Part 12: Check Your Premises
Part 11: Check Your Premises
With Cambria conquered and Flo fertilizing the farms of nearby landowners, Dagny decided to press ahead with her quest. Grumm, Balime, and Tixa were all still firmly under Deidranna's grasp, a situation which she aimed to rectify. Her first target was Tixa, the queen's prison, used for the incarceration and torture of political dissidents. The director of Alma's mine had, in one of his more lucid moments, informed Dagny of its whereabouts, and revealed that his brother, codename 'Dynamo,' was held somewhere inside, having been arrested for sedition. Dagny thought that such a man might prove useful as a minor governor in the democratic regime to come, and therefore promised Alma's director that she would return Dynamo to him.
First, however, the good citizens of Cambria had come forward to humbly submit a request to Dagny. On bent knees and with arms extended they beseeched Dagny, begging her to end the tyranny of the local tribe of hillbillies, who apparently lived on a farm not far to the east of Cambria. Dagny had considered rejecting their request, but her troops were getting antsy. Haywire and Razor were making life difficult for Biff, who was still traumatized by the death of his lover, so much so that he had taken to writing sentimental poetry in his spare time. He could hardly finish a poem before collapsing in tears, however, so great was his torment. Dagny would often find him in the morning hunched over a desk, his arms sticky with salty agony, eyes crusted over with wishes for a time long gone. Her heart was almost stirred to pity, but she wasn't entirely sure what pity felt like, never having experienced the emotion before. It was entirely possible, she mused, that the sight of Biff being crushed by the heavy hand of fate simply made her hungry.
Therefore, she elected to send to the farm Haywire, Razor, and Ira, who as of late had taken to calling themselves Team Statutory Rape. Dagny had tried to explain to them the significance of the term which they now used as a self-identifying label, but gave the task up as futile when Ira simply devoured the copy of the Arulco Penal Code that Dagny attempted to give her.
So when deepest night came to Arulco, Team Statutory Rape descended on the farm. At first, nothing but lowing livestock and an idle breeze greeted them, so Haywire decided to accelerate the process of farmer-evisceration. When they were in front of the farmhouse he stopped, unpacked the RPG which he had found in Cambria, and set up for a shot. Looking through the primitive wire scope, he sighted the front of the bunkhouse and fired. With a *whoosh* the rocket sailed out of the tube, the blowback nearly scorching Ira's hair. She hissed and yanked Haywire down.
Well shit Haywire, maybe you should pack it full of jellybeans
A great commotion arose within the bunkhouse as nearly two dozen pissed off farmers and sons of farmers woke up and grabbed the shotguns which naturally lay underneath their pillows. The simultaneous cocking of those weapons was somewhat frightening to the otherwise stalwart members of Team Statutory Rape. A voice called out:
I may have fired a rocket into your house, but trespasser? Those are fighting words, good sir
But another, sterner voice rang out:
Clearly, their commander was enraged, fearing for the future of his beloved clan. Letting loose a mighty wad of rust-brown tobacky, he urged his troops forward. With pitchforks held high and overalls a-danglin' they raced toward their adversaries.
Taking her cue from Haywire, Ira hefted the LAW she had been saving for some time, and fired it into the crowd of murderous farmers. The single-shot launcher spat forth its deadly payload, leaving a smoky trail in its wake, and the rocket burst amid the rednecks, sending them flying.
The farmers were not cowed by the deaths of their comrades, and kept streaming forward. Team Statutory Rape lifted their rifles and began firing into the throng, staining the earth with the blood of the men who tilled it.
Sons of the soil indeed
One of the farmers let loose a cry of anguish as he saw his brethren collapsing around him:
Razor was not placated by the man's grief, however, and deftly placed a bullet right behind his ear.
One of the more daring men managed to sneak up on the team and plug Razor in the chest with a blast from his shotgun. The soft buckshot, unfortunately for him, failed to even penetrate his armour, leaving Razor barely even winded. He was not amused:
Watching Gigli has left indelible psychic scars on Razor
Ira dispatched the offender with a few tracer rounds from her FN FAL carbine. The team then marched forward carefully, ankle-deep in the dead, searching for any survivors. They found a few stragglers in the farmhouse, including Darryl's wife, and gave them a helpful push off the mortal coil. Razor found the final redneck in the barn, doing unspeakable things to cows. Satisfied to watch him for a few moments, Razor eventually tired of the man's bestial proclivities and fired a helpful round into the back of his head. The man slumped over the rump of the beast he was engaged with, pants still around his ankles.
This is not the face you want to see in the window at night as you finish jerking it to Bovine Bitches Monthly
Their task accomplished, the team departed for Cambria. Razor requested that they make a quick stop at Cambria's arms dealer, for Gumpy had informed him that the shop contained an interesting selection of items. He was not disappointed:
Nothing funny here, this weapon kicks ass: it does 2 more damage than the machete, and costs 2 less AP
Sheathing the enormous blade in a scabbard on his belt, Razor grinned maliciously, thinking of all the throats he could slice. For a moment he imagined himself a British infantryman, white trousers spattered with gore as he hacked his way through American rebels for a shilling a day. Simpler times then, simpler times. He sighed and relinquished the pleasant thought. Ira led her squad back to Dagny and informed her of their success.
Dagny nodded upon hearing Ira's report, and instructed her to get ready to deploy once more: they were going after Tixa. She decided that they were going to make a night attack, due to the fact that the prison was likely heavily guarded, and an alarm might give them time to spirit away the prisoners or to execute them summarily.
The following evening, they arrived at the prison. Ira slobbered out an intelligence report through her black-gummed fangs:
The team's hopes of finding a sexy women's prison like that in 'Chicago' were dwindling. Strangely, they did eventually find Queen Latifah in the laundry room
Gasket gave voice to a fear that they were all doubtlessly feeling:
Haunting memories of Uncle Zebediah's Roofie Chili
Approaching from the south, Dagny snipped her way into the compound. They stealthily crept into the warden's house, hoping to garrote her as she slept. Instead, they found her flabby husband cowering in the corner. He raised his hands and hissed to them softly:
"Don't shoot! Listen, if you're here to free the prisoners, I got no beef with you."
And then I'll be a FREEEEE BIRRRRD, but will you STILL REMEMBER ME? :solo:
Dagny motioned for him to continue. He kept on speaking, much to their mounting disgust:
when do I get to be the pitcher
Dagny put up a hand before he could say anymore. She was already utterly revolted by his complete spinelessness.
"Enough. If you can help, tell us how now, or I'll allow Ira here to gut you and live inside of your trailer-sized corpse."
Brewster paled, and grabbed at the beads around his neck.
Brewster handed her a key to the warden's office. Dagny bowed slightly and thanked him. She pocketed the key and began approaching the office, which was just to the north. Dagny motioned for her men to keep to the shadows, while she approached the office door. Slipping the key into the lock, she turned the bolt slowly, making as little noise as possible. With a click, the bolt settled into its recess. The door suddenly swung open, and Dagny found herself face-to-face with the warden, who looked mightily pissed.
"...if you think anyone sells better products than Amway! Come inside for a moment, take your shoes off..."
Dagny was startled, and began to raise her weapon. Razor, seeing his venerable employer in mortal danger, drew his sabre and charged into the office, bellowing a fierce war cry and knocking over Dagny in the process. The warden was shocked and stepped back, which proved to be a foolish mistake on her part: Razor slashed out with the sword, expertly slicing her throat in a deft motion. She fell to the ground, gurgling softly, and expired in a few moments. Dagny stood back up and dusted herself off, and was about to rebuke Razor for his impudence, but the strategem had actually been somewhat effective, so she held her tongue and nodded to him.
Who's the man with the glinting steel sword? Razor. Daaaamn right
The team piled into the office and waited, fearing that the soldiers may have heard them. However, there was no pounding at the inner door, and so they breathed a collective sigh of relief. Dagny turned to Ira and motioned for her to yank the switch that Brewster had told them about. And so she did. A loud hissing could be heard as the prison began to fill with tear gas. Dagny directed her troops to go outside so they could catch the troopers as they retreated, seeking relief from the searing gas.
They crept around the walls. Biff tossed a chemical break light ahead of them, and a group of soldiers became visible. The team laid into them with their sniper rifles, Razor especially enjoying the precision of his newly found H&K PSG-1.
Sometimes I don't even know why I bring any other mercs into combat, so deadly is Razor
A soldier was visible on the roof of the guard tower, but nobody could get a clear shot. Dagny set up her mortar and lobbed a shell at the tower.
A cry of pain could be heard, but it was unclear whether the soldier was dead. A few more troops were visible in the distance. Deciding that she would rather take her chances in the prison, Dagny retreated her squad inside.
Once inside, a few soldiers attempted to block their progress, but were compelled to listen to reason once the contents of their skulls were pasted to the walls:
Gasket offers a powerful rebuttal
They soon came under fire from outside, as soldiers spotted them in the light of the prison's interior. Dagny directed Team Statutory Rape to exit and mount the roof, so as to provide cover. Ira grunted and urged her men forward with a bellow. They swung up onto the roof and began firing in all directions, eventually putting an end to the sniper that had been harassing Dagny and her men inside. When Team Statutory Rape stopped firing, Dagny urged her own squad forward. They went through the prison, encountering only a few more soldiers, while Ira and her men finished cleaning up outside.
Once they were sure the last soldier was down, they began searching among the prisoners for Dynamo. They found him half-dead in one of the cells in the main block:
Ira refuses to eat Dynamo, on the grounds that his lengthy prison sentence has left his meat stringy and unpalatable
Dagny already found herself bored by Dynamo, and told him so. He looked crestfallen as he realized his saviours were actually just big meanies. With a wave of her hand, Dagny ordered Team Statutory Rape to guard Dynamo while her own squad ventured into the depths of Tixa prison.
As they entered the lower section, Deidranna's troopers began to pelt Dagny and her men through the service window. They were dispatched quickly enough by the steady, accurate fire of Biff's Dragunov and Gasket's SR-25. They moved swiftly through the lower level, slaying troopers left and right, until the entire basement was cleansed. They began to unlock the doors of the cells, and soon encountered a mousy blond young man, who called out to them:
"Hey Shank, the phone's for you!" "Shank, did you do your homework?" "Shank, did you stab some guy in the park yesterday?" That's a stupid name, BREEHAM
He was grateful for his release, and was quick to offer his services; by his own account an expert knifethrower, he demanded only $20 a day. Although Dagny pulled in over $25,000 a day from the mines, she was still leery of parting with even a small amount of that cash if it wouldn't serve her goals. At length, she assented. Shank grinned and reached out to shake her hand.
Well sure, who doesn't miss the awesome Shank? Killer of men, seducer of ladies, he's a veritable whirl...
Oh, actually he's as weak as a schoolgirl
Dagny took his hand, and squeezed firmly. She felt his bones breaking underneath her firm grip, and released it, horrified, while Shank winced in agony. Apparently Shank had the constitution of a kitten, and the agility to match. Dagny suddenly regretted her decision to hire the man.
Meanwhile, Dynamo's guardians had taken him back to see the director of Alma's mine, his brother. Fortunately for them, the director was completely clothed this time. They found him staring at the wall with an expression of consternation. He turned as they entered.
"Oh, hey guys. I was just trying to move this wall with my mind, see if I couldn't get some light into this place." He puffed out his cheeks and made a farting noise, then stopped when he saw Dynamo enter. His jaw dropped. "Oh my delicious blue stars, is that who I think it is?"
I gave Dynamo some gear I found in Alma's mine sector, so he could pretend he was an effective warrior. Pew-pew!
The two embraced and were chattering loudly. Ira rolled her eyes and turned to go, disgusted with any display of affection that didn't involve enlarged genitals. Before she could go, however, Dynamo took hold of her shoulder. She spun around, ready to break his arm, but he simply wished to speak:
"Listen, I just wanted to thank you guys. What's more, I wanted to offer my services."
Why, for that princely sum, you could get McDonald's every day
Ira grumbled and turned the proposition over in her head. Dagny and Ira had been discussing the possibility of forming a third squad, Fodder Company, which they could send ahead to scout out enemy positions without much danger to any of their valuable personnel. Ira grunted.
"Fine. But you'll be assigned to Fodder Company with Shank. Got it?"
Dynamo smiled while Ira walked away, looking for something to eat. The director of the mine cleared his throat, and Dynamo turned to face him.
"What the hell is Fodder Company?"
Dynamo looked worried.
He looked even more worried when he heard about his battle trial from Dagny. Dagny explained to both Shank and Dynamo that a group of Deidranna's troopers was massing for an attack of Cambria's mine. While she had no doubt the milita could handle it, she wanted Fodder Company to prove their worth. Her eyes had gleamed a little when she assigned the mission.
And how did our troopers fare?