Saturday, 31 January 2015

Saga III Chapter I - Irish I Weren't Here

The scene opens in the house of Frank, Will, Bob, Robbie and Dave. Dave, sat on the moth-eaten leather couch close to the door, clutching a bowl of Lucky Charms, is wearing nothing but a pair of white boxer shorts and a grey shirt with the words "Jews do it all day, every day (Except the Shabbat)". Having returned home in relative safety from their trip to Japan, it appears as if nothing much is conspiring in the regular lives of the mercenaries. A Christmas tree, stripped off most of its vegetation to reveal bare bark decorated with scraps of tinsel, is to the left of the flat screen television hung on the wall directly opposite of the couch. Frank enters the main room from his bedroom, however, with Screaming Mantis in tow, who is wearing nothing but a black silk nightgown which is thankfully opaque. Dave slowly turns his head, slowly eating a spoonful of Lucky Charms. At his feet sits Lupa, looking up at Dave eagerly.

Frank [Smirking]: Man, Vince sure is amazing. Had him fix me up a pleasure-bot that looks just like Screaming Mantis: He got all the parts from the Academy, he just needed to fix it, install some software and she was ready to go. She may be an android, but....She's fucking hot.

'Mantis' [Trying to emulate warmth in her voice, but coming off strained]: Thanks, Frank.

Frank [Grinning brightly, looking at 'her']: Oh, my dear Mantis-bot. How I love you.

'Mantis': I love you too, Frank.

Dave: Congratulations, you're having sex with a robot. Are there no lows you won't stoop to?

Frank: Shut up, Dave. Go get your own sex-bot.

Dave [Darkly]: Fuck you, drunky. I will never drop to your level.

Frank: Pff, you already have. Eating Lucky Charms, sitting in your underwear--

Dave: --Being more handsome and house-trained than you, you fucking pissant.

Frank: Do something rather than collect dust, you lazy shit!


Frank: ...Oh. Day of rest?

Dave: Yep.

Will slowly walks in from his bedroom, to the left of Frank's, kicking the door shut behind him. Wearing a mauve suit with a black dress shirt, he walks forward, past Frank and Mantis-bot and spins around on a pair of Cuban heels, looking at both of them and shaking his head.

Will [Darkly]: I see you've done what Bob has and got yourself a sex-bot: Now we have two people fucking robots under one roof.

Frank [Scoffing]: Just because even a Raven robot wouldn't touch you!

Will [Smirking]: Because I break 'em, baby!

Dave [Angrily, slamming his bowl of cereal down]: CAN YOU FUCKERS SHUT UP?! I'M TRYING TO OBSERVE THE SHABBAT!!!!!!!

Will [Sneering]: Okay then, if you're such a good religious guy, tell me why you're in the Army and killing people--

Dave: Rodef. I am permitted to kill to save the life of myself or another. Ever heard of pikuach nefesh? I'm allowed to do a lot of shit against the teachings of the Torah when the chips are down and lives are in danger.....Although my Rav did say that it's not an excuse to eat pork just because of these PMC's wars and shit.

Will: What about beer?

Dave: Yeah, I can drink. If it's made with grapes, it's gotta be made under Rabbinic supervision, though. Not that I mind, Israel's not that far away. I get that shit in by the crate.

Dave lifts a small wine glass from beside his bowl, half-filled with a dark red wine. Dave takes a sniff of it before taking a deep gulp, smacking his lips.

Dave [Contently]: Jew know it's the best wine around.

Will [Bluntly]: Can you fucking stop with the Jew puns?

Dave [Darkly]: Never. I'm allowed to. It's in the Torah.

Will: It isn't!

Dave: I like to think that it is!

Frank: How's the finger doing?

Dave holds up his right hand, the middle finger blown off by Harrier gunfire at Big Shell. In doing so, he reveals the surgical work that had occurred before heading off to Japan: The once torn, mangled finger now appears to have healed well, the healing process having bridged the gap between skin, flesh, muscle and the robotic finger. Dave flexes it, the finger moving somewhat easier than it did when he first revealed it.

Dave: Getting there.

Will: And all without nanomachines!

Dave: Yep, although they did load me with a lot of morphine when they first fitted it. I wish I had some more.

Dave leans down, scratching behind Lupa's left ear as she pants with delight.

Will: Do they let Jew do that?


Will [Laughing]: Alright, calm down, don't fire missiles at me.

Dave [Coldly]: I already have to put up with Frank's stupid Wookie Jesus painting he got for Christmas.

Dave looks to his left: On a bare piece of wall between the doors to Frank and Bob's room hangs a painting of Chewbacca, standing on a field at night while wearing a white robe and carrying a blue lightsaber, the beam in the shape of across. Frank grins, turning his head to the left and looking at the picture.

Frank: There's nothing wrong with Wookie Jesus. The artist is very talented--

Dave: It's stupid! How would you even use a cross-shaped lightsaber?

Frank: To forcefully convert the empire!

A knock raps out against the door. Without waiting, the door is pushed open as Lynch steps in. Still tanned and with silver hair, Lynch has ditched his usual vest and shorts combo and is now clad in a white dress shirt, a black tie and a pair of black dress pants, a pair of polished black leather shoes shining in the midday sun. To his left breast is pinned the blue medal awarded for their trials and tribulations at Shadow Moses.

Frank [Whistling]: Damn, Lynch, you're dressed fancy!

Lynch: I need to be: Visiting Mother.

Dave: Are we getting any more medals?

Lynch: We'll see. They don't grow on trees, though. Alright, Fran--Goddammit.

Frank: What?

Lynch looks at Mantis-bot, then Frank, then at the Mantis-bot again before looking over at Dave.

Lynch [Sighing]: Dave, has he really been fucking a robot?

Dave: Yes, sir.

Frank [Taken aback]: There's nothing wrong with it!

Lynch: There---Alright, no, i'm not going to delve into the philosophical and moral debate regarding human-robot sexuality, mostly because I don't know about it but i'm sure that it's fucking there. Look, Frank, get dressed: We need to go to the Academy.

Frank [Whining]: Why?

Lynch: Well, because Dave's having a day of rest, Robbie has fucked off to his U-Boat, Bob's a frightened little wretch, Mother doesn't like Will and I need to drag you along anyway since I like to think of you as my trained monkey. Now, chop chop.

Frank sighs, turning around and trudging into his room. Lynch looks around the room.

Lynch: Where is Bob, anyway?

Dave: In his room, playing with his own pleasure-bot.

Lynch: Any idea where Johnny and Tim are? Haven't seen 'em in a while.

Dave [Shrugging]: How would I know?

Will: I heard on the grapevine that they're off in Cairo trying to find a place to stay.

Lynch [Scoffing]: What's wrong with this street?

Will: Where do you want me to start? The anthropomorphic sugar glider with an itchy trigger finger or the psychotic midget who runs a strip bar alongside a crazed, inbred, retarded redneck?

Lynch: I find it quite funny that you're saying say this to me, but i've never heard you actually called Jon a midget to his face before. Mostly because he's only an inch or two smaller than you.

Will: Yeah, well...I'm not suicidal.

Lynch laughs, shaking his head as Dave leans down, scratching behind Lupa's ear and flicking a cereal marshmallow into her mouth. Lynch walks over to the picture of Wookie Jesus, putting his hands on his hips and examining it.

Lynch [Chuckling]: Goddammit. I might take this for the Academy.

Dave: Please do.

Lynch: Oh, you'd love it if it was Chewbacca with a lightsaber menorah!

Dave slowly raises his head, his eyes widening and a grin crossing his face.

*Phil, Jericho, Ivan and Steve's Flat*

Inside Phil and Jericho's bedroom, both men are laying in their separate beds which lie end-to-end against eachother, arms behind the backs of their heads as they gaze up at the ceiling. Jericho's right hand clutches a cigar as he blows a plume of smoke to the ceiling, coughing slightly. Phil's cigar is firmly between his lips as he simply looks up at the ceiling.

Phil: Just a lazy morning.

Jericho: As it should be.

Phil: A lazy, smoking in bed morning.

Jericho: As it should be.

Phil [Taking the cigar from his mouth]: So, what's the plan for today?

Jericho: I don't know. Drink? Eat? Smoke? Put tights on our heads and play a game of "Tag With Throwing Knives"?

Phil: Yeah, I think we should skip the latter.

Jericho [Grunting]: Mm.

They hear the front door open, but neither man moves. Phil turns his head to the door, as does Jericho.

Phil [Quietly]: Intruders?

Jericho: Nobody's stupid enough to intrude, mate.

Phil: Living on this street? Somebody is.

Jericho [Leaning up slightly]: Where the fuck are Steve and Ivan? Still asleep?

Phil: Must be.

The door opens and Lynch appears, looking down at both men.

Phil [Jovially]: LYYYYYYYYYNCH!!! Smoke?

Lynch: No. Get your asses up, I want you to greet some friends.

Phil: Friends?

Lynch: Irish Republicans--


Lynch [Angrily]: Shut up, we need the guns that they're supplying!

Jericho: Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! We have enough!

Lynch: We need to trade them.

Jericho: Who would want shitty old guns?

Lynch: Plenty of people. That, and we need to store them for the Academy as a means of extra insurance in case of a PMC attack, because those are really starting to increase in volume and intensity: Now, shut up and get up.

Phil [Scrambling out of bed]: You fucking owe us, Lynch.

Lynch [Folding his arms]: Why?

Jericho [Sliding out of bed]: I lost two friends to those cunts when they decided that they'd restart their campaign once Ocelot came to power. We'll deal with them, but you owe us a major fucking favour for doing so.

Lynch: We--

Phil [Turning his head and looking at Lynch]: Me and Jerry had a friend who got bombed by those cunts and lived. He was up in Enniskillen when they decided to bomb a fucking corner shop. Car bomb took his legs, took his right arm but somehow didn't take his life. Bastards didn't even have the decency to finish the job.

Lynch [Unfolding his arms]: ..........Alright. I'll owe you a favour.

Jericho [Pulling on a pair of trousers, not bothering to look at Lynch]: Go away.

Lynch turns around and walks out of their bedroom, shutting the door without saying a single word.

Jericho [Sighing darkly, pulling on his trousers]: And now we're dealing with the 'Ra.

Phil: Well, to be fair, we have been dealing with the Taliban for the past several years.

Outside, a beige Hummer has pulled up at the head of Beale Street with Frank walking towards it. In the street stand Dave, Tavi and Sal as Lynch talks to all three of them.

Lynch: And Sal, don't piss off the Irish or you will find your house bombed.

Sal [Saluting]: Got it, boss, no potato jokes!

Lynch: Uh, yeah....[Aside, to Tavi] Take care of them.

Tavi [Quietly]: Gotcha.

Lynch: This surplus will keep Mother happy, so before you try and insult them, remember: An unhappy Mother is a dead subordinate.

Sal: We understand.

Lynch [Narrowing his eyes]: I'm talking to you specifically, Sal, I know what you're like.

Sal [Smirking]: Dashing, lovable--

Lynch: No, a cocky shitbag.

Sal's face falls as Dave laughs, patting Sal on the back. Steve and Ivan emerge from their house, slowly walking down the concrete steps and onto the street.

Dave: Hey fellas.

Steve: I thought you were observing the Shabbat.

Dave [Shrugging]: I am. Technically.

Tavi: So, who are we meeting today?

Lynch: Irish Republican Army.

Tavi [Chuckling]: Er, wow. The IRA.

Ivan: Yes, ze sons of Collins themselves.

Lynch: Don't kid yourselves: These boys have as much in common with Micky Collins as I do, and I fucking hate the Irish.

Sal: Well, you know what they say about the Irish: They fucking hate eachother.

Tavi: So why are we dealing with them?

Steve: They're a PMC, aren't they? Ireland's official PMC. Cornered the market on improvised explosives and old, cheap weaponry.

Sal [Sighing]: But they're terrorists.

Steve: are the Taliban, but we deal with them anyway.

Sal shrugs, nodding in agreement as Phil and Jericho walk out of their house, slamming the door shut behind them.


Lynch [Darkly]: Goddammit, can't we just keep our mouths shut and do a job right for once? Mother's going to have one of you killed one of these days.

Lynch walks up the street towards the Hummer, shaking his head as he does.

Lynch [Looking over his shoulder]: Me and Frank are going to meet Mother, so Sal's in charge of unpacking and the like. We'll be back later.

Lynch opens the front passengers door of the Hummer as Frank climbs into the back. Sal stands there, grinning absent-mindedly as Lynch climbs into the passengers seat of the Hummer. It rumbles loudly before driving forward and out of Beale Street. Phil, Dave, Jericho, Steve, Ivan and Tavi eye Sal cautiously.

Sal [Clapping his hands together]: So, guys, let's have a great time and treat those wacky Irish Republicans nicely, huh?

Phil and Jericho [Bluntly, in unison]: No.


The Mercenary Academy. Situated within the Middle East and operating under the eye of the United Nations, this Academy is the only vanguard protecting the Suez from Ocelot and his PMC's, giving a distinct advantage to the United Nations. However, even they do not know the plans that Mother has brewing to finally break the cycle of war and destroy the Patriots. For Lynch and Frank, they knew that the fine points of Mother's plan would probably be revealed in this meeting.

Standing outside of the door to her office, on the fourth and top floor of the Academy's main building, Lynch knocks on the door.

Mother's Voice: Enter.

Lynch pushes the door open and walks into the office: Mother is sat at her desk, her face still sullen and sunken, and she now is wearing a black suit and a white shirt. Behind her, facing the circular window directly opposite the desk, is Father, hands clasped behind his back and wearing a pair of desert camouflage pants, black boots and a black t-shirt. She watches as Lynch and Frank sit down in the two seats opposite her desk: Frank looks up at a dome-shaped cage that hangs precariously from the ceiling, where he can see a sleeping figure inside of it.

Frank [Raising his hand and waving slightly]: Morning, Joe.

The figure snores loudly as Frank lowers his hand.

Lynch: We're here, Mother.

Mother [Reaching into a drawer to her right]: Marcus, Frank, I'm not going to bother beating around the bush today: It is straight to business. Big Shell changed a lot of things, and the fighting is getting a lot more vicious. I need to focus on my recruits and bringing in new blood...

Mother places a small, yellow folder on the desk. Lynch spins it around and opens it: There are eight sheets inside, the first of which showcases a black and white photograph of a piece of microfilm. Lynch pushes it aside, beginning to scan a document which is marked by markings from the United States Government, indicating that it is a highly classified document which perhaps even Mother shouldn't have on hand.

Lynch: What's this?

Mother: The Philosopher's Legacy. Ever heard of it?

Lynch [Shaking his head]: No.

Mother: It's a rumour. Nothing more.

Lynch [Quietly]: .....Funds?

Mother [Clearing her throat]: A large amount of funds. One hundred billion dollars, to be precise.

Frank [Whistling, eyes widening]: Wow! We could buy Greece for that much!

Lynch [Muttering]: Yeah, with nine hundred and ninety billion, nine million, nine hundred thousand, nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand dollars left over.

Mother: It is a large fund, believed to have been originally destined for China, the Soviet Union and the United States following the Second World War. From what we know, the Soviet Union and the United States managed to obtain significant amounts of the Legacy, but not the entire amount. The vast majority of the Legacy has been hidden across several countries, including Switzerland, Hong Kong and Australia, but the only means of finding and accessing the fortune is on a piece of microfilm. It was these funds that, we believe, led to the creation of the Patriots.

Lynch: How do you know of it?

Mother: The United Nations told us of a microfilm that contained such funds, but they have no idea where they are. They managed to obtain a small portion of the fortune from Switzerland, but have no idea where the rest of it is. They have search parties scouring the globe for it, and there's only one clue that they have: Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin.

Lynch [Thinking]: I've heard that name before..

Mother: Do you remember the failed Snake Eater operation in the sixties that forced Big Boss into hiding?

Lynch [Bluntly]: No.

Mother [Somewhat irritably]: Operation's Virtuoso and Snake Eater. Virtuoso was a failure, resulting in the destruction of the Sokolov Design Bureau which was being used to develop the Shagohod, a nuclear-capable tank. The Snake Eater operation was a means of eliminating The Boss and the Cobra Unit, who had double-crossed the United States during Operation Virtuoso and on behest of the USSR, and the threat of the Shagohod. Though The Boss went missing shortly after, so did Big Boss and the threat of Shagohod still remained and we have good word that he went into hiding and passed away a few years ago. Meanwhile, nobody knows what happened to Volgin. After the destruction of Grozny Grad, he simply disappeared, along with the Legacy. However, given Ocelot's past as a triple agent, we believe that he handed it over to the United States. We believe that it is how the Patriots were founded.

Lynch: So, we take the Legacy for ourselves, then?....That'd even stop the Patriots.

Mother: Indeed, this one mission could change the very fabric of the current situation.

Frank: So, we take the Legacy, and that's it: The mission's over. No Patriots exist, no antagonist for a world wide war: We win!

Mother: But it's not about obtaining the Legacy itself, but rather a portion of the funds, and that means approaching the person who, most likely, took those funds.

Lynch slowly raises his head.

Lynch: ....Are you--

Mother: You are not going to seize the microfilm. Instead, you are going get into Ocelot's inner circle.

A moments silence follows.

Frank: .....Mother, why?

Mother: Endear yourselves to Ocelot and maybe, just maybe, he'll give us some of  the funds. You have already proven yourselves as trusted mercenaries, and though Ocelot's current mindset has been overtaken by Liquid, maybe you can encourage him to keep a portion of the funds hidden away somewhere and give you the details. With that money, we can break free of the ties that bind us to that puppet arm of the Patriots, the United Nations. We will have enough funds for the Academies to break away and we can open up several new fronts against Ocelot and the United Nations. We can, finally, begin taking the actual fight to them.

Lynch [In disbelief]: So, we're going on this mission on the rare chance that Ocelot might give us a free handout? Mother, that's just insane. What if somebody else takes the funds?

Mother: That's why you're there, isn't it? And no, that's not just your mission: You will be taking out the Shagohod as well.

Lynch: Why?

Mother [Sighing darkly]: If I really have to tell you why you should take out a nuclear-capable tank, then I really do despair for you.

Lynch: But Russia hasn't even used it aside from that one incident in Twenty-Ten where they tried to nuke Japan, it overshot and landed in the Pacific. The only thing they achieved was to horribly mutate fish for the next seven trillion years.

Mother [Coldly]: your mission.

Frank: So, we take out Shagohod and cosy up to Ocelot? Man, I hope he was friendlier back then.

Mother: I don't care if you have to do everything but kill Ocelot: You keep close to him, you do not rock the boat, you get close to him and you ensure that you are left with a share of the fortune. With even a tiny portion of the Legacy in our hands, we are going to grow and we are going to put an end to this war economy once and for all.

Frank: So...

Mother: Enough politicking. The politics have been completed. Snake is alive. Snake is fighting as we speak. You are going back to help me punch a hole through their lines. That Legacy is the key to that. We are going to use that money, we are going to bring in as many experts and soldiers as possible, we are going to free the Academies and we are going to use brute force to demolish the PMC's. We also need that money to ensure Project Eos can continue running. Do you know how much money it has cost me to cover up the tracks, to hire the experts necessary to cover up the ungodly energy spikes in this region and to ensure no government comes sniffing around? We're lucky we live in such an age of corruption and lawlessness in favour of money so that we can bribe the responsible parties, or else we'd have long since been blown to smithereens!!

Mother punctuates her sentence by slapping her desk. Frank and Lynch flinch.

Father [Calmly]: The Legacy is an obscene amount of money. Acquiring even a small portion of it at this stage would be enough to keep Project Eos going.

Mother: Everything hinges on gaining a share of the Legacy. Even a minute amount would help us.

Mother sits back in her chair, falling silent. Frank gulps, speaking up.

Frank: I saw...Screaming Mantis a few nights ago.

Mother: Indeed. For a few years now, since Big Shell, the United States has suddenly found itself unwilling to get directly involved in armed conflicts. Hence why PMC's are mobilising and why leaders are needed for them.

Lynch: Hang on, how come the Academy hasn't been eradicated, then?

Mother: As far as the Patriots are concerned, we've always been part of the United Nations. Nothing has changed in concerns to our base purpose. Only one thing has changed: Everyone knows...or rather, thinks...that we're part of the Patriots now. We have to shield ourselves from rebels, including the Tuareg and Taliban, more frequently. Hence why we're doing arms deals with rebels-come-PMC's such as the IRA.

Frank: But the war must be easier now, with Snake hunting Ocelot across the globe?

Mother: We haven't had to deal with as many PMC attacks, true, but the rebel attacks constantly keep us on our feet. Also, when we left the bubble, we found several of our mercenaries had SoP in them. None of the Coaches but some of our newer recruits.

Frank [Bluntly]: My head hurts.

Mother: The war against the PMC's has cooled off, but the rebels are attacking. Of the changes from the timeline, the one regarding new recruits having SoP is troubling. I'm closing the doors of this Academy, meaning every last man and woman is valuable. This means we are still at war, Frank.

Frank [Sighing bitterly]: Fuck it.

Mother: And now we are bolstering defences against the Beauty and the Beast Unit. Make no mistake about it: They will be coming for you. Their memories have not been completely changed: Octopus may have been mentally damaged by the Devils Village Massacre, but she still remembers Beale Street. That is not good news for any of us.

Frank: Move us, then.

Mother: It's not that simple, Frank! We can't move you! You are seated right next to the Suez! If any foreign power or PMC even thinks of moving arms or forces up the Canal, I can give a call to you and you can head off and intercept them, destroying them!

Lynch: We've never had the call--

Mother [Impatiently]: --And you'd be naive to think you never will! The war is picking up, Marcus, and every PMC from here to Japan will be looking to make their move! The Suez is one of the most strategically important shipping locations in the world: It will be one of the most hotly contested places soon. Mark my words.

Lynch: ...Understood.

Mother: America is ruined economically: We cannot count on them for support or 'rejects' anymore. The situation regarding the British government hasn't changed and they are still in exile, so we cannot count on them for 'rejects'--No government will help us. Ocelot may try to recruit you...or kill you. You are going to be hunted by the Unit. Since Big Shell has fallen, everything is in turmoil. The world never had to get used to the changes: We do. Bolster your defences. Arm your men. Be prepared to deal with new faces.

Lynch: Alright.

Lynch and Frank push their chairs away, turning to the door.

Mother: This will be the last time we will have contact for a few months. I will only contact you when we can power up Project Eos again and send you back to scout the Legacy and Big Boss.

Lynch: ....Understood.

Lynch and Frank file outside the door, with Frank closing it behind him as he exits. Mother sits back in her seat, looking up at Father.

Mother: You're quiet, William.

Father [Quietly]: We're running out of money and the Patriots know. According to our bank accounts, each injection of money grew smaller up to this year--

Mother: Do you think that worries me? I will either find a way or I will make one. You underestimate me.

Father: I know you can do it, but what if the Patriots realise that we're under their noses? That we're working to destroy them?

Mother: Like Ocelot?

Father falls silent. Mother smirks.

Mother: The strategy has ended, William. What follows from this moment is a sprint to the finish line.


Back in Beale Street, a large, black van without license plates is reversing slowly down the street as the others watch. Tavi is now joined by Courtney, who has grown her hair out and is wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. A van reverses to the left of the first van as the group watches them.

Phil: And here come the leprechauns!

Jericho [Cupping his hands around his mouth, shouting]: WATCH OUT FOR CROMWELL!!!

Sal [Scoffing]: Stop being so bigoted!

Phil [Aside, to Sal]: Uh, mate, you're part English yourself, right?

Sal quickly turns his head, glaring at the van.

Sal [Cupping his hands around his mouth, shouting]: POTATO EATING MICK BASTARDS!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BOO THESE MEN!!!!!!!!

Steve [Quietly]: Uh, they might be equal opportunists.


The first van stops. The rear doors of the first van open and a male emerges, wearing a black ski mask, over which is a black beret, to which a pin depicting an Irish lily is pinned. The tall and somewhat thin figure is also clad in a desert camouflage army jacket with a leather Sam Browne belt and holster, in which is an MAC-10 SMG, with desert camouflage pants tucked into thick, black leather boots. The figure appears quite ominous as he takes three steps towards the mercenaries, stopping suddenly.

Figure [With a thick Irish accent]: I ought tae cut yeh cunts down.

Phil: It's the desert, Mick, you don't need a ski mask.

Figure [Angrily]: It's to hide me identity!

Sal [Stepping forward]: Take it off, there's no need to hide here.

The figure takes his black beret in his left hand, lifting it as he rolls up and pulls away his ski mask with his free hand. The figure is actually quite handsome, with brown eyes and light brown, shaggy hair. The figure has a small soul patch beneath his lower hip, but is otherwise cleanly shaven, a look complimented by sharp cheekbones.

Sal [Eyes widening]: Woah, I thought the Republicans were all fat old men living hopelessly.

Figure [Narrowing his eyes]: Just like you, lad, fighting for a better cause.

Jericho: Speaking of causes, that van better not have a bomb in it. Now, I know it's the standard Mick defence mechanism, but there's no Remembrance Day parades here--

Figure [Angrily, pointing at Jericho]: If this cunt gives me any more lip, I'll bust his feckin' skull!

Dave: What's your name, kid?

Figure [Coldly]: Shane. That's all you need to know. [Turning his head to the van]: OI! GABE! GET YEH ASS OUT HERE!

Another figure emerges from the van, wearing the same clothes as Shane. His ski mask has since been rolled up his around head, revealing a thick face which matches a frighteningly powerful physique, with thick auburn stubble and a scalp covered in a thin shaving of rust-coloured hair. The figure sneers slightly, his crooked nose squashed against his face as he looks over at the mercenaries.

Sal: Now we know who ate all the potatoes!

Dave: Uh, Sal, try not to piss off the violent Irishmen.

Gabriel: Where the feck is Stephen?

Shane: He's sitting in the bloody van. Get 'im, will you?

Gabriel twists around, walking up the side of the van. He knocks on the passenger doors, saying something.

Sal: So, about the weapons--

Shane: It's in the feckin' van. Yeh'll get it in a few. Just some shite from Libya that we don't need, don't know why yeh lot need it.

Sal: Back-ups for the armoury, apparently. You'd have thought that the United Nations would give us armaments.

Dave: Bunch of cheap bastards.

Sal: Too busy fighting Ocelot themselves, apparently. I mean, sure, the Americans can get a crapload of arms, but not the Academies...Noooo...

The door opens and Gabriel walks down between the vans, whispering something into Shane's ear as Stephen begins to walk forward, whose fatigues appear oddly full, his ski mask clasped tightly over his head and straining against the weight of hair. A pair of oddly brown eyes stare out from beneath the ski mask.

Sal [Pointing at Stephen]: That cunt's eyeballing me.

Jericho: Nut him, them.

Sal: ........What?!

Jericho [Exasperated]: Headbutt him!

Sal [In relief]: Oh, thank fuck, I thought you were--Never mind.

Jericho [Sighing]: No, don't bust a nut on him, either.

Stephen: Alright, Shane, take yeh feckin' mask off.

Shane [Quietly]: Alright..

Phil: I don't like this.

Shane looks at Stephen, whose hands are trembling.

Steve: We know what's going to happen, don't we?

Stephen grasps his ski mask and pulls it out, a pair of fluffy grey ears bursting free. His eyes are large, bulbous and brown, with a dark stripe running from steely grey hair down the bridge of his nose, which is bright pink with horizontal-slitted nostrils. There's a slight bald spot on his head, directly on the crown amongst the dark fur, and the lower half of his face is covered in vivid white fur. All it takes is one glance at Stephen to confirm that he is, much like Tavi, an anthropomorphic sugar glider, which is surprisingly the least of their concerns given the global state of war. Tavi just stares ahead in disbelief, as do the mercenaries.

Tavi [Breathless]: ....Oh God.....

Dave: Now that is something I don't like.

Sal [Taken aback]: Uh, Shane, something you're not telling us about?

Shane looks to his right at the anthro.

Shane: ...Oh aye. This here is Stephen. Stephen, say hi to the fellas.

Stephen remains silent, eyes fixated on the ground.

Courtney [Nudging Tavi]: Get in there.

Tavi shakes her head slowly.

Shane: Aye, yeh get yeh own, Lynch.

Lynch: Oh, this is Tavi. Tavi? The IRA.

Tavi [Laughing breathlessly, waving timidly]: ...Uh..hi..

Stephen [Gulping]: ......hi....

Shane: He's shy! Get 'im! Anyway, fuck it, we need to get this stuff unloaded.

Steve: You mean you're not going to explain him to us?

Shane looks at Stephen, who cautiously looks at Shane, before looking at Tavi.

Shane: Explain her to us.

Phil: We found her one day.

Shane [Shaking his head slightly]: mean...where does she come from? How did she get here?

Phil: No idea--

Tavi: I was training with the Academy in secret while they were going through the motions. Mother was almost like a mother to me....Well, in fact, she could be called my adoptive mother. In all honesty, I don't remember anything before the Academy. The first thing I remember was Mother's face while I was lying in a hospital bed in a sealed wing of the Academy's Infirmary.

Ivan [Looking at Tavi]: Vell, zat is new to us.

Tavi: I mean.....I was visit find out where she found me....but....

Phil [Poking his head forward]: Well, you still need to. Y'know, to find out where you come from exactly.

Tavi [Breathlessly]: I......I...

Phil: But if the Micks have them, I wouldn't want to know. Can you imagine a worse fate than living in Dublin?

Jericho [Piping up]: Living in Middlesbrough.

Phil [Coldly]: Man, fuck you, Jerry, your words really do hurt sometimes.

Shane: Well, we found Stephen outside o' Bliefield when we were runnin' guns to Germany.

Jericho: That's ridiculous! Everybody knows Bliefield is a myth!

Sal: Yeah, just like North Dakota!

Shane: Well, we were runnin' guns to a small PMC outside o' Bliefield....Which may o' may not exist....And we cam' across this abandoned bunker. And inside o' the bunker was a wee basket, and in this wee basket was Shane.

Jericho: You expect us to believe that?

Shane: Nah, Stephen was inside this big ol' vat o' liquid, like a giant test-tube, with tubes an' shite attached to him.

Phil: Okay, now THAT sounds like Bliefield.

Shane: Well, he was in this weird laboratory thing. An' it was abandoned, papers everywhere, blood on the walls, the ceiling, the floor--Gabe got some great pictures.

Gabriel [Raising his right hand]: Aye.

Shane: But aye, looked like there were a great struggle an' Stephen was just in tha' tube. An' then he opened his eyes, some o' our lads shat themselves, including Gabe.

Gabriel: Feck off, it was scary.

Shane: An' he showed us how to drain the tube, unhook his breathin' tubes an' shite and we brought him wi' us. Obviously there's a lot more to the story, but those are the basics.

Steve: How many empty tubes were in this laboratory?

Gabriel: About twenty.

A small silence falls over the IRA and the mercenaries. For some reason, it appears that the thought that those tubes were once filled with creatures just like Tavi and Stephen hadn't dawned on them. Until now.

Shane [Eyes widening]: Oh, feckin' Christ.

Dave: So there's twenty more furry abominations running around?!

Tavi and Stephen glare at Dave.

Dave: Oh, come on, you're not normal! Either of you!

Gabriel: But we did some digging an' we reckon it's linked to somethin' called the Perfect Soldier Project, which was sanctioned in Nineteen Seventy Two. Apparently, it was scrapped and only one soldier was created, called 'Null', but maybe these furry lads and lasses were the next step of the project.

Dave: Great, furry abomination super soldiers.

Sal: I've seen scary hentai based on that.

The IRA and mercenaries turn and look at Sal in disgust and disbelief. Sal simply stands there, straight-faced before looking around.

Sal [Taken aback]: What? We've all seen it, right?

All In Unison: NO!

Sal: Well, uh, forget I said anything.

To their right, the doors to The Oasis open up and Dion walks out, taking a deep breath.

Dion: GOOD MORNING WORL-- [Looking at Stephen before turning to the doors] I need to get used to this place.

Dion slams the doors shut behind him.

Phil: Poor bastard, he still isn't used to the insanity.

Dave: I'm not, either.

Shane: Should we begin unpacking?

Phil: Aye.

The doors to the second van open, revealing several wooden crates stacked within. Phil walks forward, grasping a wooden crate and pulling it out, as do Jericho and Ivan. Dave grasps his wooden crate, wrenching it from the van as a roaring engine comes into earshot. The engine cuts out as Sal grabs a wooden crate, as does Steve, and from between the vans Lynch walks forward, surprisingly without Frank in tow.

Shane [Turning and looking at Lynch]: Lynch, yeh showed!

Lynch [Calmly]: Yeah. Let's just get this shit unpacked. Let's get business done. I need a drink.

Dave: What do we do with these things?

Lynch: Just set 'em down in ReLoaded.

Courtney [Sighing]: I've got to visit Mother, anyway.

Lynch: Go on, then.

Courtney looks ahead blankly, walking between the vans and towards the Hummer. Tavi frowns slightly, watching her.

Tavi [Under her breath]: Bitch..

Dave: Woah, what's happened between you two?

Tavi [Quietly]: We had a falling out earlier....about her future.

Lynch [Opening the door to ReLoaded and standing in front of it, holding it open]: Well, that sounds positively interesting. Tell me later when I care.

The mercenaries file into ReLoaded, setting down their crates on the counter as Gabriel, Stephen and Shane walk in. Lynch twists around, walking into ReLoaded as the door shuts.

Lynch [Looking over at Stephen]: So, there's only three of you?

Gabriel: Aye.

Dave: Uh, Lynch.

Lynch: Man, you guys really don't have much of a presence, do you?

Dave: Lynch.

Lynch: I mean, I'd have thought that you Irish would have a bigger presence here.

Dave [Impatiently]: LYNCH.

Lynch [Spinning around, angrily]: WHAT?!

Dave: Furry.

Lynch stops, glancing around the room before his eyes fall on Stephen. Lynch freezes slightly as Stephen gulps, giving a small nod.

Stephen: Uh...hello...

Lynch [Bluntly]: Yeah. Hi. [Looking at Shane] Uh, Shane? What's this?

Shane: HIM, Lynch.

Lynch [Uncaring]: Yeah. Him.

Shane: He's Stephen. We'll.....y'know, we'll talk about it over a drink.

Jericho: Yeah, something about Bliefield, test tubes and shit--

Lynch [Scoffing]: Bliefield doesn't exist!

Steve: We've been over that.

Jericho grasps the wooden lid of one of the crates, which is thankfully hinged. Jericho lifts open the lid, revealing straw within the crates. Rummaging through, Jericho reaches in and pulling out an AK-47 Assault Rifle which has, somewhat thankfully, been fully assembled.

Jericho [Scoffing]: AK's? Really? Next you'll be giving slingshots and stones and sticks!

Shane: Yeh don't like it, yeh black and tan? Tough feckin' luck!

Lynch: Jericho, we're buying up the guns for cheap to stockpile. They're not main weaponry: Mother wants to stockpile just in case.

Phil [Mumbling]: Great, this old shit as a back-up..

Lynch: That's all it's meant to be. Now, if you Limey cunts are going to be that fucking way, GET THE FUCK OUT!

Phil turns around, walking straight towards the door with Jericho in tow, shoving it open and heading outside.

Lynch [Blinking]: ....Never expected him to do it.

Shane: He's a feckin' English. Coward t'roo and t'roo. Gutless landowner.

Stephen [Quietly]: ...Shane...we should be ni--

Shane: NICE?! I taught you our feckin' history, I ain't bein' nice to no feckin' English!

Stephen [Quietly]: ...The war's over...we got our unified Ireland in the end....

Lynch: He's got a point. You ARE unified after all. What with Britain preferring the company of France and Sealand.

Michael: Aye, the feckers ran off in the end.

Lynch: STarved you bastards pretty good and refused to give in to your demands, even when you were bombing the crap out of them.

Michael: Don't mean they won--

Lynch: Doesn't mean they lost, either.

A tense silence follows. Stephen clears his throat nervously, opening a second box and reaching in, pulling out a large, tubular rocket launcher, the RPG-22.

Stephen: ...So....who likes...corned beef and cabbage?

Shane [Coldly]: It's feckin' narrowbacks food. Gi' me colcannon any day o'er that shite.

Lynch [Quietly]: Let's just get this done.

Shane: Stephen, go an' babysit the truck.

Stephen: Why--

Shane [Angrily]: DON'T FECKIN' ASK!!!

Stephen sighs, twisting around and walking over to the door, wrenching it open and slamming it shut behind him.

Lynch: What the fuck is your problem?

Shane: None of yeh respect us, we're gi'ing yeh weapons--

Lynch [Calmly]: We do, we just don't show it. Ever. They don't even show me respect.

Shane: But they don't insult y--

Lynch [Chuckling]: They do. Sometimes. Now shut up, get this shit unpacked and we'll get a drink.

Lynch and Shane continue to unpack the weaponry. Shane suddenly stops, looking over at Lynch.

Shane [Quietly]: So...

Lynch [Looking over]: Please don't make any fucking small talk.

Shane: C'mon, we should know somethin' 'bout eachother. Just...break the ice, lad.

Lynch [Sighing bitterly]: Go on.......I don't know.....Tell me a fact about yourself, Paddy.

Shane [Thinking]: .....Well....I dunno, really.....Was born in Dublin...Dad was in the Provos...I can't hear outta me left ear thanks to car bombs.

Lynch [Looking over]: Yeah, well, my hearing's shit because of all the gunfights i've been in. Would be deaf if it wasn't for the earplugs that the Academy developed.

Shane [Quietly]: ....Could we be friends, Lynch?

Lynch [Looking somewhat taken aback]: ....We'll see, Irish. We'll see.

Sal [Grinning]: Aw, the bromance!

Lynch [Without bothering to look at Sal]: Dave. Window.

Dave: Gotcha.

Sal: Et tu, Dave?....

Dave advances on Sal, grinning maniacally..


In the Beale-Walker Square, Jericho and Phil are kicking a small sack between eachother. Kicking it and keeping it in the air between eachother, Jericho uses the side of his foot and taps it towards Phil who cocks his right leg backwards.


Phil boots the hacky-sack violently, hitting Jericho square between the eyes. Jericho glares at Phil.


Phil: No, the groin is off-limits today. Five points for the face.

Jericho [Muttering]: ..Fucking hate Calvinball..

They listen carefully, hearing glass shatter followed by a high-pitched scream from Sal. Both men shrug and Jericho throws the hacky-sack up, but Phil motions a hand across his throat as Stephen walks into the square, hands shoved into his pockets. Jericho catches the hacky-sack and turns to Stephen.

Jericho: Sup, cunt?

Stephen slowly looks up, his eyes widening.

Stephen: ..Uhh..hi..I don't want..trouble...just passing...

Phil swiftly reaches into the holster at his waist, pulling out his silver Colt M1911 and pointing it towards Stephen who reels back, raising his arms.

Stephen [Panicking]: SHIT! I DIDN'T DO ANYTHI--

Phil pulls the trigger. An iguana falls off of Stephen's shoulder and hits the floor behind him, dead.

Phil: I hate those things!

Phil slips the pistol into his holster.

Jericho: Man, he's shitting himself.

Phil: He's Irish, he shits himself when he sees his own shadow.

Stephen: h-hey! Our Army beat--

Phil: Your Army bombed innocent civilians and then got pissed because we wouldn't give into them. Hell, you arseholes shot our policemen and stationed servicemen and we didn't give a fuck!

Stephen: ....I was told that we beat you...

Phil: What? We partitioned your country in two, then had you useless Mick bastards fighting over it for decades. Hell, we managed to turn Irishman against Irishman and make you goons kill eachother over your stupid invisible friend in the sky, and even turned you bastards against Michael Collins, the guy who fucking helped you get that Republic, and made you kill him! That ain't a victory, lad, just because you got the Republic: That's a tie.

Stephen: ...Never thought about it like that..

Phil: You're Irish! You're not meant to think: You're meant to mindlessly hold a grudge against every living thing.

Jericho: Although they are unified now.

Phil: Only because Britain turned to PMC's and decided that watching over Ireland was pointless when we could unify with France instead. We simply threw away the hamburger and got ourselves some prime steak instead.

Jericho: And we were supposed to use it just to invade Germany and then throw France away afterwards..

Phil [Shrugging]: Nobody could've seen a German Empire starting up.

Jericho: Nobody could've seen a Scandinavian, Polish or Iberian Empire starting either.

Phil: Nah, we all knew Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark would form to create an economic powerhouse. Nobody saw it turning independent and neutral against Ocelot though. That kinda came from left field.

Jericho: Officially. Unofficially, Swedes make up the largest nationality in the Free French Mercenary Academy.

Stephen: ..Is this a history lesson?

Phil: Yep. You didn't even know what was happening in Europe?

Stephen: No--

Jericho [Scoffing]: Typical Irish! No idea what's happening outside his own shores!

Phil: It's a long story. Sweet Stevie, i'll tell you it later.

Stephen: I--...Sweet...Stevie?

Phil walks towards, grasping his shoulders and spinning him around before clasping an arm around his shoulders. Stephen stumbles forward and Jericho walks to his other side, also wrapping an arm around his shoulders.

Jericho: Let us tell you the story of a proud and noble race of people called...the Mancs.

Phil: No, don't bore him, Jerry. You don't see me telling him the story of my people.

Jericho: What is there to tell? "There was a barren patch of land, someone built a fuckload of factories and shit on it, then Thatcher took it all away, we didn't know what to do with the town, got skint and died. The end."?

Phil: Better than the Mancs story of "There was a shit patch of land. We built on it. It was still shit so we got drunk and shot eachother. The end."

Jericho [Scoffing]: Excuse me, there's a lot more than that!

Phil: Like?!

Jericho: We built factories too!

Stephen [Gulping, interjecting]: ...Uhh..guys....Why do you want me?...

Jericho and Phil look down at their arms around Stephen's shoulder.

Phil: let's go see Tavi.

Stephen [Nervously]: I--I--I--I--

Phil: Oh, hush! She'll enjoy the company! What with Courtney dead.

Jericho: Courtney isn't dead, Phil, she's just up at the Academy discussing about her return home.

Phil [Sarcastically]: Yep, because everybody knows that the American South needs another tiny psycho running about with a gun.

Jericho: Be nice, Phil, you used to tap that. Besides, I heard she's happy. Got herself a new boyfriend and everything. That's why she's relocating. That and for family purposes--

Phil: What, do you want me to wave banners and pop streamers and shit? You've taken an awful lot of interest in her life.

Jericho: We talked a bit after I got back. Y'know she's also being transferred to work on a back-up to Project Eos there? Brilliant--

Phil: Got a wee bit of brown on your nose there, Jerry.

Jericho: C'mon, Phil. Be nice. She might be gone soon--

Phil [Sarcastically]: My heart fucking bleeds!

Jericho: You're not a nice guy, are you?

Phil:  No--Anyway, besides, she probably won't live that long anyway. Her and her family are gonna be wiped the fuck out cause I heard Cobras Fumantes are making headway into the American South after they allied with Mexican PMC's to began a hostile takeover.

Jericho: ....Who?

Phil: Cobras Fumantes. Y'know, the PMC arm of the resurrected Brazilian Expeditionary Force? The one currently leading raids into the Southern United States? Remember? Danny is one of their leaders?

Jericho: You've lost me.

Phil: Dan! We ate his cat for a bet back when in the first year of Academy?

Jericho: Oh! The Boykie Bastard!

Phil: No, that was Anders. He was a member of the South African Expeditionary Force--

Jericho: What happened to him?

Phil: Heard he hiked up to Table Mountain near Cape Town and took up position as a sniper. Nobody can confirm if he's still alive because nobody wants to go up there.

Stephen [Interjecting]: Guys.

Phil [Turning to Stephen]: Mm?

Stephen: Can you please tell me about this at the pub?

Phil: No. [Turning to Jericho once more] Anyway, Dan was The Rainbow Warrior. Y'know, the twat who wear that long multi-coloured coat into battle. Said he wasn't afraid of death.

Jericho: AH! DAN! The guy who got shot twenty one times by snipers! How is he still alive?

Phil: Well, after Big Shell forced America onto the backfoot even further, Ocelot decided to snatch up as many medical personnel as he could. They've got some great minds working for them......Cobras Fumantes kidnapped about ten of them when he was sending them to Bolivia.

Jericho: Amazing. And we can't even get a backscratcher.

Phil: Nope, but we can get in the Irish Republicans! Priorities, eh?

Stephen: Seriously--

Phil: Alright, let's go.

Phil and Jericho walk out of the Square, followed by Stephen who appears bemused by his company. Turning right, Phil and Jericho head down the road.

Jericho: So, Anders is still alive, and so is Dan?

Phil: Dan's alive and kicking, yeah. We got some radio chatter two days ago: He apparently led a raid into Albuquerque.

Jericho: What happened?

Phil: Cobras Fumentes basically walked around the town saying "Which way to Albuquerque?" so much that the inhabitants killed themselves.

Jericho [Eyes widening]: Amazing, an old Bugs Bunny joke made them kill themselves.

Phil [Chuckling]: Nah, only joking, it was a horrible massacre of innocent people and a New Mexican PMC.

Jericho: Wow, that got dark pretty fast.

Phil and Jericho stop outside ReLoaded. Stephen stops, turning his head to the left and looking inside: Through the window, he can barely see the form of Tavi, which causes him to go a light shade of red. He rapidly shakes his head as Phil twists around, walking towards Stephen and moving behind him, grasping his shoulders and forcably marching him towards the doors.

Stephen: I-I-I'm not sure---


Phil pushes Stephen through the door. Stephen stumbles into ReLoaded. Tavi raises her head, swiftly diving beneath the counter the moment Stephen enters, the skin beneath his snowy cheeks turning a violent shade of red. Stephen gulps, scratching his right forearm nervously and looking over his shoulder as Phil steps into ReLoaded.

Stephen: ...Uhh...

Phil: Oi. Tavi. Get up.

Tavi [Quietly]: No.

Phil [Nudging Stephen]: She's shy.

Stephen [Chuckling nervously]: ...Yeah...

Phil walks over to the counter, leaning over it and looking down at Tavi who is curled up into a ball, her tail wrapped around her defensively.

Phil [Slapping the counter]: Don't make me pick you up.

Tavi [Mumbling]: I....

Phil: Do it.

A vicious crabbing sound, that sounds akin to a pencil sharpener chewing a metal shard, rolls out. Phil jolts back from the counter.

Phil [Angrily]: Don't you be crabbing at me, woman! It's not every day one of your kind shows up! NOW BE NICE OR I WILL VAULT THIS COUNTER AND CHIN YOU!

Stephen: ..Uhh..Phil?

Tavi slowly raises to her feet, looking across the counter at Stephen, her eyes widening and her cheeks turning a dark shade of red.

Phil: Good girl.

Tavi turns her head to Phil, her eyes narrowing slightly.

Tavi [Quietly]: I hate you.

Phil: Join the queue.

Stephen: ..He's a decent guy...I guess..

Tavi: He--He......

Phil [Raising his right hand]: Standing right here.

Tavi: ...He's alright..

Phil [Rolling his eyes]: Blow it out your ass, Tavi. If you need me, me and Jerry wil be eating junk food at Kebaborama.

Phil shoves the door open, turning to the right and throwing his arms up. Jericho follows him.


Johnny Cash's voice: Hey, tubby, you don't need to be in this queue!

Jericho [Laughing]: He's right, you know!

Phil [Rolling up his sleeves and storming forward]: THAT'S IT, I'M GOING TO SHOVE YOU DOWN, DOWN, DOWN INTO A BURNING RING OF FIRE, YOU LITTLE FUCK!!!

Jericho [Clapping]: GO ON!! FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!!

Phil storms out of sight. Tavi gulps, laughing nervously and looking at Stephen.

Tavi: ....Hi!

Stephen: Hi!

A tense silence falls over them. Stephen lowers his head, turning away slightly and scratching behind his left ear as the sound of slapping and punching fills the air.


Stephen: Yeah....yeah, I do....

A small silence fills the room as Phil wanders past the window with Johnny Cash in a headlock, punching him repeatedly in the top of the head.

Tavi: ....What bands?

Stephen [Shrugging]: The usual stereotypical crap...Dropkick Murphy's...Flogging Molly....Irish Stew of Sindidun...

Tavi [Smiling slightly]: I like the Dropkick Murphy's too...

Phil runs past the window as the Rat Pack chases after him, led by Frank Sinatra swinging a metal chain around his head.

Stephen: Yeah...they're good...

Tavi: I can't believe you exist...

Stephen: There's a few of us...according to Shane..

Phil's Voice: OH NO!

Phil is thrown through the left window of ReLoaded with a deafening crash. Stephen jolts to the right, hissing slightly as Phil rolls across the floor, his face and arms covered in scratches as he lays there, gazing up at the ceiling.

Phil [Darkly]: I hate my life..

Tavi: We all do.

Stephen shoots Tavi an awkward look. Tavi looks taken aback as Stephen gets on one knee beside Phil, taking his right arm and standing up, pulling him to his feet.

Stephen: Are you alright?

Phil: Sweet Stevie, let me tell you this: Get ready to embrace the fucking insanity, cause now that you're here, you're gonna be baptised in it.

Stephen: Sweet...Stevie?

Phil dusts himself off.

Phil: Now, if you'll excuse me, i'm hungry.

Phil turns around, walking out of the door and slamming it shut.

Johnny Cash's voice: Back for round two, tubby?


Phil holds up a stun gun in his right hand, holding the button and causing an arc of electricity to crackle threateningly. Phil charges forward, screaming wildly.

Tavi: Do you actually like him?

Stephen: Well, yeah.

Tavi [Scoffing]: Why?

Stephen: I think he's got a good heart.

Tavi: I guess..

Stephen: Why do you hate him?

Tavi: I don't! We, just...have an awkward relationship. We used to date.

Stephen [Eyes widening]: WAIT, WHAT?!

Tavi [Sheepishly]: Yeah....but we grew apart..didn't feel the spark anymore...and he was too depressed...

Stephen: And you thought leaving him would cure that depression?

Tavi shrugs.

Tavi: I dunno...

Stephen: That's insane. Did he have anything to live for?

Tavi [Frowning]: I don't've seen him..

Stephen: ..I know that feeling all too well..Having nothing left.

Tavi: But you've got Shane--

Stephen [Sighing, laughing bitterly]: Shane's psychotic...Still stuck in the IRA mindset....even after we got our unified Ireland...

Tavi: Maybe killing all the English will make you better.

Stephen [Impatiently, turning to the door]: They may want that, but I really do not care. We got the unified Ireland, that's all some of us wanted. If they want to kill the English, let them. It'd be karmic retribution, even, and certainly the kind of revenge that is fecking justified, but I want no part of it.

Tavi [Hesitantly]: ...Stephen...

Stephen simply marches forward, pushing the door open and slamming it shut behind him. Johnny Cash is thrown through the right window, showering the floor with glass, his hands bound by his back and his mouth gagged.


In Walker Street, standing out in the middle of the street, is Eligio. Clad in a brilliant white suit with a black shirt, Eligio is busy adjusting his silver cufflinks. To the right of the sliding shutters of the garage, known simply as "Eligio's Chop Shop", is a small metal door which is shoved open: Melvin, dragging two black bags outside, slowly walks backwards outside, the bags clinking and rustling as shards of metal poke out from their bags.  Eligio cups his hands over his brow, looking ahead: A glint of sunlight off of a sniper scope flashes in the far distance.

Eligio [Quietly, to himself]: Well, Dibbley is busy....At least somebody's not bored here...

Melvin [Dragging two black bags outside]: Y'KNOW....YOU COULD...HELP....CLEAN OUT...THE GARAGE!!!!!

Eligio spins around on the balls of his heels, grasping the handle of the whip at his waist and glaring at Melvin.

Eligio [Angrily]: DID I HEAR THAT CORRECTLY?!?!

Melvin [Whimpering]: NO SIR! SORRY SIR!

Eligio steps towards Melvin who screams, rushing through the open door and into the main garage. Most of the equipment, due to the cleaning, has been cleared away from the shop, with only the pit in the middle of the garage visible, with Mustafa kneeling beside it as he repairs the pit jacks. Johan is stood next to a commercial duty floor crane to the left of the pit, examining it and checking the hook as he does. Marcos himself is busy tightening bolts on a bright red swing-arm tyre changer, whilst Bobby is busy ticking off a list of inventory from a wall rack that is on the rear wall to the left of a door into the back room of the garage. All four men are wearing their boiler suits, with the upper halves pulled down and the sleeves wrapped around their waist, something which is necessary in the blistering heat of the workshop. Melvin breathes out, having been rendered almost breathless from the heat and wiping his brow.

Johan [Looking over]: Did Eligio threaten you?

Melvin [Nodding rapidly]: Yeah!

Johan: Well, Melvin, you should know by now that Eligio wants you to work, and if you do not work, he hits you. Hard. VERY hard.

Melvin drags his feet towards the door at the rear of the garage, timidly pulling it open and walking into the backroom, shutting it behind him. Johan wipes his hands with the oily rag, throwing it to Mustafa who catches it, wiping his own hands free from oil.

Mustafa: Y'know, it's a shame that we had to scrap that F-Sixteen that we had.

Johan: We couldn't afford to keep it and we didn't have anywhere to keep it, even.

Mustafa: Here's a question: What the fuck are our profits?

Johan: What do you mean?

Mustafa: We're mechanics. I mean, sure, we get the same pay as the others for being mercenaries, but we must get something on the side, right? I mean, we do fix vehicles for these guys.

Johan [Laughing]: And you expect them to pay?!

Marcos [Looking over]: Well, it would be nice.

Mustafa: But if we're not making money--

Johan: I tell you what: Eligio is lounging outside, I'll go into his office and see if I can find his books. Maybe there'll be some financial records and we'll see just how much money we take in.

Mustafa: ....Go on, then.

Bobby: Do you really need to? I mean, he won't just keep them in broad daylight.

Johan: He will. The man is barely a security expert.

Johan turns around, walking through a door directly behind him and into a small office, walking towards a wooden desk placed in the middle of the room and kicking aside a leather office chair, rummaging within one of the drawers. As he does, That Other Random Guy, carrying a cardboard box, walks out from the back room of the garage.

Melvin's Voice [Disgusted]: OH, GOD!!!.....UH, I FOUND ELIGIO'S LOST CHIHUAHUA!!.....PART OF IT!!..

That Other Random Guy shudders, walking into the room and setting down the box. He reaches into the box, rummaging through a variety of small knick-knacks and ornament and pulls out a small, hollow trinket constructed out of clay and covered with dust. Shaped like a skull with a pipe in the back, That Other Random Guy turns it around, revealing the front etched with the design of a skull, complete with glaring eye sockets and leering teeth.

That Other Random Guy: What the fuck is this?

Mustafa [Looking over]: A trinket? Get rid of it.

That Other Random Guy [Shaking his head]: Nah, this looks like something Marcos or Johan would use.

Marcos [Not bothering to look, repairing the swing arm of the tyre changer]: Just give it to Johan, I'm busy here.

Mustafa: Looks like something you'd find in a yard sale.

That Other Random Guy: Yeah, well, maybe Johan knows something.

Mustafa: Whatever.

That Other Random Guy walks into the office: Johan, not one for stealth, has since flipped over the desk and is sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor, checking a laptop while several oil paintings, all simply depicting Eligio in various poses, have been scattered on the floor behind him. That Other Random Guy looks around, stepping on broken glass from a broken picture frame holding a signed picture of Eligio to himself, looking down at his foot.

That Other Random Guy: Johan, what the fuck are you doing?

Johan: Wondering where the money is around here.

That Other Random Guy: Alright, anyway, Johan, what's this?

Johan looks up and sets the laptop down, getting to his feet. He takes the trinket, taking a small glance at it.

Johan: Death whistle.

That Other Random Guy [Taken aback]: Wait, what?

Johan: Aztec death whistle. Warriors would blow it in battle. Let's out horrendous wailing sound. Good for scaring idiots.

That Other Random Guy: Go on, then.

Johan: What?

That Other Random Guy: ....Blow it.

Johan lifts the whistle to his lips, giving a small blow. An eerie sound is released that sounds akin to a strained, hollow death rattle combined with a scream. The sound is horrendously strained, almost otherworldly, before trailing off as Johan stops blowing, looking down at the whistle.

Johan: Well--*Beep*? Where are you?

Johan glances around the room, before looking in the corner next to the door where That Other Random Guy is huddled, hugging his legs to his chest.

That Other Random Guy [Shaking]: WHAT THE UNHOLY SHIT WAS THAT?

Johan [Chuckling]: Death whistle.

The sound of sprinting footsteps is heard. The door to the office bursts open and Eligio bursts on, sparkling grin on his face as he holds his arms open. For some reason, he is completely oblivious to the damage that Johan has done to the office, his eyes fixed on the whistle and solely on the whistle.


Johan looks down at the Death Whistle before looking up at Eligio and handing it to him.

Johan: Uh, yeah.

Eligio takes the whistle before turning to That Other Random Guy, unfurling the whip hanging at his waist.

Eligio: What's up with him?

Johan: The whistle made him shit himself.

Eligio [Angrily]: He's supposed to be working in the back with Melvin and disposing of scrap, not listening to fucking whistles!

Eligio begins to whip That Other Random Guy who screams, curling into a foetal position as violent blows rain down upon him.

Eligio [Angrily, whipping violently]: STOP! SCREAMING! AND! WORK!

That Other Random Guy [Sobbing]: STOP WHIPPING ME!!

Eligio [Angrily]: NEVER!!!!!!

Johan sighs, simply walking out of the room and into the main workshop. Johan nods at Mustafa, who nods back, and simply walks out of the door and outside. He lets loose a deep sigh before looking to his left: Down the street is Jon, walking a large German Shepherd on the end of a red leash.

Johan [Walking over]: Hey, Jon.

Jon: Hey.

Johan: What are you doing?

Jon [Nodding at the German Shepherd]: Walking our new guard dog. His names Lars.

Johan: Lars?

Jon: What? I like metal.

Johan: Oh, so you named him after Lars Ulrich of Metallica?

Jon [Taken aback]: Who the fuck are Metallica?

Johan: You....don't--

Jon [Laughing]: Nah, just fucking with you: Yeah, he is. Plus he does this strange thing where he walks into walls and doors repeatedly so it sounds like he's drumming.

Johan [Looking down at Lars, who has rolled onto his back with his tongue lolling out of his mouth]: Uh, okay.....Where did you get him?

Jon: Some guy was selling them in an alley in Cairo.

Johan [Sighing, distinctly underwhelmed]: Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Johan walks back towards the garage, deciding that it is best to face the insanity of the spring cleaning of the Chop Shop, as Jon turns left, walking into a small alleyway between buildings which separate Walker Street from Beale Street. Walking out of the alleyway and towards the Dog and Handgun which is directly opposite of it, Bill and Dean are busy carrying a rotten cow, which appears heavily diseased with gaping wounds, into the alleyway. Jon looks over his shoulder before shaking his head.

Jon [Mumbling]: Weird fuckers..

Jon walks into the Dog and Handgun as Bill and Dean enter the alleyway, walking towards a large dumpster in the middle of it. Both men stand with their sides to it, using their elbows to push up and under the lids, forcing them open awkwardly.

Dean [Straining]: Thanks for the favour, Bill!

Bill and Dean throw the corpse into the dumpster. Bill shrugs, wiping his brow.

Bill: Ah, hell, what are friends for if they can't help you kill and then dispose of the corpse of a zombie cow?

Sal stands in the alleyway, eyes wide and mouth agape. Bill turns his head, looking at Sal and narrowing his eyes.


Sal: I saw everything.

Dean [Looking at Sal]: Sal, we use only the finest dog food-quality meat in our products, and not rotting, zombified corpses.

Sal: What, that's supposed to be BETTER??!

Dean: Well....look, shut up, we just got back from Big Shell and we haven't had time to buy meat yet, so we're cleaning out the pantry.


Dean [Coldly]: SEMI regular.

Sal [Turning around and walking back through the alleyway]: Fuck it, I need a drink: As always. Alcohol! Is that all we have around here?!


Sal raises his right arm, flipping the bird to Bill as he disappears around the corner and into Beale Street. Dean slams the lids of the dumpster down, dusting off his hands and nodding.

Dean: Well, that's done, then.

Bill: Yeah--

Two hooves lunge out from under the lids, forcing them upwards. Dean screams, grasping both lids and slamming them repeatedly and violently until the hooves quickly pull back and into the dumpster.

Dean [Taking a step backwards]: Let's....let's go!

Dean and Bill sprint out of the alleyway as Marcos walks into it, clutching a black bag in his left hand, filled with garbage.

Marcos: *Beep* crying, Eligio whipping, heat hurting, days boring....Well, it can't get any worse.

Marcos lifts up the dumpster lids and the cows zombified head suddenly lunges up. Without thinking, Marcos shifts his weight onto his right foot and throws a thunderous right hook, knocking the cows rotten head straight off of its body and into the dumpster with a rattling squelch. Marcos quickly slams the lids down, dusting off his hands and nodding.

Marcos: I gotta see Mother about a transfer.


In the Academy, Frank is standing outside of Mother's door, right arm raised as he makes a motion to knock on the door. He stops, seemingly hesitant to do so, only for the door to open and for Courtney to emerge. Frank narrows his eyes, lowering his arm. Courtney glares at him.

Frank: Courtney.

Courtney: Frank.

They simply exchange awkward looks as Frank walks past her and into Mother's Office. Mother looks up, watching as Frank shuts the door behind him. Father is busy looking outside of the window, hands clasped behind his back.

Frank: What's with her?

Mother: That's none of your business. What did you want?

Frank: Stuck-up bitch!

Mother [Clearing her throat]: Frank.

Frank: Right, sorry, anyway......Look, i've just got concerns.

Mother: Go on.

Frank: Security concerns.

Mother: ....I see.

Frank [Desperately]: Mother, if I could pick the hill I die on, it wouldn't be this pile of sand and dust! I don't want to be butchered by the fucking Beauty and the Beast Unit! If I die, I want to die in a blaze of glory while intoxicated, not by a bunch of female butchers!

Mother slowly sits back, processing this show of weakness from Frank. Father slowly turns around, looking at Frank.

Mother [Calmly]: I admire your honesty, Frank.

Frank: I really am!

Mother: Frank, I see your worries, but there is no need to be concerned. We have your protection in mind and have taken steps to better prepare Beale and Walker Street for a potential attack.

Frank [Crossing his fingers]: I hope it's tanks, cause we're gonna need tanks. Hell, we could use OUR tank--

Mother [Calmly]: No, your tank remains here, at the Academy, since it was just collecting dust. I have decided to pool together my resources and bring in some new blood, all of whom are very capable of fighting the Unit.

Frank [Taken aback]: Uh, do I want to know--

Seemingly on cue, the door bursts open and Frank looks over his shoulder: Standing in the doorway, the portly form of Winston Tenpenny stands there. With shaggy grey hair, a thick handlebar moustache and an outfit that consists of a pith helmet, a red hunting jacket, white jodhpurs and black boots, he appears to have emerged straight from the Raj. He is clutching an M14 rifle, laid against his right shoulder as his watery eyes gaze over at Mother.

Tenpenny [Grinning]: Hello, Mother.

Mother: Winston.

Frank: Oh fuck.

Mother: Frank, you remember Winston? It has been a few years, after all.

Frank: Yep, I remember Winnie.

Winston: Indeed, I remember you as well, Frank.

Mother: We finally managed to make contact with Winston a few years ago. He remembers Big Shell fondly and wanted to throw in his lot with the mercenaries who proved their worth all those years ago.

Winston [Grinning and nodding]: Yes! I had the oddest dream a few weeks ago and remembered you mercenaries, you plucky buggers! Of course, I never imagined that I would run across you all here....

Mother: We found Winston hiking across the Sinai with nothing but those clothes, a rifle and some emaciated butler in tow. Who is currently in the infirmary for dehydration.

Winston [Shrugging]: Jeeves offered to give me a piggyback, and I said yes!

Mother: Nevertheless, Winston will remain stationed in Beale Street and he says that he has contacts who can help protect the street and fighting against the Unit. As much as I personally despise Winston, I can't help but feel that he's the best choice for protecting Beale Street.

Frank: But he's insane..[Looking over his shoulder at Winston] You're insane!

Winston: Maybe, but I can shoot the wing off of a fruit fly at fifty paces! Can you?

Frank: I can barely shoot a person at ten paces!

Mother [Bluntly]: You really are special, aren't you, Frank?

Frank [Timidly]: No, I was just never a good shot..

Winston: But a good leader, right?

Frank [Shrugging]: Well....y'know...

Mother [Running her hands over her face in exasperation, tiredly]: Frank, go and get a drink...

Frank [Hopping up to his feet, grinning and saluting]: WITH PLEASURE, MA'AM!!

Winston laughs loudly as Frank spins around on his heels, walking past Winston who just grins, looking at Frank.

Winston [Grinning]: I'll see you soon, Frank.

Frank: You're freakin' me out, English man.

Frank squeezes past Winston, shutting the door behind him.


As evening begins to set in over Egypt, the Lamb and Flag is packed to the brim. Lynch himself is sat at a table with Sal, as well as the IRA members Shane and Gabriel, while Stephen is sat at a table with Phil, Ivan, Steve and Jericho. The Mechanics are sat their own table close to the door, with Melvin sitting with his head in his arms. That Other Random Guy has the death whistle in front of him as he gazes at it.

Marcos: *Beep*, you look out of it.

That Other Random Guy [Quietly]: The whistle.

Johan: I blew it once, it sounded slightly terrifying, but it was not that bad.

That Other Random Guy: It sounded like a scream!

Bobby: How do you even keep a grip on reality in the middle of a firefight?!

Mustafa: Look, fuck the whistle, we have more important things to discuss..

Every head at the table turns to Eligio, whose eyes dart around the table. Even Melvin raises his head, narrowing his eyes as he looks across the table at him.

Eligio: What?!

Johan: What we were talking about earlier: Our finances.

Eligio [Scoffing]: What? That fifty thousand left over after the last financial year was put towards extra parts so we could make extra money!

Johan: I saw the oil paintings and your office, Eligi--

Eligio [Angrily]: IT'S EGYPT, I COULD BUY A FUCKING HOUSE FOR CHEAP!! Do you really think they cost me THAT much money? I have five of them AND, I might add, the artist who painted them was no Van Gogh!

Johan: So where did the money go?

Eligio [Growing impatient]: Towards scrap, extra parts and new machinery! We just got that fucking pit installed last year, and that's how we could afford it! I'm not even that rich!

Johan: Your father is head of government of Mexico City.

Eligio: NO HE ISN'T!....My brother recently got the job. But the point still stands!

The doors are flung open and Frank walks in, wearing a white dress shirt and a grey flat cap, along with jeans and black brogues. This odd ensemble makes the Mechanics glance over at Frank, stopping the infighting and focusing on him instead.

Eligio: What the fuck are you wearing?

Frank [Looking down at himself]: What?

Eligio: You look like a hobo who was given twenty dollars to buy some clothes!

Frank: There's nothing wrong with this!

Dean [Looking over from his own table]: WHO LET THE HOBO IN?!?!

Dean turns to his table, consisting of Samuel, Karab, Billy, Sal and Vince, laughing at them. Nobody else shares his sentiment.

Samuel: Right, guys, we need to find a better insult, because calling him a hobo is just horrendously unoriginal and quite tired.

Sal: Man, we're going to need a real meeting of the minds...

Samuel: Well, we have to make do with what we've got.

Karab: I think he looks like a hairy scrotum.

Vince: Nah.

Sal [Folding his arms and glancing over at Frank]: How about...vegetable?

Samuel: He isn't that braindamaged.

Billy: We could stick with the old classic: Alcoholic.

Sal: Nah, we--

Frank has since walked over to the table, placing his hands on the back of Sal's chair and leaning over the table.

Frank: Just call me Frank.

Frank pulls away, walking towards the bar.

Billy [Scoffing]: That's not a good nickname!

Samuel: Let's focus, boys.

Frank walks over to the bar, slapping his hands on it and looking at Dick who is busy adjusting a frame on the wall behind the bar, above his certificate for the Academy.

Frank: Nice to see you finally got a sign up, Dick.

Dick [Shrugging]: Yeah, well, we needed it.

Dick turns away from the frame and walks back to the bar, revealing a photo of Rik Mayall within the frame.

Frank stops for a second, taking off his flat cap and holding it over his chest. In unison, the entirety of the Lamb and Flag rises to its feet, with Maurice and Moe walking out from the kitchen.

Every mercenary bows their head solemnly.

Dick turns to the photo, setting down a pint of Babycham on the bar in front of it.

Dick: Rest in peace, mate.

The entire bar suddenly returns to normal as the mercenaries sit down and Moe and Maurice return to the kitchen. Stephen looks over at Phil as he takes a drink from his glass.

Stephen: ....Can I ask you something, Phil?

Phil: Yes, I was born this handsome.

Stephen [Chuckling]: No, it's about Tavi.

Phil: Shoot.

Stephen: .......What does she like?

Phil: Big bulky Russian men.

Ivan [Smirking slightly]: Da...

Phil: But, she likes......uhh......well, her favourite food is melon. She enjoys drinking mead. She also likes a Strawberry Daiquiri. Mix in a tablespoon of sugar, though. She is an atheist. She likes wearing jeans, has a favourite pair: This little on-the-hip number with flared legs and a flower design down the left leg. She loves those. Wants to get another pair but can't find them. Her hobbies include gun collecting, visiting the shooting range and tiddlywinks. Odd, I know, but she has a penchant for it--Her dislikes include the English, loutish behavior in ReLoaded, plaid shirts, country music and the colour black--

Jericho [Taken aback]: Fucking hell, Phil!

Phil: Hey, we were an item once! I had to learn that shit or she'd beat me!

Stephen: ....Those jeans sound interesting...

Phil: Mate, if you want to get close to her, give her a white rose. She loves them.

Stephen: don't mind--

Phil: Go ahead, mate. Don't touch Courtney, though. Never. Never ever. It's not worth it.

Jericho: Be fucking nice! She's going to leave!

Phil: Hang on, when Jason left, you fucking laughed and started calling him all the names under the sun!

Jericho [Taken aback]: ........Yeah, but, it's not like he was useful--

Phil [Through gritted teeth]: HE BECAME THE HEAD OF THE NIGHT'S WATCH!

Steve: Isn't that the only PMC that remains loyal to the actual British Government?

Phil: Exactly, there's about one hundred Gurkha's in there, as well as fragments of the Special Air Service and Royal Marines.

Ivan: Didn't zey just build a vall across the French side of ze Channel?

Phil: Exactly! He gets paid more than all of us do put together! THAT COULD'VE BEEN ME!

Jericho: What happened?

Phil: They don't make Parmo's there.

Jericho: Oh, you fucking--

Jericho slaps Phil around the back of his head. Frank walks over to Lynch's table and sits down beside him. At the table where the Mechanics are sat, That Other Random Guy is still staring at the skull-shaped whistle, his eyes blank as he simply gazes into the sockets.

That Other Random Guy [Quietly]: It is death in whistle form.


Marcos leans over, taking the whistle and examining it before simply slipping it into the pocket of his jeans.

Marcos: *Beep*, I will blow it if you don't get ahold of yourself.

That Other Random Guy [Looking around, quietly]: Do you know what would make me feel better?..

Melvin: Getting shot?

That Other Random Guy: The touch of a beautiful woman..

Bobby: Well, relax your standards on the 'beautiful' part and we go to the Dog and Handgun for that. What d'you say?

Johan: I second that!

Marcos: Yeah, let's go.

The Mechanics push their chairs back, getting up to their feet. Eligio grasps his pint glass, tilting his head back and swallowing the final dregs.

Eligio [Slamming his glass down]: I need some tequila to wash this horse piss down: IT'S DOG AND HANDGUN TIME!!!

A cheer goes up from the Mechanics as they leave the Lamb and Flag. Maurice walks out from the kitchen, taking off a greasy, oil-spattered apron as he walks over to Lynch's table.

Lynch [Looking up]: What's wrong, big lad?

Maurice: Been looking through the door's window, and I thought I saw somethin' weird...

Frank: That new furry guy?

Maurice: Aye! So, what's with that new furry lad? Who is he? Where's he from? One of ours?

Lynch: He's a member of the Irish Republican Army.

Maurice [Looking blankly ahead before shaking his head]: ....Aye, cause that makes much more sense.

Maurice mumbles under his breath, walking back towards the bar and standing behind it, talking to Dick.

Lynch [Looking at Shane]: You'll be leaving tomorrow, right?

Shane: We've got a few days tae spend. We'll be stickin' around fer a while longer.

Lynch: Why?

Shane [Somewhat irritably]: Yeh ain't the only mercs around here who need guns, and we need the cash.

Lynch: Good point.

Shane [Quietly]: Why are yeh lot so hostile to us?

Gabriel [Calmly]: British are here. They've brainwashed 'em.

Lynch: We're a family here. One giant, dysfunctional family that hates eachother, but we're a family. We've fought together through many, many battles, so...yeah, we take in the likes and dislikes of each person: Now, you're a PMC with links to a terrorist group, who terrorised the British for many decades, and this is the first time we've done business so, naturally, we're on edge with you.

Shane: But yeh've done deals with the Taliban--

Frank [Interjecting]: For several years. Do we like them? Not a bit. Wish we could wipe them out, but they're another front in the war against Ocelot and the Patriots so we mutually co-exist.

Lynch: They have been invited for tea by the British contingent before, though.

Frank: Well, yeah, but Brits are fucking insane.

Lynch: Yeah, that's true..

Lynch takes a drink from a bottle of Budweiser as Samuel gets to his feet over at his table, tightening his belt and looking down at Dean.

Samuel: I need to get going.

Dean: Why?

Samuel [Calmly]: To finish Spring cleaning....or, as I like to call it, the zombie burning day.

Dean [Chuckling, jabbing his thumb up at Samuel and looking at Vince]: This guy! Such a joker!

Samuel: Dean, we need a flamethrower.

Dean [Scoffing, sarcastically]: Why, did the mystery meat eat you?

Samuel [Glaring at Dean]: IT TRIED.

Dean stops, looking at Samuel blankly before grinning.

Dean: Alrighty, we'll get a flamethrower, then!

Samuel: Come with me. We really need to get it done before it escapes.

Dean: Why, did the mystery meat threaten you?

Samuel: No, but it did threaten to take over Egypt--

Dean [Getting to his feet]: Right, come on, Karab, we've got work to do.

Sal [Looking around]: You people are disgusting!.....But the mystery meat has me intrigued.

Vince [Rising to his feet]: Me too.

Billy [slamming his glass down]: ACH, I'M IN FER KILLIN' ZOMBIES!!

Sal and Billy rise to their feet. Karab sighs, hesitantly pushing his chair backwards and getting up.

Karab: I'm getting tired of this.

Dean: Look, if you like being paid, you have to accept that we need the cheapest meat that we can find!

Samuel leads the mercenaries outside as Dick watches them walk away. Dick sighs, slamming his hands down on the bar.

Dick: I can't compete with another three bars on this fucking street! I've got to...Oh God...I'VE GOT TO START ADVERTISING!!

Moe [Opening the door to the kitchen and peering his head out]: About damn time! I'm sick of being paid with scraps of food!

At Jericho's table, Jericho taps Phil on the shoulder. Phil turns his head, looking at him.

Phil: What?

Jericho: Phil, we need to act tonight.

Phil sighs, tipping his head back and draining his pint before slamming the glass down.

Phil: Alright, let's move.

Steve: What?

Jericho [Quietly]: Emilie. Tonight.

Ivan: Vell, that's all you need to tell us.

Phil, Jericho, Steve and Ivan get to their feet, walking out of the Lamb and Flag. Stephen simply looks over at Shane's table before walking over and sitting down between Shane and Frank.

Stephen [Quietly]: Hey.

Lynch [Looking around]: Wow, i've never seen the place clear out so quickly before.

Frank: Everybody is busy with their own thing.

Lynch [Stroking his chin]:'s time.

Gabriel: Time?

Lynch: Maybe it's time to apply for a vacation period for the company.

Frank: Woah, seriously!

Dick: No!

Lynch [Turning in his seat and looking at Dick]: Shut up! You can actually advertise while we're gone!

Dick [Throwing his arms up in anger]: FOR FUCKS SAKE, LYNCH, YOU'RE KILLING ME!!

Lynch [Slamming his fists down on the table]: I'm going to do it! I'm going to get us some vacation time!

Frank cheers loudly. The Irish Republican contingent watch on, somewhat bemused, as Dick screams and slams his head off of the bar.


The door to Phil, Jericho, Steve and Ivan's house opens as Jericho walks in, followed by Phil, Steve and Ivan. Jericho glances around, nodding to himself as a small cough emanates from his and Phil's bedroom. Phil glares at the door at the bedroom.

Jericho: Emilie, are you there?

Not a single breeze is heard or felt.

Phil: I don't like this.

Jericho [Calmly]: Hopefully she's here. I went to a lot of trouble finding an ancestor of hers.

Phil [Narrowing his eyes]: You did WHAT?

Jericho [Turning around]: For the sacrifice?

Steve: Of course!

Phil: Seriously, Jerry? SERIOUSLY?!

Jericho: Well, yeah, we do need a sacrifice.

Phil [Glaring at him]: Look, just repeat that sentence and see if it makes any fucking sense to you!!

Jericho: Emilie told me--

Phil [Sarcastically, throwing his arms up]: Well, that's great, your undead girlfriend told you that sacrificing an ancestor would help! THAT'S JUST FUCKING MAGNIFICENT!

The room suddenly turns cold. Ivan slams the door shut behind him, glancing around the room.

Ivan: Vell, its ze undead voman.

Phil [Growing increasingly bitter]: WELL THAT'S JUST FUCKING MARVELLOUS!!!

Steve [Calmly]: It is quite insane, Jericho.

Jericho [Narrowing his eyes]: Just let me have this.

The pale, red-headed and transparent form of Emilie suddenly appears behind Jericho, clad in a red corset and a red lace skirt, her rat Crumpet sitting on her left shoulder. Her smile fades when she witnesses Phil stomp over to the couch and flip it over.

Phil [Angrily]: THIS IS JUST FUCKING STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!

Ivan: Uh, Phil--

Phil [Screaming]: I'VE HAD ENOUGH!!!

Steve [Singing]: I'll make them seeeeee...

Phil [Turning around, pointing at Steve]: Don't fucking start me.

Jericho opens the door to the bedroom and a young woman steps out: With jet black short hair, pale skin and black lipstick, and clad in a black and purple-laced bodice top, a black leather choker and a black lace skirt, Phil simply rolls his eyes, turns around and flips the chair to the left of the sofa.


Steve: Uh, Phil.

Phil stops, breathing heavily as the woman looks around, checking her nails. Phil turns his head, looking at her.

Sarah: Hi.

Phil: Who the fuck are you?

Woman [Calmly]: My name is Sarah Dejanel. One of the last survivors of the Dejanel line. For all I know, the line dies with me--

Phil: Yeah yeah, so, you're the sacrifice?

Sarah: Yep.

Phil: Right, just to check, you ARE the sacrifice, right? This isn't just some practical joke where I kill you and then the Egyptian army bursts through the door and guns me down?

Jericho: Phil! It's not a practical joke!

Phil [Grasping Jericho's shoulders, glaring at him]: BUT IT IS SO. FUCKING. STUPID. I mean, this is shit you see in a horror movie: NECROMANCY. DOES. NOT. WORK. IT IS FAKE. IT IS NOT REAL. THIS IS STUPID.

Emilie: It will work.

Jericho: Phil, just try. For me.

Phil [Coldly]: I draw the line at human sacrifices in my house.

Sarah: But I want to die.


Sarah [Quietly]: Well, I suppose that all the money helps when you have cancer.

Phil: Nanomachines, son.

Sarah [Giving a short, sharp laugh]: And what, do you think that everybody can use nanomachines, huh?! You think that they're just injecting them into civilians?! Fuck you! I've got maybe six months left, tops, because i'll be damned if i'm going through fucking chemotherapy just to stop the tumours in my liver from shutting down my body slower!!

A sudden silence falls over the house. Emilie's ghost goes a shade of light grey.

Emilie [Quietly, with some regret]: Sarah..

Phil [Looking up, calmly]: I don't care. The line has been drawn.

Jericho [Sighing]: Phil, I went to so much trouble finding a living member of Emilie's family. I got the babies tooth, the wisp of white hair and the ravens talon, and tonight is a full moon. PLEASE let me have this. Let HER have this: It's a mercy killing for her.

Phil [Sighing bitterly]: .........Fine.. [Pointing at Emilie] But any funny business and i'll fuck you up.

Emilie nods. Phil sighs, looking up at the ceiling and pointing at some unseen being.

Phil: I'm going to come up there one of these days and kick some deity's ass if this weird shit doesn't stop happening to me.


Night begins to fall within the Sinai. Frank walks out of the Lamb and Flag, clutching his toasted panini and looking at Bill who has either been designated as tonight's patrol or is simply wandering around like a lost little kitten, clutching an M4   Assault Rifle. Bill wanders up the street and Frank steps forward, looking to his right and up Beale Street where a sand dune lies in the distance.

Frank: How's everything?

Bill: Real quiet, boss hog.

Frank: Nothing interesting, then?

Bill: Eh, there might be tracks on that dune.

Bill points ahead: Down the dune are several tracks and a small silhouette of what appears to be a camel with a rider atop of it. Too far away to see clearly, the silhouette stops midway down the dune before suddenly picking up pace, disappearing from view within a few seconds as it begins to head towards Beale Street.

Bill: ...Was that a camel?

Frank: A lost Tuareg?

Bill [Shaking his head, reaching for his rifle]: Nah, Nah! Not around here! Tuareg's don't come near here!

Frank: Shoot him, Bill!

Bill [Turning to Frank]: What if he's friendly?

Frank: Where'd he go?

They look up the street: Nothing but the trails leading down the sand are visible.

Bill [Lowering his rifle]: Huh, well, fuck me. That's one quick motherfucker.

At the head of Beale Street, however, the figure comes into view, rushing down the street: The bellow of a camel is heard as it begins to dash towards them. Bill screams, raising his rifle and pointing the barrel towards the camel, which slows down into a small walk: Atop the camel is a figure wearing a black and white shemagh scarf and sunglasses obscuring his features, despite the sun being down. Even with the cold night setting in, the figure is wearing a thin desert camouflage t-shirt, revealing thick arms gnarled with scars, and a pair of black cargo pants tucked into thick leather boots. On the figures back is a FAMAS bullpup rifle, attached to his body via a pale green lanyard. Bill notices the rifle and quickly points his own up at the figure who stops a few feet away, looking down at Bill.

Bill: Alright, off the camel.

French Voice: Excuse me, but zat gun has its safety on.

Bill sighs, looking at the lower receiver of the M4 and looking at the safety switch which is indeed switched to "SAFE".

Frank: Mine isn't.

French Voice: Because zat is a panini.

Frank slowly looks at his right hand, where he is clutching a panini threateningly at the figure.

Frank: Well, this is embarrassing.

French Voice [CHuckling]: I am here to see ze van you call...Lynch.

Bill grasps the switch and twists it, switching the firing mode to "SEMI" and aims it up at the figure again.

Bill [Impatiently]: IDENTIFY YOURSELF!

French Voice: Bill, you just turned ze safety back on.

Bill glares at the lower receiver of the M4: Somehow, the safety mechanism has been switched back to "SAFE".

Bill [Angrily]: GODDAMMIT!!

Bill grasps his rifle in both hands, shaking it wildly as the figure dismounts from the camel, turning to Frank as Will walks out of the Lamb and Flag, clutching a cigarette. He stops, looking at the camel, then over at Bill.

Will: Hey, what's wrong, Bill, the gun outsmarted you again?

Bill [Wildly]: YES!

Will [Crestfallen]: And here I was fucking kidding. BOY, YOU ARE PATHETIC!!

The figure sighs, grasping his shemagh and pulling it off: With chiselled features, a shaven head and silvery scars glistening in the moonlight, the Frenchman Fabien, who had assisted the mercenaries twice on their adventures since Shadow Moses, has finally arrived in Beale Street.

Bill: Ah shit.

Fabien [Laughing]: IT'S ME, YOU AMERICAN PEEGS!

Frank: Goddamn! Talk about a sight for sore eyes!

Fabien [Chuckling]: That's because you've been dreenking!

Frank: .....Well, yeah.

Will: Ah, man, it's the crazy French guy!

Fabien [Grinning and nodding]: It's me! FABIEN!

Frank: Well.....what are you doing here?

Fabien [Dismounting from the camel]: Ah, you know, you know, I just remembered you guys saying you were in the Middle East so I figured.....may as well find you. Could use the work.

Bill: Woah, you want to work for us?

Fabien: WITH you!

Bill: Yeah, sure, well, the boss will have to say--

The doors to the Lamb and Flag open and Lynch walks out.

Lynch: What the fuck are you all doing--


Lynch stops, looking at Fabien before placing his hands in his hips, unable to stop a grin creeping across his face.

Lynch [Chuckling]: Well, fuck.

Fabien: Your second-in-command tried to threaten me vith a panini!

Lynch looks at Frank, who gives a nervous grin.

Lynch [Coldly]: Jesus Christ, can you not go one day without embarrassing yourself?

A buzzard swoops down and takes the panini, leaving a dropping on the top of Frank's head as it does.

Bill: Make that one minute.

Frank [Whimpering]: Why me?......

Lynch: Well, you're pathetic, but fucking hell, Fabien! Come here!

Lynch lunges forward, clasping his arms around him and hugging him tightly. Fabien laughs, locking his arms around Lynch and kissing his cheek.

Fabien [Ecstatically]: OUI! I AM BACK!

Lynch [Laughing]: Alright, alright, calm down, people will talk!

Fabien [Pulling back and clapping his hands]: I WOULD LOVE TO TALK TO YOU BUT FIRST I NEED A DRINK!!

Frank [Putting his arm around Fabien's shoulders]: Let me lead you to where the drinks are cheap and so are the women!

Fabien grins, nodding rapidly as Frank leads him a few steps down the street before turning left and walking into the Dog and Handgun. Lynch stands there, hands on his hips as a grin spreads across his face.

Lynch: The boy's still alive.

Bill: So are we--

Lynch [Angrily, looking at Bill]: ARE YOU STILL HERE?! GO PATROL, SOLDIER!!

Bill: Yes'm.

Bill grasps his rifle, starting to skip in a very exaggerated and camp motion down the street.

Lynch [Darkly]: Y'know, why do I get this odd feeling that nobody actually respects me?


In Phil, Jericho, Steve and Ivan's house, the furniture has been moved to the left edge of the room, the moth-bitten sofas and chairs stacked on top of eachother, with the folding blue card table stacked haphazardly on the grease-riddled stove. All that's left is a wooden table, the varnish stripped and the wood half-rotten, suggesting that it was scavenged recently. Her wrists and ankles are bound together with duct-tape as she lays there, gazing blankly at the ceiling. Beside her is a dusty pile of bones, presumably Emilie's remains.

Emilie: And you're sure about this?

Sarah [Blankly]: Why die slowly? I'm one of the last in the line. May as well let my body bring life to my dead ancestor so that you can witness the end of the Dejanel line. Better than me, anyway.

Emilie [Quietly]: Just wish we could bring Crumpet back to life..

Jericho: We'll buy a new rat.

Steve: So, now we're practicing necromancy.........How does this even work?

Jericho: Through incredibly convoluted guidelines: Shut up, it's almost midnight.

Phil [Folding his arms and looking at Jericho]: Come on, Jericho, just explain this.

A small silence fills the room. Jericho's lips twitch as he tries to stop smiling. Phil gives a wry smirk, looking at Jericho.

Jericho: ....I........Well, y'see, the basics of necromancy involve sacrifice as the means of what is essentially payment for the--

Phil [Shaking his head]: Y'know what? Fuck it

Sarah [Emotionlessly]: Just do it.

Steve: Yes, Phil, sacrifice this woman.

Phil sighs as Jericho reaches into his coat and pulling out a small dagger: The blade appears to be constructed of bone, with a wrought iron handle, gnarled and short, tipped with a claw clutching a sapphire.Phil takes the dagger, looking at it.

Phil [Sarcastically]: Sweet, I get to sacrifice somebody using a fucking toothpick!

Jericho: Just do it.

Ivan: Yes, do it. Killer.

Phil sighs, standing behind Sarah's head and raising the dagger above his head, clutching the handle in both hands.

Phil [Calling out]: FOR WODAN, TAKE THIS SACRIFICE AND..fucking..resurrect.....this bollocks.

Jericho [Glaring at Phil]: Do it properly.

Phil [Chanting]: Animus deus, movus assus, resurrectus bitchus. Spiritos sanctem, spittus suckus dickus. Fuckus killus meus.


Sarah [Angrily]: TODAY!

Phil: Alright, just hold on.

Phil lowers the dagger, pressing the tip over Sarah's heart.

Phil: Here?

Sarah [Impatiently]: Yes.

Phil: Like, right here?

Sarah: Yes.

Phil: And it'll kill--

Sarah [Angrily]: YES, YOU FUCKING OAF--

Phil slams the knife down into Sarah's chest. Sarah's eyes widen and she simply gives a smile, her chest pulsating as she expels her last breaths.

Phil: Ah shite.

Jericho: Cold-blooded killer.

Phil pulls the knife out, glaring at the blood-slicked blade, before looking down at Sarah/

Phil: But I liked you! A bit.

Sarah's body begins to decay rapidly as muscle, flesh and skin begins to form on Emilie's body, her spirit being sucked into it.

Steve: Wow.

Phil [Taken aback]: I've seen some things, man, but this is too much. I'mma toke up and ignore this shit.

Phil turns around, walking into his bedroom.

Ivan: Vell, zis is veird.

Steve: Y'know, I'm not even surprised. Between the riverdancing REX, Flareon, The Man In The Banana Suit, random cameo appearances and the Curry Monsters, i'm just numb to this.

Ivan: Vell, years of insanity vill do zat to you!

Phil walks out of his bedroom, clutching a large 'cigarette' with a widened tip, revealing green wisps of a plant within it.

Steve [Taken aback]: Phil, you smoke marijuana? Since when?

Phil: This? This isn't marijuana. It's crispy seaweed wrapped in ricepaper.

Phil eats the 'spliff', crunching loudly.

Ivan: Vhy?

Phil: Reactions, mostly. I've got sherbert as cocaine, sugar water as heroin, and the heart of the insane Mexican fighting frog as....[Lights go dark as he narrows his eyes]..the heart of the insane Mexican fighting frog.

Jericho [Sighing, turning the lights back on]: Phil, can you be normal for just one minute?

Phil: That frog beat the shit out of me before I took its heart. Why does everything in Mexico want to hurt and kill you?

Jericho: Mexicans are a tough bunch of bastards?

Phil: That frog hurt me bad, Jerry.

Jericho [Impatiently]: Phil, stop with the fucking non sequitirs and get back to the plot.

The scene suddenly cuts to Phil standing on the roof of the Mercenary Academy.

Phil: I'll be honest, i'm not even sure what i'm doing here.

The scene cuts back to the house where Jericho slaps Phil roughly.

Jericho [Coldly]: Don't. Just fucking don't.

Phil: Why, Jerry?

Ivan: Ve just brought someone back to life. Ve are necromancers now.

Steve: Do we get a certificate or something?

Ivan [Muttering]: No, just a stupid plot arc.

Emilie [Whispering]: ...I'm dear sister...has given me life.

Phil: Uh, excuse me? Ritual killer right here.

Emilie looks down at her right hand, opening and closing her fist.

Emilie: My heart beats...

Ivan: Vell, zis is intevesting. [Walking over to his bedroom] I'm sleeping. Goodnight.

Emilie shivers slightly, placing her hand over her chest and feeling her heart pulse against her skin.

Emilie [Quietly]: ....It beats...

Phil throws up his arms, walking towards the door and wrenching it open.

Jericho: Phil, where are you going?

Phil: Hopefully? To the grave. In reality? Lamb and Flag, away from this bullshit.

Phil walks out, slamming the door shut behind him as Emilie sits on the table, gazing ahead at the door.

Emilie [Quietly]: What do we do now?

Jericho: We get you introduced to reality.

Steve: Well, I'm going to follow Phil, because this is too much, even for me.

Steve runs forward, diving straight forward and through the window, smashing it violently as he hurls himself outside. Jericho simply stands there, alone, as Emilie runs her hands across her face.

Jericho: I never expected them to overreact to a bit of necromancy.

The scene fades to black.

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