The Let's Play Archive

Jagged Alliance 2

by Karach

Part 6: In Which A Man's Head Explodes

This is a long one. Pour a beer or make some popcorn or something.

Part 6: In Which A Man's Head Explodes

Dagny watched Alma getting closer with an ominous feeling. She shifted in her seat, trying to somehow dull the roar of the whooping chopper blades, but to no avail. Her companions, bristling with weaponry, sat silently beside her, looking straight ahead. Even the normally loquacious Gasket managed to somehow contain himself. Skyrider looked back at them from the cockpit of the chopper to brief them on their objective, relying on his hands alone to steer them true.


Dagny turned her thumb and forefinger into a gun, and mimicked firing at Skyrider, clicking her tongue at the same time. He turned around and resumed his quiet singing of Johnny Cash songs. While Skyrider lamented Cash's fall into a burning ring of syphilitic fire, Dagny turned back to look out the window.

Alma rose up before her eyes. She could already see the military academy, doubtless full of crack Deidrannic soldiers sporting the most advanced in weaponry and waterproof underwear. Meanwhile, the mine, just to the south, was likely to be defended by some of her most savage guards. This was going to be a tough slog. She sighed.

Minutes later, the chopper touched down just north of Alma, and Dagny and her troops jumped to the ground. Dagny began to brief her troops, when Gumpy suddenly fell over, departing to ninja heaven to confer with Chris Farley. Dagny rolled her eyes and awaited the critical intelligence report. As it turned out, Deidranna was mightily enraged that a helicopter was flying around without her permission, and ordered it grounded. However, only her SAM sites allowed her to exert her influence over the skies; without them, she was impotent.

Deidranna is aghast at the prospect of guests dropping in unannounced. Her place was a mess!

When Gumpy recovered, Dagny announced her plan. It was unusually intricate, and didn't even mention 'Communists' or 'Socialists' once - the team took note of this. Essentially, she intended to conquer the north-east sector of Alma first, and then work clockwise back toward the military academy in the north-west sector. She wanted to gather as many weapons as possible before attempting an assault on such a well-fortified position. Plus, if the enemy had any advanced weaponry inside the academy, they might well attempt to destroy it before allowing the rebels to have it.

While her team was resting and cleaning their weapons, a squad of Deidranna's troops emerged from the shadows. Nervous and filled with a premature bloodlust, Dagny screamed bloody murder and ordered her men to take their heads.

Like most French people, Flo is turned on at the sight of someone else doing real work

The battle proved an excellent warmup. After looting the corpses of the fallen, Dagny spurred them onward, actually taking the time to kick Gumpy in the ass. He whined a little, but moved forward all the same. Dagny gritted her teeth and clutched her weapon tightly. Either Alma would fall before sunrise, or she would.

(Perhaps a little music to set the mood, yes? I don't know if Sibelius is combat music, but only his spastic majesty is equal to Team Gumpy: Leave it playing in the background).

Her team marched up to the fence bordering the academy, and then crept stealthily to the east, until they reached Alma's north-eastern sector. Ira slapped the ground, demanding the attention of her teammates, and explained to them the importance of this sector.

Dagny is intrigued by the prospect of employing Deidranna's pigs in the training of her troops. Take three pigs, number them 1, 2, and 4...

Having fulfilled her intelligence role, Ira grunted and sprinted forward, vaulting onto the roof of the western warehouse with inhuman agility. Quickly and stealthily she put a bullet into the head of the sentry on the roof, and waved the rest of her squadmates forward. With grim resolve, Dagny ordered her team into the eastern warehouse. Carefully, Gumpy disabled the alarm traps on the doors, while Gasket picked the locks. However, they found only one of Deidranna's troops inside, and Flo quickly put him down.

Gumpy envisages nine separate endings to Dr. Strangelove

Realizing that the enemy was likely mostly contained in the western warehouse, Dagny massed her troops before one its bay doors, whereupon the alarm was disabled and the lock picked. Taking a deep, deep breath, she ordered the door flung open. As the aluminum door clattered its way up the guides, Dagny's troops raised their weapons. Several of Deidranna's guards awaited them within, apparently caught unwares. Flo was the first to let fly her bullets, and the others followed hardly half a moment later.

Cold-blooded murder is the new G-spot. Take note Oprah

Unfortunately, in her rabid zeal to end as much human life as possible, Ira managed to accidentally blow up half the warehouse.

You can't hear it, but Ira is braying like a jackass here

Dagny knew that her troops were safe behind their oxygenated gas masks, and she ordered her troops forward. They crept into the burning warehouse swiftly, downing Deidranna's men left and right amid the crackling of drywall and occasional secondary explosion. Dagny's heart swelled with amazement - her men were beginning to behave almost like one of Deidranna's crack commando squads. She smiled grimly behind her gas mask.

Eventually the last soldier was dealt with, and the loot was collected. Quickly, Dagny divvied it up among her troops, taking especial care to gift Biff with a brand new SVD Dragunov with attached scope and laser sight. Biff was ecstatic, until he stared through the Dragunov's scope in order to test it out.

We are in Kansas no longer, Toto

He was expecting a crosshair - what he saw was the devil. Deeply disturbed, he dropped the rifle. But he was compelled to pick it up again. With shaking hands, he took up the weapon and reluctantly stared down into the scope once more.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

He was frightened, but he continued to stare, until his stomach settled and his hands were still. Eventually, he was not frightened by the demonic... thing he saw between him and the ground any longer. He felt at peace. He felt one with the rifle. The four chevrons marked the ascent to heaven - at the peak there was only tranquility.

Dagny had been watching him the whole while. She had heard that men occasionally had this reaction to the Dragunov, that some went completely mad attempting to divine the function of its scope. But Biff proved stronger.

Meanwhile, Gasket was indulging in his abortion-clinic firebombing roots, and brewed up a batch of Alabama Stout, extra bitter:

I'm pretty sure that's a Simpsons reference. "Holy smokes, you need booze!"

Dagny marshaled her newly-equipped men and drove them south, into Alma's mine sector. They took up positions behind one of the miners' reidences, and began flinging chemical break lights this way and that, exposing the sillhouettes of Deidranna's troops. They began to take them down, Biff proving especially adept at headshots with his brand new Dragunov.

After the initial attack, Deidranna's troops began to grow more wary. They attempted to sneak up on Dagny's men, but were confronted by Zen Biff, who had made his Dragunov an extension of himself. As an orange-vested soldier rounded the corner, Biff reflexively, nonchalantly, seemingly carelessly let fly a single shot, right between the man's eyes.

Oh shit son, your head exploded

His head exploded, showering gore on Biff and Dagny beside him.

christ make your own joke

Dagny was amazed - her jaw literally dropped, and she caught little pieces of flesh inside her mouth. But she composed herself rapidly, for another orange vest had approached. Dagny plugged him with her new AKM.

With Biff's newly-acquired combat prowess, taking the rest of the sector proved trivial. When their enemies had been defeated, Ira gave another one of her patened intelligence lectures, before returning to flay the skin of the newly-deceased.

What, goons enforcing a militaristic conformity?

Dagny approached the Mining Commission, seeking out the mine director. She found a dark-skinned man seated at a table, with a handle of Johnny Walker in front of him. His hair was disheveled, and he lacked shoes. There was a cigarette butt floating in his glass of whiskey. He looked up at her.

"You in charge now, I guess?"

Dagny nodded simply, and shoved a contract in front of him. The man plugged one of this nostrils with his fingers and blew an enormous wad of bloody mucous onto the dotted line. Dagny withdrew the piece of paper, satisfied that she would at least have genetic evidence of the director's consent.

"Don't rightly matter to me who the profits go to. So long as we got bloodcats roaming these parts, and so long as my own brother is missing, what does a little silver matter?" He looked at Dagny with big, mournful eyes. She looked down at him.


He nodded.

"Eight feet long, huge great big fangs, all chompy and bitey. One of the Queen's mutant specimens, I think. There's a huge den of them to the east here. If you could take them out, I know the townspeople would be appreciative." His eyes began to shine. "Plus, I could finally start that bloodcat rodeo I've been dreaming of..." He looked nostalgically at a saddle hanging on the wall. He seemed lost in dreamland, and began making whip-cracking noises as he stood up to mount an imaginary bloodcat. He galloped past Dagny, out the door.

Dagny rejoined her men, who had gathered together the loot from the fallen. The pickings were slim, so her troops simply restocked their ammo and traded up their armour as necessary. Then they headed west, to Alma's prison.

Dagny knew that the prison was only accessible from the Academy, and so she would merely have to concern herself with the roving guards outside the prison fence. Her troops crept south stealthily, until they encountered a lone soldier standing on the road, finishing a cigarette. The glow was visible from a hundred and fifty yards, and Biff sighted his Dragunov just to the right of it, the probable location of the man's head. Closing his eyes, he squeezed off a shot. A soft thump was heard, and the cigarette fluttered to the ground, leaving a trail of ashes.

And to think, he was one day from retiring

Dagny and her men bombarded the area with chemical breaklights. They spotted a whole host of soldiers just beyond the one Biff had just killed, caught like deer in the headlights. Biff calmly took aim and fired round after steady round, dropping the men with freakish regularity. He paused only to swap magazines.

For Biff, there is no spoon. There is, however, a shovel and a whole lot of limestone powder

He was scarcely disturbed by the orange-vest that attempted to flank his team on the left. Gasket spotted her just in time and drilled her full of 5.56mm.

An unfortunate trooper emerges from taking a dump in the woods

When the dust settled, the corpses were stacked three high and six across. Biff merely looked serene.

Jesus Christ, Biff

Once more, the loot was collected. Among the items, Dagny came across a small-caliber suppressor, an H&K MP5KA4 and an MP5SD. Her mind racing, she attached the suppressor to the unsuppressed MP5, and gathered up an armful of 9mm magazines. She approached Gasket and Flo.

"Here," she said, and handed them each a silenced weapon. "You two are to secure the perimeter of the academy. If we alert the guards, I fear they might damage our loo... rightful compensation."

Gasket squared his jaw and nodded. Flo, in a surprisingly confident manner, also managed to nod without fainting from the weight of her new weapon. Satisfied, Dagny marched them all forward.

The academy loomed in the distance. A guardpost was visible from their hiding spot in the forest. Dagny handed the pair her best night-vision goggles, a set of camoflage makeup, and a walkie-talkie.

"Contact me when you've breached the perimeter. We will come to your aid."

Newly-clad in camoflage and sporting silenced submachineguns, the two intrepid commandos stealthily crept north, keeping their eyes open for Deidranna's men. As they approached the guardpost, a human-like form became resolved itself through the green haze of Gasket's night-vision. He raised a fist, signalling Flo to stop. He pointed forward, and raised a single finger, indicating that he had seen a soldier ahead of him. Flo tapped the side of her Dyneema helmet, indicating that she understood him. The two rounded the guardpost, and crept up on the unknowing soldier. Gasket shouldered his MP5 and pointed it at the head of the soldier not six feet away from him. Steadying his breathing, he set the selector to full-auto and depressed the trigger. A stream of bullets spat forth as the feedback mechanism clicked loudly in his ear. The soldier fell to the ground, dead.

Didn't Lady and the Tramp dine over a bullet-riddled corpse behind the Italian guy's porn store?

They continued on toward the academy. Suddenly, the front door opened, and a soldier emerged into the light. Cursing softly, Gasket indicated to Flo that they should run. They headed toward a cluster of training sawhorses, and waited for the soldier to complete his patrol. As he sauntered out into the darkness, both Gasket and Flo began to draw a bead on him. When he stopped, they fired simultaneously, killing him softly with their brutal song.

The ten-meter hurdle at Alma is unusually lethal

Waiting to see if any more soldiers would emerge, the two midnight cowboys continued toward the entrance. They scooted inside the brightly-lit facility, and softly closed the door behind them. Once inside, they took up a defensive position around what looked like the weapons lab, and summoned Dagny and the rest of the troops. Dagny acknowledged the call and ordered her men forward. As they quietly approached the facility, they encountered another patrol group, investigating the fallen body of their comrade. Dagny signalled her men to take them down, and so they did. Unfortunately, they failed to eliminate one of the troopers and, helter-skelter, he took off toward the weapons lab, likely intending to destroy whatever was inside. Dagny screamed into her radio.

"Gasket! Incoming!"

Gasket barely had time to bring his weapon to bear as the man raced past the door, oblivious to himself and Flo. Clumsily, he fired a triple burst, which dropped the man to one knee but did little damage. Obviously angered, the trooper took aim at Gasket, but before he could fire, Flo's weapon ejaculated a stream of hot metal that subdued him. Gasket uttered a silent prayer to the Virgin Mary, thankful that this sinful bit of Eurotrash had saved his puckered behind.

Meanwhile, Dagny and her men scoured the roof of soldiers. Once she was satisfied that they had all been killed, she approached the weapons lab. She entered the antreroom, where she found a soldier cowering in the corner. He raised both his hands in surrender.

"I give up! Let me live! I have a secret for you!" he pleaded, his eyes beginning to moisten.

Dagny assented, and the man fell to the ground, overjoyed.

"Oh thank you, thank you. Listen, there's an exciting bit of technology in that cabinet there. Something called a rocket-rifle. It fires miniature laser-guided rockets, but you have to be careful, because the weapon has an id lock, and the first person to fire it is the only person who will be firing it in the future." He tossed Dagny the key and sprinted out of the room.

With Sergeant Fatso AWOL, Downs Patrol would be in need of a new leader

Intrigued, Dagny approached the cabinet and unlocked it. Inside, sitting on a custom rack, was the rifle the Sergeant had mentioned. She picked up. It felt good in her hands, but it was a little bit on the heavy side. Plus, she knew of no other place to acquire ammo for it. Until she could locate a source of ammunition, the weapon would remain little more than a curiosity.

Like the phasers on Star Trek: Voyager, the rocket rifle looks a lot more effective than it really is

Dagny once more ordered the loot brought before her. She noticed Gumpy stumbling under the weight of one particular weapon as he brought it to her. She took it from him, and nearly dropped it herself.

This absurd shoulder-cannon fired 12.7 mm rounds nearly the size of her forearm. She laughed maniacally, and handed the weapon back to Gumpy, directing him to use it as his primary weapon from now on. He tried to look tough as he shouldered the thirty pound monstrosity, but failed entirely.

Gumpy sat down to take apart the weapon, when he felt a horrible sensation in his stomach. Tilting his head back, a beam of light surged upward out of his mouth, striking a passing cloud formation. The entire team looked upward. Projected on the cloud, they saw the ghostly visage of Queen Deidranna and her majordomo, Elliot, who had the unfortunate duty of informing his queen that her crown jewel, Alma, had been filched by the filthy hands of a child rapist.

Deidranna, master of the interrobang

As usual, Deidranna armed a small subset of her commandos with weapons that she knew Dagny would like, and hustled them off to attack Alma. And, as usual, Dagny was prepared with a corps of scarcely-trained townies. Well, that and a freaking tank cannon.

It isn't really necessary to go into detail about the defensive battle - needless to say, Dagny and her men won the day. But two pictures should suffice to demonstrate how inept Deidranna's attack was.


Dagny casts the 8th level spell 'Blue Donut of Disaster'

Next up: Gumpy Tangoes with Some Cougars