Brad Day @ Black Rock – How To Deal With The One Who Gave It All Away…
continued from: The White Lion And The Dessert Rats
“Every gun makes its own tune” – Blondie.
“Spoiler, ALERT!” cried Touche Turtleneck as the security breach signal rang out.
Damnation and blast!” raged Major Spoiler. “He’s here!”
The disgraced Galactic Defence Militia officer stared intensely out of his office window on the 14th floor of Black Rock Block. Here, in one of the more seedy districts of Duggan’s Run Spaceport on Beta Lugosi, torrential rain lashed down relentlessly.
Touche and his gang of hoodlums – who had been hanging around in the office most of the day, just for this moment – drew their blasters and rushed to the door.
JarJar Kushner, the Major’s twisted right-hand man, sitting languidly at the desk, his heavy, ultrawornout boots perched impudently on the blotter, snapped at them:
“Watch it, idiots! This is no ordinary cake-scoffin’ bum we’re dealing with here! He’s good… even by my standards… And for pity’s sake, watch yer backs, he could be anywhere!”
They nodded and piled out, marching off down the hallway.
The two remaining villains listened to the monotonous clatter outside until Spoiler spluttered:
“Do you think he will catch me…?”
“Oh yes, most definitely…”
“How can you be so sure?”
“I am… ‘cos I already ‘ave…”
With one deft flick, the henchman tugged off his black ponytail to reveal a beautiful – but rapidly thinning – mess of blond hair; a device behind one ear was deactivated, and a holographic mask removed to reveal far more agreeable cheekbones.
“Stone the bloody crows…! YOU!” the Major barked.
“Yeah, me…” the Commander growled. “Told ya ‘e could be… ANY… where…”
“You smell like a pig already. Let’s try not to make things any worse” – Corporal Wallace.
“Spoiler… sheesh, you gave away too many Militia plans to the Empire, and now ya- ‘EY! Move away from that cabinet, Major… Disaster… Ah ah! ‘Ands where I can see ’em, fella…“
Brad sprang to his feet and glared at the disgraced officer.
“Pathetic – long ago, you had potential… Now, Brad, you’re nothing. Just a dumbass with a blaster…”
“Quite a dumbass thin’ ta spout, seein’ as the blaster is trained right on ya…”
“Doesn’t matter. C’mon, Fartlighter, you’re kidding nobody – you’re too much of a wholesome hero to just blast me away… like that. No, it doesn’t matter what prison barge you send me to, I can enjoy the last laugh, watching… what unfolds… What does it feel like to be the Most Wanted Man In The Galaxy?”
“Fine an’ dandy, baby. Comes with the territory… o’ bein’ a galactic ‘ero. ‘Ad ta split Bitumen ‘cos the belly dancers couldn’t queue up in an orderly manner…”
“No. Not that. Do you realise that the Empire has slapped a bounty on your “really ridiculously good looking” head? They were offering 20,000 creds-“
“Why, that’s despicable! A measly 20,000 creds?! Me pecs alone are worth a lot more than that-“
“Shut it. I said they were. Obviously, you’ve been too busy “saving the galaxy” to check your Notifications – they’ve shanked the bounty up to 50,000 creds-“
“Goody gumdrops! Sounds abaht right…”
Brad wiped the smirk off his face; his abrupt ashen-face seemed to take the officer aback.
“How much did it cost ya?” the Commander snarled, “…To direct those Zandokan cruisers ta intercept us?!”
“Oh, that was… free of charge! It was a futile move, anyway! You’re the “good guys” – despite impossible odds, you always, insufferably, inconceivably, get through unharmed-“
“MITCH DIDN’T! He wuz wounded during the surprise attack. Me Company managed ta get ‘im to a med-unit on Epsilon, but he-”
“Hmm? I don’t recall- Which one is Mitch?” the Major frowned.
“Mitch Quintana, our newest… and youngest member-“
“Ha, yet another cocky young whelp, no doubt! Never heard of him – how young?”
“Jeez! As sensitive as an earthquake, ain’tcha, fella?! Damn you… he was only 19-“
“Ah…! Same age as you when I took you under my wing twenty years ago-“
“No… NO! Don’t go there…”
“…And made you into the leading man you are today. No worries! The boy will pull through – it’s in the script, right?! He will, most likely, turn out to be just as annoying and indestructible as you – ha!”
“Nah… we just got back in time… to watch ‘im pass away…”
“Aww! Where did he die…?”
The Commander held up his arms, and croaked dejectedly:
“Hey, amigo! You know you got a face beautiful enough to be worth $2000?” – Mexican Bounty Hunter.
“Heh, are you the golden-haired angel sent to watch over me?” Major Spoiler remarked in disbelief.
“Nah… no such luck. There ain’t no songs o’ praise reserved fer… moofmilkuz like you…”
“Ha, cute… What did u do with Kushner?”
“‘Oo…? Oh, that useless scrote. Flung ‘im in the basement, din’I? Funnily enough, I don’t think ‘e belongs anywhere else. Blimey, ‘e’s a waste o’ space even dahn there…”
“Uff, hilarious… You know, in a strange way, I’m actually proud of the way you assembled that pathetic bunch of losers…”
“Me Company, ya mean…? Twen’y years ago, ya used to be a good man – someone ta look oop ta – jeez, what the blazes ‘appened?!”
“I got wise! Listen to me for once, Brad! You, your Company; the Militia; Rajendra’s Free Fighters – you’re ALL finished. The last remaining Federation Planets WILL fall to Zan Doka and the Empire will prevail – the one true light in a moribund galaxy! Let me take you to the Emperor; he will grant you anything, and you can savour the fruits of the Zandokan Empire, as well as I! At last, your miserable existence will have a sense of purpose…! Just think of the immeasurable power we shall wield… Come with me. It is the only way!”
“Uff, spare me… I’ve just about ‘ad enough of yer insuff’rable monologin’…”
Spoiler spat sarcastically: “Aww, I hate to see you suffer… so much, Commander!”
“Fine,” Brad snapped back, levelling his blaster between the startled officer’s eyes. “Then lemme put ya outta yer misery…”
“No, wait! It’s-!”
“Waitin’s over. Adios, pret’y boy…”
“When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk” – Tuco.
The shards of the shattered plexi-screen mingled with the shower as the ex-Militia officer’s body hurtled to the street below. The Zandokan sentries stood aside and simply averted their gaze away from the sickening impact. Upon reaching the foyer, Brad had just readjusted the wig and realigned the mask. He stumbled out of the elevator, desperate to erase from his fevered mind that hard day in the office…
Spoiler’s gang congregated by the revolving doors, adding the mess on the street to their Instagram accounts.
Touche came running up, all-flustered.
“Mr. Kushner! The Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger is still in the building?!”
“Aye affirmative, that ‘e is, dipwit! If ya ‘urry, ya might jus’ catch ‘im!”
The hoodlums dashed back up the stairs.
Two of the Zandokan guards marched towards Brad, but, in character, he managed to keep composed.
“Secure the area!” he barked, putting on his nastiest authoritative voice. “Make sure the Earthling does NOT leave the building!”
The guards nodded in their usual, slavishly obedient way.
And – just like that – the Earthling left the building…
“I think his idea was that I kill you. But you know the pity is when I’m paid, I always follow my job through. You know that” – Angel Eyes.
Around the corner, Brad tore off his accessories for the last time and chucked them furiously into a bin.
Over the deafening din of the monsoon, he opened his earpiece and hailed the Calista.
“‘Ey, whassup, mate?!” the Chief chirped.
“Uff, stow it, ‘Arris – I’m not in the mood.”
“Did ya do it…?”
“Yeah, wha’s done is done-“
“‘Eyyy, attaboy, Commander! The ‘ero strikes again, eh?!”
“Nah, far from, Chief… this ain’t NUTHIN’ to celebrate. This… this wuz bang out’a order…”
“Ne’er mind, eh? Got gateau fer ya an’-”
“NAH… dahn’ wan’ any cake…”
“WHA-?! Is that Brad?! ‘Ere, Kushner ya div! Givvuz our Commander back NAHW, ha ha ha!”
“…This ain’t no laffin’ mat’er, Chief… I’ve gone ta this vile dive ta terminate me ol’ superior officer…! Not only that… he wuz a fellow Englishman… This ‘ole thing… ugh… Jeez, it stinks to ‘igh bleedin’ ‘Eaven… This is NOT wha’ savin’ the galaxy wuz supposed ta be abaht… Tough ‘ero?! It’s really tough tryin’ ta be one… Gawd, this is pants…”
“…’Ey, Brad, ‘e ‘ad ta go, mate… ‘E doublecrossed uz all… nah one coulda done wha’ you jus’ done… Kudos to ya, fella… Some good hasta come from this – it’s jus’ gotta… I-I know whatcha goin’ through right nahw-“
“Tha’s jus’ it, fella, ya dahn’t. ‘Ope ya nevah havta, an’ all… Gotta bit’er taste in me mahf that ain’t gonna shift, an’ a lump in me soul that ain’t NEVAH gonna lift… …
“‘E wuz… dammit – ‘e wuz the one who made me Battleforce Commander in the first place…! Rot ‘im… … …”
“Sooo… … … ya wanna come back nahw?”
“Nah… thinkin’ o’ openin’ a resort dahn ‘ere…”
“O’ course, bleedin’ ‘o course I wanna come back!! An’ I’m gonna be one ‘elluva soggy moggy if I stay aht ‘ere much longer! Beam me oop now, ya donut…”
BRAD FARTLIGHTER WILL RETURN