Better to be lucky and really really attractive than good

My plan was to kill the pilot of the cargo plane and then say to the lady posse that Martialla is the only one here who can fly this bird so if you want to get home you have to negotiate.  The problem with that idea is that it’s hard to negotiate during a firefight.  Once you’ve killed a bunch of people on the other side it’s hard to go “wait, wait, let’s talk now!” and have anyone listen to you.  Assuming that they can even hear you saying it over all the shooting and killing and dying.  Those things are loud.  FYI. 

Also, as Martialla pointed out at the time there was no way to know which one of them was the pilot to kill, or any reason to assume that everyone on board couldn’t fly the plane.  It wasn’t a great plan in retrospect.  But the age-old plan of shooting everyone until you win worked out okay.  Asmuda, Cerna & Slurk all got killed in the process but considering that we were outnumbered six to one that’s pretty good.  Clint Eastwood said in some dumb western “I’ve always been lucky when it comes to killing”.  I’m starting to feel that way a little myself.  Now that I said that I realize that Ela Eastwood would have been a good stage name. 

The funny thing (absolutely HILARIOUS) about being in a firefight is it’s hard to know what it’s over.  In the movies everyone just stops when the fighting is over like it’s a boxing match with timed rounds and someone rung the bell.  That doesn’t happen.  It took us a while to realize that there was no one left shooting at us and the battle was over.  After all the compound guards were dead or dying the airplane people tried to boogey but Dirt Tooth dragged them out of the plane and beat the shit out of one of them, maybe to keep the others in line, or maybe just for fun.   

We found a dozen people barricaded in a barracks that came out when we told them we had explosives and could blow the door down.  They weren’t fighters, they were mechanics and porters and laborers for the Invincible.  They tried to play it off like they were there against their will but I call bullshit on that, you don’t bring unwilling conscripts to your secret base. 

We should have left them in there, it was a big crowd for the three of us to keep track of.  There were five people from the plane, they weren’t all women but they were all “normal”.  They had sidearms but they weren’t interested in fighting once they were the only ones left to do it.  On the plane was another car/truck/whatever like the one they had already unloaded, hundreds of assault riles, dozens of big crates of ammo, a couple fancy looking off road motorcycles, and a case full of coded messages.   

Aside from a couple more barracks the compound consisted of a radio room, some generators, and a big building that looked like a brewery but disappointingly was for mixing up slurry biofuel.  There was also a ton of filter masks and food and other stuff that would be super useful if there were more than three of us.   

I know a thing or two about lying and I’m certain that almost everything our captives told us was crapola.  The only thing anyone said that I believe came from the radio operator who said that the Invincible convoy would be there soon to pick up the stuff from the plane, the only reason they weren’t there right now being that they weren’t expecting the plane to show up for three more days.  Normally the plane and the trucks show up simultaneously, but the invasion has thrown off everyone’s routine.  I believe that because it matches up with what we know.

The airplane crew all took the tact of saying they didn’t know anything about anything, they’re just humble cargo people who fly stuff places and they don’t know anything about the Invincible or any war or anything.  When I asked them why they weren’t mutant freaks they claimed that nobody was a mutant freak where they were from but I could tell 100% that they were lying about that.  I wish I knew why they’d lie about that.  When I asked them where they were from and what was going on there they were vague.   

Living in LA, the bleeding-heart celebrity liberal capital of the world (with tons of guns and violence) I’ve heard that torture doesn’t work.  Even though every action movie ever made says different.  Well, I guess that’s not true, in those movies the hero is untorturable, it’s only the bad guys who squeal when Sly Stallone starts cutting off their fingers.  But if torture doesn’t work what does?  And is threatening to shoot someone torture?  How do you force someone to act against their best interest? 

While I was pondering that Dirt Tooth was guarding our prisoners and Martialla was futzing around in the “flight deck” of the cargo plane. 

“Could you fly this thing?” 

She continuing fiddling with gauges and levers “Maybe, I wouldn’t want to try unless it was our only option.” 

“What should we do here Mar?  I admit I’m at a loss.” 

She turned towards me “Take the two cars and everything we can stuff into them, blow up this plane with the stuff we found in that room off the machine shop and leave.  We did what we came here to do, maybe they have another plane, but even if they do we’re disrupted their supply chain.” She gave me a curious look “Somehow everything worked out for you again.” 

I frowned “Is depriving them of two cars and a couple hundred rifles enough to turn the tide in our favor?” 

She put her hands behind her head “No, but in a prolonged conflict we took away one of their advantages.” 

“Can we survive a prolonged conflict?” 

She shrugged carelessly, like it didn’t matter “I wouldn’t have thought so but I didn’t think we’d find this place let alone capture it.  Anything’s possible I guess” she said getting to her feet and heading for the door. 


  1. I’d really never thought about the “timed rounds” aspect to firefights on TV before, but this is completely true. There really should be a bell in real life.

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