Thursday, November 10, 2011


So, this week's story comes courtesy of my friend Ioan who wanted me to put together a small sketch about an A Team-esque band of space mercenaries. This one was tough to write; 'buddy comedy' can really be brain wracking, but when everything clicked I had a blast finishing it up:

pic link

Gelo R. Fleisher

The insides of the drop ship shuddered and clanked as it hurtled through the outer atmosphere of Tau Ceti Six. Two men holding flechette rifles and clad in plaz-tek armor sat jostling about in their harnesses, one on either side of a hulking robot.

The shorter of the two was rocking back and forth, muttering. The taller one leaned around the robot and poked him with the barrel of his rifle. “Hey, Mauer. Stop gibbering to yourself for a second, I gotta ask you a question.”

Mauer snorted. “Trip, don’t pester me, you’re breaking my concentration.”

Trip rolled his eyes. “Whatever, the only things you ever think about are conspiracy theories and guns. Now, do you have any clue what we’re doing here?”

Mauer jerked his head up. “Hey man, you’re just blind to the truth. See, another piece of the puzzle just fell into place for me. Cows.”


Yes, cows. Or to be more precise, the dairy industry. See, get this. It’s a well known fact that people of Jewish and African descent are three times more likely to be lactose intolerant than Europeans. That means the dairy industry is promoting defacto racist policies by pushing people to drink a product that will cause imbalanced cramping and flatulence across various sectors of society.”

Trip blinked. “What the hell are you talking about this time you crazy nut? All I want to know is why are we here now, like why did the Captain tell us to get into the drop ship?”

Oh, I dunno. Ask the TX-500.”

The robot’s eyes switched on, glowing orange the mention of his name.

I’m not going to ask the robot. Ever since the Captain tried messing with its data loop the thing’s been a broken record. See, watch this.”

Trip tapped TX-500 on it’s slick, metal head. “Hey chrome dome. What’s the weather like outside?”

TX-500’s eyes turned red. “Kill. Crush. Exterminate.”

See, one track mind.”

Kill. Crush. Exterm...”

Yeah, heard you the first time buddy. And Mauer what the hell is that on your wrist?”

Mauer grinned. “You like? It’s my new good luck bracelet.”

No, it looks like you glued a dead hamster to a piece of string.”

Mauer sniffed. “Make fun of it if you want, but when the plasma starts flying, you’ll be wishing you had one.”

Yeah, I Doubt that. So how do you know it works?”

Pff, of course it works; am I being shot at right now?”


Well there you go.”

Trip was about to respond when the door to the cockpit slid open and Captain Maxwell Greene stepped in, the orange light of a burning cigar lighting up his craggy face. “Rise and shine boys and girls, we’re now en route to our latest target.”

The captain paused to drop his cigar on the floor, grinding it out with the heel of his boot. “Now I’ve told you many a time that the greatest joy in life to meet a foe in singular combat and crush them. To defeat your enemy, smear yourself with his blood and roll around in his entrails. Today, sadly, you will not have such a opportunity. Our target,” Captain Greene jabbed a finger onto a holomap that had sprung up on the drop ship wall, “is the Trireme Metal Works. Automated tank production factory, not a living soul in the damned place.”

Trireme’s thugs stole something from our current employer and we’ve been very well paid to go down there and elicit some retribution. This is going to be a sadly simple smash and bash job; parachute in, blow our way through the front door, and wreck some shit up.”

Uh captain.” Trip raised his hand. “If there’s no people down there, why all the guns and armor?”

Precautions son. Factory’s got a full set of automated defenses; flak towers, plasma launchers, and high velocity turret guns.”

Uh, then do we really want to go in through the front door? I mean that stuff sounds pretty dangerous.”

Trip, did I ask you for your opinion.”

No sir.”

No sir indeed. If I wanted to hear the sound of an bleating donkey I would have gone to a petting zoo. What do you think of my plan TX-500?”

The droid’s eyes flashed red. “Kill. Crush. Exterminate.”

Exactly! Good robot. Now that’s precisely the attitude I expect from the rest of you chicken livers. Everyone put on their war face; drop is in two minutes and then the fun starts.”

Smoke lay thickly across the large concrete lot in front of the factory. On a backdrop of burning, smoking tank hulks, Trip, Mauer, TX-500, and Captain Greene huddled behind a shattered wall, bullets and explosions going off all around them. Captain Greene, peeked his head over the wall, swearing and ducking as a hail of gunfire erupted around him. “Shit!”

Alright men! It looks like we’re in a pretty bad spot. The automated defense system saw us coming and it’s gonna turn us into pink confetti if we stay put.” A plasma rocket slammed into the ground a few feet away, throwing a plume of dirt onto the squad.

Trip clutched his rifle tightly. “I told you this was going to happen!”

Thanks for reminder Tinkerbell! Now why don’t you shut your pie-hole unless you’ve got something constructive to tell me! And what the hell is that thing you holding onto Mauer?”

Lucky charm sir!”

Well quit praying to Buddha and think of a way out of this mess!”

ducked as a blast of gunfire raked across the top of the wall, chunks of cement flying everywhere. “Uh, well Cap’n this is a tank factory, maybe we can steal one for an hour or two.”

Another plasma rocket screamed overhead. “Why Mauer, that’s the first bit of commonsense out of your mouth all day! Alright, you two go find me a tank and bring it back here for me to commandeer.” Captain Greene jabbed a finger at the robot hefting a large mini gun. “TX-500, you move forward and provide suppressive fire. Now, let’s all go show ‘em what Delta Squad is made of!”

TX-500’s eyes turned blood red. The mini-gun in his hands began to spin as he stood up and walked towards the turrets. “Kill. Crush. Exterminate.” The mini gun flared to life, spitting a hail of hot fire out at the enemy. “Kill. Crush. Extermi...” TX-500 got three feet out from the wall when a plasma rocket hit him head-on, turning him into an erupting pillar of burning metal chunks. Everyone ducked as smoking robot parts rained down on them.

Trip brushed a burning metal fragment from his shoulder. “Apparently Delta Squad is made up of busted scrap.”

Ah hell.” Captain Greene hefted his rifle and stood up. “You want something done right you gotta do it yourself. Alright you two powder puffs, get out there and grab me a tank!” Greene vaulted over the wall, shouting and firing blindly. “Valahallaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Trip watched as Captain slid into safety behind a pile of smoking rubble, firing blindly while letting out a stream of profanity that had Trip blushing.

Mauer poked Trip. “Hey, let’s get moving, if we don’t Cap’s gonna get smoked.“

Don’t tempt me.” Trip scanned the battlefield of burning hulks, his eyes lighting on a tank that seemed relatively intact. Alright, let’s try for that one. One, two, three...go!” Trip and Mauer scrambled out into the open, blitzing towards the tank. A plasma round screamed towards them, landing close behind as they closed in, flinging them both into the air. Trip landed in a heap at the feet of the tank. Mauer landed on Trip. Kissing his good luck bracelet, Mauer hopped off and clambered into the hatch, Trip following, dropping in head-first.

Mauer rubbed his hands, looking at the huge array at dials and levers in front of him. Trip scrambled over to him. “How’s it look? You driven one of these things before?”

Mauer grinned. “Pshh, of course not. But don’t worry, I’ve got my lucky charm. Let’s roll!” Mauer shoved a large green handle forward.

The tank lurched backwards suddenly, wheeling away from the factory. Trip went toppling to the tank floor. “You idiot! You’re going the wrong way!”

Sorry! Sorry! It was in reverse. Okay, I got it now.” Mauer grabbed another handle and jerked it backwards. The tank screeched to a halt and then lurched forward, gunfire crackling against its hard hull as it rumbled towards the factory. “Heey! I see the Captain! Alright you bastards! Take this!” Mauer pressed a big red button with a rocket stenciled on it.

A pleasant female voice filled the turret.

Auto targeting system activated. Enemy target sighted.

The turret swung slowly in an arc, moving away from the enemy turret emplacements until the barrel was staring down Captain Greene. “Crap! Halt! No shooting!” Mauer started slapping random buttons.


The turret shook as a loud boom filled the air.

“Captain! Is he alright?”

Trip stumbled back into the turret, squinting to see through the smoke thrown up by the blast. He could make out a smoking, soot covered figure, shaking his fist and yelling at the tank. “Yeah, looks like he’s shouting at us.”

“Oh halleluiah, what’s he saying?”

Ehh, you don’t wanna know.”

Friendly fire disabled. Alternative target sighted.

The tank turret finally rumbled around, bringing the enemy emplacements into sight.


One of the plasma turrets erupted in a shower of sparking electronics.

The insides of the drop ship shuddered and clanked as it flew up past the outer atmosphere of Tau Ceti Six. Two dusty, sweaty men holding flechette rifles and clad in plaz-tek armor sat jostling about in their harnesses, one on either side of a hulking pile of robot parts.

A slightly singed Captain Greene stood staring at the two, arms crossed. “Overall men, I have to say that the mission was a success. Opening phase was a bit hairy, it's gonna cost a bit to put ol' TX-500 back together again, and you two fruitcakes almost turned me into strawberry pudding. But Trireme's shit got wrecked, and in the end isn't that what matters?”

“Yes sir!” Trip and Mauer said simultaneously.

“Yes sir, indeed.”

Mauer fiddled with his lucky charm while Trip cleared his throat. “You know Cap', we weren't really trying to blow you up.”

“I understand son, and I am a forgiving man.”

“Thank you sir.”

“But not that forgiving. Toilet duty for a month. Now, get some shuteye, I just got our next job lined up and it's gonna be even more fun than this one was. See you pansies in a few.”


1 comment:

  1. Not bad. The dialog seemed a bit forced in places, but the flow worked well. Reminded me of Red vs. Blue.