocking an eyebrow]: Says the guy in the suit of armor?
Phil looks down at the suit of armor he is currently wearing, as well as the Greatsword in his right hand.
Phil: …Oh yeah.
Phil quickly squeezes between Ivan and Jericho, turning and looking down the stairs at the zombie lamb which is making its way up the stairs, albeit very slowly.
Phil: Awww..ain’t he cute?
Dean: In a sort of rotting sense, I guess he ISN’T YOU STUPID CUNT! NOW OPEN FIRE!
Karab: Open fire?
Dean [Overtly-enthusiastic]: OPENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Dean is the only one who fires off both barrels of his Sawn-Off shotgun as the rest simply stand there, unsure how exactly a zombie would react to silver bullets. Sure enough, the lamb stops, remaining still on the stairs as it witnesses a chunk of its chest get blown into meaty chunks not unlike dog food. However, the bullets don’t phase it as it continues, albeit weakly, to ascend the stairs.
Dean [Growling]: WHEN I SAY OPEN FIRE, IT MEANS IN UNISON!!!
Karab: It’s a zombie. You go for the head.
Dean: I know! I was aiming for it!
Courtney: Then you must have a completely shit shot.
Dean: Dammit Jim, I’m a cook, not a soldier! I can cook you up a fucking Spanish frittata, but all bets are off when I have something like this in my hands!
Samuel: I thought you used to be a good shot?
Dean: It’s the years of chopping meat and preparing fo--
Jericho [In disbelief]: Can you assholes stop messing about who has a shit shot? There’s a zombie coming for us!
Ivan: …Very slowly.
Phil: Very, VERY slowly.
Jericho: It’s going to reach us!
A small, scraping is heard from within the bedroom. Bill slowly turns around as the others watch the zombie lamb, tilting his head slowly at Deans bed. He slowly steps forward, throwing up Deans covers and looking at a padlocked trunk, which rumbles slightly.
Bill: Dean? You’re trunks moving!
The trunk suddenly bursts open and a second zombie lamb slowly pulls its front legs over the edge, glaring at Bill with ruby-red eyes and giving a sinister bleat, it’s rotten tongue visible inside its gaping, abyss-like mouth.
Bill [Screaming]: OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!
Phil slowly turns around.
Phil [Jolting backwards]: SWEET MOTHER OF MARY, THERE’S TWO!!!
Bill stumbles back towards the group, grabbing Courtney and jumping into her arms.
Bill [Screaming]: SAVE ME!
Courtney looks down at him, her right eye twitching.
Courtney [Bitterly]: ..I’m not your saviour.
Courtney drops Bill to the floor with a thud. Deans head snaps towards the second lamb, then to the lamb climbing the stairs which is starting to ease its way towards them.
Dean: This calls for action.
Karab [Sarcastically]: Really? I thought we were just going to stand here and let ourselves get eaten.
Tavi [Sarcastically]: Me too. You mean that wasn’t the plan?
Billy: Y’know, you have really got to tell us just what the FUCK is going on here!
Samuel: You think I know? I’ve barely been here two days! I want Dean to tell ME!
Dean: You think I know, really?...Fuck it. VIVE LA ROI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dean runs down the stairs and violently jars his right leg out, kicking violently and punting the zombie lamb in the head with a vicious warcry. The lambs head snaps to the right before detaching itself from its body, its flimsy skin and rotten flesh not enough to keep it supported. The lamb slowly rocks backwards, rolling down the stairs with several hollow thuds before it slams into the wall at the bottom. Dean raises his arms, turning to the group.
Dean: Oui! OUI!
Samuel [Bluntly]: Don’t celebrate too much.
Samuel [Bluntly]: ..Zombie cow.
Dean slowly turns around, looking down at the bottom of the stairs. Slowly stepping over the corpse of the lamb is a hulking past, its skin torn off and hanging in patches, one eye lolling out of its skull and hanging weakly by the rotting optical nerve. It gives a bellowing moo, slowly beginning to ascend the stairs.
Dean [Eyes widening]: What the FUCK IS THAT THING?!?!
Tavi: Damn, it’s like a zombie farm in here!
Ivan: Behind you.
Phil turns around, looking around the room before looking down. The second zombie lamb is now onto its legs, looking up at him before giving a weak bleat.
Phil [Sneering]: …You’re ugly. Get away, shoo.
Phil taps his armoured foot against the lambs head, sending it stumbling backwards. The lamb stumbles forward, weakly parting its mouth and taking a clean bite out of the steel armor over Phils leg.
Phil [Surprised]: WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD?!?!
Dean: Zombies have sharp teeth.
Phil: But..they’re rotting creatures! THAT CANNOT BE!
Tavi: It can.
Phil [Angrily]: THE POWER OF THE CURB STOMP COMPELS YOU!!
Phil raises foot up high before bringing it down upon the lambs head, crushing it with a gory squelching of rotten flesh and atrophied bone. The creatures brains and blood jettison up Phils leg, hitting his visor and causing him to cast off his helmet, throwing it to the ground.
Phil: …Fuck yeah.
Dean: Zombie cow, what now?
Karab [Sniggering]: Dean made a rhyme--
Dean [Angrily]: SHUTTHEFUCKUP!
Tavi: Right, some of us are going to need to remain up here. Some down there, and some should..well, go outside and make sure this place isn’t crawling with tasty undead animals.
Bill: ….So we split up?
Bill [Disbelief, Panicked]: …..Are you fucking high? I’ve seen horror movies! We split up, we DIE!!
Billy: Ach, shut up for Gods sake! I’ve destroyed bigger turds than this!
Courtney: But were they zombified turds?
A small silence cuts through them as the zombie cow keeps ascending the stairs.
Samuel: You do know it can’t go back down if it gets here, right?
Tavi: So, who goes with who?
Jericho: I have a great plan! Me, Phil, Ivan, Bill and Billy head downstairs to fuck shit up. Tavi, Courtney and Karab head outside, while you two strange fuckers keep upstairs locked!
Dean [Overtly-enthusiastic]: I LIKE IT!
Samuel: I’d prefer to get my hands dirty--
Bill: I’ll take his place.
Samuel: ……So, what now?
Dean aims his Sawn-Off at the cows head, pulling both triggers and fully obliterating the left side of its skull, smattering decaying brain matter and a thick, blackening blood across the downward-sloping roof above the staircase.
Dean: We rock.
Samuel [Cocking an eyebrow]: You say you’re a coward, and you kill a—No, fuck it. Alright then, let’s get into positions.
Phil, Jericho, Ivan, Billy and Samuel bolt down the stairs noisily, vaulting over the crumpled body of the cow slowly sliding down the stairs and hit the bottom firmly, turning around and walking into the kitchen. Samuel snaps his fingers, pointing to his eyes.
Samuel: On me.
The other four remain silent.
Billy; …No. We’re killing zombies, not taking part in a complex military operation.
Samuel: Alright then, shoot to fucking kill.
Ivan [Grinning and nodding]: ZATS VAT I LIKE TO HERE!!
Samuel: Well, we don’t have guns, but…well, grab anything. We’ve got a barrel of disinfectant we’ve yet to use anyway.
Phil swings up his Greatsword, holding it on his right shoulder. Ivan pulls open a wooden drawer, revealing several utensils used for the tenderising and otherwise handling of metal. He grasps a meat cleaver, holding it up to the sky and admiring the sharpness of the blade.
Ivan: Vell..Christmas has come early..
Samuel quickly flicks on the light, the light-tube flickering before filling the kitchen and the serving area to their right with light. Jericho pulls two kitchen knives from the same drawer, slamming it shut with a noisy rattle.
Samuel: …Where are the girls?!
Tavi and Courtney file through the door behind them, opening the door to the left of the serving window and slipping through it.
Tavi: Alright, alls clear to me.
Phil: Yeah, pretty clear, isn’t it?
A demonic bleat fills the air as a lamb drags its hooves up from the deepest pits of the clay tandoor beside the oven, pulling itself up shakily. Tavi and Courtney quickly file outside before screaming a few seconds later. Samuel curses loudly, holding up a hand.
Samuel: I’ll be a minute!
Jericho: Alright guys…Zombie lamb. Who gets it?
The lamb pulls itself out from the depths of the tandoor, scuttling its mouldy hooves and landing on the floor with a soft thud.
Phil [Yelling to the heavens]: GOD WILLS IT!!!
Phil raises the Greatsword up high, arching it behind his back before swinging it down, cleaving the zombie lamb clean in half and embedding the sword in the floor. He pulls it out with a swift cracking of wood, turning to them.
Phil [Cackling inanely]: YEAH YEAH! WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!??!
Jericho and Ivan [Screaming and pointing behind Phil]: ZOMBIE CHICKEN!!!
Phil turns around, looking at the oven. The oven door flings downwards with a vicious crash, as a hollow squawk fills the air. A chicken with one eye, tattered flesh and torn patches of feathers flies out, grasping onto Phils face. Phil screams, running in a circle.
Phil [Screaming wildly]: KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!
Jericho: HOLD ON! HOLD ON!
Jericho pulls open a wooden drawer, grasping a blowtorch and switching the gas on, holding it over the hob Samuel lit. Lighting the blowtorch, he lunges at Phils face, but the chicken quickly dives off as Jericho holds the blowtorch to Phils forehead, sizzling the sweat and frying it straight off Phils face to the smell of frying bacon as the flesh starts to cook somewhat.
Phil [In agony]: MY HEAD! YOU CUNT! YOU CUNT! YOU CUNT!
Samuel quickly rushes in from outside, looking over the counter.
Samuel: Is everything alright?!?
Jericho: Yeah! Almost set Phil on fire!
Phil turns around, waving at Samuel as he sticks an icecube tray to his forehead using duct-tape.
Samuel: Just checking. Oh yeah, Phil? Zombie cow.
Phil turns around, only to get lightly headbutted a zombie cow. This small, almost insignificant headbutt is still enough to send Phil flying sideways over the counter and over Samuels head, smashing into the wall.
Jericho [Unimpressed]: Wow. He better earn an Oscar for that one.
Tavi quickly darts through the door, looking around.
Tavi: As far as we can tell, everythings clear out there! Well, you have a problem in your backyard.
Samuel: A problem?
Tavi grasps Samuels hand, dragging him forward and past the zombie cow which Jericho and Ivan now have in a headlock, dragging it forward as it lets out several, disembodied grunts of irritation and pain. She leads him through a door to the left of the door which leads upstairs, shoving it open and leading into the backrooms where several boxes are piled against the wall, as well as an unused metal counter to the left of a wooden door with vertical iron bars over the lone window pain.
Samuel: Hold on, let me get the--
Tavi squats down, grasping the metal handle and pulling a hair pin from behind her ear, fiddling and clicking it in the lock before sliding it open.
Tavi and Samuel emerge in the backyard behind the Kebab Shop. The yard clearly hasn’t been tended to, as it is nothing more than a barren landscape of dry dirt pockmarked with various holes and small hills of dirt, as well as a small shed against the north-eastern corner of a large, beige-bricked wall which is starting to crumble into dust. Tavi and Samuel watch as various cloven hooves slowly push out piles of dirt as they attempt to ascend from the ground.
Samuel: Alright, I admit, this is all entirely new to me.
Deans Voice: STILL CLEAR UP HERE!
Bills Voice: YES! VERY CLEAR!
Samuel: Where’s Courtney?
Tavi: She’s gone to get the Great Equaliser.
Samuel: The what?
Tavi: Her special toy
Samuel: She better hurry up!
Karab [Determined]: QUICK! GET OUT OF THE WAY!
Karab appears behind them, clutching a bottle with a burning rag stuffed into the neck. Samuel and Tavi part, allowing Karab to hurtle the bottle, watching as it smashes off of one of the emerging half-cows and sprays it with liquid, setting it alight. The cow lets out an angry bellow, dragging itself up and slowly crawling towards them, now on fire.
Karab: I thought zombies died when they were set on fire?!
Samuel [Angrily]: AIM FOR THE HEAD NEXT TIME!
Tavi [Sighing Bitterly]: Great…Zombies On Fire. Just what we need.
In the kitchen, both Ivan and Jericho are frantically pulling at the zombie cows head desperately. Ivan pulls back on its head underneath its jaw, lifting its head up., Jericho looks around, quickly grasping a pan.
Jericho [Barking incessantly]: HOLD HIM!! HOLD HIM!!
Jericho swings the pan forward as the cow jolts its chin downwards, causing Jericho to slam the pan into Ivans face. Ivan stumbles back against the wall and Jericho lets out an irritated growl, slamming the pan over the zombie cows head repeatedly.
Jericho [Angrily]: YOU! FUCKING! UNDEAD! STEAK!
While the chaos occurs downstairs, both Bill and Dean are upstairs, sat on Deans bed with the door locked, the light on, and soothing, ambient music being played from a small iPod speaker on a wooden end-table to the left of Deans bed.
Dean: …Looks like we’re safe.
Bill [Seething with a calm rage]: Tell me just what the fuck is going on here.
Dean: Alright…I have a theory….How do you think we dispose of animals?
Bill: Bury them?
Dean: Exactly, after we mutilate and dismember their corpses for food and clothing. Sometimes we just use parts of them before hurling them elsewhere..like in trunks, the tandoor, the oven, hell, even in the ceiling. I think they’re getting their revenge.
Bill: Wow, that’s some..greenpeace shit needed right there.
Dean [Shrugging]: It’s not, but it’s just..y’know. Maybe the PMCs dumped nanomachines in the nearby area?..or maybe my preservatives and spices are nanomachines? Who knows? Either way, we’re under attack from zombies--
Bill suddenly succumbs to a deep, terrifying thought.
Bill [Almost hesitantly]: ….You said you hid a body in the ceiling?
Dean: Aye, an entire unborn lamb. Cut from a sheeps stomach we were using for our special of the day a few years back. I think it’s rotted away now..Just don’t tell health and safety, yeah? We meant to use it as part of our special sauce, but--
Bills eyes flash.
Bill: ….Do you even get it, yet?
Dean stops for a few seconds, his eyes suddenly widening as he glances up at the ceiling.
Dean [In complete, mind-numbing terror]: Oh. My. Fucking. God.
A scraping sound slashes across the ceiling, causing a small cloud of plaster dust to flutter down. Dean and Bills eyes slowly look up to the ceiling.
Bill [Bitterly]: You stupid fucking--
The ceiling crashes down as a zombified lamb fetus crashes down from the ceiling, hitting the floor and giving a weak bleat, its left eye popping out to reveal a mass of wriggling maggots. Bill hops to his feet, screaming violently and bolting over to the door. Dean retches, bolting over as well. Both men desperately pull at the handle, only to pull it free. Bill looks down at the silver handle in his hand, his eyes widening.
Dean [Angrily]: YOU STUPID FUCKING HILLBILLY!!
Bill [Enraged]: IT’S NOT MY FAULT! WHAT KIND OF CHEAP CRAP DID YOU PEOPLE BUILD THIS FUCKING HOUSE WITH?!?!
Both men turn around, noticing the lamb slowly dragging itself towards them, leaving a trail of maggots and blackened blood as it does.
Dean: Sweet Mother of God, I am turning vegetarian after this.
Bill: You pussy. This is making me hungry.
Bill runs forward, vaulting over the lamb and using the momentum to dive forward, smashing the bedroom window and diving to the outside. Samuel and Tavi watch as Bill slams forward into the ground below, rolling forward and clutching his left arm.
Bill [Laughing slightly]: I’ve broke my arm! No worries!
Tavi: You crazy fucker! Get outta there!
Bill looks around the yard, looking at the plethora of zombies slowly crawling out of the holes. He quickly pales, only to be crushed under Dean who dives out of the now-broken bedroom window, landing on top of Bill and flattening him.
Dean: …Fuck..sorry buddy..
Bill lets out a slow whimper as Dean stands up, dusting himself off. He holds out a hand for Bill, who slowly lifts his hand, only for him to grasp Deans hand, pulling him forwards so he leans near a hole. Bill scrambles up, raising his arms.
Bill [Whooping]: WOOO! NOW TO ESCAPE!
Jerichos Voice [Strained]: MOVE! GOD..DAM..MIT…MOVE!!
Tavi and Samuel quickly sidestep as Ivan and Jericho drag the zombie cow out into the year, the cows body pulling back as it lets out irritated grunts and breaths. Ivan locks a stranglehold around its neck, pulling back on it and raising the meat cleaver in his right hand.
Ivan [Spitting madly]: CAN IT DIE NOW?!!!
Jericho: YES! DO IT!
The cow remains still as Ivan starts to bring the meat cleaver down. Jericho yelps, causing Ivan to stop.
Ivan [Angrily]: VAT?!?!?!
Jericho [Scared]: I KNOW THIS COW! IT’S GOING TO MOVE FORWARD AND MAKE YOU CHOP OFF MY HAND!
Tavi sighs, folding her arms.
Tavi: Are you used to it yet?
Samuel: Used to what?
Phil squeezes past them, raising his Greatsword and screaming violently. Jericho screams in panic, jolting backwards and releasing the cow. Phil runs up to it, but it bucks its rear legs backwards, kicking Phil in the stomach with a noisy, metallic clang and causing him to stumble backwards onto the dirt.
Phil [Wheezing]: Okay, that hurt!
Tavi: ..The sheer insanity.
Samuel [Calmly]: Oh yeah, I’m used to it.
Ivan swings the cleaver down into the cows neck, the rotten flesh allowing him to swiftly slice through and lop its head off, causing it’s neck sinews to erupt into a mass of writhing maggots as the head flops onto the floor. Jericho and Bill turn around, vomiting noisily onto the floor in unison.
Bill [Retching]: THAT IS SOME NASTY SHIT!!
Dean pulls himself to his feet, loading his Sawn-Off Shotgun and clicking it shut.
Dean: Let’s show ‘em why the living are….well, y’know, still living.
Dean twists around, aiming at the creatures pulling themselves out of the holes. Bill quickly patters forward, squeezing past Tavi and Samuel and huddling behind them. Karab emerges, clutching what appears to be a length of rope, to the end of which is tied three kitchen knives.
Karab [With an angered determination]: MOVE IT!!
Phil, Jericho and Ivan quickly dive to the floor, scuttling and squeezing behind Tavi and Samuel as Karab strolls out, starting to swing the rope in a circle above his head. He lets out a ululating, Indian war cry before bringing the rope down onto a lamb in the near distance, severing its head into three, neat slices and causing it to flop to the ground dead.
Karab: The one thing I hate about this? Reload time.
Karab pulls the rope towards him, swinging it in his arms before holding it over his head once more. A chicken squawks violently, flapping its wings at Karab. Dean quickly turns, firing at the chicken and causing it to explode into a gelatinous mass of blood, flesh and feather.
A chicken latches onto Deans shoulder, pecking weakly at his cheek.
Dean [Screaming violently]: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dean runs forward, screaming and trying to pull the chicken from him, only for its claws to sink into his shoulders. Karab sighs, slowly twisting his body towards his, only for Dean to yelp violently.
Dean: NO! NOT THE ROPE! PUT IT DOWN! PUT IT DOWN!
Karab keeps swinging the rope violently, bringing it down beside Dean and slamming it into the ground, causing a nearby zombie chick to explode in a burst of yellow feathers. Dean stares at the ground, noticing several of them pecking their way from the dirt.
Dean [Bawling]: WHY ME?!?!? WHY?!?!?
Phils Voice: It’s not just you!!
In the kitchen, Jericho has been violently dragged forward by a zombie sheep, its teeth wrapped around his trenchcoat, pulling him across the floor slowly. Jericho simply lays there, staring at the ceiling as Ivan aims his meat cleaver, attempting to throw it.
Phil: What the fuck are you doing??!
Jericho: Waiting to see where it wants to take me.
Ivan [Calmly]: Vait a moment…Vait a moment…
Phil: Fuck it.
Phil grasps the handle of his Greatsword, lifting and positioning it like a javelin before throwing it forward, skewering the lamb through the top if its head and directly through its body, causing it to flop lifelessly onto its right side at the feet of Courtney.
Courtney: Party still hasn’t ended?
Courtney grins, pulling forward the operating rod on the M60 and locking the box magazine into place. She taps the side of the pistol stock, noting a large equals sign carved into the side of it.
Courtney [With quiet enthusiasm]: Time for The Great Equaliser to open her mouth..
Courtney slowly storms forward. Tavi turns her head, noticing Courtney and grinning.
Tavi: Hoo boy, it’s time.
Courtney [Angrily]: MOVE!!
Samuel, Tavi and Dean quickly part. Karab drops the knives to the ground, dragging them backwards and through the door, quickly huddling against the wall as Courtney walks into the doorframe, steadying the M60 at her hip.
Courtney: Little help?
Dean walks forward, clasping his hands over hers to help steady the M60.
Courtney: Ooo..such a flirt!
Karab sighs, grasping carefully around all three of their hands.
Karab: Alright, open fire.
Courtney [Winking]: Will do, Sergeant Tevany!
Courtney pulls back on the trigger, opening up one hundred rounds of open bolt belt-fed hell-on-earth. The various undead animals splinter and crack, some exploding into bundles of feathers and flesh, others having entire holes blown into their bodies and bones before collapsing to the floor lifelessly. Dean stands behind Courtney, pressing his torso into her back and yelling out, doing his best to absorb the massive recoil.
Jericho: GO ON! GO ON!
The shooting suddenly stops, the M60 jamming. Courtney curses loudly, but Karab holds a hand up, giving a deep, thankful sigh.
Karab: ..It’s over…Hell..is over..
Courtney stops, frozen in place. The entire backyard is now little more than a mass of torn corpses, bullet-holes pounded into the walls and several thousand maggots writhing and pulsing violently in a bath of black, gelatinous blood. Bill turns around, vomiting noisily onto the kitchen floor.
Samuel [Disgusted]: DAMMIT, MAN!
Courtney [Twitching]: ..That had better be a gun in your pocket.
Dean: …It’s a knife actually, but fair point.
Dean steps backwards, allowing Courtney to set the gun on the floor, pulling back the operating rod and flicking open the catch of the gun, fiddling with the belt. Samuel claps his hands together.
Samuel: Well, that’s that done.
Dean: Remember: What happened here is solely between us.
Dean: Now..all of you…go home..get some sleep…we’re going to get rid of the bodies..
A small ripple of murmuring and nods of agreement roll throughout the group as they turn around to the door. All except Jericho who cocks his left eyebrow, folding his arms, and Courtney who quickly hauls up her gun.
Jericho: Do you honestly think I’m falling for that?
The others stop. Dean looks up at him.
Jericho: I’m staying here and making sure you burn them. I’ll be damned if your mystery meat is going to be something that’s been zombified for several decades!
Dean [Desperately]: …DAMMIT! HOW DID YOU KNOW?!?!
Jericho: Rule one of life: Never trust an American!
Dean: What’s rule two?
Jericho: …Never do bourbon chasers within a few yards of a wedding chapel.
Ivan [Clapping]: I agree!
Tavi: Hear hear!
Dean: FINE! Karab, get the matches and petrol. Samuel, stand there and look pretty…We’re going to end this..miniature zombie invasion.
Jericho: Without peddling the evidence to customers--
Dean [Angrily]: FUCK YOU!
Phil: Alright, rest of us should just get some sleep, right?
They slowly walk single-file through the open door, filing into the streets where dawn had not yet unfolded, the sky an eerie deep blue with the stars speckling and sparkling like diamonds on an onyx sheet. The streets were dark, unlit aside from the orange glow of the few streetlights emenating from each end of the street, as well as the square behind Franks house.
Tavi: Well…best split up.
Bill: No shit.
Ivan: Vell…my interview vith zat…weird..documentary guy is later…best catch some shut-eye…
Courtney: Aye, I mean, what’s the odds o--
Bill: Don’t even say it.
Before Courtney can open her mouth to finish her sentence, the mercenaries quickly disperse into the night.
*The Lamb and Flag*
Dawn breaks. The sky lights with an orange hue. The stars slowly fall back into their hiding places. Despite being early dawn, an odd shuffling and creaking is eminating from within the Lamb and Flag. Dick, the bartender and owner, is busy shuffling a machine with several chutes and wires which resembles a rusted, battered engine, setting it at the back of the karaoke stage erected earlier. Hearing this, Maurice barrels down the stairs, his huge feet thumping the wood as he pokes his head around the corner, noticing Dick shuffling the machine. He yawns, cricking his neck and walking to the side of the stage, folding his arms over his huge chest.
Maurice: What’s this, lad?
Dick [Calmly]: This is money.
Maurice: …Good, cause from what I can see, it propah looks like a pile of shite, mate.
Moe hops up onto the bar, quickly sliding over it and hitting the floor with a soft thud. He patters over, watching Dick.
Moe [Excitedly]: I HEARD MONEY!!!
Maurice: False call, little lad..It’s a fucking scrap engine.
Dick: No..it’s a discounted….FOAM MACHINE!!
Silence fills the air. A vein pulses in the side of Maurices temple.
Maurice [Disbelief]: ..Foam machines? Are you fucking serious?
Dick [Grinning Inanely]: YES! IT’S ABSOLUTE GENIUS!!
Moe: No. It’s fucking retarded. This is a pub. We sell beer and food. Do we look like we have crack dealers hanging around? Jersey Shore rejects wandering about the place? People doped up to the gills hopping up and down going ‘Durr Durr’? NO! THIS! IS! A! PUB! NOT A NIGHTCLUB!
Dick: But..it could work.
Moe sighs, putting his hands on his head.
Moe [In an almost angry disbelief]: YOU CANNOT BE THIS DENSE!!
Dick: Look, it’s simple: Foam machines. They’re sexy. Mercenaries enjoy sex. Some sexy women around. Sexy woman add sexy machines add mercenaries enjoying sex equals WE ROLL IN DOUGH!!!
Moe: That has got to be the stupidest plan I have ever heard, and I went through three years in the Academy.
Maurice: Ow, Dick? He’s right, ya know. Ain’t a good plan when ya don’t even know what’s gonna happen with it, like. Seems pretty shit to me.
Dick: It will work. Have some faith.
Moe [Sighing slightly]: I had faith once, but then you hired me, and my faith has thus been lost.
Dick: You guys don’t want payment? Fine. That’s fine by me.
Maurice growls angrily, slowly turning his head to Dick.
Dick [Laughing slightly]: GUYS! THIS WILL WORK! POSITIVE THOUGHTS!
Maurice and Moe sigh loudly as Dick closes his eyes, grinning inanely.
Despite being still relatively early in the day, Rex and his two crewmates are already hustling and bustling within the square. Frank, half-naked and brushing his teeth, leans out the window, spitting out a mouthful of minty foam before leaning back in, shutting out the window.
Rex [Sneering]: That man is pure class.
Jerichos Voice: ALRIGHT! MAKE WAY FOR A VERY IMPORTANT MERCENARY!
Jericho strolls into view, oddly wearing a powder blue jacket, white dress-shirt and a red tie, along with a pair of matching powder-blue corduroy pants and black leather brogues. He grins, holding out his arms and nodding.
Jericho: Shit is getting real, gentlemen. The big boy is here.
Rex: Yeah, alri--
Rex turns his head, looking at Jericho and suppressing a snigger. Jericho cocks an eyebrow, reaching into the breast pocket of his suit jacket and pulling out a thick, chestnut Cuban cigar, tapping it against the back of his left hand.
Jericho [Scathingly]: Got something to say, Mr. greased back blonde ponytail?
Rex narrows his eyes, instinctively grasping the back of his ponytail.
Rex: Fuck off.
Jericho: This, mate, is a real mans get-up. Not your little…red polo shirt from Abercrombie and Fitch and your…jeans whose knees have been ripped out..what is that? Some fucking fashion statement?
Rex: Oh yeah, what about him?!
Rex jabs a thumb sideways at his cameraman who looks up, a danish pastry wedged in his mouth.
Rex: Mr. guy who thinks an afro, goatee and Bermuda shorts still go together?
Jericho: He’s a cameraman, I expect that. You’re supposed to be some…big shot documentary maker, and instead you look like someone whose been kicked off of Jersey Shore for not being orange enough!
Rex [Bitterly]: ……Just take the fucking seat.
Jericho smirks arrogantly, believing to have won the pathetic argument and strolls over confidently. He pulls a cigar cutter from his breast pocket as he sits down on the chair, slicing the tip off of the cigar and letting it drop to the floor, slipping the cutter back into his pocket. The cameraman backs up to the camera sitting firmly on its tripod, flicking a few buttons and switches and gazing down the lens.
Cameraman: And we have lift-off when you’re ready!
Rex: Tim, Get the fucking boom-microphone ready.
Tim, the boom-mic operator, climbs out of a window to the right of the chair, yawning and stretching his arms.
Tim: Then invest in a fucking sleeping bag, you ass!
Rex: Wah wah wah! It’s tuned up, so grab it and get ready!
Tim: That’s what your mother said before we jetted off to this fucking hellhole.
Jericho [Pointing and laughing at Rex]: Hahahaha! BURN!
Rex: Just pick the fucking thing up.
Tim hisses through his front teeth, leaning down and grasping the long, slender microphone, hoisting it up from the sands and hanging it over Jerichos head.
Jericho [Bluntly]: Don’t drop it, asshole.
Jericho reaches into his pocket, pulling out a long wooden match and resting his cigar on his left thigh, pulling out the matchbox and striking the match, letting it hiss and set alight before placing the cigar between his lips, rolling it while holding the flame to the tip.
Rex: Alright, we get it, you have some sort of money on you. Can we start the interview now?
Jericho holds up a finger, signalling for them to hold on a second before shaking the match, extinguishing the flame and flicking it into the sands, taking the cigar from his mouth and blowing out a thick stream of grey, acrid smoke.
Jericho: Let’s roll.
Jericho: Questions won’t be too difficult, will they? I just had to fight off zombie animals.
Rex [Nodding]: ….RIiiiiiiiiight.
Jericho: Come on, give it to me.
The cameraman flicks a few switches, giving a quick thumbs up.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Position.
Jericho: Jericho Kingston. Manchester, England. Private First Class.
Rex: How do you enjoy being stationed as a mercenary?
Jericho: It’s something, alright. I don’t mind the killing as long as we get to wander away with a big fat cheque, really. I’ve long since lost all sense of morality. Killing someones no more difficult than…than….cutting someones hair.
Rex: Interesting analogy. So, killing really doesn’t bother you?
Jericho: Nope, because they’d happily kill us first, wouldn’t they? Fuck me, everyones a bastard in this war. Real bastards. In fact, the only way we can survive is to be a bigger bastard than the next guy.
Rex: It doesn’t phase you that you’ve been demoralised?
Jericho: Absolutely not! It’s a job, just with guns.
Rex: So, what about your comrades? Hows the esprit de corps?
Jericho [Cocking an eyebrow]: Esprit de what now?
Rex: How’s the team spirit?
Jericho: ..Oh, that. It’s fine, I suppose.
Rex: Fine, you suppose?
Jericho: Well, people hate people, people like people. It’s not strange, is it? We’re stuck out here for three hundred and sixty five days a year, stuck in the heat, cast aside so our governments can focus on getting their big boys ready, and the PMCs are getting pretty edgy. Especially since Ocelot lost his hand.
Rex: How’d he lose it?
Jericho: It vanished. Straight up vanished.
Rex: ….Seriously? Let me guess..it also has to do with the propaganda flying around of a certain mercenary unit who apparently emerged from a wormhole to change time itself?
Jericho: Since that piece was published, have you seen Gekkos walking around? Seen technology systems go down? Seen PMCs acting nice because they’re kept in place by nanomachines? No. Because once we stepped through that wormhole back here, time changed.
Rex: Yeah, right. If that was true, how come nothings happened to any of you? Two of you must have been in the same universe at the same time. Laws of causality and shit, y’know?
Jericho: Don’t ask me to explain. I’m still sober.
Rex: So, it’s propaganda which the PMCs happen to believe. Interesting. An obvious lie, but--
Jericho [Angrily]: Obvious lie?!
Rex: Well, yeah. Alright, back onto the esprit de corps--
Jericho: The morale and friendliness of the troops.
Rex: ..Yeah, that. How is it? Are you friendly with your comrades?
Jericho: Yeah, their alright. Don’t mind them. I get on better with Ivan, Phil and Steve then the others, mainly because I know they’d probably throw themselves under a tank to save me. I don’t mind the others..[Jericho lifts the cigar to his lips, taking a long, drawn-out drag before taking out, blowing out another thick stream of smoke] …but I hate Will, Frank and Sal, and the governments of the world.
Rex: Brutally blunt. How come?
Jericho [Bitterly]: The boys lose their lives in the sands around here. We’re throwing ourselves at the enemy..fuck, we do it literally sometimes, and what do the governments do? Sit back and watch, just waiting for the PMCs to get worn out enough and for Ocelot to make his move before sending in the actual soldiers. They don’t even recognise us. We’re a dirty legacy to them, people they fund but don’t want to admit to owning.
Rex: You sound incredibly bitter..
Jericho: It’s not hard to, is it?
Rex: What about Will, Frank and Sal?
Jericho: Those guys? They just annoy me. Sals a dick, Will is just an arrogant douchebag, and Frank just shouldn’t be second in command of this unit. The man can barely count to ten without pausing for thought.
Rex: Nice, respectful…So, before this, what was your position?
Jericho: Ammunition Technician in the Royal Logistic Corps. Salt of the earth men of the British Army, it’s our job to disarm explosives, keep the ammunition in check by testing it, checking it and storing it, and we modify ammunition too.
Rex: So, pretty valuable here, then?
Jericho: Not many people ask about me, I keep it that way. Every weapon shipment comes by our place for a reason. Lynch comes to me with any acquired weaponry for a reason. Someone needs to make sure these bullets won’t explode in our faces, and need to make sure that we don’t get our legs blown off too.
Rex: So..mine detector?
Jericho: No, explosive devices mostly. Never did get advanced training in that, though..and I’ve never had to deal with explosive devices here anyway. PMCs prefer guns and grenades to setting up traps. Setting up traps is our job.
Rex: So, you’re quite a guerrilla fighter?
Jericho: Yup. Me and Ivan set up traps, lure enemies in, and watch them explode into tiny little pieces of chum. A grenade, a tin can, nails and a piece of string equals room-obliterating death. Sure, it’s not what the army planned to train me in, but these are the same guys who trained the Taliban only to have it turn back and bite them in the balls.
Rex: And you’re here..why?
Jericho: Hated my NCOs, really. Simple as that. I don’t like people bossing me around and giving me orders, so one day, in the middle of a drill..I kind of chinned one of them.
Jericho: Yeah, knocked the fuck out. I mean, I already cursed at them, refused to groom properly, refused to religiously preen uniforms and polish boots, so they hated me. I hated them back, so I figured I may as well chin one and get the fuck out….Then they shipped me here..
Rex: Wanted to be discharged back home?
Jericho gives a half-hearted shrug.
Jericho: Wouldn’t have minded it, but out here at least I know my training wasn’t a waste. I don’t mind being with these guys..If I was back home, I’d be sat on the couch watching Jeremy Kyle and doing absolutely nothing. Here? I get to kill people I don’t like. Simple as that, really.
Rex gives a thumbs up, and Tim lowers the boom-mic to the ground as the cameraman flicks a few switches.
Jericho: Is that it?
Rex: Yeah, go on. Go through a wormhole and buy some Pokémon cards.
Jericho lunges up, grabbing Rex by the collar of his polo shirt.
Steve [Chipper]: Jerry! How’s everything?!
Steve appears in the square, grinning inanely.
Rex: ..Go on. Hit me!
Steve [Excitedly]: Jerry? C’mon! We’re going to play Minefield Football!
Jericho groans loudly, shoving Rex away and pointing threateningly at him.
Jericho: You are a fucking asshole, but I’ll be damned if I’m missing out a game of Minefield Football just to slam your head into a fucking wall!
Rex: Minefield football? Really?
Jericho pulls his fist back, stopping and cursing loudly, shoving him to one side and stomping over to Steve.
Steve: Everything oki--
Jericho: Remind me to kill him before he leaves.
Steve [Grinning]: OKIES!
*The Half Moon*
In the Half Moon, the lunchtime rush is slowly approaching. Al is stood confidently behind the bar, his hands on his hips and his chest puffed out. Vince is simply sitting at the bar, elbows on the table and head in his hands, yawning loudly. Chairs are still sat upon the circular tables, and a lone light-tube is all that is lit in the middle of the ceiling, casting much of the room in light shadow.
Al: If that cunt is installing a foam machine, I will teach him a lesson…A big one.
Al: SHUT UP! It’s a great plan..We’ll hook in the traditional drunks with ease!
Vince: I’m sure, but how?
Al [Snapping his fingers]: MICRO-BREWERY!!
Vince: …Actually..that is a great idea!
Al: I know! I will be able to create my very own homebrew, maybe add a few additives, make it on a mass scale…and then..WE STRIKE!
Al slams his fist down on the bar.
Vince: Sounds great, actually! This will be the greatest upset since Breyton Breytonbach got put in jail!
Al slowly looks at Vince.
Al [Bluntly]: I don’t like knowledge in this pub.
Al: My own micro-brewery..All I need is some stills, and some—OF COURSE!
Al: I already attempted my own brew! I mean, sure it’s two years old, but….It’s vintage!
Vince: Oh dear.
Al [Mockingly]: Oh, shut up! It’s not dangerous!..I think. It’s been down there for a while. Might be a bit of a face puncher. I’ll be right back!
Al turns around, walking to the left of the shelves of bottles behind him and slipping open a wooden door, whistling innocently and turning to his right, strolling down into the basement. Vince yawns, checking his nails as the tedium starts to flood over him. The door to the Half Moon opens and Sal, swinging a monocle in a circle in his right hand, strolls in, whistling as well. He stops a few feet from Vince, coughing loudly.
Sal: You have been in absentia for a while now. Are you truly allying yourself with this..peasants establishment?
Vince: Gets me some money..
Sal [Angrily]: And yet you will never, EVER be as rich as..MOI! SO STOP BEING A FUCKING SPONGE ON MY ACCOUNT, GET BACK TO THE HOUSE AND START POLISHING MY VASES, GODDAMMIT!!
Vince [Yawning]: ….Maybe later, dude.
Sal [Bitterly]: Maybe—Maybe---I oughta punch you, you bearded retard-looking fuck!
Vince [Nonchalantly]: Shouldn’t you be getting hunted by a penguin or something?
Al emerges from the doorway, holding two corked, medium-sized brown bottles-full to the neck with a dark, thick liquid.
Al: I’ve got some here! It looks nasty, but it should be edible.
Vince: I’ll take some of that!
Al hands Vince one of the bottles. Vince pulls out one of the corks before pouring some of the liquid over Sals head. Sal chokes, sniffing the air.
Sal [Retching]: IT..IT…IT SMELLS LIKE ROTTEN GRASS COVERED IN SHIT!!
Vince takes a quick swig, grimacing before looking at the bottle.
Vince: WOAH! That shits almost as lethal as weed!
Al: Great, isn’t it? Premium price?
Vince: Hoo yeah!
Sal runs out of the bar, crying loudly and rubbing his head.
Sals Voice [Crying]: IT BURNS!! WHY DOES IT BURN?!?!
Vince: Definitely premium price.
Vince takes another swig, hissing through his teeth.
Vince [Eye twitching]: Jesus, it could double as gasoline!
Al: Well, there’s that too!
A gunshot rings through the air, causing Al and Vince to fall silent.
Sals Voice [Bawling]: TAVI!! TAVI!! HE SHOT ME AGAIN!!
Tavis Voice [Angrily]: FOR FUCKS SAKE, FIND ANOTHER MEDIC TO HASSLE!!
Al and Vince exchange hearty grins, clinking their bottles together.
As the sun rises to its apex in the sky, fighting against several white wisps of clouds hanging in the pale-blue sky, The cameraman strolls into the square, carrying a polystyrene box filled with greasy, unappetising-looking brown meat piled upon a pitta bread. He grins, nodding at Rex.
Cameraman: They sell gyros here!
Rex [Bluntly]: Good to hear, you fucking glutton.
Cameraman: What are you eating?
Rex holds up a plastic cup filled with a thick, emerald-green liquid.
Rex: Health shake. Got it from the guy named Will. It keeps me healthy and fit.
Raging Raven slowly strolls uneasily into the square, sniffing the air.
Raven: ..I know that smell..
Will quickly strolls in behind her, clasping her shoulders.
Will [Smirking]: Woah woah, baby! I’m here! I’m here!
Raven closes her eyes, giving a small purr.
Will: Sorry, she’s kind of attracted to the smell of that.
Cameraman: Hey, where’s Tim?
Tim slowly pulls himself up from the window of the bomb-blasted building behind the chair, peeking his head above the chipped frame.
Tim [Bleary-eyed]: Yeah?
Rex: Man, what the fuck are you doing in there? Selling crack?
Tim [Calmly]: No, just wondering why spending several years in University has me doing this complete fucking shit..
Will: You know, when someone complains here, we usually hit them.
Raven: Oh yes. Very hard. In the mouth.
Ivans Voice [Calmly]: And ven you do, they usually hit back harder..
Will turns his head, watching as Ivan, wearing a white dress shirt, black tie, black dress pants and, oddly, cork sandals, slowly strolls into the square, his footsteps echoing throughout the surrounding walls. The others fall silent as he does, the sun glinting dangerously off of his shaved head and into his vivid blue left eye, and his milky-white blind right eye.
Will [Laughing slightly]: Oh look, it’s the fucking psycho, the badly-dressed psycho wearing sandals with dress pants?! Really? What is this, the sixties!?
Ivan turns around to him, holding out his arms uncaringly.
Ivan: Normally I’d listen, but I vorgot: No-one gives a fuck as to vat you say!!
Raven hisses violently, her eyes flashing dangerously. Ivans arms drop by his side, his right shoulder shrugging nonchalantly.
Raven [Angrily]: …You want to try it?!
Ivan: ..I don’t vear you more than I vear my own shit..
Will [Mockingly]: It’s FEAR. Fuh. Fuh. Eff. ‘FEAR’. Not vee. Not ‘vear’. Vuh. It’s EFF.
Ivan: Fuck off.
Rex: Now now! Let’s leave my next interviewee alone!
Raven [Snarling]: I’ll tear out your heart and feed it to you as you bleed to death..
Ivan [Calmly]: I’ll jam a stick of dynamite down your throat, light the match and watch as your throat and spine eject themselves from your body.
Raven lunges forward, but Will grasps her shoulders tighter, keeping her back.
Will: Now now, honey! Don’t ruin that shirt with peasant blood!
Raven stops, spitting on the floor at Ivans feet.
Raven [Snarling]: I’ll fucking murder you..
Ivan simply grins.
Ivan: I’ll believe it when I feel it.
Raven lunges forward again, only for Will to grasp ahold of her again.
Will: Woah! Stop!
Raven [Snarling]: I’LL FUCKING MURDER YOU!!
Ivan mockingly dusts off his chest, pretending to flick dirt onto Raven before turning around and strolling towards Rex with a rather arrogant smirk on his face.
Will: Calm, honey..He will die soon..I mean, look at him.
Raven lets out a heavy, ragged breath before eventually giving a sigh, indicating her calmness.
Raven [Quietly]: You’re right…I’ll just wait…until…the time comes.
Will: What does that mean?
Raven smirks, pulling herself from Wills grip and spinning around him, slowly walking out of the alley.
Will: Ah damn. I don’t like that!
Will follows her as Ivan takes his seat in front of the camera. The cameraman strolls over, flicking a few switches and glaring down the lens.
Cameraman: Yup, we’re ready!
Rex: Tim, ready?
Tim [Reluctantly]: Yes..
The cameraman gives a thumbs up.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Rank.
Ivan: Ivan Hellgenstrand. Stary Oskol. Private First Class.
Rex: So, you’re into demolitions?
Rex: Pretty dangerous.
Ivan: About as dangerous as living here. So not very. It’s all about ze mind and ze mentality..Don’t vink about vat might happen..vink about vat WILL happen..ven I set up a mine, I know it’s going to blow someones legs off…I don’t vink of it blowing mine off..
Ivan: So is var.
Rex: Good point. So, Russian? How’d you get to be a mercenary?
Ivan: …Vell..I vas part of ze Vussian Defence Vorce…vanted to be part of Spetsnaz…but sadly I kind of…experimented with dynamite and it’s effects on a petrol-filled jeep….in ze middle of an army demonstration……Killed five.
Rex: Wow. Killed five bystanders?
Ivan: Vat? No. Killed five mudaks who were pratting about trying to do ze same!
Ivan: So, ze Premier sends me to the Middle East. We get some training, get shipped around the globe to be trained..Chechnya, Ze Balkans, Italy, England, Bolivia..I vemained in Siberia vor some time though…frequented some nuclear power plants…mainly ones that were shut down..one of vich vas active..
Rex: How’d that work out?
Ivan: I need a constant supply of nanomachines or else my mind might just literally crumble. It’ll kill me, or turn me completely mad..I’m not villing to visk it. BUT! I did discover that combining a frag grenade with a small amount of depleted uranium makes for pretty explosions!
Rex: Isn’t that…unstable?
Ivan [Shrugging nonchalantly]: Vell…yeah…but it’s pretty…
Rex: ….Fair enough. So, handling explosives..Dangerous job, huh? Guess it makes you useful, though?
Ivan: Oh, da, it does. Sadly, it means that my vingers have been calloused and burnt beyond vecognition..
Ivan stretches out his palms, holding them up to the camera. The camera pans in on Ivans gnarled hands, revealing callouses between his fingers, as well as silvery patches indicating healed burns. Notably, his fingerprints have been entirely burnt off.
Rex: You’re fingerprints--
Ivan: Burnt off. I..held them on the barrel of an AK. I velt it vould be better if I couldn’t be identified…Didn’t matter eventually, but it seemed like good idea at time..
Rex: So, what explosives are you best at using?
Ivan: Name any explosive you can think off and I will have aced it. Semtex? C4? White Phosphorus grenades? Anyving.
Rex: So, it must make you an outcast, being one of the more knowledgeable mercenaries.
Ivan: Vell, I am not reserved, if that is vat you are hinting at. I have some vriends..Don’t know many others..I get by.
Rex: You do seem quite reserved.
Ivan: I’m just not ze type to spill my guts. I like a vew people here..like Vil, Jevicho, Steve, Tavi, Courtney..I feel I don’t need to know anyone else aside vom strictly business standpoint.
Rex: …Fair enough.
Ivan: Is zis interview over?
Rex: Have any family you want to leave a message to?
Ivan: Yes, I do. [Ivan shuffles forward in his seat, leaning towards the camera] Badic..If you are out there, brother, then I hope you get your ass over here. I know ze Spetsnaz gives you more reputation, but I vucking miss you, brother….
Ivan slowly sits back, cricking his neck from side to side.
Rex: You have a brother?
Rex: Is that all the family you have left?
Ivan: My vamily is a private matter. Is this interview over?
Rex: …Yeah, alright, Johnny?
The cameraman flicks a few switches, giving a silent thumbs up. Ivan lets out a deep, guttural grunt, pulling himself up to his feet and strolling over to the small alley leading onto Beale Street. Jericho, Phil and Steve stroll out from the shadows of the alley, each man with a grin on their face.
Jericho: ..You never told us you had family!
Ivan strolls over to them, hanging his head.
Ivan [Quietly]: Vell, it’s private..
Steve: But..it must hurt missing your brother!
Ivan [Grimly]: Yeah, it does….Vell, more jealousy than anything--
Jericho: Jealousy? No way, man!
Ivan: ..He is Spetsnaz..I’m stuck here…Here’s cracking skulls…I’m..
Phil: Getting drunk with the lads while hurling grenades and bombs like a crazy motherfucker!
Ivan: I guess..
Jericho: Aw man, he’s depressed, know what this means?
Steve [Cheerfully]: We turn that frown upside down!
Phil: Yup, let’s go drinking and then skinny-dipping in the Suez!
Jericho: Can’t we just drink?
Phil snaps his fingers.
Phil: We drink..then we skinny-dip…WHILE DRINKING!
Jericho [Ecstatically]: FUCKING FANTASTIC!!
Jericho grabs a hold of Ivans head, kissing the top of it and rubbing it to cheer him up. Ivan raises his head, smirking slightly.
Steve: MAN HUGS!!!
Steve latches his arms tightly around Ivan. Jericho quickly wraps his arms around Ivan while Phil dives on all three of them, hugging Ivan tightly. Johnny the Cameraman rushes over to the group, hugging all three of them. Sal himself, a bandage wrapped around his buttocks, runs over randomly and hugs all of them.
Sal: ….Awww..human companionship!
Jericho lets go of Ivan, turning to Sal.
Jericho: Man, what the fuck? This was supposed to be a bro-hug!
Sal: What about that cameraman?
Phil dives off of Ivan, looking at the cameraman who quickly lets go, jogging away from them nervously.
Phil: That man has real issues trying to interfere with the man hug!
Ivan: Can ve just drink?!
Phil: FUCK YEAH!!!!
Jericho: Ehehehe. No. Get changed.
Phil looks down at his football shorts and scarlet-red Middlesbrough Football Club jersey.
Jericho: You think I’m getting drunk with a guy who looks like that? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Sal leans in, grinning.
Sal [Happily]: I can join!
Jericho, Ivan and Steve glance at Sal, slowly sidestepping away from him.
Steve: He’s strange.
Ivan: Agreed..let’s vun..NOW!
Ivan, Jericho and Steve hurtle towards the Lamb and Flag, leaving Sal and Phil in the alley. Sal grins brightly.
Sal: ..I know about soccer. We could take about it.
Phil: So, whose jersey am I wearing?
Sal [Hesitantly]: ……Manchester United?
Phil narrows his eyes.
Phil [Scathingly]: Get out of this alley before I hurt you.
Sal and Phil are interrupted by a tuneless, innocent whistling as Dean strolls through, carrying a large urn.
Sal: Et tu, Dean?
Dean: ‘Sup Sal?
Sal: Dean. What’s with the urn?
Dean stops suddenly, grinning.
Dean [Calmly]: …It’s priceless. See this? Bronze. Filled with…..very…expensive….gravy granules….imported from..uhh….Cuba?
Sal narrows his eyes.
Sal: …….How much?
Dean [Grinning brightly]: ..Oh gee, how does one hundred dollars sound?
Sal: Perfect! [Sal reaches into his pocket, pulling out a one hundred dollar bill and thrusting it into the pocket of Deans leather jacket before grasping the urn tightly] SO LONG, SUCKER!
Sal turns around, running off.
Phil; …The boy sure is dumb.
Dean: Yeah…nice Manchester United jersey--
Phil clenches his fist, pulling it back only for Dean to jog backwards, pointing and laughing.
*The Lamb and Flag*
The suns descent is slow, but low enough to leave bubbles of red and orange scarred across the sky as its colourful rays reflect off the few clouds hanging in the sky. The street is now alive with a few mercenaries busy adjusting shirts as they make their ways to their nightly drinking sessions. Phil slams the door of his bungalow shut, locking the door and jogging down the steps as Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin ride a motorcycle past him.
Sabin: Quick, Shelley, Motor City Machineguns…to the SUEZ!
The motorcycle kicks up a cloud of sand, its exhaust belching as it rumbles down the street. Phil quickly walks beside That Hispanic Guy, who is adjusting the tie of his brilliant white suit.
Phil: Sup, *beep*?
That Hispanic Guy: Nothing much, compadre, just doing some business down in Cairo for spare parts.
Phil: For what?
That Hispanic Guy [Chuckling]: Wouldn’t you like to know?
Phil: Well, yeah.
Stoofer walks past Phil, slapping him around the back of his head.
Stoofer: Don’t give stupid answers.
Phil: Stupid? I was being serious!
That Hispanic Guy: Excuse me, but it’s secret. Top secret. Now, if you don’t mind..STOOFER! TO THE GARAGE!
That Hispanic Guy and Stoofer take a sharp right turn, heading through a small alleyway between two desolate buildings towards Walkers Street. Phil turns right at the door of the Lamb and Flag, opening it only to be greeted with a off-pink foam and an overpowering smell of artificial of raspberries.
Phil [Retching]: WH-WHAT MADNESS IS THIS??!?!
Jerichos Voice: Phil?? Where are you??
Phil: Jericho?! You in there?!
Phil slowly wades in, the raspberry-scented fumes coming from the foam starting to clog his brain and make him groggy. As he stumbles through the foam, he bumps into Vince who turns around.
Vince: Phil! How do we get out?!
Phil: Don’t know! Too lost!
Vince: I knew I should have stayed at the Dog and Handgun!
Bills Voice [Panicked]: I CAN’T SEE SHIT!!!
Dicks Voice: WHO’S GETTING IN FIRST ORDERS?!?!?
Vince: I CAN’T SEE YOU!!
Maurices Voice [Bluntly]: I told you this was a bad idea.
Dicks Voice [Cheerfully]: So people can’t see? Big deal! I can tell it’s getting raunchy in there!
Octopus’s Voice: I’m screaming because I’ve got foam in my eyes!
Bobs Voice: Me too!
Moes Voice [Scathingly]: Dick, you are an absolute, complete fucking IDIOT!
Franks Voice [Angrily]: IT’S NOT EVEN ALCOHOLIC FOAM!! THIS IS MADNESS!!
Maurices Voice [Enraged]: I, IN NO WAY, ENDORSED THIS FUCKING IDIOCY!!
Vince: My God, I’m making a run for it!
The sounds of pattering feet, followed by the sound of something heavy slamming into a wall.
Phil: Guys? Vince just knocked himself out.
Some of the foam parts near Phil and he leans his head in, watching Frank successfully reach the door. He lets out a triumphant war cry, raising his fists into the air.
Frank [Yelling wildly]: FOLLOW MY VOICE!! WE SHALL BE FREE THAT WAY!!
Bobs Voice: I will choose death instead!
Octopus’ Voice [Retching]: THESE FUMES ARE CHOKING ME!!
Bills Voice [Shrieking]: I’VE GOT FOAM IN MY EYE! IT BURNS! IT BURNS!
Bill runs towards Franks voice, screaming wildly but reaches the door, bolting outside and flinging himself face-first into the sands, grinding his face into it.
Frank: ..Wow, are you alright?
Bill: Ahhhhh fuck yeah!!
Octopus and Bob manage to stroll quickly towards the door. Bob takes Octopus’s hand, leading her out.
Bob: Last time we go there, then!
Octopus: Dammit, I actually want to drink, though!
Steves Voice: IT TASTES LIKE PAIN, SOAP AND RASPBERRIES!!
Jerichos Voice [Scathingly]: Dick?! You’re a fucking knobhead!!
Jericho strolls out of the door, dusting off his trenchcoat and spitting out a mouthful of soapy liquid.
Jericho [Spitting on the floor]: Stupid fucking wanker..
Ivan, Steve and Phil quickly file out after Jericho, cursing loudly as they carry Vince out as well.
Phil: Fuck, he’s a big lad!
Vince shakes his head rapidly, quickly coming to and blinking rapidly.
Vince [Calmly]: ..I thought I saw God..
Frank: You’re only God here is me--
Phil: Talk about your false idols!
Frank: Up yours!
Mantis quickly runs out, slamming the door behind her as the sound of crashing and yelping fills the room.
Mantis: Well, Maurice and Moe are hogtying Dick, so I guess that’ll keep them busy..
The small group remains silent until Steve claps his hands together, smiling brightly.
Steve [Brightly]: Half Moon!
Ivan [Happily]: YES! HALF MOON!
The group turn around and start walking towards the Half Moon.
Phil: I hope Al has something good on tap, been ages since I’ve been pissed.
Frank: Same here..
Bob: Two hours is not an age, Frank.
Octopus, Jericho, Steve, Ivan and Phil laugh loudly. Mantis scoffs.
Mantis [Mulling over an excuse]: He’s not beyond help..He’s just…he likes alcohol!
Vince: No shit.
Mantis scowls and Octopus snorts back a laugh.
Steve: I like Frank! He reminds me of my Uncle!
Phil: The one in the asylum?
Steve [Brightly]: ..Uhh..YEAH!
Phil and Jericho laugh even louder. Frank and Mantis scowl.
Frank: I can give up drinking any time I want!
Frank: OH, COME ON!
*The Half Moon*
Frank, Mantis, Phil, Vince, Bob, Octopus, Jericho, Ivan and Steve quickly file into the Half Moon where Al is standing with a triumphant grin etched on his face. The bar is already half-full of PMCs, as well as Bill, Dean, Karab, Samuel, Courtney, Tavi and Wolf.
Al [Cheerfully]: HELLO TREASURED CUSTOMERS!!
Frank: Al? GIVE ME SOMETHING!!
Al: Do you want something that will make you drunk? Or something that will knock your teeth out?
Frank: I’d order the latter, but it sounds familiar to Dicks fist cocktail.
Phil: Which isn’t actually a cocktail. Just a fist into the mouth.
Al: I know, which is why this..is beer. My beer. Homebrew.
Al slams one of the bottles of thick liquid down onto the bar in front of Frank, who slams down a ten dollar bill. Al takes it, dropping down some change. Frank snatches it up, uncorking the bottle and chugging half the contents.
Al: Uh, not so quick there chief--
Frank [Eyes twitching]: ISH FINE!! I ISH..uhh..I feel..like..ten bucks!
Frank hiccups, collapsing backwards into a pile. Phil slams down a handful of bills.
Phil: I’ll take four!
Al: Good choice, sir! Good choice! We Brits know how to handle our booze, eh?
Frank [Rambling inanely]: ..I’m a peanut…I don’t like being a peanut! No, Mister seagull, go away! NO! MISTER SEAGULL! NO!
Phil: …Well, at least the Yanks provide entertainment!
Al sets down four bottles and some change. Phil snatches up the change, slipping it into the pocket of his jeans before taking the bottles. He steps over Frank who is now flapping his arms on the floor, squawking like a chicken and walks past the table where Courtney, Wolf and Tavi are sat. Phil gives them a legitimate smile.
Phil: Hello pretty ladies!
Wolf snorts violently. Tavi grimaces and shuffles backwards slightly. Only Courtney gives a small wave.
Jericho: No, Phil, they still hate you.
Phil: Which is why I’m trying to be legitimately nice…How are you all on this beautiful night?
Wolf snorts again, rougher this time. Tavi coughs, folding her arms.
Courtney: I’m good, thanks.
Mantis [Clapping her hands together]: I find it adorable! He’s so well house-trained! If only the rest of you could be like this!
Jericho: Yeah, if only our beards slowly choked us…Get a shave, ya bum!!
Phil: Fuck you!
Tavi: Uhh..You can go now.
Phil [Waving slightly]: Fine. Bye ladies.
Wolf: FUCK OFF!
Phil strolls past their table to venomous, piercing glares from Wolf and Tavi, sitting at the table where Mantis, Bob, Octopus, Jericho, Ivan and Steve are sitting. Phil places the bottles on the table.
Jericho: Nice! Home-made booze!
Bob: I’ll stick with normal beer, thanks.
Steve: Sooooooooo….what now??
Ivan: Ve drink!
Phil, Jericho, Ivan and Steve simply stare at the bottles.
Bob: ….Are you guys drinking it mentally?
Ivan: No, just making a mental note of where we were before we lose our memories.
Mantis [Shaking her head]: Well, that’s the best way to drink..I guess.
Dean [Calling over]: So is drinking zombified animal gravy!
Samuel slaps Dean around his head, grasping the collar of his white polo shirt and turning him around.
Samuel [Through his teeth]: You didn’t--!!
Dean simply smiles, nodding.
Dean: Sal gave me one hundred dollars for it.
Karab: Did you tell him what was in it?
Dean lets out a cold laugh.
Dean [Laughing]: Fuck no! He wants to eat zombified animals? So be it!
Karab: You are quite horrible, you know that?
Dean: Say that again and I’ll ship you off to Hyderabad.
Karab: You are quite horri--
Dean: Shut up! God knows if I could find the resources to ship you back, I’d use them to ship myself back to the United States!
Dean: Fuck you, limey!
Phil: Limey? Really? That’s the best you can come up with?
Dean shuffles around in his seat, facing their table.
Dean: Yeah, you can come up with something better?
Phil shuffles around to face Dean.
Phil [Spitting]: Yeah, I can: You unbelievably stupid, fat, pathetic, oil-guzzling, war-mongering, cheeseburger-eating, world-destroying, nuke-flinging, arrogant yankee cunt!
Dean [Glaring]: Oh yeah? Well it’s better than being a weak pansy-ass, crumpet-eating, tea-drinking, chimney-sweeping, sanctimonious, oppressive, monocle-wearing asshole!
Jericho: Now now, ladies, you are both equally repulsive.
Phil: We’re talking about our countries stereotypes, asshole.
Jericho:: Well then, you should know better..You should feel sorry for him that his view of the world is America America America America followed by some other countries they use for oil storage purposes.
Dean: Oh yeah? And who held the Empire, eh?
Phil: We did, but we gave it back, you assholes saw to that—
Wolf [Screaming]: WILL YOU BOTH SHUT THE FUCK UP?!?!
Dean: …He starte--
Wolf [Spitting]: No-one gives a fuck! Every single country in the world is completely fucking useless! There’s wars, suffering, poverty, famine and dictatorships going on every single fucking day, and do you honestly think for one second that the others country is worse? I’ve got some sad news for you shallow pricks: They aren’t! We are all equally horrible and worthless! Why do you think we’re here? To spread flowers, love, joy and hugs? NO! We’re. Here. To. Kill! So cut the boring, unfounded dumb stereotype-flinging shit, and just enjoy this fucking moment we have on this Earth without resorting to measuring your tiny dicks over whose country is the more repulsive!
Dean and Phil shuffled around, each one equally embarrassed. Samuel, Karab, Octopus, Tavi, Courtney, Bob, Mantis, Jericho and Steve stand up, giving Wolf a standing ovation for her rant.
Dean [Under his breath]: …bitch..
Wolf slams her fists on the table, storming up to her feet and vaulting over the table, grabbing Dean by his collar, hauling him to his feet and flattening him with a ruthless right hook to his jaw, sending him sprawled out on the table. The rest simply watch in surprised silence as Wolf spits on him, vaulting back over her table and calmly taking her seat.
Al: Now that’s entertainment, lads and lasses!
Octopus [Smirking darkly]: No, killing a person with your little finger is entertainment.
Jericho: Woah, how do you do that?
Octopus looks up, an evil grin etched in her face.
Octopus [Quiet, eerie calmness]: Come here and I’ll show you.
Jericho: Hell no! I ain’t falling for that! Not after the Nutbuster incident.
Phil [Ecstatically]: NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT BUSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Phil: It won’t work on you. Works wonders on Jerry, though. Two kicks to the jewels and he’s down and out.
Ivan: That shit is vunny!
Mantis [Yawning]: Yes, it sounds…so riveting.
The door to the Half Moon flings open and Lynch stands in the doorway, hands on his hips and clad in desert camouflage fatigues, with a blazer displaying his rank, as well as a namepatch with “Lynch” etched onto his right chest, accompanied by the mercenary logo on his right arm. Frank somewhat instantly jumps to his feet, somehow sobering up in a second.
Frank [Surprised]: C-CAPTAIN!!
Lynch snaps his fingers, pointing to his feet.
Lynch [Calmly]: You. Here. Now.
Mantis lifts her head slightly.
Mantis: Is everything alright?!
Lynch raises a hand, giving a thumbs up to reassure her but not taking his eyes off of Frank.
Frank: Wh-what is it?
Lynch: Just got the call. You and me are heading down to the Academy. It’s time we meet Mother Mercenary.
Frank [Panicked]: WH-WHAT?!?!
Lynch nods gravely.
Lynch [Quietly]: She’s summoned us. No idea what for, but it’s something big enough to get it with the woman he pulls the strings around here..Put your fucking fatigues on, smarten up, comb that faggot moustache…Looks like we’re going in.
Frank [Stuttering in fear]: But-but-but-but--
Lynch: Shut up and get moving. Say goodbye to your friends. I’ll wait here.
Lynch stomps his feet, causing Frank to twist around and head for the table where Mantis is sat, rubbing his brow nervously.
Tavi [Tauntingly]: Oooooo! Someones in trouble!
Wolf [Laughing slightly]: Wow, you’re lucky, eh?
Frank [Nervously]: Shut up!
Three of the Spetsnaz soldiers whom had arrived earlier in the Middle East squeeze past Lynch into the Half Moon. Wolf claps her hands giddily, which only serves to make Frank even more depressed.
Frank: Uhh..Mantis…I have to go…meet…Mother Mercenary..
Mantis cocks her right eyebrow.
Mantis [Confused]: Is that…bad?
The Squad Leader sits at Wolfs table, clearing his throat.
Spetsnaz Squad Leader: In a nutshell? Yes.
Spetsnaz Soldier One: Da, she’s the one whose made it so ve have to wear electronic tags ven ve’re here!
Frank gulps, letting out a deep, ragged breath and closing his eyes.
Frank [Shaking]: ..Not looking forward to this…mouths dry..hearts pounding..
Jericho: Alright, chop chop! Octopus was just about to tell us how to kill a man using a pinky finger!
Mantis: Frank..I’m sure everything will be fine..
Frank [Gulping]: Guh..I hope so..I hope so..
Lynch claps his hands together noisily.
Lynch: CHOP CHOP! SHE WON’T WAIT!
Frank sighs, rubbing his brow and turning back around, walking over to Lynch with his head bowed. Lynch slams a five dollar bill on the bar.
Lynch: Gimme a bottle of Bud.
Al [Mock Saluting]: No problemo, sir!
Al slams down a bottle of frosted Budweiser and Lynch grabs it, using his teeth to pry off the metal cap and spits it onto the floor, kicking the door open.
Lynch [Bluntly]: Get to your house and get changed.
Frank scuttles past him, sighing.
Frank: I don’t want to do this!
Lynch: Do any of us want to? [Lynch takes a quick gulp of Budweiser] Do any of us?
The dark night casts a freezing shadow over the Romani desert, with only the moon hanging in the sky providing any light whatsoever. The band in the sky, signalling the length of the Milky Way visible to the human eye, heralds the distance for where a beige Humvee is driving towards. Frank is sat in the passengers seat, now wearing his official desert camouflage fatigues with “Daniels” on the right, and the blank patch on the left. His shirt is pressed, as are his pants, and his boots are oddly polished and laced tightly. Lynch is sitting in the drivers seat, yawning calmly.
Frank [Panicking, Near Hyperventilating]: Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.
Lynch: Shut up, moron.
Frank: What do you think she wants?
Lynch: A talk. And that should be enough to send any men into a violent, panic-stricken frenzy of pants-pissing.
Frank: You make her sound absolutely psychotic!
Lynch: Have you met the woman?
Frank: Not personally, no--
Lynch [Bluntly]: Then shut up. You’re right, she is psychotic, but she is also quite calm, reserved. You would be if you led a fucking battalion.
Frank: No, I’d be shitting my pants and crying myself to sleep--
Lynch: Well, she doesn’t. Do you realise how much shit she had to go through to get into the position of leading a battalion?
Lynch: She’s a woman, you idiot. The whole ‘yee-haw manly men’ thing of being official figures in the army kind of stunts the ability for a woman to get into prestigious positions. Luckily for Mother, she got there, and she keeps there because she is calm, collected and..well, yes, she’s psychotic, but who isn’t around here?
Frank: Good point..
A set of pinpricks of light is visible in the far distance.
Lynch: There it is. Remember it?
Frank: Sadly. Went through all that shit in Georgia to become an NCO, and then I have to do essentially the same thing at the academy.
Lynch: Stop your whining. It’s harder to become a Coach there anyway--
Frank: Can I ask you something?
Lynch [Sighing]: I suppose..
Frank: Why do they call you Coaches? Wouldn’t Drill Sergeant be more apt?
Lynch: Yes, it would, but you have to understand: The most Mother wants to do with the official Armies is adopting their structure and nothing more. There’s a reason she calls us Mercenaries and not soldiers. There’s a reason she only gives companies names and not units. There’s a reason she has an Academy in the middle of a fucking desert. Frank, you better not ask too many questions in there, she does NOT like it.
Frank: Just trying to make small talk--
Lynch: Well don’t.
Frank: Why does she only want us?
Lynch [Angrily]: STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! You think I have all the answers? Well, that’s flattering, that’s real fucking flattering, but guess what? I don’t have them!
Frank: Alright, jesus!
A chainlink fence, topped with barbed wire, comes into view, surrounding the perimeter of a sand-blasted, worn, grey building, three stories high with a few lights switched on in the tall windows. The Humvee clunks as it rolls down onto a sheet of tarmac and into a passageway in the chain-link fence, straight towards the main gate of the compound, consisting of an iron arch holding two folding gates of iron-bars in place, with a small guardhouse to the right. The Humvee slows to a halt in front of the gates, and a guard, wearing aviator sunglasses and a pitch black fatigues and a Kevlar vest, strolls over to the door. Lynch rolls down the window, reaching into the side of his door and pulling out a card.
Guard: You guys, huh? Mothers waiting. You know she doesn’t like waiting.
Lynch: We know, Hennessey, are you going to let us in?
Hennessey: Oh aye, pop on through. [Cupping his hands over his mouth] CRAIG! OPEN THE GATE!
The gate grinds violently on the tarmac, slowly folding open and allowing Lynch to drive forward into a small parking lot, lit by two street lamps with spherical bulbs on top of them. Lynch hastily turns right, parking roughly in a space before cutting the engine, giving a small sigh.
Lynch: Alright, let’s do this..
Frank [Nervously]: Yeah..
Lynch [Calmly]: Then let’s go.
Both Lynch and Frank walk across the tarmac and through a pair of glass sliding automatic doors as the scene fades.
COMING SOON: Part V
-- As the two top dogs head to a meeting with the woman who started it all, what can be expected to unfold? Will Sal ever go an episode without being shot? Will Dean, Samuel and Karab file insurance for zombie-related mishaps? Will Octopus kill a guy with a single finger? Will Dick and Al settle their differences? And just where the hell are Brick, Jon, Robbie and Dave? Tune in next time to see Egyptian Strippers, Chilli-Heads, More Pub-War Shenanigans and The Boss!
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