Hired Help


gillian3_icon.gif jamon_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif rosco_icon.gif veronica2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hired Help
Synopsis With one of Iago's cohorts injured and bound in their clutches, Team Alpha resorts to torture to extract news of the Vanguard's next move.
Date December 22, 2009

Argentina: Missionary Ruins

As luck would have it, though the roof is long gone, the broken walls of this ancient Spanish missionary have only partially succumbed to the jungle's wasting influence. Smooth grey and brown stone likely cut from the mountainside that seems to loom all around comprises a number of indecipherable rooms and alcoves, some even tall enough to blot out greenery's relentless encroach. Moss has coagulated in substantial mats wherever it's been able to gain hold, with wispy ferns and hardened vines snaking in through cracks and ruptures to keep it company. Although the metal gate has rusted through to nothing, the exterior walls on either side of it afford some limited protection from the wind, and what few overhangs remain at the base of a collapsed bell tower may serve to keep off the rain. The massive bell itself is crusted thick with corrosion in its dead sit in what may have once been an open courtyard, old metal patched black and rusty red amidst the craggy remains of its former post.

How many days has it been? How many nights?

It's mid-afternoon when Rosco Riggs moves for the first time since Veronica caught him in the side of the head with her rifle. He's on his side, wrists cuffed behind his back, fat-bottomed flies buzzing drowsily around the blood caked and cracked sticky brown around the side of his face and neck. Several days worth of five o'clock shadows have hazed in around the already untidy black bristle of his goatee and he smells like piss in addition to stinking like the onset of infection from the bullet wound gored into his side.

It's probably a minor miracle that he's alive to lift his head at all, depending on your definition of a miracle. A curse comes out as a cough instead, rasping and weak. Helpfully, Jamon wanders over to poke him in the shoulder with a stick.

It's just him, Gillian and Veronica left on Prisoner Watch for now. Several of the others went to work on getting fresh meat; Ross and Magnes are investigating the most recent in a potentially hallucinated series of quiet click-whirrs Ross has heard coming from the jungle lately.
The cough aside and a pair of singing birds aside, it's awful quiet.

Veronica's seen better days. She can't breathe too deeply or the broken cartilage of her sternum rubs her lungs the wrong way, giving way to a charming wheeze and cough, but hey, she's alive, which is better than not. She looks up at the sound of that swear and rasping cough that sounds a bit like her own, and she's off of her log to come investigate.

"We're awake, are we?" she asks, circling around slowly, keeping a bit of distance between the Prisoner of War and herself. "Gillian. Look who's decided to bless us with his awake presence." Her eyes narrow as she stares at Rosco. "We have some questions for you, pendejo."

Click-whirrs are scary things to be thinking one hears right now. With the whole 'everyone who has those bracelets dies' profession by the old lady. Gillian's sitting down watching with narrowed eyes, raising up her long and pointy stick that she still carries around everywhere. Won't be much good against a robot, but it could probably give someone made of flesh a bad day. "He's the kind of ass clown that likes dragging kids from the back of a horse. Are you sure we can't just stab him to a log and knock him in the river. Do you think the river has piranas? Cause that would be cool."

"Crrrikey dick," hoarsed out with a little more force, Rosco has to work to lift his brows and squint and squint harder until at least two of the girls veer into focus and turn out to be just one. He's slower to pick Veronica out from the glare in his eyes and the stick Jamon is no prodding into his cheek.

"Clip-tip's turnin' this jungle into a fuckin' tourist attraction."

"Gillian. We can't get information if we just throw him in the water. His information is more valuable than his sorry fucking life," Veronica says in a sweet voice as if explaining something to a small child, though it's just an act for Rosco's sake. She comes a little closer, narrowing her eyes as she looks down at him. "Clip-tip? Who the hell is Clip-tip?" she asks. "Easy question for starters, I guess." She pulls a canteen from her belt and brings it closer to him — if he's going to speak and they are going to listen, he may as well be intelligible. "Open and drink, then answer," she tells him, taking a drink first to show it's not poisoned, then squirting the water at his parched lips and throat. Not enough to satisfy his thirst, but enough to oil the joints so to speak.

"If this is a tourist attraction, I want my money back. Racist Aussies on horseback weren't on the brochure," Gillian says with a grunt, not poking with her stick at least, but definitely still holding onto it, and keeping it between her and him. "But yeah, who or what is Clip-tip? Information's all you got to bargain with, cause we're not exactly forgiving." The very visible brand on her cheek might be one of the reasons she's unforgiving, considering who he was riding with. She doesn't think he was one of the men who attacked that camp, but only the one who branded her really stands out in her memory.

"I happen to find my 'sorry fuckin' life' both emotionally fulfilling and personally rewarding," piped up from down below with more enthusiasm than being laid out on the ground with a big bloody infected bullet hole in your side generally warrants, Rosco's forced to squeeze one eye shut or risk having it poked out by Jamon's fucking stick.

"You lean a little closer and I'm gonna ram that thing up your flappy asshole you hear me?" plays the part of crosstalk over the offer of water, and then he's coughing again at a sickly croak. Veronica's water is spluttered out accordingly, but after a bit've choking he manages to get some swallowing in there, and there's no masking the relief in his face once it's down.

"That fuckin' midgit jew you mums are cartin' around on your backs. Thinks he's king've fuckin' town down there in Palenque. Maybe he was 'til we fuckin' boxed all his faggot 'be all that you can be' friends."

He sure talks a lot for someone who's half dead.

Veronica gives Jamon the hand — enough for now, you can kick the shit out of him later, her eyes promise. She rolls them a moment later at the explanation of the slur given to their fearless leader. "All right. That kind of information isn't useful, and don't you threaten us while we have you at our mercy, asshole." She caps the canteen and puts it back on her belt. "This will be much more pleasant if we find you to be forthcoming and useful. Otherwise, maybe we'll find some of those fucking barbed needle fish and see what it does stuck up your flapping asshole, got it?" She glances at Gillian as if promising her the chance to do that, then turns back to Rosco. "Where's Munin?" May as well cut to the chase. "Because I guarantee you, if it goes off elsewhere, you won't live to reap any benefits you shits thought would come out of it detonating."

"That wasn't a very nice thing to say about little bald man," Gillian says softly, also nodding to the kid to motion him over to her rather than near the mean man and his cruel words. "He's from Australia. He might like things from the water getting stuck up his ass," she adds on, perhaps showing she can be just as dirty mouthed when she wants to be. But Veronica's asking the questions, so she just holds out her pointy stick and adds on to Jamon, "If you want to poke him more, you need one with a sharper point. Like mine."

"You didn't mention what kind've information you wanted, lovie." Lovie. Left eye squinted open again with effort, still shocking blue despite the grit he's coated in, Rosco's left to look blearily between the pair of them, face all angles and dirt matted into blood. A fly lands in his hair and he can't be bothered to twitch it away. "Who the fuck's Munin?"

Jamon, unhelpfully, looks between his stick and Gillian's while he mulls this over.

"If you really don't know the answer to that question," Veronica begins in a quiet, cool voice, "I apologize." She takes out her blade, flicking it open as she steps closer to him. "Think carefully, and maybe reconsider your answer." With that, her hand flashes out in a blur, and a superficial cut is made in his cheek: a long, diagonal slash running from temple toward the corner of his mouth. Half of a "V."

"Let's try again, Rosco. The fucking nuclear weapon. Where is it?" Veronica says coldly.
Oooo, cutting now. That makes Gillian smile a little more than it probably should, especially considering the possible symbolism. The brand on her cheek looks like a V, with extra ticks on it. It's fitting. Though her V will mean something completely different. "Your old boss, the dead one, he had a big plan. And it included something that goes— " She raises a hand up and makes a motion with it, spreading her fingers. "Kaboom! That Munin."

"Aaah," says Rosco, which isn't a scream or anything so much as it's a raspy no no no no come on now that he fails to enunciate into actual words once the knife's on its way. After it's already done his thing, he laughs. Laughs.

More've a chuckle, really, claggy in a throat that's got as much dry blood in it as his shirt does. Fresh blood is quick to trickle through the older stuff, and then he's off to coughing again, brows canted up, face carefree in only the way psychopaths can be when they're faced with the prospect of losing body parts.

"I dunno about any fuckin' nukes and I dunno about fuckin' swedeish nicknames. They gave me one and I fuckin' forgot it. Only ones I know are Thor and the limey faggot with a 'V'."

Magnes has been hunched down next to his mechanical bone club for a while, watching Veronica work from the treeline. But after a while, something just seems to bother him, possibly the guy's attitude, or… yeah, the guy's attitude. He starts to walk over, looks to Veronica, then to Gillian, and finally down to Rosco, moving to touch his palm to the man's forehead. "This could get very hard, very slowly." he threatens, having already tested a few things out on Danko.

"Limey faggot would be Steel, I'm guessing, so Ramirez must be Thor. You knew it was Swedish though, that's interesting. It's not like most people know their Scandinavian mythology off the top of their heads," Veronica muses, glancing down at the blade and the blood gleaming on it as if fascinated by it. Always good to look like an insane person when torturing an insane person, right?

"So forgive me if I don't believe you when you say you don't know where the fuckin' nuke is, cowboy." She brings the blade close to his face again, beginning to press on his cheek once more, to begin the other point of the V in his face. The blood oozes up, but this time she's slow, deliberate about it. This time she plans for it to hurt. "Spill what you know. Don't edit. Everything that Steel and Ramirez are up to, or this will just be one of the letters of the alphabet I carve on your sorry body." The blade begins to drag down, slowly, toward the point the two diagonal lines will meet.

And they're coming in from all directions! "Welcome back, tree-hopper," Gillian says raspily, looking around as if expecting short and balding to appear behind her. "Could be he doesn't have a clue about anything that goes boom. He doesn't strike me as the 'blow himself up' kinda guy. Seems the selfish 'save my own ass' type." While they get closer and threaten with physical harm, she decides to move back a bit. "You're not going to make his insides implode, are you? Cause that would be messy."

"Only thing gettin' hard around here's my willy," wheezed off with another rasping chuckle, Rosco lets his head roll slack under the press of Magnes's palm, one eye still open to track the second advance of Veronica's knife. Flies drone past the hastened suck of his breath when the tip digs in and starts to drag, and after a few seconds spent in stolid silence, he wrests around enough to try and kick at one of them. Both of them. All of them.

"I dunno about any fuckin' warheads you crazy bitch. They don't tell me nothin' — I go down into town and fuck around when they tell me to. Bring back the mutant spics //they ask for. I'm on the fuckin' payroll for fuck's sake, sameasth' fuckin' bartender—" He's speaking quickly, words bleeding into one another until they cut off in another hard kick so that he can still and squint over at Gillian. "…The fuck did you say?"

"No, there are no hospitals around, so I can't use everything I learned using Danko, since we need him alive." Magnes takes a deep breath, not thinking much about what he's saying as he focuses, trying to make the man's legs heavy when he tries to kick. "You don't need to watch this." he says to no one in particular, and Rosco can sudden feel an increasing tightness around his ribs. "Depending on how you answer and what you tell us, this will end very quickly. First your ribs are going to snap one by one, then your stomach will collapse, and then one lung. I'll do just enough to keep you alive, if you can call that living." It's hard to say if he's quoting something or playing a character, but he's certainly intense in his role. Then… the first crack.

She dodges those kicks, though her V is now a bit jagged. "Oh, look, you made me mess up," she says in a dejected tone, a mock pout pushing her lower lip forward as if she were a little girl trying to draw a picture. She frowns as Magnes begins to threaten as well, not liking him joining her in the torture.

"That's enough for now. Let him talk," she says, pushing Magnes' hand away. "Hurt to breathe? Now you know how I feel, sonuvabitch." Her chest is bandaged from the blade to her sternum. "Tell us what you do know. You all have a pretty damn big bunker just to hold some tequila and horses and hell, even the robots, since obviously you're not trying to keep them fucking secret. What's in the bunker?"

"Wow, you're harder core than I thought," Gillian says, still keeping a distance now. The pointy stick held in her hand could probably get lashed out if she wanted to, but for now it's held close, practically hugged against her. Dirty hair falls in her face, half obscuring her branded cheek. "Big enough to hold a nuclear bomb, which is exactly what we're trying to get out of this place. They don't send a bunch of soldiers just to clean out a couple racist bastards. They send them in if they have… weapons of mass destruction, and all that shit. So either you got a really big bomb hidden away and you don't care if you kill yourself putting a big dent in the world…"

She shifts the stick to one side, as if to emphasize a changing of opinions. "Or you don't know there's a bomb that'll put a big dent in the world right under your ass. Or it's not here at all, which means we wasted our time, I got branded for nothing, and we all get to go home."

"Crikey fuckin' — “ barely manages to force itself out at a barely audible gravel. The cough that caps it off is flecked with fresh blood, and he can't have that much of it left in him to work with.
He can't glance down far enough to look after the pop of one of his own ribs cracking, but there isn't much to see that isn't written out in the furrow of his blood-crusted brow. What happens when your stomache collapses? Suddenly he's sure he doesn't want to know.

"They have rockets. Legions've fuckin' robots — a tank. He's gonna burn the fuckin' village down, mow 'em over like melons."

"He's definitely no Danko." Magnes says with a shake of his head once the man starts talking, moving away when Veronica instructs him. He moves back near Gillian, hunching down next to her. "It's nothing to be proud of." in response to being 'harder core'.

"And you're 100 percent sure that the 'rockets' or hell, even the fucking robots, aren't the nuclear weapon? Would you really be able to tell the difference?" Veronica asks, putting the knife in her pocket for the time being. He has a V on his face now, if not as deep or likely to scar as Gillian's; there's at least a bit of justice in the world, even if it's not the person who branded her. "Also, you hear any locations mentioned, while you're helping them with all the menial, lacky shit — any cities, countries, words that you're not familiar with, that might have come up in conversation? Think. Think hard, Rosco or I'll let Jamon have my knife and come play with you."

"I just want to know the name of the shit face you were riding with, cause he's the fucker who branded me," Gillian says as she keeps her distance, looking quietly at Magnes' guilt. Sure, she understands it to a point, but this is one of those situations… she's surprised that it was able to come to that. A hand reaches up to touch the brand, healed as it may be, and adds on, "Where the fucker sleeps might be nice too."
"You should tell her." Magnes helpfully suggest, not sounding quite like a threat, but it's clearly implied. He's not one to keep anyone else from getting revenge, that'd be hypocritical, so he doesn't protest Gillian's demands. "I should also ask, have you heard any dates or times?"

"I know what a fuckin' rocket looks like," sounds more more miserably defensive than Rosco'd probably like. He digs one heel into the dirt — a subdued writhe — and rolls stiffly over onto his back, dirt still caked into dry blood in vast, crumbling swaths.

"I dunno anything else. Jesus H. — fuckin' Christ. I don't even know what day it is. Soon, if he hasn't already fuckin' started. S'name's Ramirez. Iago."

"The village… you realize if your 'jefe' succeeds, the fucking world is in danger?" Veronica hisses, then looks for Jamon, and nods toward him. "«Go tell Dahlia that this asshole says they plan to wipe out the entire village with a tank and rockets. If they can send a runner down, they might want to warn the village.»"

"No dates, no cities? Any names in other places, people they talk to on the phone or by any other means? You're quite the disappointment, Rosco. I thought I was talking to someone fucking important, and I find out you're just the help? You haven't earned your life yet… I'm waiting for something useful." She beckons to Magnes to step forward again, but then holds her hand up to show he shouldn't quite commence with the breaking of ribs just yet.

"Fucking assholes," Gillian says, not understanding the Spanish being thrown around at all, but at least she knows that there's going to be a war coming down on them and all they have are sticks, some guns, Magnes and her. Oh, and Ross and his great skills of running the fuck away. "They planning to wipe out the village with robots and rockets and the tank— all of it? Cause knowing how much big shit we're dealing with could be important." Especially if they have to go stop it. Christ.

"I hope you've worked on your tank throwing," she says to Magnes, lowering her voice a bit as she mutters it.

"If a skinny Chinese kid can stand up to one…" Magnes sighs, apparently in a bit of a mood as he approaches the man, stopping when Veronica raises her hand. "If you give me a glove, I can start pulling his teeth. From what I can tell, even torture resistant people hate that."


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