Co-written with Shroomie!Previously on SDNW4...
Ambassador Maximov smiled inwardly, seeing Chinny break a pencil in his hand. “My government has instructed me to deliver a stern warning about undertaking ill-advised foreign adventures. The international community...”Wild Space Sector BB-25
“What?” Chinny interrupted “What foreign adventures? What the hell are you talking about?”
“Why, your occupation of Pelania, of course...”
“The hell? What the fuck, do you Zenobians think you can order us around?”
Maximov knew of Chinny’s temperament, but even he was surprised by the sudden outburst. “No, we merely want to warn you against destabilizing adventurism...”
“Oh like hell you do! You just know you can’t poison Pelania with your goddamned socialist lieberal ideas if there are Murcan boys present there, you fucks!” Yeah, he’d tell him! He’d tell him good, the smug bastard!
“Please calm down, Mr. Almost Sovereignest.” Maximov was starting to wonder if his quip at Chinny’s title wasn’t ill-advised “History shows that...”
Chinny slammed his fist on the table. “Screw history! And screw YOU, ambassador! We don’t need your fucking approval! We’re gonna bring freedom anywhere we want, whenever we want, because we’ve got the biggest guns, biggest ships and the meanest sons-of-bitches on the planet!”
Top Secret COLON ASS TURDS Blacksite
“Where did you first realize what was happening?”, the humorless interrogator asked. The man sitting across from him, wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, seemed lost in thought for a minute, “Not until they engaged your people for the first time. Frankly, I thought they were all insane when they first arrived. I didn’t like it at all.”
“They were heavily armed and on edge. Put yourself in my shoes.”
“Understood. You say colonel Delgado first sent out an armored column to the landing site?”
“Yes. They thought the landing happened in the San Dorado hills. We’ve lost a platoon there, too, but I thought it was the usual - bandits, desertion, accidents. They did happen from time to time.”
“Did they reach the hills?”
“No. I am not sure what happened, I wasn’t at your command centre at the time. All I know was that they encountered... something, and then turned around and attacked the city.”
The investigator seemed surprised for the first time. Well, the second, actually: the first was when General Corello surrendered and was forthcoming and truthful during interrogations. It almost seemed like the man was... tired.
“They attacked the city?”
“Yes. They drove back and started shooting at both your people and my men.”
“I don’t know.”
“General, you know that is sounds awfully far-fetched?”
“Yes, but that’s what happened. I know it looks like I’m trying to cover up some nefarious scheme, but I’m sure you have other people in custody who can corroborate my statements.”
The interrogator chuckled, “That we do. What measures did Colonel Delgado undertake in response?”
Corello did not answer that question immediately. He took his time to extinguish his cigarette, “He ordered my men to stop the column.”
“That man you had watching over me, I can’t remember his name... he said your people lost all communications. My men couldn’t use their radios, either, except at very short range. Which kind of defeated their purpose.”
“Are you sure there was no other factor?”
“I wasn’t exactly privy to Delgado’s decision making process”, Corello leaned on the table, “That was the reason I was given. Since everything seemed to indicate it was true, I gave the orders. Lots of my men died that night.”
“What about the alien landing party? Did you directly encounter them?”
“No, not me. After a while, based on reports of my men and some deduction, we thought that we’ve identified the target. Colonel Delgado again strongarmed me to support his attempt to face the landing party there.”
“They were wiped out. They came down into the Temple, down to the catacombs, and never came out. I decided to just let the alien leave with whatever it was they wanted. And, well... they did.”
“What happened to the rest of our force? The command center, logistical tail...”
“We killed them all and disposed of the bodies. It was easy, they lost all their combat troops chasing shadows.”
“...and went down into the catacombs some time later. I think you have the reports from that little excursion.”Almera Colony
Three months earlier
The metal wall was a strange thing, considering it was embedded in ancient rock, and below a rustic temple at that. Flashlight beams seemed to slide off the strange material, as if it absorbed the beams entirely.
There was a huge hole, obviously freshly made, for a given value of ‘fresh’. Inside was a strange, dark corridor built of the same material: now dilapidated and dirty, but obviously artificial.
“The hell...” one of the Black Panthers, general Corello’s elite bodyguards, muttered to himself. He had never seen anything like that.
“General, are you sure those... things are gone?” another soldier asked, shining his flashlight inside.
“Why the hell would they stay? It’s been months, we’d have noticed something. Let’s move.”
They crossed the hole and entered the corridor. With every step, they saw more strange things: things that seemed like they were out of this world. There was writing in some strange, undecipherable language... advanced equipment, used for unknown purposes. Everything about this structure was alien, utterly alien to anyone raised in Pelania. Possibly anywhere else on this world, too.
The complex wasn’t in a very good shape. Several corridors were crushed or blocked with earth. Others were unstable, and several times the small search party had to hastily retreat from a corridor or junction that threatened to collapse.
Eventually, though, they came upon a large, circular room, located roughly in the middle of the complex. And, unlike all the others, this one lit up the moment the first human entered.
At first they were scared, but it soon became obvious they room wasn’t going to try and kill them all. With trepidation and reverence, they approached the central display. One of the Black Panthers began photographing everything
Most of the holographic screens were blank, but one displayed a corrupted and barely readable map of the continent. There were markings on it - many, many markings, arcane symbols that obviously defined places of interest.
“General! That’s Corinth here... look... Corinth, this is the river... San Dorado hills... is that what the aliens were looking for?”
“If it was, they’d have taken it with them.” Corello rubbed his chin “But this is still obviously quite valuable. Send a runner to the surface, we’ll need work teams here. Fast.”Wild Space Sector BB-25
Top Secret COLON ASS TURDS Blacksite
“...we’ve moved the equipment to a secure location over several weeks. We had to work at night, of course, and carefully time the excavations to avoid your satellites...” Corello’s explanation was interrupted by the interrogator
“Where, general? Where did you take the equipment removed from the complex?”
Corello smiled and leaned back in his chair “Why... you would like to know, wouldn’t you? Heh. And now we come to the part where we actually negotiate for what you want to know, yes?”So that’s why the bastard was being so helpful...
, the interrogator thought. He was dismayed at being led by the nose like that, like an amateur, but there was little choice he had in the matter now. Sure, he could order torture... but torture threatened to give X-COM false information, and was generally just a waste of time.
“Okay, let’s say we’ll negotiate. What do you want?”
“Safe passage to a non-extradition treaty country and fifty million marks in cash.”
“Not going to happen. You know perfectly well you can just give us false information and disappear.”
Corello held up his hands “Well, that’s my offer. What else can I give you but my word I am not going to lie?”
“I think”, the interrogator leaned forward, “I think that what you really want is immunity from persecution.We are not naive, general, my superiors will never go for just letting you off. But my organization can protect you from the government if you cooperate.”
“Hah! Works great for you, doesn’t it? Keep me where you want me to be, always watched, ready to be disposed of after I become useless?”
The interrogator returned Corello’s gesture from just a few seconds ago, “That’s my offer. You know damn well you’re not going to get a better one.”
There was silence. Corello considered his options carefully, but saw no way to actually get anything more out of the situation. If he strung everything along too much, they’d just torture him for the information, anyway. It was surprising he had been treated as well as he was for so long.
“Fine. But you will go first. If I am out of a cell and living somewhere more comfortable by tomorrow, you will get the location of your artifacts.”
“I am glad you saw reason, general.”Planet Almera
Hempland Province, Pelania
The Doomvees moved through the badlands of the Hempland Province, the furthest region of Pelania that bordered it with the nearby nation of Ayrak. The horrible mountain road made for a bumpy ride, to say the least. The fact they often winded close to giant bottomless cliffs didn’t exactly inspire confidence, either.
“This is bullshit, sarge!” Chet Fisto’s driver yelled from his station. He was attempting to navigate the small column while wearing night vision goggles.
Fisto tried to glare
at the man, like his old sergent used to do, but his own goggles made it difficult. He sighed inwardly: ever since the promotion, he had to learn all these strange new skills. Like leadership. It was much harder than brutalizing terrorist sympathizers with the butt of his rifle, or stabbing college students, and SGT Fisto didn’t have the money saved to pay for his own NCO training.
Due to Fisto’s failure to leadershipize him, the driver kept whining, “These fuckers behind us, they must be really fucking comfortable in their APCs!”
The doomvee suddenly shifted to the side. The wheels bucked and blasted sand and small stones without finding a good grip. Despite the driver’s best efforts, the leading Doomvee was stuck, hanging halfway over a cliff.
“Godammit, Cuntser! You should’ve watched the fucking road!”
“But Sarge, you didn’t tell me to!” the Private Freedom-Class whined back.
“Shut the fuck up!” Fisto smacked him with his pistol. It looked like he’d have to learn leadership on the spot. He made a mental note to have Cuntser demoted from the rank of PFC to the rank of PFC, Private Fail Class.
“Okay, everybody out! Stop the convoy!”
His men began piling out of the precariously located vehicle. Fisto could barely even glance at the situation, when a group of all-black armored vehicles rolled up to the blockage.
Soldiers in featureless uniforms without any distinctions began piling out of them, taking up defensive positions along the sides of the road. Before Fisto could be done yelling obscenities at Cuntser, he was approached by the commander of the second part of the convoy, the one Fisto and his men were acting as scouts for.
“What’s going on here?” the woman
demanded. She was clad in high-tech tactical gear, and cradling a large machinegun.
Fisto didn’t even raise his head. “Go away, men are working here,” thinking her to be some random journo, a nurse or maybe a cook. Only after he said that, he noticed his men becoming suddenly silent. It was the kind of silence that preceded something really, really bad.
Fisto turned around slowly, facing the woman. She has no distinctions, but carried herself with an aura of obvious authority, and also carried a huge gun. And besides, she was introduced during the briefing as a lieutenant colonel, which Sergeant Fisto forgot. After all, a woman could never normally
attain such a high rank. They could only attain such a rank... abnormally.
Through their feminine wiles! That’s what Fisto’s chaplain said during his sermon, and the chaplain was never wrong about such things.
“Oops.” Fisto simply said.
“Oops? Sergeant, if I hear anything like that from you again, I will toss you off that cliff myself. You are extremely lucky we’re not on base right now, or I would have had you relieved of your post and sent to headquarters for reassignment,” she paused for dramatic effect, eyeing Fisto up. The sergeant, in a rare spat of wisdom, said nothing. “Now let’s start this again. What’s going on here?”Stupid bitch
, Fisto thought, glaring at her, Talking down to a man like that!
“Uh, yeah. We’re kind of stuck, but we’ll get it working again, don’t worry.”
“Don’t worry what
Fisto swallowed the bile which was filling up his mouth due to rage. “Don’t worry Ma’am!” he yelled back. Bitch.
“Good. Now let one of my vehicles pass you, we’ll drag you back onto the road. And move it, we’re sitting ducks out here.”
She went back into her Badley IFV while another doomvee went ahead of them. A black-clad trooper went out of the vehicle and hooked a cable to them, and began dragging them out with a winch.
Soon the convoy was on the move again. Fisto, still angry from his humiliation at the hands... at the mouth
of that stupid whore, decided to relieve his frustration by verbally abusing his subordinates. It wasn’t right, he thought, how that woman bossed him around like that. Out here on the battlefield, no less! Women didn’t belong to the battlefield! Women were supposed to make babies. Lots of healthy babies who could then shoot terrorists for freedom! Women going out themselves to shoot people was just wrong and obscene.
And what if the terrorists got the women? How could they defend themselves? And how could they make more babies if they got hurt? Fertile women were the key to the next generation of strapping young non-homobortionistic Murcan boys, and also some fertile girls that they’d need to make more after that. At least some very virile man-soldiers had the good sense to sleep with the women and make babies on the battlefield, get them knocked up so they’d get sent home. It was for their own good, after all, even if the women would try to say all sorts of things. Fisto knew that no always meant yes, just like what he said to Barry, and that they wanted it anyway.
Something made Fisto think that the female commander wasn’t really a fertile female, he wanted to ask her if she had ever been mistaken for a man, but was afraid to since who knows what she would’ve said back. And these troopers she commanded? Some division of those fucking ASS TURDS, they said. The goddamned arrogant bastards with their hi-tech gear and no-nonsense attitude. Why, nobody ever saw the TURDS freedomizing cities and hauling suspects off for enhanced interrogation. No, it was all Guardsmen and Armymen who did all the hard work! Fisto had the honor, no, the privilege
of giving Bari’bama a drink, he was practically a hero, and now this bitch was talking down to him? Motherfucker. Stupid whore.
Fisto mulled over the issue some more, while randomly throwing expletives at his convoy. It took him enough time for the doomvees to clear the last precarious bend in the road and come upon a large plateau. The terrain in here rolled down gently towards another high slope: about halfway up that one lay the village they were looking for, where Fisto was supposed to lead that goddamned bitch-whore and her stupid emasculated soldiers to look for whatever they were looking for. Months of treading those fucking mountains and that’s the assignment he gets after his heroic abuse of fucking Bari’Bama himself, live on TV, with Blenn Geck.
Chet Fisto was angry, angry at the entire world. His humiliation threatened to burn a hole in him, and so the moment he saw anything to lash out on - in this case, a goat, grazing by itself - he blew it away with his Mama Goose while yelling terrible curses. Yes. That was better. Oh Jeebus, hell yeah. The roar of the machine gun carried far, like thunder. Hell yeah!
The result was most strange, however. Unlike in Corinth, where shooting random animals and people did not make people overreact needlessly, the goddamned bitch... overreacted. Her vehicles immediately broke formation and disgorged her troops, while she came on the radio demanding a report. She was hysterical, probably due to her wandering uterus, Chet concluded.
“It’s nothing, I just killed a goat,” Fisto said into his headpiece.
There was silence. The black-clad troopers somehow managed to glare
at him from their positions around the stopped convoy, despite their helmets and goggles, which made SGT Fisto kind of jealous.
“Fisto, I want to see you. Right now.” The bitch finally spoke. How did she even know his name? Fucking hell. Angry again, despite the carnage wrought on the unsuspecting animal, Fisto unclipped his safety straps and climbed out of the doomvee. Fucking hell.
He jumped off the doomvee and made his way towards the Badley, dragging his feet as he did so. He passed by one of those black COLON assholes, who was glaring at him with his ugly goggled face. Fisto glared back at the ASS TURD.
“Yeah, what’re you looking at, jerkwad?” he said defiantly.
The TURD looked like he was going to say something, but instead of saying anything the TURD suddenly exploded. He blew up into bloody bits, spraying Fisto with bone splinters and desecrated viscera. The National Guardsman fell on his ass at the unexpected display of violence, while the other troopers - TURDS and non-TURDS alike - immediately returned fire at their unseen assailants.
The night was lit up by tracer fire and muzzle flashes, as small arms, Armalytes, Mama Gooses and Badley assault cannons opened up in an obscene omnidirectional onslaught of ordnance. The roar of so many firearms was deafening to Fisto’s ears, and the smell of cordite from the spent casings overpowering his stuffy nostrils. But there was another sound, and another smell mixing with those familiar scents and sonances. A sharp sizzling noise, and an acrid odor coming from below his nose. Fisto was still on his ass, he looked down and saw that his own Armalyte, which had been slung across his chest, had melted into two and the ceramic plate inserts on his body armor was bubbling and burning.
“Oh shit! Oh shit!” Fisto screamed as he tried to remove his melting chest plate. As he undid his tacticool webbing, he could feel the intense heat on his breasts as whatever it was ate through the plating. “Oh Jeebus!”
“Take cover make stand!” the woman commander was shouting over the radio. Another TURD exploded violently, his upper torso abruptly removed from the rest of his body. The nearest soldier started screaming as something got on him, he started rolling on the ground as smoke billowed from his body.
“What the fuck?” Fisto finally undid his armor, throwing it to the ground just as the ceramic plate had been fully liquefied. Realizing that Colonel Bitch probably had more important things to do than talk to him, Fisto started crawling back for his doomvee. TURDS were dropping all over the place. One of the COLONs fell right in front of him, the trooper’s face was reduced to a grinning skull, before it too bubbled up into slime. Fisto whimpered. “Mommy!”
Their assailants were shooting back. Emerald bolts stabbed through the dark, like green bullets that exploderized whatever they hit and bathed anything nearby with acid. One of the National Guard doomvees was already reduced to a half-molten slagheap along with everyone inside it. It was unlike anything Fisto had ever seen on this planet, he didn’t sign up for this shit. He signed up to bayonet goddamn communoid union protesters and student demonstrators, he joined the National Guard to shoot sand diggers in the face and bathe Secret Pelanian Barries with cool refreshing water. Fisto was regretting not bringing any money with him to the battlefield.
But no matter, he was finally near his doomvee. He called out to Cuntser to pick him up, but the goddamn Private Fail Class was busy trying to be a hero and manning the Mama Goose instead of driving his ass out of the line of fire. The roar of the heavy machinegun was deafening, the trooper couldn’t hear Fisto. The muzzle flash was also blinding, and the trooper also couldn’t see the incoming emerald bolts. They missed him, but not the doomvee. They found the fuel tank and the whole vehicle blew up, sending Cuntser flying off the damn thing and hitting the ground with a painful thud.
“MEDIC!” Cuntser wailed. None of the acid had gotten onto him, but the explosion had ripped both his legs off. A para-medic crawled towards him and he grabbed the medic desperately. “Doc! Help... me!”
“This looks pretty bad, Cuntser. I’m afraid your plan only covers one lost limb, not two. You’ll have to pay out of pocket for that one,” the medic replied. Murcan military medics were privatized, and they didn’t cover pre-existing conditions. They also didn’t provide free socialized medicine in the field, each soldier had to pay for his own treatment, because neither the military nor the government stole from the taxpayers in a display of efficient management. It worked very well, as medics offered various TraumaCare(TM) plans for their customers, allowing the government to cut taxes and save its citizens even more money - truly, the greatest combat care in the world! Cuntser reached into one of his countless tactical pockets and feebly produced a piece of burnt plastic. The medic clucked his tongue. “I’m sorry, we don’t accept FasterCard.”
“But my premium!” Cuntser shouted as blood frothed out of his mouth. The medic shook his head and applied a tourniquet to only one of Cuntser’s lost legs before crawling away, out of the line of fire, and leaving the other amputated limb to continue on bleeding. Cuntser looked at his untreated leg and started crying. He looked at Fisto desperately. “Sarge... tell my wife... I need money...”
“What a girl, no wonder his parents named him cunt,” Fisto muttered under his breath as he left the guy and bravely tried to find cover. He found it in a convenient rock, which he curled up and hid under.
“Move the Badleys to cover the doomvees, their armor can take those acid bullets!” Lt. Col. Bitch was ordering over the radio. The Badleys moved out, advancing towards the direction of the enemy fire and letting loose with their own auto-cannons and missile launchers. The emerald bolts were slamming on IFVs’ armors, melting the outer layers. These particular Badleys, like most X-COM vehicles, were modified with experimental layered composites and rated to withstand heavy damage - and so managed to hold up slightly better than the Doomvees. At least, until an enemy missile destroyed the leading Badley.
“Call for air support! Call for air support now!” the commander’s voice now had a hint of panic.
“We can’t, we’re being jammed! We’re trying to -” another missile streaked through the night and struck the Badley equipped with advanced communications equipment.
“Shit! Ma’am, our Badley can’t take any more of those acid bullets, we can’t move the turret and they melted the treads. We’ll be targets for those goddamn missiles!”
“Dismount!” the commander shouted, as the crew of the command vehicle disembarked and used their disabled vehicle for cover from the acid rounds. It wasn’t wise to stay too close to the downed Badley though, so the TURDS spread out to present harder targets.
“Fall back! Run, get to the doomvees!” the Lt. Col. commanded, she was attempting to suppress the enemy with her high-tech X-COM pulse rifle. “We’re moving towards phase line bravo then collapsing back along the approach route!”
The ASS TURDS and the National Guardsmen fell back. The remaining Badleys popped smoke to conceal their exit, reversing their courses while continuing to shoot back at the unseen enemies. The doomvees, shielded by the wall of IFVs, took the survivors and rolled out ahead of the Badleys, which covered them with autocannon fire. For the meanwhile, the pace of the enemy attacks seemed to slacken, the torrent of emerald bolts slowing down and the missiles slacking off. Maybe it was the smokescreen, or maybe they had no need to attack a retreating enemy.
“Move it or lose it!” Chet heard the Lieutenant Bitch say over the radio. “Go go go!”
“Shit! Wait!” Chet screamed. He was still hiding under the rock, and now the Badleys and doomvees were leaving him behind. “No! Come back! Don’t leave me! Nooooo!”
He fell to his knees and waved in futility at the departing convoy.
The emerald bolts and missiles finally ceased, and the X-COM operatives and the Guardsmen breathed sighs of relief in having survived the gauntlet. Their commander was trying to get the radio to work, to get through the jamming. They made it out alive, but something told her that it wasn’t over yet.The humans are retreating.What’s our ROE?Humans dispensable. Kill everything that isn’t covered in fur.Da. Use of tactical atomics authorized.Acknowledged.
As the convoy made its escape down the long and winding mountain road, their passage triggered something buried beneath the ground. The device was a compact thing, barely 50 kilograms in weight and the size of a small fridge. Its passive-aggressive seismic sensors waited for the first vehicle to pass, and then the second, using the vibrations in the ground to compute just how many vehicles there where - and when the middle-most vehicle was about to pass over. It determined when it was under the exact center of the convoy, and then it initiated its micro-nuclear warhead.
Sergeant Chet Fisto watched night turned to day, and the X-COM and National Guard convoy turn into dust. The blastwave threw him like a rag doll, or rather a rag action figure
, sending him flying through the air until he was reintroduced to terra firma. He fell to the ground, hitting his head on something.
Before he lost consciousness, Fisto caught a glimpse of a small group of towering brutes, silhouettes posessed of bearly physique, covered completely in fur. The last thing he heard were strange voices, guttural growls in an alien tongue he’d never heard of before. He also heard the unmistakable sound of laughter.
Of fucking laughter
Saint Murca’s Pentcostalinism Chapel of Jeebus
There was music and there was dancing in the church. For Murcans were a religious people, a god-fearing people, but also joyful people. Preacher Reverend Billy Biscuit Graham always said that your should praise the Lord with joy, and so there were always things going on in his church. There were no pews, no chairs, no - the people prayed while standing, prayed while dancing. They prayed for hours, sometimes days.
The preacher paced around the stage before the altar, microphone in hand, shouting at his congregation, “Say it with me, brothers and sisters! Say it with me now! Who is your savior?! Who delivered you from daaarkness? Say it!”
“JEEBUS!” the crowd chanted. “JEEBUS SAVES!”
“That’s right, my flock! That’s right! Who holds your hand every day? Who delivers answers others can’t? Who is the only light, the only way? Say it! Say it with me!”
“JEEBUS!” the crowd chanted yet again, “JEEBUS GUIDES!”
Joey Jojo danced with the crowds, reciting his prayers. He had been praying for two hours now, along with his son, Bobby Lee. The women prayed behind them, of course, so as to not distract the men from the glory of JEEBUS with their unclean feminine physiques.
The preacher suddenly held up a snake, “BROTHERS! Look upon the face of the DEEBIL! Look at that which tempted ROSLYN to seduce ADAMA!”
There was a gasp, as the music stopped all of a sudden, “Yes! The horrible visage! This beast, foulest of the foul, that made ROSLYN flash her body at ADAMA and corrupt his mind, so that man was thrown out of paradise! But fear not! For we have faith and thus look into the face of the DEEBIL with courage!”
The preacher’s assistants began throwing rattlesnakes at the congregation, and the music started again. The people in the crowd were now falling down in epileptic attacks, speaking in tongues, with terrified rattlesnakes slithering all over them, shaking their rattles. But they were trampled with ritualistic frenzy. Some people fell over from the bites, but were ignored.
“See the DEEBIL fall before us, brothers! See him trampled by our righteous feet! Pray, pray to JEEBUS that he bestows GRACE upon you! On your families! On our boys fighting His good fight in Pelania!”
“We pray! We pray! Save us, JEEBUS! Guide us, JEEBUS!”
Joey yelled with everyone. Suddenly, his son, little Bobby Lee, fell down to the floor and began thrashing about, babbling something in tongues.
“Abela kababa bakalakdaka mohhamad jihad! Mohhamad jihad!”, the boy yelled incomprehensibly. Joey lifted him up high above the crowd and bellowed, “Listen to him! Listen to JEEBUS speaking through my child!”
“Bomabstic fantastic! Durka durka boom shaka laka boombad general! Tooty fruity!”
People gathered around Bobby Lee. A guy was yelling at him in joy or psychotic rage - it was hard to tell, while another banged a fist on the boy’s chest while reciting the Scriptures. Joey was besides himself with joy - literally, for the chanting and music and yelling and a rattlesnake bite or two let him enter an otherworldly trance. He stood next to himself, watching his body froth at the mouth and yell at the church’s ceiling. He then floated, high above, above the world, towards the heavens... he saw things there, things beyond imagination. He saw talking bears and walking dead, he saw big-headed angels with gray skin and gigantic eyes, he saw black monoliths floating through space and giant clouds of mushroom shape above strange worlds.
“JEEBUS SAVES! OH JEEBUS Let us know your will through that child as you let your disciples hear you speak after being thrown off a cliff!” the preacher’s voice snapped Joey back to the then and there.
“OH JEEBUS!” the crowds chanted back.
“OH JEEBUS! Testify!” the pastor hollered.
Bobby Lee shrieked, “Like a virgin! Touched for the very first time!”
, boy! Speak like JEEBUS!”
“Meesa exiled! Meesa cast out! Meesa clumsy! A hidden city! Muy muy crunchy!”
“Yes, brothers! Hear the boy speak of exile, of terrible ordeals suffered by JEEBUS in the Swamp of Terrors! Where our Lord lived for four seasons, eating what nature gave him and praying!”
“Hallelujah!” someone shouted.
“Hallelujah!” the rest followed. “HAIL JEEBUS!”
“HAIL!” half the crowd went as they raised their fists.
“JEEBUS!” the rest replied, beating their chests.
The assistants now walked about in the crowd, collecting donations. It was easy, for the entranced, chanting crowds did not mind their wallets, so the assistants emptied them into large trash bags. Credit cards and cash soon swelled the bags with righteous wealth which would serve to further englorificate JEEBUS and pastor Billy Biscuit. The assistants also placed some rattlesnakes into the bags for good measure, ones that hadn’t had their venom sacs filled with LSD.
“Brothers! Close your eyes and PRAY TO JEEBUS!” Reverend Billy Biscuit commanded his flock. They followed his Holy Word and closed their eyes, but most of them were simply too exhausted to actually do any praying, and just passed out either from over-exertion or the drugged rattlesnake venom. Suddenly it was very quiet, but not for long. The sound of helicopter rotors could be heard from inside the chapel, and the double-doors opened as a black-suited man entered the church.
“Reverend Biscuit,” it was a man from the Sovereignest Service, an SS man. “You are needed on the Hill. The Sovereignest Citizen would like to have a prayer with you.”
“I see. Where the Lord calls, I will follow. Come, my child,” the reverend nodded and went with the man, leaving his comatose congregation and boarding the helicopter outside. They departed for the Hill.
A few hours later, Joey Jojo crawled back to his feet, groggily, dizzy with the whole world spinning around his throbbing head. As the other churchgoers left the building, so did he, staggering outside and getting in his truck. After cleansing his sins on church, Joey felt like he needed to go back home to get a beer and have some smokes. Yeah.
He drove away, despite the nagging feeling that he forgot something. No matter, nothing was ever lost in the House Of The Lord, he’d just come back to pick up whatever it was next week. He went out of the pristine gated community owned by Pastor Biscuit, who was very rich since the free market copiously rewarded his godliness. Then he got to the public roads, which were no longer being maintained by taxpayer money stolen by the socialists. The road was bumpy, but that was why he was riding on a Frod pickup truck. A sportscar, some fancy rich wiener’s BDSMW passed him by, but he didn’t mind. His throat was too hoarse from shouting praises to Jeebus to scream obscenities at the guy who overtook him.
Eventually they stopped at a toll booth operated by the gangs who now owned the road by exercising their Second Amendment rights. Everyone had to pay a fee for driving through what was now their private property. Joey Jojo noticed that the graffiti on the toll booth were painted over by new ones, and the tollers were wearing bandannas with new colors and waving different signs with their hands. They must’ve staged a hostile takeover on the last guys who operated the tolls. The free market at work: Joey was told by Blenn Geck last night that this was how the tolls went down, while quality of service went up!
Joey Jojo stopped behind the BDSMW.
“Hey, hey, hey. Nice car, holmes!” one of the toll boothers said to the BDSMW’s driver, waving a FAC-10 around like it was nobody’s business. Joey Jojo felt a bit nervous as he watched, but reminded himself that it was the man’s Second Amendment right to own any weapon he pleased and wave it around in public, especially at town hall meetings. This was not pussy-ass Algeira anymore, in Murca men were truly free to intimidate their fellow men, particularly those less manly men, like women and homobortionists
. “Can we take it for a ride, yeah?”
“No, this is my private property. I’m not gonna let you poor people borrow it around like some socialist,” the rich snob in the BDSMW said. Turned out he had a vanity plate too, Joey just noticed. Prick.
“Huh? Well, ya know what they say, no means yes, homey. Especially for women. Are you a woman, homes?” the boother asked. His friends were going around the BDSMW, eyeing it closely and greedily. “Say, dis is a BDSMW, ain’t it? Why you don’t buy Murcan, mang? Why you buy some fancy Thanasian car?”
“Fuck off, you damned dirty Mohicans,” the BDSMW driver spat. He revved his engines and prepared to make his escape, while pressing an emergency button on his company cell phone.
“Don’tcha know them Thanasians are a big bunch of socialists? They’re right beside Zenobia, holmes. You have a socialist car! We don’t like it, holmes. You better get rid of it.”
“You fucking idiot!” another gangster spat at his friend. “You’re not supposed to say the name Zenobia, goddamn it! Oh shit, now look what you made me do! Argh!”
“TRAITORS!” a third gangster came up behind them and shot them both with a Puzi submachine gun.
As they screamed and splattered blood all over the BDSMW, the rich bastard tried to take advantage of the gang’s fratricide. He stepped on the gas and crashed into the toll booth, but the cunning entrepreneurs manning it had foreseen such folly and laid out some tire spikes. Joey watched as the guy spinned out of control and crashed into a tree. The fine examples of Murcan patriots then dragged him out and shot him in the head. Then they threw him into a ditch beisde the road.
“Some repairs and it will be good as new!” one of them proclaimed upon inspecting the BDSMW. “It wasn’t very useful on these roads anyway. Gotta add some upgrades.”
Another one of them approached Joey Jojo, since he was next in line after the BDSMW.
“Yo, mang! Toll rate’s gone up cuz’ of maintenance fees!” the boother said, on account of the BDSMW having just wrecked their booth. “Pay up, pal.”
Joey Jojo reached into his pants and felt for his pocket. He felt something thick and hard, but realized that it wasn’t his wallet. The ganger eyed him suspiciously as he stuck his other hand into his pants to look for his wallet.
“Oh shit, I must’ve left it at the church...” Joey sputtered. He knew
he had forgotten something. Oh shit.
“Hmm... then I guess we gotta impound your car, man. Step outta the vehicle,” the boother brandished his Puzi menacingly.
“No way, man.” Joey replied defiantly. “I paid for this truck with my goddamn money. That I earned! Surely you understand the value of the dollar, right?”
“We do. That’s why we gonna take the car,” the man pulled the Frod’s door open. “Get out or I’ll take you out!”
“Fuck you!” Joey’s hands, still in his pants, reached for the thick and hard thing inside it. He was gonna show this asshole his Second Amendment rights, up close and personal. He whipped his thing out and shoved it at the boother’s face. “Eat this, motherfucker!”
Joey Jojo drew his gun, but he forgot that he had pawned his gun to get some cash for his startup fertilizer business...
...so he ended up pulling out a northern diamondbutt rattlesnake from his pants instead, must’ve slithered into his trousers back in church. The snake whipped out of his hands and sank its fangs into the toll booth operator’s throat.
“OH JEEBUS!” the ganger screamed as the venom went into his arteries and then into his brain, crossing the blood-brain barrier to fill his skull with deadly neurotoxin. He started to foam in the mouth while flailing his arms in feebilitude. “OH JEEBUS!”
Joey Jojo realized that the guy must’ve been from the same church as he was. He swore he heard that voice back when they were singing praises, but now he was taking the Lord’s name in vain. Whatever. Joey slammed his door shut and stomped on the accelerator, going off-road with his Frod pickup and avoiding the spikestrip the assholes had laid in the pavement.
Unlike the BDSMW, Joey’s pickup was more suited to the incredibly fluid environment of the free market, and thus managed to circumvent the booth with ease. A few rounds plinked through the truck’s body, adding to the collection of bullet holes it had collected over the years. Joey glanced at his mirror, and saw the gangers get into their own vehicles to chase him.
Suddenly, though, four black SUVs passed him from the opposite direction. They stopped by the side of the road and opened up with their roof-mounted Mama Gooses. Joey recognized the logo the cars carried - that of Buttwater Tacticool Solutions, a popular mercenary company providing security services to all Murcans. They made quick work of the gangbangers, and began dragging and cuffing those who had survived.
The rich guy must’ve been employed by a corporation, which would now take its compensation from the gangbangers in the form of forced labor. Joey didn’t care, though, as long as they left him alone. He tuned to his favorite radio station and whistled all the way home, while listening to Benn Geck.“You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one - I can't speak for you, but I'm on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show. You know why that is? Because of progressives! Progressivism is what had almost destroyed our Constipitution. It was designed to destroy the Constipitution by the lieberals! I am telling you...”
“We interrupt this program to bring you troubling news. We have just been informed that a Murcan patrol in Pelania was attacked with nyukyular weapons while scouring the border with Ayrak for fleeing terrorists. We will give you more information as the story develops.”Washingtoff, Murca
“The hell?!” Chinny said, slamming the report on his desk. “Nuked?”
“Yes, sir,” there were many, many generals sitting across the table from him. They were all in the Sovereignest Citizen’s office, alone - as Shrubya was away praying with his closest advisor, Reverend Billy Biscuit Graham. “Everything is in the folder. We managed to get one survivor from the area after we brought in air support.”
“Survivor? Who? Where? Have you debriefed him? What did he say? I wan to speak to him!” Chinny spat out in rapid succession. What most of the gathered officers thought was fear and anger was in fact a show of glee. Nyukes! In Pelania! Near the Ayraki border! The perfect excuse
to freedomize another country!
“We debriefed him very thoroughly. You might know him, sir - it’s sergeant Chet Fisto, you gave him a medal a few months back for apprehending Barri’Bama.”
“Hah! If anybody could survive a nuke attack by terrorists, it’s that fine young man! Bring him in! Right now!”
A mortally terrified aide hurriedly called in somebody from the waiting room. Thick Chinny was rubbing his hands together, already anticipating the march of freedom through the area... first Pelania, now Ayrak... then, who knows? Maybe even Zenobia!
He was surprised when two men walked in, instead of one. One was obviously superior, for he was wearing a uniform of the proud armed forces of Murca, while the other was skinny and wearing glasses like a goddamned intellectual.
“Who the hell is that?” Chinny growled at the unexpected intruder.
“Uh,” the skinny man adjusted his glasses nervously “My name is Hands Bricks, I am a nuclear specialist working for Specific Atomics...I was called in as a consultant...”
“Oh, fine, whatever. Sergeant Fisto!” Chinny’s face actually took on a joyful expression, which was pretty painful. “You are truly a fine patriot! Only a true Murcan could survive such treachery and live to tell the tale! Give him a chair!” He yelled at the terrified subordinate “Please, sit down. Describe what happened out there.”
“Thank you, sir!” Fisto sat down heavily, handing his crutches to the nuclear physicist. “Here hold them ya sissy.”
The soldier cleared his throat, “We were on a joint patrol with a special unit from COLON, which we were assigned to as protection... my men were supposed to take a major terrorist fortress in the mountains and hand off the prisoners to the TURDS for interrogation...”
A general shifted uneasily, as if he wanted to say something. Chinny glared
at him so that he wouldn’t interrupt.
“...we approached the objective and came under heavy fire while storming the fortress. Despite a ten to one numerical superiority we managed to work out way about halfway to the main objective before a shell struck the vehicle carrying the TURDS... I ordered my men to fall back and carried out the wounded on my own back.”
“Dear God, soldier!”, Chinny was obviously impressed. The general who shifted uneasily had a strange expression on his face. Fisto smiled smugly. He’d get another fucking medal for that, no thanks to Colonel Bitch and her stupid soldiers.
“After moving all the wounded to safety we resumed our attack. I personally led the assault. Despite heavy fire we managed to clear the walls of enemy presence, and then we noticed we were not being fired upon by Pelanian terrorists, but someone else entirely!”
“Who did you see?” Chinny listened with great interest. Yes! Yes! He knew exactly what Fisto was going to say!
“Well, I am not sure, sir, but I think they were Ayraki regulars!”Yes!
“Describe them, sergeant. Why did you think they were Ayraki?” the disgusted general managed to butt in. Chinny glared at him again and made a mental note to deal with the troublemaker later.
“Well, sir... it was pretty obvious. They wore furs, were very tall and spoke like animals, sir.”
The troublemaking general and Bricks exchanged shocked looks. Chinny didn’t seem to mind.
“Yes!” he exclaimed, to everybody’s further confusion. “You are indeed correct!”
“Uh, sir, but Ayrakis are not actually
fur-covered animal like beasts...” the nuclear physicist tried feebly to protest. The general gave him a fearful wide-eyed look and waved his hands, trying to stop him. “They dress differently from us, yes, and wear turbans and beards, but...”
“What the fuck? Who the fuck asked you, brainiac?” Chinny yelled. “You’re a nyukyular lieberal intellectual so shut up and only speak when spoken to!”
“What he said! We don’t call Ayrakis and their kind carpet badgers for no reason!” Fisto added. “Anyway, we almost won, but then they nuked us. I tried to rip the bomb from their commander’s hands but he detonated it before I could do that. Unfortunately, I was the only one to survive.”
Everyone looked at Fisto with eyes wide open and mouths slightly agape. Even the general, who seemed like he couldn’t control himself anymore.
“Jeebus,” the general groaned. “Of all the things I’ve heard in my life. That’s gotta be the most - ”
“Patriotic act of bravery ever,” Thick Chinny gasped in realization, nodding his head vigorously at the general in mistaken agreement. “Sgt. Fisto, you’re a true blue all-Murcan hero. General, get this man a medal.”
“What?” the general sputtered incredulously.
“Any medal will do!” Thick Chinny declared. “Why, this looks good enough!”
He reached out to the general and plucked one of his many decorations from his chest, transferring it to Chesto’s chest. The National Guardsman beamed proudly, thrusting his nipples out like as if they were tied to a pair of charging bull elephants.
“My God, you look dashing, Sergeant. Why, I’ll personally take head of your debriefing,” Chinny chuckled. “Then we can go have some cocktails. After we punish Ayrak for attacking us with WMDs, of course.”
“Sir, that’s ridiculous,” the physicist said what many people in the room were thinking. Silence fell inside the office, with Chinny and Fisto glaring
at the insolent bastard.
“I thought I said you were supposed to keep yer mouth shut!”
“I am sorry sir, but that’s the truth. Sample analysis shows the bomb had a yield of about six kilotons, and was very clean. Ayrak has no capability to produce clean, portable devices with such a small yield, because it doesn’t have any nuclear capabilities at all, and sergeant Fisto’s description of how the bomb could be hand-held...”
“Are you calling me a liar?!” Fisto rose from his chair, suddenly not needing the crutches “You better not be calling me a liar!”
“Maybe not a liar, per se...” Bricks adjusted his glasses “Just misguided. Perhaps you are misremembering, or...”
“You fucking prick, I’m a veteran! When you wear this country’s uniform for as long as I have maybe you could talk down to me like that! I’m a soldier and deserve respect, you scum!”
“With all respect due to a man of your station and obvious intellect...” the physicist was pretty nervous, but had apparently decided to bet everything on one card “...you don’t possess any detailed knowledge in this area, and...”
Chinny didn’t hear anything more, for he was boiling inside at the sheer audacity that stinking lieberal intellectual displayed in questioning the word of a soldier
. It was too bad he was employed by Specific Atomics... those damned companies protected their lieberal employees as if they needed them for anything! If Chinny owned that firm he’d fire the bastard and throw him in a pit with other lieberals. He’d throw them scraps and make them fight each other for food! And if their elitist ivory tower knowledge turned out to be necessary somehow, they snap a collar on one and drag him out...Wait
though Chinny, having remembered something I do own that company!
“...so while your deeds might indeed have been heroic, I spent twenty years working on nuclear weapons and, forgive me for saying, daresay I know a little bit more than you!”
“Enough!’ Chinny growled. “Mr. Bricks, you are fired! Fired, I say!” the Almost Sovereignest Citizen yelled, and then commanded an SS Man standing next to the exit. “Throw him in the pit!”
“Uh, excuse me, sir... I don’t think we have a pit...” the terrified aide reminded him cautiously.
“Then dig one!”
“Now wait just a minute!”, Hands Bricks tried to protest, but the SS man had already grabbed him. A pistol-whip later, the physicist was dragged out of the office.
“Now, gentlemen... let us discuss the issue of the Ayraki nyukyular attack on our brave troops, and our retaliatory options!”
“Shouldn’t we wait on the Sovereignest Citizen before making a policy decision, sir?” the secretary of state, that goddamned legalistic prick, observed. Chinny growled at him, making the man cower in his chair. “Or maybe not...” he feebly added.
“Good. Now that’s taken care of, allow me to present our grand plan for the liberation of Ayrak!”
Chinny proudly extracted a folder from his drawer - obviously a document long in the making, but only consisting of one page.
“Here it is. We should go in and abolish Ayrak’s government... dissolve the army, pull down the statues... yes, the statues are important... and the people will be free to do whatever we want them to do!”
The generals looked at each other in confused silence.
“So? What do y’all think?”
“Uh, we thought there’d be something more?”
“No, that’s it. I mean, Ayrakis will obviously love us for freeing them! They may be subhuman brutish animals, but deep down under every sand digger is a Murcan trying to get out! Freedom will make them turn into white middle-class Murcans!”
A general took the piece of paper. There was more silence, then confused whispers. Somebody mentioned how much money they could drag out of the budget to finance that one. Another general mentioned he could sure use a bunch of new airplanes.
“The plan needs a little fleshing out, but it is otherwise excellent!” they finally declared.
Chinny growled again “No! It is perfect! No fleshing out needed! Get the orders drafted! Now!
The generals gave up the fight. “The Sovereignest Citizen will get the first operational orders tomorrow.” they said.I should be getting the first operational orders tomorrow.
Chinny grinded his teeth but suppressed his rage.
“Good! You are smart men! Meeting adjourned, tah. You know where the doors are.” Chinny slapped his forehead. “Oh yeah I think we should reward our brave sergeant here for his heroics!”
Chet Fisto beamed with pride again, and grinned smugly. “Anything for Murca, sir!”
“Yes! You will have the honor of being the first Murcan to invade Ayrak! Gentlemen, give the sergeant here a parachute and put him on the first plane to Ayrak!”
“What?!” Fisto gasped.
“You heard me!” Chinny slapped Fisto on the butt good-naturedly, being a former wrestler back in the day, and sometimes fantasizing about his glory days back in the showers and locker rooms with all the other boys. Chinny sighed happily. “Go ‘git ‘em, tiger.”
Chet Fisto whimpered, but it seemed to have gone unnoticed. A general with a medal missing from his chest placed an arm around Fisto’s shoulders and led him away with a knowing smile.
After the generals left, there was a sound of a toilet flushing. A cleverly concealed side door opened and in walked Gorge VW. Shrubya, the Sovereignest Citizen, with a folded newspaper under his arm.
“Oh, hey Chinny. Did I miss something?”
“We’re gonna invade Ayrak. Weren’t you supposed to be off praying with Biscuit Graham?”
“Well, yeah, but I had to go poopsie. Invade Ayrak, huh? Golly, what did they do?”
“Well, we established without question it was they who nyuked our troops. And Ayrak is an offence to freedom and apple pie.”
“Fair enough. Say, I’m gonna be busy tomorrow morning, gonna go to a pre-school and read some pop-up books to some kids. I love pop-ups. Would you like to get the first operational orders for the invasion tomorrow, Chinny?” Shrubya asked pleadingly. He had scheduled the visit to the pre-school months ago and had been looking forward to it so much.
“Oh,” Chinny grinned, exposing his fangs. “It’d be a pleasure, Gorge.”