|20.20|21|22|22.2|22.22|22.222|23|24|25|Those Extra Four…|1|2|3|4|Back Cover|
A Pre-Dinner Dip
“Something’s coming, Admiral, and it appears to have been coming this way for a while.”
“A short while or a long time, Captain Rex?”
“Uh, somewhere in between. It seems to be approaching at less than rapid speeds underneath the water, as if propelled by a crappier, outdated version of our water-traversing technology. What’s more, it’s following a similar trajectory that we followed before setting up base camp, as if it picked up on the path we took.
“Very well then,” Admiral Bolt groans, already slipping into a significantly less comfortable wetsuit. “We were just about to eat, but I could always go for a pre-dinner dip, evidently.”
“Sir, with all due respect, I don’t believe you have a choice.”
A Solid Maybe
One subaquatic adventure filled with the traversal of ancient submerged ruins that were inhabited by a tribe of Native Americans in the days of old later, Admiral Bolt climbs out onto the pebbly peach of the Wanapo reservoir, dragging a relatively young human with ironically dyed gray hair behind him.
“Can I kill it?” are the first words out of Captain Rex’s mouth, Bolt responding with an if not dutiful then doubtlessly responsible, “Please, Merciless, we don’t even know if the creature is alive yet.” Then he adds, “Listen, if it does turn out to be breathing, I’ll make it a solid maybe.”
After being plugged in and having his brain scans come up with nothing in the way of instructions on how to do human CPR, the four
Zeroc Grunts assigned to resuscitate this mysterious human visitor are forced to hack their way into the human internet. After stopping on a popular message board and posting a terribly altered photograph of themselves, ‘shopped to make them appear like they aren’t a potentially long-lost genetic ancestor of humankind, they find a VidTube video called How to Save a Human If You’re An Extraterrestrial By Performing CPR, posted years ago by some guy with a show called TerryTeam20.
Coming to the realization that human CPR is a direct rip-off of
Zerocian CPR, the Grunts spend twenty minutes arguing amongst themselves over who gets to press their lips against that of the gross, soggy human. After a game of rock, paper, scissors, llama, the one Zeroc Grunt who’s new enough to the martial body to fall for the old llama trick reluctantly breathes life into the human’s rapidly cooling body. That Grunt runs off to fetch a bar of soap to wash his mouth out with when the human starts coughing up water, leaving only three fully capable seven-foot tall extraterrestrials to deal with their new human invader. Oh no.
You Get To Meet The Aliens
When he does finally come to, Wolf is quite frightened by the triangle of less weathered and slightly shorter versions of the alien that just tried to scalp him looking down on him.
Wolf curls his legs up in the air, rolls back onto his neck, then springs himself airborne with the help of the last remaining drops of fuel left in the thrusters that Torpol wove into each and every one of the MERC battle suits, landing on one integrated kneepad with two of his remaining five handguns unholstered, locked, and loaded. At first the aliens do nothing, completely unthreatened by the hairless ape doing what they assume is some kind of twisted mating dance, but when he starts raising his voice at them, demanding that he be taken to their leader, well, they’re still entirely unphased.
“Whatever dude, his name is Bolt and he’s right through those doors behind you. Nobody’s stopping you.”
Wolf, in a situation like this, would normally just holster his guns and apologize for yelling before getting with the vibe of the rest of the room and proceeding towards his destination. And this is about as normal as a human getting abducted by aliens situation can get, so that’s exactly what he does. Taking a short walk from the containment trailer over to the main dining hall, our soggy MERC, ‘Hopefully ex-MERC now,’ opens both of the double doors and stands defiantly in the presence of Admiral Bolt, Captain Merciless Rex, and the other fifteen
Zeroc Grunts that have been assigned to this Earthly reconnaissance mission.
Admiral Bolt sighs, intently dropping his knife and fork so they clank against the plate topped with flanks of fried fish. The still uncut flanks of fried fish, mind you, that his Grunts had just caught for him out of the reservoir.
“My apologies Captain, I must unsolidify that maybe I gave you earlier. I suppose I’ll have to go tell the Council about this now.”
“The Council?” Wolf challenges, unable to read the room even though all the beings held within speak fluid
“Ah, so it can speak!” Bolt shouts sarcastically. “Well congrats human, you get to meet the aliens who’re invading your planet. I swear, I’m far too old for this shit. Rex!”
Captain Merciless Rex stands at attention, his weapon drawn, each of the seven barrels aimed at Wolf’s head.
“Relax, would you? I told you, the maybe was unsolidified. We want this one alive for now. I need to go prime the teleporters, somebody perform a dee-en-aye scan on him and send the results to the Council of Life. And then, just… make him a plate or something, I don’t know. Listen human, don’t touch anything. Maybe you’ll be useful to us and we won’t have to recycle your body, we’ll see.”
Wolf watches Admiral Bolt march out of the room, stomping his feet as if he was annoyed that he has to deal with Wolf’s presence. After the Admiral leaves, Wolf looks around to see all the purple-skinned soldiers staring at him, some with their arms folded, some shooting stink-eyes.
“Uh… I hope I didn’t barge in on you guys or anything, shit…”