Project Overview: Untitled Document is a serial comedy novel dealing with the sort of topics that we so frequently make fun of here at Something Awful.
This Chapter: The action is non-stop in this knuckle-whitening chapter of "Untitled Document". People with weak hearts should avoid reading it! Women who are or may be pregnant should not handle read this chapter or handle broken tablets.
The Jerlemain Bondsmen watched impassively as Maximillian tossed the broken corpse of the last Chimopteran crewman down into the rocky chasm below. Captain O'Mugyay did not cry out as he fell and barely a dying gasp rattled past his beak-like lips as his spine smashed over a boulder. Maximillian watched with mild amusement as the light faded from the captain's eyes and then turned back to the Bondsmen.
"Captain O'Mugyay has failed me. Your fallen brethren have failed me." Maximillian gestured to the neatly ordered rows of white corpses the Bondsmen had extricated from the wreckage of the barge. "Do not fail me."
A mere twenty three of the warrior thrall remained after the ruthless slaughter of the injured Maximillian had ordered. The Jerlemain Bondsmen had not hesitated to slice off the heads of dozens of their number and that sort of obedience genuinely pleased Maximillian. His confidence in the success of their mission was undiminished by the catastrophic crash landing of their assault barge. Maximillian knew that the humans were a weak-willed and weak-bodied species and that he could ask for no force more loyal and skilled than the Jerlemain Bondsmen. Scarcely two dozen would be all he required to subjugate this foul planet.
"You." He pointed to a Bondsman near the front of the formation who had a different pattern of blue paint on its body and face. "You are my second. You will relay my orders to the others."
The Bondsman bowed elegantly at the waist, its head nearly touching the ground. It straightened itself like a plant recovering from a strong gust of wind.
"What will I call you, thrall?"
"I am Faayet of the clan Hhl'aan." Maximillian shuddered as the creature's voice bloomed in his mind like a bad memory resurfacing. "I retain the rank of Beacon and am therefore defaulted by our terrible casualties to Field Scion of this convocation."
"I do not know, nor do I care to know, the intricacies of your rank structure." Maximillian modulated his armor's amplifiers to add a bit of intimidating bass. "I am in charge. You will listen to me and when I tell you what to do, you will tell the others. Do you understand, Faayet?"
"I do, master." The Bondsman replied and melted back into formation.
"Good." Maximillian surveyed the barren desert landscape surrounding them. "Our goal now is to set out for the nearest human population center. There we will find answers. And vengeance."
"What the fuck?" Captain Jefferson pounded his fist on the hatch guard of the M1A2's turret. "Pull it up, Boony."
Jefferson signaled back to Lieutenant Gondry standing in the turret of the tank immediately behind him. Behind Gondry was the majority of 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Mobile Armored Cavalry. The Fightin' Penguins. Mostly Bradleys, but 1st and 2nd platoon were M1A2s and had taken up the spearhead position on the armored column. Something ka-chunked loudly in the tank's shifter and the M1A2 pulled to a messy halt dead center in the middle of Highway 13.
Captain Jefferson climbed out of the turret's hatch and down off the broad hull armor of the tank. His gunner popped up after him and threw down a pair of anti-glare binoculars. Gondry's boots thumped on the asphalt and Jefferson waited for the Lieutenant to join him before looking through the binoculars.
"What is it, Cal?" Gondry asked with unprofessional familiarity.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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