Thursday, 31 October 2013

SoI Chapter V - Strange Cousins From The West

The scene opens where we left off: With Raiden heading into Strut C. Raiden stops outside the door as Lynch, flanked by Frank, Jericho and Karab, steps forward in front of the door, slapping the control panel as the red pneumatic door shoots open. Jericho steps forward past Lynch, getting down onto one knee and grasping a piece of metal wire extended across the foot of the doorway, reaching into the inside pocket of his trenchcoat and pulling out a pair of wirecutters.

 Raiden: What's that?

Jericho: Little something I cooked up! You pull on wire, wire pulls on grenade, grenade goes boom inside tincan filled with nails, your foot comes off. Lovely jubbly!

 Raiden: Why?

Karab: Strut C is the Dining Hall. We like to dine in peace.

Raiden: What if one of your ow--

Karab turns around, grasping Raiden's throat and strangling him violently. Johnny and Tim lunge forward, grasping his arms and trying to pry his grip free.


Lynch grasps Karab by his hair, twisting him around and glaring at him.

Lynch: Do that again and I will castrate you with your own dagger.

 Karab makes the mistake of snorting derisively. Lynch's eyes flash wildly as he drags Karab backwards, walking past him and out onto the BC Connecting Bridge. Lynch lifts Karab easily into the air, slamming his head down onto the orange railing. Karab yelps in pain,falling to his knees and leaning against the railing, but Lynch simply grabs him by his ankles, throwing him over the railing and holding him tightly, leaving him to dangle over the watery depths below. Karab starts screaming wildly.


 Karab [Bawling]: I'M SORRY!! I DIDN'T MEAN TO!!

Lynch swings Karab left and right as he screams wildly.


Frank [Calmly]: Uh, Lynch?


Karab [Crying]: I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY!

Raiden stands there, watching with a bemused expression on his face as Lynch keeps swinging Karab left and right. Jericho clears his throat.

Jericho [Quietly]: Uh, Lynch?

Lynch keeps swinging Karab. Jericho approaches Lynch, tapping him lightly on the shoulder. Lynch swings around, still holding Karab whose torso smashes off of the side of the catwalk. Lynch releases his grip, and Karab falls downwards.

Lynch [Turning around]: ...Uh oh.

Karab [Calling up] REMEMBER ME AS A SANT SIPAHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.............

A loud splash is heard as Frank and Jericho rush over to the railing, eyes wide.

 Frank [In dismay]: LYNCH, I THINK YOU JUST KILLED KARAB!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynch: ...Hey, I said 'Uh Oh'.

Raiden [Watching on]: ..........Uhhh...

Johnny: Boss. You just killed one of your own.

A quiet, distant gasp is heard, followed by a splash. Lynch looks over the railing: Karab's head is just about visible as he begins to swim forward towards the Deep Sea Dock.


Karab [Calling up]: BUT IT DOES!

Lynch steps away from the railing, dusting off his hands.

 Lynch: Well, the Indian's alive. What did you want, Limey?

 Jericho [Bewildered]: ...Well, we do have a mission to accomplish.

Lynch: Oh, THAT. Yeah, c'mon, metrosexual. Let's get you to the bomb expert.

Frank [Shocked]: BOMB EXPERT?!

 Lynch: Not Ivan. Someone who can DEFUSE that shit!

Frank [Gulping]: Uh, Lynch? How do you think Ivan will act if he sees one?

 Lynch blinks slightly.

Lynch: Get moving.

 Raiden jogs into Strut C, followed by Lynch, Jericho, Johnny, Tim and Frank, into a T-shaped hallway that unfolds in front of him. In front of him, a long pot of plants lays in front of them, adding a gaudy touch to a Strut which appears to have been designed by the blind. Ahead of them, the left is an open doorway, with a small sign labelled "MEN" On the right, inside the second alcove of the T-shaped coridoor, is a small sign labelled "WOMEN". The floor is a dull green while the walls are a pale, lifeless beige colour. The coridoor, unfolding ahead of them, has a small doorway at the far end, visible on the left-hand side of the coridoor.

Raiden: Where now?

Frank [Pointing forward]: Dining Hall.

 Frank bobs on the spot slightly. Lynch turns his head, looking down at frank's feet.

Lynch: Hearing a beat, Frank?

Frank [Strained]: I gotta piss!

Frank dashes past them, twisting left through the open doorway and out of sight. Raiden stands there, coughing.

 Jericho: Fuck me, you really do need someone to hold your hand, don't you, Yank?

Tim: He really does.

Lynch [Sighing, rubbing his eyes]: Alright..Johnny, Tim? Stay with Raiden.

Tim [Angrily]: Are we his official bodyguards or something?!

Lynch: For now, because after we meet up with the bomb expert, his free ride is over.

Johnny [Sighing in relief]: Really?

Raiden: What?!

Lynch [Darkly]: Right, time to get it straight. Jerry, on me.

Jericho: Buy me a drink first.

Lynch grabs Raiden by the collar of his sneaking suit, marching him forward towards the female bathroom. Raiden stumbles back as Lynch shoves him backwards towards a large cubicle which holds three sinks, in front of which are three mirrors. Lynch grasps Raiden, twisting him around and grabbing his hair, holding him towards the left mirror. Raiden struggles violently, but Lynch kicks him in the back of his left leg, gripping his hair tighter as Raiden collapses to his knees, yelping in pain.

Lynch [Coldly, Quietly]: Alright, cunt, here's how this works: You are clearly some naive, whiny little bitch who the gamers do not want to see. The fact that you are here is a fluke and a miracle, because if you came from my time, son, you wouldn't even have survived past your first year of training. I have seen men like you not only in units i've been in, but in units i've COMMANDED and TRAINED. Every single one of them have died in horrible and violent ways, either eviscerated by the enemy, or having woken up with C4 attached to their chest. So, you had better fucking decide whether you want to die or whether you want to live, and you had better decide real. fucking. QUICK!

Jericho [Scratching behind his ear]: Uh, Lynch, why did you want me here?

 Lynch: To put his head through that mirror for wasting my time.

Lynch points at the left-most mirror. Jericho waltzes over to Raiden, gripping his hair.

Jericho [Cheerfully]: OKEY-DOKEY!

Jericho hauls Raiden up to his feet, slamming his head forward and into the left hand mirror, shattering it completely. A large splash of blood spatters across the mirror where Raiden's skull connects and Jericho pulls him backwards: Raiden now has a large gash across his forehead, blood flowing over his pale face. Jericho lets go of Raiden, who collapses instantly to the floor.

Jericho: ...Oops.

Lynch blinks, pushing his hand through the mirror. The shards fall backwards into the dark abyss of the surprisingly hollow wall.

Lynch [Bluntly]: What the fuck?

Jericho [Chuckling]: Cheap production values, eh?

The bearded, tired-looking and shaggy-haired faceof Vince slowly pops into view from behind where the mirror was. Lynch jolts back.

Lynch: FUCK!

Jericho: Damn, Lynch, you really let yourself go!

Vince scowls at Jericho. Vince: Hey guys. Lynch blinks rapidly, rubbing his eyes and glaring at Vince. Lynch: ...Vince? What the FUCK?!

Vince: I' YOUR MIND!! [Making ghost noises] WOOOOOOOO!!

 Lynch: Vince, get the fuck out of there.

Vince: One second, there's something i've got to deal with in here--

Vince screams as a neon pink pony with a fluffy pink mane pounces on him, sending him to the floor.


Jericho and Lynch step backwards.

 Lynch and Jericho [In unison, nodding at eachother]: Leave him.

Jericho and Lynch turn around, walking out of the female bathroom. The sound of footsteps is heard. Billy's Voice: Sup, Vinnie? Vince's Voice [Mouth full]: Nothing muth, you? Billy's Voice: Vinnie, what the feck are yeh doin'?


Billy's Voice [Coldly]: How the feck you survived beyond childbirth, I di'nae know.

Raiden groans loudly, getting to his feet and stumbling over to the mirror, leaning against the counter and looking through it. Something quickly grabs him by his head, pulling him through the mirror as he screams.


Billy's Voice [Sighing, Walking away]: I hate yeh and yeh stupid habit of summoning pop culture sometimes, yeh bloody bawheid..

 In the main room, Lynch walks to the left, heading into the male bathroom as Jericho stands with Johnny and Tim.

Johnny: How's Raiden?

Jericho: Battling pop culture and failing.

Tim: Can we look forward to that?!

Jericho [Laughing]: You sure can, Tim...You sure can.

Lynch walks into the male bathroom, turning right around a small wall that creates a large enclave within the room and stepping forward, turning his head left and looking at the three cubicles before looking ahead at another row of sinks with three mirrors in front of each. Lynch walks forward to the middle sink, placing his hands on the counter and leaning forward, looking into the mirror.

Lynch [Darkly]: Vince, get out of the fucking wall.

Billy's Voice: Och, shut up, Lynch.

 Lynch [Hanging his head and sighing]: For fucks sake..

Lynch slowly raises his head, sniffing the air and coughing slightly, reeling backwards from the mirror and walking past the first cubicle, holding his hand over his mouth and nose.


The toilet flushes and the figure stands up, pushing the door open. Emerging from the small cubicle is a hulking brute of a Hispanic man, with a thin moustache, slicked back hair and a large, barrel-like body with arms like trunks and a large tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his bare torso: Marcos 'Stoofer' Enrigue. Marcos shoves a newspaper under his arm, zipping up his grey camouflage pants.

Marcos: Hello, boss.

Lynch [Wrinkling his nose]: Marcos, what the fuck died in your ass?

Marcos: What can I say? Time travel makes me queasy.

Lynch: Where's Frank gone? He wandered in here..

Marcos snorts slightly.

Marcos: He made a rude comment. I decided to take offense.

 Lynch blinks, stepping past Marcos and looking into the cubicle. Frank is upside down, headfirst in the toilet bowl, his legs twitching violently as his quiet, gurgled sobs are heard.

 Lynch: Well done, Frank: You are now, quite literally, a butt monkey.

 Marcos gently eases Lynch aside, grasping Frank's ankles and pumping him in and out of the cistern as Frank lets out gargled screams.

Marcos: Just cleaning the toilet after me, boss.

Lynch [Patting Marcos on the back]: Atta boy! That's how you earn a raise, well done!

Marcos: Thanks!

Lynch: De nada.

Marcos lets go of Frank's legs, dusting off his hands and turning around, pushing his newspaper further under his arm and whistling to himself, walking out of the bathroom, stopping as he goes to walk around the wall.

Marcos: Ah, oh yeah, boss: There's some small old black guy in the Dining Hall.

 Lynch: Must be our guy.

 Marcos: Si, says his name is Peter Stillman. Member of the bomb disposal squad.

Lynch: Definitely the guy. How's he doing?

Marcos [Shrugging]: He's busy building a bomb to defuse. So he says.

 Lynch: By the way, why the fuck aren't you wearing a shirt?

Marcos: Too constricting. Why do you have to interject swearing constantly into conversations?

Lynch [Shrugging]: Force of fucking habit. Plus, if Stephen Fry endorses it, it can't be that bad.

Marcos: I'm sure he doesn't endorse constant swearing, hijo. Replacing every other word with fuck is--

Lynch [Narrowing his eyes]: Marcos, get your ass into the Dining Hall.

Marcos: Alright.

Marcos walks out of the bathroom and Lynch turns to Frank, grasping his ankles and placing his foot against the edge of the toilets seat, pulling back and prying Frank free from the bowl, dragging him backwards onto his feet. Frank turns around, his hair and moustache soaking wet.

 Frank [Whimpering]: ....I smell like shit..

 Lynch: So, nothing's changed, then.


Lynch pats Frank's cheek before pulling his hand away and wiping it on Frank's chest.

Lynch: Cheer up, rummy. There might be alcohol in the Dining Ha--

 Frank: I'm going sober..

Lynch [Laughing]: You, really?!

Frank: Yeah..

Lynch puts his hands on his hips, shaking his head.

Lynch: Whatever. C'mon, let's go and see if Raiden's woken up yet.

Frank: Why?

Lynch [Shrugging]: Jerry knocked him out.

Frank: I see..

Lynch turns around, heading out of the male bathroom with Frank behind him. Frank swiftly reaches to the back of his belt, pulling out a water canteen and taking a deep drink. Lynch's head snaps around over his shoulder, stopping. Frank stands there, lips around his canteen as he glares at Lynch.

 Lynch [Grinning]: Knew it.

 Frank [Gurgling]: ITSH NOTHINTH!

Lynch coughs slightly, waving his hand in front of his nose.

Lynch: For fucks sake, Frank, it smells like you're drinking gasoline!

 Frank [Whining]: It's all I could find..

Lynch shakes his head and walks back to the entrance of Strut C, where Johnny, Tim and Jericho are standing around. Raiden is sat on the front of the potted plant, staring ahead at the door into the Dining Hall, the wound having clotted surprisingly fast thanks to (What else?) nanomachines.

Raiden: Are we going to get--

Lynch: Shut up, Raiden. Move your own fucking ass.

Raiden: Alright, alright..

Lynch slaps Raiden on the scruff of his neck, sending him stumbling forward. Raiden walks forward, flanked by Frank, Lynch, Johnny, Tim and Jericho. Raiden stops halfway down the coridoor, looking up as dust begins to rain from the ceiling, following several dull thuds.

Raiden: What's that?!

The ceiling above him cracks repeatedly before giving way with a spray of plaster, a large figure landing on his feet and quickly scratching shards of plaster from his unkempt, wiry beard, rubbing dust from the shaggy hair on his scalp. With watery brown eyes and a chubby exterior, the figure reveals himself as Vincent LaMarr, the brony-slash-otaku mercenary who may have named himself after the famous voice actor.

 Vince: Hey guys.

The mercenaries blink as Vince stands there, scratching his rear.

Vince [Confused]: What?

Lynch: You are fucking weird. What were you doing in the ceiling?

 Vince: Playing Hide and Seek with Steve, Dean, Ivan and Johan!

Lynch: ...Where are they?

Vince: Hiding. HIDING GOOD!

Marcos: I bet they are. I haven't even seen them. Apart from Johan.

Lynch: And he is...where?

 Marcos: Johan's with Eligio in the Shell One Core, guarding the hostages.

Lynch: Well, at least someone competent is guarding them---

Marcos: Ivan's down there too.

Lynch falls silent.

 Frank: You were saying?


Down in the Shell One Core, several hostages are sat on the floor, arms bound behind their backs and mouths bound with tape. A long set of metal stairs descend from the northern wall down to the floor. A wooden divider wall is to the right, and several wooden tables dot the floor, hostages leant against them. From behind the divider wall emerges a hulking mercenary, head still clad in a ski mask. He gives a thumbs up towards a second mercenary who isn't wearing a ski mask, but instead has slicked-back black hair and a fresh, youthful face, as well as a grin and, oddly enough, a dazzling white suit with a red shirt beneath it. Eligio Marquez, formerly known as That Hispanic Guy. Carrying an AKS-74U rifle, the mercenary at least appears armed. At least.

Eligio: HEY, JOHAN!

 Johan: What?

Eligio: Where's Ivan?

Johan whips off his ski mask, revealing a large, bald head with a thick black goatee, his eyes darting around the room: They are the only two mercenaries currently there, along with one other Gurlukovich Mercenary.

 Johan: Uh oh.

Eligio shrugs, turning to a male hostage in a dark blue suit, poking his forehead with the barrel of his rifle.

Johan: What are you doing?

Eligio: Having fun.

Eligio walks past a second male hostage, poking him in the cheek with the barrel of his rifle.

Hostage [Panicking]: Wh-what was that?!


From a door under the stairs, Revolver Ocelot emerges, wearing his tan camouflage fatigues without his dustcoat.

Ocelot: Eligio. Johan.

Johan: Boss.

 Ocelot: Where's Ivan?

Ivan's Voice [Giddily]: HERE, BOSS! RIGHT HERE!

A mercenary emerges, clad in the same tan fatigues but with sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest via duct tape. He grins brightly, sliding out from beneath a table and standing up.

 Ocelot: ...What are you doing?

Ivan straps a large bundle of C4 and Semtex to a male hostage in a blue suit, grinning as Ocelot stands behind him, looking over his shoulder. Ocelot clears his throat, and Ivan turns around.

Ivan [Psychotically cheerful]: Hello..........OCELOT!

 Ocelot: What are you doing?!


Ocelot takes a step backwards. Ivan grins darkly.

 Ocelot [To Johan]: Uhh..little help?

Ivan [Brightly]: HUMAN. KABOOM!

Johan slowly shakes his head.

Ocelot [To Vamp]: LITTLE HELP?!

Vamp leaps through the air, landing next to Ivan. Ivan's head snaps around and he grasps the hostage, lifting him into a Military Press and screaming wildly.

 Eligio [Pointing and screaming]: LOOK OUT! HE'S GOT A HUMAN BOMB!

The entire room bursts into screaming, aside from Vamp and Johan who simply step aside as Ivan charges at Ocelot, mouth frothing wildly as he wields the hostage like a club.


Lynch: ...Anyway, where the fuck were you?

Vince: Oh, yeah, I was also having a cupcake party with Pinkie Pie!

 Lynch stands there, looking blankly at Vince.

Frank: I thought we killed her?

Vince [Angrily]: You can't kill Pinkie. NOBODY CAN!

Frank [Releasing the safety on his AKS]: I can--

Frank is suddenly tripped up by an unseen force and dragged down the hallway screaming violently before he disappears from view to the left, leaving nothing but nail marks in the floor.

Lynch:....Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooookay. Let's just get into the Dining Hall.

Vince: Gotcha.

The mercenaries step forward, ignoring Frank's screams in the walls. Lynch stops suddenly.

 Marcos: If he dies, he dies.

Lynch: No, enough of that. Vince and Sal: Where are the others?

Billy's Voice [Muffled]: Right here, chief.

 Lynch looks around: Billy is nowhere to be seen.

Lynch [Sighing]: Billy, get out of the wall.

Billy's Voice: I like it here. It gets me away from those ugly feckers!

Johnny: There's an Aliens reference to be made here.

From Lynch's right, a large shower of plastic and concrete is sprayed out as a right arm thunders through the concrete, before a steel-toed boot slams out. Forcing through the wall is Billy Wallace, complete with eyepatch over his right eye and scraggly stubble around his chin. He scratches the scalp of short brown hair, brushing it free from plaster dust.

 Tim [Grinning]: The walls! They're coming out the goddamn walls!

Billy lunges forward, catching Tim with a strong right hook that knocks him clean off of his feet and crumpling to the floor.

Billy: Fecker.

Raiden: Can we--

Lynch: Yeah, sure, I forgot we had a plot and not just nonsensical cameos and references. ONWARDS!

Lynch turns left, the door sweeping open into the Dining Hall: Two long, white metal tables are ahead of him as he walks in, each one with metal benches padded with brown cushions on the left and the right. As Lynch steps in, a third table is to his right, directly opposite a long window in the metal wall, angle slightly to the left, indicating a kitchen and serving area. At the table opposite the table in front of Lynch is Bob, a tired-looking and somewhat thin and gangly Caucasian mercenary with light brown hair, thin limbs and pale skin, as well as glassed-over green eyes. a look of despondency on his face as he glares down at a bottle of ketchup in his left hand and a salt shaker in his right hand. Bob looks up as the door opens. As Lynch enters, Bob stands up, blinking slightly and raising his right hand as the group of mercenaries walks in. Lynch walks up to Bob's table and simply stands there, hands on his hips.

 Lynch: Status report.

Bob: ....Wha?

Lynch: Do you know where the other morons are?

Bob: Oh...I do know that Phil passed through, headed to Strut F to meet up with Steve. Brick's guarding the top level of the core with Jon, Moe, Bill and Maurice are out on the DE Connecting Bridge, and Eligio, Johan and Ivan are in the Core's main level with the hostages. That's about it.

Lynch: So, that's pretty much everyone on Shell One, then.

Frank: What about Fabien?

Bob shakes his head, giving a half-hearted shrug.

Frank: Uh, Lynch...What about Robbie and Dave?

Lynch: Hey, I meant everyone important, didn't I?

Bob: Then there's Will--

Lynch storms over to the other side of Bob's table and leans over, grabbing Bob by his collar, shoving his nose against his.

Lynch [Snarling]: Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Bob [Gulping]: Okay.

Lynch [Angrily]: Where's Will?

Bob [Hesitantly]: O-Out on S-Strut CD Connecting Bridge..

Lynch: Go get him. Now.

Lynch drops Bob, who quickly scuttles out of the door and out of sight. Lynch twists around, watching as Phil walks through the door, AKS on his back and Banjolele hanging over his chest.

Phil: Hey guys.

Lynch: Phil. Why are you here?

 Phil [Shrugging]: Needed a piss. This is one of the few struts with toilets. Got a problem with that?

Lynch: What? You couldn't just whip your dick out and do it over the side of a railing?

Phil: With the wind? I like pissing in a bowl, not on my shoes, mate.

 Lynch: And what about Steve?

Phil [Shrugging]: He's normal now, as long as he's dosed up to the gills on enough drugs to comatose an elephant.

Bob: Just like Ivan!

Lynch: Alright, look, you lot just stay here and...behave. I've got to contact the others--


Lynch: You're promises are meaningless. Just try not to kill eachother.

Vince [Grinning]: WE PROMISE!

Lynch eyes them suspiciously, turning around and heading out of the door, reaching to the back of his cargo belt and pulling out a walkie talkie, holding it to his mouth and pressing a few buttons on it.

Lynch: Come in. Dave? Robbie?

The walkie crackles with static.

 Mysterious Voice [Angrily]: I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL!

 Lynch [Sighing]: Dave, just give a verbal confirmation that you're not dying.

Dave's Voice: ....Well, obviously not.

Lynch: How do I know that?

 Dave's Voice: Well, if I was dying, you'd hear a loud scream.

Lynch: ....Take death like a man.

Dave's Voice: I would. Hence the loud scream--

Lynch shoves his walkie-talkie back onto the rear of his cargo belt.

Lynch: Lord save me..

 Lynch turns back around and heads through the door. Despite being gone for only a few seconds, several glass bottles are strewn across table tops and the floor. The mercenaries are giggling inanely amongst themselves, with Frank dancing a jig between them. Behind the left-hand table is a large hole in the wall, presumably from where Frank entered.

 Lynch: Where'd they get the booze?!

Frank hiccups, standing on the table and parting his arms.

 Frank: I'M DRUNK!

Mercenaries [Cheering]: WAHAYYY!!!

 Vince: SO AM I!

Mercenaries [Cheering]: WAHAYYY!!!

Sal [waving his arms]: I'M RICH!!!

Mercenaries [Cheering]: WAHAYYY!!!

Bob [Sighing]: I miss Octopus..

Mercenaries [Cheering]: WAHAYYY!!

Phil: I just ate a live chicken.

Phil burps out a feather, followed by a moment of silence.

Mercenaries [Cheering]: .......WAHAYYY!!!

AJ Styles: I'm here to help!

Mercenaries [Cheering]: WAHAYYY--[Stopping]: Wait, WHAT?!

Lynch [Gritting his teeth]: AJ?!?!?!??!!

Styles: I figured you could use the face of Impact Wrestling-slash-TNA, a former NWA Heavyweight and X-Division Champion and self-proclaimed cameo king, AJ STYLES!!!

AJ stands on the table, holding his arms out and giving a lopsided, cocky grin. Lynch seethes angrily as he glares up at Styles.

Lynch [Angrily]: I will pull your spleen out of your ass if you do not go back to where you came from.

Frank: Somebody warn his mother!

Lynch glares angrily at Frank, who grins inanely.

Lynch: I actually do hate you.

Lynch pulls free his AK from his back.

Vince: What are you doing?!

 Lynch: Firing a warning shot.


Lynch: If you didn't pack earplugs, it's your own fucking fault.

Vince: WAI--

Lynch fires the rifle. Every mercenary recoils backwards, clutching their ears and screaming.


Stillman: ..Right here.

The voice came from behind Lynch, in the kitchen area next door. Past the long window, and opposite a small alcove with a glass window and a Node console inside of it, is a swinging set of waist-high metal saloon doors. Raiden unholsters his SOCOM, heading right through the doors and aiming it down at a squatting, aged African-American with a black moustache and shaven head. Wearing a hooded blue jacket with "NYPD" emblazoned in white on the back, as well as a white shirt, red tie and black pants, Stillman glances up at Raiden, then at Lynch who has followed Raiden into the kitchen area. Vince, Frank, Jericho and Sal follow, with Frank clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels close to his chest.

Raiden [To Stillman]: You a cop?

Stillman: I'm not NYPD. I came in with the Bravo team....Who are you with and what happened to SEAL Team Ten?

Lynch: Wiped out to the man.

Stillman [Shocked]: All of them?! That's bad..

Stillman groans slightly, grasping the counter and uneasily pulling himself to his feet. Raiden jams the pistol forward.


Pliskin [Sighing]: It's alright. He's not one of the bad guys.

Raiden, Lynch, Vince, Frank, Jericho and Sal turn their heads: Pliskin/Solid Snake is walking into the room from the dining room. As the saloon door swings open, Lynch watches through the serving window as Phil plays the Banjolele on the top of a table as the others clap in tune.

Pliskin: Hey guys.

Vince: Hey, it's--

Pliskin: Shut up.

 Jericho lunges at Raiden, grasping the SOCOM. Raiden struggles violently, but Jericho manages to wrench the SOCOM from Raiden's grip, twisting it around and aiming it at Raiden's chest.

Jericho [Scathingly]: Look here, sunshine: If you're going to point a gun at a nearly-disabled old man, I don't trust you holding it.

Raiden [Angrily]: GIVE ME THAT BACK!!!

 Jericho: Never.

Pliskin: He's right; Don't go pointing that thing everywhere, kid.

Jericho [Coldly]: You'll get it back when the briefings done, capiche?

Stillman grasps his cane as he uneasily gets to his feet, limping away from the counter. Pliskin: So, Peter Stillman. A lecturer at NAVSCOLEOD, Indian Head. Also consultant to the NYPD Bomb Squad.

Stillman [Chuckling slightly]: A poor old man who got dragged along for this picnic.

Lynch: I know the feeling.

Pliskin: I thought you retired?

Stillman hobbles towards Pliskin, using his walking stick to aid him. Stillman: I did. Can't keep up with everybody, as you can see. And a famous church got wiped off the map, thanks to me, with too many lives inside. All I lost was this leg.

 Raiden: So, you're the bomb disposal guy.

Jericho [Rolling his eyes]: Pretty fucking dense, aren't you?

Raiden: What?!

Jericho: Kid, this is THE bomb disposal guy. Open any explosives disposal textbook and you'll see his name.

Stillman [Chuckling]: Heh, just ancient history now.

Pliskin: Interesting. Your boys must've done their research, Marcus.

 Frank: We know stuff, too.

Lynch [Motioning his thumb at Frank]: Just not him.

 Pliskin and Lynch laugh as Frank frowns.

Raiden: Why did they bring you out of retirement then?

Stillman: Because the terrorist group here includes one of my students. The Emperor of Explosives--Fatman. He built an atomic bomb when he was only ten. I created him in a sense.

 Sal [Confused]: How the FUCK can you create an atomic bomb at the age of ten?! That's fucking impossible!!

Vince [Quietly, aside to Sal]: Shut up, Jinnah. It's all for plot purposes and Hideo doesn't realise that it would be damn near impossible. Just smile and nod.

Vince and Sal give false grins, nodding rapidly. AJ Styles pops his head through the door, looking around and grinning.

 AJ Styles [Grinning]: HI GUYS.

 Lynch snaps his head around, growling at Styles who quickly steps backwards into the dining hall.

Pliskin: And that's why you're here...

Stillman: I'm pretty rusty. I was supposed to supervise the bomb disposal--looks like it was taken care of before I had my turn.

 Pliskin: I wouldn't say that. There are at least two people here who can claim to be experts at bomb disposal. Maybe three.

Stillman: Are you all with SEAL Team Ten? I didn't see you at the mission briefing.

 Pliskin [Motioning at Raiden]: Oh we're...with another squad. My name is Pliskin, Lieutenant Junior Grade.

Pliskin steps forward and holds out his hand for Stillman to shake. Stillman looks at Pliskin, ignoring the hand before turning his head to Lynch.

Stillman: And you?

Mother: Didn't you get the briefing? We're the United Nations sanctioned-mercenaries here.

The entire air suddenly falls still. Even the dining room is now struck with an aura of tension and fear. From behind Lynch, walking through the swinging saloon doors, walks Mother. With a dour bulldog face and an icy penetrating glare, the general frumpy facade and curly hair of her is combined into a fearsome looking, large woman. Arms clasped behind her back, wearing a custom-made set of dark grey fatigues with two pistols of unknown make tucked by her waist by means of a set of black holsters laced in an X across her chest, Mother strolls forward, examining Pliskin, Raiden and Stillman. Even Pliskin seems taken aback, stepping back as Mother steps forward.

 Frank: O-Oh God...

Frank lets out a small squeak.

Sal [Wrinkling his nose]: ....DUDE!

Stillman: Who are you?

Mother: My name is Mo..--My name is Catahoula.

Lynch [Bluntly]: What.

 Jericho [Quietly, to Lynch]: ...A Catahoula...or, well, Catahoula Cur, is the state dog of Louisiana. Quite a fierce hunting dog.

Lynch [Quietly]: Oh.

 Stillman: Catahoula, huh? And you lead these men?

Mother: Of course, cherie.

 Raiden [Scathingly]: Well, you're men certainly haven't helped. The President's been kidnapped, bombs are still active--

Mother [Sharply]: Our presence here is as mediators, and not as saviours. We are here to ensure the original mission led by FOXHOUND's operative is successful. If we helped directly, we would blow our cover and thus the mission would be risked. Would you rather have a totally blown mission, or an easy mission?

Raiden: We--

Mother: Make no mistake: If the mission goes wrong, we have permission from the Secretary of Defence and Vice President to initiate a hostile assault against Dead Cell and the remaining Gurlukovich mercenaries. However, that is strictly a worst-case scenario.

 Raiden: Just what is going on here?!

Mother: We are all here to stop Dead Cell. Now, Mr. Stillman, if you may....continue.

 Raiden: But--

Mother [Coldly]: All you need to know, cherie, is that we are the good guys. Mr. Stillman. Continue.

Stillman [Clearing his throat]: I..see. Uh, Mr. Pliskin, do you have any experience with explosives disposal?

Pliskin: ....Don't worry about me. And he looks young but he can do it.

 Raiden: I....umm...

Stillman: What's your name?

Raiden: Raiden.

Stillman: That's a odd name.

Stillman shakes his head slightly, walking towards a metal counter.

Pliskin: Seems to be a trend around here.

Raiden: Any other survivors?

Stillman: There was also an engineer with us.

Raiden: An engineer?

Stillman: A skinny guy. He went in with us...

Raiden: Where is he?

 Stillman: I haven't seen him since that skirmish.

Raiden: Was he killed?

Stillman: I don't think so. I didn't find his body.

Raiden: I see...

Stillman: They told me he was the security systems architect for the Big Shell.

 Raiden [Confused]: Why would they take a civilian along?

Stillman: Everything in this structure is computer-controlled. He was supposed to get us past all the security measures.

 Raiden: ....I never heard anything about that.

Stillman: He had official orders with him.

Raiden: Is he one of theirs? Mother: Not one of ours, no.

Pliskin: We'll leave that for later. Right now, we need to figure out how to deal with all the bombs.

Raiden: But there's no one left from the SEAL's EOD squad.

Pliskin: Yep. So we have to do it ourselves.

Raiden: But I've never defused a bomb before...

AJ Styles: I HAVE!

Marcos grabs AJ in a headlock, dragging him backwards away from the kitchen. The CODEC rings in Raiden's ear, causing him to turn away and hold a hand to his ear.

Raiden: Hold on a sec.

Pliskin: Off to confer with the CO again?

Stillman [Aside, to Lynch]: Do any of you or your men have experience in defusing bombs?

Lynch [Nodding]: I do. Vince is the expert.

Lynch jabs his thumb at Vince, who nods.

Vince [Saluting]: Here, ready and able!

Pliskin [Chuckling]: HIM?

Vince: Indeedy-do.

Stillman: Do you have experience of handling explosives?

Vince: Hey, I was a member of 3rd Armored Cavalry in Fort Hood, part of the Muleskinners.

Stillman: ...Isn't that mostly maintenance and security work?

Vince: Look, just trust me, I have experience disarming bombs using the Mark V-A1 remote-controlled bomb disposal robot.

Stillman [Chuckling]: Well, I hope you're ready to get more hands on.

Vince [Crestfallen]: Fuck.

Mother [Calmly]: I have faith in you, Vince. Do not disappoint me.

 Sal [Grinning]: You know what happens to people who disappoint Mother, don't you?

Mother smirks slightly. Vince gulps.

Raiden [On CODEC]: Colonel, I'm not qualified for bomb disposal.

Mother [Sighing]: The kid's useless.

Sal: Damn, he makes US look competent.

Mother [Sighing]: Sal, I like to think of all of my children as competent.

Lynch: You don't see 'em much, do you, Mother?

Mother [Glaring at Lynch]: I see them enough, Marcus.

Stillman approaches the metal counter, which has a small shelving unit upon it. Beneath it, Stillman grasps some unarmed C4, checking it over.

Pliskin: How about it, kid? Are the results in yet?

Raiden and Pliskin approach the shelves, standing opposite Stillman. Vince stands beside Raiden, and Sal stands beside Vince, folding his arms.

Stillman: There's no need to think about this so much. You won't actually be dismantling the bomb. That's not for amateurs. What we'll try here instead is a temporary freezing measure. Here, look at this:

Stillman drags the C4 from under a metal shelf towards him.

Stillman: This is a C4 bomb.

Frank [Quietly, to Sal]: You don't say?

Sal and Frank snigger quietly. Stillman flicks a switch on the bomb. A green LED on the detonation mechanism begins glowing, thus symbolising the first time a bomber has ever decided to actually make their bombs more visible and thus easier to find and defuse.

Stillman: It's live, you can see it puls--


Vince [Pointing at the bomb]: WHAT YOU SAY?!

Mother clears her throat, commanding an almost immediate silence. Stillman picks up a canister that resembles a small yellow fire extinguisher with a metal nozzle.

 Stillman: Now, you spray this on the sucker end...

Stillman sprays the bomb with a hazy, fine blue mist. The entire bomb, in seconds, appears to be frozen solid.

Stillman: ...There we go. Simple, huh? The spray freezes the detonator instantly.

 Raiden: How long does the effects last?

Stillman: There's no way the thing can detonate in this condition. Even if you leave it alone, it will stay out of commission for at least twenty-four hours.

Vince: What a coincidence!

 Sal: Indeed!

Billy [From the Dining Hall]: AH FUCKIN' HATE BOMBS.

Frank [Looking through the gap and into the Dining Hall]: Where'd he get the Johnnie Walker?

 Pliskin: That's enough time.

Stillman: If we had the manpower, I'd recommend complete disposal. But this will have to do. The spray can be used from several yards away. Now check the floor, ceiling, walls, under a table, everywhere. Try to imagine the locations the bomber would choose.

Pliskin: That won't be easy, we don't know a thing about Fatman.

Raiden: Is there anything that will help us locate the bombs?

Stillman: That won't be a problem.

Stillman picks up a small gadget that resembles a long remote control and places it in front of him.

Stillman: It's what they call an Ion Mobility Spectrometer. It can recognise ionized gas emitted by C4's.

 Sal looks sideways at Vince, who nods.

 Sal: Yeah, right, like you knew that.

Vince: We called it the harmy explodey gas.

Sal [Shrugging]: Well, sounds about right.

Raiden [Confused]: The WHAT?

Pliskin: In other words, that gadget sniffs out the C4's scent.

Stillman: That's right. I've established a linkup with your radar network so any scent detected will be represented visually. Have the sensor activated and keep your eye on the radar.

Raiden: What if he's using some other odorless substance?

Stillman: I know Fatman well. I know how into his own aesthetics he is.

Pliskin: Signatures?

Stillman: Yes. On every bomb he builds, he always leaves a trace of the cologne he uses. The sensor also picks up that particular scent spectrum.

Pliskin: Is that something he learned from you?

Stillman: No, it was his own quirk. He wouldn't work by any rules except his own, and he followed them like a religion. And common sense isn't one of his strong points. I thought I taught him everything I knew... I have no children of my own, and I thought I found a son in him. He had the right stuff, you know. There's something very unusual about an ability like that. Even at Indian Head, he got special treatment. I remember some people called him one of the fat cats. Heh. Maybe that's what started all this. I didn't teach him the most important thing I had to tell him. There are some things you have to pass on. The trick is to know which one. Right? All I taught him were skills, and now I have to use it to stop him from destroying us all.

Frank: Hey, that's a good point.

The mercenaries, Raiden, Pliskin, Stillman and Mother turn their heads, looking at Frank.

Frank [Thoughtfully]: Well, does Ivan have any quirks or signatures?

Lynch: Yeah: He shouts "KABOOM" after it detonates.

Frank: But, like, quirks in his bombs.

Sal: The only quirk that insane fucker has with his bombs is using enough explosive to completely eradicate a blue whale.

Phil's Voice: He pours alcohol, usually Ouzo, on the bombs when he plants them. We don't know why. Other than that he's completely fucking mental.

 Everyone looks around the room. Phil is nowhere to be seen.

Mother: While I find it heartening that you know your comrades quirks, Philip..Where are you?

 Phil's Voice [Whining]: I'm stuck in the ceiling..

Mother [Sighing, to Lynch]: Marcus, why do your mercenaries find a strange affinity with being stuck in a ceiling?

Lynch: That's what happens after they drink, Mother. They see a dark space and decide to explore it, possibly believing it to be their own minds: Vast and blank.

Stillman: All I taught Fatman were his skills. And now I have to stop him from using them to destroy us all.

Pliskin: Let's see how well that sensor works.

Stillman: Alright. I'm activating it. Watch. You see the green stuff on the radar? That's a visual representation of the C4 scent detected by the sensor.

Raiden: It's a pretty big area, isn't it?

 Pliskin: Don't complain, it's better than nothing.

Lynch: At least Will isn't nearby. If that sensor can detect cheap, shitty aftershave, Will will obscure your entire radar------Hey, gimme one of those.

Stillman: Well, I was hoping you'd help anyway.

Mother [Sternly]: Him and Vince will.

Stillman: I only have the one sensor, and since Vince is the subordinate, I'd rather give it to Lynch.

Mother: Fine by me.

 Stillman hands the sensor to Lynch, who gazes down at it, blinking.

 Lynch [Calmly]: I..don't have access to Soliton Radar.

Stillman: Just activate the sensors and search the area, okay?

Raiden: Alright.

Lynch [Impatiently]: I don't have Soliton Radar.

 Stillman: Don't forget that you need the radar to use the system. Log into the node in every strut and turn the radar on.


Pliskin: Behind on the times, Marcus--

 Lynch [Angrily]: FUCK YOU!

Frank: That's a 'Yes'.

Mother sighs.

Mother: Marcus..

Lynch twists around. Mother throws a long wristband towards him, that appears to be a bracer made from neoprene with a long tablet embedded into it. Lynch catches it, and looks down at it: Covered in several cones and dots, the tablet appears to duplicate the exact Soliton Radar that would appear for Raiden. Vince, Sal and Frank crowd around, looking down at the bracer with wide eyes.

Sal [Licking his lips]: WANT.

 Mother [Calmly]: That is a new version of the Soliton Radar that Tavi cooked up. It is larger, and does not respond to any nanomachines or harmonic resonance whatsoever, meaning that being on Alert does not interfere with it.

Pliskin wanders over.

Pliskin: Now I want.

Raiden: How the--

Mother: It is hooked to a satellite that takes a constant live feed of Big Shell and all human personnel within it, and approximates their field of vision. It is not one hundred percent accurate, but ninety-nine percent accuracy isn't bad. The Bluetooth capabilities means it will attune with the sensor pretty well as well.

The mercenaries look over at Mother.

 Phil's Voice [Muffled]: How the fuck did you get a satellite over here?!

Mother [Calmly]: Tapped into it. [Quietly, to the wall behind her] Don't worry, it exists in both timelines.

Phil's Voice: Thank fuck for that!

Stillman [Clearing his throat]: Fatman allotted some C4 here on Strut C as well.

Raiden: Here? Stillman: I know the structure of this facility and if he wants to take out the plant, where he would target

Pliskin: You know this for sure?

 Stillman: Of course. I taught him the techniques he uses. His ideas are based on my theories. Demolition is a kind of ideology and makes no exceptions for time or place. Big Shell consists of two hexagons joined end-on-end north to south. They should be packets of C4 on each of the vertices or the struts in this case. You need at least that to take a building of this integrity out.

Pliskin: Six on Shell 1. Another six on Shell 2. A total of twelve bombs at least?

Stillman: Considering the Shell's architecture and composition from a engineering standpoint, that's my conclusion. And it's exactly what he would have decided as well. Lynch straps the bracer onto his right forearm, looking down at the radar and smirking.

Lynch: Nice.

Sal's Brain: Memo to self; Chop off boss's arm later.

 Sal [To himself]: Hell no!

Lynch and Frank look at Sal oddly.

Sal: .....Don't mind me!

Sal steps backwards, whistling innocently. Both Raiden and Pliskin take their Coolant Spray and Sensors, looking at eachother.

Pliskin: Kid, this place is all yours. I'll take care of Shell 2.

Stillman: Take this.

 Stillman slides a thin, glass-like keycard to Raiden.

Raiden [Lifting and glancing at it]: What's this?

Stillman: Security cards issued to Shell personnel. The Big Shell security layout includes varying levels of clearance. The clearance level is indicated by the number printed on these doors. Raiden, your card key can open doors of security clearance level 1. Pliskin, your card can get you into level 3 areas. You need it to get next door to Shell 2...I'm afraid I don't have any for you, Lynch--

Frank waves a Level 3 keycard in front of his face.

Vince [Jabbing his thumb at Frank]: Already got one. Helps when you're batting for the other team.

Lynch [Coughing slightly]: Uh, Vince..try another euphemism..

Vince: Why?

Raiden: ...How did you get this?

Stillman: That engineer I told you about gave it to me. He was supposed to program a set of all access cards once we were on site. Unfortunately, this card won't get you into every area of this structure.

Pliskin: We'll have to deal with the remaining security lock-ups as they come up. I'm sure Lynch will help you personally. Let's get going.

 Pliskin, Raiden and Stillman turn left, heading towards the door. Pliskin stops and turns to Stillman, who is hobbling forward with the aid of his walking stick.

 Pliskin: You stay here.

 Stillman: No, I'm going.

Pliskin: The two of us can handle it, don't worry.

 Stillman: But...

Pliskin: You'll just slow us down with that leg of yours. There's a war going on here. [Turning to Stillman] I don't have time to baby-sit any more.

Raiden [Also turning to Stillman]: Why don't you just let us do all the grunt work? You can tell us what to do over the radio like in the original mission plan.

Stillman: Alright.

Stillman sits on a stool near the serving window.

Stillman: I'll give you instructions from here. I may also need to prepare a back-up plan just in case.

Raiden: In case of what?

Stillman: Good luck to both of you. This is a dangerous one.

Pliskin: "Who dares, wins."

Stillman: If anything comes up, let me know. My frequency is 140.15.

 Pliskin : Good luck, kid. I'll see you later.

Pliskin walks towards the door.

Pliskin : Semper fi.

 Pliskin walks out of the door. As Raiden steps forward, Stillman talks.

Stillman: That man is no SEAL. I don't even think he's a Navy man.

Raiden takes a step forward, but turns his head to Stillman.

Raiden: What?

Stillman: Semper fi... Marine Corps talk.

Stillman: Normally, team leaders stay back and give orders over headphones. And as far as I know SEALs keep their officers away from the field. And "who dares, wins" is a motto of the British Special Air Service.

Raiden: Is he one of the terrorists then?

Stillman: No, somehow I don't think so. If there was someone to suspect, I'd put my money on you.

Raiden: I'm...

Stillman : Just take care of those bombs for now.

Stillman gets to his feet, slowly and uneasily shuffling forward with his walking stick, towards a large food pantry lined with boxes and metal shelves whose door is wide open, presumably where the mercenaries found the alcohol.

Raiden: What about you? They could be back in this area soon.

Stillman: I'll hide out in this pantry for a while. If I lock the door it should be alright. Plenty of food in here too, so there's no need to worry about me. I'll give you instructions from Codec from here. Good luck kid.

Jericho [Snorting]: Pansy..

Stillman begins to close the pantry door.

Stillman: Bomb disposal is a face off with your own mortality. Don't let the fear get to you. When you give into the fear, the darkness comes.

Vince: I find darkness comes when you close your eyes.

Stillman and the mercenaries fall silent.

Lynch [Sighing]: Vince, can you go one second without saying or doing something stupid?

Vince: YES I CAN!

Vince twists around and walks forward, only to walk into the doorframe and slam his forehead off of it, knocking himself out and collapsing to the floor.

 Lynch [Sighing darkly]: Goddammit.

 Stillman sighs, slowly shutting the door and locking it. Raiden turns, looking at Lynch.

Raiden: So, what do we do?

Lynch: This job will be a lot easier if we split up.

 Raiden: There's a bomb here in Strut C. I'll take care of that.

Lynch: Me and my men are going to head to Strut D and take care of the bomb there. Then we'll take care of Strut E, you take care of Strut A and B and we'll meet up in Strut F which we'll deal with. Deal?

Raiden: ..Deal.

Vince [Whining]: Head hurt..

Raiden: How do we correspond with eachother?

 Lynch: Contact Pliskin on Codec. He'll relay it to me.

Raiden: Got it. Can...I have my gun back?

Lynch turns his head to Jericho and nods. Jericho spins the SOCOM around, gripping it by the barrel and holding it towards Raiden. Raiden goes to take it, but Jericho swiftly hits Raiden on the forehead with it.

Raiden: HEY!

Jericho: No threatening old and defenceless men!

Raiden: Fine!

Jericho hands Raiden his SOCOM. Raiden squeezes past Lynch and jogs down the coridoor towards the first bomb. Lynch turns his head to Johnny and Tim, who gulp in unison.

Tim [Whining]: Please don't make us go with him!!

 Lynch: Johnny. Tim...Shut up, man up, AND THE REST OF YOU, FOLLOW ME!!

Jericho scrambles through the door.

Jericho [Calling out]: ALRIGHT! YOU HEARD THE YANK, LET'S ROLL!!

 A loud groaning goes up from the mercenaries in the dining hall as they slowly sidle out through the door, except for Marcos who squeezes through the metal saloon doors and approaches Lynch, who turns and looks up at him.

 Marcos: Hey, boss, I'm going to head to the Shell One Core, just to let them know you'll be looking for them.

Lynch: And the REAL reason you want to go?

Marcos [Shrugging]: To make sure they don't trip a semtex wire and blow us to all kingdom come?

Lynch [Patting Marcos' right arm]: Atta boy.

Marcos turns around, heading out of the kitchen door where Pliskin left. Lynch turns to Mother, who simply nods. Johnny and Tim jog out of the kitchen door to join Raiden.

Mother: Good luck, Marcus.

Lynch: And you?

Mother takes a few steps back, suddenly engulfed in a large red portal.

Mother: My girls will take my home.

Mother disappears as the portal swallows her. Behind her, the mercenaries watch, wide-eyed. AJ Styles, popping his head through the serving window, grins brightly.

Styles: AWWW, COO--

Lynch: AJ, shut the fuck up and just follow us, AND WHERE'S BOB?!

Vince: Didn't you make him get Will? On the CD Connecting Bridge?

Lynch: Follow me.

Heading out through the door, Lynch leads a train of mercenaries: Phil, Jericho, Marcos, Vince, Billy, Sal, Bob and Frank, out of the dining room and into the coridoor, heading straight forward, walking past the door into the kitchen area and turning right: To their right is a large red door, indicating passage to the outside. Lynch waves his keycard in front of it, and the door slides open. Walking out into the cool air, the bridge ahead consists of two catwalks: One directly ahead of them, that unfolds straight into an open doorway to Strut D, while a second unfolds beneath them, connecting to the top catwalk by a set of stairs to their right that unfold down and onto the lower strut. Will is on the lower strut, his moustache combed, his hair slicked back and his body clothed in solid mauve fatigues with a white cargo belt and holster, as Lynch and the others walk across the top strut, looking down and watching as he tosses an American football in his hands. Bob is directly opposite him as Will adopts a throwing stance.


Will throws the ball through the air as Bob sprints after it.

Bob [Grinning]: I GOT IT! I GOT IT!

Bob leaps forward, grasping the ball but twisting to his right and falling over the railing.

Bob: OH NO!

Will watches as Billy quickly leaps from the top catwalk onto the bottom and rushes forward, grasping Bob's hand. Billy yelps, collapsing over the railing as Frank rushes out from the stairs, grabbing Billy's feet. Frank screams, tumbling over the railing as Phil runs out from the stairs, grasping Frank's legs and yelping as he tumbles over the railing himself, only for Sal to jump from the top catwalk, lunge forward and grasp Phil's legs, crying out as he tumbles over the railing. Vince quickly runs over from the steps, grabbing Sal's legs and screaming as he tumbles over the railing. Will folds his arms, laughing loudly as Jericho leaps from the top catwalk, jolting forward, grabbing Vince's legs and screaming as he tumbles over the railing himself. Lynch rushes forward from the steps, quickly grasping Jericho's legs and stabilising himself, his thighs and knees pressing into the railing as a long line of mercenaries slowly swings in the breeze from Big Shell.




Lynch turns his head to Will, growling ferally.

 Lynch [angrily]: Will. Help.

Will: But--


Frank: ....Oh..Oh God..

Jericho: What?

Frank [Grimacing]: ...MY STOMACH..


Frank [Wincing]: FORGIVE ME, PHIL!!!

Billy [Screaming]: DON'T!! IF HE LET'S GO, WE'RE FUCKED!!!

A long, loud squeak emits from Frank and Phil starts choking, his eyes crossing as he retches.


*** *Manchester, England* ***
The scene cuts to Motorhead playing a gig at the MEN arena, in front of a screaming crowd of thousands of loyal fans and people with generally good taste in music. Lemmy grabs the microphone, somehow hearing the echo of the mercenaries in an entirely different timeline. By nanomachines. Probably.

 Lemmy Kilmister: And this next song..goes out to that mercenary who is screaming...EAT THE RICH!!!

The crowd cheer wildly. The guitarist, Phil Campbell, looks over at Lemmy.

 Phil Campbell: ...Wouldn't "Killers" be a better choice?

Lemmy Kilmister: Good point.....EAT THE RICH!



*** *The Impact Zone* ***

The camera cuts to the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. Kurt Angle, squaring off against Bobby Roode, stops, pointing to the sky.

Mike Tenay: And I believe Angle is motioning to those mercenaries from the past!

Taz: Pff. Everyone knows the mercenaries would align themselves with Aces and Eights!

 *** *Pyongyang, North Korea, 2015* ***

Back in the modern day, Crying Wolf is sitting atop of her seat in the destroyed seats of Pyongyang, bodies torn and ripped across the streets. Wolf slowly raises her head, grinning darkly.

Wolf: Just what I love to hear.




Will [Coyly]: Well, there is, but not the kind I like!

Will and Lynch pull backwards violently. Lynch, using his strength, manages to pull Jericho onto his feet on the catwalk, who begins pulling back and stepping to the left, pulling Vince onto his feet.



Bob [Sobbing]: IT BURNS!!!!!!!!


Vince and Lynch pull Sal onto his feet, who manages to pull Phil onto his feet. Phil stumbles back, twisting around and grabbing the railing behind him, breathing in mouthfuls of air desperately. Vince shakes his head rapidly, wafting his hand in front of his face and coughing as Frank is pulled onto the railing, followed by Billy. Billy uses his own strength to finally pull Bob onto the safety of the catwalk as both men collapse backwards, breathing heavily. Lynch twists around, glaring at Will.

Lynch: You.

Will [Sweetly, Faux-Innocently]: Yes'm?

Lynch: Frank. Present arms.

Frank raises his arms. The mercenaries scuttle back onto the set of stairs behind him as Lynch grabs Will in a headlock, dragging him forward and shoving him into Frank's right armpit. Will screams loudly, stomping his feet.

Frank [Calmly]: Embrace the stank, boy. Embrace the stank...

Lynch's walkie-talkie crackles. Lynch grasps Will hair with his left hand, keeping his head forced into Frank's armpit as he uses his free hand to answer his walkie-talkie.

Lynch: What?

Pliskin's Voice: Raiden's dealt with the C4 in Strut C. Was in the Women's Bathroom.

 Lynch: Pretty stupid place to stick a bomb.

Pliskin's Voice: Raiden thinks it's a trap. Might be. There's definitely something going on according to Stillman. Keep your eyes peeled, Lynch.

Lynch: Yeah, we will. On our way to Strut D.

Pliskin's Voice: Semper Fi.

 Lynch: Semper Fuck Off.

Lynch places the walkie-talkie back onto his belt.

Lynch: On me, ladies. It's showtime! NOW WE'RE THE FOCAL POINTS OF THIS STORY!

Mercenaries: OO-RAH!!

Lynch releases Will, who collapses backwards, and jogs up the stairs to join the mercenaries now huddled on the upper catwalk.

Billy: Should we nae have oor own war cry, though?

 Bob: We should. We totally should.

Vince: ...But what screams "Mercenaries"? What could be our calling card war cry? Something that identifies us as us?

Will [Proudly]: Something fierce and wild!

Lynch [Coldly]: Yelling "DERRRRRRRRRRRP" at the top of your lungs isn't fierce or wild.

 Phil: I don't know: If anyone came at me frothing at the mouth yelling "DERP", I'd shit myself.

Will [Snorting]: You'd shit yourself at the sight of your own shadow, groundhog boy.

Sal: Our war cry could be Will's mating cry--

Will [Grinning]: Ah, yes, the primal scream of agonising ecstacy--

 Phil: So, Sal, our war cry is going to be "I HAVE CONDOMS AND BOOZE!! PLEASE CUDDLE ME AFTERWARDS!!!"?

Jericho [Laughing]: Isn't it "I'M SO LONELY, PLEASE KISS ME!!"?

Sal: It needs to be fierce and something that will strike terror into the enemies hearts!



AJ Styles: How about "YOU ARE! YOU ARE! I AM! I AM!"??

Styles grins brightly. Sal slaps him around the back of his head.


 Styles [Whining]: Sorry.

Lynch sighs, standing in front of the red door.

Lynch: Shut up and follow me. We've got a bomb to defuse.

Mercenaries: OO--


The door shoots open: The tired, pale, gaunt face of Steven Llarec-Barrett stands in front of him. The medicine that is currently helping to repair his brain damage appears to be taking a physical toll on him, but seeing Lynch and the others quickly makes him perk up and grin somewhat brightly.

Steve [Cheerfully]: Hey guys!

 Lynch shoves Steve aside, walking through the door.

 Jericho: Oi! Don't manhandle my teammate! That's my job!

Jericho walks through the door, turning to Steve and dusting off the front of his fatigues, straightening his collar.

Jericho: War face, Steve.

Steve bares his teeth, his right eyebrow cocking up.

Sal: He said war face, not "taking a massive shit" face.

Phil [Passing by Jericho]: Wouldn't that be both eyes shut?

 Sal: I guess--

 Vince: --And mouth open.

Sal: Only you, fatass. You pass out logs so big they could be tossed as cabers by Billy.

Jericho [Smirking]: Leaves teeth marks in the wall, does he?

Sal: Looks like a horny beavers been at it.

Vince [Scoffing]: Well, I find it disturbing you know so much about my toilet habits!

Sal: You have the toilet habits of a fucking dog! Following you, me and Billy have to put on a snorkel! You can't even hit the bowl!

Phil and Jericho walk past Steve. Vince, now with Sal in a headlock, drags him through the door. AJ Styles follows.

Styles: Man, another adventure! I can't wait, guys!

Frank follows, with Will slowly stumbling behind.

Will [Wheezily]: My beautiful face hath been soiled!

 Steve looks out before stepping back and turning around, the door sliding shut behind him.

*** Strut D. The Sediment Pool. ***

A hexagonal structure. Two catwalks, following the hexagonal shape of the structure, wind around the interior. The upper catwalk winds around to the west, north-west, north, north-east and east, with no catwalk to the south. The lower catwalk winds completely around the structure, and both, along with the walls, are painted an almost-sickly, dull orange colour. The ceiling is spotted with lights, which shine down and reflect the orange floors, giving an almost sickly glow to the area. Both catwalks stretch around the Strut, encircling a Sediment Pool: Designed to hold the toxic run-off from the chemical spill of the Tanker, the Pool is a sickly black, with a somewhat green tinge to it. To the east, north and west, including the eastern platform the mercenaries are huddled on, raised staircases lead up to raised platforms that lead to red doorways, indicating a passage to the connecting bridges. From the uppermost catwalk, three struts: From the west, north and east, snake out from the upper catwalk, leading towards a large filtration system that is blocked off by a metal gridded fence. The bottom catwalk itself leads to a door directly beneath the one above it on the top catwalk. Dotted across the floors, quite noticable, are various black maintenance hatches, completely and utterly inconspicuous and totally not possibly hiding a block of C4.

Lynch: Here we go: The Sediment Pool. All the shit in this Shell ends up here.

Jericho: So, where IS Karab?

Steve: No idea, but Maurice is here.

Steve points across the Strut: Slightly to their right, on the lowest catwalk encircling on the opposite end of the strut, directly opposite the lower catwalks door, is Maurice, eating out of a tinfoil container. Maurice, a large and quite bulbous mercenary with a large, protruding gut, arms and legs like pillowcases filled with pancake mix, and a head so thick and bald it appears to be a peanut peering from a cage of flesh, looks up at them, and quickly raises his right arm, waving.

Maurice [Calling over]: EY UP LADS!!!!

 Jericho: Well, that's the Geordie accounted for. Where's dwarf and redneck?

Vince [Sighing]: Do you have to group everyone?

Jericho: Yep, you filthy fucking Brony.

 Sal: That's not very nice--

Jericho: Shut up, you rich cunt.

 Phil: Oi, filthy dirty scummy Manc, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

 Lynch [Clearing his throat]: Right, remember what Stillman said: If you were a bomber, where would you put a bomb?

Jericho: On an American airline.

Phil: In a bin.

Steve: In a car.

Sal: Fucking hell, Steve, Phil, you guys IRA or something?

Frank: If I was a bomb, i'd be covered in nails.

Vince: I'd like to be......a TREE!

 Billy: Ach, can yeh nae go a minute withoot saying something stupid?!

Vince [Shrugging]: Nope.

Phil: Well, someone had to take over Steve's role now that he's dosed to the tits on narcotics.

Steve grins blankly.

Bob: I want what he's got.

Frank cracks his knuckles.

Frank: Permanent brain damage it is!

 Lynch turns left and heads down the steps, followed by Vince and Sal. Frank wanders down the steps, turning right as he does and leaning over the railing, gazing down into the Pool as Billy walks beside him, scratching his stubble irritably. Phil walks across the strut towards the decontamination machine in the middle of the strut, saluting a mercenary, dressed in grey fatigues with a black cargo belt, black boots and a black ski mask, who salutes him back.

Phil: One of Mother's?

Mercenary: One of Mother's.

Jericho [Wandering over]: Where are the Gurlukovich boys, anyway?

Mercenary: Disposed of properly.

Jericho and Phil look to the right over the railing: A body of a young, bald male, half-naked except for a pair of black boxer short, bobs up, floating across the surface of the contamination pool with a karambit knife stuck in the base of his neck.

 Jericho: Must be one of the Reaper Company.

The mercenary pulls off their ski mask, revealing that they are, in fact, a female, with cold blue eyes and feathered short brown hair. The figure's thin lips contort into a cruel smile as Phil and Jericho's eyes widen.

Phil [Bluntly]: Aw shit. YOU.

Woman Mercenary [Grinning darkly]: Hello, Tweedledumb and Tweedledee.

Phil: Whose dick did you have to suck to get stationed here, Jensen?

Jensen slaps Phil roughly across his right cheek, causing him to reel backwards. Lynch, hearing the echoing slap throughout the strut, turns his head and looks over.

Lynch: Reaper Company.

Billy: I thought Jensen and Callahay were Ghost Company?

Lynch: Shortly after the tournament, they transferred after Leon Welsh, leader of the Reaper's, was killed in Syria. Remember? The Velvet Revolution Two?

Billy [Snapping his fingers]: Where the Thuggee Cult rose up again and strangled people with velvet ropes?

Lynch: Exactly. Callahay got the call and Jensen got a bump up to second in command.

 Phil [Spitting into the sediment pool]: Aye, she earned it all on her back!

Jensen leaps forward, punching Phil outright in the forehead and sending him collapsing back onto the floor roughly. Jericho simply steps back, raising his hands.

Jericho: Give me some due: I'm not as stupid as him!

Jensen [Wiping her hand on her chest]: Good. You've evolved past a single-celled amoeba, then.

Lynch [Leaning over the railing and looking at her]: So, Jensen, is it just Reaper Company here?

Jensen [Turning her head]: Mostly on Shell One. A few Ghost's are dotted around. Seventh Polish Squadron are on the Helipad on the roof of Strut E, though.

Lynch: Got it.

Lynch pulls away from the railing, a second mercenary walking out from behind the contamination machine and standing beside Jensen, pulling off his ski mask, revealing a chiselled face with icy blue eyes, black stubble and a shaven head. Jensen: Kelleher.

 Kelleher: So, this is what we have to deal with?

Steve: There's nothing wrong with us!

Kelleher eyes Steve suspiciously as he walks over, sitting cross-legged beside Phil's fallen body, like a dog beside its master.

Kelleher [Cautiously]: Why isn't the retard bouncing around?

Bob: The miracle of.....nanomachines.

 Kelleher: Ahhhh..nanomachines. Is there any other explanation in Metal Gear Solid?

Bob [Shaking his head]: Not at all, not at all.

 Over at a set of stairs to the left of and underneath the northern stairs leading to the scarlet door, indicating passage to Shell 2, Lynch is standing at the top of them, gazing down at his bracer.

Lynch: Right, activate the sensor, Vince.

 Vince gazes down at the Sensor.

Vince [Confused]: ...Uhhhh. Hm.

 Vince presses a button on the face of the Sensor. Lynch's Soliton blinks somewhat, releasing a small beep.

 Lynch: What the fuck's happening?

Vince: I just activated the Bluetooth.

Lynch: ....And that is?

 Vince: You..don't know what Bluetooth is?

Frank: Not exactly a shock.

Lynch [Mumbling]: Don't give a fuck about iPads and iPods and iAms and iAmNots...

Frank: Maybe you ought to get down with the kids!

Lynch [Sideways, to Frank]: That's how you get put on a register, Frank.

Sal laughs loudly as Frank furrows his brow.

 Frank [Hurt]: Lynch, why must you always pick on me?

Lynch spins around, grasping Frank by his shoulders and leaning in, looking into his eyes.

 Lynch [Calmly]: Frank, you have the most potential of anyone here. You have the potential to be a great leader of men, and have a fire in your heart that remains sadly untapped. One day, my tough love will turn you into a lean, mean killing machine capable of leading men through Hell and out the other side without so much as a burn. But until then, MAN THE FUCK UP AND GET USED TO THE FACT THAT I'M NOT NICE AND THAT IF I WAS, YOU'D END UP UTTERLY USELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynch breaths ferally, patting Frank's cheeks and spinning back around as Frank stands there, stunned.

Vince; Uhhh, Ly--

Lynch: MOVE!!!!!!!

Vince [Scuttling down the stairs]: Yes sir, sorry sir, can I get you a drink, sir?

 Frank [Shocked]: ...He..likes me.

 Sal: Well, that makes ONE of us!

Bob [Wandering past]: Hey, I like Frank, he's just.......smelly.

Will: I, too, value Frank.

Sal, Bob, Frank [Spinning around to face Will]: WHAT?!

 Will [Shrugging]: He's the best darn meatshield we've got.

Will cackles loudly, walking past them as Frank scowls. Billy looks over at the trio from the railing.

Billy [Calmly]: Oi, Frank, if yeh wanna be respected, stand up for yehsen.

Frank: ...How?

Billy: Beat the crap outta him.

 Frank looks over at Will, who spins around on the balls of his heels, holding out his arms and grinning.

Will [Confidently]: Anytime, big boy. But the guns are always loaded.

Will flexes, kissing his right bicep.

Jensen [Smirking]: Those guns are fuckin' faulty!

Frank moves forward, arms held forward as Will smirks.

Phil [Clapping his hands together]: FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

 Jericho and Phil approach behind Will, and Billy and Sal move behind Frank, blocking both men off.

AJ Styles: Ten bucks on Will!

Vince [Whining]: Awwww, Frank and Will are fighting and I want to see..

Lynch: And I want to survive. Too fucking bad. MOVE!

Lynch and Vince head down the steps and to the lowest catwalk, walking to the south-west. The bottom left-most maintenance hatch of the catwalk is where Lynch and Vince stop. Vince squats down and pries the hatch open: Beneath a metal grid are a series of pipes, and laid upon them is the bomb.

Vince: Spray and pray!

Vince sprays the coolant upon the bomb, crystallizing and disarming it. Lynch reaches into the back of his belt, pulling his walkie-talkie free and activating it.

Lynch: Pliskin, we just disarmed the bomb in Strut D.

Pliskin's Voice: Alright. I'm disarming the bombs in Shell Two right now. Where was it?

 Lynch: Sat on some stupid filtration pipes beneath a maintenance hatch.

Pliskin's Voice: I'll tell Pete. Meanwhile, head to Strut E and disarm the bomb there, then to Strut F, and then meet up with the blonde kid in Strut A.

Lynch: Got it. Lynch and Vince circle around the lower catwalk, heading up the set of stairs onto the upper catwalk, stopping. Frank has Will in a weak-looking headlock, both men stumbling around listlessly. Frank pulls slightly, getting onto one knee as Will's fatigues bunch over his head, exposing his gut. Will slaps Frank on the back, but Frank keeps the headlock locked. Phil, Jericho, Sal, Bill and AJ Styles look utterly underwhelmed. From the central catwalk, Kelleher and Jensen simply watch, dumbfounded, while Steve sighs, rubbing his eyes.

Steve: ...Good grief...

Phil [Darkly]: Well, this is murdering the art of fighting.

 Frank pulls more on Will's head. Both men are now essentially crouched on the floor, only with Frank holding Will in a headlock as his feet scuttle.

Lynch [Folding his arms]: This was meant to impress me? Fucking hell.

Maurice [Calling over]: KICK HIS FUCKING HEAD IN, FRANK!

Will's feet scuttle as he pulls free of the headlock. Both men get to their feet and face eachother. Frank rushes forward, kicking towards Will's shin. Will jumps up and spins around, his heel barely catching Frank's shin. As he lands, Frank lunges forward with his right arm, locking in yet another headlock, much to the chagrin of the mercenaries (and AJ Styles) who throw their arms up, groaning in disdain.


Lynch sighs, squeezing past Sal and Billy and grabbing the back of Frank and Will's heads, prying them apart and looking at them. Lynch [Calmly]: Are you two done?

Frank [Nodding rapidly, licking his lips]: Yeah! Fucking showed you!

Will: yeah, you showed me...HOW NOT TO FIGHT!

Frank [Angrily]: OH, YOU!!!

Frank flails his arms, slapping weakly towards Will who flails his own arms towards Frank. Lynch responds by simply slamming both of their skulls together and throwing them apart. Both men skid across the catwalk and Lynch turns to Phil and Jericho.

Lynch [Coldly]: Move it, you Limey cunts.

Jericho[Sidestepping]: Charming man.

Maurice rubs his gut, belching loudly.

Maurice [Calling over]: Ahh..this Phall is proper mint..

Lynch: We're cutting through to Strut D. Follow us, fat man!

 Maurice: Aye, aye, hold on, lads. Let me finish up here.

Lynch pulls away from the railing as Sal walks over to the nearest railing and spits into the pool.

Sal: So, that's where all the gross radioactive shit ends up?

Phil: Pretty much.

 Vince: And yet the hippies hate it.

Jericho [Shrugging]: Hippies hate everything, just like feminists, chavs and cats.

Jericho flicks the smoking butt of his cigar forward, hitting the water with a dull sploshing sound. He reaches inside his trenchcoat, pulling out another cigar which Lynch snatches from his hand.

Lynch: Smoking's bad for you.

Jericho [Surprised]: Aye? And your excuse, cap'n?

Lynch: I'm old, I need it.

Vince: Hey, if you're giving those out, can I have one?

Jericho looks sideways at Vince, eyes narrowing slightly.

Jericho [Suspiciously]: Why? You don't smoke.

Vince: Yeah, but it'll look cool!

Jericho [Sighing]: Alright, close your eyes.

Vince closes his eyes and holds out his right hand. Jericho pulls out a box of cigar matches, strikes and lights one and holds it under Vince's beard. Sal and Phil stifle their laughs as Vince's eyes suddenly shoot open and downwards, glaring at his beard which is now aflame.

Vince [Screaming]: OH-OH GOD! WHY, JERRY, WHY?!?!?!

Vince screams, dancing on the spot and slapping his beard as Sal and Phil laugh loudly. Billy walks past, pointing and laughing as Vince dances around.

Jericho: Weeaboos don't look cool. They look like fucking weeaboos.

Steve: That's not nice..

Jericho turns and looks at Steve.

Jericho [Coldly]: Life isn't nice.

Vince screams wildly, backflipping over the railing and quickly catching onto it. Jericho walks over to it, holding out his hand. Before he can react, Sal and Phil quickly rush forward, grasping both of Jericho's legs and flipping him over the railing. Jericho yelps wildly, falling down and into the pool with a large splash, sending a plume of water upwards. Jericho chokes wildly, surfacing and glaring up at them as Sal helps Vince up onto the catwalk, slapping out his fiery beard as Phil stands on the railing, flexing his muscles.



Vince: Aw man, thanks guys!

Sal dusts Vince off, patting him on the back before jolting forward and pushing Phil off of the railing. Phil screams, arms and legs flailing as he falls downwards and hits the pool with a violent crash. Sal hops onto the railing, laughing and pointing downwards.


Sal twists and faces AJ Styles, holding his right hand down as AJ Styles leaps up, high-fiving him.

AJ Styles: But let me show you what I can do!

AJ Styles takes a few steps backwards before running forwards and leaping clean over the railing in a suicide dive, landing on Phil and sending both men crashing down deep into the water.

Phil [Spluttering]: FUCKING ARSEHOLE!!

Phil and AJ Styles surface, only for Phil to headbutt Styles roughly.


Jericho swims over to Phil, slapping him roughly around the cheek. Phil locks his arm roughly around Jericho's head, locking him in a headlock, only for Jericho to swing his left elbow back and hit Phil in the jaw, both men turning to eachother and descending into a flurry of thrown punches as Maurice laughs, rubbing his chest.

Maurice [Chuckling]: Eeee, better cut this curry out, like. Bloody heartburn!

Maurice drops the curry into the water, which begins fizzing slightly as Jericho and Phil descend into slapfighting, slapping roughly towards eachother. AJ Styles swims behind Phil, locking him in a Sleeper Hold as Jericho slaps at Phil's chest. Maurice belches loudly, clapping his hands together.


The water starts bubbling violently from where Maurice dropped his curry. Jericho and Phil stop slapfighting, swimming quickly towards the catwalk, followed by AJ Styles, where Maurice is standing and scuttle up against the metal wall, grasping the railing and pulling themselves up.

*** The DE Connecting Bridge.***

The catwalk ahead of them simply stretches out, all the way to Strut E. To their right are a set of stairs, which head right, and then down behind them to a lower catwalk, which spans across the same length as the upper-most catwalk, albeit it with some turns to avoid cutting close to the large metal pipes dotted down between and across the catwalks. On the lower-most catwalk, Maurice and a sodden Phil and Jericho emerge. On the upper-most catwalk: Lynch, Frank, Sal, Vince, Billy, Bob and Will emerge. Sitting on the top catwalk, facing out to the left, his fishing line flung straight over a large, bulbous orange pipe sat beside and across the length of the catwalk, is Moe Zacharius. Afflicted with dwarfism, though even tougher than his fellow mercenaries, Moe sports a shaven head and a thin goatee from his lower lip, which extends down to roughly mid-neck level and is tied with rubber bands. Interestingly enough, Moe's bare arms, exposed by his unique sleeveless grey camouflage fatigues, are more chiselled than his counterparts, indicating a far better degree of physical strength than the others.

Moe: Hey boss.

Lynch: Ready up, little lad, we're heading through to Strut E.

Moe [Sighing]: But i'm fishing!

Lynch: And where's Bill?

 Moe: Fishing!

The mercenaries turn their heads, looking over the railing: With inhuman strength, Moe pulls upwards on the rod, revealing that it is hooked through the waist of Bill's pants as he is pulled from the water, clutching two cod.

Bill [Whooping]: I GOT SOME!!! AND THEY GOT LEGS!!!

Vince [Calling over]: FISH DON'T HAVE LEGS!!!




Bill yelps, one of the fish flopping out of his hands.

Bill [In pain]: FUCKER BIT ME!!!

Frank: Even in Arizona, we know that fish with teeth are a bad sign.

Jericho: I'd like to think that knowledge is bloody universal!

Maurice, Phil and Jericho walk up the stairs, surfacing near Lynch's group. Moe stands up, pulling back harder on the rod as Bill slowly begins his ascent upwards. He spreads his arms, whooping.


Will: If that's what's waiting in Heaven, I would hate to see Hell!

Moe [Straining]: Maur, can you help?!

Maurice walks over, clasping the rod in his right hand and pulling it back. Despite being morbidly obese, Maurice's strength is clearly unparalleled as Bill is pulled effortlessly up.....back-first into the pipe.

 Bill: SHIT!

Maurice: Meant to do that.

 Bill swings sideways in the air and Maurice pulls up. Bill quickly unhooks himself, landing on the pipe and stabilising himself uneasily before spreading his arms and spitting out some water.

Bill [Smirking]: Your favourite mercenary has arrived.

Billy: Ach, I don't see no Tavi or Courtney!

 Jericho: Holding a candle for them, Billy?

Billy [Shaking his legs]: Nah, just the way me fatigues are bunching 'round the old knob!

Steve [Rubbing his forehead]: Wonder where the others are..

Frank [Shrugging]: Probably safe.

Lynch [Chuckling]: Yeah. Right.

 Jericho: Says the man who threw Karab over the railing.

Moe, Maurice, Bill and Steve look edgily at Lynch, who holds his arms out.

 Lynch [Taken aback]: What?! He was pissing me off and forgot who the boss was!

Steve: You could try being nice..

Lynch [Snorting]: Like that'd ever fucking work.

 Bill hops forward, landing on the catwalk beside Moe.

 Lynch [Sighing, turning his head to Moe]: Little man, you know I trust you more than these idiots, so....where the hell are Dean and Samuel?

Moe: Those two jokers?

 Lynch: Yep.

 Moe: No idea.

Lynch [Sighing bitterly]: I fucking hope they've gone down to Strut A to help the Paki out..

Phil: Lynch, he's an Indian-slash-Nepali.

Lynch: Did I ask your opinion, whatever-the-fuck-you-are?

Sal: Yeti-slash-Northern-Scum.

Phil [Glaring at Sal]: Northern scum?! A fucking Hawaiian trying to play the north-south divide of England?!

Sal [Clearing his throat and waving Phil away]: My father is English, plebeian. London born and raised.

Phil: In that case, let me give you the typical Northern English greeting.

Phil reaches into the back of his cargo belt, opening a pouch and pulling out an empty bottle of Samson Ale, smashing it violently over Sal's bald skull. Sal reels backwards, his eyes crossing as Phil throws the broken neck of the bottle aside.

 Billy: Oi, ain't that a Glaswegian greeting?

 Phil: I thought the Glaswegian greeting was the bottle, followed by setting him on fire?

Jericho: No, that's the Manc greeting. The Glaswegian greeting is the bottle, setting him on fire, and carving his mouth into a Glasgow smile. Then pissing on him.

Billy [Scratching his chin]: Ach, lad, that's the Glaswegian Irish greeting. The Glaswegian Unionist greeting is the bottle, setting him on fire, carving his mouth into a Glasgow smile, pissing on him, kicking on him, and then smashing a chair over him.

Jericho: I thought that was the Scouse greeting--

 Frank: ALRIGHT! I think that's our lesson on regional British greetings done for today!

Bill: The Texas greeting is shooting intruders.

Steve: But that's not as flashy as glassing someone in their face..

Phil: What's greeting where you come from, Stevey?

Steve [Taken aback]: ....Well, in Wichita, we just shake hands and say "Hi".

The mercenaries grumble amongst themselves, Phil waves him off, turning him around.

Bill: Well that ain't fun at all!

Moe: I know, right? Pussies!

The mercenaries walk towards Strut E, grumbling amongst themselves. Steve just stands there, bewildered.

Steve: But...sometimes it's nice to be nice!

Sal shakes his head repeatedly, walking forward and wrapping an arm over Steve's shoulders.

Sal: Steve, that medication of yours has clearly affected the way you think. Let Uncle Sal re-teach you the ways of the mercenary--

Steve frowns, balling his left fist and swinging it backwards, catching Sal in the crotch. Sal squeals, his eyes crossing and his legs clenching together before he falls back, curled up in the foetal position on the floor. Steve grins, flexing his fingers.

Steve: Hey, that actually felt good!

*** Strut E. The Parcel Room. ***

A series of conveyer belts roll across the room at angles, with small, yellow sorting machines interspersed throughout them. Walking into the room, Lynch looks to his left: A conveyer belt moves across his view, into two large machines, which then heads south and to his right, looping across the room. Throughout the room, several cardboard boxes, contents unknown, are stacked in heaps. A lone mercenary is guarding the room, standing opposite the conveyer belt and watching the mercenaries cautiously as they sidle in. Lynch checks his bracer radar.

Lynch: I ain't sensing any bomb here. Looks like we'll have to head for the Helipad.

Sal: Helipad? But I bloody hate those Polish air boys!

Jericho: Just because they make you look absolutely useless and lazy--

Billy: --And they don't even have tae work at that!

Sal [Angrily]: Fuck you, Scot!

Billy: Just because it's true, yeh Hawaiian pansy.

Mercenary: Uh, Coach Lynch?

Lynch's head snaps over, looking at the mercenary who whips off their ski mask to reveal a youthful figure with shoulder-length brown hair and a thin, scraggly goatee around his thin jaw, as well as watery green eyes.

 Moe [Chuckling]: Fucking hell, it's him.

 Lynch: Ah, Len Kowalski! So I take it you Polish boys have taken this Strut?

Bill [Quietly, to Moe]: Who is Len?

Moe [Quietly, to Bill]: He's the asshole in the Academy who ratted on us for running that illegal cock-fighting ring.

Bill [Cracking his knuckles]: ...I see.

Billy [Angrily]: THAT WERE 'IM?!

Kowalski: All Gurlukovich here have been forcably relieved of their posts. Captain Piotr is on the Helipad, examining a Harrier Two.

Bill [Grinning]: Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Lynch: I wouldn't trust you with a can opener, Bill, never mind a sophisticated combat jet.

Kowalski: The Harrier will be property of Seventh Polish Squadron. Not your company.

Bill: Fuck you, flyboy!

Kowalski: Same to you, filthy Amer---filthy pig.

Lynch: Ah, just say it, Len.

Kowalski grasps the conveyer belt, leaping over it and grasping Bill by his collar, slamming him against the wall behind him.

Kowalski [Angrily]: SUKA AMERYKANIN!!!

 Bill [Taken aback]: ....Uh, what?

 Kowalski headbutts Bill violently in the jaw before releasing him. Bill simply slides down the wall, into a sitting position, and sits there, looking dazed as Kowalski rubs his forehead.

Seventh Polish Squadron Mercenary: Len! Stop playing with the idiot!

Kowalski: But Captain Sokolsky--

Sokolsky: SILENCE!

The figure removes their ski mask, walking around the conveyer belt. Lynch walks around himself, meeting a middle-aged man with cropped grey hairstyle and a thin, wiry white goatee, his face gnarled with age, scars and stubble.

 Lynch: Sokolsky. Still babysitting Len, I see.

Sokolsky: He is young and fiery. Like you were at his age.

Lynch: Bully for you having to babysit him, then.

Sokolsky: I don't mind. He is a young prospect, eager and willing to fight.

 Bill: He wants some, he can fucking get some!



Bill grasps the conveyer belt and leaps over it, lunging at Kowalski and punching him roughly in the jaw, sending him to the ground. Bill quickly leaps down on top of Kowalski and both men begin trading heavy blows as Billy, Vince, Sal and Jericho cheer him on.


Bill yelps as Kowalski rolls him over, grasping his arm and locking in an armbar, twisting his wrist roughly.

 Sal: That's not how you kick his head in, Bill!


Bill twists his back, leaning up on his side slightly and using his free hand, punch Kowalski in the face. Kowalski's grip loosens and Bill goes right for the jugular: Or, rather, the groin, grasping it violently and squeezing with all his strength.

 Jericho [Crestfallen]: Now that's just nasty.

 Phil: Are you fighting him or fucking him, Bill?!

Kowalski cries out in pain as Bill releases the hold, getting to his feet and glaring at Phil.


 Phil: YEAH! I DO! If I knew you weren't going to molest me afterwards.

Lynch gives a shrill whistle, every mercenary turning their heads to him.

 Lynch [Sighing]: Can you idiots....just....follow me?!

Frank: You heard him. Let's go.

Phil grabs Bill by the back of his neck from behind his side of the conveyer belt, dragging him towards him and laying him on the conveyer belt. Bill screams, passing through one of the sorting machines and out the other end, covered in dirt and grime.

 Maurice: Bloody hell, Phil. That were uncalled for.

 Phil: But isn't mindless violence what we specialise in?

Moe: He's got a point.

The mercenaries walk around the conveyer belts and follow Lynch as he turns left and walks through the doorway, turning left and heading up a set of stairs. Bill limps towards the right-side of the conveyer belt, vaulting over it and walking past Sokolsky. After he disappears, he swiftly peers his head from behind the wall

 Bill: Hey, Len?

 Kowalski looks over at Bill, who leans out further from behind the wall and flips him the bird.


Len [Angrily]: YOU FUCKING--

 Bill cackles loudly, quickly dashing up the stairs as Len hurtles the conveyer belt, only for Sokolsky to hold his right arm out, clotheslining Len roughly and sending him backflipping, landing on his stomach on the hard floor.

Sokolsky [Calmly]: Stop letting the idiots get to you.

 *** Strut E. The Helipad. ***

Lynch leads the mercenaries up a long to their left as soon as they emerge from a pneumatic door. Ametal staircase, heading up towards the Helipad, greets them. As soon as they reach it, they turn right and look straight ahead: The hexagonal Helipad, surrounded by a skirt of orange metal leaning upwards, presumably as a lookout for guards, appears to have a Harrier Two jump jet stationed at the far end of it. Between them and the Harrier are three rows of grey metal storage crates, four in the first two rows ahead of them, and a third row of two to their right. Walking from between the crates are a few mercenaries, dressed in red pilots suits: Seventh Polish Squadron.

Jericho: ....Well, it's a Harrier.

Sal: Thanks for that useful insight, Sherlock.

Jericho: Pride of the Royal Air Force. Stolen and used by Yanks.

Vince: But why is it here?!

Sal: Obviously to carpetbomb or missile something.

Steve: Why?

Jericho: Gee, I don't know: Large platform meant to decontaminate a bay. Doesn't a military jet kind of...y'know...STAND OUT?!

Frank: He's right. Unless PETA now has military capability.

 Jericho: They do. Remember the 2007 Green Revolution? The secession of Alaska from America? The rowing boats filled with poisonous snakes?

 Bill: Yeah, but they all died cause Alaska's fuckin' cold.

Lynch: Weren't we the ones who put down that Revolution?

 Sal: You were. We were still in the Academy. Great days: All the trainers and coaches sent out to Alaska! Ah, how the alcohol flowed..

Phil: ...And how Frank drank it all.

Frank [Quietly]: It was horrible.

 Lynch walks forward, now talking to himself.

Lynch: Of course, that Revolution was pretty violent. I mean, PETA actually had the nerve to use flamethrowers against us! Of course, our sharpshooters made red paint outta them, fucking hippies couldn't use it--

Steve [To Frank]: Ah, yes, 'cause it was followed by The Great Detox.

 Frank [Shivering]: Ten months without alcohol!!

 Sal [Laughing]: Fuck off, Frank! You spent two days sober, and spent the rest of the time making cheap hooch out of siphoned gasoline from the vehicles and rotten fruit!

Phil: Made a few people blind with that shit.

Bob: And yet that never happened to Frank..

Will: Because his blood is one hundred proof. You can smell it on his sour breath: Pure ethanol.

Lynch leaves his men behind, instead walking towards the Harrier. From his right, between the second and third left-hand set of cargo containers, a middle-aged man walks out, standing directly in front of Lynch. Wearing a set of maroon flying overalls tucked into black leather boots, with a white double-headed eagle on his right chest, the figure appears slightly smaller than Lynch, with greying hair and a thin moustache across his upper lip. Piotr Wyrzyk, leader of the Seventh Polish Squadron.

Lynch: Pete.

Wyrzyk: Marky.

Lynch [Narrowing his eyes]: Marcus.

Wyrzyk: You call me 'Pete', I call you Marky. Seems like fair trade.

 Lynch: What are you boys doing here anyway? Thought there would only be Reaper and Ghost Company accompanying us.

 Piotr turns around, clasping his hands behind his back and walking towards the Harrier. Lynch instinctively follows.

Wyrzyk: So, how are your men?

 Lynch: Stupid.

Wyrzyk [Smirking]: C'mon, Marcus. You love them like your children.

Lynch: I would have had them aborted if they were my children!

Wyrzyk: Tough love, then?

Lynch [Sighing]: ....Yes.

 Lynch and Piotr approach the Harrier. On the right-hand side of the Helipad, Vince cautiously approaches the metal edge, looking over it and down into the water below. Bill walks past him, shooting a quick glance over at him.

Bill: What's up?

Vince: Just looking.

Bill: It's just water. Horribly irradiated water.

Vince: Makes me feel like Motoko, y'know?

Bill [Confused]: .....Gesundheit?

Vince: No. Motoko Kusanagi. From Ghost In The Shell. Diving in order to feel something. Maybe i'll dive in too..

Steve [Walking past]: Motoko felt that way after diving in, so you can't feel like Motoko BEFORE you do it.

Vince raises his head.

Bill [Nudging Vince]: He does have a point. Plus, if you felt like Motoko, that would mean you would be having issues concerning whether you truly exist or not, due to you being mostly cybernetic.

 Bill whistles innocently, strolling away from Vince as he glares at Bill.

Vince [Taken aback]: And people criticise ME for being an otaku?!

Phil: He has a point, Vinnie. I don't see you walking around in thermo-optic camouflage hunting down a hacker who is hacking peoples cybernetic brains and using them as puppets--

 Vince: THIS IS TOO MUCH! I'M the resident anime geek here!

Jericho: If it's any consolation, I think you're all a bunch of fuckin' pansies and I have no idea what you dweebs are talking about!

Phil: Dweebs? Really? What is this, the early 90's? Have you got a Powerglove under that trenchcoat? Think of yourself as "rad", do you? Playing with pogs--

Jericho growls, grasping Phil by his collar and shaking him roughly.

 Jericho [Coldly]: Insult pogs again and I will throw you to the bottom of the fucking radioactive waste.

To the left of the Harrier's nose, Lynch and Wyrzyk watch the mercenaries. Lynch just lets out a heavy sigh, while Wyrzyk gives a bewildered smirk.

Wyrzyk: I see your men are close.

 Lynch: Then you can also see they're barely fit to be soldiers.

Wyrzyk: Were any of us when we first started? Back in C Company in the days--

 Lynch [Folding his arms]: Oh boy, here we go--

Wyrzyk: --IN THE DAYS GONE BY! We were miscreants and troublemakers. You were the worst, Marcus. Always irritating Coach Krieger. Always on his nerves. Even on our first mission in Libya, you were the one who downed a whole bottle of vodka and drove a Hummer straight into the American Embassy--

Lynch: --That was a mistake, someone--

Wyrzyk [Interrupting]: You knew it wasn't water, Lynch, but we succeeded anyway. And we succeeded in the missions following it.

Lynch: Your point?

 Wyrzyk: Trust them and train them. We are old men, Lynch. Perhaps the last conventional soldiers. All of us, from my air wolves to your boys are a dying breed. One day, we'll be teaching brainless arseholes--

Lynch [Bluntly]: I am already.

Wyrzyk [Sighing]: Brainless arseholes whose only experience of combat is having their brains hooked up to a battery and fighting in virtual reality, who won't have to look a man in his eyes before gutting him, instead sitting behind a remote control and sending a drone crashing into civilians who are only targeted because they have a different religion or skin colour. Your men are not brainless. They are fighters. We Polish know our fighters.

 Lynch: Look, Pete, I'm just here to disarm a bomb.

Wyrzyk: It's beneath the Harrier.

Lynch: ...Wait, what?

Lynch turns to the Harrier, slowly getting on all fours and ducking his head down, glancing under the harrier: A block of C4 is attached to the fuselage of the Harrier.

Lynch: That's not going to destroy the fucking Big Shell.

Wyrzyk: Of course not.

Lynch [Raising his head, looking at Wyrzyk]: Say what?

Wyrzyk: It's a trap, Marcus. A poor trap, but a trap nevertheless.

 Lynch: Shit, Better tell Pete...

Wyrzyk: And disarm it. May not destroy Big Shell, but will certainly kill us.

Lynch [Giving a shrill whistle and pointing at Vince]: OI! OTAKU! GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE!

Vince looks over, hesitantly trudging over as Lynch pulls his walkie-talkie from his back, lifting it to his ear.

 Lynch: Oi, Snake, Pliskin, whatever...pick up.

Pliskin's Voice: Yeah?

Lynch: We're defusing the bomb in Strut E. It was attached to the fuselage of a Harrier.

Pliskin's Voice [Taken aback]: ...On the Harrier itself?

Vince walks over, Lynch points at the Harrier.

 Lynch: Yeah, on the Harrier. Better tell Pete: One of my guys thinks it might be a trap.

Pliskin's Voice: On it.

Pliskin disconnects, leaving scrambling static as Lynch places the walkie-talkie back on his belt. Vince gets on his hands and knees, looking under the Harrier. Behind him, Sal walks past, kicking his rear with the side of his boot.

Vince [Angrily]: HEY!

Sal [Sniggering]: Well, it's such a big target!

Vince: You fucking--

 Lynch: Spray it.

Vince: I say we should disarm it fully--

Lynch: --And I say spray it. Captain's orders, therefore: Learn your place, you fucking maggot.

Vince sighs, spraying the block of semtex and C4 with the coolant. After a few short seconds, the block has been crystalized, the blinking green light having now been extinguished, indicating the bomb has been defused. Lynch takes a deep breath.

 Lynch: Smell that, men? Smells like.......victory.

Jericho, Phil, Bob and Steve walk over.

Vince: Hey, I smell it too.

Jericho sniffs the air.

Jericho: ...I do too.

The three Seventh Polish Squadron mercenaries wander over, as well as Billy, Sal, Will, Maurice, Moe and Bill.

Maurice: Smells lush that, like! Proper lush!

Frank wanders over. Piotr takes a deep breath.

Piotr [Confused]: Victory smells of...curry?

The mercenaries suddenly fall silent.

Phil: Well, that's not good, is it?

AJ Styles skips over, with all the mercenaries now huddled ominously near the Harrier Two.

AJ Styles: Smells.......spicy.

Directly across from them, down the middle of the first and second column of storage containers, a large, looming figure emerges. The mercenaries spin around: A skeletal demonic figure with two horns of an unidentified bony substance, covered in scraps of yellow and orange which fall to the floor intermittently, walks towards them, roaring violently.

Wyrzyk: What. The. Fuck?



The monster slowly steps forward.

Frank: I really did not sign up for this.

Bill: Did ANY of us?

Maurice: .......I did.

Frank: Bail.

Lynch: Where to, Frank?! WHERE TO?!

Frank sprints to the right, over to the metal skirt around the Helipad.



AJ Styles rushes forward and punches the Monster in the skull, but the Phall Monster simply widens its jaws with a sickening crack and vomits a waterfall of boiling hot curry onto AJ Styles who screams violently as he dissipates into a red fizzing portal.



Frank [Tiredly]: And like the wrath of God upon this fine land, he shall smite thee..and we shall feel NO QUARTER FROM HIS JUDGMENT!!!!

The mercenaries exchange looks.

Lynch: Frank, what the--

Lynch turns to Frank, who jumps off of the side of the Helipad.


 Lynch [Angrily]: SON OF A--


Seventh Polish Squadron Pilot: Sir, what do we do?!



 Moe: So this is it? WE'RE GOING TO DIE??!?!


The Phall Monster slowly approaches the huddled group, now cowering in fear.


Silence. The group looks at eachother.

Wyrzyk: What--

Bill [Impatiently]: I SAID, if only something, on this Halloween--HALLOWEEN!!!! could POSSIBLY SAVE US!!!

 Southern Drawling Voice: HOLD YER BRITCHES, I'MMA COMIN'!!!

Randomly, from the sky (possibly due to nanomachines), a titanic figure slams down onto the Helipad, the concrete cracking beneath his iron feet. Dressed head-to-toe in bright yellow iron armor, with a green welding helmet and a green flamethrower tank upon his back is The Banana Man, a totally not fictitious spectre of Southern America lore who prays on the sinners and witches, burning them in a blaze of fiery justice with a flamethrower powered entirely with moonshine and childrens tears. The mercenaries look on in awe: The Seventh Polish Squadron look utterly confused and taken aback.

Wyrzyk: Oh God, I can't wait to hear this one.

The Banana Man [Pointing at the Phall Monster]: LET'S GIT IT ON, LITTLE DAWGY!!!

The mercenaries step backwards and turn around, only for the Banana Man to appear in front of them.


Frank: Balls.

The scene fades.

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