December 29, 1973 – Queue up “run through the jungle” it’s go time

Martialla shook her head and swore sharply under her breath as she started checking her weapons and unloading pouches of ammo.   

“What’s your problem?” 

She ignored me and gave Blue a quick look “There’s at least forty down there, probably more in the buildings.” 

He gestured to the east “I should be able to flank them and you’ll have full field of fire up here.” 

She snorted “Flank them?  There’s two of us.  You dream monsieur.” 

I frowned “What are you guys talking about?  Aren’t we going back to the sub and leaving?  Since someone drove us to the wrong island.  We’re not going down there, are we?  You two are always telling me that there’s no such thing as superheroes, that it’s all just comic book bullshit.” 

Blue peered down from the ridge “Half of them don’t even have guns it looks like.” 

Martialla made a sour fish-face “Wonderful, that means there’s only twenty guys with guns down there.  Plus however many are in the buildings.” 

I waved my arms like I was flagging down a cab “Hello, are you listening to me?  Are we going to try and rescue the people from the plane?  Even though whenever I want to do something heroic you tell me that it’s stupid and childish?” 

Martialla flared her gills in what I assume is a rude manor “When did you ever want to do anything heroic?  I think you’re getting heroism and self-indulgent lunacy conflated again.” 

Blue started taking off his clothes “We have to try to rescue them Ela, you don’t bring a hijacked plane to a place like this because you want a ransom or because you have a political agenda, you bring people to a place like this because you’re going to sell them.” 

“What do you mean sell them?  Like slavery?” 

Martialla fish-eyed me “You’re not that naive, are you Ela?  Did you think slavery wasn’t around anymore?” 

“Well . . . I mean . . . yeah, I guess I did.  Why would you hijack a plane for that?  That can’t be a good way to make money.  That’s like robbing a bank because you want to take all the pens.” 

Martialla started moving things around on the ground seemingly at random “Maybe we can ask to see their business plan once the violent gun battle is over.  Assuming we’re still alive.  Which is unlikely.” 

I looked over at Blue who was taking his pants off “Why are you getting naked?” 

“Because in the event I survive, I don’t want bullet holes in my clothes.” He plucked at his shirt “I have to get this tailor made you know. This stuff is expensive, I can’t buy off the rack.” 

Martialla lay down on the ground with a rifle and looked back over her shoulder “You know the fact that half these guys have swords actually makes it more dangerous for you, right?  You’re unlikely to get killed by a bullet, but decapitation should do the trick just fine.” 

He huffed a weird unhappy lizard noise “Yes, I am very much aware of that fact, but thanks for pointing it out regardless.  I’ll try my level best not to get decapitated, just for you M.” He shook his head “Swords, what’s the world coming to?” 

Martialla made another strange fish-noise “I blame the Japanese army, when their officers started carrying around those crappy mass-produced steel katanas during the war, it made everyone think swords were cool.” 

I looked down the hillside “What exactly is the plan here guys?” 

Blue pointed “The plan is that I go down there and engage them at close range and Martialla stays up here and shoots at them, hopefully shooting at them enough that I don’t get my head cut off.  If there aren’t any NBHs down there, it has a good chance of working.  Better than fifty-fifty odds probably.” 

“Those are good odds?!” 

Martialla sighed “Unless there’s NBHs down there, which there probably are.” 

“What am I supposed to do?” 

Martialla sneered “Hide and cover your ears until all the fighting is over.”  I started to protest but she cut me off “You don’t even have a gun, Ela.” 

I stepped up to stand over her “I don’t need a gun.” 

She looked away dismissively “That might be true if you didn’t suck at hand-to-hand combat, but it turns out that you do.  Or it might be true if there was any chance of you getting close to them before they shot you a couple dozen times, but it turns out that there isn’t.  For someone as scrawny as you are, I don’t know how you manage to be so God damn loud, you crash around like a bull moose.” 

I held my hand out “Fine, give me a gun then.” 

Martialla rolled her shoulders, loosening them up “What would be the point?  You’re useless in a fight, Ela.  Maybe you can sing us a jaunty song afterwards if we win.  Or at least eat all our food.  That’s always really helpful.” 

I was about to pitch her off down the side of the hill when Blue hedged me away from her in that way he does.   

I glared at Martialla, who was ignoring me, before turning back to Blue “I don’t like this plan.  How about we get back in the sub, head back to the big island, and then come back with reinforcements?”

Blue glanced back towards the water “That would be great if we had any reinforcements to call upon.  I don’t think we have a lot of choices here.  What you should do is stay up here with Martialla, when the fighting starts you can throw rocks, big ones, but the truth is that she’s right, your strength doesn’t mean much in a situation like this.” 

“What if they start killing the hostages?” 

“Seems unlikely, that’s the problem with taking hostages, if you actually carry out your threats against them, you lose the leverage.  It’s a catch twenty-two of sorts.”  

“Okay, but there’s no reason to attack right now, is there?  We should just watch them for a while. If we figure out where the hostages are, maybe we can wait until nightfall and . . .” 

Martialla sat up and looked back at us “We have the initiative and the element of surprise, those are the only advantages we’re going to have and we’re not going to have them for long if we sit around . . .” 

I held my hand up “Shut up.”  I pointed “I know that woman.” 

Martialla laid back down and scanned the area “What woman, I didn’t see any women.” 

I pointed “I don’t know how you could fucking miss her, I don’t see anyone else down there in a Vampirella backless thong one piece.” 

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