Monday, 19 March 2012

Episode XIII - Where Eagles Dare

*The Academy*

The scene opens inside Mother Mercenaries office within the Academy. Mother is sat behind her desk, reading the very letter that arrived with Billy's eye as Lynch sits in front of the desk, appearing grave and quiet. His eyes are bloodshot and baggy, and his skin is paler. Lynch fidgets somewhat, even going so far as to twirl the wire of a bright red, plain telephone without a dialling pad before rapping his nails against the desk. Mother strokes her chin before sitting back, pushing the letter towards Lynch who takes it, tucking it into the breast pocket of his olive green dress shirt, the white-and-blue medal from Shadow Moses glinting in the lamplight from Mothers desk as he does.

Mother [Calmly]: I see.

Lynch: Mother, I'm sorry. I never exp--

Mother raises her hand, cutting him off from speaking. Lynch stops suddenly, gulping as Mother shuffles forward, looking at him.

Mother: Two men kidnapped, and you immediately come to me.

Lynch: Yes ma'am.

Mother: Knowing i'm not impressed with failure.

Lynch [Desperately]: Yes ma'am.

Mother sits back in her chair, linking her fingers together and scanning Lynch carefully before opening her lips.

Mother: Failure is not looked on kindly. Overlooking your own squadmates even less so.

Lynch [Desperately]: I'm sorry, ma'am.

Mother: How did both *beep* and Billy leave from under your noses?

Lynch [Growing more desperate]: I don't know, ma'am!

Mother [Scathingly]: Pardon me?

Lynch [Gulping]: I don't know, ma'am!!

Mother [Sneering]: Is that fear I see in your eyes, Lynch? Fear for your kidnapped comrades whom you have let down?

Lynch [Hysterically]: YES MA'AM!!

Mother slowly sits back in her chair as Lynch's fists clench tightly, his eyes screwing up to prevent himself from crying. Mother strokes her chin lightly.

Mother [Calmly]: Three squads of eight men in each. No more, no less. I will provide the transport, communication equipment and the evac equipment and vehicles.

Lynch [Giving a deep sigh]: ...Thank you, Mother.

Mother [Swiftly]: One one condition: You organise them now. When you return to Beale Street, you do not waste a single second in mobilising your chosen units. Firstly, I will be in contact with the United States Air Force to gain access to Milstar so that we can track movement around the area and to track the kidnappers, and I will have my own men in the Academy accessing radio communications in hope to intercept enemy communications between the PMC's. Once we gain a rough area, I will be in contact with the United Nations to be granted transport to the suspected target, where you will be moved off. I expect it to be around twenty-four hours before we get a rough area and the respective permissions to fully mobilise.

Lynch [Desperately]: Twenty-four hours??!

Mother: According to this letter, that leaves forty-eight hours to track them down and free them.

Lynch [Hastily]: But--

Mother: Marcus, I have faith in you.

Lynch falls silent, rubbing his eyes.

Lynch [Sighing]: ..I'm sorry, Mother--

Mother [Sharply]: Stop apologising. I put you in charge of them because you were ruthless and one of the toughest sons of bitches to be forged in the Academy. Now, this is where your leadership shines through: You either stand up with your back straight, take it all on your shoulders and lead this men to liberate your comrades, or you slump over and die. Which will it be?

Lynch: I will lead, ma'am.

Mother; Of course you will, Lynch, since I heard interesting reports that your company tore apart an entire ambushing platoon.

Lynch: Reports are true, ma’am.

Mother: They said the streets resembled a bomb site.

Lynch: Yes, ma’am.

Mother: Even Callahay was impressed.

Lynch [Quietly]: Ma’am, we were drugged. We were hallucinating badly. That is the reason they managed to secure Billy and *beep*: They struck us when we were kidnapped.

Mother [Calmly]: I see. Interesting.

Lynch: We didn't mean for it to degrade so ba--

Mother [Interjecting]: Do you think I care? It’s about time your company actually did something besides crying for help. Congratulations.

Lynch: Congratulations?

Mother: You heard me: Well done.

Lynch: ….Why?

Mother [Darkly]: Marcus, Marcus, Marcus….do you honestly think for one second that we have companies who have never participated in massacres?

Lynch: Well—

Mother: You did it under attack and on a handicap that, if you refused to fight against, would have left your company as non-existent. I'm proud of you for fighting them off.

Lynch: Thank you, Mother.

Mother: It is better to spill blood than to have your own blood spilled.

Lynch: Of course, Mother.

Mother [Bluntly]: Now go and mobilise your three units.

Lynch: Yes, Mother.

Lynch pulls his chair away from the desk, getting to his feet and turning around, walking towards the door. Mother clears her throat, and Lynch spins around, facing her.

Mother: Lynch?

Lynch: Yes, Mother?

Mother: We will get them home. They will be safe.

Lynch [Quietly]: Of course, ma'am.

Lynch clicks his heels together, saluting Mother before turning around and sliding out of her office, shutting the door behind him. Mother spins her chair around, looking out of the window and tapping her index fingers against her chin before spinning around and grasping the red phone, lifting the headset to her ear.

Mother: Hello? O' Farrell? Yes, it's Mother here. I need access to the United States Milstar satellites and to a Super Hercules transport. As soon as possible. Yes. Goodbye.

Mother sets the headset down as Father Mercenary opens the door, walking into the room.

Father: How's Marcus?

Mother [Bluntly]: Distraught.

Father: A good leader, then. Is the transport ready?

Mother: As we speak, a Super Hercules is being fuelled and flown over here. Fuel trucks will arrive in Beale Street alongside it. Intelligence is working on discovering where those bastards got to.

Father: ...Could it really be Ocelot? I mean, he's had no reason to attack the mercenaries, so why now? Why Beale Street? Why Reject Company?

Mother [Darkly]: Motives change daily, William. I couldn't tell you why Ocelot has had his Praying Mantis PMC do what they did, but I can tell you that both of those men will arrive back in Beale Street without a hair touched on their heads. We helped Callahay rescue Kelleher when she was kidnapped, and we will help Lynch save his boys.

Father [Stroking his chin thoughtfully]: But, could it to be something to do with the war economy?

Mother: A simple kidnapping won't kickstart the war economy, least of all in favour of Ocelot and the Patriots. He knows there is direct contact between us and the United Nations to impede full-scale war breaking out from such events. Why he did it is troubling me, but bringing those boys back is troubling me more.

Father: Maybe it's a personal vendetta following Shadow Moses? It was a risk, but we never expected--

Mother: I highly doubt it, William. Maybe he's trying to stimulate the war economy, or maybe he's trying to wipe out us mercenaries so that he can directly attack the countries we aim to protect. Who knows? William, we focus on bringing those boys back alive.

Mother reaches into her pocket, pulling out a stilleto knife and slamming it into her desk. Father flinches somewhat.

Father [Calmly]: Understood.

Mother spins her chair around, looking through the circular window in front of her that overlooks the courtyard where a unit is currently completing an obstacle course. Mother sighs, resting her hands on her knees as she watches.

Mother [Gravely]: ....No man takes away a Mother's children and lives to tell the tale.

*The Lamb and Flag - 8 Hours Later*

In the Lamb and Flag, Lynch has summoned a meeting of the mercenaries. Each table is packed with the mercenaries, with even the mechanics packed into the overflowing pub. Dick is busy standing behind the bar, hands on the counter as he watches Lynch twist around a stool, positioning it slightly to the left of the bar. Frank walks away from the bar, carrying a pint and sitting at a table with Will, Bob, Robbie, Dave, Dean, Samuel and Karab.

Frank [Raising his glass]: Cheers!

Dave: Never get a round in, do you? Not even when the boss calls for a meeting?

Frank: I didn't realise any of you were thirsty--

Bob [Scoffing]: We don't drink cause we're thirsty! WE DRINK TO GET DRUNK!

Will: Bob, since when did you find your balls?

Bob: Since yesterday, when I fought an evil pink pony and a clown.

Will [Shaking his head]: Somedays, I really do wonder about this place..

Dean: You love it really!

Lynch climbs up onto his stool, giving a shrill, loud whistle.


Every mercenary suddenly falls silent, turning to look at Lynch, Lynch clears his throat, steadying himself on the stool.

Lynch: Alright, listen up and listen well: I have been to the Academy, I have talked to Mother and--

Jon [Launching up to his feet and cups his hands around his mouth]: WE'RE GOING TO KILL SOME FUCKING SONS OF THE PATRIOTS!!!

The entire bar punches their right fists into the air, letting a united cheer.

Lynch: Sit down, Jon. Sit down.

Jon sits down, shrugging.

Lynch: She will provide the transport, communication equipment and the means of evacuation. Within forty-eight hours, we are expected to be contacted to let us know where they have tracked Billy and *Beep* down to. When the transport arrives, we will be after them in a heartbeat no matter what.

Frank: Whose going?!

Lynch: Mother has ordered me to create three squads of eight. I have already made the decisions as to who will go and who will be placed on each squad. In this mission, you will be placed onto Squads Alpha, Beta and Delta, and the designated communication experts, whom will be assigned on each Squad before we move out, will be expected to communicate with each squad utilising those names.

Frank [Impatiently]: Just tell us whose with who!

Lynch [Glaring at Frank]: Alright, you complete asshole: Squad Alpha will consist of Me, Steve, Dean, Karab, Tavi, Ivan, Jericho and Phil.

Jericho and Phil high-five as Dean looks at Karab edgily.

Dean [Cautiously]: You better tap into your inner Gurkha.

Karab: Don't worry: I plan to.

Tavi [Sideways, to Ivan]: Psst. Will you be carrying a grenade launcher or something?

Ivan [Bluntly]: Da.

Tavi grins, clapping her hands together rapidly.

Tavi [Happily]: Yay! I get to see things go boom!

Lynch [Clearing his throat]: Squad Beta, the second squad, will consist of Johan, Bobby, Mustafa, Stoofer, Vince, Bill, Sal and Jon.

Bobby high-fives Johan before high-fiving Mustafa and Stoofer. Vince and Bill look on somewhat nervously.

Bill: Damn, looks like we'll be the heaviest squad...literally.

Vince: Well, at least we'll be safe: I've heard they can tear a mans arm off and beat him to death with the soggy end.

Bill: I heard Mustafa can rip a mans head off and shove it back into the wound.

Sal [Piping up]: I heard Johan can tear a mans heart out using his pinkie finger!

Johan: He was anorexic and I was angry, what can I say?

Sal [Surprised]: Seriously?!

Johan taps the side of his nose, giving a sly smile.

Bill: We're going to LIVE!!

Lynch [Clearing his throat]: Squad Delta, the final squad, will consist of Frank, Dave, Robbie, Will, Bob, Courtney, Samuel and Maurice.

Maurice: 'Ere, what about little Moe?

Lynch: Sorry Moe, but this mission requires head-on force, and not your infiltration skills.

Moe [Shrugging]: Understood.

Courtney: Then why am I coming--

Lynch: You make weapons, you better fucking know how to use them.

Tavi: And the excuse for me?

Lynch: Same as Courtney's, with the added bonus of that you better know how to fix a fucking wound.

Tavi: Aye aye, Captain.

Will [Whining]: Really? Samuel?

Samuel: What??

Dean: Don't worry, they just think you're useless.

Samuel [Sharply]: But i'm not.

Dave: Better than you in a fight, Will. You're the only person I know who attaches a white flag to his gun barrel just in case.

Will [Snidely]: Fuck you.

Dave: You wish I'd let you.

Steve: What about new guys?!

Jericho [Nodding]: ...Yeah, Johnny and Tim. Didn't you accept them?

Lynch: They are tuning up for Big Shell. I don't want them getting into this battle, because this shit is personal. The reason I am bringing you guys in is because you know Billy and *Beep*, you know them both very well. I want that to resonate inside every single one of you: Their lives are on the line, and it is you, their comrades whom have known them for eight years--

Will: What about Samuel?!

Samuel [Calmly]: I've known them for a year. I know Billy especially well. Every weekday afternoon he comes down to the Kebaborama for his daily tray of chips. Salt and vinegar, small packet of Heinz Ketchup on the side. Lukewarm, not hot.

Everyone slowly turns their head to Samuel, eyebrows raised. Samuel simply sits there, straight-faced.

Dean: See? MY BROTHER IS ONE OF US! As much as it pains me to say it..

Will: But all he's done is serve him food!

Samuel: Daily for almost a year. I want to see Billy back as much as the rest of you: To me, Billy is an acquaintance.

Lynch shrugs.

Lynch [Calmly]: Samuel's coming anyway, whether you like it or not.

Dave [Boisterously]: HA! SUCK ON THAT, BITCH!

Johan [Loudly]: Let the boss finish.

The bar suddenly falls quiet as Lynch clears his throat once more.

Lynch [Energetically]: As I was saying. You have known them for--It doesn't matter. YOU KNOW THEM! You have been in battle with them! You are their friends, their allies! They are somewhere out there, without their allies, being shipped off to God-knows-where just to piss us off. Dave, if you were kidnapped, Billy and *Beep* would come to your aid. Will, if you were kidnapped, they would be there. Frank, if you were kidnapped, they would be there. Phil, if you were kidnapped, they would be there. Dean, if you were kidnapped, they would be there. Jericho, if you were kidnapped, THEY WOULD BE THERE. Steve, Ivan, Tavi, Courtney, Johan, Stoofer, Bobby, Bill, Sal, Vince, Samuel, Jon, Karab, Brick..If any of you were kidnapped, THEY WOULD BE THERE! If I was kidnapped, they would be there, and I will be dead in that fucking desert before I ever let some little shits hopped up on nanomachines and with their heads up Ocelot's ass come into MY town and think that they can kidnap MY men! If any of us were kidnapped, they would be there, and there is not a fucking chance in hell while I have a heart beating in my chest THAT I AM GOING TO LET A HAIR ON THEIR HEADS BE HARMED!! NOW WHOSE WITH ME?!?!

The entire bar punches their right fists, letting out a determined, powerful cheer which rattles the light fixtures. Lynch nods calmly, looking around at them.

Lynch [Deathly quiet]: There will be no sleep. I want you all ready for action at any time during the next forty-eight hours. We will be there when the time comes.

Phil [Calling out to Dick]: OI! DICK! GET A FEW JAGERBOMBS PREPARED!

Dick: Jagerbombs, coming up!

Lynch: Until then...Do what you want. Try not to get drunk, though.

Frank: And if we do?

Lynch: You'll be shot.

Frank laughs, but Lynch reaches into the holster strapped to the thigh of his beige combat pants, pulling out his M9 Beretta and aiming it between Frank's eyes.

Lynch: I don't kid when the lives of two comrades are on the line.

The mercenaries gulp.

Sal: Dick, i'll have a Jagerbomb..Hold the Jager!

Lynch: Good boys. Dick, get me a Red Bull.

Lynch hops down from the stool, slapping the top of the bar as Dick leans down, opening a fridge below the bar and pulling out a can of Red Bull, setting it down.

Dick: On the house, boss.

Lynch: Thanks, Dick.

Lynch snatches the Red Bull, cracking the tab and taking a quick drink as he scans the pub, patting his free hand against his chest in an attempt to stop his heart from pounding painfully against his chest.

Frank [Calling over]: Hey! Can I get one on the hou--

Dick [Swiftly]: No.

Jericho: What about me?

Dick leans under the bar, pulling a can of Red Bull out from under the bar and throwing it underarm to Jericho who catches it, shaking it slightly.

Jericho [Grinning]: Cheers, Dicky!

Lynch smirks, taking a quick drink of Red Bull as he pats the mobile phone in the pocket of his combat pants.

*The Lamb and Flag - 13 hours later*

With the sun having rose over Beale Street, the Lamb and Flag is still full. Surprisingly, most of the mercenaries have stuck true to Lynch's orders: None of them have fallen asleep, with only a few catching quick naps. Dave is laid with his head in his arms, snoring loudly as Robbie sits there, a can of Monster in his hand, belching loudly and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

Robbie: That's the stuff..

Frank yawns loudly, jabbing two fingers against the top of Dave's skull. Dave's head snaps up suddenly and he looks at Frank.

Dave [Yawning]: ....Your turn.

Frank nods thankfully, slamming his forehead against the table and closing his eyes, taking only a few seconds before his snores rumble across the pub. Tavi and Courtney are asleep with their heads in their arms as Jericho, Ivan, Phil, Dean, Samuel and Jon play a game of Texas Hold 'Em around their table.

Jon: Two pair.

Jon sets his cards down. Jericho looks at him edgily.

Jericho: ...One pair.

Jericho sighs, slapping his cards on the table before looking at Phil.

Phil: Two pair.

Phil sets his cards down, looking over at Jon.

Phil: Dammit. Only got a pair of threes and fours.

Jon [Laughing]: Hehe! Can't beat a pair of eights and nines! Dean!

Dean remains motionless in his chair, the cards held up in a fan obscuring his face.

Jon [Impatiently]: DEAN!

Samuel sighs, grasping Dean's cards and slapping them out of his hands, revealing Dean with his lips open, snoring quietly as a line of drool rolls down from the corner of his mouth.

Karab [Disgusted]: Damn that's nasty.

Karab slaps Dean around the back of his head, causing him to jolt awake.

Dean [Slurring tiredly]: Huh? Wha-Momma?

Bill walks past the table, slapping the bar, his eyes wide. Dick slowly stands up from behind the bar, having laid down on the linoleum tiles and fallen asleep right there and then.

Dick [Stretching]: Yeah?

Bill: Coffee.

Dick: Comin' up..


Dick [Nervously]: ..Bill? Are you alright? You look..


Dick: Jesus, Lynch, are you trying to kill them?

Lynch [Calmly]: It's inspiring to me: Their following orders. Those who aren't have created a system where they take in turns sleeping. This so-called 'reject company' is actually one of the closer companies i've had the privilege of looking over.

Bill: I can't feel my eyeballs.

Lynch: Good, soldier.

Johan yawns, walking over to the bar beside Bill and rapping his knuckles on the bar.

Dick [Groaning]: If you want a Monster or Red Bull..just take one..

Johan swings his left leg over the bar, climbing over it and squatting down, pulling the fridge open and grabbing three cans of Monster, throwing one each to Stoofer and Mustafa at his table which Bobby is currently laid upon, snoring loudly with his mouth half open.

Mustafa: Charming man.


Dick stumbles out of the kitchen, clutching a cup of coffee which he sets down on the bar. Bill grabs it, his hands trembling.


Jon: Holy shit, Bill, maybe you should cut down on caffeine and sleeping pills?

Dean [Laughing]: Why? I wouldn't mind seeing him fighting guys on a caffeine high. He might be able to go Mach Three on their asses!

Robbie jingles his can of Monster.

Robbie: I'll kill people at Mach Three.

Dean: Yeah, you have issues.

Brick stumbles out of the male bathroom to the left of the bar, zipping up his fly.

Brick [Slurring]: D'we leave?

Vince [Walking out of the bathroom behind him, slurring]: No..

Dave: Shit, what were you guys doing in there?

Vince: ...Sleeping.

Brick: Fell asleep..havin'....a shit

Lynch [Sneering]: Classy, Brick. Real classy.

Sal grunts loudly, his head in his arms as he sleeps at a table by himself.

Vince: Aww, he looks so peaceful.

Sal retches, choking loudly before snorting.

Robbie [Disgusted]: Yet he looks so disgusting.

The phone vibrates in Lynch's pocket. Lynch slowly looks up, quickly reaching into his pocket and pulling out his phone, answering it and walking past Brick and Vince into the male toilets.

Lynch [Quietly]: Yeah, it's me. What is it?

Lynch slams the door behind him.

Vince: What was that about?

Johan [Calmly]: Obviously a call about the mission, idiot.

Jon: Awesome.

Ivan: Cool.

Phil: Superb.


Jon, Ivan and Phil turn to Steve, who bows his head and begins snoring.

Jericho [Underwhelmed]: ....Oooooooooooookay.

Brick: Well, this should be fun.

Jon: Define 'fun'.

Jericho: Enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleas--


Johan: Wow, you really are an angry little man, aren't you?

Jon: So shoot me.

Bobby opens his eyes, slowly sitting up.

Jon [Hastily]: Sarcasm! Sarcasm!

Bobby [Yawning and stretching]: Are we leaving yet?

Johan: Not yet. Soon. Boss just received the call.

The door to the male bathroom quickly opens as Lynch storms out, clutching his phone. Lynch slams his phone down on the bar, giving a shrill whistle. The bar suddenly quietens down.

Lynch [Cupping his hands around his mouth and yelling]: HEY! ASSHOLES! WHO WANTS A TRIP TO HUNGARY?!??!?!

The pub remains silent.

Bill: Say wha'?

Lynch: Get moving. Everyone up now. Get to your places of residence, say your prayers, wash up, whatever...and report to the head of Beale Street in no less than ten minutes. I will brief you all when we get to the designated airstrip in the Romani Desert. Ten minutes, or we will leave without you and your ass will be sent back to the Academy. Mother is providing rucksacks with the equipment and weaponry we will need for this mission, so there is no need to pack them or take any weapons with us. However, you are to put on your urban combat fatigues and your combat vests. Not woodland, not desert, but urban. This is it: This is official. This is a sanctioned mission.

Maurice: What about breakfast, lad?

Lynch [Patting Maurice's thick chest]: Cart two boxes of First Strike Rations with you, Maurice.

Maurice: Aye aye, kidda.

Maurice turns around, walking back into the kitchen as the mercenaries automatically rise from their tables, heading towards the door without so much as a word of complaint. Vince walks over to Sal, slapping his head.

Sal [Jolting up]: Huh--Wha--

Vince: C'mon.

Sal: Dammit...I WANNA SLEEP!!

Sal and Vince walk towards the door as Lynch walks over to Tavi and Courtney, slapping their backs.

Courtney and Tavi [Jolting up]: Aye aye, captain!

Courtney and Tavi jump out of their seats, bolting towards the door and pushing Sal and Vince aside. Lynch turns around, scratching behind his ear.

Lynch: Well, at least they're enthusiastic....for now.

Dick [Chuckling]: They won't be.

Dick groans loudly, collapsing backwards behind the bar and snoring loudly. Bill simply stands there, quickly downing his coffee and shakily stumbling over to the door.

Bill: Ohmygodicanseethroughtimeandicanseeshitthatnohumanbeingshouldpossiblybeallowedtoseeohmygodicanfeelmyselfevolvingbuticantfeelmylegsmylegsmylegsohgod!!!!

Bill slams the door behind him as Lynch gives a dark sigh.

*Romani Desert Airstrip - 4 Hours Later*

In the Romani Desert, two troop carrier trucks, painted a light beige with black markings on the bonnets and front fenders, as well as the side to indicate the trucks belong to the United Nations, are currently driving forward across the sands, their bulky tires kicking up clouds of dust as they drive forward. In the back of these open-topped troop carriers, huddled beneath the rollcage and sat upon the folding metal benches, sit the mercenaries, huddled close together. Will, Frank, Dave, Bob, Courtney, Maurice, Robbie, Samuel, Dean, Phil, Steve, Ivan, Jericho, Karab and Tavi are in the left-hand truck which is currently ahead of its counterpart, where Lynch, Sal, Stoofer, Bobby, Johan, Bill, Mustafa, Vince and Jon are sat with two crates of First Strike Rations between them in the back of the truck. Each mercenary has since ditched their casual clothes, and are all dressed in the same uniform: Long-sleeved fatigues in a digital urban camouflage, their right arms stitched with the flag of their country of birth, and their left arms stamped with the logo of the Academy, due to their lack of an official insignia for their company. Other these fatigues are Web-Tex solid grey tactical combat vests, the pouches on the chest currently empty, but with a KA-BAR knife, a carbon steel-blade combat knife with a blackened handle and a leather-washer handle clearly visible, strapped in a small sheathe on their right chest. Lynch, sat directly next to the cab, turns his head, looking down at the driver who is wearing a black balaclava and aviator sunglasses, as well as a thermal black shirt and leather gloves to mask his body.

Lynch: Oi, Ghost, Are we almost there?

Ghost Company Mercenary: Almost. Just over this dune and the airstrip will be just ahead.

Lynch sighs, rubbing his brow which is slicked with sweat.

Lynch [In disbelief]: How the fuck can you crazy bastards wear stuff like that in this weather?

Ghost Company Mercenary: Conditioning, Lynch.

Bill: More like insanity.

Lynch raises a hand, waving over to the other truck. Frank raises his hand, waving back.

Sal: I hope Hungary's nicer than this craphole.

Vince: This craphole is our home, Sal.

Sal [Snorting]: Your home, maybe: My home is better and cleaner.

The trucks jolt slightly as they begin to carefully drive up a large sand dune.

Bobby: Hope we don't fall out!

Lynch [Calmly]: Just hang on and everything will be fine.

Jon, Johan, Bobby, Stoofer, Vince and Mustafa turn around, watching as Bob screams, grasping onto the rear fender of the truck as it rolls up the sand dune, having fallen out when the truck began climbing the sand dune. They watch as the mercenaries of the other truck simply laugh as Bob's hands claw towards the carrier bed.

Jon: Unlike Bob.

Lynch sighs darkly, shaking his head.

Mustafa [Laughing]: Look at him go!

Jon: Like a moronic ragdoll.

Vince [Chuckling]: Now that's entertainment!


Bob [Crying out]: My legs! My beautiful legs!

Jericho [Laughing]: You look like a fucking scarf hanging off of the bumper like that!

The trucks slow down even more as they reach the apex of the dune. Unfolding beneath them, the mercenaries can now see a huge white plane ahead of them, parked upon an airstrip that appears to have been made by compressing a three mile strip of sand just enough so that the plane can land. With four engines and four propellors, as well as a fuselage which stretches out at nearly a hundred feet, the transport plane appears suitable for its purpose, the off-white color scheme meaning it will have relatively-good camouflage against the sky. Around the plane, approximately twenty crewman, wearing navy blue boilersuits, are busy running around the airstrip, checking each aspect of the plane from the propellors to the fuel tanks, making sure that the plane can fly to and from its destination without a single error occurring.

Lynch: There she is, boys: A C-One-Thirty-J Super Hercules. Isn't she beautiful? The next in the line of C-One-Thirty transport planes, and she'll see us to Hungary easily.

Johan: She's big. I'm guessing around a hundred feet or so. She looks new.

Ghost Company Mercenary: Aye, she is new. Mother Mercenary contacted the United States herself to borrow one for this mission. She must really like you if she contacted the United States: God knows it's not the safest place to contact, what with their noses stuck in the war economy and with her despising them and all.

Lynch: So she must fly well, then?

Ghost Company Mercenary: We saw her land just as we got in these trucks to pick you bastards up. Pretty smooth, as you can expect: Mother demands the best, and she gets the best. Now let's see if the soldiers who'll be inside those planes can live up to expectations themselves.

Bob claws himself back up onto the rear bed of the truck, sitting beside Karab and leaning over, slapping Jericho roughly on the knee. Jericho laughs it off, shrugging.

Lynch [Sighing]: I hope. I really hope.

Ghost Company Mercenary: Captain Callahay has a twenty dollar bet saying one of your boys dies out there. Captain Cussion has matched that bet saying your boys come out alive. I guess you guys are turning heads out there.

Lynch [Snidely]: Your Captain's a cunt. Always has been.

The trucks begin to slowly descend down the dune, carefully meeting just inches apart as they head towards the southern-end of the airstrip.

Ghost Company Mercenary: Maybe so, but Callahay knows what he wants: Perfection, dedication and lethality. The only way he'll get them is with an iron fist.

Sal: Lynch does too!

Lynch [Laughing]: Please! I don't beat you assholes nearly enough!

Stoofer: And you don't beat us at all.

Lynch: I thought *Beep* does the beating?

Stoofer: Only to the smaller insects.

Lynch: I see..

The trucks brake to a halt at the foot of the airstrip, in the shadow of the transport plane whose ramp is around a quarter of a mile ahead of them.

Ghost Company Mercenary: Alright, this is your stop. Good luck.

Lynch: Thanks [Cupping his hands around his mouth and getting to his feet] ALRIGHT LADIES!! OUT OF THE TRUCKS AND TOWARDS THE TRANSPORT!!

Lynch steps over the boxes and walks to the edge of the truck, hopping down onto the compressed sand. Both trucks quickly empty as the mercenaries jostle and hop down onto the sand, filing between the trucks and walking towards the transport plane where several of the crew members have now gathered at the foot of the ramp.

Johan [Clapping his hands together]: Man! A Super Hercules! Can't beat Lockheed Martin for transport!

Sal: Fuck, we're jumping out of THAT?!

Lynch [Smirking]: Yep!

Phil: Jumping with a bunch of Yanks. Great. What would our forefathers say, Jerry?

Jericho: Well, if we're talking about World War Two, they'd be leaving the boats at Normandy and getting shot in seconds, so I don't think they'd mind us diving out of planes with Americans. In fact, I believe they'd appreciate it.

Ivan: Cry me a viver. My forevathers life expectancy vas a day at Stalingrad!

Sal: My forefathers were generals!

Brick: Pussy.

Sal: Hey, Brick?

Brick: What?

Sal [Snidely]: At least my forefathers knew how to read something that wasn't a menu at IHOP.

The mercenaries burst out in laughter. Frank pats Sal's back, rubbing it slightly.

Frank [Laughing]: Wow! Sal got a decent dig in there!

Dean: Damn Sal! You can deliver it when you want!

Brick: Whatever. I gots to check the plane.

Brick jogs ahead of them towards the Transport Plane as Maurice, who hung back with the trucks to haul out the rations, is now following them, a box of rations on each shoulder which he is carrying with relative ease, whistling to himself.

Lynch [Clapping his hands together]: Ain't she a beaut?!

Jericho: Why not a Chinook?

Lynch: Super Hercules' are a lot easier to parachute out of. [Giving a shrill whistle and clapping his hands] ALRIGHT EVERYONE! REPORT TO MAURICE AND TAKE TWO FIRST STRIKE RATIONS!!

Maurice walks around the group to the right of the transport planes ramp and sets the boxes down. Maurice grabs one of them and tears open the box, pulling two small cardboard packages out with a digital urban camouflage label on the front reading "First Strike Ration" in Army Stencil font. Will walks over, hand outstretched as Maurice slaps the packages into his hands. Will looks down at them, then up at Maurice.

Will: What? I don't get to see a menu?

Maurice: This ain't the Ritz, kiddo.

Will [Whining]: But this is peon food!

Maurice: Take it. Take it or I'll eat ya face!

Jericho [Now standing behind Will]: TAKE IT, YOU BUM! PEOPLE ARE WAITING!

Will sighs, walking off to the right as a member of crew walks over to him, clutching a chest harness upon which is attached a light grey parachute bag in one hand and a large nylon bag with digital urban camouflage in the other.

Will: I don't like this, Lynch!

Lynch [Sarcastically]: Oh, weally?! Weally, weally?! Well, my heart fucking bleeds for you! It truly does!

Will [Scathingly]: Asshole.

Lynch [Bluntly, to crew member]: Rig the cunt up, and slap him if he insults you.

Crew Member: Yes, sir.

Will curses quietly as the crew members pulls the harness over Will.

Will [Scathingly]: I CAN DO THIS MYSELF!!

Lynch [Laughing]: Yeah, alright. I'd rather have crew trained in assisting parachuting jumps attaching the equipment they have assembled to you.

Several crew members begin to assemble at the foot of the ramp, holding harnesses and the nylon bags. Jericho walks over to one of the crew members, holding his rations which the crew member takes.

Jericho [Bitterly]: Yankee rations. Great.

Phil [Walking past Jericho and standing beside him]: Dude, remember the shit the British Army used to feed us.

Jericho shivers.

Jericho: Dark days..Dark days.

Phil: Just be glad the Yanks have beef jerky in these things!

Dave [Standing beside Phil]: And pocket sandwiches. Nothing but pocket sandwiches.

Will: I feel like Frankenstein with this shit!

Crew Member [Bitterly]: Quit complaining. Mother's actually gone to the lengths of making us pack your fucking equipment and weapons, so shut up and be grateful: Not every company gets the honor of going on a sanctioned mission every day, y'know.

Phil: What weapons have we got?

Second Crew Member: FN 2000s. M9 Beretta's as sidearms. Ivan Hellgenstrand has an M79, though. Robbie Steinhatten gets a fucking MP40. Steve Llarec gets--

Phil [Turning to Dave and grinning]: Here that, Dave? We get machineguns!

Dave [Laughing]: Fuck yeah! We're going to make mincemeat of those bastards!

Will: What do I get?

Crew Member: Will Studlin? Standard equipment.

Will: But i'm special!

Jericho [Quietly]: Special needs.

Several crew members and the mercenaries burst out laughing as Will sneer violently.

Will [Scathingly]: Asshole.

The crew member motions up the ramp.

Crew Member: Everythings in order. PDB is attached to harness, single point release system is functioning. Just pull the quick ejector snap and your PDB should lower via the lowering line attached to your chest. No fuss, and it's all sewn in, so very little messing around, just get your rucksack out and then bundle the whole thing up, pack it into the rucksack and you're good to go. Parachutes have been checked: In functioning order--

Will [Yawning]: You're boring me.

Dave: Go on, I'd rather know i'm safe, unlike this tossbag who needs shooting!

Robbie walks beside Dave, handing his rations over to the crew member.

Robbie: Will again?

Dave [Scoffing]: Who else??

Crew Member [Impatiently]: As I was saying, the parachutes have been checked and are in functioning order. Automatic Activation Devices are working, harness is good, reserve chute is packed, deployment bag, pilot chute and main chute are in great condition: Every single parachute is good to go.

Lynch [Folding his arms]: Good. Ready for parachuting, then.

Crew Member: Mother demands the best, she gets the best. Your boys will have no trouble landing.


Phil, Will and Jericho jog up the ramp, followed by Dave and Robbie. In mere seconds, Dean, Karab, Ivan, Jon and Vince jog over, clutching their rations.


Jon: Alright, i'll push you out when we lift off.

Vince [Sarcastically]: Charming man.

Vince giggles as the crew member pulls his harness over Vince's body.

Dean: Dude, what the hell?

Vince [Giggling]: It tickles..

The Crew Member assisting Vince shudders violently.

Karab: That's nasty.

Crew Member: Remember: Pull the quick ejector snap, lowering line activates, PDB deploys beneath you. Try not to struggle or anything, we don't want it wrapping around you or smacking your dicks or whatever.

Jon: Shit, that could actually happen?!

Crew Member: Possibly!!

Jon [Shuddering]: Crap, that's bad!

Crew Member: No, bad is deploying it too early and, by some freak coincidence, having it sucked into the jet turbine with you attached to it.

Vince [Scared]: COULD THAT HAPPEN?!?

Crew Member [Impatiently]: NOT IF YOU DON'T FUCKING FIDDLE!!!

Vince, who had been fiddling with the shoulder straps of his harness, quickly lowers his arms to his side as the Crew Member pats his chest.

Crew Member: Good to go.

Vince jogs up the ramp, followed by Jon.

Ivan: Vell, zis is vun.

Crew Member: Ivan, you get a M79 Grenade Launcher. We've packed forty millimetre grenades in your pack instead of regular bullets, alright?


Dean: That's his way of saying 'Yes'.

Karab: Thank Allah we're not in his squad.

Dean: We are.

Karab's eyes slowly widen.

Karab [Gulping]: SHIT!!

Ivan: So, I pull ze quick ejector snap and ze thing flies off of my chest and dangles below me?

Crew Member: That's the basic premise of it, yes.

Ivan: Vat if it hits someone?

Crew Member: It'll hurt, try not to deliberately.

Ivan: Vould I kill a pigeon?

Crew Member [Growing impatient]: Probably.

Ivan: Awesome.

The Crew Member motions to Ivan, who jogs past him and up the ramp, sitting beside Phil and grasping the straps above his head attached to the seat, pulling them over his body as Dean and Karab jog up, sitting next to eachother and strapping themselves to their seats as Stoofer, Johan, Mustafa, Bob and Frank jog over, standing in front of the Crew members.

Crew Member One: We're going to need the reinforced chutes!

Mustafa [Smirking]: Yep. We ain't average.

A secondary Crew Member, standing to the left of the ramp with a pile of Parachute Drop Bags, rummages through them, pulling out a Drop Bag with a "RE" marked on it. He quickly jogs over to the Crew Member opposite Mustafa, handing it to him.

Johan: Get us strapped up. We have blood to spill.

Crew Member: You know how these things work, right?

Johan: Pull ripcord, parachute activates. Lynch will tell us the jumping procedures in flight. Pull ejector snap, lower line deploys bag to hang below feet.

Crew Member: Thank fuck for that. Seems like you guys ain't average when it comes to intelligence either.

Dean [Angrily]: OI!

Crew Member: SHUT UP!

Frank: Fuck, this things big.

Crew Member: Shut up..

The Crew Member finishes strapping Frank's parachute drop bag to his chest, motioning up the ramp. Frank jogs past him, his place taken almost immediately by Steve who hands over his rations.

Steve [Grinning]: I'mma gonna shoot bad guys!

Johan [Chuckling]: Oh boy. Their unit should have some fun.

Mustafa: Well, they get Lynch on their side too. They'll have fun.

Johan: We'll create our own chaos, too. It's what he would want.

Mustafa: Damn straight.

Crew Member: Alright, you're all set.

Mustafa and Johan jog past the crew members, their boots pounding heavily off of the metal ramp as they jog into the back of the plane. Bobby and Samuel jog over, handing over their rations.

Steve: So nervous!

Crew Member [Smirking]: Don't worry, everything's in working order. Just listen to Lynch and everything will be fine.

Steve: HUG?!

Crew Member: ......What?

Ivan [Calling over]: You best hug him! He gets very testy if you don't give him a hug.

Bob turns around, carefully hugging Steve with his drop bag attached to his chest. Steve blinks, hugging Bob.

Steve: Thanks Bob!

Bob: Yeah, no problem.

Bob turns around, jogging up the ramp. Stoofer jogs up after him, sitting next to Bobby and directly next to the ramp. Bill and Sal quickly take their places.

Steve: Hi guys!

Bill: Whyhellostevehowareyou?

Steve [Raising an eyebrow]: ...Uhhh....good!

Bill [Inanely]: Wellthatsgoodthatsgreatthatsphenomenalfantasticbrilliantexcellent--

Sal slaps Bill around the back of his head.

Sal [Impatiently]: Shaddup!

Samuel: Those alertness pills really taking their toll, huh?

Tavi and Courtney jog forward, handing over their rations.

Bill: Whylookitstheladieshelloprettyladieshowareyou?

Tavi [Laughing]: Hey..Bill.

Samuel chuckles slightly as the crew member opposite him motions up the ramp. Samuel jogs up the ramp, sitting between Karab and Johan, strapping himself into his seat.

Crew Member: Alright..I'm unsure about you handling a firearm, but you're good to go.

Bill: Mychestmychestwhyisthisonmychest?

Crew Member: ......Because the parachute is on your back.

Bill looks over his shoulder at his light grey parachute pack.

Bill: Ahhhhhyesnowiseeiseeisee!

Bill jogs up the ramp, between Bob and Frank.

Bill: Heeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyguys!

Bob: ..Uhh..Bill...Maybe you should sleep?


Bill's head slumps backwards as he shuts his eyes, snoring loudly. Bob rubs his eyes, sighing quietly.

Vince [Pointing at Bob]: Look! Bob just did his signature sigh!

Dean: Now all he needs to do is say his catchphrase!


Sal [Calling over]: DO IT, CLOWN SHOES!!

Bob [Angrily]: I SAID NEVER!!!!

Sal: Boooooooooooooooooooooo!!!


Bob flips the bird at Dean as Courtney jogs up the ramp, sitting next to Vince. Sal quickly follows, sitting between Vince and and Steve.

Crew Member [Calling out]: ALMOST DONE HERE!!

Lynch: Perfect. Maurice! Get your kit on!

Maurice [Shocked]: Excuse me?!

Lynch: You know what I mean.

Maurice [Gasping]: Thank fook fer that! Thought we were about to play some footie!

Maurice jogs over to the crew as Tavi jogs up the ramp and sits between Courtney and Ivan, pulling the straps over her body carefully and fastening herself in.

Tavi: Someone has actually checked the parachutes, right?

Lynch: Nope. We're giving you used parachutes that failed to deploy the first time.

Tavi: That wouldn't surprise me!

Lynch [Narrowing his eyes]: Yes, they've been checked. Yes, I will check them as you deploy. Now, please, stop whining.

Tavi [smirking]: Or?

Lynch [Coldly]: Or i'll kill every single one of you.

Ivan: And he means it!

Sal: I bet he does, too!

Maurice slowly jogs up the ramp, pulling his parachutist drop bag harder over his chest.

Maurice: Combat equipped, eh?

Lynch [Turning to the plane]: Remember: At two hundred feet, activate your lowering lines. I don't want any of you breaking your ribs and shit because you forget.

Jericho: And it was we Brits who came up with the idea of dropping the rucksacks!

Lynch: Yes, it was! But we Americans came up with those things on your chest right now: Parachutist Drop Bags. Lightweight and carries your rucksack.

Dave: So I take it you're our jumpmaster?

Lynch: Damn straight I am.

Maurice sits next to Sal, his girth causing him to take up two seats. Lynch turns around, jogging down the ramp and giving a quick salute to the crew members.

Lynch: Alright men, get me ready!

Crew Member: Aye aye, sir.

Sal [Giving a determined sigh]: Well, this is it.

Dave: The mission is upon us.

Tavi: Time to free Billy and what's-his-name, then.

Steve: His name is *be*--

Johan: His name is Eligio.

Every single head in the plane snaps towards Johan, who sits there straight-faced. Johan gives a small shrug, shaking his head.

Johan: She needed to know.

Dave: Damn, dude. Mark spoilers next time.

Phil [Chuckling]: That's a bigger shock than when I found out Charlie Hunnam is a Geordie.

Dave [Angrily]: HEY! FUCK YOU!

Phil: You broke down the fourth wall first!

Dave: How about I slap that beard off your face?

Lynch: Shut up, ladies! Shut up!

Tavi: Look, can you guys just quit the dick-measuring contests and focus? Lives are at stake here. This isn't Call of Duty, you fucking imbeciles: We can't just press reset and start over if we take a bullet!

Dave: And we can't throw knives with pinpoint accuracy.

Jericho: And we can't stab people in a millisecond.

Phil: And we have to actually shoot peoples bodies for the shot to register as killing them.

Bob: And we can't just throw grenades randomly in the air.

Bill: Or lay down in the middle of an open field with a sniper rifle and shoot everything that moves--

Tavi: Alright. We've beaten that analogy half to death. You get the picture, don't you?

Courtney: Well, think of it as a video game! A video game where your save gets overwritten if you lose!

Johan: Or we could think of it as a mission to save our brothers.

The plane falls silent, the chatter dying momentarily.

Will: You really are a fucking killjoy, you know that?

Phil: Besides, i'd rather imagine myself as playing Skyrim.


Sal: I used to be a soldier like you, but then I took a bullet to the knee.

Everyone falls silent, glaring at Sal.

Sal: Well, it's fucking true! If you took a bullet to the knee, you wouldn't just walk it off, would you?!

Jericho: Curved. Swords.

Karab: Hey, don't insult curved swords. Kukri's can dismember a man in seconds.

Tavi [Scoffing]: Alright, enough with the fucking memes!

The interior of the plane falls silent. Bill struggles slightly within his parachute harness.

Bill: Goddammit!

Stoofer: What the fuck are you doing?!

Bill: I'muncomfortablegoddammitdontquestionme!

Stoofer: Mother Maria..This is going to be a long ride.

Outside the plane, Brick is busy examining the cockpit, scratching his nose as he does. Around the other side of the cockpit, a second pilot pats the cockpit, walking around the front. Brick looks around, looking at the other pilot who is dressed in a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt and woodland camouflage combat pants tucked into a pair of black leather army boots, a red paisley bandana tied in a do-rag over a long chestnut-coloured ponytail. The other pilot looks at Brick, who looks back, his eyes widening before he starts laughing.

Brick [Laughing]: Holy shit! HAYES!!

Hayes [Narrowing his eyes before laughing]: Brick? Brick Schmicker? Is that you?

Brick: Damn right it is, Danny boy!

Lynch [Folding his arms and leaning against the side of the plane]: Well, at least you know your co-pilot.

Brick [Laughing]: Know him? I've flown with him several times!

Hayes: He has! He has! Hey, Brick, remember the time we flew a Chinook into Big Ben?

Brick [chuckling]: Yeah, man those limeys were mad!

Hayes: Or, or that time we flew a Hind into the Eiffel Tower while chasing a PMC transport?

Brick [Laughing]: Damn right I do!

Jericho: Three cheers! We're all going to die in a horrible blazing inferno!

Lynch: BRICK! Have you flown one of these before?

Brick: Sure have!

Lynch: Has your friend?

Hayes: Sure have!

Lynch: Did. You. Crash. It?

Brick: Oh yeah! On purpose, though.

Lynch [Rubbing his eyes]: Not exactly very comforting..

Bill stumbles down the ramp of the transport plane, his arms tangled in his harness.

Bill [Whining]: Lyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyynch!

Lynch [Sighing darkly]: Oh fuck me.

Bill [Whining]: Igotstuckinmyharnessandnowicantmovehelpmepleasethisisembarassing!

Hayes: What's with our Southern brother from another mother?

Brick: Who? Bill? Aw, he's just doped up on alertness pills and caffeine.

Hayes: Tough night, huh?

Brick: Oh aye. Shall we get seated?

Hayes: Sure.

Hayes and Brick walk along the plane towards the ramp, followed by Lynch.

Lynch: Are you sure you know how to fly this thing?

Hayes [Chuckling]: Lookie here, Marcus: If I didn't know how to fly a Super Hercules, there's no chance in hell that Momma would so much as let me look at one. Unlike you pampered Northern boys, we know how to take advantage of our skills and get the most out of them. My skill was flying, always has been flying, just like Brickie here. We'll get there you in one piece.

All three men walk around the rear of the plane, heading up the ramp.

Lynch: Alright, you better.

Hayes: Don't worry 'bout me. Worry 'bout your boys.

Jericho: Whatever, man.

Hayes and Brick walk between the troops, squeezing through a door off-center to the right and slamming it shut behind them. Hayes sits in the co-pilots seat to the right, while Brick sits in the pilots seat to the left, grasping the yoke control wheel and turning to Hayes.

Brick: Alright, Rattlesnake, you ready?

Hayes looks at the control panel and the dashboard, flicking a few switches.

Hayes: Engines nominal. Fuel reserves max. Conditions nominal. Heads Up Display clear. Ready to fly, Python.

Brick: Let's get this baby airborne!

Hayes [Looking out of windows]: Blocks are removed.

Hayes flicks a switch, a bell sound ringing out before Hayes flicks it off.

Hayes: Engine fire detection systems working.

Brick: So no smokin'?

Hayes: No smoking.

Brick: Got it. How was everything on the walk-around?

Hayes: Tire pressure is good. No leaks. Propellors in excellent condition. Brakes have minor wear, but they are in working condition. Ready to fly, obviously.

Brick: Let's get started, then.

Hayes flicks a few switches, activating the loudspeaker system.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: I recommend that everyone is strapped in, because we're about to go.

Lynch sits back down, strapping the belts over his body and sitting back in his seat as the transport plane jolts violently, slowly beginning to pick up speed.

Brick [Cackling inanely]: BABY HAS SOME FUCKING KICK!!

Phil: Shall we put our heads between our legs and kiss our asses goodbye?

Lynch: In a few hours, soldier.

Jericho reaches into his pocket, shakily pulling out a magazine folded into a tube and unrolls it, flicking open the first page.

Dave [Looking over Jericho's shoulder]: What'cha reading?

Jericho: Whiskeria. Gives me something to pass the time.

Johan [Chuckling]: No-one bothered to buy any travel checkers?!

Jon [Laughing]: Knew I forgot something!

The plane begins to rumble forward. Lynch looks over at Sal, who seems to be relative quiet despite his usual boisterous demeanour.

Lynch: Sal, are you alright?

Sal gives a small nod.

Sal [Quietly]: Yeah..

Bob: You're quiet, man..

Sal [Darkly]: They kidnapped Billy. How do you expect me to be?

Bob: You care about him, huh--

Sal [Head snapping up, scathingly]: Yeah, I fucking did. There are very few people I trust with my life, but Billy's always been one of them, no matter what. Got that?

Lynch [Sharply]: Men, do not get at eachothers throats. We need to think and to fight as one here to free those men.

Jericho: Oh, man! They're releasing a Dalmore fifty year old! I know what I want for Christmas!

Phil and Dave look over Jericho's shoulder as Lynch sits back, sighing darkly. Frank looks to his left, the plane beginning to shake violently as it picks up speed.

Frank: Are you ready, Lynch?

Lynch: Ready as i'll ever be.

Dean [Piping up, shakily]: Guuuuyyysss?

Frank: What?

Dean: Don't suppose this would be a great time to say I have......uhh....A FEAR OF FLYING!!!

Lynch hangs his head.

Lynch: Oh fuck me with a rusty spoon.

Tavi laughs, sitting back in her seat and tightening the straps over her body, crossing her right leg over her left leg.

Tavi [Grinning]: Well, it's going to be one fun flight for you, isn't it?


The transport plane jolts violently as Brick pulls back on the control yoke, the plane's nose slowly turning upwards before the transport plane begins to ascend upwards, the force of the ascent pinning everyone back into their seats.

Jericho [Shakily]: Wooooaaaahhhhh!! A Macallan twenty one year old!

Dean [Angrily, shaking]: YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!!!!!


Samuel [Laughing]: This is intense!!

Lynch [Grinning]: My heart's beating a mile a minute..It's been too long since i've been on a proper mission.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Retracting landing gear.

A series of clicks are heard, followed by a mechanical whirring and a violent crash as the wheels tuck themselves into the fuselage and wings.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Activate thrust levers.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Put the Bud down and maybe you can activate it.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Look, asshole, I need this beer.

Hayes Voice [Angrily, Over loudspeaker]: Where the fuck did you find it anyway?!

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Always keep one in me pocket for good luck!

Hayes Voice [Sighing, Over loudspeaker]: Alright...thrust levers activating.

The mercenaries in the fuselage feel some pull as the forward thrusts engage, the plane now levelling out as it begins to fly forwards.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: On our way to Hungary!

Dean doubles over, vomiting noisily on the floor of the fuselage.

Frank: You sick bastard!

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: To whoever just vomited: You will be cleaning that up when we arrive back in Beale Street, OR I WILL MAKE YOU LICK IT UP!!

*Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules Transport*

As the Hercules transport cuts over the pale blue, glittering Mediterranean Sea, the mood remains quiet within the transport plane. Robbie keeps instinctively undoing and re-strapping the shoulder straps on his combat vest, while Jericho continues flicking through his magazine as Phil reads over his shoulder. Samuel is lounged back, right leg crossed over his left leg, as he flicks through an old copy of FHM, presumably procured by Hayes on one of his flights. Lynch rubs his hands together nervously, letting out a shaky sigh: For him, the stakes are incredibly high, with this mission being one of the teams first real missions aside from Shadow Moses since their graduation from the academy and placement in Beale Street. Realising they are about to come face-to-face with a Private Military Company not hampered by morals thanks to the Sons of the Patriots that regulates their actions and emotions. For Lynch, this mission is essentially all or nothing.

Lynch [Sighing]: Fucking hell...Can't stop sweating..

Robbie: What are you so concerned about, Lynch?

Lynch: This isn't a training mission, Robbie: This is the real deal. Bullets actually hurt here.

Robbie: No shit.

Dave [Scratching behind his ear]: Calm down, Lynch. We cut through Shadow Moses like a hot knife through butter, and those were Genome soldiers! Imagine what we can do to these PMC goons!

Lynch: Not exactly brimming with confidence here.

Phil [Reading over Jericho's soldier]: Woah, a sterling silver kidney flask?

Jericho: Comes with an add-on that turns the cap into a snifter!

Phil [Laughing]: DAMN! I've got to buy me one of those!

Lynch: DEFINITELY not brimming with confidence here.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Coming over Greece now!

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Remember when we flew over Greece?

Brick's Voice [Chuckling, Over loudspeaker]: We flew into Greece, didn't we?

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: ...Fuck, we better cut communications just in case they realise it was us who crashed into Athens during the riots!!

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: I ain't the one who mistook those flames for a landing strip!

Lynch slumps down further in his seat, clasping his hands over his face.

Lynch [Mumbling]: Oh dear God..

Samuel: So, are we all confident??

Everyone slowly looks up and towards Samuel.

Samuel [Confused]: ..What?

Dean [Sharply]: You didn't graduate with us, asshole.

Samuel: I went through the Academy for a year, though.

Dean: And?

Samuel: You just accepted Johnny and Tim, and they weren't in the Academy for too long!

Sal: You weren't in the Academy, were you?

Samuel [Calmly]: Mother Mercenary wouldn't have allowed me to remain in Beale Street if I didn't take a course in the Academy.

Frank [Laughing]: Yeah, then why is Dick there?!

Phil [Sighing]: ..Uh, Frank, Dick spent three years in the Academy, two years before we even started. He's a graduate.

Frank [Shocked]: WHAT?!

Dave: Seriously? You never knew? Why did you think he was even allowed into Beale Street?! He was around when it was being built!

Frank: Why didn't I know?!

Samuel: Because you're an idiot.

The fuselage breaks out into laughter as Frank pouts, slumping down into his seat and sighing darkly. Dean leans over, high-fiving Samuel.

Dean [Laughing]: have it sometimes.

Lynch: How did you not know? Did you not find it strange how he has a diploma hanging near the bar?

Jericho [Speaking up]: In Frank's defence, we did crack the glass of the frame last year during that bar brawl. Not to mention he hasn't dusted it since he got it.

Frank: But..why doesn't he come on missions for us?

Lynch: Same reason Jim and Jimmy don't: We need people to hang back and defend the home turf.

Jon: How are those little bastards, anyway?

Lynch [Shrugging]: Hating your guts for getting called up to the main squad.

Jon [Grinning]: Sweet!

Frank: So that's it? That lame little reason?

Lynch: Lame? I didn't realising defending our own base was lame.

Frank [Muttering]: I was expecting a deus ex machina or something..

Lynch: Well, I don't bring him along either because I don't want our barman being shot, considering he's the only one I actually trust with pulling a pint and with actually running a pub. Plus, he's pretty proficient with a sniper rifle if his record's anything to go by.

Frank: Dick..

Dave: See? This inane conversation has distracted you from our rip-roaring rampage of revenge we're about to undergo!

Lynch: I hate you, Dave.

Dave [Smiling sweetly]: I hate you too!

Lynch sighs, hanging his head. Over the loudspeaker, guitars twanging are heard amidst a background of drums.

Lynch [Slowly raising his head]: Oh my gooodddd....NOT COUNTRY MUSIC!!

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: To whoever lodged the complaint: Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts their cakeholes.

Lynch sighs, slumping back deeper in his seat as the music loudens over the loudspeakers: The familiar hearty twangs of electric guitars, the rough sounds of the keyboard and the rhythmic beat of the drum. Brick taps his foot audibly.

Brick's Voice [Singing over loudspeaker]: Well a man, come on, Six o'clock news, says somebody been shot, somebody's been abused. Somebody blew up a building. Somebody stole their car. Somebody got away. Somebody didn't get too far, yeah!

Hayes Voice [Singing over loudspeaker]: They didn't get too far..

Lynch [Sighing]: They fucking are..They're fucking singing..

Jericho [Singing]: Grandpappy told my pappy..Back in my day, son, A man had to answer for the wicked thing he done.

Lynch slumps down further in his seat.

Bill [Laughing, singing]: Take all the rope in Texas, Find a tall oak tree. Round up all of them bad boys and hang 'em high in the street

Tavi [Singing quietly]: For all the people to see..

Phil and Jericho [Singing loudly]: And justice is the one thing you should always find! You gotta saddle up your boys! You gotta draw a hard line! When the gun smoke settles, we'll sing a victory tune and we'll all meet back at the local saloon!

Mercenaries [Singing altogether]: We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing, "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!"!

Lynch [Singing quietly]: We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds, Too much corruption and crime in the streets. It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground.

Frank [Clapping his hands, singing]: Send them all to their Maker and he'll set them on down!

Ivan [Singing along]: You can bet, He'll set 'em down!

Bill, Sal and Dean [Singing together]: Cause justice is the one thing you should always find! You gotta saddle up your boys, You gotta draw a hard line! When the gunsmoke settles, We'll sing a victory tune and we'll all meet back at the local saloon!

Mercenaries [Singing altogether]: And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing, "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!" Whiskey for my men! Beer for my horses!

Stoofer, Johan, Samuel and Dave [Singing jovially in unison]: You know justice is the one thing you should always find! You gotta saddle up your boys, you gotta draw a hard line! When the gunsmoke settles, We'll sing a victory tune and we'll all met back at the local saloon!!

Mercenaries [Singing together cheerfully, clapping their hands with the music]: We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing, "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!", singing ,"Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!'

The mercenaries whoop loudly and cheer as the music ends, laughing amonst themselves.

Brick's Voice [Whooping, Over loudspeaker]: Men, that was the most bee-eautiful thing i've ever heard! Encore! Encore!

Lynch [Snapping]: NO ENCORE!

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Fucking spoilsport...

Johan [Energetically]: MAN! I love this company sometimes!

Jericho: Get's the blood pumping, don't it?

Dean [Sickly]: ...My belly hurts..

Samuel: Maybe you shouldn't have shoved a kebab down your gullet before we left.

Dean [Scathingly]: Fuck you, meatshield!

Karab: He has a point.

Jericho: Shouldn't have eaten, mate. We'll have our rations soon.

Dean groans loudly, clutching his stomach.

Phil [Grinning]: Yep. Rations. That chewy bread filled with that unidentifiable meaty substance.

Ivan [Playing long]: Da...ze chewy vitamin bars that feel like you're chewing on polystyvene..

Steve [Chirpily]: CHEWING GUM!

Dean retches slightly, his cheeks bulging as he clasps a hand over his mouth.

Dean [Retching]: Stooooooooooooooooppppp!!

Karab grins, leaning over.

Karab [Quietly]: Will's sweaty nipples.

Dean doubles over in his seat, vomiting noisily on the floor. Karab, Samuel, Lynch and Frank shuffle away slightly as the other mercenaries retch themselves from the sharp, disgusting smell.

Ivan [Retching]: OH GOD! ZE SMELL!!

Jericho [Choking]: MITHRAS, SAVE ME!

Vince [Wincing]: Dude! Quit fucking vomiting!

Jon: Aw, come on!

Sal: You sick freak!

Dean wipes his mouth with the back of his mouth, gasping.

Dean [Quietly, Angrily]: ...Fucking assholes..

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just flew over.......Danny, what's that there country called?

Hayes Voice [Sighing, over loudspeaker]: Romania..

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: We're over Romania right now, first dropzone comin' up in ten minute. Squad Delta, get 'er done.

Frank [Shocked]: Fuck, we're first?! WE SHOULD BE LAST!!

Lynch: Since when we have done things conventionally? You first, Alpha last.

Robbie claps his hands together.

Robbie: Parachuting in?

Lynch: No, we're just going to throw you from the plane....What did you think, Robbie?!

Jon [Piping up]: Once again, it wouldn't surprise us!

Karab: It wouldn't. It really wouldn't.

Robbie pats his combat vest and parachute drop bag.

Robbie: Everything on. Helmet..

Robbie pats the helmet on the top of his head, tying the chinstrap under his chin.

Robbie: ...check. Gun, check. Grenades, check. Whose the radio man?

Bob waves at Robbie from the opposite side of the plane.

Lynch: We're using PRC-117F manpack radio's, meaning that the radio man is going in light on equipment to make room for the chunky bastard--

Dave: He's packing Frank with him?

The plane sniggers quietly as Frank turns calmly to Dave.

Frank: I may be packing on a few pounds, but I can diet. You, on the other hand, will always be as ugly as a donkeys ass hit by a howitzer shell.

Dean [Laughing bluntly]: HA!

Lynch: Alright, shut up! Anyway, yes, the radio men will be going in light--

Tavi clears her throat. Lynch groans.


Tavi: That's better.

Lynch: ......Fuck it, just protect them, alright? I want a sitrep every half hour or so. The radio can also put you into contact with the Academy, but for the love of God and all that is holy, DON'T USE IT UNLESS YOU'RE ALL DEAD OR DYING!!!

Sal: We wouldn't be able to use if it we were all dead--

Lynch [Darkly]: That's the whole point.


Frank [Nervously]: Landing zone?

Jericho: Lynch, what exactly is the mission?

Lynch: ......Oh, fuck, I forgot that part.

Dean [Angrily]: YEAH, THANKS FOR THAT!!

Lynch: Calm down, you babies! Here's the mission: Each squad is landing in a designated target: Delta, you're taking Rat Hole.

Lynch reaches into his back pocket, pulling out four sheets of laminated card, folded in half, and hands them to Frank. Frank takes them, unfolding them to reveal three black-and-white photographs showing a large square of land, as well as a small map with four red crosses marked on it, with one cross being circled and labelled "Rat Hole".

Frank [Confused]: Rat Hole?

Lynch: Each squad will take one target each. There are a grand total of four targets that our boys have narrowed down to. This little patch of land in little ol' Hungary has been a hotbed of radio activity concerning two hostages, a Scotsman and a Hispanic, and according to Mother, a lot of traffic has been spotted in and around it. The problem is, the satellite photographs couldn't pinpoint any trucks loading or unloading any hostages: All we know is that they are at one of these four targets...presumably.

Sal [Nervously]: Presumably.

Lynch: According to Mother, there has been the usual buzz of radio traffic from the area the past six hours, nothing suggesting that hostages have been taken away. That is why we are undertaking a High Altitude, High Opening jump: We'll be moving in from the skies as stealthily as possible.

Ivan: In broad daylight?!

Lynch: It was broad daylight in the Middle East, but over here in lovely little Hungary, the weather is overcast. That's why we're wearing light grey: If the sky is overcast, the light grey will help to disguise us. If we're lucky, it'll rain--

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: It better fucking not! Last time we flew and it rained, Brick nosedived!

Brick's Voice [Sniggering, Over loudspeaker]: That were fun though, weren't it?

Maurice: How can ya be sure it'll be overcast, like?

Lynch [Angrily]: HAVE FAITH, ALRIGHT?!?!

Lynch reaches into his back pocket, pulling out four folded pieces of laminated card and turns to Sal, holding them out to him. Sal takes them, unfolding them and scanning the photographs.

Sal: Awwww! Ours has a guard tower!

Frank [Laughing]: HAHA! Ours only has a barn and three houses!

Jericho [Narrowing his eyes]: Lynch..What are we assaulting?

Lynch: A small town.

Phil [Panicking]: FUCK!!!

Steve: Oh noes!

Jericho: Well, we're boned.

Lynch: After you have assaulted your chosen target, radio in to Tavi and I will give you orders on what to do next. We'll assault the fourth and final target, Beast's Lair, together.

Stoofer: Who comes up with these stupid names?

Lynch: The radio men down at the Academy. One more thing, concerning the weaponry: When you land and retrieve your weaponry, switch to 3-round bursts. It conserves ammo, and stops you from having to constantly reload, alright?

Mercenaries [In unison]: Right.

Lynch: RIGHT! Any questions?

Before any mercenaries can answer, Lynch snaps his fingers towards Frank's face.


Frank unbuckles himself from the seat, pulling himself to his feet. Almost immediately, Lynch begins examining Frank, running his hands across the harness.

Frank: Dude, what the hell?

Lynch: Don't flatter yourself. I'm just making sure you're ready to go.

Bob and Courtney unbuckle themselves, carefully standing up as Robbie struggles with his harnesses.

Robbie [Angrily]: Damn! American! Crap!

Dave: I'm sure Lynch tried to get a Messerschmitt, Robbie.

Robbie: Damn World War Two German technology would be better than this crap!

Vince [Chuckling]: Having trouble, eh?

Lynch slaps Franks back. Frank jogs towards the ramp, stopping a foot away from it. Lynch turns to Courtney, tracing his hands around her harness and checking it, his eyes occasionally darting towards Robbie.

Lynch [Impatiently]: Robbie, what the fuck gives?


Robbie manages to wrench the straps off of himself, pulling himself to his feet and turning to the seat, giving it a rough kick.


Vince: Well, I am learning some new words here.

Johan: ...What's he saying?

Mustafa [Shrugging]: I don't know. Sounds funny, though.

Lynch sighs, slapping Courtney on the back who turns around, jogging behind Frank as Lynch moves onto Bob, running his hands across his harness and parachute drop bag.

Brick's Voice [Determined, Over Loudspeaker]: TWO MINUTES!!!!

Will unbuckles himself, pulling himself to his feet as Lynch slaps Bob on the back, who lines up behind Courtney. Lynch quickly grabs Will, pulling him towards him and running his hands across his harness.

Will [Chuckling]: Steady on, Tiger!

Lynch: Shut the fuck up.

Dave: I don't think we have all day.

Lynch slaps Will on the back, causing him to line up behind Bob. Lynch grasps Dave's harness, pulling him towards him and running his hands across his harness, checking every detail he can.

Will: Oi! Could have been more--

Lynch: Oh, trust me, I would, but we have no time.

Will [Scathingly]: And if I'm falling to my death?

Lynch: Scream out 'Catch me' and hope someone actually does.

Will [Snidely]: Asshole.

Lynch: Bite me.

Lynch slaps Dave on his back, making him line up behind Will. Lynch turns around, walking over to Maurice and patting down his huge harness.

Frank: Shit. This should be fun.

Lynch: Mmhm.

Dave: Any words of inspiration?

Lynch [Bluntly]: Yep. Don't get shot.

Courtney: Well, that's inspiring.

Lynch: But it's true. Don't get shot.

Sal [Mumbling, to Vince]: Knowing Bob, he'd walk into the bullets.

Sal and Vince snigger as Bob scowls. Lynch pats Maurice's back, making him line up behind Dave before walking over to Robbie, patting and checking his harness.

Bob: Fuck off, Sal.

Sal: Bite me, manic depressive.

Lynch: Shut up, ladies.

Sal [Grumbling]: ..He started it.

Bob [Scoffing]: You did!

Lynch sighs, slapping Robbie on the back before turning to Samuel.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: LOWERING RAMP! GET READY TO FLY!!

The ramps mechanics whirrs and buzzes, the hydraulics hissing as the ramp slowly lowers, wind rushing through the fuselage. The mercenaries sit back in their seats as Lynch checks Samuel's harness, strapping it tighter to his body before checking his Automatic Activation Device, deployment bag and risers. Lynch pats Samuel's chest.

Lynch: Good to go! Remember, this is High Altitude, High Opening. Ten seconds, open chute. Got it?

Robbie, Frank, Dave, Will, Bob, Courtney, Samuel and Maurice: Yes, sir!

Lynch: Right, goggles on!

Robbie, Frank, Dave, Will, Bob, Courtney, Samuel and Maurice reach up onto the front of their helmets, pulling their goggles over their eyes. Bob carefully walks down the ramp, carefully walking to the edge before tipping over, shooting downwards as he does. Lynch stands on his tiptoes, unable to see Bob.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: He's deployed! Send the others down!

Lynch motions towards the ramp.

Lynch: Come on! Come on! Remember, elbows to sides, chin tucked, hands on reserve, body bent, feet and knees together and knees locked!

Dave: Jesus, no fucking pressure, eh?

Courtney: What if we don't follow the procedure?

Lynch: Then i'm taking his boot [Points at Dave] and shoving it up your ass.

Courtney: Asshole.

Dave jogs forward, slowing into a walk as he reaches the edge of the ramp before adopting the position Lynch commanded him to. With his elbows tucked to his sides and his legs together, Dave falls forward out of the Hercules, tumbling downwards as he does.


Courtney jogs down to the edge of the ramp, placing a hand over her heart and letting out a deep breath before tucking her legs and arms in, falling forward.


Lynch: What the fuck are they whooping for?

Phil: The craic?

Lynch turns to Frank, motioning him forward. Frank stumbles forward, sighing darkly.

Lynch: Jesus, Frank, find your balls.

Frank: FINE!

Frank bolts down the ramp, arms spreadeagled as he dives out.


Lynch stands on his tiptoes, watching as Frank disappears.

Lynch: If he hits anyone on the way down, I swear to God i'm feeding him into one of these turbines when all is said and done.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Shall I aim for him?

Lynch: Depends. How's his descent?

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Well, it seems alright..He's veered to the left, though....He's pulled his parachute!!!..He's just hit a poor birdie.

Lynch: How is he?

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Well, the birds dead. His clown feet went through that birds skull like a hot knife through butter--


Maurice jogs forward, his heavy feet echoing off of the metal as he jogs to the end of the ramp. Lynch quickly twists around.


Maurice: Aye?

Lynch: Look, you're the dark horse of the squad, but you're also a big lad, so do me a favour: Keep as a vanguard, and don't ever, EVER let Frank or Dave try and give orders without challenging them.

Maurice: I won't let ya down, moosh.

Lynch: Remember Maurice: I'm counting on you to keep them glued together.

Maurice flicks a quick thumbs up before tucking his arms and legs together, bending forward slightly and falling out of the plane, shooting downwards.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Frank's got a steady descent now. Those who have descended seem to be veering east. They'll probably land around a mile away from the landing zone. No situations to report, though.

Lynch [Shrugging]: Fuck it: Let 'em walk.

Will jogs forward past Lynch, giving him a quick wink. Lynch slaps his hand on his right shoulder, stopping him.

Lynch: Don't fuck this up. I'm hoping that Soldier Will is a lot different from Narcissistic Prick Who Needs Shooting Will.

Will: Don't worry, boss!

Lynch slaps his shoulder and Will jogs down the ramp, tucking his arms and legs together before falling out of the plane. Lynch turns to Samuel, motioning for him to run down the ramp.

Bricks Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Lookie that. Will's got a pussy drawn on his 'chute!

Lynch sighs darkly, rubbing his eyes.

Lynch [Darkly]: Of course..

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Making his descent, though. Last one, get 'im out!

Samuel jogs down to the end of the ramp.

Lynch: Alright newbie. Make the jump.

Samuel locks his arms and legs together, bending slightly and gives a deep, determined sigh.

Samuel: I won't let you down, Lynch.

Lynch: This is your first mission, lad: Don't fucking let me down.

Samuel: I haven't been lying, I have had a year of--

Lynch: Jump.

Samuel tips forward, falling off the ramp and shooting down towards the ground. Lynch listens carefully: After ten seconds, he hears the familiar ripcord being released and the fluffing sound as Samuel's parachute activates.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Lowering lines activated without hitch. Their rucksacks are fine. Equipment seems intact--Wait, Bob has landed half a mile East of the landing zone. Dave's touched down. Robbie's touched down. They are all together, Lynch. All together. Just a scramble for their equipment now, and just a few more to touch down. RAISING RAMP!

Lynch takes a few steps backwards, gulping air as the ramp creaks shut with a thunderous, creaking jolt and a crash. Lynch sighs, his legs shaking slightly as he walks back over to his seat, sitting down and strapping himself in once more.

Johan [Calmly]: Well, it looks and sounds fun.

Lynch: Yeah. Right.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: RECEIVING TRANSMISSION!!

The sound of a few buttons clicking over the loudspeakers are heard, followed by a familiar voice:

Bob's Voice: This is Bob: Squad Delta is together. I repeat. Squad Delta is together. Heading east to specified landing zone, then heading one mile south to country road.

Lynch [Calling out]: We know, Bob!

Bob's Voice: Then it's three miles west to the Rat Hole.

Lynch [Impatiently]: WE KNOW!!

Bob's Voice: Lynch, I wasn't mentioning it for you: I'm worried about Frank and his navigating abilities.

Frank's Voice [Incredulously]: I know where we're going!

Bob's Voice: Not reassuring coming from a man who once mistook mayonnaise for toothpaste.

Dave's Voice: Lynch? Why did you give Frank the map?

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Alrighty! Before Lynch kills us all..

Brick cuts the transmission as Lynch turns to Tavi.

Lynch: Remember Tavi: You're our communications girl.

Tavi [Cheerfully]: I won't let you down!

Lynch: It's not that, it's just try and keep the conversations with the others as short as possible, alright? If you keep talking to them for more than three minutes, their stupidity will seep through and may cause me to wipe out our squad.

Jericho [Darkly]: How incredibly reassuring.

Ivan: Kill Jevicho first, he likes it.

Jericho: Screw you, Russki!

Ivan [Laughing]: Screw yo mother!

Lynch [Darkly]: Oh shit, the high altitude has got to his brain.

Jon: And here I thought radiation had eaten the useful parts.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Alright, Squad Beta’s stop is comin’ up!

Lynch: You heard the man: Squad Beta, rise!

Lynch unstraps himself, getting to his feet as Sal, Stoofer, Johan, Bobby, Mustafa, Vince, Bill and Jon unstrap themselves from their seats, gathering towards the ramp.

Johan [Clapping his hands together]: Here we go! Goggles on!

The mercenaries forming Squad Beta pull their goggles over their eyes. Mustafa rubs his forehead, pumping his arms as the adrenaline surges through his body.


Lynch: Procedure, lads! Get your asses over here and let me check you!

Jericho: Remember: Cough when he tells you to!

Lynch [Scathingly]: Fuck you, limey!

Lynch checks Mustafa's harness, patting it down and examining it.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Two minutes.

Lynch moves onto Johan, patting down and checking his harness.

Mustafa: C'mon..I'm ready..

Tavi [Smirking]: Aren't we all?

Lynch: Just calm it down slightly, alright?

Mustafa: Why?

Lynch: Keep your brain focused on the prize. Don't get too passionate, or that's how casualties occur. Right, your good to go.

Lynch pats Johan's chest, who lines up behind Mustafa. Lynch checks Bobby's harness.

Bobby: Why the hell do we have to go through this?

Lynch [Calmly]: So your parachute activates correctly and so that you don't splat messily on the ground.

Bobby: But didn't the ground crew check our chutes?

Lynch: Yes, but I like to do it myself. Got a problem with that?

Bobby [Shrugging]: I guess not.

Lynch [Smirking]: Atta boy!

Lynch pats Bobby on the back as he lines up behind Johan before moving onto Sal, patting down his harness and checking it.

Dean: Remember Sal: No running away.

Sal [Calmly]: Didn't plan to.

Dean: Woah, found those balls, huh?

Sal: Yep, everyone's just waiting for you to find yours.

Karab: HA!

Dean: Fuck you, Karab.

Karab: Just cause i've found my balls, Dean. No need to be jealous.

Dean: Says the guy who used to hide behind a shield.

Karab: Note those words: USED TO.

Lynch pats Sal's chest, and he lines up behind Bobby as he turns to Jon, checking his harness.

Jon [Rolling his eyes]: It's all intact, captain.

Lynch: Whatever Jon. Forgive me for actually giving a damn about your wellbeing.

Jericho: Someone has to!

Jon: Up yours, you buck-toothed limey fuck!

Jericho: Look at these, Americunt.

Jericho opens his mouth, revealing a line of perfectly-straight teeth which even appear to have been whitened at some point.

Jericho: See? SEE?! Now shut up, Americunt.

Lynch slaps Jons back, making him line up behind Sal before turning to Vince, quickly checking his harness.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Alright! Lowering ramp! Get ready to fly!

Mustafa cricks his neck from side to side as the ramp whirrs and jolts, slowly lowering and sending wind rustling through the fuselage.

Mustafa [Determined]: Alright: Here we go!

Lynch pats Vince's back, making him line up behind Jon.

Lynch: Alright: Move move move! Stoofer, here! Quickly!

Stoofer jogs over to Lynch who quickly examines the hooks and catches of Stoofer's harness. As he does, Mustafa runs forward, slowing into a walk as he approaches the end of the ramp and stops at the edge, pulling on his goggles, tucking his arms and legs together, bending slightly at the waist and tipping over the edge, shooting downwards. Johan jogs forward, halting at the edge of the ramp before pulling his goggles and getting into position, letting out a deep breath before tipping forward and out of the plane.

Steve: They belieeeeveeee they can flyyyyyy!!

Phil: Well....they are!

Lynch pats Stoofer's chest, quickly turning to Bill and examining the catches and straps of his harness as Bobby tips out of the plane and Sal jogs forward, slowing into a walk as he walks onto the ramp.

Sal: Just don’t fucking nosedive, alright?!

Brick's Voice [Laughing, Over loudspeaker]: Don’t worry, I haven’t drank enough to do that yet!!

Sal gulps hesitantly.

Sal: Y’know, I’m not sure abou—


Sal walks to the end of the ramp, pulling on his goggles, pulling his arms and legs into his side and bending forward slightly at the waist.

Sal [Nervously]: Fuck me, it's a long drop--

Jon growls, stomping forward and walks behind Sal, giving him a light push on his lower back. Sal screams wildly, tipping over the edge as Jon pulls on his goggles.

Lynch: Well, that's one way.

Jon: You're welcome!

Jon tips over the edge, shooting out of the plane as Vince jogs forward. Lynch pats Bill on the chest, waving the final few members of Squad Delta on.

Lynch [Enthusiastically]: GO! GO! GO!

Vince tips over the edge of the ramp.


Stoofer jogs forward, closely followed by Bill. Stoofer pulls his goggles on, looking over his shoulder.

Stoofer: What am I aiming for, boss?

Lynch: Look for the fallen parachutes. In general, try to move away from the direction Sal is heading......You better be ready to move.

Hayes Voice [Over loudspeaker]: Sal's gone slightly off course. He's going to land half a mile west of where Mustafa has just landed. Idiot forgot to turn into the wind.

Stoofer sighs, tipping over the edge of the ramp and shooting of the plane as Bill walks forward, goggles already over his eyes as he grasps his parachute pack, pulling it closer.

Bill: Feels like i'm pregnant with this damn thing!

Lynch: Ten seconds, pull parachute. When you reach two hundred metres, pull ripcord and activate lowering line. Got it?

Bill [Nodding]: Got it.

Lynch: Good.

Bill tips over the edge, shooting downwards as Lynch looks around, beginning to lift up back towards the plane. Lynch walks over to Jericho, patting down and examining his harness.

Lynch: I want us out of this plane in roughly two minutes, alright?

Jericho: Got it.

Dean: Sure.

Karab: Roger that.


Mercenaries [Yelling]: SIR, YES SIR!!!

Lynch [Clapping]: Damn fucking straight!

Lynch sidesteps, moving to Ivan and patting down his harness.


Dean: Woah, someone sounds excited!

Phil [Muttering]: You complete nutjob, Steve..

Karab: Well, it's....something--

Phil: Complete insanity?

Lynch moves to Steve, checking his harness.

Steve [Giggling]: Stop! It tickles!

Samuel: Goddamn.

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: THREE MINUTES!!

Lynch pats Steve's chest, moving onto Phil and patting down his harness and parachute drop bag.

Lynch: Alright ladies! If i've checked you, unstrap yourselves and get ready to fly!

Phil: What about you, Tavi?

Tavi looks up, cocking an eyebrow.

Tavi: What?

Jericho: You know.

Tavi [Confused]: ........No?

Phil clears his throat as Lynch pats his chest, turning around and walking over to Dean, checking his harness and parachute drop bag.

Phil: Really?

Tavi [Chuckling, confused]: ....No? What?

Phil: ...Really? Really? Really? REALLY?!

Steve: REALLY!!!

Phil: REALLY?!?!?

Steve: Really? RILEY!

Phil: ...Riley?

Steve: RILEY!!!

Jericho: Riley? RANDY!!!

Steve: RILEY!!!

Jericho: RANDY!

Steve: RILEY!

Jericho: RANDY!

Phil: JIMMY!!!!!!!!!!!

The fuselage goes silent as every head snaps towards Phil.

Phil [Inanely]: JIMMY! JIMMY! JIMMY! JIMMY! JIMMY!!!!!!

Tavi [Shouting]: HEY! What did you mean 'what about you?'?

Phil [Bluntly]: You. Are. A. Sugar. Glider.

Tavi slowly nods, raising her arms high above her head.

Tavi: Do you see a fucking gliding membrane?

Dean [Narrowing his eyes]: .......WHAT IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.

Lynch pats Dean's chest, moving over to Karab and checking his harness as he looks over at Tavi.

Lynch: Then what the fuck are you?

Tavi: A glider...without the gliding.

Lynch [Snidely]: Then what good are you?

Tavi blinks, unstrapping herself from her seat, leaping up and grasping a pipe which forms part of the fuselage's skeleton, swinging her legs up and winding them around the pipe before letting go with her arms, hanging upside down and folding her arms.

Tavi [Calmly]: This? This doesn't even fucking phase me.

Jericho [Chuckling]: So? I can do that!

Jericho unstraps himself from his seat, jumping up and grasping the same pipe, his legs dangling slightly as he tries to swing them up, only to let go of the pipe and collapse on his back with a heavy crash.

jericho [In pain]: FUCK!!

Tavi [Grinning]: You were saying?

Jericho [Choking]: ...My spine..

Tavi yawns, her tail curling upwards and grasping the pipe. Tavi takes her legs off of the pipe, hanging upside down by her prehensile tail, her arms still folded.

Lynch: Yeah yeah..

Brick's Voice [Over loudspeaker]: LOWERING RAMP! GET READY TO FLY!!

Lynch pats Karab's chest, turning to Tavi whose tail lets go of the pipe, letting her backflip and land on her feet, turning to Lynch with her arms spread out.

Tavi: Check me.

Lynch [Mumbling]: Fucking show-off.

The ramp whirrs and clunks as it slowly lowers, wind bursting through the fuselage a final time.

Lynch: Alright, Phil, you go first.

Phil [In disbelief]: Say what now?

Lynch: Jump.

Phil sighs, pulling his goggles over his eyes and turning to the ramp, slowly walking forward and across the ramp, stopping on the edge and tucking his legs and arms together, bending slightly at the waist.

Phil [Muttering quietly]: Turn into wind, after ten seconds activate parachute, around two hundred metres activate lowering line....Why didn't I write this shit on my hand?!

Phil slowly tips over the edge as Jericho jogs forward, pulling on his goggles and standing on the edge of the ramp.

Lynch [Boisterously]: GO GO GO!!!

Jericho tips over the edge, hurtling downwards as Karab jogs forward, pulling on his goggles, checking his parachute drop bag is attached before locking his arms and legs into his body, bending slightly and tipping over the edge of the ramp. Dean quickly jogs forward.



Dean [Muttering]: Bastard.

Lynch: JUST GO!!

Dean tips over the edge as Lynch pats Tavi's chest. Tavi narrows her eyes.

Tavi: .....Don't do that again.

Lynch: I wasn't trying to feel the twins, Tavi.

Tavi: I'm onto you, Captain.

Steve pulls on his goggles, carefully walking over to the edge of the ramp, slowly locking his arms and legs together into his body, bending at the waist and shooting over the edge of the ramp.


Ivan jogs forward, pulling his goggles on.

Ivan [Determined]: Here ve go.

Lynch: Alright, go go go!

Lynch checks his own harness as Ivan dives out of the plane. Tavi jogs to the end of the ramp, pulling her goggles on, locking her arms and legs into her body and bending slightly, shooting over the edge of the ramp. Lynch walks forward, standing on the edge of the ramp and pulling his goggles on.

Lynch: we go.

Lynch sighs, tucking his elbows into his side, tucking his legs together, closing his eyes and bending forward slightly.

Brick's Voice [Jovially, Over loudspeaker]: GODSPEED, LYNCH! GODSPEED!

Lynch [Quietly]: Wonder how Frank's doing down there......Well...Semper fidelis.

Lynch tips forward, shooting down through the air. As soon as he counts to ten in his head, he pulls his arm up, pulling the ripcord and activating his parachute. His body is jolted back somewhat, but his parachute activates without failure, allowing him to grasp the chest straps of his harness and look downwards as he sails towards where Jericho has just landed, his parachute visible on a dark green field splayed out behind him..

*Hungary, Squad Delta*

On a small tarmac path snaking west through an open, pale-green featureless field, Frank is busy walking ahead of Bob, Courtney, Dave, Samuel, Maurice, Will and Robbie. Robbie and Dave are hanging back at the rear of the group, holding their Uzi's close to their bodies as their heads scan the empty countryside, with only a few thick bushes dotted around the field and the last road they passed being one mile to the east, meaning each man and woman is walking in relative silence. Bob has his head craned slightly, making sure they are remaining on the right path, as well as keeping an eye out for any distinguishing features that indicates a nearby PMC squad. Frank, who is carrying a large unfolded map in both hands, suddenly stops, forcing the group to ground to a halt.

Bob: Frank? What is it?


Dave [Angrily]: Shut up, you lazy cunt! We've been walking for half an hour!

Frank looks up, turning his head to the north-east where a parachute is floating down lazily as the Super Hercules Transport Plane buzzes quietly into the distance.

Frank: Well, we're all here. All alone now.

Maurice: Remember lads: This is pretty damn important, aye? Our bloods in danger. Geordie's never let their families down.

Bob: Really? Cause Phil once said that Geordie's never use soap.

Maurice: Aye, well, he's a Smoggy and therefore a dirty dole-scrounging scruffy cunt.

Dave: Fucking hell, Maur! Don't hold back, eh?

Maurice: Ah, yeh know i'm kidding! ....................sort of.

Bob: Remember: When we reach the one mile radius of the Rat Hole, we bunk down and eat one meal of our MRE's. We get the energy, then we breach the place. Got it?

Mercenaries [In unison]: Right.

Will: How are we doing?

Frank folds the map as a small gust of wind blows through the countryside, ruffling the blades of grass as he fumbles around, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a few small satellite photographs, scanning them before looking ahead at the grey path which snakes ahead and then down a small hill in front of them.

Frank: ....I'm guessing we're within a mile or two of our destination. Once we reach a small hill, that's when we'll have reached the destination.

Will: 'A mile or two'? How long do we have to walk in this tedious shithole?!

Courtney [Scoffing]: Tedious shithole?! This place looks nice! And it's peaceful, too!

Maurice [Quietly]: Aye..too peaceful.

Dave: Fuck, Maur has a point. Where's the--

A flock of blackbirds flutters overheard, chirping slightly as they pass over.

Dave [Underwhelmed]: ....Nevermind.

A red fox suddenly darts across the path in front of Frank, running straight past him as he tucks the satellite photographs back into his pocket.

Frank: Once we see a hill marked by a hedgerow at the foot of it, then that means we've neared our destination.

Samuel: Is it heavily guarded?

Frank: According to the satellite photographs, it's three houses and a barn. Not much to crap your pants over.

Will [Chuckling]: I'm sure you'll find a way to, Frank.

Frank: We cut over this hill, and there should be an abandoned farmhouse to the right of the path. Once we pass through that, we're within a mile of the target. Or a mile and a half.

Robbie: Looking for a hill with a hedgerow. Got it.

Frank: So that's why our dropzone was where it was! So we could approach behind the hill and not be seen!

Bob [Sighing]: Yes, Frank, they generally do plan these things in advance.

Frank [Shrugging]: Was wondering why we weren't coming from the east down the path where they've erected a wall--

Samuel: Shall we keep moving? It's not a good idea to remain standing in the open when we're clad in military gear and are clearly armed.

Will [Laughing]: Holy shit, Frank, even the newbie speaks more sense than you!

Samuel: I'm telling you, I went through a year at the academy! I'm not necessarily new!

Frank begins to continue his walk forward, followed by the mercenaries as their footsteps beat like drums off of the tarmac path.

Dave: Speaking of newbies: I take it we'll be taking Johnny and Tim with us on Big Shell?

Frank: That's the plan.

Bob: I've heard those boys are getting quite the tune-up in the Academy. Actually getting specific skills to help us. Johnny's going for sniping and spotting while Tim's training in medic work.

Courtney [Scoffing]: But Tavi's our medic!

Will: Yeah. One medic.

Bob: He's right, we could always use a second.

Frank [Pointing at the ground]: HORSE SHIT!!

Frank jogs over, hopping over the small pile of yellowish dung on the path in front of them. The other mercenaries, upon approaching it, calmly and maturely step over the dung.

Will: Why did we bring him along?

Dave: He's the leader, Will.

Will: Why wasn't I a leader?

Maurice: Cause when ya ain't fighting, yehr a proper dick?

Will [Shrugging]: I can accept that harsh analysis of my powerful character.

Robbie: Being a cunt is not generally a powerful character.

The mercenaries reach the apex of the hill, which now slowly slopes down into a small valley-like formation. Narrowing his eyes, Frank can just about make out where a second hill rises, yet no undergrowth to be seen. Frank looks down slightly, scanning the farmhouse which is surrounded by a stone wall radius, the path itself cutting through a pair of gates in the wall. Bob approaches behind Frank.

Bob: Was that on the satellite photographs?

Frank: Yep.

Bob: Are you sure?

Frank: I'm not an idiot, Bob!

Dave: Get a second opinion!

Frank [Angrily]: Fuck off, Dave! I know what I saw and there isn't a wall there on the satellite photographs!

Bob: Alright then. I'll trust your instinct: Lead the way.

Will [Mumbling]: Still say it's stupid we gave him the maps..

Frank: Shut up and keep following.

Dave [Singing quietly]: Looooowwwwwwwwwwwww liiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the fieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelds of Atheeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy..

Robbie: Dave, you're not Irish.

Dave: How do you know i'm not?

Robbie: Because you can co-exist amongst English, Scottish and other Irish people without despising them and wishing they were dead or without holding an unwarranted sense of self importance.

Dave [Hissing through his teeth]: Fucking hell, Robbie! Don't hold back, eh? What did the Irish ever do to you?

Robbie [Thinking]: ....They existed.

Samuel: What's wrong with the Irish?

Robbie: Irish Travellers, their horrible excuse for mythology, the fact that, even after independence, those Irish assholes couldn't decide on whether they hated the English or eachother more, when Hitler died they signed the book of condolence but didn't so much as blink when Roosevelt died, the fact that those Republican bastards remained neutral during World War Two but received arms and training from the Germans--

Dave: Alright, that's rich coming from you.

Robbie: I never hid that I am an aficionado of World War Two German-era weaponry, vehicles and tactics. I have NEVER endorsed, nor do I like, Nazi Germany's bigoted, stupid, brainless policies. Besides, everyone knows Hitler was retarded: Had Britain bombed to hell, then decides not to follow up with an invasion and instead turns to invading Russia, the largest goddamn country in the world with an armed force full of millions of pissed Russki's.

Samuel [Calmly]: ...You just hate everyone, don't you, Robbie?

Robbie: I could rant for hours against the English, the Americans, the Indians, the Australians, the Russians, the French, the Spanish--

Dave: We get the picture, Robbie.

Frank: My Dad's half Irish.

Will [Laughing]: With the amount of alcohol you pour down your gullet, I'm surprised you're not completely Irish!

The mercenaries approach the first wooden gate. Frank pushes the gate and it slowly floats open, indicating that the gate wasn't locked and that the inhabitants of the farmhouse are presumably long gone. Frank leads the mercenaries across the path.

Frank: What a nice place.

Will [sniffing the air]: Smells like shit!

Maurice: Aye, it's the countryside kid. Fresh air!

Will: Well, this fresh air is obviously broken cause it smells like shit!

Bob: Wonder how things are going at home.

Frank: I don't think our home has been bombed to shit in our brief absence, Bob.

Dave: Yeah, and I don't think Gaddaffi's been overthrown yet.

Bob: Just think: Out there, in an alternate timeline...Gaddaffi's dead as we speak.

Frank: And out there in another alternate timeline, Gaddaffi is dancing with Bin Laden.

Dave: And in another alternate timeline, Gaddaffi rules the world. A man with a face that resembles a melted slab of american cheese, ruling the world..

Will [Shuddering]: Man, that's some heavy shit. Can we just keep walking?

Frank pushes open the gate in front of them, creaking as it opens, and walks through the gate, followed by the mercenaries.

Frank [Calmly]: Should be approaching the target soon.

Bob: As I said, once we reach within a mile or so of the target, we'll bunk down, eat and i'll give a sitrep to Lynch.

Dave [Singing]: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat's thaaaaaaaaaaaat coming over the hiiiiiiiiiiillllllllll, is it a MONSTER?! IS IT A MONSTEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR?!

Robbie [Sighing]: Dave, do shut up.

Dave [Snidely]: Why? You going to insult monsters now?

Robbie: Permission to crack Dave over the skull?

Frank: Permission denied.

Dave sticks his tongue at Robbie, who rolls his eyes.

Maurice: How heavily armed are these guys, like?

Frank: Not very. Three houses, one barn, satellite photograph showed light troop movement in the area.

Maurice: So Billy and Eligio ain't there, mind.

Frank: Can never be sure about these things, Maur.

Will: The big bastard's right: There's no way they're there, are they?!

Bob [Shaking his head]: Look, let's just get this out of the way, alright?

Samuel stops suddenly, shaking his leg where a red fox has now latched onto the hem of his pants, tugging at it with its teeth.

Samuel [Impatiently]: Dammit! Shoo! SHOO!

Maurice: Just shoot it!

Samuel: I'm not shooting an innocent creature!


Samuel kicks the fox away, which responds by running over and biting his leg.

Samuel [Jolting]: FUCK! IT BIT ME!

The fox runs away as Samuel sweeps up his FN 2000, aiming down the iron sights at the fox which runs across the field and out of sight.

Bob [Quickly]: Did it break skin?!

Samuel: Don't think--

Bob: Let's keep moving!

Samuel [Scoffing]: Well, thanks for the concern!

Courtney [Chuckling]: Don't worry, if it didn't break skin, you ain't got rabies.

The mercenaries reach the top of the small hill they were reaching, revealing the tarmac path which snakes in front of them for half a mile before turning to the west. Several yards away from where the path turns is a second hill, steeper than those they crossed, with a hedgerow lining the bottom of it.

Frank [Pointing at the slightly-visible hedgerow]: There. There it is. That's the hill.

Bob: Brilliant! Once we stray off the path, we'll bunk down and grab a bite to eat.

Frank continues leading the mercenaries forward.

Maurice: Don't think they're at our target, like.

Frank: You never know.

Robbie: I just want to shoot people.

Will: We know.

Courtney [Cheerfully]: At least we're getting exercise and teambuilding!

Frank: We could get teambuilding at the pub.

Will: And we could get exercise by fucking like rabbits.

Bob [Raising an eyebrow]: But haven't most of the women gone?

Dave [Laughing]: Bet Will's right arm could lift a bus!

Will: It's been lonely.

Robbie [Sneering]: You sick bastard!


Maurice: Ain't something you admit in public, moosh.

Will: Well--What the fuck is a moosh?

Maurice: Friend, mate, chum, proper sound, y'know.

Will [Confused]: ...'proper sound'?

Maurice: Alright. Great. Good craic.

Will [Shaking his head]: ..Mint? Good craic?

Dave: Dammit Maurice, stop slanging. You're confusing Will.

Maurice [Bitterly]: Damn Yanks..We don't all say [Adopting a stereotypical upper-crust English accent] 'Oh! Tea and scones!' or 'Polish yer shoes, guvna?' or 'I say, old bean!'

Will: We get i--


Robbie: Well done, Will: You made Maurice snap.

Maurice [Spitting]: Yeh fooking Yanks.

Frank: C'mon guys. Let's remain calm.

Maurice [Bitterly]: Asshole.

Samuel: Hostility. Lovely.

Frank strays off of the path, walking forward over the short-cut grass. The hedgerow is clearly visible ahead of them, and he stops.

Frank: Right, let's bunk down and eat before we do anything. Packs off, food out.

The mercenaries walk off of the path and onto the field, shrugging off their rucksacks which hit the dirt with heavy thuds. Maurice sits down on the grass, reaching into his rucksack and pulling out a First Strike Ration, ripping it open. Robbie tears off the packaging of his, revealing a brown, vacuum-packed bag. Robbie tears open the bag, revealing a medium-sized square roll of bread.

Robbie: What's this?

Frank: Pocket sandwiches. It's food on the move, so no heating.

Will: But I like warm sandwiches!

Bob pulls out a brown pack labelled 'tortillas' and a small blue pack labelled 'Starkist Albacore Tuna', as well as a small brown sachet of mayonnaise.

Bob [Chuckling]: Some assembly required, eh?

Will opens his package, reaching in and pulling out a brown bag labelled 'Sandwich, Shelf Stable, Pepperoni'

Will [retching]: Great..peasant food.

Robbie takes a bite out of his sandwich, giving a nonchalant shrug.

Robbie [Chewing]: Well, it fills a hole.

Dave [Chewing on his own sandwich]: We're eating and there's enemies just over the hill. Great.

Frank: Aw man! Jerky!

Frank pulls out a small thin packet labelled 'Beef Steak Teriyaki', pulling it open and pulling out a thin strip of beef, chewing on it greedily.

Bob [Folding a tortilla]: Like a lion chewing on a lamb.

Samuel [Pulling out a small brown pack of crackers]: Where's Courtney going?

Courtney [Muffled, sandwich in her mouth]: Goingth tho thee whath our thriends are up tho.

Courtney jogs towards the hedgerow, a pair of binoculars from her rucksack in her hand. She quickly jumps over it, landing uneasily on the hill before crawling on her stomach up the hill, sandwich in one hand and binoculars in the other. She reaches the top of the hill, pressing her chest into the dirt as she cranes her head over the hill, pressing the binoculars to her eyes and scanning the area below her. Frank reaches into his ration, pulling out a small bar wrapped in a digital urban camouflage wrapper.

Frank [Giddily]: Aw man, Ooh-Rah bars!

Dave: They say 'First Strike' to me.

Frank: Same thing, Dave! Man, me and the boys in Fifth Cavalry loved these things.

Frank tears off the packaging, chewing greedily on the bar.

Frank: Oh God, and it's Mocha too!!!

Will [Taken aback]: Someone might wanna be careful, or he'll orgasm.

Maurice [Bitterly]: ...Well, it's edible, alright.

Frank looks over at Courtney, tucking his beef jerky into his pocket as he chews on his First Strike bar, walking towards the hill. Bob reaches into his rucksack, pulling out his PRC-117 SatCom and setting it on the ground, grasping the radio receiver strapped to the back of the large radio and press a few buttons on the keypad on the top of the radio as Frank crawls up beside Courtney.

Courtney: Well slap my ass and call me a drum, have you seen that?

Frank [Kneeling beside her]: What is it?

Courtney hands the binoculars up to Frank, who takes them. Looking through the binoculars, Frank picks out three farmhouses and an old wooden barn whose doors are open, revealing a pale green open-top humvee within it. Several Praying Mantis PMC's, clad in woodland camouflage as opposed to their traditional desert fatigues, are patrolling the area, each one alert to their surroundings. Frank twists his head to the left, picking out a mounted MG42, a relic from World War Two and presumably procured from the area, in the upper-right window of the left-most farmhouse, the barrel sweeping around the ground between the farmhouses. Dave, having walked over to see what the fuss is, gets on one knee beside Frank, carefully stabilising himself and watching the farmhouses as Frank hands him the binoculars.

Frank: Relatively heavy. Should be easy to clear out.

Courtney: Machinegun could cause some problems, though.

Dave [Calmly]: Frags should take it out easy enough: It's just getting close enough without it ripping us apart. Humvee looks ominous, too. Mounted guns?

Frank: Couldn't see any, but that barn is pretty dark. Might be one on the back.

Samuel walks over, crawling up the hill and laying on his stomach beside Dave.

Samuel: What have we got?

Dave: Eleven soldiers patrolling, a machinegun in the farmhouse, a Humvee in the barn, and a partridge in a pear tree, new blood.

Samuel: Damn. Wish we had an RPG, would make easy work of that machinegun.

Frank [Nodding]: That's going to be our main problem.

Will: Not if we approach from the left.

Frank turns his head to Will, who is now laying beside Samuel. Will pulls himself up the hill, grasping the top of it and wrenching himself up so his chest is laying on the apex of the hill. Will motions out the small dirt path cut between the farmhouses and barn, presumably formed by the passing of PMC's through the area. Will sweeps his index finger to a portion of the path which extends to the left past the farmhouse manned by the machinegun, where the path is guarded to the left by the hill they are on, and their advance is partially shielded by a hastily-erected stone wall consisting of misshapen stones piled six high to form a chest-high barrier, albeit for a small wooden gate shoddily placed in a gap in the middle of the makeshift wall.

Will: If we keep low and keep our distance, stick to the left-hand side of that path, the machinegun won't reach us. Keep low, and the soldiers won't be able to hit us much until they spot us and approach the wall. While you all keep low, i'll sneak around the back of the farmhouse, in through the backdoor, and eliminate the gunner, which will let me man the gun and provide covering fire.

Dave [Smirking]: You'll need a support gunner for that fucking relic.

Will: Alright then: I sneak in, whack the gunner and his support gunner, and you guys assault the rest where i'll provide some covering fire from the top window until one of you sneaks around yourselves and accompanies me--

Samuel: While the others give covering fire, I could sneak behind that farmhouse and towards the barn. Keep low, keep quiet and I should be able to man the Humvee's gun. Would give us transport and an extra weapon.

Courtney: When Will takes the gun, I'll follow into the house and help him man the gun.

Will: Courtney, is that you flirting with me?

Courtney: Trust me, Will: I've handled higher caliber weaponry than your snub-nosed revolver.

Dave, Samuel and Frank laugh and whoop loudly. Frank slaps Will on the back in jest and Dave and Samuel hi-five Courtney before quickly quietening, laying down flat on the hills slope.

Dave [Nervously]: Yeah, we should shut the fuck up.

Frank: When do we move?

Bob: When Maurice is done eating. I don't want to ruin his lunch and doom us all.

Frank: Good call.

Frank reaches into his back pocket, pulling out his open packet of Teriyaki Beef Steak snack and pulling out a strand of jerky, grinning as he chews on it.

Dave [Clapping his hands together]: Right, well, let's have a jolly ol' fucking picnic!

*Squad Beta, Target - Codename "Snake Pit", Hungary*

Nine miles to the west, trekking through the countryside are Squad Beta. Sal, currently holding the map in his hands, is checking it as he takes point of the group, all of them walking eastwards on a gravel path, their boots crunching pebbles as they march. Sal remains silent, busy scanning the map while Stoofer and Bobby remain at the back, their index fingers against the trigger guards, ready to open fire on any hostility that may confront them. Jon is busy walking beside Bill, tutting loudly.

Jon [Mumbling]: Fucking feet hurt..HOW LONG LEFT?!

Sal [Calling out]: Two and a half miles east!

Jon [Mumbling darkly]: Two and a half miles..fucking bastards getting caught..dicks..

Bill: C'mon Jon: Be nice.

Jon mockingly skips to the side of the road where several tufts of grass and a few stray flowers are blooming, grasping a tulip and skipping over to Bill.

Jon [Sickeningly-sweet false accent]: Here you go, Biww! Have a fwower! I picked it mysewf!

Bill: How about I tear your spine out through your asshole?!

Jon throws the tulip at Bill's feet, spitting on it.

Jon: How about I ram my cock into your eyesocket and skullfuck you to death?!

Bill: How about I ram my fist down your throat and tear out your windpipe?

Jon [Angrily]: YEAH?!

Bill: YEAH!!

Jon shoves Bill roughly in the chest, causing him to stumble backwards. Bill shrugs off his backpack, letting it hit the tarmac with a thud before lunging forward, punching Jon roughly in the nose with a huge jab.

Stoofer [Surprised]: Merde!

Mustafa grasps Bill, pulling him backwards as Sal stops, turning around and watching as Johan places his right hand against Jon's combat vest, grasping it and pulling him to his feet with relative ease.

Sal [Angrily]: Will you two fucking inbred pieces of shit just cut the fighting?!

Jon rubs his nose, now bleeding profusely from the left nostril, with the cuff of his right sleeve, sniffling loudly to clear the blood before spitting a black glob of bloody mucus onto the floor. Johan keeps a hand grasped on the back of his combat vest, stopping Jon from moving forward.

Jon [Sniffling]: Redneck asshole.

Bill rubs his knuckles on his combat pants, shaking his head at Jon.

Bill: Just got your ass kicked and you're still defiant. I admire your stupidity.


Stoofer: Jon, man, maybe you should try anger management?

Jon: Anger management's for pussies!

Mustafa [Sighing, rubbing his eyes]: Look, I don't know about you assholes, but we need to trek over two miles before we reach our target. Unless you all want what could possibly be a dead team-mate on our hands, I recommend we walk.

Mustafa folds his arms.

Mustafa [Sharply]: Right now.

Sal turns around, snapping his fingers as he walks ahead, followed by Bobby, Stoofer and Vince. Johan let's go of Jon, turning to the line and jogging forward, joining up with them as Bill and Jon stare daggers into eachothers eyes.

Jon [Venomously]: Make a move, redneck. Make a move.

Bill [Angrily]: If you don't move, I'm going to shove this gun up your ass and blow your fucking brains into the sky.

Mustafa [Darkly]: Both of you either move or i'm snapping your legs and carrying you.

Bill and Jon quickly turn, jogging after the group as Mustafa turns around, quickly walking forward and joining them. Sal continues to read his map as Vince jogs forward, walking at his side and clutching his FN 2000 assault rifle close to his body.

Vince: Do you think we'll find 'em at this target?

Sal [Looking up at the road ahead]: Not sure. Maybe.

Vince: Hope we do.

Sal: I'm sure he's safe. Billy's one of the toughest bastards we've met. It'll take a howitzer to crack him open.

Vince: What if they do have a howitzer?

Sal [Bluntly]: They don't have a howitzer.

Vince: How do you know?

Sal: Do you hear that?

Vince strains his ears, the only sounds being the distant chirping of birds, the light buzzing of insects amongst the tall grass either side of the path and the sound of heavy leather boots cracking into gravel as the unit marches onwards.

Vince: .....What? The birds?

Sal: Yeah, you don't hear any shelling, do you? If they have a howitzer, I think they'd have aimed it at the cargo plane.

Vince: .....What if they're blind?

Johan [Scoffing]: Blind PMC's?

Vince: The guy leading them is controlled by another guy who is controlling him through his right arm implanted onto his body.

Johan: ......Point taken.

Stoofer: So, what's the landscape like?

Sal [Bluntly]: Plain.

Stoofer: that it? 'Plain'?

Sal: Looks to me like it's just a straight field ahead. Got a small hill to go over.

Bill: How far ahead is the hill?

Sal points forward at a small hill in the land around a mile away, the gravel path looping over it.

Bill [Chuckling]: ..Wow. It really is a flat land.

Bobby: Well, that's not good.

Bill: Why not?

Bobby: Flat land? Enemy emplacement ahead? They'll see us coming easily.

Sal: Not if we wait at the hill and figure out a plan.

Jon [Scoffing]: Great, a plan..

Sal [Loudly]: Instead of being a negative piece of shit, you could contribute something useful!

Jon: When the time comes, i'll contribute something useful. Until then: Shut the hell up.

Johan: Why not just say it now?

Jon: Because...............I still have to think of it.

Vince, Sal, Bill and Johan groan in frustration.

Jon [Brow furrowing]: What?! WHAT?!

Vince: You're bloody useless.

Jon [Yelling inanely]: HOW ABOUT WE SHOOT THEM, HUH?! HUH?!

Mustafa: I was hoping we'd do that without being told.

Jon: I have a plan, I swear--

Bill [Angrily]: Permission to shoot him, please?!

Sal: Not yet. Keep moving.

The unit keeps marching across the path. A small hedgehog slowly scuttles in front of Sal. Sal throws his arm up, forcing the unit to a ground halt.


The hedgehog slowly trundles in front of Sal.

Vince [Cooing]: Awww! Look at his ickle nose!

Mustafa: Good grief..

Jon sighs, stomping through the unit and aims his FN 2000 down at the hedgehog.

Sal: JON! NO!

Jon shoves his barrel down, pressing it against the hedgehogs rear and gently easing it out of the way of Sal, stepping aside and motioning for him down the path.

Jon [Coldly]: Walk before I blow hedgehogs brains on the fucking floor.

Sal quickly walks past, followed by the unit as Jon looks down at the hedgehog, his eyes narrowing.

Jon [Darkly]: You owe me, hedgehog. You. Fucking. Owe me.

Jon quickly jogs after the unit, who are now walking up the hill. As Sal reaches the apex of the hill, he suddenly grounds to a halt and takes a few steps backwards, quickly laying on his stomach and forcing the rest of his unit to do the same.

Johan [Hissing]: What is it?

Sal [Quietly]: They're over that hill. In plain sight. A mile away.

Mustafa sighs, crawling up the hill and grasping a pair of binoculars around his neck, crawling up to the apex of the hill and looking through the binoculars. Johan quickly crawls up the hill, grasping his own pair of binoculars and looking through them: Ahead of him, he can make out a guard tower to the left of the path, manned by a lone guard manning what appears to be a DSR-1 bullpup sniper rifle, a fifty-caliber monster which can punch holes in metal. Beyond the guard tower, Johan can barely make it two farmhouses at the front of it, with the edges of two farmhouses just beyond it, two on either side of the road. Between each, on the road, is a patrol of six PMC's, chattering amongst themselves and thankfully unaware to the mercenaries who had just popped their heads above the hill.

Johan: There it is: One guard tower and four farmhouses. Just like the satellite photos showed.

Stoofer: So what now?

Sal: We attack!

Johan: What about eating?

Sal: I ain't eating. Not when Billy or Eligio could be there.

Jon: And I ain't going on an empty stomach.

Sal: Shall we bunk here for the moment, then?

Mustafa: May as well.

Sal [Quietly]: Alright, back down the hill..

Jon [Whining]: But my feet hurt!

Mustafa growls and Jon turns around, jogging to the bottom of the hill and shrugging off his rucksack. Vince and Mustafa shrug off their rucksacks, simply sitting down on the path and reaching into their packs, pulling out their small packs of First Strike Rations.

Mustafa [sighing]: Well: May as well see what they have for us.

Mustafa tears open his pack, laying it down on the floor and spreading out the contents, grabbing a First Strike bar and ripping the package off, chewing on it hungrily as Sal shrugs his rucksack off and sits on the path next to Mustafa.

Sal: What's it like?

Mustafa: Edible.

Bobby [Chuckling]: That's all you can ask for, right?

Jon rips open the largest brown package, looking at the pocket sandwich.

Jon: What the fuck is this.

Sal: Pocket sandwich. What flavor did you get?

Jon: Don't know. Never bothered looking.

Bobby shrugs off his rucksack, sitting between Jon and Stoofer as Stoofer gnaws on a stick of beef jerky.

Stoofer: Man, I would murder someone for huevos rancheros right about now.

Johan [Smirking]:, a nice few fried eggs..runny yolks..tomato sauce with nice, juicy chunks..some chilli--

Vince: Dude, stop, you're making me hungrier!

Bobby: Still, this is nice, isn't it?

Bobby sighs, looking down at his plain tortilla.

Bobby [Darkly]: Someone's going to have to die.

Sal [Quietly]: .....Alright, so what do we do? For the village?

Stoofer: Well, head on assault would be suicide.

Jon: Split into two groups of four and go around the sides?

The mercenaries head snap around to Jon, who tears a chunk from his sandwich and shrugs.

Jon [Calmly]: What? No-one else thought of it? Tall grass.

Stoofer: That'd be fine if we weren't wearing urban digital camouflage.

Jon looks down at his white, grey and black digitized camouflage fatigues.

Jon [Shocked]: Aw crap!

Bill [Smirking]: Got another idea?

Jon: Yeah, I do you asshole! We stick mud on our backs, stick leaves and grass to it, and crawl like bastards on either side!

Johan [Shrugging]: He does have a point.

Sal: So, camouflage?

Jon: Well, duh.

Bill: Need to get rid of the gunner in the watchtower, though.

Mustafa: Leave that to me.

Sal: Right. Shall we get ready for this? Weapons?

Mercenaries [In unison]: Check.

Sal pats the right side of his chest, where the combat vest has a sheath sewn into it, a handle of a knife protruding from it.

Sal: KA-BARs?

Mercenaries [In unison]: Check.

Sal [Determined]: Then let's ride.

Bobby: Shouldn't we coat eachothers backs in mud?

Bill: What about our rucksacks?

Sal blinks slowly, pulling his rucksack onto his lap and reaching in, pulling out a length of net, covered in strips of burlap, as well as interwoven with twigs and leaves. Sal looks up at Jon, narrowing his eyes.

Sal [Coldly]: Jon...why didn't you tell us we had ghillie material in our rucksacks?

Jon [Bluntly]: Because I wanted to slap shit on your back.

Mustafa [Scoffing]: You really are an asshole, y'know that?


Jon reaches deeper into his rucksack, pulling out a length of ghillie material and shoving the remnants of his ration back into his rucksack, slinging it onto his back and pulling the ghillie poncho over his body.

Vince [Chuckling]: You look like a wookie--

Jon [Coldly]: And you look like a cunt. Any questions?

Vince: Love and tolerance, Jon. Love and tolerance.

Jon: Suck my dick, Vince. Suck my dick.

Stoofer pulls out a small pack of gum from his ration, unwrapping a stick and sticking it into his mouth as he shoves his rations back into his rucksack, pulling out his own ghillie poncho and pulling on his rucksack, pulling the poncho over him.

Stoofer [Calmly]: Well, looks like the wookie's are about to roll in.

Sal: We need a more precise plan--

Mustafa [Clapping his hands together]: I take care of the gunner in the guard tower. Four of us sneak around each side. I vote that Jon takes the south-eastern farmhouse first to give us some leverage. When he gives a signal, two more will assault the north-eastern farmhouse. Then they give the signal and--

Jon: Hold on, why am I going alone?!

Bobby: Because no-one likes you?

Jon [Bitterly]: Fuck you, baldy!

Vince: I like that idea. Jon can go in first since he's such a tough manly man!

Jon: How about I shove your head up your ass?

Vince [Scoffing]: Asshole.

Sal: Right, i'll lead myself, Vince, Bobby and Johan around the western side. Jon, Stoofer, Bill and Mustafa, you guys take the eastern side. Hopefully, Eligio or Billy will be there.

Vince: And if they aren't?

Sal [Darkly]: Shut up and suit up.

Vince: We have.

Sal blinks, noticing that everyone has since packed away their rations and has slung on their ghillie ponchos.

Sal [Flabbergasted]: Blimey, that was quick!

Mustafa: Should've shut up and paid attention. Now put the rations away, camo up or I will snap your neck--

Sal [Hastily]: Alright! Alright!

Sal shoves a stick of beef jerky into his mouth, chewing on it as he packs his rations into his rucksack and pulls out the length of ghillie material. He zips up his rucksack, slinging it over his shoulders and slings the poncho over his body, leaning down, picking up his FN 2000 rifle and slinging it over his body, letting it rest on his chest.

Sal: Let's go.

Mustafa leads Bill, Johan and Stoofer to the right, while Sal leads Vince, Bobby and Johan to the left. The tall grass rustles as they wade into it, but all eight men gently ease themselves onto their stomachs, clasping their assault rifles as they. Vince sneezes loudly.

Vince [Snuffling]: Damn tall grass!

Bobby [Hissing]: You better not have allergies you're not telling us about!

Vince: Why not?

Sal: Shut up! We're entering Solid Snake mode!

Vince: Humping guards to death?

Sal [Hissing]: No! Sneaking in and killing people!

Vince: Oh.

Both groups of men continue crawling forward, eventually making it over the small hill. As Sal leads his own group onwards, Mustafa cranes his head, noticing the gunner in the outpost descending from the tower via a ladder.

Mustafa [Quietly]: Gunner's leaving. That leaves you no excuse not to find your balls, Jon.

Jon [Hissing]: Whatever!

Mustafa [Quietly]: ..Looks like he's heading towards your farmhouse.

Mustafa leads his group, crawling over the slope and downwards. The PMC soldiers seem to pre-occupied with guarding the location to notice the grass occasionally rustling, dismissing it as local wildlife. After two minutes, Mustafa's group is mere feet away from the black backdoor of the south-eastern farmhouse. Mustafa cranes his head and, noticing no patrols around the backs of the houses, raises his hand slightly, his group getting onto one knee.

Mustafa [Quietly]: Alright Jon: Batter up.

Jon sighs quietly, slowly crouch-walking forward and grasping the carved wooden handle of the door, twisting it and gently easing it open. The gunner who manned the guardtower has his back to Jon as he turns around and shuts door: Without wasting any time, Jon quickly unsheathes the KA-BAR knife from his chest, crouch walking forward and lunging upwards, locking his left arm around the lower half of the soldiers head and thrusting the knife into the back of his knife, severing the spinal column and allowing a quick, noiseless kill. Jon gently eases himself backwards, slowly laying the dead body of the soldier

Jon [Quietly]: Great, now I have to clean my damn boots when this is done.

Jon twists his head right, looking through an open doorway: He can't see any signs of life. Jon twists around, noticing the staircase leads up four steps, and then to the left twelve steps upwards to the top floor. Jon carefully walks up the staircase, turning left and quickly walking to the top. A guard, standing at the top of the stairs, turns around, but Jon clasps his left hand over the guards mouth and shove the blade of the KA-BAR knife into the soldiers throat, slicing it quickly. The guard gives a quiet choking gurgle, but Jon simply pushes him backwards, the guard collapsing with a loud thud.

Jon [Quietly]: ....Shouldn't have done that.

Jon moves up the rest of the stairs, turning around and walks around the railing to the left of the stairs, heading forward and turning right. Outside, Sal has finally led his group to the south-eastern farmhouse. Sal gently holds up his right hand, forcing them to stop.

Sal [Whispering]: Keep down..wait for the signal..

Johan, Bobby, Vince and Sal remain laid in the grass, watching the upper right window as the soldier twists his head, scanning the area beneath him. Behind the guard, Jon gently eases the door open, crouch-walking forward and jamming the knife into the back of the soldiers neck, severing his spinal column and killing him quickly before throwing him roughly to the right and down to the floor. Jon gets to his feet and looks over at Sal, nodding.

Sal [Quietly]: Great. Dumbass is in plain view.

Bobby [Hissing]: Why do I have a bad feeling about this?!

PMC Soldier [Yelling]: UP THERE! IN THE WINDOW!

Jon: Oh fuck.

Several of the soldiers patrolling the road quickly open fire towards the upper-left window of the farmhouse towards Jon, forcing him to lie on his stomach and cover the back of his head with his arms, glass shattering and spraying over him as several bullets thunder into the window. Behind Jon's farmhouse, Mustafa quickly gets to one knee, looking behind him at Bill and Stoofer.

Mustafa [Hissing]: Move! I'll give Jon some back up! Stoofer, Bill, you take the other farmhouse. Rapido!

Stoofer [Yelling]: RAPIDO!

Stoofer and Bill get to their feet, wading through the tall grass as Mustafa barrels forward, slamming his thick back against the wall to the right of the backdoor. He slinks across the wall, peering his head around the wall and quickly jumping out, aiming down his iron sights and firing off a quick three-round burst that recoils upwards, hitting a soldier in the chest, neck and head simultaneously as he stumbles backwards and collapses dead on the floor. Mustafa quickly slides behind the wall, reaching into one of the pockets on his utility belt and pulling out a frag grenade.

Mustafa [Yelling]: FIRE IN THE HOLE!!

Sal [Yelling]: FIRE IN THE HOLE!

Mustafa pulls the pin and releases the safety lever,looking around the corner and giving a soft, underarm throw. The grenade rolls forward as several soldiers scramble for cover, detonating with a rough orange explosion. One soldier is instantly killed, his lower body completely demolished by the blast and his intestines left hanging out of the ragged wound like pink ribbon, while a second soldier stumbles away as he clutches his bloody stump of a right arm noiselessly, blood pouring like a veritable waterfall from the wound.

Mustafa [Quietly]: Nanomachines..Sure, they protect you from pain, but they won't protect you from death..

Mustafa gives a small smirk, ducking back behind the wall and twisting around, sliding through the backdoor and turning instantly left, jogging up the stairs.

Mustafa [Calling out]: Hold your fire, Jon! It's Mustafa!

Mustafa jogs through the doorway, turning right and down the hallway before entering the first door to his left where Jon is still on the ground, his arms covering his head. The group of soldiers patrolling the street seems to be concentrating their fire on the window, forcing Mustafa to jog backwards out of the room.

Jon: Mustafa! Get into the room next door and give me some covering fire! I can't stand up or else they'll make Swiss fucking cheese out of me!

Mustafa: Got it!

Outside the farmhouse next door, Bill and Stoofer stand on either side of the pale green backdoor, their backs flattened against the wall.

Bill [Hissing]: How do we do this?!

Stoofer taps his utility belt, but Bill quickly shakes his head.

Bill: What if he's in there? Get behind me!

Bill twists around, facing the door. Stoofer quickly moves behind him, aiming his FN 2000 over his left shoulder as Bill lunges a foot forward, slamming it into the door handle and cracking the cheap wood before lunging forward with another kick, kicking the door open. A soldier twists around, but Stoofer quickly fires off two three-round bursts, the soldier shuddering and slumping backwards against the window behind him, sliding down the glass with a squeak and leaving a trail of blood as he falls to the floor, dead. Bill quickly walks into the room, FN 2000 raised and his eyes down the iron sights as he sweeps to the left, aiming down a small coridoor and down an open doorway as Stoofer, back turned to Bill, keeps an eye on the surroundings behind Bill. Bill quickly walks forward through the open door, twisting left as Stoofer jolts through the door and twists right.

Bill: Going upstairs!

Bill jogs up a pair of stairs, keeping his rifle aimed upstairs as Stoofer carefully walks backwards up the stairs, his rifle aimed at the bottom of the stairs. The front door of the farmhouse is kicked open as a PMC runs in, but Stoofer quickly fires off a few three-round bursts, hitting the soldier repeatedly in the forehead and obliterating the top of his skull, sending the soldier stumbling backwards and onto his comrade. A door to the left of the bottom of the stairway is kicked open, directly opposite the door they walked through, and another soldier quickly appears at the foot of the stairway. Bill twists right, kicking open the door and walks into the room, sweeping his rifle around it.

Bill [Calling out]: CLEAR!

Stoofer keeps walking backwards up to the top of the stairs as the soldier twists around and jogs upwards, M4 assault rifle raised, but Stoofer opens fire, the soldier stumbling backwards and tumbling down the stairs, leaving a streak of blood as he does and hitting the foot of the stairs in a crumpled heap, dead. Bill quickly moves forward, turning right and moving towards the second door feet away from the door to the stairway, lunging his foot forward and kicking it open. A soldier twists around, but Bill quickly opens fire with three three-round bursts, hitting the soldier in the chest and neck, sending him stumbling backwards and falling to the floor, dead.


Stoofer twists around, jogging up the stairs and reaches the top, twisting right and slamming his foot roughly into the door handle, kicking the door open and quickly aiming down his iron sights, running into the room and sweeping the rifle around the room.

Stoofer [Calling out]: CLEAR!

Stoofer twists around, facing the door he kicked open and quickly jolts forward, slamming his back against the wall to the left of the door. A PMC soldier emerges, aiming down his own M4 assault rifle. Stoofer quickly slams the butt of his FN 2000 into the jaw of the soldier, sending him stumbling sideways into the wall before Stoofer lets go of his assault rifle, letting it hang from his body as he reaches onto the right side of his chest where a KA-BAR knife with a blackened blade is sheathed in a small pouch. Stoofer quickly pulls out the knife, jolting forward and stabbing it into the soldiers throat before sweeping the blade left, slicing a deep wound into the soldiers neck. Stoofer keeps his free hand pressed against the PMC's left hand, stopping him from raising his gun as the soldier shudders violently, blood leaking out from his mouth and soaking into his balaclava as he slumps back against the wall, dead.

From the farmhouse next door, a volley of gunfire bursts out from the upper-left window towards the soldiers on the path. With the soldiers temporarily subdued, Jon quickly gets to his feet, swinging his rifle up and kicks out the shattered pane of glass from the window and aims down the sights of his rifle, firing open a few bursts of fire before his head snaps up, pointing at the farmhouse directly opposite him: Sitting in a chair, his wrists presumably strapped, Jon can make out the head and shoulders of Billy, the eye socket closest to Jon hollow, raw and bloody, the stubble around his jaw soaked in blood. Jon watches as Billy, presumably stirred by the gunfire, jolts forward in the chair. A soldier momentarily runs into view, but is quickly tripped and sent to the floor. Jon watches as Billy half-stands up, taking a few steps back.


Jon, realising Billy is in the opposite building, reaches into his utility belt, pulling out a frag grenade and pulling the pin, releasing the safety lever and lightly throwing it to the right towards a group of three
soldiers heading towards Stoofer and Bill's farmhouse, the grenade detonating in a small explosion and sending limbs and shards of flesh and bone sprayed across the pathway. Bill slams the butt of his rifle into his bedroom window, smashing the glass and leaning out.


Jon [Laughing]: Awwwwwwwwww! Did baby get his eyebrows burnt?!?!

Bill ducks his head back in, ducking below the window as three soldiers in the building opposite on the second floor open fire, spraying both farmhouses with a hail of gunfire.


Mustafa cranes his head, watching as five soldiers jog forward towards the house where Billy is.

Mustafa [Yelling]: GIVE 'EM HELL, GODDAMMIT!!!

Johan and Bobby quickly emerge from behind the building, jogging forward and slamming their backs against the left-hand side of the building. Johan sidesteps quickly, jumping out from behind cover and quickly opening fire, several three-round bursts exploding from his rifle and cutting down three of the soldiers. The remaining two stop, twisting around and opening fire, forcing Johan to move behind cover. Behind Billy's farmhouse, Sal turns to Vince.

Sal: Vince, you're gonna play hero: Bastards in that building are pinning down the others.

Sal points to the farmhouse to the left of Billy's farmhouse.

Sal: Get 'em.

Vince: Grenades?

Sal: Any means necessary. I'm bringing Billy home.

Vince quickly gets to his feet, jogging forward as Sal jumps to his feet, running forward and kicking open the black backdoor of the farmhouse, running forward and turning left. Gunfire splinters the wood and glass near him as four remaining soldiers, huddled in the small gap between the farmhouses opposite him, open fire. Sal dives onto his stomach, the front door to his right being kicked open. The two soldiers swipe their rifles downwards, but are quickly cut down in a hail of gunfire from Bobby.

Bobby [Swiping his hand to the right]: C'mon Johan. Sons of bitches are hiding between those two farmhouses.

Johan: Si!

Johan and Bobby sprint forward, gunfire from the upper windows of the north-west farmhouse nipping at their feet as they bolt forward, managing to make it to the wall of Bill and Mustafa's farmhouse. Bobby hisses slightly, dancing on the spot.

Johan [Cautiously]: What's wrong, compadre?

Bobby looks down at his right: Embedded in the sole is the squashed remains of a bullet, by sheer luck somehow missing flesh and bone and instead embedding in rubber, the foul smell of burning rubber filling the air.

Bobby [Shocked]: JESUS! That was close!

Johan [Quickly]: C'mon!

Johan and Bobby bolt around the back of the farmhouse as Sal, now back on his feet, jolts forward through a doorframe in front of him, quickly turning left and running up a set of stairs leading to the top floor.

Billy [Impatiently]: GUYS?!??! GUYS?!?!?? GET ME THA FUCK OUTTA HERE!!

Sal twists to the right, running down a short coridoor before turning right again, kicking open a white door and running into the room. Billy is in the middle of the room, strapped to a wooden chair by leather bonds attached to the arms of the chair by his wrists. Billy's chair is rocking, the upper-left leg of the chair embedded in a soldiers skull through his eyesocket, the bone cracking sloppily as Billy rocks back and forth. Sal winces, looking down at the gory scene, then up at Billy who is glaring at Sal, his lone eye flashing angrily.

Sal [Thankfully]: Billy! Billy! You're alive! You're alive! By the Gods, you're alive!

Billy [Calmly]: Sal, please..GET ME OUT OF THIS FECKING CHAIR!!

Sal rushes over, unsheathing the KA-BAR knife from his chest and grasps Billy's left arm, slicing off the restraint before grabbing his right arm and doing the same. Billy gasps , shoving his arms upwards and freeing them before getting to his feet, rubbing his wrists which are a raw red from the tightness of the straps. Sal hands his knife to Billy, who takes it before lunging forward and wrapping his arms around Sal, hugging him tightly. Sal hugs Billy back tightly, patting his back.

Sal [Quietly]: So glad to see that you're alive, brother..

Billy [Chuckling]: Thanks, brother. I knew you guys would come and rescue me.

Billy pulls back, looking at Sal before turning his head and looking out of the window.

Billy [Quietly]: ...What's the sitrep?

Sal: Pretty much all of Beale Street is out here, Billy. We're all looking for you and Eligio.

Billy: ......What happened to tha beep?

Sal: Fourth wall broke down.

Billy [Rolling his eye]: Shite always happens 'round here without me being there.

Sal: You're safe, right?

Billy: Aside from me eye? Yeah, fucking right as rain.

Sal looks at the hollow socket, grimacing.

Billy [Underwhelmed]: Yeah, they didn't exactly gi' me an eyepatch.

Sal: How..haven't you bled out?

Billy [Hastily]: I'll explain later! We gotta move!

Sal: It's under control.

Sal and Billy turn their heads, looking out at the gap between the two farmhouses opposite. The soldiers shudder violently, two collapsing onto the floor dead. One falls to his knees and Johan appears in view, walking forward and unsheathing his own KA-BAR knife, grasping the soldiers right shoulder and slitting his throat, quickly jogging backwards as several of the soldiers next door open fire.


Vince kicks the backdoor of his farmhouse down, running into the farmhouse before turning right, running through an open doorway and turning right, running straight through the front door and twisting around, aiming his FN 2000 upwards and opening fire. The soldiers duck backwards as Vince's repeated three-round bursts shatter the window. The soldiers stumble back, taking cover from the fire as Vince reaches into his utility belt, pulling out a frag grenade and pulling the pin, jogging backwards and swinging his arm roughly, throwing the grenade as hard as he can. The grenade smashes through the weakened window as Vince grabs a second grenade, pulling the pin and throwing it through the hole left by the first frag grenade. Vince sprints forward, diving onto his stomach as the grenades explode in quick succession, the upper-right window of the farmhouse exploding and sending glass and wood spraying out of the farmhouse. Several of the stone bricks that made up the wall have been displaced, several shattered and now collapsing to the floor below as Vince covers his head. Jon raises his head, noticing the room is nothing more than blood and shattered remains.


Jon [Laughing]: Did you see that shit?!

Bill bursts out from the front door of his farmhouse, arms raised in the air.

Bill: All of these fuckers are dead! ALL DEAD!

Stoofer emerges from behind him, dusting off his hands.

Stoofer [Calmly]: Wow, there's a lot of mulch here.

Bill: Nah, that's just the PMC's.

Jon emerges from his own farmhouse, letting out a deep breath and dusting off his hands as he looks up at the farmhouse, several of the shattered, charred bricks now starting to crumble roughly and hit the path below before looking down at the torn bodies around their feet. Jon lightly presses his foot into the torn away upperhalf of a soldier, a loud squelching noise filling the air as Jon wiggles the tip of his boot in the soldiers flowing intestines.

Stoofer: Jon, stop that.

Jon: Why? It's so gooey and dead.

Bill takes a few steps forward, shrugging off his rucksack onto the path and unzipping it, beginning to pull out his radio as Mustafa emerges from the farmhouse.

Mustafa [Disgusted]: Jon, what the hell are you doing?

Jon: What? Didn't you ever poke something dead with a stick?

Mustafa: Yeah, dead snakes, foxes and shit, but not a dead human with my foot!

Jon: I never knew grenades could do this! In the movies, they die from compression damage! Never seen one rip a guy apart like this..

Vince [Getting to his feet and dusting himself off]: Yep, grenades tend to do that to a guy.

Johan and Bobby emerge from behind the farmhouses. Bobby leans back against a wall, sliding down it and unlacing his right boot, pulling it off and starting to dig at the squashed bullet embedded in it. Bill nods over at him, setting up the SATCOM dish.

Bill: What's his problem?

Johan: Luck. An extraordinary amount of luck.

Bobby [Smirking]: Aye, got shot in the boot but not the foot. Someone up there is smiling at me.

Vince: Chuck Norris?

Bobby scowls as Sal emerges from his farmhouse. Every head turns to him as he steps aside and Billy emerges through the door, causing a small cheer to erupt from the mercenaries, followed by a short round of applause. Billy gives a rare, thankful smile and a nod, his right hand held over his eye-socket.

Billy: Any of yeh get me an eyepatch?

Vince reaches into one of the pockets on his combat vest, pulling out a black eyepatch and throwing it underarm to Billy who catches it and looks down at it.

Billy: Jeez, I have to tie it?

Vince: I'll buy you a better one when we get back!

Billy places the eyepatch over his eye, starting to tie it around the back of his head.

Johan [Chuckling]: What's it like with one eye?

Billy: Fecking annoyin'.

Vince calmly walks over, wrapping his arms around Billy and hugging him tightly as Billy finishes tying his eyepatch, slapping his hands on Vince's back and giving a small hug.

Vince [Quietly]: Glad you're alive, man.

Billy: Aye...glad you guys came to help..

Jon: We never let our own down. Ever.

Stoofer: How come you never bled out?

Billy: Gave me medical treatment when they cut my eye out..fucking.....guh....but yeah, wanted to keep me alive...use me as leverage...

Sal: How come?

Billy [Sighing]: Don't know. They didn't tell me, obviously. Maybe to get Mother Mercenary's Academy scrapped? I don't know. Honestly don't know.

Bill:'re safe man. That's all we can ask.

Billy: Is Eligio safe?

Sal: No. Anything happen to him?

Billy [Chuckling]: Spat at them. Really riling up the guys who captured us. Got a good beating, but he remained defiant when he was dragged off the truck. Couldn't tell you where he was dragged off, though.

Johan: Bill? Getting anything?

Bill is now clutching his handset, twisting a few dials as static fades in and out.


The static clears, followed by a small breath.

Bob's Voice: It's Bob.

Bill: Hey Bob. How are you guys?

Bob's Voice : We've just bunked down for a few minutes. About to assault the target. You guys?

Bill: Same. Except we've actually assaulted ours.

Bob's Voice: Anything?!

Bill: No..............................WE GOT FUCKING BILLY!!!!!!!!

Bob's Voice [Ecstatically]: THEY FOUND BILLY, GUYS! BILLY'S SAFE!

The sound of cheering and whistling echoes from the hand radio as Billy chuckles, pulling his eyepatch tighter over his eye.

Billy [Calling out]: Nice to hear your voice, Bob!

Bob's Voice [Relieved]: BIlly! Billy! You fucking Scot, I'm so glad to hear that voice!

Billy [Calling out]: No problem, Bob!

Bob's Voice [Happily]: Fucking...Fucking yes! Anyway, we have to go. We're about to assault our target. Finger's crossed it'll be where Eligio is.

Bill [Smirking]: My fingers are crossed brother. Bill out.

Bill twists a few of the dials, trying to find Tavi's signal.

Billy: So, what do we do now?

Sal: We sit here, and we bide our time. When Lynch gives the call....we move.

Billy [Sighing]: Great. Can't even rest.

Bobby [Shrugging]: No-one ever said this shit would be easy.

*Squad Alpha, Hungary*

Eight miles to the north-east of Squad Beta, Squad Alpha have already began to make some headway on their track to their own target. Lynch is at the head of the group, clutching the maps as he leads the squad southwards. Lynch stops, lowering his maps as he comes to a wooden gate and a long fence that cuts across a long stretch of the countryside. Lynch simply presses his foot against the gate, kicking it open and continuing. Ivan and Steve are busy bringing up the rear, with Steve simply humming to himself while Ivan's head snaps around.

Ivan: Is too quiet..

Lynch: It's countryside, Ivan: Don't expect it to be brimming with choppers and shit.

Ivan: But how do ve know they are here, zen?!

Lynch: ......Ivan, they wouldn't be flying helicopters and tanks or shit that could give them away, would they?

Ivan [Shrugging]: Maybe they would.

Dean: Just enjoy the walk, boys. FRESH HUNGARIAN AIR!

Phil takes a deep breath.

Phil: Smells like shit.

Lynch [Quietly]: Some of the farmers are still out doing their rounds..

Tavi: Won't they be suspicious of three squads of heavily armed mercenaries walking through their countryside?

Lynch [Sharply]: I think they'll be even more suspicious of their farmhouses being occupied by heavily armed PMC's.

Tavi: ....Touche.

Dean: How much longer?

Lynch: Two more miles south and we hit a small town.

Dean: What's the town called?

Lynch squints at his map.

Lynch [Mumbling]: Harrlvlralrlrl.

Dean: What?

Lynch: Shut up, Dean. If it's occupied by PMC's, it's the right damn town.

Steve: HIKING!!

Lynch [Scoffing]: Christ, somedays I wish I was exciteable as that little bastard..

Phil: You should see him when My Little Pony comes on. He bounces around the room like a spacehopper.

Lynch [Rolling his eyes]: Girl's shows? Really? How the fuck did you guys get it, anyway? Mother doesn't pay for satellite television!

Jericho: Let's just say that i'm...incredibly handy.

Steve [Squeaking]: FLUTTERSHY!!!

Lynch: ...Is that normal?

Phil: Normal for Steve, yeah.

Lynch [Muttering]: Great, my soldiers are watching childrens cartoons..


Tavi twists around, holding her fist towards Steve.

Tavi: Brohoof.

Steve grins, bumping his fist against Tavi's. Tavi grins, turning around and walking in the squad as Lynch sighs.

Lynch: Save me..

Jericho [Chanting]: Join the herd! Join the herd! Join the herd!

Lynch [Angrily]: Shut up, limey.

Tavi: Let's show him love and tolerance!

Jericho [Chuckling]: Phil's already seen your love and tolerance..

Phil: They both hurt like hell.

Jericho and Ivan laugh loudly as Lynch sighs, rubbing his eyes and walking up the path which raises up into a small hill.

Tavi: Maybe i'll find someone who can handle my love and tolerance.

Jericho [Chuckling]: Sorry to bother you, love, but Big Macintosh ain't real.

Tavi [Narrowing her eyes]: ...Hold on, how do you know?! AHA, YOU--

Jericho: Steve made me sit down and watch it. It claimed my soul.

Phil: So let me get this straight: You follow Mithras, a god of war, and you kill people for a living, yet watch My Little Pony which preaches love and tolerance. Jerry, you are one fucked up dude.

Ivan: It's amazing zat show did vat years of killing and mindless violence could not!

Lynch [Groaning]: I can't believe we're talking about this shit..

Jericho: Phil, you should try watching it.

Phil: I'm already neurotic and mentally unstable enough without watching ponies dance around.

Jericho [Muttering]: Says the guy who killed several of them.


Steve: I'm glad they were hallucinations..[Muttering coldly] or i'd have had you both skinned alive.

Tavi: Charming.

Karab: You know, we preached love and tolerance in the Gurkha's too: It was to lure our enemies into a false sense of security.

Jericho [Scoffing]: Why the hell would the Gurkha's do that when the very sight of them makes most armies crap their pants? Hell, you're lot made the Argies in the Falklands surrender by staring at them!

Karab: When a Gurkha isn't busy stabbing you with your own vertebrae, he considers it to be loving and tolerating towards you.

Ivan: I see...Vell, in the Spetsnaz, ve used to do backflipping hatchet attacks!

Jericho: How did that work out?

Ivan: Vell, it vas useful if ze enemy was half a mile away and didn't have a gun.

Jericho: Have you killed someone like that?

Ivan: Da. Once. I got cornered in a voom, I backflipped out of ze vindow and threw my hatchet. Hit him in the throat.

Jericho [Grinning]: ...Do you have hatchets on you?

Ivan holds up two fingers and Jericho claps his hands together.

Jericho: I hope you show us!

Lynch sighs, the squad having made it over the hill and now off the path, which has since turned left, and onto a sprawling field ahead of them. In the distance, a small trail of smoke from a chimney can just about be seen fluttering over the horizon.

Lynch [Narrowing his eyes]: There it is: That's our target.

Karab: That was quick!

Tavi: So what's the plan? Do we Rainbow Dash it--

Lynch [Impatiently]: How the fuck would we Rainbow Dash a goddamn town?!

Tavi: Make it twenty percent cooler.

Phil: ........So.....a bomb made of ice?


Dean [Sharply]: You'll see why when we're put into a combat situation and don't cry for our mothers.

Lynch [Sighing darkly]: Alright....bunk down here.

Ivan: Vat? Are ve napping?

Lynch: Rucksacks off.

Lynch turns to Tavi, snapping his fingers.

Tavi: Yes?

Lynch [Darkly]: Tavi, get them on the radio.

Tavi: Aye aye, captain.

Tavi shrugs off her rucksack onto the path, unzipping it and pulling out the radio.

Dean: So, we're just stopping?

Lynch: She can't march with the radio.

Dean: She's a woman: She can learn.

Karab: Wow, where the fuck did that misogyny come from?!

Dean [Shocked]: I...don't know!

Phil: I'm not saying it's aliens, but--

Jericho slams his fist into Phil's stomach, causing him to wheeze and double over.

Jericho: If you finished that sentence, I'd have had to kill you.

Phil [Wheezing]: Cheers Jerry..

Lynch [Raising his right arm]: Calm, men.

Tavi sets down her radio, getting on one knee beside it and setting up the SATCOM dish as the others simply stand around, looking around the empty field.

Steve: We gotta save Billy!

Lynch: I know.

Steve: And Eligio!

Lynch [Impatiently]: I know.

Steve [Scared]: I miss the beep.

Phil stumbles back, a fox scuttling over his feet.

Phil: Gotta love nature.

Jericho lifts his foot, a large brown spider clinging to the toecap of his boot.

Jericho [Squeaking]: ...Little help?

Steve [Laughing]: WOW! THAT'S A BIGGIE!

Ivan: Vell, look at zat beauty!

Jericho [Squeaking]: ........Help me!

Phil [Tutting]: Alright you big baby, hold o--

Phil goes to brush the spider off of Jericho's foot, but the spider leaps forward, grasping the back of Phil's right hand. Phil screams violently, running forward and shaking his hand.


Lynch growls, raising his assault rifle.

Lynch [Angrily]: HOLD STILL!

Phil [Screaming]: DON'T SHOOT! DON'T SHOOT!

Karab runs forward and grasps Phil's right arm. Phil stops as Karab gently grabs the spiders abdomen, but the spider leaps forward, latching onto Karab's combat vest. Karab screams loudly, slapping his vest as the spider scuttles downwards.

Karab [Screaming]: HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!


Lynch sighs desperately, watching as Dean sprints towards Karab. The spider leaps off, grasping the groin area of Dean's combat pants.

Tavi [Laughing]: WOW! LOOK AT THAT!


Karab swings his foot back before unleashing a mighty kick forward, slamming it upwards into Dean's crotch and crushing the spider in a horrid, twisted mess on his crotch. Dean squeals loudly, his eyes crossing as he falls to his knees, then onto his side, his legs twitching violently.

Karab [Tutting]: Dean, you got spider goo on my boot!

Dean [Inelligibly, high-pitched squeaking]: Hiareyayrwkanfeee!!

Ivan: Vats he saying?

Karab shrugs. Lynch sighs, giving almost a sob, rubbing his eyes.

Lynch [Coldly]: Tavi, have you got anything yet?

Tavi sits cross-legged on the field in front of the radio, clutching the radio handset in her hand as she fiddles with the dial.

Tavi: This is Sugar. Come in, Squads Alpha and Beta. Come in. I repeat, this is Sugar. Sugary Rainbow Dash. Sugary Rainbow Dash. Come in--

Bob's Voice: This is Bob, coming in clear.

Tavi: How are you guys?

Bob's Voice: About to assault the Rat's Nest.

Tavi [Turning to Lynch]: They're about to go for the first target.

Lynch walks over, holding his hand out. Tavi hands him the handset.

Lynch: Bob? You there?

Bob's Voice: No shit.

Lynch: Do you know what you're doing?

Bob's Voice: Damn right we do! Got a plan and everything!

Lynch: Then all I can say is Semper Fi, soldier.

Bob's Voice [Underwhelmed]: ........But i'm not a Marine.

Lynch: Well...Carpe Diem, Mors Omnibus, Dux Bellorum, what-the-fuck-ever. GO GET 'EM!!

Bob's Voice: Roger that, Lynch! Bob out!

Tavi tunes the radio slightly as it picks up different bursts of static.

Lynch: This is Lynch. This is Lynch. Come in.

Tavi settles it on a frequency.

Bill's Voice [Obscured by chewing]: Sup?

Lynch: How are you guys?

Bill's Voice [Sound of swallowing]: Oh, great! Just ate part of our rations. Assaulted the first target--

Lynch: Anything?!

Bill's Voice: Dead PMC soldiers.

Lynch [Sighing]: Alright.

Bill's Voice: Oh, yeah, we found Billy too.


A small cheer goes up from the mercenaries. Steve leaps into the air, pumping his fist.

Steve [Cheering]: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jericho [Clapping his hands]: One down. Here's hoping we can find Eligio soon!

Phil [Whooping]: Woohoo! They got the Scot!

Bill's Voice [Chuckling]: Yeah. He's safe. Bit traumatised from having his eye cut out--

Billy's Voice [Yelling]: I'M FINE, YEH BLEEDING JESSIE!!!

Lynch: Alright, that's good. That's great! At least he's safe!

Bill's Voice: Aye, he's fine. When you give the word, we'll head to the target.

Lynch: Got it. Squad Alpha, out.

Lynch hands Tavi the handset, who replaces it and begins to pack away the radio. Lynch turns to the group of mercenaries, shrugging off his rucksack on the grass.

Lynch: Let's eat, men. The others have.

Phil: Looooooooowwwwwwwww liiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the fieeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllds of Athenrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Lynch: Shut up.

The mercenaries shrug off their rucksacks onto the floor. Dean is still lying in the field, sobbing quietly. Phil unzips his, pulling out his First Strike Ration and tearing it open, spilling bright brown packages everywhere. He grabs the largest one, ripping it open to reveal a pocket sandwich.

Phil: ...The fuck is this?

Lynch sighs, sitting down and grasping his own First Strike Ration, tearing off the film.

Lynch: Pocket sandwich. Provides sustenance. Eat up, we'll need it attacking that town.

Phil: But these things look ominous.

Lynch [Sighing darkly]: You're a Limey, you should be used to picnics and tea and scones and shit. Eat up.

Phil: How offensive. I'll have you know that, as a Northerner, only dirty Southern fairy scum have tea and scones. We have tea. Simple. Tea and chips.

Lynch: I'm seriously about to punch you in the fucking nose, Phil. EAT.

Phil: Alright.

Karab: American military food. Great. It even sounds tasteless. I mean, what the fuck is a pocket sandwich?!

Lynch: Bread with filling.

Karab [Narrowing his eyes]: Filling?

Lynch: Shut up and eat, you picky fucks.

Jericho [Sighing]: Alright..guess we have to.

Jericho, who has torn his own ration open, grasps a pack of beef jerky and tears it open, eating it. Tavi pulls out a small pack of lemon poppy seed cake, grinning.

Tavi: Yay! Sugar!

Jericho bites into his beef jerky, watching as Phil pulls his pocket sandwich in half.

Phil: goes nothing.

Phil takes a bite out of the sandwich, his lips curling. Tavi looks down at her lemon poppy seed cake, shrugging and taking a quick bite out of it, smiling contently.

Tavi: I like this!

Phil [Muffled]: Shooth me.

Lynch [Angrily]: SHUT UP AND EAT! Fucking imbeciles..

Ivan sits there, chewing a strip of jerky from his own ration.

Ivan: Zis jerky is alvight...Bread is chewy..

Karab simply sits there, chewing on a strip of jerky and shrugging.

Karab: Well, it's something.

Lynch takes a bite out of his pocket sandwich, his nose suddenly wrinkling.

Lynch [Muffled, smile shaking]: Mmfff...goodth.

Tavi licks her fingers, grinning and grabbing her packet of applesauce, tearing off the top.

Tavi: Down the hatch!

Tavi tilts her head back, squeezing the entire sachet down her throat.

Lynch [Wincing]: You crazy, crazy bitch. You're even crazier than bronies.

Tavi scuttles over to Lynch, resting her head in his lap.

Tavi [Sweetly]: I'll love and tolerate you to death.

Lynch [Venomously]: Okay, we'll see how love and tolerance stands up to my assault rifle

Tavi [Darkly]: You really are an asshole, Coach.

Lynch: Hey, I never said you can't be armed with love and tolerance, I'm just telling you that your love and tolerance speal isn't bulletproof.

Tavi [Winking]: You'll see.

Tavi pulls her head away, snorting loudly as Lynch swallows his mouthful, reaching into his bag and pulling out a bottle of water, pulling up the sports cap and taking a quick drink.

Lynch: We need the energy...We need the energy.

Karab [Darkly]: Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

*Squad Delta, Target – Codename “Rat Hole”, Hungary*

Squad Delta, having finished eating, have now moved to the left around the hill and are now on the dirt path that cuts through the target that is codenamed "Rat Hole". Every single mercenary is crouched low on the ground so they are obscured by the chest-high stone wall ahead of them. Carefully, they edge to the left-hand side of the path, so that the MG42 in the upper-right window of the closest farmhouse to them can't swing around, spot them and mow them down. Hidden by the wall and the farmhouse, they quickly flatten down onto their stomachs with their weapons slung onto the back of their rucksacks, laying on the dirt path.

Frank [Quietly]: Alright, what now?

Will [Whispering]: I go into the house and take out the gunner.

Robbie [Quietly]: What if a patrol comes around the back and spots you?

Will [Whispering]: Anyone have a silenced weapon?

Frank [Quietly]: All we have is our knives. And these FNs.

Will [Hissing]: For fucks sake! Never bring a knife to a gun fight!

Robbie [Scathingly]: Well don't run in half-cocked and take it slow!

Courtney slowly edges away from the group, enough to tilt her head to the left and look behind the farmhouse: There appears to be no movement in the field or immediate area behind the two farmhouses on the left-hand side of the path.

Courtney [Quietly]: Guys, it looks relatively clear. If Will's going to move, he has to move now.

Will carefully pulls himself onto one knee.

Will [Quietly]: Fuck! My back just clicked!

Maurice [Hissing]: My heart don't bleed, kiddo! We don't have time to worry about yer spine!

Will [Hissing]: Says you! You're lying on a natural cushion, you big bastard!

Bob [Quietly]: Will, you best get moving. We'll remain here. Courtney will remain off to the side, so if you get found out, she can at least eliminate the PMC's. If you get spotted, run back here and we'll just have to attack head on.

Will [Quietly]: Right, I'll give the thumbs up in the gunners window when I take it. Wish me luck.

Frank [Quietly]: Good luck, old friend.

Will [Chuckling quietly]: Don't get soft on me, you drunken hobo. I'm taking off this pack and my gun, though.

Will reaches around his body, pulling off the FN2000 from his body and laying it slowly on the ground before shrugging off his rucksack, patting the knife sheath on the left-side of his chest and grasping the blackened handle.

Courtney [Quietly]: When you give the thumbs up, I'll accompany you into the house and bring your weapon with you. You got spare clips?

Will pats the four chest pockets on his urban camouflage combat vest before giving a thumbs up.

Will [Quietly]: Affirmative.

Dave [Quietly]: Remember Will: Not a videogame. You see someone, stab them.

Will crouch-walks forward quickly, heading towards the rear of the farmhouse. The other mercenaries hold their breath, watching as he makes it around the back of the house. Will carefully grasps the stainless steel handle of the dark green door on the rear of the house, holding his breath as he very carefully turns it and slowly pulls it open, minimal noise coming from the clicking of the handle. Will very slowly walks through the door, into a small kitchen area which has since been emptied, leaving nothing but white linoleum. Will quickly moves forward, pressing his right-hand side against the wall of the farmhouse, huddling underneath the window on his hands and knees and carefully crawling towards the front door.

Will [Under his breath]: Man, the things I do for these guys......Fucking hell, did they even polish this shit?!

Will wipes his dirt-clogged right hand on his combat vest to remove the dirt and grime from the floor, crawling forward past the front door, looking ahead of him at a doorframe erected in the wall two feet away, next to which is a stairway with four steps up which then twists left and leads up to the top floor in an L-shape. Will carefully presses his head against the wall, noticing the room beyond the doorframe is darkened, the light switched off.

Will [Under his breath]: .....Can't be anyone in there except vampires.

Will very carefully moves forward and looks over his shoulder as a PMC soldier walks past the window. Quickly, Will moves forward up the four steps, turning left and heading up the stairway and onto the top floor, emerging in a small, enclosed room with a closed dark-green door to his left. Will presses his eye to the keyhole, narrowly making out one dark figure stood with his back to the doorway.

Will [Under his breath]: ...Here goes nothing.

Reaching out carefully, Will grasps the doorhandle and gently pulls the door open, crouch-walking through the doorway. The support-gunner is inches in front of him, clutching the bullet belt which is fed into the MG42. To his left stands the gunner, who is pre-occupied with clutching the MG42 which is attached to the open windows sill via its in-built bipod. Without wasting a second, Will gets to his feet quickly and lunges forward, unsheathing his knife, locking his right arm around the lower-half of the support gunners head and shoving his knife into the side of the support gunners skull. The support gunner lets out a bloodcurdling dying scream, muffled by his ski mask and Will's arm, as Will pulls the knife out with a plume of blood and mucus and a cracking of bone, shoving the body to the left as the gunner quickly twists around, letting go of the MG42 and jolting backwards, noticing his comrades skull now pooling blood on the hardwood floor.

Will: Make my day, punk.

Praying Mantis PMC: ...You're--

Will [Energetically]: My name is Will Studlin, and you're time is up!

Praying Mantis PMC Soldier [Pointing at him]: Those colors don't match!

Will blinks.

Will: I'm not going to let myself be distracted that easily, idiot.

Will lunges forward, shoving the soldier backwards into the wall and thrusting his knife forward. The PMC lunges his hands down, grasping Will's wrist and stopping his knife mere inches from his abdomen. Will growls, pushing forward as hard as he can as he glares angrily at the soldier.

Will [Angrily]: They think i'm useless?! Well, I'm not going to let myself be their little bitch much longer!

The soldier swings his knee up, catching Will in the groin. Will groans loudly before squearling, stumbling backwards with his left hand clutching his groin.

Praying Mantis PMC Soldier [Chuckling]: Typical mercenary. No balls--

Will lunges forward with an over-arm stab, forcing his right hand down violently into the top of the soldiers skull. The soldiers eyes widen in surprise before rolling into the back of his head as he slumps down the wall, blood pouring from the wound and seeping into the fabric of his ski mask. Will wrenches the knife free with a sickening crack of the bone before looking down at the soldier, wiping his knife on the shirt of his fatigues.

Will: Never, EVER question Will Studlin's balls. EVER.

Will looks over at the mounted MG42 before moving to the left-hand side of the window: He can barely pick out the squad, albeit it for Frank's scalp bobbing in the distance. Frank's head raises slightly, and Will gives the thumbs up. Frank narrows his eyes.

Frank: Either he's giving me the bird...or....

Robbie: He's taken the house, the magnificent bastard!

Samuel [Quietly]: That's my cue, then.

Dave: Shall we give 'em hell?

Courtney grabs the FN2000 Will shrugged off of his body, grasping the lanyard and looping it over her right arm before slinging it around her back.

Courtney: I'm going to rendezvous with him so we can man that MG and rip that place to shreds.

Samuel [Quietly]: I'm going around the back and towards the barn.

Robbie: I'll follow Courtney and take the second farmhouse. Sam, you keep behind me and take the barn.

Frank [Quietly]: Robbie, when you take the second farmhouse, drop a bullet out of the window. When that bullet drops, everyone get ready to make their fucking day a living hell.

Robbie shrugs off his own MP40 and backpack before picking up his assault rifle once more, slinging it over his right arm and onto his back.

Mercenaries [Quietly]: Got it.

Frank [Quietly]:

Courtney gets up onto one knee, crouch-walking forward. Robbie quickly follows, crouch-walking behind Courtney and is followed himself by Samuel. Courtney is quicker in her crouch-walking, making her way to the open rear door of the first farmhouse, quickly moving around the kitchen, turning left up the stairs and left again, up the rest of the staircase and to the top floor. She stops at the top of the stairs, her head looking around the doorway and watching as Will is stood to the left of the window, breathing quietly with his back flattened to the wall, watching the mercenaries carefully.

Courtney [Quietly]: It's Courtney. Hold fire.

Will [Hissing]: Kind of hard to hold fire when you don't have a gun to fire in the first place!

Courtney crouch-walks through the door, slinging Will's gun from her shoulder and holding it out in front of her. Will motions for her to lay it down, which she slowly does, before pointing to the bullet belt quietly swaying from the MG42.

Courtney [Quietly]: We're waiting for Robbie to drop a bullet from the window of the farmhouse next to you.

Will [Hissing]: How the hell will we know when he's dropped it?!

Courtney slowly gets to her feet, lunging forward and slamming her back against the right-hand side of the window. She can just about see the edge of the right-hand bedroom window, the only bedroom window of the farmhouse next-door.

Courtney [Quietly]: I can see him. Let's wait.

Robbie has since breached the second farmhouse, crouch-walking into the small kitchen area of the second farmhouse, crawling under the windows and towards the doorframe. Robbie carefully crawls forward toward the doorframe before grasping the sides of it and pulling himself to one knee: The large room, what was probably a lounge when the farmhouse was still lived within, is occupied by a single chair, his chair shoved into the upper-left corner of the room facing the doorway. Luckily, the soldier is fast asleep, snoring quietly with his head lolled back against the back of the torn, moth-eaten leather chair, the windows completely covered with scraps of old newspaper and khaki netting so as to darken the room to make it easier to sleep in. Robbie unsheathes his SS Himmler dagger from the sheathe on the left hand of his chest, gripping the hardwood grip tightly as he quickly crouch-walks forward, leaning in and pressing his left hand over the soldiers mouth. As the soldiers eyes open, Robbie quickly presses the dagger forward, stabbing into the soldier throat before moving it swiftly left and right, slicing the soldiers throat as his dying cries are muffled, the wet blood from behind his ski mask seeping through and onto Robbie's hand. Robbie pulls his dagger from the smooth wound, quickly sheathing it once more and pulling his hand away, watching as a waterfall of blood pours from the wound and down the soldiers woodland fatigues, pooling on the floor below him.

Robbie [Shaking his head]: ..Dammit, can't get distracted.

Robbie twists around, crouch-walking towards a closed dark-green door to the left of the doorframe, hiding the staircase. Robbie slowly grasps the handle, pulling the door open slowly and looking up at a PMC soldier who is stood at the top of the stairs in the middle of an open doorway, head bowed and his right foot tapping, a cord from his headphones barely visible leading under his ski mask. Robbie quickly walks up the stairs, getting to his feet and looking around the guard who is completely oblivious to Robbie's presence: With no other soldier visible ahead of him, Robbie unsheathes his dagger, carefully climbing up one more step and wrapping his left arm around the lower-half of the guards head, pressing his forearm tightly around his mouth and repeatedly stabbing the dagger into the guards middle and lower back. The soldiers cries and grunts of agony are muffled as each wet stab penetrates through the simply woodland camouflage shirt and through the flesh, the blood staining Robbie's own fatigues before he slowly moves backwards, the soldier having stopped struggling as his life ebbed away and allowing Robbie to carefully lay him on the stairs, edging around his body and through the open doorway, falling to one knee and twisting around, noticing an open doorway to the left of the doorway to the stairs. Robbie sighs, looking to his left at the pool and sprays of blood on the floor from where he stabbed the soldier.

Robbie [Quietly]: Can't be a hostage held here. Two soldiers who aren't even alert? Pah.

Robbie inches to the right slightly, looking through the open doorway at a soldier who is doubled-over the window, smoking a cigarette. Robbie quickly inches further to the right and lunges forward, pressing his back against the wall next to the doorway as the soldier pulls away from the window, turning around and walking forward. Robbie can clearly hear the soldiers footsteps on the hardwood floor stripped bare of carpeting, and listens closely as the soldiers footsteps draw closer. The soldier emerges through the doorway and Robbie, still on one knee, slices the achilles tendon of the soldiers left leg. The soldier cries out, twisting around and collapsing back-first onto the floor, but Robbie quickly shoves his left hand over his mouth and shoves his dagger into the soldiers throat horizontally, slicing from left to right and cutting his throat. The soldier gives a final few blood-filled chokes before his head lolls to the side, dead, allowing Robbie to pull his dagger from the wound with a sickening squelch and sheath it on his chest once more, reaching into the soldiers pocket and pulling out a magazine, pulling a bullet with a rough crack from it and getting to his feet, walking through the doorway and towards the window. Without looking, Robbie throws the bullet under-arm and it lands out of the window, rattling slightly as it hits the dirt. Noticing the small object fall from the window, Courtney twists around, grasping the bullet belt as Will grasps the MG42. Frank quickly gets onto one knee, Maurice, Bob and Dave doing the same.

The entire air around them seems to fall still for a moment.

Frank [With a determined scream]: GIVE 'EM HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Several PMC soldiers, who were patrolling and standing on the dirt path between the farmhouses, twist around as Frank, Dave, Bob and Maurice get to their feet, charging forward. Before the soldiers can open fire, they are forced to move towards the hill to their left hand side as Will opens fire with the MG42 in several quick bursts. The gunfire explodes roughly from the house as three soldiers are cut down instantly in a hail of gunfire, allowing Frank, Bob, Dave and Maurice to huddle beneath the stone wall. Five soldiers huddle behind the last remaining farmhouse, while three more run out of the barn. Will twists the MG around, but it cannot reach.


Will swings the MG42 around again, aiming at the doorway of the last remaining farmhouse. Two soldiers file out from the door, but it takes just three quick bursts from the MG42 to cut them down, sending them stumbling back into the farmhouse. Will's head snaps up, looking across at the upper-left bedroom window where a soldier is aiming at him, but a quick rattle of gunfire from the farmhouse next door echoes out and the soldier convulses, stumbling back and falling to the floor out of sight.

Robbie [Calling out]: YOU OWE ME, WILL!!

Maurice quickly surfaces, aiming across the dirt path and aims down his iron sights, squeezing his trigger and firing off a quick burst towards the soldiers who are huddled in the entrance to the barn before crouching back down. Frank quickly stands up, the target now alive with the sound of gunfire as the soldiers from behind the final farmhouse aim at Frank, Dave, Maurice and Bob, squeezing off several rounds. A third soldier emerges from the final farmhouse, but Will swings his MG42 down, squeezing the trigger. Several rounds burst out, cutting the soldier down, but the MG42 suddenly stops firing.

Will [Panicking]: SHIT! IT'S JAMMED!

Courtney [Hastily]: Calm down!

Dave: What's up with them?

Frank: Gun's jammed.

Dave: I'm going around the back. What the fuck is Samuel doing?

Frank: Dave, he can't move: There's soldiers in the fucking barn.

Dave [Sighing]: Right, cover me.

Frank [Yelling out]: COVERING FIRE!!

Maurice, Frank and Bob surface, aiming down their rifles and firing across the street at the soldiers behind the final farmhouse, forcing them to recoil backwards and take cover. Robbie leans out of the window, looking down the dirtpath at the soldiers beneath him, opening fire with his MP40. The soldiers duck back, but one of them is shot twice in the top of the skull, sending him collapsing backwards to the floor, killed instantly. Dave quickly runs around the back of the houses, twisting right as he reaches the small gap between the first two farmhouses, noticing a soldier squeezing through. The soldier notices Dave, but Dave swings his FN2000 around, firing from the hip and sending a swath of bullets into the soldiers chest, sending him stumbling backwards and to the ground, dead.

Dave [Pumping his right arm in pain]: Fuck! Shouldn't hip-fire with an assault rifle! Fuck!

Dave hisses, running forward and towards the barn: Dave watches as Samuel crawls through a small hole he cut into a rotten piece of wood and into the depths of the barn.

Dave [Chuckling]: Smart-ass motherfucker.

Samuel crouch-walks forward, keeping a close eye on the soldiers who are now huddled in the barn, standing directly in front of the jeep itself, firing across the street at Frank, Bob and Maurice who occasionally pop up to exchange gunfire. Samuel carefully moves forward, keeping close to the left-hand side of the Humvee and slowly climbs in, slumping down in the seat so he can't be seen before checking the ignition.

Samuel [Quietly]: Keys in the ignition, huh? Amateurs.

Samuel slowly pulls himself up, carefully watching the soldiers before twisting the keys in the ignition, roaring the engine into life. The soldiers quickly twist around, but Samuel quickly shifts the gear into drive and jams his foot down onto the pedal: The Humvee speeds forward, and before the soldiers can swing their rifles up, the bonnet smashes violently into them, sending one of the soldiers mangled bodies skidding across the floor, leaving a trail of smeared blood from wear the Humvee's fender broke his arm so badly that bone cracked through skin, and sending the second one slamming into the windshield, leaving a huge stain of blood on the cracked glass. Samuel quickly reverses back into the barn, laughing loudly.


Two soldiers run through the rear door of the final farmhouse and towards the lower-left window, but Robbie is quick to aim down the sights of his MP40 and open fire, the bullets shattering the glass and quickly cutting down the soldiers. Maurice jolts up to his feet, yelling loudly as he aims down the sights of his FN2000, cutting down two more soldiers who, in a suicidal fit of desperation, ran forward from behind the final farmhouse. The soldiers collapse forward, tripping to the floor with holes blown into their torsos. The final soldier sprints forward, screaming violently with his hand clasped around a frag grenade.

Bob [Panicking]: SHIT! SHIT!

Frank swiftly holds down his trigger as the soldier sprints towards the wall, sending several bullets into the soldiers chest. The soldier stumbles backwards from the velocity of the gunfire before collapsing backwards to the floor, the grenade spilling out of his lifeless hand.

Frank [Calmly]: Hit the dirt, fellas.

Frank, Bob and Maurice scream, crouching beneath the wall as the grenade detonates, spraying chunks of the soldiers flesh, blood and bone across the street. Frank narrowly ducks beneath a charred fingertip that flies over the wall, quickly surfacing with Bob and Maurice before raising his arms, his assault rifle falling across his body.


The Humvee's engine roars violently as Samuel drives out of the barn, turning left and cutting the engine before climbing out, grasping the corpse of the mangled soldier and pulling it roughly from his windshield, shoving it to the floor. Robbie jogs out of his farmhouse, clutching his MP40 with a smug grin on his face.

Robbie: We fucking did it.

Frank, Bob and Maurice walk through the gate, towards the middle of the street as Will and Courtney emerge from their farmhouse. Courtney sighs, rubbing her brow.

Will [Bitterly]: Fucking blew it. Fucking gun jammed. For fucks sake.

Courtney [Breathlessly]: Sorry guys...bullet stuck...not good with old weaponry..couldn't undo the jam...shit..

Frank walks forward, wrapping his arms around Will and hugging him tightly. Will simply stands there before doing the unthinkable: He slaps his arms around Frank, patting his back.

Bob [Chuckling]: That....That's what I like to see..

Frank: You did well, Will. You did fucking well.

Courtney sighs, rubbing her brow before waving it off.

Bob: Hey, Samuel. Check the final farmhouse.

Samuel gives a quick salute, jogging forward and over the bodies into the final farmhouse as Frank pulls away from Will, patting his shoulders.

Will: Didn't always want to be seen as just a cunt..

Frank: Seriously: You did a great job.

Will: .........................Thanks.

Maurice [Laughing]: Eee, lad! Yer going soft!

Will [Angrily]: Fuck you, fat man!

Maurice laughs louder, shaking his head.

Maurice [Laughing]: Ahhh..almost, Will. almost.

Robbie sighs, looking around at the now-decimated target.

Robbie: ...Well, if anything, we got their attention.

Samuel jogs out the house, swiping a hand repeatedly across his throat and shaking his head.

Samuel: Neither man are in there. Empty target.

Frank [Kicking a stone away]: SHIT!!

Samuel [Clapping his hands together]: C'mon, men and women. We eliminated the first target. That's one more than those bastards at the Academy expected. We showed them good, and now we move on to the next target.

Frank: Samuel's right.

Robbie [Patting Samuel's back]: I like this guy. Driving a Humvee into PMC's? Magnificent! Absolutely magnificent!

Samuel [Chuckling and shrugging]: Hey, they got in the way.

Dave: Man, we kicked ass! Can only imagine how the others are doing!

Frank: Alright..Bob, get on the radio and give Lynch a sitrep. Courtney, Will, Robbie: Grab your sacks--

Will [Smirking]: Pervert.

Frank [Chuckling]: Samuel, Maurice: Hop in the Humvee.

Samuel climbs into the drivers seat, sitting back as Maurice climbs into the passengers seat, balling up his fist and smashing it through the windscreen, punching through the shattered glass and knocking it straight out of the pane as Bob gets on one knee, pulling the radio from his rucksack and setting it on the ground.

Courtney: Did we kick ass?

Will: We did: Gimme some skin.

Will holds his hand out and Courtney slaps it, laughing.

Robbie [Smirking]: Now that's what i'm talking about.

*Squad Alpha, Target – Codename “Eagles Nest”, Hungary*

Several miles to the North-West of Squad Delta, Squad Alpha are now on one knee, half a mile away from a bridge over a shallow, rushing river that leads into their target. Tavi hands Lynch a pair of binoculars, and Lynch glances through them: The path leads south over the bridge, through a crossroads in the middle of town and further south to the final target, Beast's Den. To the left, beyond the bridge, is a large house, opposite of which Lynch can barely make out a pair of familiar golden arches glowing slightly in the overcast weather.

Lynch [Muttering]: You gotta be kidding me.

Tavi [Smirking]: Yep: The golden arches light up the way.

Lynch [Hissing]: McDonalds? REALLY?!

Dean [Grinning]: Alriiiiiight! Greasy food!

Lynch sighs, turning his head left: To the left of the house and the McDonalds, at the end of the street, is a large, old church with a belltower at the back of it. Lynch can barely make out the barrel of a sniper rifle peering from the belltower as he scans to the right, a guard tower to the left of the church and two to the right of the church, each with a machine-gunner inside them. Tavi begins to unpack her radio as Lynch scans further right, noticing four houses to the right of the crossroads.

Lynch [Muttering]: Pretty heavily guarded: Going to be a difficult job securing it. Eligio's gotta be in here.

Phil: We hope.

Karab: Well, this should be fun.

Dean: Can we surrender?

Lynch [Sharply]: I could shoot you: Would that do?

Dean: No, i'd prefer the surrender.

Tavi hands the radio handset to Lynch, who swiftly takes it.

Lynch: Yeah?

Bob's Voice: Hey Lynch. Squad Delta reporting in.

Lynch: And?

Bob's Voice: We've taken our target: No-one there, but we've secured it.

Lynch: Well done, then. Brilliant job. No, phenomenal job! Well done!

Bob's Voice: Thanks Lynch. We've got to head four miles North to reach Beast's Lair, though. In our Humvee, it should be quick.

Lynch: I've ordered Squad Beta to sit back and hang fire until we contact them. You should do the same until we contact you. What I want you to do, however, is get within a mile of Beast's Lair. According to satellite photographs, there are three roads: North, South and East, heading out of it. We'll approach from the West. Now, I want you to reach within a mile south of Beast's Lair, and keep a close eye: Once they realise we're decimating their encampments, they may wise up and get Eligio out of there. Keep a close eye on them.

Bob's Voice: Roger that, Bob out.

Lynch: Alright Tavi, get in contact with Mother Mercenary.

Tavi nods, erecting the SATCOM antenna and fiddling with the dials and keypad, pressing a few buttons as the radio crackles in Lynch's hand. The receiver suddenly picks up a noise.

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Clearing her throat]: This is Mother.

Lynch: Mother, Coach Marcus Lynch, reporting from Hungary.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Lynch. How are things?

Lynch: We're about to assault our first target. We're lagging behind Squads Beta and Delta, both of whom have taken their initial targets and have nothing to report. No sign of Eligio Marquez--


Lynch waves off Phil.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: I know. I've heard from both of them. I assume that means one of them must be held at your target. Or both. or maybe both are held at Beast's Nest--

Lynch: Mother, what if they have been moved?

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Chuckling]: Dear Marcus. I have operatives intercepting radio transmissions, and I can assure you that nothing indicates the arrival or departure of any high-profile hostages, not least in Hungary. The only thing we have from Hungary is two-way radio traffic between PMC's confirming that they have two of 'Mother's own'. That's it. Now, yes, it is possible they may sneak under our noses...but that's all the more reasons why you should move in for the kill.

Lynch: Roger, Mother.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Do not waste anymore time. Assault that position. Mother, out.

Lynch hands the handset to Tavi who takes it, packing up the SATCOM as Lynch turns to the mercenaries.

Lynch: You heard the woman: Across the bridge, now.

Jericho [Determined]: Come on, ladies! Let's roll!

Jericho runs forward, but stops suddenly.

Lynch [Hissing]: What's wrong?

Jericho gives a quiet weep, turning around and running towards them. Lynch and the other mercenaries watch as Jericho runs around the bridge, digging his soles into the bank and sliding down into the small river. The reason for Jericho's panic soon becomes clear, as the turret of a woodland green M1A2 Abrams tank creaks into view, the treads of the tank roaring and crackling as it rolls across the cobbled streets.

Phil [Yelping]: Take cover.

The mercenaries quickly run around the right-side of the bridge, sliding down the small bank and into the shallow river. Lynch wades to the left, making it under the bridge and signals to the others, who quickly wade through the shallow, but rushing, water. Huddled under the bridge, the tank continues roaring forward, and the mercenaries are presumed to have been unseen. Lynch gives a dark sigh, rubbing his eyes.

Dean [Quietly]: Man, that place looks guarded to the gills.

Lynch [Muttering]: Someone has to be in there.

Karab: How do we know?

Lynch: We don’t. But the tank, I believe, is a give-away.

Phil [Grinning]: I want to secure that baby.

Steve [Quietly, happily]: Let me just get my Desert Eagle!

Steve reaches into the holster strapped to his thigh, pulling out the fifty-caliber monster handgun. The other mercenaries slowly turn their heads to Steve, who gives a small grin. Having not seen Steve take the weapon from his rucksack, the sudden appearance of it shocks some of the mercenaries.

Phil [Shocked]: Fucking hell, they let anyone have a gun these days.

Lynch: I hope to God he knows how to use that thing.

Phil: I hope he doesn’t!!!

Dean [Hissing]: Fucking hell! What's he doing with firepower that good?!

Lynch [Quietly]: Mother gave him it--

Dean [Shocked]: What?! Crazy bitch!!

Tavi: Guys, let’s keep focused on the task at hand.

Lynch: It’s a cold day in hell when she speaks more sense than any of you.


Jericho: I don’t think you want to know.

Lynch: Right, here's the plan: Phil, you and Tavi take the tank. Me and Jericho will take the building in front of us. Ivan, you and Steve take the building to our immediate left. Karab and Dean, you take the building to the right of ours. After taking them, Karab and Dean, you take the building opposite of McDonalds, Ivan and Steve take the building to the left of your first building, and me and Jericho...will take the McDonalds.

Phil [Scoffing]: Fat bastards.

Lynch: We're going to have be stealthy about this at first. Phil, it'd help if you pulled your thumb out of your ass and captured the tank first.

Phil: Oh. Wow. No fucking problem.

Lynch: Really?

Phil: No. Bite me.

Phil sighs, turning around and wading against the current of the river.

Phil [Muttering under his breath]: Piece of shit..motherfucker..asshole..make me capture a tank...i'll capture my foot in your ass..

Phil turns left, grasping a tuft of grass and jamming his foot into the bank, pulling himself up roughly, his feet scuttling against the bank. Phil lunges forward, grasping both arms against the top of the bank and lashing his legs out, scraping up the bank and pulling himself up, lunging his right leg up and slamming it on top of the bank and using it to pull himself up, rolling onto the grass and letting out a deep breath, pulling himself to his feet and lunging forward, slamming his back against the wall of the building directly in front of him. Lynch's head pops around the bridge, his neck craning slightly as he watches Phil keep his back against the wall.

Lynch [Hissing]: Go!

Phil [Hissing]: I will when it turns around!!

Phil edges left to the side of the building closest to the bridge, peering his head around slightly: The tank has rolled to the end of the street, towards the church, and has since began to turn around. Lynch turns his head to Tavi, giving a swift nod. Tavi wades against the current of the river, squatting slightly and springing up, her hands grasping the edge of the bank and pulling herself up, executing a forward-roll as she lands on the grass, springing back to her feet nimbly and slamming her back against the wall next to Phil.

Tavi [Quietly]: What's the plan?

Phil [Quietly]: I won't be able to capture that tank without a distraction first. I need this building here taken.

Tavi [Quietly]: Are you alright? You seem a bit nervous.

Phil [Quietly]: Just adrenaline. Just adrenaline.

Tavi gives a small nod as Phil edges right, the tank still busy executing a three point turn in order to turn around and continue its patrol to the other end of the street.

Tavi [Hissing]: He needs this building taken! He needs a distraction!

Lynch [Quietly, to Ivan and Steve]: That's your cue, boys. Carpe diem.

Ivan: Technically, wouldn't it be 'Carpe Building'?

Lynch lunges forward with a backhand, but Ivan and Steve scuttle off, sniggering as they wade against the current of the water. Tavi walks forward, kneeling down and extending a hand to Steve who grasps it, allowing Tavi to pull backwards and pull him up slightly. Steve slaps both of his hands onto the bank, swinging his right leg up and rolling onto the top of the bank, pulling himself to his feet as Tavi extends her hand to Ivan.

Lynch [To Dean and Karab]: Get on the bank. When you hear gunfire, remember: You're taking the building to the upper-right of the street.

Dean [Hissing]: What?! We'll be sprinting in full-view of a tank!!

Lynch: Boy, you better be able to run.

Karab [Sighing]: Well..I guess this is part of the penance I have to pay.

Lynch: That's the spirit, Paki--

Karab [Hissing darkly]: Indian-slash-Nepalese!! I bet you wouldn't call Dean 'white trash', would you?!

Dean: He does.

Karab [Hissing]: Yeah, we--Wait, he does?

Lynch: I find it easier to bunch you all in stereotypes. For example, Jericho's a limey.

Jericho: Manc.

Lynch [Raising an eyebrow]: ....Limey.

Jericho [Bluntly]: Manc.

Lynch turns his head to Jericho, who folds his arms and stares back at him. In the meantime, both Ivan and Steve have pulled themselves up, their backs flattened on either side of the backdoor in front of them. Lynch looks at Steve, who carefully presses both hands against the butt of his Desert Eagle, gripping it firmly.

Ivan [Quietly]: You do know that thing, if fired improperly, will break your wrist, da?

Steve [Quietly]: Yep.

Ivan [Quietly, shrugging]: Just thought i'd check.

Phil: Please move.

Ivan moves in front of the door, carefully gripping the handle and giving it a quick twist, carefully and slowly pushing it open. Ivan opens his palm, bringing it down slowly, motioning for Steve to crouch. Both men crouch down and Ivan, his M79 strapped to his back, reaches into the holster at his thigh, grasping his M9 Beretta sidearm and carefully reaches into his left pocket, pulling out a silencer and screwing it onto the barrel slowly. Ivan crouch-walks forward, followed by Steve, entering a room that was possibly previously used as a kitchen. Ivan carefully moves forward before both men move to the left, out of the line of sight from the window in front of them and to the left-hand wall. Steve carefully shuts the backdoor as the door to the kitchen in front of Ivan opens, a soldier strolling through and slamming the door shut behind him. The moment the door is slammed, Ivan raises his Beretta and pulls the trigger twice, hitting the soldier once in the side of the neck and once in the side of the skull. The PMC stumbles sideways, slamming into the wall and sliding down it onto his knees, leaving a trail of blood down the torn pale blue wallpaper and slumping over dead.

Ivan [Quietly]: One target down.

Ivan reaches forward, carefully gripping the door out of the kitchen and slowly pulling it open, sliding to the left across the wall and twisting around, jumping out and in front of the door: Three doors, to his right the front door, to the left the door to presumably the stairs, and in front of the door to the living room. Ivan carefully crouchwalks through the darkened room, gripping the handle and twisting it, slowly opening it. Two soldiers, one standing in front of a window to the right and another sitting on a small wooden table, reading a newspaper, turn their heads to Ivan.

Ivan: ...Uh oh.

Ivan's head ducks backwards and he twists around, slamming his back into the left-hand wall. The soldier reading the newspaper throws it to the floor, gripping his M4 Assault Rifle, running forward. Steve, who was hiding in the kitchen, quickly jumps out from the wall, standing in the doorway and gripping his Desert Eagle tightly. The soldier runs through the doorway, but Steve presses the trigger once, the kickback swinging the Desert Eagle upwards slightly and stopping him from squeezing off a second shot, but the damage is done: The soldier collapses backwards, a large hole in his chest as he hits the floor, dead in an instant.

Steve [Eyes widening]: ...Me likey!

A grenade slowly rolls through the darkened room to Steve's feet. Steve, out of sheer instinct, kicks the grenade forward. Ivan curses loudly, sprinting forwards and diving into the kitchen as the grenade explodes in mid-air in the living room, the sound of glass shattering and a scream filling the air. Hearing the explosion, the tank suddenly grinds to a halt in front of the building, the soldiers in the opposite building quickly rushing to the windows. Hearing the explosion and gunshot, Lynch cranes his neck, looking at Phil.

Lynch [Hissing]: GO! GO GO GO!

Tavi [Sighing nervously]: .......Phil, if I die: Can you bury me in Equestria?

Phil looks at Lynch, then at Tavi, then at Lynch again before twisting around the edge of the building and sprinting forward, jumping and twisting around, slamming his back into the side of the tank. The tank suddenly grinds to a halt, the turret twisting around slightly.


The loader of the tank twists the hatch, wrenching it open and momentarily pops his head out. Phil swiftly raises his rifle, popping off two three round bursts and hitting the soldier in the chest and neck. The soldier collapses backwards against the hatch as Phil leaps onto the chassis, grasping the turret basket of the tank and pulling himself up.


The body of the soldier is pushed aside, flopping out of the turret basket and rolling down the chassis as the commander pops his head up. Phil aims his assault rifle downwards, firing off three three-round bursts and obliterating the commanders skull. The commander flops backwards, dead.

Phil: Okay, now that was just completely moronic.

Lynch [Hissing]: GO! GO! GO!

Dean and Karab look at Lynch, then wade against the current of the river. Phil quickly jumps backwards, collapsing backwards and hitting the cobbled streets on his back as gunfire blazes from the houses opposite. Ivan and Steve quickly turn to the door to the stairway, and Ivan kicks it open, unscrewing his silencer and slipping it into his pocket, sprinting up the stairs towards a T-shaped coridoor.

Ivan: Steve! You take the left, i'll take the right!

Steve: Right!

Ivan: No, i'm taking the right, you take the left!

Steve [Confused]: ..Right!

Ivan [Sighing]: No, i'm--Fuck it.

Ivan bolts to the right, twisting around and facing the door. Steve quickly sprints to the left, twisting around and facing the door, the sound of gunfire suddenly echoing from the windows onto the streets below. Phil has since taken cover between both buildings, running back behind the building Ivan and Steve are in and slamming his back against the wall.


Tavi lets out a shaky breath.

Tavi [Nervously]: Goddammit..

Phil [Impatiently]: You know, you can actually try and help me!

Tavi [Hissing]: Can't under gunfire..

Phil [Sighing]: Great..

Ivan and Steve kick open the doors they're standing opposite. Steve quickly aims his Desert Eagle down the small bedroom at a soldier kneeling on a bed and aiming his M4 Assault Rifle out the window, pulling the trigger. The bullet pounds into the soldiers skull, blowing the top half of his skull into bloody smithereens and sending his body falling forward out of the open window, hitting the cobbled streets below with a bloody splatter of brain and bone. Ivan himself quickly pulls the trigger of his Beretta six times, every bullet hitting the back of a soldier on one knee on a table in front of him, sending the soldier falling forward and out of his own open window, hitting the cobbled streets with a sickening crunch. Ivan sprints forward, turning to a door to his right and quickly kicking it open, coming face-to-face with Steve who had recently done the same, both men looking at eachother, then the dark room containing three wooden crates, then back at eachother.

Ivan [Shrugging]: Clear.

Steve: We should help Phil and Tavi!

Ivan: Da.

Ivan turns around, hopping onto the table the soldier was on and getting to one knee, aiming his Beretta out of the window and expending the final rounds of his current magazine on the house directly opposite, forcing the soldiers to take cover, especially as Steve hops onto the blood-soaked bed in his bedroom, aiming out of the window and occasionally firing shots with his Desert Eagle that explode through the window, chipping away brick and stone as they hit the building opposite. Phil quickly sprints out from cover once more, this time flanked by Tavi. Both of them hop onto the chassis of the tank, which has since tried to position itself towards the house Ivan and Steve are in. Tavi quickly hops onto the turret basket, climbing down the open hatch and into the turret basket. The gunner twists his head around, but Tavi quickly grasps his head in both hands, twisting roughly and snapping his neck with a noisy crack, pulling him from his chair and sitting in his seat, looking around at the controls before looking through the sights of the main gun.

Tavi: Ooo..hello guys!

Phil quickly climbs onto the chassis of the tank.


The tank begins to slowly drives forward as Tavi twists the turret slightly to the left away from Phil. Phil gets on his hands and knees, crawling forward and grasping a small hatch at the base of the turret, wrenching it to the right and pulling it open, leaning down a medium-sized hole at the base of the turret, reaching in and grasping the driver.

Phil [Grinning]: HELLO SUNSHINE! Don't mind if I jimmy your vehicle, eh?

Tank Driver [Nervously]: Wh-what?!

Phil [Darkly]: ...Steal. I'm going to steal this.

Tank Driver [Laughing]: You'll need a four man crew for this!

Phil: I only need to drive this thing.

The tank driver sighs, raising his arms and climbing out of the tank which has since fallen to a standstill, climbing onto the chassis and jumping out onto the cobbled streets, sighing loudly and turning to Phil.

Tank Driver:Alright, now what?

Phil: Run along, sunshine.

The Tank Driver quickly reaches towards the holster on his thigh, but Steve swings his Desert Eagle downwards, noticing the sudden movement and pulling the trigger. The top of the Tank Driver's skull almost explodes as he collapses backwards to the floor, spraying shards of bone and flesh everywhere. Phil sighs darkly, wiping his face free from blood and turning his head to Steve's window, raising his arm. Two soldiers rush out from the building to the right of Phil, forcing him to dive onto the chassis and climb into the tank drivers nest, grasping the hatch and pulling it loosely over the hull and pulling himself into the seat which is laid almost fully backwards, and looking down, familiarising himself with the pedals and control systems.

Phil [Muttering]: Well, an Abrams is better than nothing.

Phil grasps the motorcycle-style handlebars, looking through the periscopes as he looks at his surroundings. Dean and Karab, noticing the tank has been secured, quickly move between Ivan and Steve's building and the building next to there's. Ivan and Steve, happy that the tank has been secured, quickly move out from the bedrooms, run down the stairs and bolt out the front door, turning around and running through the gap between the houses where Dean and Karab are. Lynch and Jericho have since pulled themselves on the bank, on the left side of the building where Ivan and Steve were, glaring across the street at the building opposite.

Phil [To Tavi]: Alright, little missy, man one of those machine guns and give those bastards some covering fire! I'm going to reverse this thing!

Tavi: Got it!

The tank rumbles loudly, beginning to reverse and position itself as Ivan and Steve stand outside the backdoor of their second target. Lynch and Jericho quickly duck behind the building to their left, taking cover as the soldiers taking cover in the building opposite of the McDonalds open fire on their position. Tavi quickly opens the hatch of one of the machine guns, twisting it around and firing on the building opposite the one Ivan and Steve are about to breach. The soldiers in the top floor windows quickly take cover as the machine gun chips the brick and stone fortifying the wall. Ivan lunges his foot forward, kicking open the backdoor of his and Steve's building and rushing in. A soldier in front of them, M4 Assault Rifle aimed out of the small kitchen window, twists around and Ivan quickly pulls the trigger several times, several bloody bulletholes exploding in the soldiers chest and neck, sending him sprawled backwards against the wall and sliding down it, leaving a bloody smear on glass and exposed brickwork. Ivan rushes over as Steve jogs in, unloading the magazine and reaching into one of the ammo pouches on his chest, loading another magazine into the Beretta before holstering it on his thigh, grasping the soldiers assault rifle and unlooping it from his body, pulling it close and looping it around his own body.

Ivan [Grinning]: Brilliant!

Steve walks over to a door on the left-hand wall of the kitchen, pulling it open and quickly raising his Desert Eagle, taking two steps forward into a thin coridoor where to his right is the front door and to his left is a set of stairs leading to the top floor. Steve lashes out in front of him, kicking open the door and moving into the room, twisting right and pulling the trigger, hitting a soldier in the back of the skull and causing his brains and parts of his skull to splatter violently against the window, his body slumping against the glass before Steve twists to the left, aiming across the room at a soldier who is sitting in a wooden chair, his assault rifle on his lap. The soldier quickly swings his assault rifle up, but Steve pulls the trigger, shooting the soldier between the eyes, his brains and skull splattering and decorating the torn brick wall behind him a dark shade of red. Ivan quickly walks into the room, shaking his head.

Ivan: Nanomachines: If you don't surrender, you'll just die.

Steve [Quietly]: Yes indeedy do.

Ivan [Twisting his head and spitting on one of the soldiers corpses]: Svoloch.

Steve: Wha?

Ivan: Scumbag. Bastard--C'mon. The others are finally moving.

Ivan and Steve turn their heads, watching as Karab and Dean sprint across the street towards the house opposite of theirs. Tavi fires off a few bursts from the machine gun, forcing the soldiers to continue taking cover as Karab jogs up the three concrete steps to the front door, kicking it open at the handle and moving in, twisting left through an open doorway and into the kitchen, aiming his rifle at a soldier who is ducked beneath the kitchen window and behind a small wooden box acting as a makeshift kitchen counter.

Karab [Angrily]: Drop your weapon! Now!

PMC: And if I don't?

Karab pulls the trigger, firing a three round burst which slams into the soldiers head, sending him sprawled onto to the floor, blood leaking out from the lethal wound in his skull. Dean quickly runs in, twisting right and kicking open the door to a small room, his gun sweeping across it before moving in and turning left, walking towards a second door and kicking it open, aiming down his rifle into a small room used to store several wooden and cardboard boxes.

Dean [Calling out]: Clear! Most of them must be on the top floor!

Karab: Dean, secure the stairs.

Dean: Get my back then, Gurkha.

Dean quickly runs up the stairs and Karab twists around, facing away from the stairs and keeping his rifle aimed at the front door. Dean reaches a door and lunges his left foot forward, slamming it into the metal handle and kicking the door open, sweeping his gun left and right across a long room that spreads across the length of the building itself. Dean catches sight of a soldier who was in the upper-right corner of the room, busy reloading his weapon, but quickly swings his assault rifle up and squeezes the trigger twice, firing of two three-round bursts which hit the soldier square in the skull and send him stumbling backwards against the wall, dead.

Dean: Clear!

Dean turns left, quickly walking forward before standing outside a black painted door, listening as Karab jogs up the stairs, turning right inside the room and heading towards the second door . Dean turns his head to Karab, who nods: Both men lunge forward, kicking open their respective doors. Karab's room is clear, but Dean quickly taps his trigger, firing off four three-round bursts that collide with a soldiers chest and neck, sending him collapsing backwards into a half-open door he was walking out from. A second soldier pops his head around, but quickly ducks his head back in as Dean squeezes his trigger. Dean curses loudly, ducking to the left beside the door and flattening his back on the wall.

Dean [Hissing]: Could use some help!

Karab: Roger.

Dean [Hissing]: Who the fuck is Roger? Do you know these people?!

Karab stifles a small laugh, jogging forward into his room, looking around the empty space before jogging forward, grasping a blue wooden door and gently easing it open. A quick burst of gunfire shatters the wall near him and the doorframe, forcing him to move backwards. Karab looks around, seeing no shadow and no sign of a hostage. Karab jogs backwards, and into the room Dean is in.

Karab [Quietly]: Dean, fire in the hole.

Dean [Quietly]: Eligio ain't there?

Karab: Nope.

Dean grins, reaching into his utility belt and pulling out a frag grenade, pulling the pin and throwing it overarm. The grenade skitters across the hardwood floor and into the room with the soldier, detonating with a violently explosion. The sound of a scream and a violent thud can only suggest that the soldier has been taken care of. Dean moves out from cover, jogging forward towards the room and into it, looking left: The soldier, without a lower half and with just a thick ribbon of intestines where his legs were, is slumped against the wall, dead. Dean turns around, nodding to Karab.

Dean: He's dead.

Karab: Excellent.

Dean jogs forward as Karab runs into the room with him. A window in front of them, spanning half of the length of the wall, opens their viewpoints to the cobbled streets below: Dean and Karab watch as the tanks twists its turret around, looking up at Dean and Karab, then lowering and twisting around to face down the street.

Dean [Chuckling]: That crazy bastard.

Karab: If Eligio's here, we'll find him now.

Dean: We should mark that this building's been cleared.

Karab: How?

Dean twists his head, looking at the copious amounts of blood on the floor from the frag explosion that killed the soldier. Dean turns around, walking over to the prominent pool spilling out of the upper half of the soldier.

Karab [Wincing]: C'mon Dean, don't be vile.

Dean [Hissing]: If you have a better idea, speak up!

Dean runs four fingers on his right hand in the blood, turning around and walking over to the window before writing the word "CLEAR", the letters backwards to him so they can be seen to those who look at the building from the outside, on the glass. Dean and Karab watch as Lynch and Jericho, noticing the house next to their target is clear, move out from the gap between the two houses Ivan and Steve secured and are busy securing, and sprint across the street to the house opposite of theirs.

Dean: We should get moving. We're secure here, it's just a case of cleaning shit up.

Karab [Patting the butt of his FN 2000]: Let's roll.

Dean and Karab turn around, sprinting out of the room. In the house opposite theirs, Ivan and Steve have moved out of the living room and have jogged upstairs, the only door at the top of the stairs to their left. Ivan quickly twists to face the door, grasping the handle and shoving it open, moving in and twisting left. At the end of the room, a soldier clutching an M4 Assault Rifle twists around, but Ivan squeezes the trigger, firing off a quick burst and hitting the soldier in the chest, sending him collapsing backwards through the open window he was aiming out of and falling out of the window, screaming loudly as he hits the ground with a vicious crunch. From behind the door, a soldier emerges, slamming the door shut roughly in Steve's face. Ivan twists around, sidestepping as the soldier fires from the hip. Ivan slams his barrel down into the barrel of the soldiers assault rifle, sweeping it downwards before twisting the assault rifle, jamming the butt roughly into the soldiers mouth. The soldier stumbles backwards, giving enough time for Ivan to swing his gun down and aim his assault rifle, glancing quickly down the iron sights and firing a single shot into the soldiers throat. The soldier stumbles backwards, clutching his throat and choking up mouthfuls of blood from beneath his ski mask, slumping back against the wall behind him and sliding down it as Ivan pulls the door open roughly, slamming it into the soldiers feet. Steve emerges, rubbing his nose.

Ivan: Did he hurt you?!

Steve [Groaning]: Nope. Good shot on my ickle nosie, though.

Ivan: It'll heal.

Ivan twists around, carefully walking down the room and twisting left, coming face-to-face with a door. Ivan kicks it open, coming face to face with a large L-shaped room, a soldier leaning out of the window ahead of him. Without wasting a second, Ivan sprints forward, grasping the legs of the soldier and lifting him as Steve rushes into the room, twisting to the left and quickly raising his Desert Eagle, firing a quick shot at a soldier who emerged from a small closet at the end of the room, clutching a Dragunov sniper rifle. The shot slams into the soldiers chest, sending him stumbling backwards into the closet with a large hole in his chest as Ivan flips the soldier, sending him through the window with a loud scream, the soldiers skull cracking on the cobbled pavement and bursting like a ripe tomato, killing him in a gruesome fashion as blood flows across the stones.

Ivan [Wincing]: ...Ouch.

Tavi [Laughing]: Nice one, Ivan!

Phil accelerates forward with the tank, allowing Tavi to focus her fire on the building next to Steve and Ivan's which Jericho and Lynch are sprinting for. They quickly run across the front of the building, ducking in the alley between both buildings to avoid the gunfire echoing from the building opposite McDonalds and the guardtowers around it. Phil begins to accelerate forward, suddenly halting.


Phil: Tavi! Man the main gun!

Tavi: Got it!

The turret begins to slowly turn as bullets crack and ping off of the Abrams thick armor plating.


Tavi: Firing!!

The main gun fires, hitting the hut of the guardtower to the left of the McDonalds. The hut explodes, killing the gunner in a violent explosion as Ivan and Steve begin to rush forward, the tanks armor plating taking most of the gunfire from the McDonalds and the building opposite. A sniper shot rings out from the belltower of the church, narrowly cracking the stones at Steve's feet. Steve lunges forward, grasping the turret basket and scrambling up, falling headfirst down the still-open hatch as Ivan moves behind the tank.

Ivan [Calling out]: DON'T VEVERSE!!


A second shot rings out, cracking the open hatch of the turret basket. Ivan quickly leaps up, grasping the turret basket and pulling himself up, quickly scrambling down the hatch and slamming it shut as a third sniper shot slams off of the turret basket. Ivan and Jericho, to the left of the building they have yet to assault, move forward to the edge of the alley, keeping in it in order to take cover from the gunfire echoing from McDonalds.

Lynch [Hissing]: Bastards have us pinned!!

Jericho: They've got Dean and Karab pinned too.

Jericho jabs his thumb over his shoulder at Dean and Karab, huddled in the opposite end of the alleyway. Dean twists around, waving.

Dean: Hi guys.

The tank begins to slowly roll forward towards the crossroads as gunfire chips and cracks against the armor plates. Lynch and Jericho swiftly move around the back of the house.

Lynch [Hissing]: IN! QUICKLY!

Jericho [Quickly}: Are you kidding?! They're probably waiting for us!

Jericho falls to his hands and knees, crawling forward quickly and moving past the pale blue backdoor, moving underneath the lone kitchen window on the back of the house. Jericho lifts his head slightly, just enough to notice two soldiers standing with their rifles aimed at the backdoor, ready to fire should they breach the house. Jericho twists around, quickly crawling towards Lynch and standing back up, dusting himself off as Tavi and Steve, manning both machineguns, open fire on the McDonalds and the building opposite it, cutting down a few soldiers, but also providing suppressing fire for Dean and Karab to bolt out of the alleyway, running out across the street and between the two buildings Ivan and Steve cleared, sliding down the embankment and into the shallow river.

Jericho; Two of them, waiting for us.

Lynch: Right.

Lynch moves past the backdoor and towards the window, pulling a grenade from his utility belt and pulling the pin, quickly moving in front of the window and lashing his foot out, kicking the single sheet of glass into several shards with a single well-aimed blow. Lynch throws the grenade into the room at an angle, towards the two soldiers as he sprints past the backdoor, turning into the alleyway and diving into it. Jericho quickly moves into the alleyway, diving onto his stomach as the grenade explodes, the force of the explosion blasting the backdoor off of one hinge and causing the door to fall open. Lynch and Jericho scramble to their feet, sprinting around the back of the house and quickly ducking into the kitchen area: Both soldiers have since been blown to shreds, their flesh torn by both the grenade, the force of the explosion in the relatively enclosed space and the shrapnel from the torn wooden doorframe of the backdoor and the glass from the two kitchen windows. Lynch and Jericho step over the mangled corpses, heading a few steps forward and turning left through an open doorway. Lynch swings his FN 2000 up as the door several feet ahead of him is kicked open, not wasting any time in repeatedly squeezing the trigger and firing off several three-round bursts, hitting the soldier in the chest and abdomen and sending him collapsing backwards to the floor. Jericho twists right, swinging his own FN 2000 up as a soldier begins to run down the L-shaped set of stairs to their left. As soon as his legs appear, Jericho quickly squeezes the triggers, the bullets slamming into the soldiers ankles. The soldier screams in agony, collapsing forward and rolling with several thuds down the stairs, slamming into the wall at the bottom of the first set of stairs and allowing Jericho to finish him off with a quick three-round burst to the skull.

Jericho [Smirking]: And that's how we do it in Manchester.

Lynch [Muttering]: They let you have high-powered assault rifles in Manchester?

Jericho: You'd be surprised what you could get ahold of from your local dealer down in the park.

Lynch chuckles, moving forward into the living room and stepping over the dead soldier, swinging his rifle left, then right, the large room cleared. Lynch twists around, walking back into the entrance hall as Jericho jogs forward up four steps, then turning left and jogging up the rest of the stairway, quickly followed by Lynch. Both men turn left at the top of the stairs, and Jericho jolts forward, slamming his foot into the handle of the door directly in front of him and kicking it open. A soldier quickly turns around, but Lynch opens fire, several three-round bursts pounding into the soldiers skull and sending him slumping backwards against the wall, dead.

Jericho: Oi! That was my kill!

Lynch [Laughing]: Too slow, Limey!

They quickly jog to the left of the door, standing in front of the final bedroom door. Lynch lunges his foot forward as Jericho reaches into his utility belt, kicking the door open. Lynch quickly sidesteps as he does, a soldier opening fire and his shots hitting the wall behind Lynch and Jericho as they flatten their backs on either side of the door. The soldier stops firing and Lynch holds his hand out, quickly moving it back in as the soldier opens fire once more, followed by the dead mans click. Lynch and Jericho quickly dive out of cover at the same time, but Jericho hurls a throwing knife through the air, the knife embedding in the soldiers skull between his eyes. The soldier stumbles backwards, letting go of his assault rifle before falling forwards onto the floor, slamming the knife deeper and penetrating his brain, the tip of the blade clearly visible, protruding out of the bloody wound in the back of his skull.

Jericho: Too slow, Yankee!

Lynch: You brought throwing knives?

Jericho [Grinning]: Yep, did you--


Jericho: ..But it looked cool.

Lynch growls, shaking his head and looking out of the bedroom window as Jericho gets on one knee beside the soldier, rolling him onto his book and swiftly pulling the knife from his skull in a thick plume of blood and mucus.

Lynch [Muttering]: C'mon Dean and Karab..Get your asses in gear.

Back outside, the tank has stopped firing, reversing somewhat away from the crossroads. Dean and Karab are back under the bridge, checking their assault rifles.

Dean [Muttering]: Alright, how many magazines have you got left?

Karab: Three.

Dean: I've got four. Guess three-round bursts do conserve ammunition.

Karab: Instead of making pleasant conversation, we should actually assault our last target.

Dean: Mm. That would help, wouldn't it? Then we could assault McDonalds!

Karab: Do we have to?

Dean: Yes. Yes we do. C'mon.

Dean and Karab wade down the river under the bridge, turning right as soon as they come out from under the bridge and jump upwards, grasping the top of the bank and pulling themselves up. Dean swings his right leg up, pulling himself up and rolling onto his side, pulling himself to his feet, leaning down and holding out his hand. Karab takes his hand and Dean pulls him up to his feet on the edge of the bank.

Karab: Ready?

Dean [Nodding]: Ready.

Dean and Karab turn to face the backdoor of the building. Karab kicks the door in the handle, kicking it open roughly. Karab and Dean file into the room, which appears to be a large living room. Ahead of them, two soldiers are slumped on the floor in pools of their blood, presumably killed by the suppressing fire laid down by the tank. To their left is a set of stairs, which Karab quickly twists to face, aiming up the stairs. Dean walks further into the room, looking around the room through his ironsights.

Dean: Clear.

Karab moves away from the stairs, heading towards a door opposite of the bodies. Dean moves forward first, grasping the handle of the door and pushing it open, allowing Karab to swiftly move out in front of the open doorway, aiming his rifle through the small, closed entrance passage, an enemy slumped in a small alcove to his left and opposite the front door, clutching his abdomen. Karab walks through the door, twisting around and aiming his rifle down at the soldier.

Karab: Clear..

Dean walks through the doorway, looking down at the soldier.

Dean: Goddammit, are all these guys pre-killed?!

The soldiers eyes snap open and Dean screams loudly, jolting back and scrambling his rifle, pressing the trigger rapidly and firing several three-shot bursts into the soldiers skull, killing him instantly and spraying the white wallpaper behind him a vibrant shade of red. Dean gives a small, breathless shriek as Karab turns his head to him, raising his left eyebrow.

Karab [Underwhelmed]: Wow. You handled that well, didn't you?

Dean [Gasping]: I never expected him to be alive!

Karab: What? Did you think he was a zombie?!

Dean [Scoffing]: Well, yes! I've seen weirder, Karab! Hell, WE'VE seen weirder!!

Karab shakes his head, turning right and standing in front of another door, grasping the handle and pushing it open as Dean, returning his senses, uneasily raises his assault rifle and glances around the relatively large room designated as a kitchen. The porcelain tiles dotting the wall have been shot and chipped, the bulletholes clearly visible from where the tanks machinegun penetrated the walls. A soldier is laid down in the middle of the room in a pool of his own blood, dead.

Karab: Yeah, this is getting ridiculous now.

A large closet to their left at the end of the room bursts open and a soldier runs out, screaming wildly with his rifle aimed at Karab. Dean screams, turning around and frantically squeezing his trigger, firing off a few three-round bursts and quickly killing the soldier, shooting him in the head and neck. The soldier collapses backwards next to his friend, coughing up a final puff of blood as Dean pulls the magazine from his rifle, quickly reloading as he breathes heavily.

Dean [Breathlessly]: FUCK! I wish these guys would stop doing that!

Karab: Alright, let's check upstairs--

Dean: Why? So someone can jump out and scare me, make me shit my pants?!

Karab [Smirking]: ....Yes.

Dean [Scathingly]: Asshole.

Karab and Dean turn around, walking out of the kitchen and back into the living room, turning right and walking towards the staircase. Karab jogs up the stairs, followed closely by Dean. At the top of the stairs, Karab turns right, opening the first door to his right to reveal a small closet. Karab moves on, heading towards the second door on his right and opening it, revealing a large, empty room. Karab slowly moves in, his assault rifle sweeping left and right as he looks around as Dean waits outside.

Karab: Clear.

Dean moves ahead to the door in front of him, grasping the handle and slowly pushing it open. A soldier is leant out of the window, firing across the street towards the house Jericho and Lynch have just raided. Dean slowly walks forward, pressing the barrel of his assault rifle against the soldiers head and pulling the trigger, three shots bursting into the soldiers skull and causing blood and brain matter to spray backwards against Dean's chest and face as the soldier collapses forward and to the cobbles outside with a noisy, wet crunch. Karab quickly walks into the bedroom.

Karab: Everything alright?

Dean: Yep. Just killed a guy.

Dean wipes the blood off of his face, groaning loudly.

Dean [Disgusted]: Damn, that's nasty..

Karab: Clear?

Dean twists his head left, scanning the room: A soldier to his left is lying face-first on the floor in a puddle of his own blood, several bloody bullet holes blown in the back of his skull.

Dean: Yeah.

Lynch and Jericho, who have since moved into the alleyway between their house and the house Dean and Karab cleared first, look diagonally across the street, noticing Dean and Karab move away from the windows.

Lynch: There we go. They've done it. One more target to go.

Jericho: Yep.

Lynch [Hissing]: Here we go, Limey! To McDonalds!

Jericho: And now we rescue a heritage object of your country!

Lynch [Coldly]: Fuck you.

Jericho: Go eat a salad.

Lynch and Jericho turn around, sprinting down the alley and turning left, sprinting forward towards the McDonalds. The long windows that make up most of the wall on the sides of the building have since been shattered under the gunfire from the tank, and several of the soldiers appear to have been killed inside the McDonalds.

Lynch: There! That wooden divider!

Jericho: Thank fuck for McDonald's shit interior design!

Lynch and Jericho sprint forward, both of them hopping through the empty window frames into the McDonalds. Lynch grasps a circular table, shoving it to the side as he quickly slams his back into a wooden divider with Jericho standing behind him, huddled in the corner where the divider connects to a second divider which blocks them off from the rest of the restaurant.

Jericho [Hissing]: What now?!

Lynch: What do you think, limey?! We kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out!

Jericho [Sarcastically]: YOU DON'T SAY?!

Lynch hisses through his front teeth, walking to the edge of the divider and spinning around it, facing down the middle of the McDonalds and at the counters, his assault rifle raised. A soldier quickly stands up from behind the counter, but Lynch quickly squeezes his trigger twice before ducking back behind cover, the bullets hitting the soldier in the forehead and killing him instantly. Jericho twists his head to the left, watching as a soldier who was lying on the floor in front of the doors of the restaurant slowly pulls himself up, clutching his wounded right shoulder. Jericho quickly swings his assault rifle up, squeezing the trigger and quickly killing the soldier who stumbles backwards through the doors, collapsing on the cobbles outside.

Lynch: Thanks, Limey.

Jericho: Don't thank me, Yank: Watch your ass.

Lynch: Don't think Eligio's here, y'know.

Jericho [Bluntly]: No shit, yeah?

Lynch runs out from behind the cover, running forward and moving behind a wooden divider opposite of the one he had taken cover behind, slamming his back against it. A wounded soldier crawls forward, grasping Lynch's left leg with his left arm, clutching a knife in his right hand. Lynch quickly swings his right leg around, kicking the soldier roughly in his side and rolling him onto his stomach before aiming his rifle downwards, squeezing the trigger and sending three bullets into the soldiers skull, killing him instantly. Lynch looks forward at a circular plastic table, reaching forward and grabbing a half-eaten Big Mac, quickly shoving it into his mouth and chuckling, jumping out of corner at the same time as Jericho who looks at him. Lynch looks at him, winking.

Jericho: Jammy git!

Lynch and Jericho's heads snap to the counter, quickly opening fire. Two soldiers duck behind the counters as Jericho and Lynch walk forward, turning right and left respectively, ducking inside dining cubicles and huddling beneath blue-painted walls riddled with bulletholes and the occasional spatter of blood. Lynch takes a bite out of his Big Mac, looking at Jericho and giving a mocking wink. Jericho curses silently under his breath, popping up from behind cover and taking a few quick shots at the counter. A soldier to the far left of the counter quickly stands up, but Lynch stands from the cover, quickly opening fire and cutting down the soldier swiftly with a swath of gunfire.

Lynch [Hissing]: C'mon, let's get him.

Lynch drops his Big Mac to the floor, both men vaulting over cover and rushing over to the counter. Two soldiers surface, but Lynch and Jericho open fire, cutting down the soldiers in an instant. Jericho and Lynch lower their rifles, looking at eachother.

Jericho: Shit, is that it?

The doors to McDonalds are kicked open and Lynch and Jericho twist around. A soldier fires off a few shots, hitting Lynch in the chest, but Jericho quickly opens fire, hitting the soldier in the neck and head, sending him collapsing backwards to the ground, killed instantly. Jericho quickly turns to Lynch who is leant against the counter, groaning in agony as he pats his combat vest, the flak jacket beneath it absorbing the bullets and their force.

Lynch: Fuck, that hurt!

Jericho laughs, holding out a hand. Lynch grasps it and Jericho pulls him to a stable vertical base. The main gun of the tank explodes with a roar, firing off a shell at the guardtower to the left of the church, hitting the legs of the guardtower. A vicious, screeching creak fills the air as the guardtower collapses backwards, crashing into the cemetery to the left of the church and killing the gunner instantly. Jericho and Lynch quickly sprint outside as one of the machineguns opens fire on the belltower of the church, forcing the snipers to take cover as the main gun turns, firing at the last remaining guardtower, the shell colliding with the hut and exploding violently, killing the gunner instantly.

Jericho: What now?

Lynch: The church.

Phil's Voice: Alright, you heard the man: LOAD A SHELL INTO THE MAIN GUN, THEN OUT OF THE TANK!

The hatch of the turret basket of the tank flies open and Ivan emerges, climbing down the side of the tank and hopping onto the cobbles. Phil slides the drivers hatch open, climbing up onto the turret basket as Steve climbs out, climbing down the tank. Karab and Dean jog over to Lynch and Jericho, who are now standing, staring at the doors of the church.

Jericho [Hissing]: What now?

Lynch: All that's left is the church. Christ, forgive me.

Ivan walks past Lynch, pulling the M79 from his back as Tavi climbs out of the tank, hopping onto the cobbles as Phil crawls into the hatch.

Lynch [Laughing]: Christ, SUCK ON THIS!

Ivan aims his M79 Grenade Launcher at the doors of the church, pulling the trigger. The grenade whistles through the air and smashes into the door, detonating and causing the doors to explode and spray the interior of the church with wooden debris.


Lynch: Jeez, Way to piss in the face of God.

Jericho: God was weak, he had to rest after six days!!

The mercenaries rush forward, pouring through the blasted-open doors and into the church itself. A soldier quickly surfaces from behind the pulpit, but the mercenaries quickly unleash a hail of murderous gunfire, bullets slamming into pews and the altar, sending shards of wood everywhere. The soldier stumbles backwards, convulsing under the gunfire before collapsing backwards, his body exploding with large, bloodied holes. Another soldier crawls out from behind the pews, clutching his gut flowing with blood having been caught up in the gunfire, and Dean simply swings his assault rifle downwards, firing several rounds into the side of the soldiers skull and hitting him with a quick burst, killing him instantly. A third soldier gets to his feet from behind the front-left pew, but the murderous hail of gunfire concentrates on his position, cutting him down quickly and ruthlessly. Lynch gives a shrill whistle, throwing his hand up and forcing the gunfire to come to an immediate halt. Smoke from the gunbarrels of their assault rifles wisps through the air as Lynch surveys the carnage of torn pews, splintered wood, shattered stained-glass windows and dented metal crucifixes,

Lynch: Damn. Good job, guys.

Tavi [Quickly]: And gal.

Lynch: C'mon.

Lynch turns around, walking past the group and heading out of the church.

Lynch: So, Eligio wasn't here.

Dean: Fucking waste of time, then.

Lynch [Shrugging]: Well, it's one target left, and that's where he has to be.

Ivan: Hopefully.

A sudden volley of two sniper shots cracks out, narrowly missing Lynch. The group of mercenaries quickly run backwards into the church. The tank remains relatively motionless ahead of them.

Lynch: Shit! What was that?!

Dean: Snipers. In the belltower.

Jericho reaches into one of his chest pockets on his combat vest, pulling out a magazine and throwing it underarm. The magazine hits the cobbled street with a small rattle, and two gunshots ring out, hitting the magazine.

Jericho [Bluntly]: Well, crap.

Karab: Semi-automatics. Not bolt action.

Lynch [Hissing]: FUCK!

Karab: Yes: No window to run out of this church from. They've got us pinned down.

Jericho: Why didn't they shoot us when we went to assault it?!

Lynch: To trap us.

Tavi [Shocked]: Those smart bastards!

Steve: How do we get out?!

Lynch watches, blinking as the turret of the tank slowly raises.

Lynch [Gulping]: He wouldn't.

Jericho: ..He would.

Lynch waves his arms, but the main gun of the tank fires towards the belltower, slamming into the middle of the belltower and exploding roughly. The mercenaries listen as several shards of stone slam off of the roof, and watch as they fall to the ground in front of the doors and shatter on the path.

Lynch [Bluntly]: Run.

The mercenaries quickly sprint out of the church and onto the street as the huge hole that has been punched into belltower causes it to creak and wobble slightly. The tank begins to reverse away from the crossroads as the mercenaries continue sprinting, the hole in the belltower making it unstable as it slowly begins to topple forward. Lynch spins around, watching as the belltower cracks, the belltower falling down and smashing into the roof of the church, causing it to cave in with a massive rumble, spewing out clouds of dust as it does, shards of stone and wood spraying across the cobbled streets. The turret basket hatch of the Abrams opens, and Phil's head pops out, raising his arms.


Lynch [Gasping]: You crazy fuck!!

Phil: Nah, I just knew you'd be smart enough to run when I fired.


Phil [Shrugging]: Wouldn't have mattered, you couldn't have done anything about it!!

The mercenaries turn around, scanning the wreckage of the church as they breathe heavily, catching their breath as Phil pulls himself out of the turret basket, climbing down the side of the tank and hopping down next to the mercenaries, giving a bow as soon as his feet hit the street.

Phil: You're welcome.

Jericho: Jammy git.

Lynch clears his throat, stretching his arms and walking over to the crossroads, turning his head and looking South as Jericho, Dean and Karab walk over.

Lynch: Well, we've got a three mile trek south now, lads. You ready?

Jericho [Patting his chest]: Let's get back Eligio.

Lynch [To Tavi]: Get on the radio, set up SATCOM and contact Mother. I want to make sure we're not chasing ghosts.

Dean [Screaming]: GHOSTS?!?!? WHERE?!?!? WHERE?!?!

Karab [Sighing]: Dean...shut up.

Tavi takes off her rucksack, unzipping it and reaching in, pulling out the radio and folded satellite dish, beginning to set it up.

Phil: He's got to be at the Beast's Den, right?

Lynch: We'll see. If there's been no activity in the area, then he should be.

Phil: ..If he isn't?

Lynch: Then we'll continue searching to the ends of the Earth.

Jericho: Y'know, why isn't Solid Snake helping us?! We've pulled his fat out of the frier on Shadow Moses!

Lynch [Sharply]: Solid Snake is currently in hiding for his part in the Tanker Incident on the Hudson River around a decade ago.

Jericho: Ah, yeah, the Big Shell incident never occurred in this timeline.

Lynch: Good boy.

Karab [Determined]: We'll get him back, and annihilate those who stand in our path.

Lynch: Woah, tone it down there!

Tavi starts messing with the dials and keypad on the radio, eventually tuning into a clear signal.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Yes?

Tavi: Mother, this is Tavi, reporting in.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Ah yes. Be an angel for me and put Lynch on.

Tavi hands the radio to Lynch, who takes it.

Lynch: This is Ly--

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Coldly]: I know it's you, you moron! Who else would it be?!

Lynch: Sorry Mother.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: I take it you've finally assaulted your target?

Lynch [Calmly]: Yes Mother.

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Sternly]: Then why are you talking to me?

Lynch: We just want to know of any reports of traffic or radio contact in the area.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Zero traffic. Minimal radio activity. Only notable report is that there was radio traffic between Rat's Nest and your current location to warn of an attack.

Lynch [Muttering]: Probably why the tank was mobilised here..

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Is that all you needed?

Lynch [Calmly]: Yes.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: I am mobilising a Chinook to bring your boys home. A lot easier than trying to land a Super Hercules in a field. The evacuation point is two miles north-west of Beast's Den, in a small, but open field. Medivac will accompany the Chinook in order to ensure both prisoners are tended to. I hope you secure Beast's Den quickly: I don't want Billy succumbing to an infection.

Lynch: Yes Mother.

Mother Mercenary's feed cuts out as Tavi replaces the handset. Lynch sighs, shrugging his rucksack more onto his body and looking ahead down the street.

Lynch: C'mon. We've got a three mile trek south. When we reach within one mile, we'll radio the others.

Phil [Groaning]: More walking?! Can't we take the tank?!

Lynch [Sharply]: I am not risking collateral damage. I do not want a hair on Eligio's head harmed by anyone here, whether accidental or purposefully, or I will see those responsible tortured and killed. Understood?

Phil [Clapping his hands]: We're walking, fellas!

Phil and Jericho whistle loudly, walking past Lynch as he follows them.

Dean [Singing off-key]: Well, here we go! To rescue Eligio! Hey, I rhymed!

Karab [Sighing]: Yeah, you did..

Dean and Karab follow Lynch, before being followed by Ivan, Steve and Tavi.

Phil: Hey, Lynch, do you think the others will be ready?

Lynch [Smirking]: Yeah. We're within a ten mile radius of eachother, how stupid can they be?

*Hungary, Four Miles South of Target "Beast's Den", Squad Delta*

Seven miles south-east of Squad Alpha, Squad Delta's humvee has come to a sudden halt on a stretch of tarmac wind leading northwards. Samuel is sitting in the driver's seat, repeatedly twisting the key in the ignition as the engine splutters, while Frank is busy examining the maps, scratching his head in confusion as he reads them before looking down the road and sighing. The others are loitering around the stalled Humvee, while Maurice is sat in the back, his arms folded as he watches on, unamused.

Frank: We’re lost.

Will [Angrily]: Seriously? We’re lost? WHY DID WE TRUST YOU WITH THE MAPS?!? YOU CAN’T EVEN READ!!

Frank: The maps say go West to reach Beast's Den. Follow the route West. We’ve followed the route West. I see nothing but fucking fields.

Dave: So much for back-up, eh?

Samuel sighs, slapping the steering wheel.

Samuel [Sighing]: And with this baby out of gas, too..

Frank [Darkly]: …Fuck it. Bob, call for reinforcements.

Bob: Really?

Bob sighs, slipping off his rucksack and reaching in, pulling out the foldaway satellite dish and radio equipment.

Samuel [Darkly]: Can't believe this..Lost..

Maurice: It ain't yer fault lad....It's Franks.

Frank [Scoffing]: I was just following the maps!!

Courtney: And look where it got us!

Frank: C'mon guys..don't blame me!

Dave [Sighing]: Let's not blame Frank..let's blame the maps.

Frank: Thanks, Dave!

Dave [Narrowing his eyes]: I'm only saying it so we don't fight and get to Eligio quicker..

Bob: Come in. Come in. This is Unit Delta. Unit Delta.

A few bursts of static pound through the receiver, until..

Mother Mercenary's Voice: This is Mother Mercenary. Can I help you?

Bob [Nervously]: Hello, Mother..

Mother Mercenary: Hello. Bob.

Bob [Nervously]: …Uhh..hehe…Yes’m.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: I trust that your unit is on time and ready to reinforce Units Alpha and Bravo.

Bob [Gulping]: ….About..yeah..heh..about that…We’re…wondering if you could….tell us our co-ordinates?

A few moments of silence flood the air.

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Sighing tiredly]: You’re serious. Oh my God, you’re serious.

Bob: It was Frank's fault.

Frank: HEY!!!

Mother Mercenary's Voice: I believe you, Bob. What did he do?

Bob: Well, he said follow a road West. He said we've followed it West, but i'm sure we began to head North two miles south. Can you confirm?

Mother Mercenary's Voice [darkly]: Yes, I can.

Bob: Blimey, that was quick.

Mother Mercenary's Voice: You headed North at a fork two miles South.

Bob [Angrily]: I FUCKING TOLD YOU!!!

Mother Mercenary's Voice: Retrace route and head one and a half miles West, you will come upon the final target, which is where Eligio should be as long as he hasn't been killed. Squad Beta is standing by and Squad Alpha is approaching fast. I'm going now, and if you don't get back on track and head to the target then there will be hell to pay.

Mother Mercenary's feed cuts, and Bob replaces the handset.

Courtney [Confused]: How the hell did we end up turning North?

Frank [Laughing nervously]: ...We..uh...strayed North.....and I may have...

Will [Angrily]: You told us to take the wrong turn at the fork, didn't you?! DIDN'T YOU?!

Frank [Exasperated]: I wasn't paying that much attention!!

Will [In disbelief]: You wh--YOU WHAT?! You weren't even paying attention to the maps?!

Frank [Exasperated]: I thought I had it memorised!!

Robbie [Sighing darkly]: Lord have mercy..

Samuel sighs, climbing out of the jeep and dusting off his rear, turning around and beginning to walk South down the road.

Frank: Hey, where's he going?

Samuel [Coldly]: If we don't get there soon, the others are going to be absolutely pissed.

Maurice groans loudly, forcing his large frame out of the back of the Humvee and turning around, following Samuel.

Maurice: Lads right: We need to get a real move on if we don't want to be slapped, like.

Dave: Finally! A lad with brains! How come Samuel didn't get picked as leader?

Samuel [Shrugging]: I'm new.

Dave and Robbie turn around, following Samuel and Maurice. Will laughs, shaking his head, turning around and following Dave and Robbie.

Courtney: Hey! Wait up!

Courtney jogs after the group as Frank stands there, staring at the maps dumbfounded. Bob sighs, pulling his rucksack on and glaring at Frank.

Bob: Somedays Frank you........really are a fucking idiot!

Frank: Well sorry!

Bob [Sighing]: ...One day you'll be an amazing guy, Frank, but that day is definitely not in the foreseeable future. C'mon, we better get moving or Mother will hang us with our own colons.

Bob quickly jogs after the group, followed by Frank who stops, looking at the Humvee and kicking it.


Frank quickly runs after Bob.

*Hungary, Three Miles North of "Beast's Den", Squad Alpha*

The mercenaries forming Squad Alpha have began the three mile long walk down the straight road. As they do, a hazy mist begins to settle across the countryside, forming a pale haze over their eyes and obscuring anything ten feet ahead from clear sight. Thankfully, the air is filled only with their boots tapping off tarmac, and the rattling metal of their guns as they carry them close, pointed to the ground to avoid friendly fire. Phil, Steve, Jericho and Ivan are walking a few feet behind the other mercenaries, arguing amongst themselves.

Jericho: Actually, I find rich teas to be better for dunking. They absorb more tea or coffee.

Phil [Sharply]: But the hobnob remains stiff under pressure! It doesn’t crumble or collapse!

Jericho: But it doesn’t hold the tea or coffee!

Ivan: Vat about Digestives?

Phil [Scoffing]: Ehhh…Digestives are alright, More flavour than Rich Tea, but you have to snap it in half or nibble a bit off to dunk it.

Jericho [Narrowing his eyes]: Same with a hobnob.

Phil: Aye, same with a--

Lynch [Angrily]: JESUS! WILL YOU LOT SHUT UP?!?!

The mercenaries look up, looking at Lynch who has stopped and turned around before turning them back again, ignoring him instantly. Lynch sighs darkly, turning around and continuing to walk down the road with Dean and Karab at his back.

Ivan: But the Digestive is a lot nicer than rich tea and holds more tea zan ze hobnob. It is the king!

Phil [Bluntly]: Hobnobs, man. Hobnobs all the way.

Jericho [Sharply]: Rich Tea. No contest.

Steve: Fig Rolls?

Jericho [Thinking]: …Nah. Too small to dunk. You risk getting coffee or tea on your fingers.

Phil: Plus they crumble under pressure. They’re a two dunk maximum. Can’t stand ‘em.

Karab [Butting in]: A chocolate chip cookie?

Jericho: Ahhhh! Now Karab's suggested a real doozy there!

Karab: All depends on the make: Maryland cookies can really withstand the dunking, but other cookies tend to crumble under pressure.

Phil [Cautiously]: But some cookies risk that melting hazard and having chocolate drip into your tea.

Karab: But a good cookie can withstand twice as many dunks as a hobnob, and it also takes in the taste!

Lynch [Scoffing, to Dean]: Can you believe them?!?!?!?

Dean [Calmly] No, I can’t. But it gives them something to focus on, considering that the final targets some distance that horizon, and filled with very angry, very violent Private Military personnel.

Dean points ahead at the road, which forms a slight hill in front of them. A lone, tattered wooden signpost has been hammered into the dusty dirt at the side of the pale road, showing that there is some sign of life beyond the horizon.

Phil: Lynch, what do you think? Rich Tea, Digestive or Hobnob?

Steve: Or Fig Roll?

Karab: Orrrr a cookie?

Lynch: I think you’re all a bunch of fucking Limeys!

Ivan: I’m Vussian!!

Steve: I’m from Kansas!

Karab [Impatiently]: And how many times do I have to tell you that I was born in INDIA?!?!?

Lynch [Coldly]: …Yeah, well, you all fucking suck.

Phil: Hobnobs man. That’s all I’m saying.

Tavi, busy walking to the right of the mercenaries and in the scattered dirt at the side of the road, stops suddenly. Tavi's cheeks bulge slightly as she gives a small retch.

Dean: Why’d you stop?

Tavi retches and coughs loudly, spitting out a dead, bulbous Bluebottle fly from her mouth.

Tavi [Darkly]: Fucking countryside.

Dean: I know, horrible, ain’t it? Least there’s no ghosts here.

Tavi [Cautiously]: ….You make me look normal.

Dean: Whatever missy.

Lynch: Alright men, up and over this hill. What time is it?

Ivan checks his watch.

Ivan: …Ten to five. Vell, zat's the time at home. Here it'd be--

Jericho: Mid-afternoon.

Lynch stops, forcing the squad to stop as he turns to them.

Lynch: Good. We'll hopefully be home for midnight or sometime around, then. The moment us cavalry roll in, shouldn't take long to empty the target.

Tavi [Cocking an eyebrow]: Cavalry?

Lynch: Basically, us. Even though we’re not in tanks.

Dean: So….Not cavalry?

Lynch: It’s a small town, we don’t need cavalry! We’ll tear it up with our bare fucking hands!

Dean [Laughing]: I like his style!

Lynch: The moment we reach within a mile of the place, we'll stop, grab a bite to eat to boost our energy, and then radio in with the other squads. They won't assault until we give the go-ahead.

Tavi: So you stopped us just to say that?

Lynch [Coldly]: No, I stopped to say that if we don't stop talking about fucking biscuits, i'm going to shoot someone.

Jericho [Darkly]: How charming.

Lynch [Sighing]: C'mon lads, let's talk about something we can all talk about, alright?

Lynch turns around, continuing to walk as the squad follows him.

Phil: So what's your favourite takeaway you've ever had?

Dean: Really Phil?

Phil: If Solid Snake was here, he'd be talking about takeaways!

Jericho [Bluntly]: Well, Solid Snake ain't here--

Tavi [Piping up]: In Egypt, I had some brilliant Shawarma Fettah once! The rice was brilliant, the vegetables crisp, and the meat--Oh god, the meat! So juicy and--Sorry, i'll stop.

Tavi giggles, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

Lynch [Calmly]: ...Geno's.

Dean: Wha?

Lynch: Geno's Steaks down in Philly. I have family down there, and everytime I visit I always go to Geno's: Philly Cheesesteak with nothing added. Just meat, cheese and bread. Gotta love that shit. Mans food.

Dean: This--This is insulting to my business!

Karab [Piping up]: Back home in Hyderabad, there used to be a stall owner, Dalip, who made the best damn Haleem money could buy.

Dean [Shocked]: YOU SON OF A--

Lynch: What the hell is Haleem?

Karab [Grinning]: Hyderabadi Haleem. We make the best damn Haleem you can buy! It's basically a stew made with mutton, pounded wheat, turmeric, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, milk, lentils, crushed garlic, some ginger paste, saffron and a few chopped nuts, mixed with a bit of yoghurt and topped with ghee mixed with herbs and spices. I'm telling you, if we served that in this army, we'd get shit done faster because that stuff kicks you right in the ass! It's so.......I could use a bowl right NOW!!!

Dean [Coldly]: Traitor.

Karab: Dean, if you put half as much as effort into your food as Dalip did, you'd be the toast of the town as well. Too bad your maximum effort is opening packets. Back home, everythings homemade. Everything. And that stew.....Man, I'd kill for that stew.

Jericho: ..Fish and chips down home. The Fish Plaice. Salt, vinegar, curry sauce. Served in a newspaper. Delish!

Phil [Laughing]: Going traditional, eh?

Jericho [Grinning]: Damn right!

Steve [Piping up]: Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Lynch: Really?...Well, to each their own.

Steve: Popcorn chicken is gooooooooooddddd...

Jericho: Really, Steve?

Steve [Chuckling]: What? It is! Gotta love it, finger lickin' good!

Ivan: Vell, my favourite dish isn't from home. Favourite takeaway..Curryvurst.

Karab [Laughing]: Currywurst? Not surprised.

Ivan: Yep..Used to have it ven I lived in Berlin. One guy had zis stand, and he used to sell currywurst sprinkled with paprika and served vith diced bell peppers and onions. DELICIOUS!

Jericho: That shit sounds lush.

Ivan [Smirking]: It is. Served vith a ketchup mixed vith curry powder that they cover ze sausage vith.

Phil: Doner Kebab, hands down.

Dean: Thank y--

Phil: From our local takeaway, of course. Down in the Boro. Man, that shit is greasy, but the meat is so good! And the garlic sauce they serve with it is simply amazing!!

Dean [Scathingly]: BASTARDS!!

Phil [Laughing]: Sorry Dean!

Dean [Inanely]: My favourite takeaway IS THE TAKEAWAY I MAKE!!

Lynch: Good for you. Good for you.

Dean [Spitting]: Bastard.

Tavi: I ate some sushi off a naked guys body in Tokyo once.

Lynch and the others stop, slowly turning their heads to Tavi who stops as well, bouncing slightly.

Tavi [Blushing]: What?

Lynch: .....Right, firstly, why would anyone want to eat sushi off of a guys naked body, and secondly....What in the name of fuck were you doing outside the country when not on a mission?

Tavi [Smirking]: I said I was a cosplayer. A GREAT cosplayer. Hey, the Japanese got a kick out of it! That restaurant loved my costume!

Jericho [Sighing]: Love, I hate to tell you this, but...That ain't a costume!!

Tavi: So? I enjoyed it, they enjoyed it...Man, i'd kill to do that again..Besides, he was a nice enough guy.

Karab: Why do I feel this will cross the line into too much information?

Tavi: I mean, he was quite bi--

Lynch [Coldly]: Don't finish that damn sentence.

Dean: You all love my takeaway, DAMMIT!!

Phil [Chuckling]: Well, Eligio does.

Dean [Smirking]: Damn right!

Jericho: Yeah, he says it helps him shit when he's constipated.

The others start sniggering as Dean sneers, shaking his head.

Dean [Mumbling]: Fucking assholes..

The squad continues walking, walking past an unusually large pile of stones to their right. Lynch looks at it, quickly stopping and forcing the squad to stop. Lynch reaches into his back pocket, examining the map and squinting before looking at the stones, then at the map again.

Lynch: Right, according to this map, since we're heading from the South, we have a small hill to go up, and then we should be able to see the town some distance ahead. Just a little more.

Lynch continues marching, followed by his squad as bushes begin to pop up on the side of the road, the occasional tree now planted in the fields close by as well.

Jericho: Decent place, ain't it?

Ivan: Bit too quiet for me..

Lynch [Quietly]: Wonder if the others are in position..

Tavi: Pssh! I'm sure they are, boss!

Phil: No offence Tavi, but they aren't the brightest bulbs in the box. Squad Beta may have got into position, but I doubt Squad Delta has.

Lynch: Neither are we, but we've made some headway.

Karab: So, we're keeping this attack simple?

Lynch: Yep: Head on assault. No explosives, just gunfire. Lots and lots of gunfire with houses being breached the moment it's possible. I want Eligio out as soon as possible. That means the moment of you find a house to be breached, you breach it. Don't be afraid: You'll have twenty-three of your comrades at your back, so I want to see strong spines, people!

Tavi: Kill 'em all?

Lynch: Kill 'em all. No survivors. If Ocelot wants to play dirty, we'll show him that we can play just as dirty.

Dean: Damn right!

The squad begins to move over a small hill.

Lynch [Grunting]: Here we go..Legs, don't fail me now!

Steve: Me hungry..

Lynch: We'll stop for a bite to eat later.

The group make it over the apex of the hill, and Lynch throws his right arm up, stopping them: Just over the horizon, the thatched straw roofs of farmhouses can barely be made out, as well as the porcelain roofs and even the tops of guardtowers, suggesting the area is relatively highly guarded. Lynch gets to one knee, the rest of his squad following suit, before shrugging off his rucksack.

Lynch: Rest here, men. Tavi, get on the radio.

Tavi: Roger!

Tavi walks over to the right-hand side of the road, shrugging off her rucksack and unpacking her radio once more.

Phil: Over the hill, eh?

Lynch lays down his maps on the tarmac, pressing his hand against them and examining it.

Lynch [Quietly]: Looks like they've erected two guard towers since this photo was taken. Pretty quick. Definitely hiding something. Aside from that, there should be five farmhouses, three normal houses, a shed, and a small barn to the west.

Jericho: Pretty dense.

Lynch: It is. Squad Delta will attack from the West, Beta from the East, and we'll attack from the north. If they do fall back, they'll be falling back towards a small forested area, beyond which is the Koros River. They'll be trapped with pretty much nowhere to go.

Dean: And evac's to the north-west?

Lynch nods. Karab points out one of the guardtowers, standing to the left of the road they'll approach from.

Karab: Ivan should take that out first, then we move in.

Lynch: Yeah.

Ivan: Are ve giving a signal?

Lynch [Chuckling]: Of course not. We want to hit them with shock and awe, not let them know we'll be coming.

Jericho: ..Because an attack in broad daylight is the peak of shock and awe tactics, huh?

Lynch [Ignoring Jericho]: Once the guardtowers down, I'm going for this farmhouse next to it. [Lynch taps a building to the right of the road on the map] The rest of you are free to make your own decisions, as long as no other explosives are used other than on a guardtower.

Ivan: Da.

Tavi clears her throat and Lynch gets to his feet, walking over to her as she holds out the handset. Lynch takes it.

Lynch: This is Lynch, reporting in.

Bob's Voice: ....Uh, hey.

Lynch [Taken aback]: Is something wrong, Bob?

Tavi [Quietly]: For the record: He contacted us.

Lynch [Quietly]: Ah crap, this I gotta hear.

Bob's Voice: Oh, we're fine. Aside from the fact we got lost and are behind schedule--

Lynch [Loudly]: YOU GOT LOST?!

Squad Alpha bursts out laughing as Bob gives a shaky sigh.

Bob's Voice [Nervously]: Yeah, it was Frank. See, we were heading West, then we accidentally headed North--

Lynch [Incredulously]: How the fuck do you accidentally head North?!

Squad Alpha begin to laugh harder. Dean falls to one knee, clutching his stomach while Jericho is on his back, clutching his stomach as he cackles loudly.

Bob's Voice: See, Frank made us take a wrong turn at a fork, and--

Lynch: He made you take a wrong turn. At a fork. Did you not find it suspicious when you were...y'know...NO LONGER HEADING WEST?!?!?

Squad Alpha continue laughing loudly. Tavi is now on her back, clutching her sides as she laughs loudly.

Bob's Voice [Nervously]: We'll be in position in twenty minutes, tops. We're beginning to head east now. We'll be there soon, promise!

Lynch: For Gods sake, don't get lost again! That'd break my fucking heart!

Squad Alpha continue laughing as Lynch hands the handset to Tavi, who sits up and takes it, wiping her eyes and giving a few bursts of laughter.

Tavi [Still laughing]: ..Oh my God, really?!

Lynch [Pointing at Phil]: You bastard, you were fucking right!!

Squad Alpha suddenly bursts out laughing again as Lynch sits near them, shaking his head and chuckling himself.

*Hungary, One Mile West of "Beast's Den", Squad Beta*

The only squad that has been ready and prepared for the assault on Beast's Den are Squad Beta. Sitting one mile east of Beast's Den, within a clear field, a stone wall running the length of the field and obscuring them and the target itself from sight, the mood is tense amongst them. Billy keeps instinctively reaching up, scratching his eyepatch. Sal slaps his forearm, stopping him.

Sal [Hissing]: Stop fiddling, will ya?!

Billy [Hissing]: It ain't easy having just one eye, y'know! My sense of depth perception is completely fucked! Itches like mad..

Sal: Well, having your eye cut out will make it feel weird.

Billy: We better get me ta a doctor soon, lads. Need my socket cleaning out and shite.

Vince [Retching]: Jeez, Billy! Don't spare any information!

Billy: Oh, be quiet yeh pansy!

Stoofer: Bill, you getting anything?

Stoofer turns his head to Bill, sitting a few feet away from the group, busy clutching his radio handset as he stares mindlessly at the radio.

Bill: Someones trying to get in contact with us..

Vince: Aliens?!

Johan [Chuckling]: What?!

Vince [Shrugging]: Just the way he said it made me think that aliens were contacting us..

Johan: And what the hell would aliens want with a random mercenary squad in the middle of Hungary

Vince [scoffing]: To take us to their leader! Duh!

Mustafa: ...You can't be serious?!

Vince: What? None of you been in contact with aliens before?!

Mustafa [In disbelief]: ....You seriously, SERIOUSLY aren't implying that you have.

Vince: Maybe I have, maybe I haven't.

Mustafa [Shaking his head]: You oddball..

Bill [Calling into the handset]: Hellooooooo..Helloooooooo..Speak to me, Alf....Speak to me...

Billy: Ach, stop pretending yer speaking to Alf!

Sal [Grinning]: How cool would it be if Alf just appeared?!

Johan [Shrugging]: Well, stranger things have happened in this bastion of cosmic oddities..

Bobby [Chuckling]: Interesting way to put it..

Lynch's Voice: Bill? Is that you?

Bill: Roger that.

Lynch's Voice : Are you ready to assault Beast's Lair?

Bill: Damn straight!

Lynch's Voice [Sighing thankfully]: Thank fuck for that! Frank and his Squad got lost.

Bill: ...They WHAT?!

Sal: What did he say?

Vince [Scoffing]: They got lost.

Mustafa [Slapping his palm against his face]: Oh good God.

Bill [Incredulously]: Wha--How--How did they get lost?

Lynch's Voice [Crackling, sighing]: Trust me, it's better that I don't tell you and save us both the stress.

Bill [Scoffing]: So, we're waiting for those dumb bastards, then?

Lynch's Voice: Pretty much. When I get word that they're ready, i'll contact you guys and we'll hit this target with everything we've got. Remember: NO EXPLOSIVES! We don't want Eligio being harmed.

Bill: No explosives. Got it, boss hog!

Lynch's Voice: Thank God you guys are smart. Lynch out.

Lynch's feed cuts out as Bill lowers the radio handset, keeping ahold of it.

Bobby [Bluntly]: Welp, we're fucked.

Vince: How come?

Bobby: Our third leg is crippled.

Billy: My third leg ain't.

Sal [Muttering]: Your second eye is..

Billy [Sharply]: Did yeh say something, laddie?

Sal: Yes, I said your second eye is!

Billy: Good lad. Nice to see yeh have a spine when insulting people.

Mustafa: Human beings only need two legs to walk. Our two squads should decimate the Beast's Den well enough.

Vince: I could put on some J-Pop and calm us down!

Stoofer [Coldly]: You do and I will beat the shit out of you.

Vince: Charming!

Sal [Bluntly]: Seriously, if you do, I'll hold you down and let him do it.

Vince [Muttering]: Bastard.

Johan: So, what do we do now?

Stoofer: What can we do except....wait?

Billy: ...Anyone got any cards?

Bobby [Bluntly]: Nope.

Sal sighs loudly.

Sal: How much longer do we have to wait for those bastards? Better not be too much longer.

Mustafa: I hear you: I want to kill NOW.

Mustafa looks at Vince, who gulps loudly.

Vince [hastily]: I'm an ally! I'm an ally!

Mustafa [Grinning]: Don't worry, I won't hurt you........on purpose.

Vince [Whining]: Sal! Help!

Sal [Calmly]: I think i'll pass.

Bill: Put some bluegrass on!

Vince: Sorry, only have J-Pop on my iPod.

Johan [Growling]: That's it, I'm going to break you.

Vince: Break me?--OH! OH! OH FUCK! NO! JOHAN! NO!

Johan gets to his feet, cracking his knuckles. Vince springs to his feet, turning left and running off, screaming loudly as Johan sprints after him.

Johan [Growling]: STAND STILL!

Vince [Screaming]: NEVER!


Sal sits back, laughing loudly as Vince sprints past him.

Johan [Angrily]: I'M GOING TO CATCH YOU!

Vince [Screaming]: NO YOU'RE NOT!!

Billy [Laughing]: Now THAT'S entertainment!

*Hungary - Target Codenamed "Beast's Den"*

Lynch and his small squad of mercenaries are busy laying at the top of a grassy hill. Below them is a relatively steep descent towards concrete, where the target known as "Beast's Den" lays. Keeping to the left and towards the bottom of the hill so as to avoid the line of sight of the two sets of guardtowers which stand erected on each side of the road leading North, Squad Alpha overlook two farmhouses directly below the hill. Tavi is sat at the bottom of the hill, her radio set up as she waits for Lynch to give the command as he overlooks the square courtyard, flanked on all sides by farmhouses, houses, and a barn and shed to the west. A forest lies ahead of them, to the south, past two houses and two farmhouses. To his left, a lone farmhouse which Squad Delta will pass by when they attack from the East. To his right, a barn, a shed, and two normal houses, which Squad Beta will attack when they arrive from the West. Six soldiers are gathered in the courtyard, patrolling haphazardly, but it appears that a full-on assault will give the PMC soldiers absolutely no chance to launch a counter-attack. The only disadvantage is that the courtyard itself appears to be half a mile wide, meaning it's a long run across the courtyard.

Lynch [Quietly]: Where the hell are they?

Jericho [Mumbling]: Fucking around, probably.

Lynch: We can't afford to waste anymore time..Can anyone spot Eligio?

Phil [Quietly]: Not from this position, no.

Lynch [Scoffing]: Well, they couldn't have taken him away.

Steve: What if they have?!

Lynch [Sharply]: They haven't.

Dean: And we know

Lynch: Dean, shut up.

Tavi [Hissing]: Getting something!

Lynch twists around, looking down at Tavi before sliding down the hill somewhat, landing behind her and getting on one knee. Tavi hands him the handset.

Lynch [Quietly]: This is Lynch, report in.

Bob's Voice [Quietly]: This is Bob, reporting in: We're ready to assault the position.

Lynch [Quietly]: Where are your squad?

Bob's Voice [Quietly]: Let me check my compass--Right, we're approaching from the East. I can see the back of a large house...across the road is a shed and a barn. We're behind a stone wall here. We'll vault over it and attack when the signal is given.

Lynch [Quietly]: The moment you hear gunshots, charge. Don't be afraid, do not falter, do not cower: Pour it on them. There's six soldiers in the courtyard, more in the houses, but the quicker those in the courtyard are wiped out, the quicker we can fall into the houses and pour it on them. This is Stalingrad-level shit here.

Will's Voice [Quietly]: What was Stalingrad, Bob?

Bob's Voice [Hissing]: Close urban combat, fighting took place in apartment blocks and houses, a lot of it hand-to-hand.

Will's Voice [Hissing]: Goddammit, you mean we're resorting to fisticuffs?

Bob's Voice [Hissing]: Or knives!!

Lynch: Remember: When you hear gunshots, charge.

Lynch nods to Tavi, who begins messing with the dials and the keypad, tuning out from Squad Delta. The static from the feed subsides, the radio answered immediately.

Bill's Voice [Quickly]: Squad Beta, reporting in.

Lynch: We're ready.

Bill: ...Now?

Lynch: ..Now.

Squad Alpha crawl to the apex of the grassy hill, looking down over Beast's Den as Tavi begins to pack up her radio.

Jericho [Quietly]: So, how are we doing--

From the west, gunfire erupts violently. Every head in Squad Alpha snaps to the right, watching as Squad Beta emerge down the road between the barn and the shed, assault rifles raised and firing on any living thing they can see. The guards in the guntower quickly abandon their mounted machineguns, grasping their rifles instead. The six soldiers in the courtyard look around, trying to head towards cover, but the gunfire coming from Squad Beta, now mere feet from the courtyard, cuts them down into bloodied heaps.

Lynch [Yelling]: DOWN THE HILL!!


Lynch [Hissing]: Shut the fuck up!

Ivan quickly pulls himself up, standing on the top of the hill and twisting to the right, aiming his M79 at the nearest guardtower him and aims down the sights, pressing the trigger. The grenade whistles through the air, colliding with the hut and lighting it up with a large explosion, killing the gunner instantly as Ivan cackles, sliding down the hill. Lynch turns his head to the left, watching as Squad Delta now approach, running forward and opening fire. The six soldiers in the courtyard have since been cut down, lying in puddles of their own blood as Squad Beta breach the courtyard. Squad Delta, heading in from the Eastern road, breach the courtyard just as quick. Phil, Jericho and Dean stand outside the backdoor of the house to their left, kicking down the door and rushing in as Karab, Steve and Ivan breach the house to their right. Lynch watches as Bill and Jon sprint across the courtyard towards the house Karab, Steve and Ivan breached, Bill kicking open the frontdoor. Lynch looks over his shoulder as Tavi climbs up the hill.

Lynch: You ready?

Tavi: As i'll ever be.

Lynch and Tavi slide down the hill. Inside the house they breached, Phil, Jericho and Dean rush into the kitchen. A lone soldier stands at the window in front of them, twisting around, but unable to react in time as all three mercenaries raise their rifles, cutting down the soldier in a quick hail of gunfire. They turn to their left, a soldier kicking open the kitchen door, but all three men cut down the second soldier, jogging into the front room. They spin around as a foot kicks at the front door, splintering the area around the handle before a second kick jolts it open, Robbie walking through it.

Robbie [Smirking]: Hey guys.

Jericho: Sup fella? How's everyone doing?

Robbie and Dave turn around, watching as a wounded soldier within the courtyard tries to crawl away, clutching his wounded abdomen, but Jon quickly runs into view, kicking the soldier roughly in the skull and knocking him out before aiming his rifle at him and firing. The soldiers within the houses are firing wildly, but are being overcome by the sheer wave of incoming mercenaries.

Robbie: We're doing good.

Phil looks across at the south-westernmost house of the courtyard where Johan kicks open the door, running in.

Phil: I'll go and give Johan some cover. Happy hunting, fellas.

Phil bursts out of the front door, sprinting forward towards the house.

Jericho: Looks like it's us, then.

Jericho turns to the living room, kicking it open and swinging his FN 2000 up.

Jericho [Calling out]: FREE--

Jericho watches as Dave, who had climbed through an open window behind him, stands behind a lifeless soldier, repeatedly jamming his KA-BAR knife into his back, the front of the soldiers fatigues soaked in blood. Jericho lowers his rifle.

Jericho [Bluntly]: Oh.

Dave: Sorry, busy.

Jericho: I see.

Dave: There's two upstairs.

Jericho: Got 'em.

Jericho walks back into the entrance room, turning left and jogging up the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, a soldier kicks the door open at the top of the stairs. Jericho sprints up the remainder of the stairs, pointing at the soldier.

Jericho [Grinning darkly]: Sup, fucker?

Jericho slams his head forward, headbutting the soldier before grasping his right arm and pulling it roughly. The soldier is pulled forward, falling down the stairs and tumbling down them before hitting the bottom of the stairs, his right leg visible broken. Jericho dusts off his hands, nodding triumphantly as Dave steps over the soldier, looking up at Jericho.

Dave: Nice.

Jericho: It is, isn't it?

Dean: Hey, save some for me!

Robbie moves into the living room, sweeping his rifle around the interior. A large closet at the back of the room bursts open and a soldier quickly rushes it, but Robbie swings around, tapping the trigger of his FN 2000 and cutting down the soldier in a hail of bullets.

Robbie [Spitting]: Fucking dumbass.

Jericho and Dean jog upstairs. Jericho turns right into an L-shaped coridoor, while Dean takes the first door on the coridoor, kicking it open and rushing behind a soldier who is opening fire on several mercenaries still securing the courtyard below. Dean slams the butt of his rifle into the back of the guards neck, causing him to stumble towards the open window, before pressing the barrel against the back of his neck and pulling the trigger. The soldiers head snaps forward as Dean is sprayed with blood, the soldier doubling over the windowsill before Dean places a foot on his rear and kicks him through the window, looking around outside and waving down to Will.

Dean: Hello down there!

Will flips him the bird, quickly moving to the side of the house Dean is in and taking cover before jumping out and exchanging gunfire with several soldiers holed up in the barn.

Dean [Sarcastically]: Charming man.

Jericho kicks open the second door on the corridor to his left, rushing in towards a soldier also firing on the courtyard below. Jericho quickly grasps both the soldiers legs, flipping him through the open window. The PMC screams wildly, front-flipping and hitting the gravel with a rough crunch.

Jericho [Wincing]: Ooo, that's gotta hurt!

Jericho whistles, turning around and walking out into the corridor, turning left and heading towards the door in front of him which is now askew. Jericho pushes the door open, watching as Robbie, who has lifted the bedroom window open, is repeatedly slamming it down on the back of the soldiers head. Robbie looks over his shoulder, nodding.

Robbie [Calmly]: Hello Jericho.

Jericho: Having fun?

Robbie: Yep. Figured since it was the last guy, I best have fun.

Robbie slams the window down roughly, the soldiers legs twitching violently as a loud crack fills the air, the soldier gurgling violently.

Robbie [Angrily]: Dammit, I broke his neck!

Jericho: Could be internal bleeding.

Robbie lifts the window again, slamming the window down roughly, blood spraying over his fatigues and combat vest as the now-splintered wood of the window crushes and slashes into the back of the soldiers skull through his ski mask.

Robbie: Wow, you were right!

Jericho: You have issues, you know that?

Robbie: Say what you want, it cleared this fucking house.

In the farmhouse next door, Ivan is fighting hand-to-hand with a soldier in the kitchen. In the front passage, Karab pins a soldier against the front door, quickly stabbing him in the chest with his KA-BAR knife, the wound pouring out with blood as the blade pierces the soldiers heart. Karab grasps the soldier, throwing him forwards face-first onto the ground, blood puddling underneath his chest. Karab turns around, facing the L-shaped set of stairs and watching as a soldier is thrown down them, tumbling violently down the stairs, slamming into the wall and rolling to the right, tumbling down the rest of the stairs to Karab's feet, laying there.

Karab: Charming.

Lynch: Yeah, well, he pissed me off.

Karab turns to the living room door, grasping the handle and pushing the door open. In the room, Maurice has a soldier against the wall, slamming a knee roughly into his gut before pulling his ski mask up, leaning and biting his nose. The soldier screams violently as Maurice pulls away, blood pouring down his mouth as Maurice spits out the nose before grasping the sides of the soldiers neck, twisting and snapping it roughly.

Karab: How did you get in here?!

Maurice [Looking over his shoulder]: Wouldn't ya like to know?!

Karab: Well..yeah.

Maurice spits out a mouthful of blood.

Maurice [Calmly]: Behind ya, lad.

Karab turns around, taking a few steps backwards into the living room as Ivan moves forward, the soldier who was fighting locked in an arm wrench.

Ivan: Can somevone kill this guy? I have to deal vith ze barn. Zey're shooting people.

The front door is shoved open as Frank runs in, breathing heavily and clutching his FN 2000. Ivan shoves the soldier forward and Maurice leans down, lifting the soldier up before slamming him down roughly into the floor. Karab places a foot on the soldiers chest, aiming his FN 2000 down at the soldier and pulling the trigger, shooting him between the eyes. Ivan turns around, walking into the front passage as Frank slips a new magazine into his FN 2000, loading it.

Frank [Calmly]: Hey Ivan.

Ivan: Vat's up?

Frank: Coming under fire from the barn.

Ivan: Vell, follow me and give me cover fire so I can destroy it.

Frank: Gotcha.

Upstairs, Lynch is in the left-hand bedroom, choking a soldier roughly against the wall. The soldiers legs lash out roughly, but Lynch simply pins him harder to the wall, choking him with all his strength.

Lynch [Angrily]: KIDNAP MY MEN, WILL YOU?!?!?!

Lynch keeps pressing harder as the soldiers kicks slowly lose their power. Lynch presses even harder as the soldiers legs stop kicking and his eyes roll back into his head. Lynch releases the soldier who slides down the wall, dead.

Jericho [Calmly]: Enjoying yourself?

Lynch spins around, watching Jericho who is standing in the doorway, arms folded.

Lynch: Damn right.

Lynch walks past Jericho, squeezing past him in the doorway and turning left, walking down the coridoor and turning left to the second door, kicking it open and running inside. The soldier at the window spins around, but Lynch lifts his foot, kicking the soldier roughly in the jaw and sending him collapsing backwards, falling through the open window and to the outside, screaming violently as he does. Lynch quickly ducks away from the window as four soldiers in the barn to the left beyond the guardtowers open fire on the house. At the lower-left house of the courtyard, Phil is inside the house Johan entered. Phil turns his head right, watching as the headless body of a soldier is thrown through the door to the living room, blood spurting everywhere as Stoofer walks through, dusting off his bloody hands.

Stoofer [Calmly]: Hey Phil.

Phil: Hey Stoof. Having fun?

Stoofer: Yep.

Stoofer walks past Phil, turning right and jogging out of the front door. Phil turns left, kicking open the kitchen door and raising his rifle, walking in and twisting right, watching as Jon, knelt over a soldier on the floor, stabs the fallen soldier repeatedly between the eyes, blood spraying with each lunge. Phil slowly turns around, walking back out of the kitchen, turning left and jogging up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, Phil turns right, walking through an already-opened door and turning right, walking down a small coridoor. Phil jogs towards the second door on his left, the only one which isn't opened, and turns to it, quickly unsheathing his KA-BAR knife as he hears gunshots on the other side, kicking the door open. A soldier, busy opening fire on the house opposite, quickly stops firing, twisting around.

Phil: Sup, bitch?

PMC: Wha--

Phil jams his knife into the soldiers throat with a swift thrust before pulling out, jamming the knife into the soldiers chest twice before slamming his boot into the soldiers stomach, sending him collapsing backwards to the floor. Johan walks through the doorway, looking over Phil's shoulder.

Johan: Got him?

Phil: He's dead....I think.

Phil gets on one knee beside the soldier, slicing the knife across his throat. The soldiers lets out a few, dying gargles, his legs twitching before Phil gets to his feet, shaking his hands free from the hot blood staining them.

Phil: NOW he's dead.

Johan: This house is cleared.

Phil: Fan-fucking-tastic, huh?!

Johan and Phil look outside as Mustafa begins to climb up the last manned guardtower on the left-hand side of the road. The guard quickly twists around as Mustafa's gnarled hands grasp the edge of the guardtower, slamming his feet down onto his hands. Mustafa pushes the guard away, quickly pulling himself up and onto his feet. The guard rushes forward, punching Mustafa in the chest. Mustafa stumbles backwards slightly, his feet wobbling. The guard grins and jolts forward, but Mustafa steps forward, twisting to his right and extending his right forearm, slamming it into the guards jaw as he jolts forward. The guard frontflips violently, falling off of the guardtower and falling down to the ground below with a sickening crack. Mustafa looks over his shoulder, shrugging before walking over to the mounted M2HB Browning Machinegun and grasping it, beginning to pull at it. Near the guardtower, Ivan is standing and facing the barn, clutching his M79 as Frank and Will open fire on it, forcing the soldiers inside of it to take cover, some of them being hit by stray bullets and collapsing to the ground, dead.

Ivan: Vell, zey say I can't hit a barn door.

Ivan aims his M79 towards the roof of the barn, aiming the grenade launcher higher to compensate for the drop of the grenade before firing. The grenade whistles through the air before crashing into the wood of the barn, exploding and setting the thatched roof on fire. One of the soldiers rushes out, aiming his rifle towards Ivan who sweeps his M79 down, pressing the trigger again. A grenade flies through the air, hitting the soldier and exploding violently, the soldier exploding into several fiery, charred chunks of flesh which scatter violently across the town, a piece of his shattered ribcage hitting Ivan on the cheek.

Ivan [Gleefully]: No need to hit a barn door when I can blow ze entire fucker down!

Lynch jogs out of his house, patting Ivan's back as Ivan pulls down the barrel, loading a second grenade.

Lynch: Eligio wasn't in there, was he?

Ivan: Nope!

Lynch: And you know, how?

Ivan twists around and points to the house that is diagonally across the courtyard from the barn: In the top window, Lynch can barely make out the head of Eligio, completely unidentifiable due to extent of the beating he suffered.

Lynch: Why didn't you tell anyone?!

Ivan [Angrily]: I JUST NOTICED!

Lynch moves forward, but Johan sprints forward.

Johan [Calling out]: I GOT THIS!!

Lynch pats Ivans back, pointing at the house to the right of it.

Lynch: Let's get those guys.

Lynch and Ivan jog forward, but stop as they watch the front door open up, a soldier tumbling out of the door, several stab-wounds in his chest. Courtney stands in the doorway, grinning brightly.

Courtney [Excitedly]: Fuck yeah!

Ivan: So, vat do ve do?

Lynch points to the house next to it, and both of them sprint forward. Lynch quickly readies his FN 2000, standing in front of the front door. Ivan pats his left shoulder and Lynch looks over his shoulder. Ivan gives a small nod and both of them move backwards, halfway across the courtyard as Ivan aims his M79 at the door, pulling the trigger. The grenade whistles through the air, colliding with the door and exploding, blowing a giant, ragged hole into the front wall, the door nothing more than charred cinders and the house creaking dangerously from the torn and shattered bricks. A soldier who was standing in front of the door has been absolutely annihilated, torn to shreds by the force of the grenade and the shrapnel, leaving nothing more than bloodied, unidentifiable limbs.

Lynch [Smirking]: Nice.

Lynch and Ivan sprint forward towards the house. In the house next to theirs, Courtney turns around, walking back into the house and dusting off her hands, turning around and walking into the kitchen. Bill has a soldier in a headlock, punching him roughly in the head before letting go of him, twisting around and slamming a knee up into the soldiers skull. The soldier stumbles backwards and Bill grasps a nearby wooden chair propped against the kitchen wall, slamming it roughly over the soldiers head and shattering it. Bill stands there, clutching two of the broken legs and grins, glaring at the soldier.

Bill [Darkly]: Hasta la vista, asswipe.

Bill shoves the broken wooden legs through the eyesockets of the soldiers, shoving them roughly into the soldiers skull. The soldier collapses backwards against the wooden crates behind him, laying over them as Bill delivers a rough kick to the soldiers crotch.

Courtney: ...You didn't need to kick his balls.

Bill: But it's so stress-relieving!

Courtney shrugs, turning around and walking through the front passageway and towards the living room, poking her head through the open doorway, watching as Sal sits back in a leather chair, his legs propped up on a dead soldier. Sal looks up, giving a small wave.

Sal [Calmly]: Sup?

Courtney: ...Sal, shouldn't you be fighting?

Sal: Well...I killed a guy.

Courtney sighs, shaking her head. Upstairs, Tavi walks out of the left-hand bedroom, the bedroom empty as she sweeps her rifle around, giving a small ho-hum.

Tavi [Quietly]: Odd.

A pair of arms lock themselves around Tavi's neck, dragging her back into the bedroom. Tavi yelps violently, quickly lunging upwards and pressing both of her legs on each side of the doorway, pushing backwards with all her force. Tavi and the soldier stumble backwards, the soldier slamming into the wall and grunting in pain, letting go of Tavi instinctively. Tavi twists around, staring at the soldier who cricks his neck. Tavi quickly points behind him.

Tavi [Quickly]: LOOK! WE'RE INVADING!

PMC [Darkly]: We know.

Tavi clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, grasping the bottom of her fatigues and combat vest, lifting them up and exposing her bare chest. The soldier stops suddenly and Tavi quickly leaps up, dropkicking the soldier. The soldier stumbles backwards into the wall as Courtney rushes into the room, knife aimed and lunges at the soldier with an overarm motion, stabbing the soldier roughly between the eyes with her KA-BAR. The soldier flops lifelessly backwards against the wall, sliding down it as Courtney jars the knife, the soldiers skull cracking and squelching noisily as Courtney pulls the knife out, quickly sheathing it on her chest.

Courtney [Smirking]: Got 'im!

Courtney turns her head to Tavi, slowly raising an eyebrow.

Courtney [Coughing]: Uhh...Tavi. The twins.

Tavi [Pouting]: The girls didn't distract him as much as he ought've been..

Bill stands in the doorway, dusting off his hands.

Bill: Well, downstairs is clear.

Sal [Standing behind Bill]: Aye, it was pretty easy, didn't put up much of a--

Tavi turns around and Bill screams, stumbling backwards into Sal. Sal yelps and both men fall backwards over the railing next to the stairs, screaming as they flip over it, hitting the stairs and falling down a few of them with hard thuds. Tavi quickly grasps her fatigues, pulling them down.

Tavi: ...Oops.

Tavi walks over to the bedroom window, looking outside and to the far left at the lone farmhouse beside the shed, watching as Dave kicks open the front-door, quickly jogging into it.

Dave [Calling out]: FREEZE, FUCKERS!!

Dave quickly turns left, jogging into a large, empty room and looking around before looking at the floor where a PMC, his throat slashed, is lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood.

Dave [Hissing]: Man, who the fuck is killing these guys without me being there?!

A sudden footstep echoes throughout the empty room and Dave spins around. A PMC soldier lunges forward, leaping up and swiping his blackened machete down. Dave curses loudly, jolting to the left and narrowly avoiding the soldier, quickly unsheathing his KA-BAR knife from his chest. The soldier lunges forward, thrusting his blade forward but Dave quickly steps to the right, swinging his knife down. The soldier quickly sidesteps to the right, spinning around and facing Dave, eyes narrowing.

Dave: Great, I got the one competent soldier in the entire fucking PMC.

The soldier thrusts forward with the blade again, and Dave quickly steps to the right, thrusting out his left hand and slamming his fist into his jaw. The soldier stumbles backwards and Dave quickly delivers a right hook to the jaw, followed by a left hook to the kidney. The soldier stumbles backwards into a wall as Dave lunges in, stabbing the soldier in the gut. Dave removes the knife and the soldier doubles over, allowing him to grasp the KA-BAR handle with both handles and plunge it down into the back of the soldiers neck, swiping it towards him and slashing a rough cut into the back of the soldiers neck, the bones of the spine cracking as he slices through the nerves. Dave pulls the knife out, allowing the soldier to flop forward lifelessly to the floor. Dave gives a small grin, turning left and walking through the doorway towards an empty doorframe leaving to a second, large room. Dave walks through the doorway, watching as Jericho, clutching a soldier in a sleeper hold, slowly gets to one knee, dragging the soldier down onto his rear.

Dave: Hey Jerry.

Jericho grunts, wrenching harder on the sleeper hold. The soldier's legs twitch violently as all air escapes him, his eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Dave: Looks like we're clearing this target out, huh?

Jericho grunts a second time, his hold tightening.

Dave: Have we found Eligio yet?

Jericho [Impatiently]: NO!

Jericho releases the hold, the soldier slumping to the left and onto the floor, dead. He slowly gets to his feet, dusting off his hands.

Jericho: Nothing like some hand-to-hand combat, eh?

Dave: Is Eligio here?!

Jericho: Nope. Phil's upstairs, though.

Dave and Jericho twist their hand, hearing the sound of a window smashing, followed by a scream as the body of a soldier plummets from the top floor, hitting the tarmac with a sickening crack, his neck snapping as he lands.

Dave [Bluntly]: Lovely.

In the house directly opposite of theirs, Mustafa grasps the front door, wrenching it violently off of its hinges, throwing it forward. A soldier standing a few feet behind the door is sent flying onto the stairs, the door on top of him as Mustafa walks forward, dusting off his hands. Vince sprints into the house, grasping Mustafa's shoulders and leaping up, scrambling up and sitting on Mustafa's shoulders before pushing himself off, landing on top of the door with an elbow drop. Mustafa blinks, watching as Vince nips up to his feet, jumping up and down on the door roughly.

Mustafa [Calmly]: Are you quite done?

Vince [Stopping jumping]: Now I am--DUCK!!

Vince quickly dives onto his stomach on top of the door, and Mustafa sidesteps swiftly as the body of a soldier tumbles sickeningly down the stairs, his head slamming into the top of the door, sending Vince sliding down the stairs. At the top of the stairs, Billy stands there, dusting off his hands.

Billy: His neck snapped like a feckin' twig.

Vince [Happily]: Billy! You can still kill!

Billy: Damn right I can!

A KA-BAR suddenly cracks through the door to Mustafa's left. Mustafa's head snaps to the left, glaring at the blood-slicked blade as the door slowly pushes open. Pinned to the door with a knife plunged in his mouth is a soldier, eyes widened in a permanent expression of fear as Robbie walks through the door, giving a small thumbs up.

Robbie: Like swatting a fly.

Vince: Rob, you have some issues.

Robbie [Scoffing]: Why? Because I like pinning soldiers to doors and watching them squirm as they die?! DOES THAT MAKE ME A BAD MAN?!

Mustafa [Bluntly]: It makes you crazy.

Billy: Are we almost done, laddies?

To his left, a door is suddenly pulled open and a pair of arms wrap themselves around Billy's neck, dragging him backwards into a long coridoor. Billy pushes himself backwards, slamming the soldier choking him into the wall. The soldier keeps dragging him, choking Billy as he swings his foot backwards, kicking open a door to a bathroom and dragging Billy into it.

Billy [Choking]: A-ACH!! GERROFFA ME!!

PMC Soldier [Angrily]: Escape from us, eh? You fucking piece of shit!

Billy lifts his right leg, pressing against the doorframe of the bathroom, pushing himself backwards and slamming the soldiers back roughly into the porcelain-tiled wall. The soldier grunts, reaching to his right-hand side and grasping the handle of his machete, quickly unsheathing it. Billy quickly shoves his hands downwards, grasping the soldiers hand and slamming it back roughly into the wall behind him before swinging his head back, slamming the back of his skull into the soldiers nose. The soldier cries out in pain as his nose cracks and busts underneath the force of the blow, letting go of Billy who quickly twists around, grasping the soldiers fingers and prying them open, forcing him to drop the machete. The soldier stumbles around slightly as Billy quickly leans down, picking up the machete. Slinging his M4 Assault Rifle from his back, the soldier goes to aim it at Billy, but Billy quickly grasps the soldiers left hand used to grasp the trigger, pulling it down to his side and stabbing the machete roughly through his hand and into the side of his abdomen, pinning his hand there. The soldier screams loudly and Billy shoves a foot into his abdomen, sending the soldier stumbling backwards, collapsing into a sitting position on the toilet. Billy grasps the machete, swiftly pulling it out of the soldiers abdomen and side before stabbing forward, shoving the full length of the blade between his eyes. The blade cracks out of the back of the soldiers skull with a spray of blood and mucus as Billy lets go of the handle, watching the soldier slump forward.

Billy [Spitting on the soldiers corpse]: Goin' out like a king: On the throne.

Will quickly appears in the open doorway, aiming down the iron sights of his FN 2000 before lowering his weapon.

Will [Bluntly]: Oh, it's just you.

Billy: Who did yeh expect? The boogeyman?

Will: No, but I was expecting an angry PMC soldier.

Billy [Shrugging]: Fair point. You got blood on yer hands yet?

Will jabs a thumb over his shoulder, stepping backwards. Billy walks out, twisting his head right and looking down at the end of a coridoor where a soldier is sat, slumped against the wall, several large, bloody bulletholes blown into his chest.

Billy [Nodding]: Aye, nice, nice. Just got a bit of cleaning up ta do, but it sounds like we've secured tha position. Any news on Eligio yet?

Will: I heard Johan's found him. He sounds alive.

Billy pumps his fist slightly.

Billy [Grinning]: Yes!

In the house to their left, Johan has since kicked down the door. Johan quickly looks around, turning right and heading into the main room. Johan looks over at Bob who is sat back in a moth-eaten leather chair, his legs propped upon a fallen PMC soldier who has the entirety of the back of his skull blown out by several bullets.

Bob: Hey Johan.

Johan: ..Bob. Why didn't you save Eligio?

Bob [Shocked]: ...Shit...he's in this building?! I only sat down for five minutes, I swear!!

Johan: Bob, it's fi--

Bob [Panicking]: JOHAN! BEHIND YOU!

Johan twists around as a soldier swings a machete downwards. Johan, thinking quickly, shoots both his palms up and claps them together. In what can only be described as extreme luck, Johan's hands clamp on the blood, his brute strength stopping the blade inches from his bald skull. Johan growls darkly, lunging his foot forward and kicking the soldier roughly in the stomach, sending him stumbling backwards. The soldier moves forward again, but Johan grasps the door, slamming it roughly shut and into the soldiers skull. The soldier drops his machete, stumbling backwards and clutching his forehead, his right hand hanging limp, presumably with a broken wrist.

Johan [Smirking]: Sorry.

Johan moves forward, grasping the machete and shoving it roughly into the soldiers gut. The soldier chokes out, grasping the flat of the blade as Johan twists it roughly, the soldier jolting as he does, blood starting to flow down his fatigues from the wound and to the floor.

Bob [Retching]: C'mon man! Just kill him already!

Johan [Growling]: for...Eligio..

Johan twists the blade harder, the soldier jolting violently and starting to dance slightly as Johan laughs coldly.

Johan [Grinning darkly]: That's right...DANCE, CABRON! DANCE!!

Johan twists the blade the opposite way, the wound growing larger as Johan thrusts the blade deeper, forcing the soldier backwards as he marches him forcefully towards the closed door leading to the kitchen. A gunshot echoes through the opening passage, the hot trail blowing past the back of Johan's skull. Johan twists his head, looking through the open doorway at Jon, clutching a Beretta. Johan twists his head the other way, noticing a soldier slumped halfway down the stairs, blood pooling beneath his head and dripping down the stairs.

Johan: ...Gracias.

Jon [Calmly]: No problem.

Jon turns around, aiming his Beretta and firing more shots as Johan forces the soldier backwards, slamming the blade into the door with the soldier attached to it. The soldier gurgles darkly, blood flowing from the sizeable wound as he grasps the handle, but Johan simply lunges his foot forward, kicking the handing roughly and pushing it further into the door with a vicious crack of wood.

Johan [Mockingly]: Now stay there while I save my compañero.
The front-door is pushed open once again, Stoofer walking through the front-door and turning to Johan.

Stoofer: Brother.

Johan: C'mon. Eligio's in here.

Johan and Stoofer turn right, quickly sprinting up the stairs and stepping over the soldiers corpse, turning right and running forward. Johan lunges his foot into a door directly in front of him and kicking it open.

Johan: Eligio?!

Eligio lets out a small groan, spitting a mouthful of blood onto the floor as Johan and Stoofer walk through the door, behind which is a PMC soldier.

Eligio [Groaning]: Swing your left elbow backwards.

Johan swings his left elbow backwards, slamming it into the soldiers abdomen. The soldier groans loudly, doubling over as Johan twists around, grasping the waistband of the soldiers combat pants and throws him forward into the wall, knocking him out as he quickly turns to Eligio, squatting in front of him.

Johan [Quickly]: Boss? Boss? Are you alright?!

Eligio [Groaning]: ....Do I look alright?!

Both of Eligio's eyes are blackened, his forearms covered with what appear to be cigarette burns, his lips chapped, his chest covered in small slices from a knife and his chest and arms covered in electrical burns, presumably from the car battery beneath his chair. Stoofer quickly opens the door, looking over at Eligio.

Stoofer: Eligio! You're alive!

Eligio: ..What happened to the beep?!

Johan [Bluntly]: We killed the fourth wall.

Eligio [Groaning]: ..Johan...Marcos--

Johan: Who the hell is Marcos?!

Stoofer: Marcos Stoofer Enrigue.

Johan [Raising an eyebrow]: ...So your first name isn't Stoofer?

Stoofer: It's my nickname.

Johan: How the hell did you earn that nickname?!

Stoofer [Shrugging nonchalantly]: I once stuffed a Canadian guys corpse with straw and played his stomach as a drum.

Johan [Chuckling]: So, you stuffed him?

Stoofer: In a Canadian accent? I stoofed him.

Eligio [Loudly]: Can you maricons help me?! I can barely breathe without feeling agony!!

Johan unsheathes the KA-BAR knife from his chest, quickly slicing the thick, tarred rope that ties Eligio's wrists and ankles to the chair. Eligio quickly stands up, stretching his arms, the bones cracking noisily as he does.

Eligio [Groaning]: Freedom! Sweet, sweet freedom!

Eligio looks outside, watching as a soldier stumbles by, his fatigues on fire as Steve chases him, cackling and waving a homemade torch consisting of a plank of charred wood with the tip on fire.

Eligio [Sighing]: Insanity. Bitter, bitter insanity.

Stoofer: But you're free.

Eligio's head snaps downwards to the soldier who is uneasily pulling himself to his feet, groaning loudly as he does. Eligio snaps his fingers, pointing at the soldier.

Eligio [Sharply]: Tie him up, my compañeros.

Johan and Stoofer grab an arm each of the soldier, pulling him roughly to his feet as Eligio stumbles away from the chair. They quickly shove him into the chair as Eligio leans down, grasping the pieces of tarred rope and tying the soldiers wrists tightly to the arms of the wooden chair before kneeling down, tying his ankles tightly to the wooden legs. The soldier struggles as he begins to regain consciousness, but Eligio grasps the car battery with a picana, a wand with a bronze tip and insulted handle, pulling it out from underneath the chair and grasping the picana, glaring at the soldier.
ELigio [Angrily]: You want to mess with me, huh?!?! Pinche idiota!! No me jodas!!

Eligio jams the picana roughly against the soldiers left eyeball, the soldier screaming in sheer agony as Eligio continues pressing the bronze tip against the sensitive organ before pulling out with a soft crackle, the soldiers eye now burnt, red-raw and ultimately useless.

Eligio [Angrily]: Hijo de tu puta madre!!

Eligio jams the picana into the PMC's mouth, shoving it against the back of his throat as the soldier chokes and jolts in the chair, the electricity crackling. Johan walks over to the lower-left corner of the room, grasping a large metal pipe encrusted with blackened blood. Johan wields it like a bat, examining it.

Johan [Calmly]: Excelente. Esto será divertido!

Mustafa: I don't know what you two are saying, but i'm guessing you have nasty plans.

Eligio [Calmly]: No. I just want to make his final seconds on this Earth a living hell, so that when he goes to hell to suck on Satan's cock, he can tell him who sent him.

Eligio grasps the soldiers ski mask, ripping it off and shoving the picana against his cheek, pressing it roughly before pulling it away, leaving a small mark where the low current of electricity flowed through his skin.

Eligio [Darkly]: Anything to say?

The soldier spits at Eligio's feet.

Praying Mantis PMC Soldier [Coldly]: ..The Patriots will thrive while you burn in hell.

Eligio [Underwhelmed]: Mm. Yes. I'm sure.

Eligio presses the picana against the soldiers burnt eye, eliciting another bone-chilling scream as Eligio pushes harder before pulling it out. The soldier lets out a few panicked breaths, quickly turning into a scream as Johan swings the iron pipe roughly into the soldiers right leg, snapping the kneecap out of place with a sickening pop before swinging it roughly at his shin, the leg breaking visibly.

Johan [Grinning]: Si! Si! Excelente!

Mustafa folds his arms, watching as Eligio presses the picana against the soldiers neck before grasping his fatigues, tearing it open roughly and exposing his battle-scarred chest, allowing Eligio to press the picana directly against the center of the soldiers chest, the soldier jolting violently as he does.

Eligio [Darkly]: Dance. Dance more. Break his other knee, Johan.

Johan walks around to the other side of the soldier, swinging the bat roughly into the soldiers knee. The soldier screams violently as his knee is noisily cracked out of place, but is silenced as Eligio presses the picana against his tongue, his body jolting from the shock. Johan swings again, at the shin, the soldiers other leg visibly snapping, this time the bleached bone protruding from the skin as the soldier cries out in agony.

Johan: I thought the nanomachines regulated pain.

PMC [Sobbing]: ..I took a shot of suppressant.

Johan: ........Why?

PMC [Sobbing]: ..To get drunk.

Eligio: Moron. Johan, your knife.

Eligio jams the picana down the front of the soldiers trousers, pressing the picana roughly against his groin. The soldier jolts violently, but Mustafa walks forward, leaning down and picking up a roll of discarded duct tape that laid on the floor next to the chair, tearing off a piece and sticking the handle of the picana to the soldiers stomach, keeping the picana pressed against his groin. Mustafa tears off two more pieces, keeping the picana stuck to the soldier as Johan hands Eligio his KA-BAR knife. Eligio pulls open the soldiers chest further, scraping the blade into his chest as the soldier screams in agony, blood flowing down his torso as he carves words into the soldiers chest.

Mustafa [Laughing]: Nice..

Eligio pulls away as the PMC's head slumps to the side, his breathing guttural and shallow, the words 'No Me Jodas' carved into his chest. Eligio hands Johan the knife as the letters flow with blood.

Eligio [Darkly]: Break his wrists, Johan.

Johan presses the iron pipe against the soldiers left wrist, taking aim before raising it upwards and swinging it down violently. The soldier screams, but Johan repeats the move twice, a large crack filling the air as the soldiers wristbone is crushed. Johan moves around to the other side, raising the pipe up high and swinging it down with brute force, this time snapping the soldiers wrist in one swift strike. The soldier is too tired and in too much agony to scream, instead breathing raggedly. Johan tosses the pipe aside with a noisy clatter.

Johan [Calmly]: C'mon. The fight's almost over.

Johan leads Mustafa and Eligio out of the room.

Eligio [Breathing heavily]: ...Hermanos..Gracias.

Mustafa: We all decided to save you, not just us two. It was a group effort.

Eligio [Quietly]: Everyone's here, then?

Mustafa: Yes. Except for *Beep* and *Beep*..and no Moe, but everyone else is here.

Eligio [Smirking]: Billy alive?

Johan: And kicking.

Eligio: Si....excelente..
Johan, Mustafa and Eligio reach the bottom of the stairs. All three of them turn their heads, looking at the soldier that Johan had pinned to the door via his own machete, still squirming on the blade. Johan tuts, shaking his head.

Johan: I should probably kill him.

Eligio turns to a small door to the left of the stairs, pulling it open and looking inside before reaching in and pulling out a solid block of wood, turning around and handing it to Johan, who takes it.

Johan: How the--

Eligio [Quietly]: Maricons loved their campfires. Heard this door open and shut more times than I care for.

Mustafa: Crush his skull, brother.

Johan turns, walking over to the soldier who struggles more violently. Johan presses a hand against the soldier chest, keeping him pinned as he grasps the block of wood, repeatedly slamming it into the front of the soldiers skull. The soldiers legs jerk and flail as the blows cause a plume of blood to spray upwards up the door and wall, growing in size and intensity with each crushing blow before Johan pulls back the block of wood and slams it forward with all his strength, the soldiers skull crushing with ease underneath the blow and spraying brain matter and shards of bone and flesh up the wall. Johan drops the block of wood, turning to the door and calmly walking out, leaving the soldiers corpse hanging there.

Eligio [Grinning]: Ah, and many wonder why I keep him around!

Mustafa [Chuckling]: He does good work, doesn't he?

Outside, the chaotic frenzy has died down. In the middle of the clearing, Jon, Bob, Tavi, Courtney, Bill, Sal, Frank, Ivan, Dean, Steve, Samuel, Karab and Maurice are standing around, talking noisily to eachother. They stop, twisting their heads to the left and watching as Phil, in the upper-left window of the house next to the shed, slams a soldiers head through the window, smashing it effortlessly before slamming his head down, skewering it on the shards of broken glass and killing him instantly.

Courtney: Ooo..violence!

Their heads suddenly snap forward to the house with the front wall blown out. On the top floor, Lynch is wrestling with a soldier, grasping his M4 Assault Rifle and trying to wrench it out of his grip. The soldier growls, swinging his foot upwards into Lynch's groin, but Lynch snaps his legs shut, trapping the soldiers leg. Lynch twists slightly and the soldier collapses backwards, letting go of his M4 Assault Rifle which Lynch now clutches, grinning brightly. Lynch throws the assault rifle aside, grasping the soldier by his collar and pulling him roughly to his feet, locking him in a headlock and shoving his head roughly into the window. The pane of glass bangs, but Lynch pulls the soldier back, thrusting him forward harder and sending his head crashing through the window, shards of glass showering the courtyard outside. Lynch quickly grasps the back of the soldiers ski mask, slamming his head down roughly and skewering it on shards of broken glass, killing him brutally as the shards skewer his eyes and mouth, a waterfall of blood flowing down the windowsill and dripping rhythmically to the floor. Lynch dusts his hands off and turns around, jolting backwards when he notices a sp;doer standing there. The soldier simply stands there, assault rifle lowered.

Lynch [Cocking an eyebrow]: Can you?

A loud crack fills the air as the soldiers head jolts to the right, his neck snapping instantly before his body is pushed to the floor. Bobby emerges from behind him, dusting off his hands.

Bobby: Hey boss. Killed a guy.

Lynch: So have I.

Lynch jabs his thumb over his shoulder at the soldier.

Bobby [Smirking]: Lovely.

Lynch and Bobby's heads twist to the right, looking at the wall seperating their bedroom from the one next door as several bangs echo against the wall before a soldier is thrown clean through it. Lynch and Bobby cup their hands over their mouths, coughing as they are showered in shards of plaster and dry wall as Ivan steps through the hole, dusting off his hands and grasping the soldier by his ski mask, using his free hand to unsheathe his KA-BAR and slice the soldiers throat, spraying arterial blood into the air.

Lynch [Coughing]: J-Jesus I-I-Ivan!

Ivan: VHAT?!?!? Oh, vight, ze vall.

Bobby: Right, well, mark this house as cleared.

Ivan [Raising an eyebrow]: Vhere did you come from?

Bobby: House next doors cleared. We've pretty much got this target decimated now.

Lynch: C'mon. We're pretty much done here.

Outside, Phil, Jericho and Dave surface from the house they were taking, their fatigues covered in flecks of blood and brain matter. Phil points across the courtyard.

Phil [Loudly]: ELIGIO!!!!

Eligio [Smirking]: Damn.

The head of every mercenary in the courtyard suddenly snaps to the left, looking at Eligio, Johan and Mustafa. In the blink of an eye, every mercenary suddenly rushes over, surrounding Eligio. Frank lunges forward, hugging Eligio tightly.

Frank [Happily]: YOU'RE ALIVE!!

Eligio [In pain]: Alright! Get off!

Frank pulls away, watching as Eligio's legs twitch slightly in agony.

Dean: Goddammit..what the hell happened?

Eligio [Scoffing]: Oh, right, you ignore me and only pay attention to me when the hairy one points it out?!

Frank: We were busy making sure no-one got the drop on Lynch and Ivan!

Dave, Jericho and Phil jog over.

Dave: Goddammit, you look like shit.

Eligio [Sighing]: They zapped me, beat me, stubbed out cigarettes on me...Should be grateful they didn't take my eye..Where is Billy, anyway?

Billy, flanked by Vince, Mustafa, Robbie and Will, strolls out of the house to the left of the courtyard.

Billy [Calling out]: Right here, brother.

Eligio twists around, watching as Billy walks over to him and pats his back. Mustafa walks behind him, clasping both hands on his shoulders.

Mustafa [Quietly]: Good to see you're alive.

Eligio [Wincing]: Mustafa, i'm in agony here.

Mustafa: Sorry.

Mustafa removes his hands as Eligio gives a small sigh, his legs shaking.

Dean: We're just waiting for Lynch to surface, then we'll begin the trek to the evac.

Eligio [In disbelief]: TREK?!

Stoofer: Don't worry, i'll give you a piggyback.

Eligio groans loudly, rubbing his bruised eyes.

Jericho: At least you're alive, yeah?

Eligio [Sighing]: ..Si. Goddammit, i'll never forget those fucking screams..

Billy [Shrugging]: Couldn't keep quiet about it.

Eligio [Angrily]: I thought they were killing you!

Billy [Raising an eyebrow]: Why did that bother you?


The courtyard falls somewhat silent as Eligio turns around, slapping Billy sharply across the cheek. Billy recoils somewhat, clutching his cheek, more in shock than in pain.

Eligio [Angrily]: I have worked with you babosos for several years now, and you think that seeing any of you die wouldn't affect me?! LOOK AROUND, PINCHE IDIOTA!! Almost every single comrade of yours and mine is here to save us. Of course it bothered me! Why do you think I live in un auténtico infierno, huh?! Do you think I LIKE being in the Middle East, burning and doing the dirty work for the United Nations, a group that couldn't find it's cojones with the Hubble Telescope?! No, I stay for you. FOR ALL OF YOU! And you know why? This. This is why. Loyalty! Dedication! So yes, Billy, of course it fucking bothered me!!

The courtyard remains silent as Eligio lets out several, feral breaths, a silence only broken by the sound of running on gravel. The mercenaries turn around, watching as a soldier sprints across the length of the courtyard towards the shed next to the burnt-out husk of the barn, opening the door and quickly slamming it shut. Ivan, Lynch and Bobby run out, breathing heavily. Ivan takes a few steps forward, cocking an eyebrow as he hears the sheds door get bolted shut.

Ivan [Underwhelmed]: Did he seriously hide in ze shed?

Lynch: Yep.

Bill: Wow. The last PMC soldier alive in this stinkin' area and he the shed.

Frank: Cowardice makes you do some strange things.

Dave [Sniggering]: Yeah, you'd know about that, wouldn't you?

Frank: Alright then, Dave, why don't you open the shed and pull the asshole out?

Dave: My feet hurt.

Frank rolls his eyes.

Tavi: So, who gets the honors?

Ivan steps forward, aiming his M79 slightly higher than the shed.

Ivan: I've got him.

Lynch turns his head, looking at the group of mercenaries.

Lynch [Spreading his arms]: PART.

The mercenaries scatter somewhat, revealing Eligio. Lynch quickly walks forward, grasping Eligio and pulling him into a hug.

Eligio [In pain]: Alright! No more! The agony!!

Lynch quickly releases the hug as Bobby walks over. Eligio glares at him.

Eligio [Sharply]: Don't you dare.

Bobby [Smirking]: Good to see you alive, boss.

Lynch: Fuck me..they really did a number on you..

Eligio: ..Wasn't even an interrogation. Was just torture.

Lynch [Darkly]: Fucking bastards..

Eligio: If I hear one more pledge of allegiance to Ocelot or to the Patriots, I'm going to fucking scream.

Lynch: ...So, we won't be taking you to Big Shell?

Eligio: Oh, you fucking will! I'll be damned if I have to see those Patriots in power for much longer!

Ivan presses the trigger of his M79. The grenade whistles through the air, colliding with the shed and detonating. The shed explodes in a fireball, shards of charred wood spraying through the air and across the fields as the mercenaries let out a small cheer.

Eligio [Ecstatically]: That'll show Ocelot just who the fuck he's messing with!

Courtney: Damn straight!

Billy: ...So what now?

Lynch [Calmly]: We have a trek to walk. Mother's providing us with evac.

Eligio: Great. I hope she's provided some damn drugs with it.

Frank: She will have, don't worry.

Suddenly, out of the house to the left of the shed, the door flies open and the soldier who had his leg broken stumbles out of the house, swinging up his assault rifle which is now aimed at Jericho.



Phil sprints forward, shoving Jericho out of the path of the soldier as the bullets hit him in the chest, sending him collapsing backwards, rolling across the dirt. Lynch quickly swings his rifle up, hitting the soldier with a single three round burst to the side of his neck. The soldier stumbles to the side, clutching the wound at the side of his neck before falling to his knees and collapsing onto his side, dead. Jericho pulls himself to his feet, quickly crawling over to Phil.

Jericho [Panicked]: Phil?! PHIL?!

Phil [Groaning]: .....Ouch.

Phil pats his chest, patting the bullet holes where the bullets tore through his combat vest and fatigues, hitting his flak jacket. Phil groans loudly, rolling onto his back.

Phil [Groaning]: ...That shit hurt.

Jericho: ..What the hell did you do that for?!

Phil: You're my friend.

Lynch sighs, rubbing his eyes.

Lynch [Quietly]: He has his flak jacket on too, moron.

Jericho gets to his feet, extending a hand downwards. Phil grasps it and Jericho pulls him to his feet. The mercenaries look around at the carnage, death and despair surrounding them. Eligio gives a deep intake of breath before letting out a thankful sigh.

Eligio: Gracias..Mucho gracias..

Johan: We never let any of our own down.

Lynch [Calmly]: ...C'mon. We have a short trek to the--

Lynch's remarks are suddenly cut short by the sound of helicopter blades pounding the air. Every mercenary turns around, looking to the south as a Chinook, flanked by a medical helicopter, flies towards them.

Frank: What the hell?

Lynch: ..We were supposed to trek towards it.

Johan: Well, it is a big courtyard.

Jon: .........No way.

Lynch: ...We were supposed to trek towards it!

Will: Fuck it, run!

The mercenaries quickly spread outwards away from the central courtyard as the Chinook hovers over the courtyard, floating to the left somewhat and slowly descending, both rotors roughly chopping the air and sending gusts of wind blowing through the courtyard as the mercenaries quickly rush into the cleared houses as the Chinook settles uneasily on the ground. The smaller Medivac chopper manages to float to the right, turning slightly and landing on the western road into the courtyard. The Chinooks blades slowly grind to a halt, allowing the mercenaries to quickly rush out into the courtyard. Lynch jogs over to the drivers side of the Chinook where Brick, arm leant out of the window and clutching a can of Budweiser, is sitting. Next to him, Hayes is also seated, looking out and giving a small salute.

Brick [Whooping]: WHOO-WHEEEEEEEEE!! These things are just as fun to fly as planes!

Hayes [Laughing]: Man, it's so good to get off the ground again.

Lynch: Good to see you guys!

Brick [Laughing]: Likewise, friend. Likewise.

As soon as Billy strolls towards the Chinook, the medical personnel rush over to him, stopping him, pulling his eyepatch off and leading him towards the medical helicopter. Billy tries to wave them off, but they simply force him towards the helicopter.

Billy [Annoyed]: Ach, I'm fine!

Jericho: You lost an eye, you need to get that shit fixed.

Three other medical personnel rush over to Eligio as he walks out of the burnt-out barn accompanied by Stoofer, Bobby, Johan and Mustafa. Eligio simply holds out his arms, the whitened teeth grinning a bright smile amongst his bloodied face.

Eligio [Dissonantly happy]: GENTLEMEN! I! AM! ALIVE!!

Johan slaps Eligio's back, causing him to groan loudly.

Johan [Quickly]: Merde! Sorry! Sorry!

Eligio [Groaning]: ..It's fine....My spirit is strong, but I wish my spirit would tell that to my damned vertebrae!

Frank walks beside Lynch who walks towards the medical helicopter, stopping and folding his arms as he watches Eligio being led towards it.

Frank [Quietly]: We did it.

Lynch [Bluntly]: Yep.

Frank twists his head, looking at Lynch.

Frank: Did you think we could do that?

Lynch: No doubts about it.

Frank: Really?

Lynch: Without a doubt.

Lynch shuffles slightly, cracking his back noisily.

Lynch [Groaning]: Damn these old bones..Been a while since they've had to do something like this.

Bill walks over to Lynch and Frank, slapping them on their backs. Lynch and Frank turn around and Bill holds out two thick, chestnut cuban cigars, already unwrapped and cut.

Jericho: Here you go, lads: Cubans. Diplomaticos. Our redneck friend brought them along.

Lynch takes one of the cigars, placing it between his lips as Frank waves it off.

Frank: No..thanks.

Bill: Suit yourself.

Bill slips the remaining cigar into his own mouth, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a box of cigar matches, striking one and holding it to the tip of his cigar, rolling it and lighting it. Bill holds out the match as Lynch rolls his cigar, lighting it evenly before Bill shakes it, extinguishing the flame and flicking the match aside, taking a deep drag of smoke before removing the cigar from his mouth, blowing a thick stream of smooth, acrid smoke from his mouth.

Frank: Good job out there.

Bill [Calmly]: Aye, good job yourself. We got both of them home, eh? I'd love to see Callahay's face when he finds out we did a job well.

The loading ramp of the Chinook grinds roughly, lowering and hitting the gravel noisily. Tavi jogs up the loading ramp of the Chinook as Johan, Stoofer, Mustafa and Bobby climb into the medical helicopter, along with Vince and Sal. Lynch and Frank barely make out Billy sitting in a padded seat, his fists clenched as medical personnel begin to clean out his hollow eyesocket.

Frank: Looks like he'll live.

Lynch [Muffled slightly by the cigar]: Aye, he's a trooper.

Dave and Jericho walk over, holding his own cigar. Bill reaches into his pocket, pulling out the cigar matches and striking one, lighting Dave's cigar when he places it between his lips, as well as Jericho. Dave gives a thankful nod.

Dave [Muffled slightly by the cigar]: Alright guys? How's things?

Lynch: My bones and flesh hurt.

Jericho: Same here. Can't wait to get home and rest.

Lynch: Still, we showed those cunts back at the Academy. [Boisterously] SUCK ON THAT, BRIGITTE, YOU FRENCH WHORE!!

Dave: You crazy bastard.

Bill: Well, it'll be fun when we get home, that's for sure.

Courtney jogs up the loading ramp of the Chinook as Maurice walks behind the small group of mercenaries.

Maurice: Alright lads? Everything alright?

Jericho: Aye, aye.

Lynch: Medivac will leave first. Want those guys cleaned up as soon as possible. We'll be leaving for Big Shell in a few weeks.

Bill [Sighing]: Greeeeeat.

Lynch: Shut up, soldier.

Phil walks over, clutching his own cigar. Bill quickly lights a match, holding it out and lighting Phil's cigar.

Phil: Cheers man.

Phil takes a quick drag of the cigar, turning around.

Phil: What are we looking at?

Maurice: Watching our lads getting treated.

Lynch [Eyes narrowing]: I swear..that pilot looks familiar..

A tired looking middle-aged man, his hair shaved to his scalp and his face cleanly shaven, wearing a pilots suit, climbs out of the Medivac helicopter, rubbing his baggy eyes as he strolls over to the small group.

Maurice: 'Ey up lads, here comes trouble.

Dean [Walking behind them, holding a cigar]: Anyone got a li--Hey, it's Pistol Pete!!

Bill turns around, lighting Dean's cigar. Lynch walks forward and the pilot stops walking, snapping his legs together and giving a quick salute which Lynch quickly returns before holding out his hand. The pilot quickly shakes his hand.

Lynch: Piotr Wyczjek. What brings you back to Europe?

Wyczjek: Someone had to fly the Medivac for your boys. It's not Poland, but I volunteered anyway.

Lynch [Quietly]: Thanks.

Wyczjek: ..Good job out there.

Lynch: Thanks.

Wyczjek: Certainly surprised a few others down the academy. Ogbeche won five dollars on your guys surviving. You've certainly turned him around. Callahay still thinks your team is useless, though.

Lynch: Something told me he would. What about Ludwig and his boys?

Wyczjek [Smirking]: You know Mother's Children don't give a crap about us, Lynch, the only thing they care about is chasing the Patriots around the globe.

Lynch: Shame.

Wyczjek [Stretching]: Anyway...I better get your boys to the Academies hospital as quick as possible. You should probably get going yourself.

Lynch looks over his shoulder, watching as Maurice, Phil, Jericho, Ivan, Steve, Dean, Karab, Samuel and Dave jog up the ramp, taking their seats inside the Chinook and strapping themselves in.

Lynch: Aye..

Piotr slaps Lynch's shoulders.

Wyczjek: Take care of yourself out there.

Lynch: Thanks, Pete.

Wyczjek turns around, jogging over to the Medivac chopper as Lynch turns around, watching Bill slowly walk up the ramp, rifle slung over his shoulder with Robbie walking up beside him.

Frank: Well, that was nice.

Lynch [Quietly]: Rest of the Academy looks on us as bottom feeders, as rejects. Don't know what the hell that Pole sees in us.

Frank [Shrugging]: For fucks sake, Lynch, does it even matter that much?

Lynch: More than you'd know, Frank.

Frank [Raising an eyebrow]: Oh, and what does that mean?

Will [Calling over]: It means you're gay!!

Frank twists around, flipping the bird at Will who jogs up the ramp of the Chinook, cackling loudly. Frank sighs, shaking his head. Lynch claps his hands together roughly.


Steve, Ivan, Jon and Bob, the last four stragglers, quickly jog forward, each man carrying two or three M4 Assault Rifles slung over their shoulders. Lynch blinks rapidly, but Frank laughs.

Frank: Gotta love it. Well, we're going to have decent firepower at least.

Lynch: Get in the damn chopper.

Frank gives a small salute, turning to the chopper and running up the loading ramp. Lynch looks over his shoulder at the carnage before shaking his head, slipping the cigar back into his mouth and walking towards the Chinook.

Brick's Voice [Loudly]: GET READY FOR SOME KARAOKE!!

"Not Today" by Preacher Stone is audible from inside the Chinook. Lynch sighs darkly, rubbing his eyes, but begins to walk slowly up the ramp. He stops, turning his head to the right and watching as the Medivac choppers rotors begin to spin wildly, the chopper slowly lifting off into the air before Lynch turns to the Chinook, walking into the fuselage and taking off his FN 2000, turning the safety on and dropping it onto a pile of assault rifles between the seats, sitting between Dean and Frank and strapping himself in.

Lynch: Let's go home!

The interior of the Chinook lets out a loud cheer as the loading ramp raises with a violent creaking of gears, slamming shut as the Chinook's blades slice through the air, the Chinook ascending into the sky as the scene fades.

With their team-mates rescued, the next step down the line awaits them as the mercenaries prepare to take on the Tanker Incident and Big Shell in their next step to remove the Patriots rule from their timeline! Are the mercenaries ready, willing and able to take on their next task and protect Snake? Can they heal their wounds in time for the mission? Tune in soon to witness the next step on the mercenaries journey!