*Cairo – Egypt*
The scene opens up within Cairo, Egypt. Walking through the tight-knit streets are three of the mercenaries, carefully navigating through the crowds flocking around market stalls, avoiding hawkers busy yelling out their inventory and the prices for it, as well as the various cats which prowl the streets, hungry for their next pray. Vince suddenly stops, twisting right and squeezing his figure between two men, looking down at a stall and causing Brick and Jon to stop.
Jon [Angrily]: What is the cocksucking monkey doing?!
Vince waves a hand, motioning for them to come over. Brick slaps Jons back, grinning brightly.
Brick: Let’s go, buddy!
Jon [Growling]: Fine..
Brick frowns slightly, pointing to Jons turban.
Brick: Where’s the fez, buddy?!
Jon lets out a deep, impatient sigh, rubbing his eyes and reaching into a blue plastic bag hanging from his left wrist, pulling out a red cloth fez with a black tassel extending from the center of the skull, placing it on top of his turban. Brick claps his hands giddily, nodding and grinning.
Jon [Bitterly]: Fuck off.
Jon and Brick stroll over to Vince, getting on their tiptoes to look over his shoulder so as not to intrude upon the Egyptians private space as they flock around the stalls, carefully glancing the goods and haggling. Vince picks up a monocle shaped like the Eye of Ra, holding it to the sky.
Vince: Need presents for Sal and Billy!
Brick [Pointing at something]: Hey, that there monocle would be great for posh boy!
Vince: Exactly. I like it!
The market stall owner spins around on his wooden stool, looking at Vince and giving an artificially-whitened toothy grin, carefully adjusting his blue and white-striped Fred Perry polo shirt to appear more trustworthy.
Owner [Grinning]: Excuse me, sir, I see you’re hypnotised by the Eye of Ra monocle. You have good taste!
Vince: Oh, you!
Vince gives a girlish giggle, causing Jon to cringe violently and make a motion to strangle him. Brick quickly grabs his hands, stopping him from doing so.
Owner: It’s a very good piece, expertly made! Crystal cut, well polished..And it is yours for just five thousand, five hundred Egyptian pounds!
Vince: Wow! That’s a great deal! That’s like….Uhh..
Owner: Very cheap in dollars and British pounds!
Vince [Slyly]: Wow…how about we…haggle..?
Owner: Ah, but of course! Five thousand, five hundred, though…Brilliant price. A brilliant offer. I won’t accept lower!
Vince: Six thousand!
Jon [In disbelief]: YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO HAGGLE DOWNWARDS!!!
Vince: Five thousand five hundred?
Vince [Giddily]: SOLD!
Vince reaches into his pocket, pulling out a handful of banknotes, handing them over to the owner who takes them giddily, handing Vince the Eye of Ra monocle. Vince grins, holding it up to the sky.
Vince [In awe]: Wooooooooooooowwwwwwwww!
Jon: Can we get moving? We’re here on business--
Vince: ….Is that a porcelain sculpture of the Great Pyramid?!
Owner: Yes, only seven thousand Egyptian pounds!
Vince: ….Eight thous--
Jon grabs Vince around the neck, dragging him roughly away from the stall, spinning him around and jabbing a finger in his face.
Jon [Venomously]: Alright, you bloody fuck, I’ve had enough of you pissing about. We came here to find a stripper, not to play the role of stupid American tourists, so you better get your priorities straight or so God help me I will break your fucking spine.
Vince looks at Jon, trying desperately to stop grinning.
Jon [Angrily]: AM I FUCKING FUNNY?!?!
Vinces smile fades slightly.
Vince [Remaining oddly neutral]: No, but when you’re mean, you make me sad. I don’t like being sad. My pimphand readies itself when I’m sad.
Jon [Darkly]: I swear, I will reach down your throat, pull out your heart and wank with it if you don’t shut your fucking mouth.
Vince turns his nose up at Jon, giving a large ho-hum and exaggeratingly goosestepping away. Jon grimaces violently, hissing through his front teeth as he squats down, pumping his clenched fists violently in an attempt to release the rage coursing through his body. Brick simply pats his head.
Brick: C’mon. May as well fellow him!
Jon slowly stands up, slapping himself roughly in the cheek and letting out a rough breath.
Jon [Growling]: If we don’t get done soon, I’m going to murder the fucking asshole..
Once again in the Half Moon, chaos and disorder reigns once again. Several bodies litter the floor, which is slicked with blood and sweat. The American flag hanging on the wall hangs without a stain, in stark contrast to the bunting which is torn and, in some cases across the ceiling, formed into makeshift nooses. Every single table has been smashed into nothing more than splinters and shards of varnished wood, while only three chairs remain still intact, the rest torn into pieces and strewn about the room.
A small, glass clink fills the room as a bottle of Pabst Blue Label rolls from a mercenaries hand: Deans, to be exact. Dean lets out a loud yawn, slowly sitting up and smacking his lips, looking around and noticing that he fell asleep on a pile of wooden splinters and torn padding ripped from the cushions that used to be on the chairs. Dean snorts loudly, spitting out a mouthful of phlegm beside him.
Dean [Grunting]: ….Good night once again…
Dean blinks, squinting as the light starts to burn his eyes. He looks a few feet away from his own feet where a large white blanket has fallen, with two writhing shapes underneath it. Dean cricks his neck from side to side, rubbing his aching knuckles and moving the sheet slightly with one of his bare feet. The sheet is quickly tossed aside as Billy, wearing nothing but Saltire-pattern boxer shorts, sits up instantly.
Billy [Grasping his hair]: What the fuck---NOT AGAIN!!
Billy throws up the covers, revealing the content smile of Crying Wolf as she snores peacefully, hugging her knees to her bare chest.
Billy [In shock]: FUCK ME RIGID WITH A SPOON!!
Billy stands up with his hands on his hips, cursing obscenities under his breath as Dean looks at his chest, wide-eyed.
Dean: Billy, dude, what the hell happened?!
Billy: Say wha--
Billy looks down at his chest, which has several hacks cut into the flesh, and which are only just starting to scab over. Billy slowly turns his head to Wolf, noticing blood stained on her plump, chestnut lips.
Billy [Screaming slightly]: GODDAMMIT!!! SHE’S A VAMPIRE!!
Billys eye twitches as he slowly turns to face Dean, who shrugs nonchalantly, rubbing his bare shoulders.
Billy: So, did you guys win the fight?
Billy: I see..
Dean and Billy listen as they hear a yawn underneath a pile of wooden rubble to Billys left. They watch as several of the large splinters part, thrown to the floor as the head of Sal surfaces, eyes closed.
Sal [Tiredly]: …I’m naked under here..
Billy: That’s what you get when you drink..
Sal [Chuckling]: ………..Cool..
Sal yawns, laying his head backwards on a broken wooden plank and sighing happily. Samuel crawls out from behind the pile of wood, wearing nothing but a torn shirt and white boxer shorts, looking around and spitting out one of his bloodied back teeth.
Samuel: ..Dean. What happened?
Dean: Bar fight, Sammy. Bar fight.
Samuel: Did we win?
Dean: Well, where the hell are the foreigners?
Samuel and Dean look up as a ceiling tile crackles violently, spraying plaster onto the floor before giving way as Jericho and Ivan, tied together by a length of copper wire, fall violently to the floor with a sickening crack. Ivan groans loudly, opening an eye.
Ivan [Groggily]: ..Vat happened?
Dean: Your ass was grass, and we Americans smoked it good.
Ivan [Grunting]: ..Vell, zat explains vhy I’m tied Jevicho, zen..
Samuel: ..Dean, did you tie them together?!
Dean: What? Don’t blame me, they wanted to shank me!
Ivan: …That’s vats poking me in ze back! Vank God, I vas getting vorried!
Samuel [Cocking an eyebrow]: Dare I ask where you got the copper wire from?
Dean points to the ceiling, where a snake-like shape of plaster has been ripped violently from it, causing two of the lights to have simply blacked out. Dean grins and nods, holding out his palms which are red raw, cracked and blistered.
Samuel: Dean, you probably should have cut the power first—
Dean: I don’t think in fights, dammit!
Bill groans loudly nearby, Dean turning his head and watching as his grizzled hands clasp the edge of one of the intact chairs, pulling himself up and sitting in a pile of wooden rubble. He squints, slowly turning to the awakening mercenaries and scratching his left chest, burping loudly.
Bill [Belching]: …Hey guys…good fight last night..
Jericho [Groaning loudly]: Not really..
Jericho yawns loudly, slowly opening his eyes and grunting loudly, snorting some phlegm into his throat and swallowing it, looking around.
Jericho: Don’t suppose someone could untie me, right?
Dean: Take off the trenchcoat.
Jericho grumbles under his breath, shuffling slightly.
Jericho: I can;’t, you fucking idiot, I’m stuck!
Dean: Alright, alright, quit your bellyaching..
Dean wanders over to them, spitting on his palms and rubbing them together before grasping the copper wire, pulling at the small, badly-made knot enough to untie it and allow Jericho to roll across the floor and to his feet, brushing himself free from cobwebs and plaster before reaching into the inside pocket of his tan camelskin trenchcoat and pulling out a makeshift shank, consisting of a shard of wood tightly bound with duct-tape.
Jericho: ..How did I make this if I was pissed?
Dean: You weren’t. That aching feeling you can feel is actually because you were holding Bobby for Mustafa to punch, but Bobby ducked and Mustafa punched you instead.
Jericho [Cricking his neck]: …Oh….Hold on, where’s Phil?
Phil [Cheerily]: Good morning, gentlemen!
Dean and Jericho turn their heads to the surprisingly-intact doorway, inside of which is standing Phil, holding a cup of coffee and fully clothed as his beard starts to dry in the sun.
Jericho [Spitting angrily]: ..You fucking coward!
Phil [Calmly]: When the going gets tough, the going run as fast as they can.
Jericho [Angrily]: You dick! You could have at least fought for us!
Phil: I did my part. Sort of. Kind of. Alright, I smashed a few chairs and ran. What did you want me to do, stab someone?
Jericho looks down at the shank in his hand before looking at Phil and nodding slowly.
Dean: Hang on, how did you get it? I remember any and every foreigner was getting beaten last night.
Phil: I crawled out.
Jericho [Bitterly]: Like a fucking dog!
Phil: Yep, but the difference between me and you is that I’ve had a shower, a piss and a cup of coffee, whereas you’ve been sucking piss-soaked peanuts from the floor.
Ivan [Narrowing his eyes]: Vait a second….Vat else have you done?
Phil: What are you talking about?
Jericho: You showered.
Phil: Duh. I went home, got pissed by myself and when I woke up, I was in the bathtub.
Jericho narrows his eyes slightly. Dean simply shrugs it off, dusting his hands together.
Billy: Well, at least he didn’t go to where no man dare treads..
Billy looks down at Wolf, shuddering violently.
Samuel [Groaning]: Quit whining, at least you got some last night. All the rest of us got were kidney punches and the occasional concussion.
That Other Random Guy, who had risen from behind the bar, stumbles past them on the way to the bathroom, a cigarette smouldering in his mouth as he clutches his head tightly.
That Other Random Guy: The kid don’t lie.
Dean: There’s a few people missing, actually. What happened to *Beep*, Mustafa, Johan, Stoofer..Hell, where’s Steve and those documentary guys?
Phil: Mustafa I’ve just passed by on the way here. Stoofers down at Drebins hawking off his collection of gold teeth he stole from a few mouths, and Steves down at the flat. Rest of them? No idea.
That Hispanic Guy slowly emerges from behind the bar, fully naked as he gives a small grin, raising his arms.
That Hispanic Guy [Cheerily]: Guess who got lucky?!
Billy: Woah, you got some?!
That Hispanic Guy [Happily]: No, not really, but I’m sleeping on money, my compadres! MONEY!
That Hispanic Guy: I don’t care where it came from, all I know is this will help fund the garage for a long time!
Phil: ….So that’s where the money me and Ivan robbed from the bank went!
That Hispanic Guy [Smile fading instantly]: ..What?
Phil [Shrugging]: Hey, keep it, I don’t care.
Ivan: Yeah..better you than us being avvested..
That Hispanic Guy: Well, thank you for the patronage!
That Hispanic Guy strolls out from behind the bar, yawning and stretching as he strolls into the male bathroom.
Jericho [Shielding his eyes]: And thank you for the brain damage.
Ivan [Turning away]: Da. Thanks.
Bill: Well, back to our usual mundane lives of doing nothing.
Dean: Yeah, I suppose we better..y’know, move.
Phil: Please do. Karab went momentarily crazy without you guys around.
Dean: What? The zombies re-appear again?
Dean, Samuel, Jericho and Ivan laugh heartily amongst themselves. Phil starts laughing exaggeratedly, but stops suddenly.
Phil [Bluntly]: Yes.
Karab slowly inches past Phil, holding up the rotten, green-tinted head of a lamb, the eyesockets infested with pulsing, writhing maggots as he throws it at Deans feet, brushing off the curved, glinting blade of his Scimitar with his blood-stained white apron.
Karab: …Not many, but there was still some.
Dean [Trying not to retch]: …….Wow.
Tavi slowly inches past Phil, fully naked and yawning loudly.
Tavi: Mornin’ guys.
Mercenaries: Morning Tavi.
Tavi: Anyone..y’know, seen my goddamn clothes?
Samuel: Can’t say we have.
Tavi: See? That’s odd. I woke up outside with no clothes on. What the hell happened to them?...Jericho. Stop staring.
Jericho: I would, but you don’t get to see this often.
Tavi: Fuck off.
Courtney yawns from somewhere within the room.
Courtneys Voice [Cheerily]: Mornin’ y’all!
Mercenaries: Morning Courtney.
Bill: Hang on, where the hell are you?
Courtneys Voice: A dark, very mysterious place that smells oddly like peanuts and piss. I think it might be Jerichos brain.
Jericho [Sarcastically]: Oh ha ha.
The crack within the ceiling where Dean tore the copper wiring slowly widens as a nimble fist punches through it repeatedly, before being stomped away by a brown leather boot as Courtney quickly jumps down, landing spryly on her feet and cracking her knuckles.
Courtney: That’s how you make an entrance!
Tavi [Calmly]: Courtney. Take off my clothes.
Courtney looks down at the white shirt, denim jacket, flower-print jeans and brown boots she’s wearing: The same clothes Tavi was wearing the previous night. She looks up, giving a nervous laugh.
Courtney: There’s actually a very funny explanation THAT INVOLVES THAT MAN.
Courtney points at Phil, whose eyes widen as he shakes his head rapidly.
Phil [Hastily]: It is my duty as a proud Brit to run away if you try to falsely implicate in the removal of Tavi Inuko’s clothing!
Jericho: One day, you will grow a spine, my son!
Tavi: Except I know it wasn’t him. The person who removed my clothes was perverted, and had an oddly-shiny grin. Very odd. We didn’t have sex, but I remember the smell of tequila, and the feeling of lips on my stomach.
Tavi remains standing there silently. Courtney blinks rapidly.
Courtney: Really? Because I remember tearing Billy’s shirt off and strangling him with it before kicking Will in the testicles. How odd.
Tavi runs her hands across her bare stomach, taking a bundle of fur between her fist and slowly turning her head to the bathroom as Phil strolls forward, taking a quick drink of coffee.
Phil: I believe the man you’re looking for is in the toilets right now.
Tavi: Phil. If you give me a weapon of some sort, I will allow you to—
Phil nonchalantly leans down, grasping the wooden leg of a chair and handing it to her.
Karab: I’ve got this if you want it.
Karab holds out the blade of his Scimitar.
Tavi: No, I want to maim, not kill.
Courtney [Cheerily]: Maimings always good for fun!
Tavi storms towards the bathroom, clutching the wooden chair leg like a bat. Phil simply takes another calm swig of coffee, handing the cup to Karab who takes it with his free hand, taking a long drink before handing it back to Phil.
Karab [Angrily]: Guys, can you actually get up so I CAN FUCKING SLEEP?!
Dean: Yeah yeah..Come on, Sammy.
Samuel: Hold on a second..
Samuel finishes placing several coins and a wooden splinter across Sals face. Bill slowly tiptoes over, violently slapping his upper chest. Sal squeals loudly, sitting up and causing the items to fly across the floor.
Sal [Angrily]: DAMMIT, BILL!!
Al [Enraged]: YOU FUCKING BASTARDS!!
The awakened mercenaries quickly turn their heads, looking at Al who is now sat on the edge of the bar, looking around at the chaos and destruction that has overcome the pub for the second night in a row.
Al [Enraged]: MY PUB! MY FUCKING PUB! YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!
Courtney slowly strolls over to Phil, smelling the bitter smell of black coffee and looks up at him, pouting and giving him puppy dog eyes.
Dean: Shut up! You invited us here, and seemed pleased when we fought! Hell, this ain’t Queensbury Rules you stupid moron!
Al [Venomously]: You fuckers…are going…TO PAY!
Phil hands the cup to Courtney, who grasps it, draining it from coffee. Al stops suddenly, eyes twitching as he watches Courtneys body twitch from the sudden caffeine rush.
Phil: Well, ta-ta. C’mon Karab, let’s leave these guys alone.
Karab and Phil calmly turn around, strolling out of the door as Courtney zooms forward, throwing shards of wood around in her hyperactive frenzy. Both of them walk up Beale Street, dusting off their hands.
KArab: Well, thanks for that.
Phil: For what?
Karab: The rotten lambs head. How the fuck did you get one?
Phil: I buried it up last night after drinking. You’d be surprised what you can get up to with tequila, vodka and gin wrestling around in your system.
Karab: I gotta admit, I’d never have thought it’d work. Think they’ll let me off work?
Phil: Karab, I know they will, for it is my solemn duty as a complete and utter lazy bastard to encourage other people to be lazy too.
Karab slaps a hand on Phils back.
Karab [Cheerily]: Y’know, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship—
Phil: I thought we were already friends?
Karab: ….Oh. Yeah. Well, this could be the beginning of a better friendship!
Phil: I love you, man.
Karab [Slightly disturbed]: Hey, I said friendship, let’s start out there, alright?
Jericho, Ivan, Dean and Samuel dive out of the Lamb and Flag, covering their heads as shards of wood fly out of the doorway.
Dean: Jesus Christ, that’s why I buried the damn coffee machine, Sammy!
Samuel [Panicked]: YEAH YEAH, JUST KEEP RUNNING!!
As the others make their way to their homes, Rex, Johnny and Tim are three other people who managed to make a premature exit from the violent, patriotism-fuelled brawl. Rex seems much happier, drinking a thick, neon-green shake as Johnny and Tim watch, clutching polystyrene cups of coffee.
Johnny: Y’know, if I ever start drinking those things, just shoot me, Tim.
Tim: Johnny, you know I’d never shoot you.
Johnny: Then fatally wound me. I will never ever stoop to the point where I drink health shakes or shave.
Tim: I wish you’d bloody shave.
Johnny: Shavings for pussies!
Tim: You said that about reading, too. Took you ten years to finish College.
Johnny: Yeah, well……Whatever.
Rex [Clapping his hands]: Alright, alright, unhealthy pricks! Up! Up! The next interview begins here!
Johnny [Bitterly]: I really want to stab him one day.
Tim: Yeah, let’s just get this done with.
Johnny: God, I wonder who we’re interviewing next..Hope it’s someone talkative..
Johnny slowly jogs over to the camera, pressing a few buttons as Rex kneels down, setting down his health shake and clapping his hands together, ordering Tim to move. Tim sighs, grasping the boom-microphone and jogging over.
Rex: Come on, Tim! Move the microphone!
Tim [Venomously under his breath]: I’d like to shove it down your fucking throat..
Rex: What was that?
Tim: I said I’d like to shove it down your fucking throat.
Rex: Yeah, well, it won’t fit, so keep making threats.
Tim: Oh, I bet I could make it—Penguin.
Rex [Sighing]: ……….It’s him, isn’t it?
Rex turns around as Johnny and Tim look up. Sure enough, the bulbous form of Mister Dibbley is standing a few feet away from the alleyway to Walker Street, wearing nothing less than what appears to be an oddly-made custom tuxedo, complete with red silk cummerbund, bowtie, cufflinks, black bowler hat and dress cane. Dibbley tips his left flipper, tipping his hat at them.
Mr. Dibbley [Chipper]: Greetings, chaps! Greetings!
Johnny: Talking fucking penguin..What next?
Mr. Dibbley [Underwhelmed]: Charming.
Dibbley waddles over to the seat, looking down at it and sighing, simply waddling around and turning to face the camera, jamming his dress cane into the sands and placing both his flippers on the handle. Tim hesitantly lowers the boom-microphone slightly.
Tim: ….Right, well, I’m all ready for this shit.
Johnny: Yeah. Me too.
Rex: Roll the camera, Johnny.
Johnny: Something in me doesn’t want to.
Rex [Bluntly]: Roll it or I will gouge out your eyes and skullfuck you.
Johnny sighs, hastily flipping a few switches and nodding as Rex turns to Dibbley.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Rank.
Mr. Dibbley: Mr. Dibbley. Antarctica. Specialist.
Rex [Laughing in disbelief]: …..Seriously?
Mr. Dibbley: What?
Rex: You’re a fucking talking penguin.
Mr. Dibbley: And?
Rex: That doesn’t strike you as completely batshit insane?
Mr. Dibbley [Calmly]: Not in the slightest. Probably strikes you as completely ludicrous, though.
Rex: Yes. Yes it does.
Mr. Dibbley: Charming.
Rex: So many questions..Alright, for one, how can you talk? Why can you talk in an English accent?
Mr. Dibbley: Genetic mutation, old bean! I used to be in London Zoo before I was transported to Cairo Zoo! Before I reached there, a stray PMC rocket hit the truck, causing the driver to die and letting the few animals on board run to the winds! After hours of working in intense heat, I laid down in a pool of toxic waste which was also a dumping ground for nanomachine cast-off. When I woke up, I found that, for no really explainable reason and a revelation that will make scientists cough blood, I had grown a voicebox! Those nanomachines and toxic waste can really alter DNA! Next thing I know, I’m talking, wearing clothes and holding a general hostility to Americans!
Rex [Shaking his head slightly]: Interesting. But who, in their goddamn mind, would just hand you a sniper rifle?
Mr. Dibbley: My dear chap, you have to realise that I was in the middle of the scorching desert! I looked around, scouted for the nearest building and found it, the building happening to be the Mercenary Academy! Apparently, the Academy were interested in animal experimentation, but never found the balls too! They invited me in, and Mother was kind enough to test out my skills. I do believe that I was horrible when it came to reconnaissance, explosives, the obstacle course and mechanical work, but excelled at holding a rifle!
Rex [Confused]: How the fuck do you even pull the trigger?
Mr. Dibbley: The narrow tip of my flipper, chap! It took years of practice just to get right! Why do you think I prefer a Semi-Automatic Dragunov, my friend? I can contort my flipper and reload easily, but wouldn’t dream of operating bolt-action after the trouble I went to just learning to fire.
Rex: Alright, I’ll give it to you, it makes sense. Just an off-topic question, you said the Academy wanted to try animal research? Why? And isn’t that weird sugar-glider…thing, an experiment?
Mr. Dibbley: It is not good manners to talk about a woman behind her back, chap, but I can safely say she isn’t a product of the Academy. They haven’t even tried DNA splicing or the like!
Rex: I wonder where the hell she comes from..
Mr. Dibbley: Oh, rumours and hearsay. Surely you will be asking her yourself?
Rex: Yes. But, back onto the question again, you said they wanted to try animal research?
Mr. Dibbley: But of course, old chap! Just imagine an army of super-fast soldiers with the reflexes of cats and the aggressiveness of wolves charging the PMCs! It would be enough to challenge the very notion of nanomachines preventing a PMC from feeling fear! The Academy wanted to take one super-soldier to pit against another super-soldier!
Rex: What went wrong?
Mr. Dibbley: Cost. General effectiveness. After all, why spend billions on research and facilities when these people can just as easily be shot in the head?
Rex: Good point. So, tell me, you been on any missions?
Mr. Dibbley: My first, and only, mission was at Shadow Moses last year.
Rex [Smirking]: …Shadow Moses was nine to ten years ago.
Mr. Dibbley [Chuckling]: Was it, now?
Rex: Yeah. It was.
Mr. Dibbley: It’s interesting what you civilians are led to believe by the government.
Rex [Unimpressed]: Yeah, sure.
Mr. Dibbley: It was a bloody pleasant mission. Shame I won’t be going to Big Shell, but..alas, I am needed more here.
Rex: ….Big Shell was several years ago.
Mr. Dibbley: Rex. Be quiet.
Rex: Whatever, any final words to say? Friends? Family?
Mr. Dibbley: My friends and family can’t understand me, old chap, but I will just say a huge thank you to Mother Mercenary for expecting me. [Ecstatically] FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY!!
Mr. Dibbley gives an enthusiastic salute.
Johnny: And that’s another interview done!
Mr. Dibbley: Am I free to leave?
Rex [Bluntly]: Yeah, go on, beat it.
Mr. Dibbley sighs, cracking his flippers before waddling towards the alleyway which leads to Beale Street. Stoofer calmly walks past him, carrying a large, metal khaki-painted crate with yellow Cyrillic painted upon it above his head.
Mr. Dibbley: Good morning, Stoofer. What’s with the crate?
Stoofer: The usual. Russian Government-issue Sidewinder missiles.
Mr. Dibbley: I see.
Stoofer whistles loudly, walking past him as Mr. Dibbley turns towards the alleyway, watching as Sal slowly walks out, eyeing him carefully. Dibbleys eyes flash slightly.
Mr. Dibbley [Bitterly]: My arch-nemesis.
Sal: Man, I like you! Why can’t you like me?!
Mr. Dibbley: I tolerate you. Is that enough.
Sal [Cheerily]: That’ll do! HUG?!
Sal spreads his arms wide, but Mr. Dibbley simply slaps him roughly with his left flipper before pointing his right flipper threateningly at him.
Mr. Dibbley: Push it and I’ll snap your neck.
Mr. Dibbley gives a huge ho-hum before turning around and waddling off. Johnny, having witnessed the entire thing, simply shakes his head.
Johnny [Eyes widened]: Wow. A penguin threatening to kill a man. The things you see when sober..
Back in Cairo, Jon, Vince and Brick are busy strolling through a relatively-empty side street within Cairo, carefully avoiding the overflowing dumpsters and the occasional stray cat as they walk over the sand-clogged pavement, looking around at their surroundings carefully as they begin to approach an incredibly busy street in front of them, a street simply not visible except for a writhing mass of people covered in a blanket of frantic yelling and shouting from hawkers and customer alike.
Jon: Keep your eyes peeled.
Vince: I don’t get why they say that. Wouldn’t peeling your eyes be painful? I mean—
Jon [Astonished]: IT MEANS DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYELIDS, YOU STUPID CUNT!
Vince: So then, should it be ‘Keep your eyes open’?
Jon [Bitterly]: I swear, I’m going to murder him.
Brick: Chill out, Jon. We’re only here for a ho.
Jon: My legs hurt, dammit!
Vince: Then shall we sit before we have to tackle the mean streets?
Jon [Angrily]: Tackle the mean streets? You’ve bought them, you bastard!
Vince: Hey, this is kitsch!
Jon [In utter disbelief]: What the—What the fuck is kitsch?! Are you gay?!
Vince: No, but I find your attempts to insult me by aligning me with a well-dressed and friendly community quite hilarious.
Jon [Angrily]: I will hurt you. I swear to GOD!
Brick [Sighing loudly]: Guys, will you two quit fightin’?! I just wanna sit down!
Jon [Bitterly]: Fine..
Brick, Jon and Vince turn around, looking at a small concrete step leading towards a barred-off wooden door, slowly sitting down on it. Vince sets his bags down, yawning loudly, while Jon reaches into the pocket of his jeans, pulling out a crumpled packet of Marlboros and pulling it open, pulling out a squashed cigarette and placing it between his lips. Brick shuffles backwards, resting his back against the rusted iron bars and scratches his nose.
Vince: So, guys! What can we talk about?
Jon: Anyone got a light?
Brick reaches into the pocket of his jeans, pulling out a small, clear, red plastic lighter, handing it to Jon who takes it, nodding in appreciation.
Brick: Alrighty then. Vince. What would be your ideal dancer for the club?
Vince: Good question! Someone with an ample bosom, but not too ample or big. Possible a Japanese woman, dressed in a sailor fuku!
Jon [Lighting the cigarette]: Could you get any more weird?
Jon takes a long draw out of the cigarette, blowing a trail of smoke from his nose.
Vince: Alright then. Yours?
Jon [Calmly]: An average woman. Pale skin. Normal tits. Not too skinny, got some good curves on her.
Vince: So..average all the way?
Jon [Shrugging]: Hey, I said curvy. Gotta have a curvy woman, not these anorexic..things.
Brick: I agree, bud, have you seen these skinny women on television now? Damn! They look like walking coatracks!
Jon: Hey man, that’s nothing. I dated one of them once.
Vince: What was it like?
Jon takes the cigarette from his mouth, blowing a long wisp of smoke into the air as Brick rifles in the pockets of his jeans.
Jon [Bluntly]: Like banging a stick insect.
Vince: Urghhh! That’s nasty!
Jon [Smirking]: It was. I could hear cracking when we did, and I don’t think it was the bed, it was probably her hip—
Brick: Way too much information!
Jon: Indeed. Indeed.
Brick: Well, mine would be any women. Who cares? Beggars can’t be choosers!
Vince: I suppose not.
Brick pulls out a squashed Baby Ruth candybar, pulling off the silver wrapper and beginning to chew on the end as Jon flicks his cigarette butt to the sands.
Vince [Stroking his beard thoughtfully]: What about Tavi?
Jon: What about her?
Vince: Thought about getting her to dance?
Jon: I’ll pass.
Vince: Hey, you never know—
Jon: Know what?
Vince: How many people might just like that.
Jon: Yeah. But that’s still a flat-out no with a side of ‘Fuck no’.
Vince [Confused]: ….Why?
Jon: One, she’s crazy. Two, refer to one. Three, she might just shoot us if things go wrong somehow.
Vince: So hire another?
Brick: Vinnie, shaddup!
Vince: Hey, I’m being a businessman here!
Jon [Calmly]: That’s what Robespierre said before he murdered everyone on the guillotine.
Brick: …..No he didn’t.
Jon: I like to think he did.
Vince: But seriousl—
Brick: Vinnie. How many of ‘em do you see on the streets?
Vince: None, but—
Brick: D’ya know where Tavi came from?
Vince: No, but—
Brick [Shaking his head]: SHADDUP!!
Jon: Look, there’s no others like her. And that’s fucking literal, you idiot. I’ve never seen another walking, talking anthropomorphic animal in my entire fucking time here on this twisted Earth. So, where do you think we’ll find one?
Vince: A laboratory?
Jon [Bitterly]: I’m going to smack him, Brick. REALLY smack him.
Vince [Hastily changing the subject]: ..So, favourite foods???
Jon: No dice, I’m going to smack your teeth out.
Jon slowly stands up, cracking his knuckles noisily before turning to Vince and pulling his fist back.
Dion: Guys? ‘The fuck are you sat there for? I thought you were looking for some meat?
Jon turns his head, looking at Dion who is now stood just in front of the swath of passing people in the alleyway, watching Jon, Vince and Brick carefully with his arms folded.
Jon: Yeah, but we’re resting our legs, Dion.
Dion: Looks to me like you’re going to punch the hairy ape.
Vince [Calmly]: No, he’s not. We’re going to be friends and polite about our indiscretions.
Jon [Venomously]: Polite? How about I kick your fucking teeth in?!
Dion: Look, boys, I figured all of you would be about as effective as a wet fart, so I did a little scouting of my own. Boy, did I find the greatest of places for you boys to find your woman!
Brick: Go on.
Dion: ‘The Red Sphinx’. It’s a cosy little joint. Only has three..maybe four strippers at most!
Jon: Hold on..Isn’t the ‘Red Sphinx’ YOUR joint?
Dion: One of five, friend. One of five.
Brick: C’mon, Dion! Yer gonna sell one to us?
Dion: That’s how it works here, my friends! You want good food? Come to Dion! You want whores? Come to Dion! You want sex—
Jon [Sneering in disgust]: I would not come to you for sex even if you were the last person on Earth and you had plastic surgery to make you look like Joelle Kayembe.
Dion: The point I was trying to make, oh angry one, was that everything you guys want and need in Cairo? It comes from me. So, get up, follow me, and let me show you to one of our more prime pieces of meat!
Vince: Can we stop calling women pieces of meat?
Dion [Bluntly]: Someone slap him.
Jon [Happily]: FINALLY!!
Jon leans down, slapping Vince roughly on the cheek and causing him to yelp wildly. Brick crumples up the Baby Ruth wrapper, throwing it to the sands and gets up, wiping his fingers off of his blue-and-white plaid sleeveless shirt.
Brick: Let’s roll.
Dion: Just what I like to hear!
Brick cricks his neck from side to side, strolling towards the entrance of the alleyway as Dion snaps his fingers, spinning around on his crepe soles and walking out of the alleyway. Jon quickly turns around, jogging after Brick.
Vince: Hey! Wait up!
Vince quickly jogs after Brick, Jon and Dion as they turn right around the corner and melt into the large crowd. Vince squeezes his bulky frame through the crowd, managing to stick behind Brick as the four of them traverse through the yelling, calling but otherwise jovial crowd. At the end of the straight, all four of them turn left at a T-junction before turning immediately right, down into a small, narrow alleyway which forces them into single file. After squeezing through, they reach a large alcove surrounded by a the backs of the large concrete buildings that manage to overshadow the entire alcove except for one place where a lone beam of light shines down upon: The Red Sphinx, complete with a flashing red neon light above a twin pair of glass doors with copper handles. Dion spreads his arms happily, jogging towards the doors and flings them open, running into the darkness.
Dions Voice [Ecstatically]: I’M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!
Brick: The boy sure is hyper.
Jon: Let’s just go in, get a girl and get out. I’m starting to get cranky from dehydration.
Vince: Bullshit. You’re always cranky.
Jon [Angrily]: YOU TAKE THAT BACK OR I’LL STAB YOU!!!
Jon: Where’d Brick go?
Jon and Vince turn to the club, where Brick is now running towards. Jon sighs, jogging into the club after Brick. The club is incredibly small, consisting of a lone circular stage, a metal pole and perhaps four tables at the most with a bar against the left wall. Standing upon the stage is a young woman with flowing jet-black hair, deeply tanned skin, dark eyes and ample cleavage. Brick whoops loudly, hopping onto the stage and doing the Running Man dance beside her, much to the amusement of the patrons, most of whom happen to be drunk. Jon and Vince walk in, stopping when they see the dancer who is now bemused by Bricks presence.
Jon: Who’s she?!
Dion [Smirking]: Good eyes, man. Good eyes. Her names Isis, quite a mysterious woman, though. She only arrived here three weeks ago.
Jon: She’s hot. I’ll take her.
Dion: Woah, hold it there, mighty-whitey..We’ve got to talk price first!
Jon [Calmly]: Then spit it out.
Dion: How does six thousand sound?
Jon [Bitterl]y: How does my fist punching your dick sound?
Dion: Man, that’s harsh. A guys gotta eat, y’know?
Jon: What the fuck do you eat? Gilded caviar? No whores worth that much!
Dion: She is, man! She is!
Jon: Are you sure?
Dion [Laughing]: YES!
Jon [Bluntly]: Well, I ain’t paying six thousand. Fuck that for a start—
Dion: Alright then, since you guys are reliable customers, I’ll make it five thousand PLUS a crystal chandelier installed by my guys. Deal?
Jon turns his head to Brick, who is busy dancing on the stage.
Dion: Good! Good! Now, how would you like her packed?
Jon: Oh, the usual.
Vince: The usual? What’s the usual?
Jon: Avert thine innocent eyes, Vincent.
Vince [Horrified]: WHAT’S THE USUAL?!
Vince watches in horror as Dion approaches Isis from behind, pulling a syringe from his leather belt and jamming it into her neck. The stripclub continues as normal, with the patrons continuing their drinks even as Isis stumbles backwards and collapses into Dions arms. He starts humming a small song as he rolls Isis onto her stomach, pulling out a pair of plastic-clip handcuffs from his pocket and tightening them around her wrists before pulling out a roll of silver duct-tape from the same pocket, rolling her onto her back and tearing off a strip, placing it over her mouth. He strolls over to Jon, palm outstretched as Jon pulls out a large brick of bills, flicking through them as another stripper calmly walks onto the stage, grasping the pole.
Jon: So..five…thousand….aaaand here..
Jon hands him a large wad of bills which Dion pockets, grinning gratefully.
Dion: A pleasure doing business. Need her transporting?
Jon: No, we’ll take it. [Whistling shrilly] OI! BRICK! MOVE IT!
Brick jumps off the stage, sweating profusely and whooping as he jogs past Vince, slapping his shoulder.
Brick: Business done!
Jon grabs the legs of Isis before throwing her over his shoulder, whistling nonchalantly, turning around and walking out of the doors as Vince remains frozen in horror.
Vince [Disgusted]: ….My God…
Vince shakes his head slowly, turning around and reluctantly following Jon and Brick.
In a dire change from the hot, sandbaked surroundings of Cairo, the lone U-boat belonging to Robbie Steinhatten and Dave Jackscar finds itself slowly lolling about a few metres beneath the sea in an unknown position. The interior is almost ice-cold, and the sailors can see their breath in front of them as they breathe. The cold metal is barely touchable, causing flesh to stick to it. Within the control room, Robbie is clad in a fur-line kriegsmarine coat, rubbing his arms vigorously as Dave simply sits at a table upon which a radio is sat, wearing a black t-shirt, jeans and leather boots, flicking through a copy of Penthouse. Benito jogs past Dave, checking a screen of a console beside his table.
Robbie: Benito. Where are we?
Benito: Checking co-ordinates, sir.
Robbie: Check them immediately. I want an immediate reading on our location.
Dave: We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto…
Robbie: Shut up! I shall have zero doubts on this U-boat!
Dave: Zero doubts? Fuck that, we’re treading in uncharted waters!
Benito jogs past Dave, jogging through the doors and noisily down one of the interior, cramped, darkened coridoors of the U-boat as Robbie simply stands there, hands clasped behind his back.
Heinrich runs through the door, giving a quick salute which Robbie returns.
Heinrich: Engines are stable. Ballasts are working fine. Just no clue where we are.
Dave: See? Uncharted. We’re lost. We took a wrong turn in the Atlantic.
Robbie: There are no wrong turns, only new locations to explore!
Dave [Mockingly]: Oooo yes! Like the bottom of the sea! I always wanted to see a fucking seahorse up close!
Robbie You can go climb the escape hatch if you want to see a seahorse!
Rudolf quickly runs into the room, giving a small salute.
Robbie [Angrily]: Did Benito get lost?! I WANT TO KNOW WHERE WE ARE!!
Rudolf [Nervously]: ….Sir. Benitos kind of…..stuck.
Robbie slowly turns his head, staring Rudolf in his eyes.
Robbie [Calmly]: …….Stuck?
Rudolf: Aye, captain.
Robbie [Starting to crack]: ……Dare I ask how?
Dave: No, that’s my job. Hold on.
Dave sets down the magazine, yawning and stretching his arms before clapping his hands together. Rudolf leads Dave through the door and down a small coridoor, quickly turning left at a T-junction. Dave and Rudolf stop, watching as Benito is stuck to one of the doors by his face. His eyes slowly turn to them.
Benito [Muffled]: Hffp.
Dave [Sniggering]: ……..How did—
Rudolf: He was running, and one of the crew knocked him. It’s pretty cold in here.
Dave: He’s blocking off the fucking hatchway to the engine room!
Benito [Desperately]: HFFP!!
Dave: Wow. He’s stuck.
Robbies Voice [Impatiently]: WHERE ARE MY CO-ORDINATES??!?!?
Dave cracks his knuckles, walking behind Benito and grabbing both his arms, turning his head to Rudolf and nodding.
Dave: Go give Robbie the co-ordinates.
Rudolf: Aye, quartermaster.
Rudolf turns around, turning around the T-junction and jogging down it as a ripping sound, followed by an agonised scream, fills the air. Rudolf stops near Robbie, holding a strip of paper out.
Robbie: What’s this?
Heinrich looks over Robbies shoulder.
Heinrich: Sir, we’re currently in the Pacific Ocean. Actually, we’re relatively a stones throw away from Japan. This is their little portion we’re in.
Robbie [Laughing]: JAPS?!??!? HA!! I SPIT ON THEM!!
Dave slowly walks through the door, dusting off his hands. Following him timidly is Benito, clutching both hands to his face which is now red-raw, his cheeks bleeding profusely.
Benito: I feel pain and am bleeding badly, sir.
Robbie [Laughing it off]: BLOOD EQUALS CHARACTER!!
Benito [Calmly]: Sir, I’m characterising to death.
Robbie: Dammit. Alright, get him to the medical room.
Dave: We have a medical room?
Robbie: OF COURSE!!
Dave [Laughing in surprise]: Fuck. I only thought we had a control room and a kitchen.
Heinrich sighs, taking both of Benitos arms and moving them from his face, revealing his lips which are now red-raw, as well as his forehead which has a large strip of skin missing. Heinrich leads him out of the door quickly.
Heinrich: C’mon. Let’s get your face back.
Dave: So. Where are we?
Dave [Calmly]: ….Robbie, I don’t think the Japanese will take too kindly to a U-Boat sneaking up on their shores.
Robbie [Excitedly]: They like the Axis! They teamed with the Axis! These are the people who draw anime of Hitler! We will be venerated as gods!
Rudolf: Those being venerated as Gods mean that the Japanese would send out a battleship for us?
Rudolf is now standing to the right of Robbie, his eyes firmly pressed to the periscope.
Rudolf: They’re sending a battleship our way. USS Katahashi….Jesus, that’s the one they built last year.
Dave: The USS Katahashi was renowned the world over for having a laser-guided torpedo system, as well as one-man submarine capabilities, of which it has twenty who pack at least ten torpedoes on board.
Robbie [Shrugging nonchalantly]: …So?
Dave [Sighing and rubbing his eyes]: Alright, let me paint this picture for you: The USS Katahashi could basically rip off our head and shit down our neck. Unless we turn around and begin running the fuck away within the next ten minutes, that thing will be in prime range to launch the laser-guided torpedoes. These torpedoes can travel for five miles downwards on average, with the best torpedo reaching six-point-two miles, with the worst one reaching four-point-eight miles. Basically, unless we go down low enough for the pressure to turn us into a tin can, the Katahashi probably can and most likely will destroy us.
Robbie remains silent, his index finger tapping his chin.
Robbie [Shrugging]: ……So?
Dave: Fuck it. Rudolf, get on the radio. Tell the boys to turn the rudders and turn us around. We’re going back to the Suez.
Robbie [Determined]: I REFUSE TO SURRENDER! RELEASE THE BALLAST! WE SHALL SURFACE!
Dave [In complete disbelief]: Are you insan—Oh, yeah, YOU ARE!!
Robbie: Dave, a little fucking confidence, if you please. I know what I’m doing.
Dave: If you did, I wouldn’t have just shit my pants.
Rudolf: Sirs, we have a problem.
Robbie and Dave: WHAT?!
Rudolfs arms fall by his side as he remains looking into the periscope.
Rudolf [Sighing]: I’m stuck.
Robbie sighs, grabbing both of Rudolfs arms.
Robbie [Calmly]: This will hurt.
Rudolf: I have a feeling it will.
Dave turns around, calmly strolling over to the radio as a ripping sound fills the air, followed by agonised screaming.
*The Lamb and Flag*
Oddly enough for the early afternoon, the Lamb and Flag is fully packed wall-to-wall with mercenaries. The double saloon-style doors swing open as Sal and Billy stroll through, looking around at the packed tables and the raucous banter that fills the air. Dick is busy standing behind the bar, his hands clasped over his lap and a look of anxiousness crossing his features. Sal grins and gives a thumbs up to him, but Dick simply shakes his head, causing Sals grin to fade.
Sal: Hey, Billy, what do you think Dick called us here for?
Billy: I don’t know. Maybe he’s shutting down the pub? The Half Moons been beating it pillar-to-post lately.
Sal: Maybe. Maybe.
Both of them choose to instantly sit at a table where Bill, That Hispanic Guy, Bobby, Johan, Stoofer, Mustafa, That Random Guy and That Other Random Guy are sat, effectively crowding the square wooden table. Sal squeezes between Johan and Bobby, looking around as Billy simply pulls out one of the thinly-padded wooden chairs from underneath the table, sitting a few feet away from the table.
Billy: So, what’s going on?
Bill: No fucking clue. We just got the call from Dick to meet here.
Johan: It is odd. Very odd.
Stoofer: Hey, you think the boss is coming back?
Sal: Hopefully he’s alone!
That Hispanic Guy: My fingers are crossed, cabrone.
The doors swing open once more as Jericho and Phil quickly walk into the bar, looking around.
Phil: Jerry, what the hell is going on?
Jericho: Beats me. Drinking competition?
Phil: Wishful thinking..
Bill: Hey! It might be the boss!
Steves head pops up from a table behind That Hispanic Guys table and he gives a shrill whistle, waving both hands inanely over the crowd and smiling brightly. Jericho and Phil quickly join him, Ivan, Will and Raven.
Will: Sup. See you guys finally arrived.
Phil: So, is it the boss?
Raven: If it is, maybe he’ll bring news that Franks dead.
Phil [Smirking]: I like your way of thinking, you know that?
Steve: B-But I like Frank! He smells of hard liquor!
Jericho [Bluntly[: It’s all he ever smells of.
Will: We can hope..We can hope.
Mustafa: It better be the boss. I’m getting sick of doing the work without seeing the guy we’re working for.
That Hispanic Guy: AHEM..
Mustafa: Oh? You’re piloting this thing?
That Hispanic Guy: No, of course not…but remember who carries the whip, friend.
Mustafa cracks his knuckles threateningly.
Mustafa: And remember who carries the blowtorch and the muscles.
Stoofer coughs loudly, cracking his own knuckles. Johan responds by cricking his neck.
That Hispanic Guy [Angrily]: …….Whatever! WHATEVER!
The entire bar is suddenly blanketed silence as the doors shoot open again. Stood before them is Coach Lynch, clad in the very same fatigues he left Beale Street in nights earlier. The bar remains deadly silent, watching as Lynchs cold eyes dart around the room.
Lynch [Bellowing]: WELL SOUND OFF, LADIES!!
The entire bar explodes into cheers and applause, which Lynch nods thankfully for, puffing his chest out and locking his hands behind his back, marching a few steps in. Behind him follows Frank, which causes the bars applause and cheering to slowly die down. Lynch stops near the door, back straight, while Frank remains slouched over, giving a weak wave.
Frank [Weakly]: …Hey guys..
Silence once again covers the bar.
Will [Bitterly disappointed]: DAMMIT!!
Lynch [Clapping his hands roughly]: ALRIGHT, LADIES!!! EYES UP!!
Everyones eyes quickly raise, locking onto Lynch.
Lynch: I am the reason Dick called you here. Now, you are all probably sitting there wondering with your feeble minds just what I have to tell you, and just why Mother Mercenary wanted to meet with us. Well, ladies, I have some news. Very important news. News so important it might just beat out the birth of Jesus Christ in terms of sheer goddamn importance. News so important that you will wet yourselves when you hear it.
Sal [Desperately]: What is it?!
Lynch [Happily]: There’s a bowling tournament happening tonight, and we’re going to represent for the first time EVER!!!
Lynch gives a bright grin as the mercenaries simply sit there, continuing to stare at Lynch. Lynchs grin fades in an instant as he walks to That Random Guy sat at a table near to him, waving his hand in front of his face. That Random Guy simply doesn’t respond.
Lynch: What the hell?
Frank [Bluntly]: I think you scared them unconscious.
Lynch: Why? What did they think I was going to say?
Frank: That we were going to get deployed on the front lines—
The entire bar implodes in a fit of panicked screaming as soon as the words roll from Franks tongue. Lynch gives several shrill whistles, but it simply doesn’t stop the tide of the screaming.
Lynch [Angrily]: Goddammit. Now you’ve done it. SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
The screaming continues, with some of the mercenaries starting to hyperventilate. Lynch sighs, pulling out a Beretta from a holster strapped to his waist and pointing at the ceiling, firing three bullets into the plaster. The screaming stops almost immediately, with Sal, Karab and Steve falling unconscious to the floor.
Lynch: THAT IS ALL! Just a bowling tournament!
Phil [Breathing heavily]: Yeah, but what else did she say, eh?! WHAT ELSE?!
Lynch: Aside from saying that we work well as a team? Aside from saying that we’re an up-and-coming Company? Aside from saying she expects the best from us once the timelines interconnect once more and we’re sent off to make sure that our timeline correlates with the one where Liquid Ocelot eventually ends up dying? She’s coming on a visit soon.
On cue, the panicked, chaotic screaming erupts once more.
Frank: Right, I can actually understand that.
Lynch [Shrugging]: I can understand it, too.
Lynch raises his Beretta once more, firing a shot which causes a small crack to indent into the ceiling.
Dick [Angrily]: OI! YOU BETTER BE PAYING FOR REPAIRS!!
Lynch: Maybe later, pussy.
The screaming slowly grinds to a halt, with the mercenaries beginning to catch their breaths and wrap their heads around the most frightening of circumstances: A visit from the woman who controls every single UN-sanctioned mercenary within the world.
Dean [Mouth agape]: …Seriously?
Ivan: That’s not good! At all!
Lynch: It may not be, but it’s happening. Once Rex finishes his documentary, Mother Mercenary will be arriving here to view the finished product before it is released to the various film festivals still held underground away from Ocelots prying eye. I hope you all groomed and said nice things, or my boot will be finding its way down your throats when all is said and done.
Sal [Nervously]: A VISIT?!?!?!
Lynch: Yes. A visit. The preparations for this will be simple: You will all groom. The sand will be sweeped from the streets. Buildings will be painted. If so much as one hair remains on your chins, I will personally pull your face from your fucking skull. You will clean. You will make this place smell like cinnamon rolls, and you will damn well learn proper English! Any questions?!
The entire bar remains silent.
Lynch: DAMN RIGHT THERE’S NO QUESTIONS!!
Johan: ..Is that it?
Lynch: ONE FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!
Dick [Yelping]: JUST SAY IT, WILL YOU?!?!
Lynch: Me and Frank came to a decision that a night out will be set aside for every single male mercenary on these streets. This night out will happen at a later date to be determined by me and the drunken monkey, but rest assured that it will be a night of poker, fast food, drinking and general mayhem! Of course, we did also come to agreement that Mantis should perhaps..also..maybe organise a night out for all the females as well.
The entire bar explodes into cheers once more, with several mercenaries jumping to their feet and clapping, whooping loudly. Lynch turns to Frank, nodding and patting his chest.
Lynch: And that is how you run a company.
Frank: I know how to run a company, Lynch.
Lynch [Bluntly]: Please, you can barely operate a can opener.
Lynch turns around, grinning brightly and waving as Frank simply stands there, giving a heavy-hearted sigh.
*Dog and Handgun*
In the Dog and Handgun, Isis is stood upon the wooden stage, her hands unbound and her mouth free from duct-tape. She remains glaring at Brick, Jon and Vince who stand a few feet away, arms folded and watching her as she uneasily grasps the silver pole erected upon a circular section at the end of the catwalk.
Brick: No hard feelings ‘bout the kidnapping?
Isis [Bitterly]: …None at all..
Jon: You’re a hot little number, you know that? Egyptian, nice tan, black hair..You’ll be a part of one of the hottest nightspots in this town—
Isis: There’s only three.
Jon: Hey, the sentiment still stays the same, dammit! Any money one of the drunken, unshaven monkeys shoves into your thong, you keep. That’s the deal.
Isis: So, you want me to dance, huh?
Brick: Yes please, baby!
Vince [Disgusted]: Euch. You bloody kidnapped her--
Jon slaps Vince on the arm.
Jon: We are going to treat these women right, dammit! …and then we sexually exploit them later!
Isis sighs, grabbing the pole and locking her legs around the pole, spinning rapidly around it before locking her legs tighter around the cold, hard metal, hanging upside down and looking at all three of them.
Isis [Seductively]: Like this..?
Jon: Oh yeah.
Isis sighs, spinning slowly around the pole before spreading her legs and sliding them under her, pressing her torso to the pole seductively.
Isis: Tell me…how many women do you make dance?
Jon [Calmly]: Usually around six a night.
Isis: Six…so I have competition..
Brick: Baby, you’re already ahead of the competition!
Isis grins, pulling away from the pole and turning to them.
Isis [Cruelly, Seductively]: Interesting..Tell me, do you know what the Israelis think about their agents being kidnapped on the middle of a reconnaissance mission when they are trying to garner information about possible terrorist cells?
Jon [Confused]: ….What?
Vince [Nervously]: Guys. What’s going on?
Isis jumps off the stage, pointing at Jon and thrusting a finger into his chest.
Isis [Angrily]: YOU KIDNAPPED AN ISRAELI AGENT FOR HER TO DANCE FOR YOUR SEXUAL PLEASURE! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES?!
Jon grabs her wrist, but Isis simply twists it, grasping Jons and sweeping behind him, locking him in a hammerlock. Jon winces in pain.
Jon: Fuck off, you crazy bitch!
Isis balls up her fist, slamming it down into Jons forearm with extreme force. A loud snap fills the air as one of the bones in Jons forearms cracks, causing him to scream violently, his arm twitching. He twists around, only for Isis to deliver two low kicks to the back of his right leg. Jon buckles onto one leg and Isis raises her right leg up high, driving it down into the back of Jons skull with an axe kick and sending him to the floor, knocking him out cold. Isis spins around, turning to face Vince and Brick, both of whom scuttle backwards.
Vince [Screaming and Panicking]: N-NO! DON’T COME ANY CLOSER!!
Isis: C’mon, big boy. Want to mess with the wrath of Krav Maga?
Vince [Confused]: Krav Wha--
Isis jolts forward, nailing Vince with a swift palm strike to his chest. Vince stumbles back into the wall, only for Isis to hit another into his gut. Vince wheezes violently, doubling over and allowing Isis to lock her arms around and under his neck, locking her hands under his throat and clamping tightly. After a few seconds, she lets go swiftly, allowing Vince to collapse forwards to the floor unconscious. She spins around, watching as Brick tries to smash a Budweiser bottle over her head. She ducks under the swipe, grasping the arm he’s wielding the bottle with and placing her rear hip near his side, throwing him almost effortlessly over her body with a swift judo hip toss. Brick hits the ground violently, breathing heavily as Isis jumps up with both feet.
Brick [Bluntly]: Fuck.
Isis slams both her feet into Bricks face, knocking him unconscious almost immediately. She gives a small sigh, cracking her neck from side to side and her knuckles, buttoning up her shirt and gently opening the door. Bill is stood at the door, about to knock, but stops when Isis appears.
Isis: Hello. Can I help you?
Bill: Where’s Brick?
Isis [Bluntly]: Unconscious.
Bill [Calmly]: Oh.
Isis [Nodding]: Indeed.
Bill [Checking his watch before looking up at Isis]: …..When will he be awake?
Isis [Calmly]: Give him a few hours.
Bill [Nonchalantly]: I see.
Isis: We never had this conversation, right?
Bill [Shrugging]: Agreed.
Isis and Bill nod quickly at eachother. Isis turns north, strolling calmly out of Beale Street while Bill simply turns around, whistling innocently and waltzing into an alleyway opposite the doors of the Dog and Handgun.
Bill [Stopping suddenly]: Hang on, what the fuck just happened?
Bills Brain: Sexy woman. Men unconscious. Middle East.
Bill [Cocking an eyebrow]: …No. No idea.
Bills Brain: Israeli Agent. Krav Maga. It was your third lesson in the Academy, junior!
Bills Brain [Sighing loudly]: How did I get saddled with such a frickin’ dumbass?
Bill reaches into the pocket of his denim shorts, pulling out a q-tip and jabbing it into his ear, giving a content sigh as he wiggles it around, pulling it out and looking at it before flicking to the floor.
Bill [Grinning]: That shut him up.
Mustafa strolls past Bill, his head remaining locked on him as he does.
Mustafa [Slightly disturbed]: Who the fuck are you talking to?
Bill: My brain!
Mustafa simply turns his head away, shaking his head.
Mustafa [Sighing]: Man, I will never run over a Major-General again..
In the Beale-Walker Square, Rex, Johnny and Tim are busy standing around the camera, arms folded. Rex is looking at Johnny and Tim critically as they slouch, busy scratching their heads as Rex looks down his nose at them.
Rex [Bitterly]: …So, you two forgot to put the dust cap on the camera?
Tim: That’s Johnnys job—
Rex: And now the lens is clogged with sand?
Johnny: No. It’s just a small covering. I can wipe it off!
Rex [Bitterly]: Wipe it off? Oh yes, you can, but the question is why let your equipment suffer in the first place? How can I trust you/ Do you use a dirty tin opener? Do you scratch your ass with a fork and then use it to eat?
Johnny: ….Those analogies are completely over the top compared to the actual situation.
Rex: NO! THEY ARE NOT!
Johnny: Yes they are. Forgotting to replace the dust cap is nothing like not knowing how to use a tin opener.
Rex [Angrily]: I’m going to fucking beat you!
Raven: Please, not while I’m here. I’ll kill all three of you. Rex looks up and Johnny and Tim turn around: Strolling into the square, wearing a long, flowing sapphire double-strapped dress is the exotic form of Raging Raven, lightly strolling towards them barefooted. Rex’s jaw drops slightly.
Johnny: Aw nuts! I ain’t forcing her to wear her military fatigues, it’s your turn, Tim!
Tim [Slightly panicked]: I’ll pass. Just let her wear the fucking thing!
Raven [Calm;y]: Good. That means I won’t be bathing in your entrails later.
Tim, Rex and Johnny gulp as Raven strolls over to the chair, sitting down and crossing one leg over the other, staring into the camera as Johnny vigorously rubs the lens with a blue rag before throwing it down to the sands. Rex gulps nervously.
Rex [Shaking somewhat]: …Are we ready?
Raven [Bluntly]: We better be.
Johnny: Yeah yeah, we’re ready.
Johnny flicks a few switches as Tim hangs the boom-mic over Ravens head, keeping it as steady as he can.
Rex: Name. Place of Birth. Position.
Raven [Bluntly]: No. No. Fuck no.
Rex: I know, I know.
Raven: Then why ask?
Rex [Sighing heavily]: I pray one of you will be, y’know..nice.
Raven: Too bad.
Rex: I know. I fucking know.
Raven: Any non-personal questions?
Rex: That’s what this bloody things all about!
Raven: Then I may answer them if you ask POLITELY.
Rex: …Why are you here?
Raven: Simple. We are here because we were assigned here. When the times align, then our true forms can finally shine through our flesh and cause this place to blister with the fury of ten thousand suns.
Rex [Slightly disturbed]: …Oooooookay.
Raven: You don’t believe, do you?
Rex: Not even a little.
Raven: I can’t blame you. It is a thoroughly ludicrous situation to be in…yet one we happen to be stuck in, unable to do so much as fight! We used to be part of a Unit that was feared the world over! The staple of a powerful army! A group of four women who parted the tides and rained blood down upon those who dared stand before us!
Rex: So, your units vicious?
Raven: The most vicious out there. Men scream when we pass by, women throw themselves at our feet, children weep when they see us..And soon, we will rise again.
Rex [Nodding]: …Wow. Pretty vicious.
Raven: Of course. We would sweep away any rebellions with the snap of a finger. One day, you will see.
Rex: So you’ve implied several times. So, any missions to talk about?
Raven: A few. Private missions. Classified. Mainly squashing rebellions and making examples out of locals.
Rex: What’s your name?
Raven: I told you..No. I’m not telling you.
Rex [Shaking his head in disbelief]: You’re the third damn woman of the same Unit we’ve interviewed who doesn’t have a name!
Raven: It’s better to remain private.
Rex: Not for an interview, it isn’t.
Raven [Bluntly, Narrowing her eyes]: I will kill you.
Rex: Everyone keeps saying that. I’m not really bothered by it anymore.
Raven: …Is the interview over?
Rex: No. Got a few more questions. Who do you like here that you work with?
Raven [Calmly]: Aside from my blood sisters? Will. That’s it. The rest I simply either tolerate or revile.
Rex: Charming. Alright, next ques--
The interview is interrupted suddenly by the sound of heavy footprints upon the sand. Rex turns, watching as Phil and Jericho stroll into the square nonchalantly. Phil is busy reading a newspaper, not paying attention to his surroundings, and neither is Jericho as he reads over Phils shoulder. Phil stops suddenly, looking over at the documentary crew and Raging Raven.
Phil: Hey, guys, have you read this? France is having a revolution!
Phil [Chuckling]: Yeah, it’s in the paper. Led by a guy named “Robbie Pierre”. HA! History repeats itself!
Raven [Calmly]: France. Rebelling. How surprising.
Jericho: Yup, that’s the French for you.
Rex [Angrily]: We’re trying to conduct an interview here! Will you two get out?!
Raven [Bitterly sarcastic]: Yes. Please do. I was rather enjoying this interview.
Rex : SEE?!
Tim: That was sarcasm.
Johnny turns around, as does Tim, watching as Phil and Jericho simply stand there.
Rex [Angrily]: WHAT?!
Phil: I thought you might want this in your interview, considering most of Frances authority is either dead or on fire.
Rex [In disbelief]: Isn’t a mercenary academy there? ….Are they dead?!?!?
Jericho: No. They’re part of the revolution!
Rex [Straight-faced]: ….You know, that actually doesn’t surprise me.
Phil: Hang on, Robbie Pierre? Wasn’t he on one of our training missions?
Jericho: No, that was Pierre Laurent. Remember? He set your beard on fire? You pissed in his boots?
Phil [Thinking before snapping his fingers]: ….Oh yeah.
Jericho: But he’s part of it too, see?
Jericho points at a photo within the newspaper, displaying a crowd of rebelling soldiers gathered around a podium.
Phil [Laughing]: OH YEAH!
Rex [Angrily]: GET OUT! NOW!
Phil: Yeah yeah.
Phil and Jericho turn around, mumbling beneath their breath as they walk out of the square. Rex, Johnny and Tim turn around, only to find that the chair is now empty.
Rex [Bitterly]: …….Motherfucker!
Out in Beale Street, Raven hands a handful of dollar bills to Steve, who looks down at them.
Steve: Money good.
Phil and Jericho slowly jog out of the Square.
Jericho: So, we do good?
Raven [Sighing]: As much as it pains me to do business with you unwashed filth, you did your job well.
Steve: Money…pay for booze. And porn.
Raven sneers, turning around and jogging up the steps into Franks flat, opening the door up as Will stands there, wearing nothing but a leopard-print speedo.
Will [Ecstatically]: HELLO DARLING!!!
Phil, Jericho and Steve cry out violently, shielding their eyes as Raven slowly walks into the house, slamming the door shut.
Steve [Agonised]: MONEY PAY FOR EYE SURGERY!!
On the western side of the Suez, sitting on the edge of the canal, are Sal, Billy, Maurice and Moe. With a wicker picnic basket behind them, all four of them are laying back on the smooth concrete, fishing rods between their legs with the lures bobbing lazily in the water as they relax with their eyes closed and arms behind their head. Billy lets out a peaceful sigh.
Billy [Serenely]: Y’know, a person could get used to this..
Maurice: Oh aye, they could..
All four of them give a content sigh.
Sal [Cautiously]: ….Is it safe to fish in polluted water?
Maurice: Who cares, lad? Clean it, skin it..easy-peasy!
All four of them give another content sigh.
Moe: Nothing wrong with a good fishing trip now and again..
Billy [Bluntly]: Aye, too bad Robbies U-boat scares off most the fish.
Maurice: Well…aye, but it’s just good to sit around, right?
Billy [Sighing happily]: I miss Scotland…Fishing there was awesome..huge fish..bigger than a forearm..
Maurice: Aye..I miss fishing up in t’Scarborough…Big ol’ fish and crabs there..
Sal [Grinning]: Hawaii, man..Hawaii…Coconut crabs! I swear, they were huge, but you clocked one of those bad boys and you were eating like a king!
Moe: How’d you kill a coconut crab?
Sal: You smacked it really hard with a rock. But sometimes they’d grab you by the leg and not let go.
Moe: Sounds vicious.
Sal [Chuckling]: Sometimes, when hunting, several crabs would try and attack you. Led to some funny sights of guys running away, screaming as they dragged crabs along the sand which had latched to their legs and refused to let go.
Billy: How is that funny?
Sal [Bluntly]: Well, we weren’t the ones in extreme agony, y’see.
Sal: But yeah, just crack ‘em over the head with a rock and it kills them. I adapted the same technique against PMCs, and it’s surprisingly effective!
Maurice [Laughing]: Oh aye, when Frank used to latch to the taps down in t’pub, we used to smack him over the head with a rock t’make him let go!
Sal: Exactly! Sometimes, just for irony, we smashed coconuts over the head of coconut crabs. It’s the equivalent of beating a man to death with a mattress.
Billy [Raising an eyebrow]: Since they sleep on coconuts?
Sal: Well, coconut husks.
Moe: I didn’t come here to learn, guys! I came here to fish!
Maurice: Little lad, there is no fish!
Moe [Angrily]: Then what the hell are fishing boats doing out there?!
Maurice, Billy and Sal slowly raises their heads, looking to the right: Out at sea, just barely visible to the naked eye, are several fishing boats, dotting the pale-blue waters and dragging in nets of fat, silver fish which glint in the low-hanging orange sun.
Sal: THOSE BASTARDS!
Moe: What now?
Billy: Well, they’re taking the fish.
Maurice sighs, slowly sitting up and pulling the picnic basket towards him, flipping open the wicker lid and pulling out an RPG and a grenade, slipping the grenade into the barrel.
Maurice: Dynamite fishing?
Sal [Shrugging]: Well…RPG fishing.
Billy: I find it imparts a nice, smoky, death flavour onto the fish.
Moe: Oh yeah, love the smoky death flavour!
Maurice: Let’s show them what happens to people who overfish.
Maurice slowly stands up, hauling the RPG onto his shoulder.
Maurice [Smirking]: It’s time to….hook some fishermen.
Moe: …Wow, that was bad Maur.
Maurice: Aye, sorry laddo…but the situation called for it.
Sal: Y’know, maybe the lack of fish is just because it’s a port and it’s busy?
Billy [Bluntly]: Sal, we don’t do rational thinking here. Either grab a gun or fuck off.
Sal sighs, reaching into the picnic basket and pulling out an Ingram Mac, turning the safety off.
*The Lamb and Flag*
Back in Beale Street in the Lamb and Flag, Dick is standing alone, rubbing his hands together nervously as he stands behind the bar. The saloon-style doors swing open, revealing Al, the landlord of the next-door Half Moon, as he strolls in with a broad grin on his face, slapping his hands together. Dicks eyes narrow venomously.
Dick [Calmly]: Al.
Al [Grinning brightly]: Dickie! Hows the worst pub owner in the Middle East doing?!
Dick: …I invited you here so that we could organise a ceasefire.
Al: What a coincidence! I came here to tell you to take your fucking regulars back.
Al [Venomously]: Two times I’ve had to renovate me pub! Two bloody times! I’m sick and tired of the mopping and the paying and the putting the tables back right! SICK AND TIRED!!
Dick: So that means you’ll stop stealing my business?
Al: Yes. For ten thousand dollars.
Dick [Shocked]: WHAT?!
Al: Hey, it’s a buyers market out here! And you need the buyers!
Dick: …Alright, but what about my part of the dea--
Al: What? You had something to say?
Dick: Yeah, we should stop with the completely fucking useless investments on our pubs.
Al simply blinks before bursting out laughing.
Al [Laughing loudly]: Seriously?! Useless?! They’re the reason I beat your ass!!
Just as Als laughs begin to increase in volume, a huge, bellowing squealing noise goes up as a plump pig runs past the door of the Lamb and Flag, causing Als grin to fade instantly.
Dick: Good ideas? You mean..you bought livestock?
Al [Shrugging]: Not my fault they ain’t ready for slaughter instantly!
Dick: Good God, are you serious? I lost to you?
Al: Look, just shut up, pay me and I’ll shut my door to them.
Dick [Cautiously]: ….How will you make money?
Al: I’ll be open for the graveyard shifts! You know…afternoons!
Dick: For ten thousand?
Al [Laughing]: TEN THOUSAND!
Dick [Stroking his chin]: …..Will you take a cheque?
Al [Laughing, but suddenly cutting off]: No. Fuck you. It’ll bounce.
Dick: I don’t have ten thousand dollars on me. We’re down to our final thirteen-hundred! We just had to buy in booze that isn’t made by Peruvian monks!
Al: Then that’s your problem. Pony up the cash or I’ll put you out of business so fast your head will spin off your shoulders!
Dick: Alright, we’re businessmen..Maybe we can make a deal.
Al: A deal? Oh, this better be good!
Dick: We pay you twenty thousand, but we pay in instalments over twenty months. A thousand a month. How does that sound?
Al [Cackling inanely]: You’re stupid enough to pay me double just to get those assholes back?!
Dick: They may be assholes..but they’re my assholes!
Al [Suddenly stopping cackling]: Fine. Have them. I’m sick of refurbishing my beautiful bar.
Dick [Cautiously]: ..Just like that?
Al [Bluntly]: One thousand a month. The moment you stop paying, I’m setting this place on fire.
Dick: You really are a charmless twat, you know that?
Al: Of course I do.
Dick [Angrily]: Good. Now get the fuck out.
Al slowly turns around, whistling innocently. He stops beside a table, lashing a foot out and kicking it roughly, sending it rolling across the floor and looking over his shoulder, grinning.
Al: It was like that when I got he—
Dick reaches into the front pocket of his white apron, pulling out a spatula and screaming loudly, charging at Al and slamming it onto the top of Als bald head. Al turns around, grabbing Dick by his collar and throwing him onto a table, strangling him roughly. Dick quickly pulls his knees to his chest, shoving them into Als gut and pushing him away. Dick quickly hops down, pointing at Al.
Dick [Enraged]: I’M GOING TO BEAT YOU SO HARD YOUR GRANDCHILDRENS TEETH WILL BE DOWN THEIR ASSES!
Al suddenly lunges up, screaming and charging at Dick..
With Al and Dick now busy fighting, Lynch is standing at the top of the concrete stairs that lead to Phil, Jericho, Ivan and Steves flat. He pounds his fist roughly onto the wooden door, whistling shrilly.
Lynch: ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! GET UP! IT’S TIME!
Lynch stands outside the door, arms folded as he stares at the wood, as if staring will make it open at will. The door slowly and reluctantly opens as Phil and Jericho stand in the doorway, glaring at Lynch while wearing grey chinos and white bowling shirts a size too small, emblazoned with a logo of two bowling pins surrounded by barbed wire on the back, with the words “Lynch’s Lynchers” above the logo.
Lynch [Chipper]: Looking good, ladies!
Jericho: I feel like a moron. A real fucking moron.
Ivan [Laughing]: Have fun! Ve’re just going to sit here and eat pizza!
Jericho turns around, scowling at Ivan as Phil reluctantly walks out.
Phil [Bluntly]: I feel like a moron.
Lynch: Well, it’s because you are one. Come on, let’s get the rest of the team!
Jericho: The rest of the team?
Lynch [Counting them off on his fingers]: Dean, Johan, Billy and Stoofer! Oh, and what’s-his-name……you know…drunken guy…moustache….smells like a burst sewage pipe..
Lynch: THAT GUY!
Phil: He’s right behind you.
Lynch turns around and looks down the steps at Frank who is looking up at him, his eyes large and his lower lip pouting like a scorned puppy.
Lynch [Bluntly]: Good God, cut the puppy dog act or I might just break your teeth for kicks!
Frank: You are a horrible, cruel, hurtful man.
Frank: ..You’re mean!
Lynch: And it’s amazing you can stand up straight without a spine!
Frank: I’m ready. I even pressed and ironed my shirt.
Lynch [Laughing loudly]: GOOD BOY! You’ll make a great puppet for Mantis!
Lynch strolls down the steps, cupping Franks cheeks and shaking him roughly before pushing him away, turning and watching as Phil and Jericho reluctantly follow.
Jericho: So, garage?
Lynch: Yes. After all, we will need two people with actual strength. Oh, and transport. We need transport.
Frank: No shit—
Lynch spins around, grabbing Frank by his collar with one hand and pulling him roughly towards him.
Lynch [Venomously]: You smartmouth me in front of the other Captains, asshole, and I will punch you so hard your name will get knocked the fuck out!
Phil: So, this is a big deal for you, huh?
Lynch: Nolastname, how long have you been stationed here?
Phil: Since we made this uninhabitable patch of hell inhabitable. Three years ago..I think.
Phil: Fine, two years ago.
Lynch: And in those two years, have you assholes ever been invited to a gathering involving the other companies?
Phil: No, and that’s by choice, too! Those fuckers scare us!
Lynch [Clapping his hands together]: WELL, MAN UP! THIS COMPANIES GOING PLACES!! It’s about time this company actually went somewhere that wasn’t a place that served solely alcoholic beverages!
Jericho: What if we don’t want t—
Lynch: How cute. You people think you have free will. Alright, follow me ladies.
Lynch snaps his fingers, pointing opposite them towards the alleyway leading to Beale-Walker Square. They suddenly stop as a sickening crunch fills the air, quickly turning their heads and watching as Al is thrown clean through the door of the Lamb and Flag, landing in a pile of green-painted splinters.
Frank: …Well, at least they’re sorting out their differences.
Lynch snaps his fingers roughly, leading them into Beale-Walker Square where Johnny is busy packing up the camera while Tim is dismantling his boom-mic.
Tim: Hey guys.
The mercenaries stroll through the square, squeezing through the short alleyway and into Walker Street, ending up directly opposite the gleaming metal sliding door of the Chop Shop. Outside of the chop shop is a large, pale-yellow Humvee, polished and gleaming within the afternoon sun. Lynch gives a small, happy sigh, walking over the bonnet and slapping it, letting loose a hollow metal echo. Frank kneels down, looking at the alloy rims on the tires.
Frank [Chuckling]: …Seriously? Alloy rims?
Lynch: Bulletproof and bombproof tires need decoration. Got a new engine installed. Leather upholstery.
Johan: And a bombproof underneath, too.
Frank ducks down, looking under the Humvee and watching as Johan slides out, wearing a large, baggy vest that is in fact the bowling shirt with its sleeves torn off. He wipes off his hands on an oily rag hanging from the pocket of his three-quarter length denim shorts and throws it to the sands, clapping his hands together and patting the driver door.
Lynch: Good to see we actually have a decent vehicle in this damned company!
Johan: You’ll have two soon.
The sliding door is thrown open suddenly as Stoofer strolls through, wearing his shirt while looking completely and utterly underwhelmed. Behind him, in the garage, is what appears to be two large, sharp helicopter blades, being shorn down by two mechanics while being hammered into place by Mustafa. Mustafa slowly turns his head, looking over at Phil and Jericho who are standing in front of the door, watching intently.
Mustafa [Calmly]: Yes?
Jericho [Raising his eyebrows]: ….I thought you were developing a jet?
Johan: Nope. Jets are small-time. We looked at what we were developing, and realised one thing: If we shortened down the wings, we’d have an Apache. An Apache. The scourge of the Middle East. So, *Beep* decided that it was maybe best if we cut the jet crap and made an Apache.
Lynch: Even after importing a jet engine?
Johan gives a small smile.
Johan: We’ll be using it. Don’t worry.
Mustafa stops hammering, walking over to the sliding door and slamming it shut, leaving Stoofer standing there. Much like Johan, his sleeves have been ripped off, leaving a vest.
Stoofer [Sighing]: We’re….dressed, boss.
Lynch: Good. Although the sleeves seem to be gone.
Stoofer: Can’t bowl with sleeves too tight for me.
Lynch [Shrugging]: …Well, I won’t argue with that.
Johan: Shall we go?
Lynch nods, climbing into his brand-new Humvee and firing up the engine with a violent roar and the belch of its exhaust.
Lynch: Alright, ladies. Are you all ready to bowl?!
Frank climbs into the passengers seat while Phil, Jericho, Stoofer and Johan squash into the rear seats, leaving Jericho sandwiched between the gigantic Stoofer and Johan with Phil barely sitting on the edge of his seat.
Phil: We’re missing one person.
Lynch: I know. HOLD ON, BOYS!
Frank: Hold on for wha—
Lynch jams his foot down, reversing at high speeds and moving straight off of Walker Street before spinning the steering wheel, forcing the entire Humvee to twist one hundred and eighty degrees before shooting off in the rough direction of the Suez.
The Humvee screams across the concrete as it reaches the boundaries of Port Said, hurtling towards the edge of the Suez between several sets of shipping warehouses. Frank is clutching the dashboard, screaming violently as Lynch barrels ahead.
Jericho [Panicking]: THE SUEZ! THE FUCKING SUEZ!
Lynch slams his foot on the brakes, skidding to the left. The tires of the Humvee screech violently as the Humvee slides to the left, stopping mere feet away from the edge of the Suez before Lynch jams his foot down, speeding forward towards El-Shaheed Atef El-Sadat. Lynch shoots forward down the tarmac road, skidding just at the end of the road where it ends and curves around to border the small beach that barely sits between El-Shaheed Atef El-Sadat and the Mediterranean Sea. On the beach are four mercenaries: Sal, Billy, Maurice and Moe, standing around a charred hunk of wood which presumably used to be a fishing vessel.
Stoofer: There he is!
Stoofer points forward where Billy is standing in view in front of the shipping boat, rubbing mackerel over his body.
Billy [Inanely]: FRESH FISH! FRESH FISH AT LAST!
Lynch [Disturbed]: …My God.
Jericho: He’s really gone insane, hasn’t he?
Lynch [Hesitantly]: …I’m not sure I want to hand him the shirt.
Phil: We have to, or else we’ll be one man short.
Lynch reluctantly opens the door and climbs out, slamming it behind him with a scrunched white shirt in his right hand. Billy quickly drops the mackerel, staring at Lynch who slowly advances upon him and down onto the beach, wringing the shirt.
Billy [Surprised]: CAPTAIN!
Lynch [Calmly]: Hello….BILLY.
Billy: What can I do you for?
Lynch: …What the fucks with the fish?
Billy: Oh. Me and a few of the guys came down here to fish. Turns out we had to destroy a fishing boat just to get some.
Billy jabs his thumb over his shoulder where a small plume of smoke is fluttering into the sky. Lynch simply sighs, throwing him the shirt which Billy catches.
Lynch: You’re on our bowling team.
Lynch [Calmly]: Yes, have you played bowling before?
Billy: Well, yeah, but—
Lynch [Bluntly]: Get in the fucking humvee, then.
Billy [Hesitantly]: But I never wanted—
Lynch [Venomously]: I said..get. in the fucking. Humvee.
Billy sighs, pulling the shirt on and reluctantly walking over to the Humvee as Lynch turns around, following him.
*Bowling Alley – Outskirts of Cairo*
On the outskirts of the urban metropolis of Cairo, a lone bowling alley stands amongst the sands, flanked by several misshapen concrete buildings blasted by sun and sand and surrounded by a perimeter of chainlink fence topped by razor wire which glistens in the afternoon sun. The Humvee slowly rolls towards a checkpoint, stopping momentarily as a guard whose face is obscured by a ski-mask, sunglasses and solid black fatigues, walks out of the guard hut, holding out a leather gloved hand.
Frank: Oh, look, Phantom Company got to pull guard duty.
Lynch: It’s prestigious, men. Not everyone gets to guard an event attended by the different companies. Maybe one day, you’ll be guarding this place.
Jericho [Shaking his head]: Who the FUCK wears a ski mask in this heat?
Billy: That’s what the Phantoms are all about. You don’t see their face. And if you do, they’re as pale as a sheet of paper.
Jericho [Smirking]: …So their entire gimmick is looking like basement dwellers?
Lynch: It ain’t no gimmick. These boys could drop you in an instant without you ever knowing where the bullet comes from.
Jericho [Swiftly]: Bullets come from guns.
Lynch turns around in the drivers seat, climbing onto his knees and leaning over the top of the seat, grasping the collar of Jerichos shirt and pulling him roughly towards him.
Lynch [Angrily]: If you fucking patronize me one more time, I’m going to pull out your eyes, reach my hands down your throat, pull out your liver and skullfuck you to death with your own liver!
Johan: And he means that.
The Phantom Company soldier knocks on the window, forcing Lynch to sit back straight in his seat and wind the window down.
Phantom Company Soldier: Lynch. Go on through. They’re waiting.
Lynch: No identification?
Phantom Company Soldier: If you needed it, your tires would have been shot out from five miles away.
Lynch [Yawning]: Yeah yeah..brag about it to someone who cares.
The gate slowly winds up, allowing the Humvee to roll onto the large square of tarmac, parking roughshod between two other large Humvees directly opposite the large glass doors leading to the entrance of the bowling alley. Phil opens the door quickly, rolling out and onto his hands and knees, breathing heavily as Billy swings out, stepping on his back and walking over him, stretching his arms.
Billy: Well…let’s bowl!
Phil [Weakly]: …Can’t feel my legs..
Johan: It’s not our fault you crushed yourself against the door.
Jericho slides out, slamming the door shut as Johan and Stoofer climb out, followed by Frank and Lynch.
Lynch: Alright men. Much like everything else you do in your life..follow me.
The mercenaries follow Lynch, trudging begrudgingly forward as Lynch grasps the vertical iron handles of the glass doors, throwing them open as the mercenaries follow him in.
The huge bowling alley immediately swallows the mercenaries as they stroll a few paces ahead to the circular, metal reception desk. The entire bowling alley is dark, aside from the few light tubes which hang above every single lane, giving enough light just to see the pins, the ball dispensers and your companions. Lynch slams a hand on the metal desk, forcing a worker clad in full desert-camouflage fatigues to stand up, looking at them.
Lynch: We’re here for the bowling tournament. Company Twenty One reporting.
Soldier: Reject Company? Alright. I see.
Lynch [Angrily]: …Reject Company?!
Soldier: That’s what you guys are designated as. Maybe if you gave an actual name to Mother—
Lynch [Angrily]: How about I pull your teeth out and jam them up your asshole?!
Soldier [Underwhelmed]: ..Whatever guys. Lane ten. You’re facing Callahays Killers first. What will your team name be?
Jericho: Team Jericho And Others
Phil: The Callahay Punchers
Billy: The Christ Decapitators.
Lynch [Bitterly]: SHUT UP! We’re being called Lynch’s Lynchers!
Stoofer: Man, that’s a stupid name—
Lynch: I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.
Soldier: Shoes sizes, people! Preferably European sizes!
Soldier: Because that’s where we got the shipment from!
Soldier [Amazed]: …Why did you make a big deal about it if you knew them by heart?!
Lynch [Shrugging]: Because I hate Europe.
Frank [Piping up]: Actually, he hates everything.
Lynch: Yeah, that too.
The mercenaries take off their shoes, placing them on the counter. The soldier takes them, slipping them into different boxes and pulling out a pair of red bowling shoes for each person, handing them to the mercenaries. Phil, Jericho and Billy stroll over to a wooden bench, tying them up.
Billy: Jesus, these things are fucking tight..
Jericho: Bowling shoes aren’t meant to be comfortable, Billy, they’re meant to mangle your feet.
Lynch [Snapping his fingers]: MOVE IT, PUSSIES!!
Jericho, Billy and Phil look up in amazement as Stoofer, Johan and Lynch walk past them, wearing their shoes. Sat on the floor in the shadow of the reception desk is Frank, violently wrenching his shoe onto his foot.
Frank [Frustrated]: MOMMY! I NEED HELP!!
Jericho: Why did we bring him along?
Phil: I think Lynch chose us, but then needed fodder to fill out the team.
Billy: Simplest explanation, really.
Billy, Phil and Jericho stand up, stomping down their feet in unison to fully slip the shoes on before following Lynch down the lanes, turning right near the end of the building and into a lane with the number “10” hanging above it made from neon tubing. Frank quickly jogs after them.
Frank: GUYS! I’M HERE!
Upon Franks voice, one of the occupants of lane twelve turns around, looking at the mercenaries and grinning. The person, as thick as a rhino with a neck like a tree trunk with arms to match, has a sharp black haircut, whilst wearing a tight desert camouflage shirt which outlines his impressive muscular stature. He turns back to his team, all of whom are wearing sunglasses, black beanies with their hair scrunched up into it, and full desert camouflage combat gear, complete with utility belts and combat vests.
Man: Oh jeez, look who we have guys!
Johan: Who is he?
Phil: Captain Callahay…The meanest motherfucker in the world. Captains the Ghost Company.
Callahay [Overtly-Enthusiastic]: YEAHHHHHH GHOOOOOOOOOOOOSTSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
Phil: As if I needed to explain.
Callahay leans over the counter separating the red benches of both times, pointing at Lynch before extending his hand, grinning inanely.
Callahay: Good luck, Lynch.
Lynch [Bluntly]: Luck is for losers, Callahay.
Callahay [Laughing]: Oh, feisty! I like that!
Callahay pulls his hand back, grinning and shaking his head.
Lynch: So, your boys are ready?
Callahay [Clapping his hands together]: ALWAYS READY! And when we’re done with you, we get to meet Reaper Company in the next round!
Jericho: Oh fucking hell, we’re surrounded by rejects of the asylum.
Callahay: SHUT UP!
Billy: Do what he says, or you’ll find yourself strapped to a chair with an electric current flowing through your balls.
Callahay: That was just one incident!
Lynch: On about fifty people!
One of the soldiers tears off their sunglasses and beanie, revealing cold eyes and a shaven head as he points at Jericho.
Soldier [Bitterly]: Shut up. You insult us again, and I’ll fucking gut you.
Billy: Blow it out your ass, Kelleher!
Kelleher [Angrily]: HEY! THAT’S STAFF SERGEANT KELLEHER TO YOU!
Johan: Shut up.
Staff Sergeant Kelleher: Did he—Did he just tell ME to shut up?!?!
Another of the soldiers tears off her beanie and sunglasses, allowing a pitch-black Mohawk to spring up.
Female Soldier [Angrily]: If he did, I’ll kill him!
Jericho: Oh fucking hell, it’s Jensen.
Phil leans over the bench.
Phil [Bluntly]: Hey, Jensen, remember that we’re bowling: You don’t have to lay down and spread your legs for this sport!
Jensen [Venomously]: FUCK YOU, NOLASTNAME!!
Billy: She has a…reputation.
Phil [Laughing cruelly]: Reputation? She’s as loose as the Grand fucking Canyon!
Jensen storms to her feet, but Callahay quickly stands up.
Captain Callahay: Jensen. Don’t. He’s just an angry little fucktard who still doesn’t know what a razor is.
Phil: I do know what a razor is. Just ask Jensen: She always keeps one shoved in her just in case!
Phil laughs cruelly, sitting down as Jensen storms forward, pulling back her fist.
Jericho: Yup, a reputation. Some say she put five hundred men on their backs..and that’s just in her bed alone!
A moderator, dressed in a suit and tie, quickly walks between the lanes, clapping his hands together.
Moderator: Alright ladies, quit talking and start bowling. Ghost Company..or rather, Callahay’s Killers, will go first. We’re doing this a little differently from ordinary ten-pen bowling: Fourteen sets. That’s two bowls for each player. Most points wins and advances to next round. If, in some rare, bizarre and possible fixed circumstance that we go to a tie, then one shot will decide who goes through. Deal?
Callahay and Lynch: Deal.
Moderator [Throwing his hands into the air]: THEN LET’S BOWL!!
Callahay confidently strolls over to the ball dispenser, grasping an extra-large gunmetal grey bowling ball and lining himself up, closing an eye.
Staff Sergeant Kelleher [Ecstatically]: COME ON, CALLAHAY!!!
Callahay takes a lunge forward, swinging his arm back before swinging forward in a fluid motion, releasing the ball and allowing to glide down the lane, smashing into the pins for a strike, causing a loud cheer to go up from Ghost Company. Callahay turns around, pointing at Lynch.
Callahay: Beat that, asshole.
Lynch storms up to his feet, grasping a large, ruby ball. Without wasting time, he jogs forward, skidding to a halt before the line and swinging the ball forward, watching as it sails along the lane and slams into the pins for a strike. The mercenaries cheer loudly as Lynch turns around, pointing at Callahay.
Lynch: FUCK YOU!
Lynch sits down as one of the Ghost Company soldiers gets to his feet. Callahay grasps his arm.
Callahay: You get below an eight and I will chop you up and serve you for fucking meatloaf!
The soldier gulps, grasping a ball and walking towards the end of the lane, swinging the ball forwards and sending it rolling into the pins before it curves off, striking and knocking over six.
Callahay [Angrily]: WHAT DID I SAY, PENDRINGTON?!?!
Pendrington quickly grasps another ball, gulping loudly and swings it forward, managing to send it rolling into the remaining pins to make a spare.
Callahay [Calmly]: Good boy.
Pendrington gives a large sigh of relief, turning around and trudging off as Billy spits into his hands, rubbing them vigorously together and grasping a large navy-blue ball.
Billy: I’ll toss this like I toss cabers!
Jericho: Don’t, Billy. We don’t want to pay to repair the lane.
Billy swings out his right arm before throwing it forward as if he was throwing a baseball, sending the bowling ball hurtling in the air and slamming down halfway down the lane, sending the ball careening into the middle of the pins and knocking them all down for a strike. Billy turns around, shrugging as the mercenaries cheer loudly.
Billy: Strike. That’s good enough for me!
Callahay [Determined]: OH, IT’S ON NOW!!
The score is tied 81-81. Only three shots are left on each side. Phil gulps, standing up to take his second shot, having bowled a seven earlier in the match.
Lynch: Nolastname. Get a strike.
Phil nods, cracking his knuckles and letting out a deep breath, grasping an extra-large silver ball, holding it up to his face and staring over it at the pins.
Callahay: GET ON WITH IT, PUSSY!!
Phil jolts forward, swinging the ball forward smoothly before turning around, holding up his right index finger in the air.
Phil [Enthusiastically]: STEE-RIKE!!
The ball slams into the pins, causing a strike and tipping the score 91-81 in favour of the mercenaries. Private Jensen hops up to her feet, clapping her hands together and spitting on her palms, rubbing them together.
Jensen: Watch this, faggot.
Phil [Smirking]: Isn’t that what you say to all the men before you spread your legs, Jensen?
Jensen scowls as the mercenaries laugh loudly. Phil leans down, hi-fiving Jericho and sitting on the bench as Jensen runs towards the pins, swinging the ball forward, watching as it barrels down and scores a strike. She spins around, firing her hands like guns.
Jensen strolls past the bench, looking at Phil.
Jensen: Did you see that, faggot?
Phil [Swiftly]: I try not to look directly at you in case I catch herpes.
The mercenaries burst out laughing once more. Jensen stomps forward, but is stopped as Stoofer gets to his feet, grunting loudly and casting a shadow over the relatively-tiny Jensen. Jensen slowly steps back away from Stoofer as he clasps his hands effortlessly over an extra-large silver bowling ball.
Stoofer: I’m going to get a strike. Easy.
Callahay: So, he seems confident. I like that.
Stoofer swings the ball back before crudely throwing it forward. The ball jettisons down the lane with the force of a speeding bullet, smashing into the pins and scoring a strike, once again giving the mercenaries a lead as Staff Sergeant Kelleher gets to his feet, now going for the final frame for his team.
Callahay: Alright Kelleher, three strikes. Two strikes will do, but try to make it three.
Kelleher: I won’t let you down, Captain!
Jericho: Get your nose from his ass and just get bowling!
Kelleher grabs a medium-sized grass-green ball from the dispenser, giving a determined grunt and jolting forward, swinging his arm back and forth in a fluid motion, releasing the ball and sending it sliding into the pins for a strike. Quickly, he turns around, grabbing a large navy-blue ball and steps forward, swinging the ball forward and sending it hurtling down the lane, managing to knock down eight of the pins and leave only pins seven and eight standing. With his third ball, a medium sized silver ball, Kelleher manages to claim a spare, putting Callahays team in the lead by ten points. Frank sighs, getting to his feet.
Frank: Guess it’s up to me..
Lynch [Bluntly]: Get a strike or I will kill you.
Frank gulps, stepping forward and swinging his right arm backwards.
Callahay [Mockingly]: YOU SMELL LIKE SHIT!!
Franks arm jolts, forcing the ball to fly into the air before slamming down onto the lane, flying into the gutter and spinning down it.
Moderator: ONE TRY LEFT!
Frank sighs, wiping his sweaty palms on his shirt and quickly grasping a large ruby-red ball, staring at the pins intently before swinging his arm back.
Callahay [Mockingly]: GOD! YOU STINK!
Frank swings the ball haphazardly, sending it skidding violently onto lane nine and into their left-hand gutter.
Moderator: Callahays Killers win!!
Callahay and his team jump to their feet, whooping and cheering loudly as Frank hangs his head, feeling absolutely dejected. He trudges over and steps down towards his team, walking past them as Lynch punches him in the back of his head.
Lynch [Angrily]: YOU STUPID FUCK!!
Jericho [Calmly]: Sir, in Callahays defence..he really does smell like shit.
Lynch: That gives him no reason for choking like a little bitch!
Frank [Distraught]: ..Sorry guys..
Stoofer: Well, it was fun..Would’ve been better to win..
Frank: Don’t hold it against me, guys!
Billy [Laughing bitterly]]: We won’t! We’re just going to repossess your liver!
Frank [Whining]: BUT I NEED MY LIVER!!
Stoofer: All you do is abuse it.
Lynch sighs, getting up to his feet and rubbing his eyes.
Lynch [Bitterly]: Well, so much for delusions of grandeur. I almost forgot that I was a part of this stupid, wretched, useless pile of sh—Nolastname, what are you doing?
Phil is knelt down, leaning under the back-to-back benches with Callahays shoes in one hand and a small packet of ketchup in the other. He quickly pulls away from the benches, getting to his feet.
Phil [Shrugging]: Nothing, just….weeping.
Lynch: Yeah, well, let’s go home and weep.
Lynch slowly walks away from the lanes and up into the reception area, kicking off his shoes and simply kicking them up onto the reception desk. Johan, Stoofer, Phil, Jericho, Billy and Frank follow, only Frank seeming to be completely and utterly dejected.
Frank: I failed..
Stoofer: It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.
Billy: Stoofers right! You’ll always be a failure, Frank! Cheer up!
Lynch: Well...Time to leave as the losers and let those cunts rub it in our faces.
Phil [Smirking]: They won’t be.
Lynch’s team turn around, watching as Callahay lunges forward with the ball, only to slip and trip backwards, falling heavily on his back with a loud crash as the ball sweeps backwards, slamming into the left leg of Private Jensen and snapping her shin with a loud, sickening crack, causing her agonised wails to fill the air. Callahay sits up angrily, taking off his bowling shoes and looking at the soles.
Callahay [Enraged]: WHO THE FUCK PUT KETCHUP ON MY SHOES?!?!?
Phil: That’s our cue to leave, by the way.
The team turns around and quickly walks towards the doors.
Within the Sea of Japan, Robbies U-Boat has surfaced, with the control tower and deck now bobbing visibly on the water, cutting a gunmetal grey swath on the crystal ocean. Situated just a few miles away is a several-mile long Destroyer, all of the cannons on the deck pointed and aimed in the general direction of the control tower as the crew of the Destroyer flock onto its deck, hoping to catch a glimpse of an ancient war machine from days past by. In the U-Boat, the mood is less jovial and curious, however, as Robbie stands beside the radio, letting out a deep breath and grabbing the radio as Dave and Heinrich sit on the floor, arms over their head as they rock back and forth, realising just how much Robbie could get them annihilated.
Robbie: This is Steinhatten reporting. Hold your fire. Over.
Admiral Takahashi [Calmly]: You are not in the position to be making the orders. Over.
Robbie: Why? Over.
Admiral Takahashi: You are trespassing on Japanese waters. Over.
Robbie: Is that a bad thing? Over.
Dave [In disbelief]: Really? Is that a bad thing?! OF COURSE IT IS!!
Admiral Takahashi: Considering your ship is armed, it is. Over.
Dave [Triumphantly]: I TOLD YOU SO!!
Robbie [Angrily]: SHUT UP!!
Admiral Takahashi: Pardon?
Robbie: Sorry, I was just chastising my quartermaster, over.
Admiral Takahashi: How do we solve this problem? We have your position locked and are ready to fire. Over.
Robbie [Eyes widening]: ..Oh bugger.
Dave: Yes, that’s bad.
Heinrich: Look, we won’t be able to fight these guys, alright? Let’s just run the fuck away.
Robbie [Calmly]: Are the guns on deck loaded?
Heinrich [Raising an eyebrow]: ….Yes.
Dave: Right, get off the radio.
Dave: We are NOT opening fire.
Robbie [Eagerly]: SHOW NO FEAR! NEVER SURRENDER!
Dave [In disbelief]: Just how fucking stupid are you?! It’ll tear us to shreds!!
Robbie calmly walks away from Dave, heading towards the escape hatch which leads to the deck. Dave quickly nudges Heinrich.
Dave [Slapping his shoulder]: Open main ballast tanks. We’re going under.
Heinrich: What about Robbie?
Robbies Voice [Calmly]: Dave. There’s glue on the ladder. I’m stuck.
Dave: He ain’t moving!
Heinrich: I’ll give the word.
Heinrich runs through the open door as Dave takes the radio.
Dave: This is quartermaster Dave Jackscar. I apologise for the breach upon your territory as we received radio signals that there was a PMC Destroyer sailing through the area. Over.
Admiral Takahashi [Bewildered]: There was..five hours ago. We destroyed it. Over.
Dave: Then we arrived too late. Please accept my deepest apologies. We will remove ourselves from this position instantly. Over.
Admiral Takahashi: If you intrude again, we will open fire without warning. Over.
Dave [Calmly]: Understood. Have a pleasant day, over.
Dave sets down the radio, switching off the communication link and peering around the periscope station, looking at Robbies whose hands are now glued to the metal rungs of the ladder leading up to the escape hatch.
Robbie [Angrily]: MUTINOUS INSURREXTION IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!!
Dave: I know, but it’s fun.
*Lamb and Flag*
Back in the Lamb and Flag, several mercenaries have already gathered, proud at the new revival of their old favourite. Sitting at one table is That Hispanic Guy, That Random Guy, That Other Random Guy and Mustafa, clutching shotglasses of tequila in one hand and wedges of lime in the other.
That Random Guy: Nothin’ like tequila after a hard days work, eh?
Mustafa: We’ve got all the ammunition. Now all we need is some weapon parts and we can begin constructing the main body.
That Hispanic Guy [Grinning]: I get to fly it, right?!
Mustafa [Shrugging]: Why not. At least it’s instant death if you crash.
That Other Random Guy: One day, we’ll be raining death down upon Ocelot and his little assholes! ONE DAY!
That Hispanic Guy: And soon, I use the Apache to flee home to Chihuahua!
That Random Guy: …After we destroy Ocelot and his cronies, right?
That Hispanic Guy [Lying]: Yeah, sure, why not?
Mustafa: You better. I don’t want to have to put a failsafe bomb upon the damn thing.
That Hispanic Guy [Beaming]: …Trust me.
That Other Random Guy: I’d sooner trust a snake than trust you!
Mister Moneypennies: Shit! Thanks man!
That Other Random Guy raises an eyebrow, quickly looking under the table as Mister Moneypennies slides under his chair.
That Other Random Guy: Fuck he’s huge.
Brick: Oh, yeah, he’s getting bigger! It’s those rats I feed him, filled with toxic waste!
Brick turns around from the bar, clutching a bottle of Budweiser and sits at a table with Bill, Vince and Jon, who have taken a break from the Dog and Handgun to recuperate from the events earlier in the day. Jons arm is in a plaster cast, while Vince is holding a bottle of Pabst against his forehead.
Vince [Groaning]: …She hurt us bad..
Jon [Bitterly]: …Bitch broke my arm. If I see her again, I’m going to rip her fucking throat out!!
Vince spits out a tooth, quickly taking a drink from the bottle of Pabst.
Vince: Mmm..blood and booze..
Jon: I guess next time, we’ll be tranquilizing them ourselves. Fucking Dion..
That Random Guy leans over, looking at their table.
That Random Guy: Hey, Jon, what happened?
Jon [Hesitantly]: I got the crap beat out of me by an Israeli agent….A..female Israeli agent.
That Random Guys entire table winces.
That Hispanic Guy: Man, that’s some bad luck. I’ve heard the women know Krav Maga and can make a man swallow his own tongue!
Brick: Not far from the truth, buddy-boy.
That Other Random Guy: So..no new strippers?
Brick [Sighing]: Sadly not.
The doors swing open as Johan and Stoofer stroll in, faces straight.
Mustafa: So, did you guys win?
They immediately turn to the bar, slapping the counter.
Johan: Dick. We are going to need two glasses of Jose Cuervo.
Dick: ..Glasses? Alright..
Dick kneels down, unscrewing a bottle of Jose Cuervo silver before pulling out two glass tumblers and setting them down, beginning to pour the tequila.
Stoofer: Keep going.
Dick keeps pouring, almost to the top of the glass.
Johan: …That will do.
Johan and Stoofer reach into their pockets, slamming down crumpled dollar bills before snatching their glasses and walking over to That Hispanic Guys table.
Mustafa: …That’s a no?
Stoofer: Frank failed the final shot.
That Hispanic Guy: Really not surprising.
Stoofer [Slamming his palm on the table]: HEY! CAN WE GET SOME FOOD OVER HERE?!
Dick quickly walks from behind the bar, jogging to their table.
Dick: Yeah? What do you want?
Stoofer [Glaring]: ……What do you have?!
Jon coughs loudly, spitting out a tooth onto the floor.
Brick: Y’know, that’s lucky!
Jon [Angrily]: Good. Does that mean the teeth that lodged themselves in my throat are extra lucky?!
Dick: We have fish and chips, we have steamed fish, we have grilled fish, we have fish tartare, we have—
Stoofer [Sighing]: ……Just fish?
Dick: We have peanuts. Salted peanuts.
Stoofer: Just give me the nuts.
Maurice strolls out of the kitchen, carrying two fish in his hands.
Maurice [Angrily]: No-one wants the fish?!
Sal, sat at a table with Will, Raging Raven, Screaming Mantis, Laughing Octopus and Bob, raises his hand.
Sal [Giddily]: FISH AND CHIPS! FISH AND CHIPS!
Bob: ..What’s with these guys having a menu again so suddenly?
Sal: We went fishing today! RPG fishing!
Mantis: [Confused] ….RPG..fishing?
Sal: It imparts a smoky, meaty flavour on the fish.
Bob [Underwhelmed]: …..Ooooookay.
The doors swing open once more as Frank and Billy stroll into the bar. Despite looking dejected earlier, seeing the Lamb and Flags now-vibrant atmosphere causes a large smile to spread across his face.
Billy [Bitterly]: Yeah yeah..keep grinning, loser..
Billy strolls over to a table where Ivan and Steve are sat, sitting down next to Ivan.
Ivan: So, zey lost.
Billy [Bitterly]: ALL THANKS TO THAT MAN!!
Frank: Hey! I was demotivated! Callahay distracted me!
Billy: Nice excuse for being a complete and total failure, you fucking douchebag!
Frank: Whatever, at least we got our good ol’ Lamb and Flag back. Gimme a Bud, Dick!
Dick leans under the bar before slamming a bottle of Budweiser onto the bar.
Dick: Not quite. Still kept the karaoke stage.
Frank: Eh, whatever works. Just glad to see you got the cheap battery acid back.
Dick: Yeah yeah. Let me guess..tab?
Frank: Yup. Put it on the tab!
Dick [Bluntly]: No fucking chance. Pay up front or I’ll shoot you.
Dick: Do it.
Frank sighs, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a bill, slamming it on the bar. Dick nods, opening the cash register with a glad, peaceful sigh and flicking the bill in as Frank takes his bottle, turning around and walking over to the table where Mantis, Bob, Octopus, Will and Raven are sat, sitting next to Mantis and raising his bottle.
Frank [Happily]: Here’s to the Lamb and Flag!
They simply look at him.
Will: You may be excited, but the rest of us don’t really care.
Frank: But it’s the old pub! The place where we always used to relax after a mission! Come on, Will, you can’t hide your excitement!
Will: I will hit you, Elephant Man Mark Two.
Bob: C’mon guys..Let’s celebrate a night of drinking that won’t end in a brawl..
Will: He doesn’t even come out drinking to get involved in a brawl!
Bob [Shrugging]: …It’s still the thought that counts!
Frank tilts his head back, draining half of his pint in one gulp before slamming it down and belching loudly.
Will: What do you see in him?
Mantis [Sighing]: …Something.
The doors to the bar open again as Jericho and Phil walk into the bar, wearing the tattered remnants of their bowling shirts around their waist as makeshift belts.
Dick: So, you guys were part of the catastrophe too?
Jericho: What makes you say that?
Dick: The torn shirts, the Hawaiian shirt you’re wearing, the overwhelming stench of failure coming from both of you.
Phil [Bluntly]: It’s my new cologne. It’s called “Shut Your Fucking Mouth”.
Dick: Well, aren’t you two bundles of joy?
Phil: Fuck it. Just give us two bottles of Dog.
Dick reaches under the bar, slamming two bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale on the bar as Phil and Jericho flick dollar bills at him before taking them and joining Billy, Ivan and Steves table.
Ivan: Vell, here come the failures!
Steve [Giddily]: Didja have fun??
Phil: I don’t care what people say: It’s only fun if you win.
Jericho: At least you got to snap Jensens shinbone like a twig.
Phil: She was asking for it!
Ivan: Eesh. You’re not a very nice man.
Phil: Well, duh.
Jericho: SO! We achieved mediocrity again. What’s new?
Steve [Giddily]: Nothin’. Just ate pizza. Pepperoni!
Ivan: Then we watched some television and decided to come here to welcome you losers.
Stoofer: Hey! It was Franks fault!
Frank [Angrily]: LEAVE ME ALONE!
That Hispanic Guy: Calm, Stoofer. You can’t hurt Frank more than life hurts him. Trust me, he was dealt a curveball in that respect!
Frank: Am I really that pathetic?!
Will [Grinning]: YES!
Mantis glares at Will, who simply gives a small smirk.
Will [Shrugging nonchalantly]: He wanted the truth.
Steve: Well, as long as you guys had fun!
Phil: I did, Jericho’s just a sour old bastard.
Jericho: Who the fuck are you calling sour?!
The doors to the Lamb and Flag swing open a final time as Wolf, Tavi and Courtney stroll in.
Tavi: Wow..this place is lookin’ good, Dick!
Dick: Yeah yeah.
Tavi: And you haven’t changed one bit!
Jericho [Angrily]: Don’t fucking call me sour, Phil.
Phil: Sorry….Sour Skittles.
Jericho stands up, pulling his fist back.
Johan [Calmly]: No violence. Not tonight.
Jericho growls loudly, sitting down as Wolf instantly strolls over to an empty table directly next to Phils, grinning and taking a seat.
Phil [Blinking]: ….Ruh roh.
Ivan: Vell, this night is getting very intevesting..
Wolf [Seductively]: …Oh yes…Phil..I have a knife..made specially for your throat..I want to plunge it into your neck and drink every..sweet..drop of blood..
Phils eyes widen, and his head whips around, staring at Wolf who licks her plump lips, giving a small wink.
Phil: Woman, what the fuck is wrong with you?
Wolf [Smiling]: I realised a yesterday just how much killing made me..me..
Phil: Leave me out of it.
Wolf [Groaning]: No..I want your corpse..I want it stuffed and in my room..to use on my whim..to satisfy every single pounding urge in my body..
Phil [Eyes widening]: Woman, leave me alone, you’re fucking nuts!
Jericho [Laughing]: Why don’t you two bunk up? Phil can bring his carcass, and Wolf can bring the knife!
Phil: Shut up, Jerry!
That Random Guy: Jesus, will you two just kill eachother and get it done with?
That Hispanic Guy: HEY! DON’T SAY THAT! I haven’t got my camera ready!
Wolf: Yes..please…And when either one of you is lying on the floor, twitching and dying..I will cut open your wounds and drink my fill..
Phil sighs, storming over to the karaoke stage and hopping up onto it, grabbing the microphone and turning to face the pub, nodding at Jericho, Ivan and Steve who simply shake their heads.
Phil: Fine, I’ll sing this fucker acapella. WOLF! THIS ONES FOR YOU! DICK! DIM THE LIGHTS!
Billy [Whooping]: PURPLE HAZE! PURPLE HAZE!
Phil [More determined]: SHUT UP! DICK! DIM THE LIGHTS!
Dick: I SAID NO!
Phil shrugs, taking off his shoes and throwing both of them at both of the light-tubes above the stage, smashing them instantly and showering the floor with glass and the pub with darkness. Phil grasps the microphone, clearing his throat before stopping.
Phil: Hang on.
Phil twists around, running over to the large stereo system and pressing a few buttons before running over to the microphone and grasping it as the Lamb and Flag watch, silent thanks to their sheer disbelief.
Phil: I'm gonna move to the outskirts of town,
Where none of your friends are hanging around!
That's right, I'm gonna move to the other side of town,
Where none of your business is hanging around!
Womaaaaannnnn! Pleeeaaasssse! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Columbia, girl, Pleeeaasssse! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
I'm gonna build a castle out of Goodyear tires,
Cinderblock and busted doors; that's where I'll retire.
Gonna dig a moat. Fill it up with ale.
Not much of a defense, I know, but the supply never fails.
Womaaaaannnnn! Pleeeaaasssse! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Columbia, girl, Please, Please, let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
When you come knocking all in tears wringing hands and genuflecting,
You'll understand that I am a busy man and my subjects demand my attention.
These walls don't build themselves and I am running out of time.
So if you desire anything else, you had better get in line.
Womaaaaannnnn! Please! Please! Please! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Columbia, girl, Please! Please! Please! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Womaaaaannnnn! Please! Please! Please! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Columbia, girl, Please! Please! Please! Let a poor man be! Let a poor man be!
Phil sets down the microphone, raising his arms. Most of the bar is simply staring at him.
Jericho [Mockingly]: YOU SUCK!
Jericho hurls his bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale through the air, sending it slamming into Phils skull and knocking him unconscious. Johan stands up, pointing at Jericho.
Johan [Angrily]: YOU DO NOT HURT THE MAN WHO TAUGHT JOHAN ENGLISH!!
Johan lets out an angry bellow, charging Jericho, wrapping his arms around his waist and lifting him up before slamming him down violently onto the floor. Ivan hops up, locking his arms around Johans neck, but Tavi quickly jolts to her feet, grabbing Ivans legs and pulling him down onto his feet before punching him roughly. Steve quickly scuttles over to Phil, checking on him as Wolf jumps to her feet, throttling Ivan before Bill gets up, locking his right arm around Wolfs neck and choking her.
Bill [Venomously]: DIE!!! DIE BITCH!! DIE!!
Jon: Know what this means, Brick?
Brick: That I’m going back to the Dog and Handgun?
Jon grasps his chair, hurtling it through the door and smashing it into Franks face as the mercenaries get to their feet. Will runs at That Random Guy, clotheslining him and sending him to the floor before That Hispanic Guy grabs his arm, locking his legs over it before jumping and spinning, slamming Will back-first onto the ground as he pulls the arm roughly, attempting to tear the bicep and tricep. Raven rushes over, but is met by a thunderous blow from Mustafa which knocks her clean out.
Dick [Wiping a tear from his eyes]: ….That’s my boys.
Jericho, whose trenchcoat is now on fire, is thrown over the bar by Courtney as the scene fades..
COMING SOON: Chapter VIII!
--With a visit from Mother Mercenary looming, the mercenaries decide to prepare by doing absolutely nothing at all in an attempt to speed up time to get to the fateful day! Will Robbie ever stray into friendly waters? Will Johnny and Tim ever get their pink slip from Rex? Will Jon ever recover from being beaten by a woman? Tune in next time and witness Ghost Hunting, the revival of the Kriegsmarine, Mansized Holes and Genetic Tinker Toys!
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