Abandoned Outskirts, Free City of Foundry
Thursday, Feburary 23, 2051
The smoke begins to clear as the echoes of Pitbull’s final shotgun blast echo in the silence of the ruined suburb. For a long moment, nothing moves – the Rough Riders and their mad sergeant unmoving in the still grace of death – until the moans of the wounded Lazarus members and affiliates begin to replace the sound and fury that had occupied the roadway just before.
Wormwood slumps on his face in the dirt, “Oh hells bells – are they finally all dead?…Damn, my legs hurt!” Mac looks over at Wormwood’s voice. “Are they? I can’t tell – still blind as a cat in a bag thrown in the ocean. Is it safe for me to come out? This rebar can’t be good for my suit. You able to walk, Worm?”
Wormwood lifts his head long enough to say, “Pacoy, dude, check Mac’s eyes first then I think I could do with some serious painkillers.”
“On it!” Pacoy yells as he heads to tend the wounded.
Wormwood levers himself up onto his arms for a second, then slumps with an anguished scream. “Nope, Mac, both are smashed up. I’m a cripple!” He goes very quiet, except for small sounds of pain, as his shoulders shake as if he’s crying into the dust.
Mac waves his hands in the air, holstering his pistol as he braces himself, gripping onto a rebar strut as he stands up. “Take care of the girls – Seranya broke her arm, didn’t she? That’s more serious than this, I hope.”
Pitbull stoops low to the Sarge’s corpse, smiling with a freshly lit cigarette hanging from the side of his face. His hand traces lines on the edge of his mangled skull as he savors his kill. “May you get fucked by the Devil, old man. But at least you’ve found some peace, right?” Pitbull growls as he breathes smoke into the face of his former teacher and tormentor. With a sudden and violent motion, Pitbull wrenches the chrome jaw off of his head in a squelch of tearing meat and a screech of tortured metal.
Mac blinks at the sudden and unexpected sound, his hand reflexively darting under his jacket to find his pistol. “What was that?”
Pitbull searches the Sarge for something, anything, of value on his now mostly headless form. “That sound was nothing Mac! Just takin’ a trophy and lootin’ the bodies!”
Mac visibly relaxes. “That’s good, Pitbull. I think? Save some of the salvage for me, will you? I can’t exactly help with that right now.”
Eris comes to consciousness with a scream as she attempts to move her fractured arm to wipe her eyes, the quick bandage Pacoy put on her arm at the beginning of the battle still holding.
Seranya remains silent, awaiting someone to turn her back on; her dismembered arm seems to be lying somewhere in the burned-out hulk of the Amur, though luckily the rest of her body remains… well, it was never pristine, but no worse for wear.
Pacoy protests. “NO, Mac. I’ll tend to the actual humans first. If you’re okay sitting for a minute, I’ll look at Worm’s legs, they are seriously messed up!”
Mac smiles. “How about the screaming girl, then, when you’re done with Worm? I ain’t got nowhere to be… I don’t even think I can get over to the Amur right now.” He sighs and sits down on his rubble pile, trying to get his bearings.
Pacoy glances around. “Okay: Triage Plan: Drug the screaming client, immobilize her arm and move on to Worm. Duct-tape what I can and move on to Mac.” Pacoy mutters to no-one in particular as he sets out for the long task of treating all of these injuries.
Wormwood finally rolls onto his back and levers himself to sit against a low rock. “Take their guns and any ammo, Pits – we might need the firepower before we’re through.”
Pitbull replies via screen text to everyone’s HUD links. “Of course, when we’re all situated, we need to determine whether or not we should quit this place and get some professional medical attention.”
Mac pipes up, “And any gnox meat, if they’ve got any. Wait, if the Amur’s flipped, how are we getting out of here? We can fit a few on my bike, and Eris’, but… not much by way of supplies.”
Pacoy does a quick inventory on the available medication, deciding stronger drugs are better suited for the client and reserving more ‘temporary patch and play’ for Wormwood.
The Sarge’s body is – you didn’t really notice this before, though it’s obvious now that you can see him more closely – naked. It’s not exactly obvious, since his entire body was cybernetically replaced and he opted for an artificial surface covering complete with an integrated assault vest worth of pockets and zippers. Some of his more interesting toys are hidden within his cybernetic frame – you know he keeps a gun in his right thigh from previous times you’ve worked with him, for example – but you don’t know how to open it.
Pitbull calls back as he continues examining the Sarge’s corpse. “We’ve got a Texas Roughrider APC to our name now guys! May be a little cramped, but now we got armoured transportation!”
Mac lets a wistful smile cross his face. “Can we not-flip that one, at least?”
Three of the pockets you can access have ammo, six full magazines of M-16 APHEX ammunition. He also has some ration bars and a field medical kit with some unlabeled drugs you don’t recognize in it – looks like the Sarge did some updating to the arsenal since you last saw him. His actual gun is broken in half, though the under barrel grenade launcher can be detached and looks serviceable. He also has a monoblade shortsword, which he is still holding in a death grip.
“No guarantees on that one, Mac,” Pacoy comms through clenched teeth as he sets Eris’s arm, “But we are looking at premium parking!”
Pitbull looks down at the slowly growing pile of equipment. “He’s got, well had, an updated M16X. The original design couldn’t hold an underslung weapon. My-my-my, how things have changed…” Pitbull growls under his breath as he lays bare all of the equipment.
Mac taps his feet idly in the dirt, wiping at his knees ineffectually. “The more things change, the more they stay the same, Pitbull.”
Pacoy wraps up the bare minimum care + maximum drug treatment on Eris with an unceremonious “there.” and heads over to Wormwood.
Mac digs his notepad out of his jacket and begins jotting some notes down with a shaky hand. “Hey Pitbull, yell out to me what you find, yeah? I’ll take inventory of what we’ve got. Not like I can count it, but I can at least play at being a secretary.”
Wormwwod gives Pacoy a weak smile as he begins to work on Wormie’s mangled legs. “Pac, will your rifle take that grin launcher, because I don’t think either of Pits will and I don’t think my Valk is suitable either.”
Pacoy sucks air in through his teeth. “Well, Wormie, I guess you don’t really need me to sugar-coat things at this point: things are obviously bad. Your left leg is crippled, and will require real time to heal. The other is a flesh wound, crippled due to muscles being injured rather than bone, and will heal much faster, though not exactly quick. Short term answer,” Pacoy explains while examining the injured leg “Drugs, bandages and a makeshift splint. Longer term, get to some place clean and there may be some cutting involved. Best Case: a little while in a cast. And that’s real wishful thinking stuff. Worst Case: I start working on paraplegic jokes. If we find a place cleaner and more secure than a stolen war-wagon, ‘borrowing’ a leg or two from Siri might actually be our safest bet.”
Wormie double takes at Pacoy. “Shit! I sorta figured as much but thanks for being honest, Pac. Maybe my days of third storey work are done, eh?”
Mac pulls a somber face. “That’s… no good, Pacoy. No good at all.”
“Can you at least get me to where I can use one of those sad-sack’s rifles as a crutch or something, Pac? I’d hate to be carried.”“I don’t know, pal,” Pacoy answers somberly as he treats the injuries for shock and patches what he can. “When this is all over, cybernetics have come a long way. Hell I doubt Pit’s headless body over there has a pound of flesh left on him. Infection is a big factor for us now, though.”
Pitbull begins naming off the objects he finds on the Sarge, before adding to Pacoy’s diagnosis of Wormwood, “Nah, Worm! We’re in fuckin’ 2050! Two words for you man: Cyber-legs, man!” Pitbull yells over the distance, before resuming his count and call out of the items he finds.
Mac scribbles along. “Keep moving on, Pitbull – I’ve got it all. Maybe we can get Wormwood some hover-legs? That’s a thing now, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, but that’ll also mean that his creepin’ days are over!” Pitbull yells back to Mac. “I mean, for one those ain’t hover-legs, they’d be a hover-ass, and a hover ass ain’t exactly quiet!”
Mac smiles wildly. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way – I have trouble believing that Wormwood won’t find another way to be creepy.” he starts laughing. “Isn’t hover-ass a condition you Texans get in the field?”
“You’re thinkin’ “hammer-assed” I think! Ain’t sure what it is, but I know it’s bad!" Pitbull adds, as he moves on to the next RR Soldier.
“I’m not gonna believe you didn’t get your ass hammered in Basic, Pits.” Wormie says around the pills Pacoy offers.
“Thank god, I didn’t! There were a couple of times that I saw some shit that sounds like that happen to people who washed out on drills, though!” Pitbull yells to Wormwood with a laugh.
Moving on to Mac, Pacoy shines a pen light into his eyes, looking for preliminary reactions. “I’m almost positive your eyes are flash-blinded, Mac – they look almost exactly like the training bots we used in school. I’m sorry my training is more of a ‘replace it with cyber’ than full on medical physician, I’m not entirely certain if it’s permanent – a lot of people recover from it. If you were a bot, I’d know how to deal with it.”
Mac stares dead at Pacoy despite not seeing him. “You sure your eyes aren’t bum too, Pacoy? If you saw these same signs of flash-blindness on the training bots, you’re sure there’s nothing that can be done? How am I going to get by without sight? Is recovery based on time, or what?”
Mac taps his pen against his notebook. “Speaking of washed out on drills… Pacoy, there was this old piece of cinema, back in the day – chap who had bum legs and had to wear braces on ‘em. Can’t we fix Worm up like that?”
“My name is Forest. Forest Gump.” Pitbull growls in deadpan. Mac grins. “That’s the one!”
“Really? Ok, that sounds Texan right enough.” Wormie directs at Pits, not getting the reference. “So you’re Momma didn’t call you Pitbull from the get-go?”
Ignoring the peanut gallery, Pacoy continues addressing Mac, “As a temporary fix, sure.” Pac answers, “As for your eyes, either time or surgery will do the trick, not sure which is our best bet without a real med-exam.”
Mac’s face falls. “You sure? Damn. So much for being able to help out. The vistas were so pretty out here, too. Can we get Seranya up at least? I’m going to need a guide, and she’s the most apt to be free to be my eyes.”
“Yeah, I can boot-up Siri, arm it, and have it be your seeing-eye bot.” Pacoy nods as he heads off to the deactivated android.
“Naw, Worm! That was a movie!” Pitbull yells back at Wormie. A moment of silence marches on before he finally blurts out with. “My actual name is Marcus. Congratulations, dudes, you’re now the only people out of Texas who knows my real name. Be fuckin’ proud.”
Wormie snorts, “Marcus, like a Roman or shit?”
Mac smiles a bit. “Wasn’t there a band, back in the day.. Marcus Marcus and the Funk Bunch? Well don’t that just beat all.”
“Yeah! Like a Roman or some shit, y’know? Pitbull just sounds better, don’t it? And I intend on keepin’ the nickname. Any crosscheck of my real name can get me deported into the custody of Texas, so… there’s that.” Pitbull growls as he continues searching over the Rough Rider.
Wormwood grabs a strut of the busted Amur SUV and uses it as a crutch to lever himself up, then leans on that and the but of his big rifle. “Hey Marcus Biggus Dickus, I’m gonna hirple over to that APC and have a look.” he starts his slow and pained way and over his shoulder says “Thanks for saving my ass back there, big guy – same to all of you. Best team in the world.”
Pacoy looks over his shoulder with a grin Mac can’t see but must be able to hear in his voice “You know, even worse is than a leg-less sneak is an eye-less private eye!”
Mac snorts with laughter. “Come on, bot-doc, wake up the private eye’s seeing eye-bot already. And Worm? I wish I could have been more help – if I had been able to hit the broad side of a Texan, I wager you wouldn’t be in the fix you’re in.”
“The broad side of a Texan is his ass, Mac, and they were charging us, so don’t sweat it!” Wormwood keeps on walking towards the Texan APC, wondering if it has security systems on-board.
“Shit, we’re lucky they must’ve underestimated us and shit! If they’d considered us a threat right off the bat, they’d have played this a lot further away: picking us off like snipers then double teaming the survivors.” Pitbull adds, interrupting his search to take a long, hard drag off of his smoke.
The body of the berserked soldier that attempted to keep on coming, limb-destruction be damned, is quite a bit pocmarked in wounds. Much of his equipment was destroyed, but like the Sarge he has a field medical kit in his assault vest as well as two undamaged magazines for his M-17 Designated Marksman Rifle. The rifle itself is still intact this time – a nice 8mm battle rifle with a small scope. Nothing else seems to be salvageable, however.
Mac laughs. “We’re lucky in more ways than that, Pitbull.”
Pitbull calls out his findings to Mac, almost reverently placing emphasis on the 8mm Battle Rifle.
Mac rolls his sightless eyes. “You want me to draw a little picture of it for you so you can keep it in your wallet?”
“Shit! This thing’s like the centerfold to a monthly NRA magazine, Mac! Gun nuts jerk off to this like a sweaty teenager and a Playboy!” Pitbull yells back to Mac. Mac grimaces. “Pitbull, just because I’m blind doesn’t mean I can’t get sick due to a mental image. Eugh… Hows that ride coming along, Wormwood?”
Wormwood calls “Haven’t reached it yet. Mac – I’m not as fast as I was this morning!”
“You want me to come over there and carry you, Worm?” Mac taps his notepad idly. “I can still walk, you’d just have to steer me. Speaking of steering, Pacoy, how’s our girl looking?”
Wormwood chuckles, “I can do it, Mac, but I’ll be your seeing-eye dog if you want. Just walk to the sound of my voice!”
Mac flips his notebook closed and saunters over towards Wormwood, initially stubbing his toe on his rubble shield and grumbling. “I’ll race you, how about that, Worm?”
“Sure, Mac! We’ll see which one of us gets to find out if this rig has active security first!” Wormwood tries to speed up his hobbling.
“At the very least, there’s two clips of 8mm APHEX that survived on him! Can use that in my Reaper!” Pitbull calls out to Mac.
Mac grumbles. “Any 8mm rounds that I can chamber into my pistol? I’m almost out in this clip.” He moves to intercept Wormwood nearing the APC. “So, can you give me a description of this thing? I might be able to help point out where we might run into an issue.”
“Did we save any ammo from the Amur, Mac? We had 8mm in there too.” Wormwood notes.
“If it hasn’t cooked off in the Amur, we still have a crate of 8mm rounds, Mac.” Pitbull adds, almost off handedly as he moves on to the next body.
Mac shrugs in between carefully setting his feet. “Hopefully it survived the fire. Would be nice, that’s for sure. So, can I drive our new toy?”
“If we can get past any locks it may have on its systems, I expect so Mac. I certainly can, using an interface even if my legs don’t work. Although to be honest I just want a comfy seat.” Wormie quips.
Seranya’s head twists as Pacoy finally triggers her ‘on’ command – damned thing involved rapping her on the head, twisting an ear, and poking a finger into her left eye socket, for some reason, so it took him a while to figure it out.
Mac pats his jacket pocket. “Got some lockpicks in here, so getting in won’t be a problem, Wo-” Mac sets his foot on a soft, squishy bit that had been discarded from the internals of one of the Rough Riders who met with the grenade, sending him head over heels with a litany of curses and bruising. “What the hell? I don’t want to know, do I? Pacoy, where’s my seeing eye dame?”
“Mac, if you get eyes, I’ll be glad to let you drive! Pitbull yells as he comes across the mangled remains of the two Texas soldier who were grenaded.
Her eyes open wide to the world once more, and her voice, silky-smooth as always, rings out. “What- where… where am I?” Her eyes, silver and gold alike, turn to search her surroundings for meaning, only pausing momentarily upon the site of the bodies, before turning back to herself. “There was an accident.” Her voice goes flat as she thinks back, recovering memories recently buried.
Wormie snorts. “Sure you’ve got the stomach for this race, Mac? I could liver alone if you kidney keep up, you know!”
Seranya’s eyes go wide and her face recoils in fear for a moment as they settle on her arm before other programming kicks in; her face goes calm as she looks up at Pacoy. “I’ve been damaged.” She sounds just like a little girl, coming to her dad to tell him about a boo-boo.
Mac grumbles and seeks out something to use as a cane. “I’ve got just lung thing to say to you, Wormwood, and then you’ll have some spleening to do.”
Pacoy sighs, “Yes, We’re going to work on that. I need you to help Mac over there to a safe place, then I can take a look at you.” Pacoy points to Mac.
“Get Siri to help you up, Mac, she’s mostly armless,” cackles Wormwood as he turns to hobble toward the APC again.
Mac groans. “You are the worst kind of person, and the best kind of friend, Wormwood. Siri, can I get a hand, doll? We need to sack race the crap out of this creep.”
Mac grumbles as he scrounges in the dirt. “Worm, can you find the locks on that thing? I can still use my hands, even if my eyes don’t work.”
“Surely can, Mac. I’ll even try to find out if they’re elctrified first!” Wormwood nears the APC at last.
Seranya looks over at Mac as he scrambles upon the ground, searching for something. She frowns, then looks up at Pacoy and nods once before turning directly away from Mac and approaching the smoking remains of the Amur. She reaches under the hulk, tilting the SUV just a tad with her leg so she can grab something underneath its chassis. She settles herself, taking a moment to get a grip before pushing until – pop! – the antenna on the Amur comes off into her hands. She turns back from the Amur, the multi-ton vehicle settling back to its previous precarious tilt as she approaches Mac, extending the antenna to make a suitable collapsible cane.
Seranya approaches Mac, almost hesitantly, holding out the extended antenna. “Mister Mac, sir. I brought you something I thought you maybe could use.” She sounds almost ridiculously eager to be nice to him, like a child speaking to the principle of her school for the first time.
Mac flails about with his hand until it manages to make contact with the antenna. His face lights up with laughter. “Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine in the middle of the night! Come on, Seranya, let’s go see what Uncle Wormwood’s up to, yeah?” He straightens up and proceeds to head towards Wormwood, using the antenna to check for obstacles before stepping.
“Well, it didn’t zap me Mac!” Wormwood calls as he runs his hand over the APC’s door. “That’s a plus! Electronic locks, by the looks of them.”
Mac spits as he travels. “Electronic, huh? That sounds like it’ll fall apart in either of our hands, Worm. You want to give it a go?”
Wormwood fishes his Electronic Lockpick out of a pocket, sighing, and works silently at the lock for a few seconds before it pops and the APC’s door opens. “Eureka!”
The lights within the APC come on one by one, revealing the passenger bay in all its military-styled comforts. The blue lights put a soft glow on everything, highlighting the two computer stations at the front of the bay nearest the entrance to the driver’s cabin. Each station has a very comfortable-looking swiveling seat, with each station taking up one full corner of the bay. A row of three seats lines each side of the rest of the bay, each seat facing the center aisle of the bay, which is kept clear to allow quick egress of the vehicle. Storage containers line the floor of the bay below the seats and under the central aisle – these look to have specific places to store items of deadly importance to keep everything nicely organized.
“Have you guys gotten the APC opened? I think I’ve wrapped up the looting.” Pitbull asks on the comms as he turns over the last body.
As the rear door falls to the floor, providing a little ramp for Wormwood to crawl up, a voice echoes from the interior of the vehicle. It is srong, bold, and male – and with a clear Texan drawl. “Welcome back, Corporal Reynolds. We have recieved two more requests for communication from command. Shall we reply?”
Wormwood frantically texts Pitbull, “Get over here, now! It has an AI and it’s looking for a Texan!”
Mac stops his antenna clicking around and flips his pocketwatch open, making a series of hand gestures at it, mostly from memory, sending a text communication to the team, somehow free of errors: “Do Texan APCs have a form of Lo-Jack? Because I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Pitbull runs down there as fast as he can manage, mumbling to himself as he does so.
Wormwood manages, in his best Texan accent, “Negative, maintain radio silence and unlock the driving controls of any passcodes – we’ve been compromised.”
The AI responds immediately. “Acknowledged, Corporal. Your cyberlink appears to be malfunctioning; I am only receiving the automated friend-or-foe identifier. Please insert your cable jack to accept the replacement cryptographic passkey.”
Wormwood breathes a sigh of relief, then hunts for the optical jack as he rapidly unplugs the cable from one of his pistols and inserts it into his cerebral input slot.
Pitbull makes it to the sleek form of the APC, breathing a little harder than usual as he tries to make sure that no one dies a fiery death.
There appears to be a jack at every seat, allowing an entire squad to have secure, wired communication between all of their neural implants at once, facilitated by the APC’s AI.
From outside the APC, Mac fights the useless urge to peek inside to see what Wormwood is doing. Wonder if they’ve got some sort of combat triage system in there… that’d be quite useful.
Wormwood texts to the team: “If I freeze up, spasm or show signs of attacking you, pull my plug out!” then he jacks into the APC’s system.
Mac quirks his head at Pitbull’s arrival. “What’s going on in there?”
Pitbull tosses his cigarette to his left, as he runs into the APC, “I think Wormie’s ’bout to bite off more than he can chew.”“Damn, if I had a little notice, I might have been able to fish something out of Pit’s ‘trophy’ to rig up!” Pacoy curses.
Mac sends back to Pacoy, “What happens if you jack a dead auggie into one of those ports?”
Pitbull reflexively draws his Urban Fox, preparing for the worst as he runs into the driver’s compartment.
The data download begins almost immediately into Wormwood’s neural computer, but then it hits a brick wall. It starts, stops, starts again, stops again, before finally his computer goes into shutdown and reboots. The lights in the APC turn yellow as the AI’s voice rings out from the little hidden speakers. “Incompatible device found. Corporal Reynolds, if your neural computer has been damaged or its data corrupted, please report to an authorized repair technician and have it fixed or restored from backup. Otherwise, please connect your wired neural interface jack now.”“Well, I think if I had the time, I could rig the gear in Mr. Wilson’s head to send a false ‘alive and ready’ signal. The Tech should be mostly intact.” Pacoy muses.
Wormwood pulls his cable out of the jack and texts “Damn, no joy – over to you, Pacoy. It’s looking for a compatible device. Maybe Pits?”
Pitbull holsters his Fox as flops heavily into the seat next to Wormwood. “Alright, someone keep a gun trained on my head. If this fucks up badly enough, they may actually hack into me, which would suck for you guys. You see anything shitty like that, pull the trigger, got it?” Pitbull growls as he snakes his neural jack out of the sleeve of his coat, and into the jack-interphase.
Wormwood presses the barrel of his other Prowler to Pit’s temple. “Go for it.”“Hey, Pit: I have a fun suggestion for a non-squeamish guy like yourself,” Pacoy says hesitatingly, “What do you say we round up these rough-riders and dig ware out of there skull to rig a device?”
The download, again, starts immediately, and when the AI finds a compatible device the lights turn back to a reassuring blue. The download is much longer than is normal for a simple cryptographic passkey swap – and it doesn’t take long for Pitbull to realize that something else is going on, as massive amounts of data are being transmitted back-and-forth between his neural computer and the AI of the APC.
Seeing Pit brain-deep into the interface, Pacoy sighs and turns to Siri, “Guess what? I have a job for you before we can start repairing you!”
Seranya turns her face to Pacoy, her mouth turning up in a bright smile at the sound of work she can do. “Yes, Mister Pacoy?”
Mac raises his voice slightly. “What’s going on in there, Worm? Is Pitbull Okay?”
“Dunno, Mac – I think it’s working.” Wormwood replies to his team-mate.“Let’s get all of these men into one neat pile, for starters.” Pacoy answers blankly, not looking forward to the task.
Mac throws his head back towards Pacoy. “Is that something I can help out with, you think?”
“Without eyes? I think you’re better off helping Worm.” Pacoy answers.
Seranya smiles at Pacoy and nods her head, eagerly. “Yes, sir. I can do that.” She steps away from the APC, ambling towards the field of bodies happily. It almost looks like she’s skipping, even as she leans down and picks up the first body in a one-handed fireman’s carry, tossing it over her shoulder before skipping on to a location a few meters away and placing him back down on the ground face-up and almost ‘at attention’.
She completely ignores the blood and gore that’s now covering her torso.
The cyberlink between Pitbull and the APC finally goes silent, the data streams drying up. The computer screens in the personnel bay turn on, each displaying a welcome screen with a Texan Republic flag as the background. The AI’s voice sounds out. “Passkey authentication complete. Private Dean, welcome aboard. You have been listed as Missing in Action for seven months and three days. It is a pleasure to welcome you again to the Republic of Texas. I have just updated your records at the War Department and listed you as once again on active duty.”
Pitbull’s jack snakes out of link as he sits back with a bemused expression. “Well, dudes. It looks like I’m back on active duty. Someone grab Pacoy. We’re gonna need him to …uhhh fix this shit.”
A smile plays off Mac’s face. “Sure thing, Marcus Dean. Pac, can you come in here? We’ve got some toys that Pit – I mean Marcus broke.”
Wormwood holsters his pistol, “Sir, yes sir!”
“Mac, you call me by that name again, and I will jam Sarge’s broken gun so far up your ass that no surgery will ever take the smell of spent cordite from your nose.” Pitbull growls, still bewildered by the stream of information.