Remember those crazy bastards with the facepaint and bandanas that tried to shoot me and Martialla (and Paul too but he’s dead now so does it matter that they tried to shoot him before? That’s a question for the ages) and then later turned out to be the guardians of the facility where Lucien was freeze-dried like they put him through the Ronco Food Dehydrator and Vegematic? Turns out without them we’d all be dead now.
According to Lucien the battle for the Valley was poised to be a total victory for the Invincible until the bandana patrol started coming out of the highlands with their inferior, yet superior, muskets. And here’s the gag, they’re on our side. Apparently they’ve decided that I’m their messiah, which if you’re not keeping track makes two religions that I’ve inspired. Take that Jesus! Two to one baby. Unless you consider all the different flavors of Christianity to be different religions. Then he’s got me beat by a mile.
Despire Lucien’s best efforts the Invincible had the war for the valley well in hand when the mountain people started shooting them from the behind and the sidehind and everywhere else, slipping down through mountain crevasses and crannies and fjords and everything else to kill people and steal supplies and shit in people’s water bottles and so forth. After which they would then they disappear back into the hills and caves. Commando raids I think they call that. Not commando like when J-Lo flashes her snatch, commando like when some dudes kidnap Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter.
In response to this turn of events the Invincible have been sending their planes to try and scout out the 127s and then sending uber-rough terrain vehicles after them when they find them but by and large before the Invincible can rock-crawl their way up to kill them the bandana people run away and hide somewhere else and start the whole thing over again. This has really bogged down the Invincible push, otherwise they would have blasted Lucien and his men out of the valley like something something joke about Colon Blow bran cereal.
Sidenote being the god of two religions has turned out to be pretty unimpressive. The bandana-ites don’t coordinate their actions with Lucien or anyone much, they’re just out there roaming around like the neighborhood cat knocking potted plants over and looking for antifreeze to drink. When I did corner a couple of those scraggly bastards to explain that we needed them to help us get to Paradise they weren’t reverent or deferential or all.
The vibe was more “oh, it’s you, uh hey, thanks for trigging our version of Ragnarök and beginning the next stage of human existence, uh yeah”. They were treating me like I was a plumber, thanks for fixing the thing now please get out of my house. Don’t tell Martialla but one time when my career was in a low point I took a non-sex role in a porn movie as a lady plumber. If you can find that footage enjoy the show!
My idea was that in order to turn things our way we needed to get the actual military vehicles at Paradise. No one knew what was going on there, but my assumption was if the Invincible had captured the place we would know it because they would have deployed those death machines against us and we’d all be dead. What we did know is that the Invincible had control of pretty much everything around Paradise and had also their aircraft operating out of the mountain resort where Fortykills and her dingbats used to raid the lowlands before they all got murdered.
That’s why we needed the bandana patrol to Cliffhanger-Vertical Limit us a path to take them by surprise. Which is why I was meeting with my old pal Sordee in one of the dozens of camps we have in the valley to engage in our running battles with the Invincible where we kill some of them and they kill some of us and nothing much seems to be accomplished. He ambled alone into our party of heavily armed lunatics with a rifle over his shoulder and not much else.
“I see you’ve lost your goat-head codpiece but you’re still alive so that’s something.”
He examined some kind of glue or food that was being mixed up over a low fire “Hoocha mamshoocha signa process arbys.”
He slowed down his patter “I forgot that you can’t speak right.”
I rolled my eyes “Yeah, I’m the one with the problem. Look Sord, do you mind if I call you Sord? We need a way to get at Paradise unawares. Sneaky like through the mountains. Can you do that?”
He tasted the paste and nodded approvingly “Sure. I could do that. But I have a better idea.”
I snorted “Oh yeah, and what’s that?”
He looked to the west “We dig.”
I laughed “You want to tunnel under Paradise and take them by surprise from underground? That is insane.”
He gave me a very sacrilegiously judgement look “No.”
I threw my hands up “Well fucking what then? Share with the group!”
“We finish the job. The Invincible showed up before you brought them all out. If you can keep the Invincible off our backs we can bring up the Sacred Machines and dig out the Sleeping Ones. The Vigil will be complete.”