So. It turns out we had a little bit of a whoopsie-doodle here with stirring up a rebellion and murdering all these horrible Paradisanians. According to people who never get invited to parties (not good parties anyway), the turning point in human development was the ability to communicate. Once humans were able to go “Hey Jim, instead of trying to tackle these mammoths what if we dig a pit and wait for them to fall in?” the mammoths were fucked. The spoken word brought on a wave of destruction beyond any weapon you can think of, nuclear missiles ain’t got shit on words. Just ask the saber-toothed tiger. Oh wait, you can’t! Humans rule!
What we had here is a failure to communicate.
You see when people kept telling us that if we wanted to get a war going with the Invincible we needed to go to paradise as step number one, they didn’t mean this town which is called Paradise, they meant that we should go to a place called Crow which is a paradise. I’m going to put ninety-nine percent of the blame on them for this one. That would be like telling someone if they ask you where they can get some good cheese they should go to Paris when they mean Paris Texas. Or maybe not that exactly but the point is they screwed up not me.
So we got some bad intel and we killed some assholes, no big deal right? Well, you see in terms of problem levels, here’s the problem. Paradise was (is?) a client village or vassal or whatever of Crow and they were repressing not just the quarry people but a bunch of other smaller weaker communities in the area on behalf of Crow. So when we overturned that apple cart it fucked up Crow’s whole regional power structure/house of cards.
Between you, me, and the mutant chickens I’m not sure I ever actually read Beowulf but I feel like this is the kind of stuff that happened in Beowulf times. Erik Njorl son of Frothgar, son of Thorvald Nlodvisson, son of Gudleif, the priest of Ljosa water who took to wife Thurunn the slayer of Cudround the powerful, rides for twelve days and nights until he reaches the hall Harken who killed Bjortguaard in Sochnadale in Norway over Cudreed, daughter of Thorkel Long, and kills him because that’s what he thought the king wanted him to do. But it turns out that Harken was actually a sworn man of the king because of some other thing and then there’s a blood feud for fifty years and a bunch of people all kill each other in error because the king didn’t mention that they were all on the same side. Also the king is secretly his own grandpa because of some mix-up where he humped someone in the dark.
I found this all out because a contingent of Crowarians showed up at the gate of Paradise to say “hey, what the fuck?” The Crowinians are the most normal looking people we’ve seen so far, except for Paul, and he doesn’t count. They all have freaky David Bowie eyes, alabaster Marilyn Manson complexions, and asthmatic Marilyn Monroe voices but that makes them pretty damn normal by the standards of the day. Don’t worry though, they had a bunch of the standard post-apocalyptic screwheads with them as muscle – dude with blue skin and three fingers on each hand? Sure. Purple dude with zombie freak eyballs? Why not? Shark-mouth, oversized heads or feet, unnaturally thin limbs, no nose, No Bones Jones the plastic man, etc.
They spoke pretty good modern day (past) English too, despite some weird slang and odd syntax I was able to understand them just fine. They were pretty chill about the whole thing. Or maybe I’m just a great negotiator. Probably the second thing. Point is once I told them “My bad, I didn’t know I couldn’t overthrow your society” they stopped menacing us with their goons. As long as they get their gas they don’t really care who gives it to them. See, I thought that the Paradisians wanted the gas just for their old vehicles but instead their mandate was to make sure that Crow has all the oil they need. Of course, why they need it wasn’t revealed to us but you can’t expect someone to give up everything on the first date. You have to hold some things back. You know the kind of things I mean.
I explained to the lead Crow-man, who I’ll call David Marilyn Manson Monroe, my desire to make war on the Invincible and he clucked his tongue and wagged his finger. War is bad for business is his stance. He said that we shouldn’t try to fight the Invincible, we should make a deal with them. When I told him that that deal was that we knuckle under to their brutal reign of terror his response was, in so many words, “grow up”. His point was that that everyone serves someone so why not just bend over and get it over with. I responded with a little speech about freedom and personal choice and truth and justice and the American Way and he looked at me like I was speaking Greek. Which I was not, to be clear.
He said that if I wanted to go to war with the Invincible the only way I would have a chance is to get Gunmetal City and Scrapbridge on my side and then also get a bunch of money to bring all the southern mercs into the fight, a prospect which he deemed to be unlikely on account of I had nothing to offer anyone in return for doing anything. I told him he was dead wrong about that, I have charm, good looks, and a winning attitude. He agreed and said that’s why I should come to Crow instead of “playing” at being a soldier. Did I mention that Crow is where all the hookers are? That’s their whole thing, the “hospitality” industry. It’s not all hookers, they have other luxuries there like showers and soap and food that isn’t swarming with or made from worms and gambling but those are incidentals, you go for the hookers, you stay for the unleavened bread.
I told David MMM that my course was set, it was my destiny to defeat the Invincible and put an end to their wicked ways. He laughed and said that their ways were no wickeder than anyone else and that Crow had enjoyed a working relationship with them for many a year. I asked him, as long as we keep delivering the gas were we going to have a problem if we wreck the Invincible and slaughter Duke Eagle. He said that it didn’t matter to him in the least, he’s just a businessman, he doesn’t get involved in such things.
I’m sure at the very least as soon as they left he dispatched various underlings, evil spirits, secretaries of secretaries, and other assorted minions to contact Duke Eagle to let him know that I’m gunning for him. Playing both sides and whatnot.
I wonder if he’ll care.