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Patrik's Tale

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The only thing the Orbital Deer has in common with its name is the fact that it literally sends a person into orbit. Patrik was sitting in a bar called Levy’s Fiery Fuel. In front of him, there were already three empty bottles of this not very noble liquor. A young couple with metal neon-glowing mohawks, who were buying him rounds looked so gullible. Easy game times two, fuck yes.

“I’m telling you, it was a good occasion so I got shitfaced,” Patrik finished the fourth beer in one gulp. He put down or rather slammed the bottle on the table and gave the boy a meaningful look.

The youngster took the hint. He got up and walked to the bar to refuel. Levy, who was tending the bar, knew Patrik quite well. He knew that if Patrik had found someone willing to listen to his tales or better even treat him to drinks, he could talk the night away. It’s not like Patrik was running a tab earlier. Nothing of the sort. He paid with cash and usually didn’t cause any problems. Only sometimes he needed help getting in a cab. The little shit with the glowing mohawk paid by transfer from a biochip. The money was clean so Levy put three more bottles of the local rotgut on the counter.

“Listen up, it’s not an ordinary drinking story,” Patrik began speaking as soon as he saw the youngster returning with his hands full. For a moment, their eyes locked, when the youngster noticed Patrik’s hand on the girl’s knee. He didn’t react so either they weren’t a couple or it wasn’t a problem. Patrik moved his hand up along her leg and grabbed another bottle of cold Orbital Deer with his other hand. He took a big slug and continued.

“After that drinking spree I somehow ended up sleeping in the booth of my crane, not with everyone at the base. I work in transport, in case you don't know. It's not just any transport, like from the planet to the orbit, but real heavy stuff. I set up residential containers and sometimes even armor-clad labs. I’ve got my own crane. Seven hundred tons with support or three hundred overhung. It’s serious shit, not a toy. So, I was being fucking rocked awake. To make my baby rock you’d need to hit it with a meteor or explosives used to crush stones. So my baby was rocking back and forth, back and forth like that,” Patrick started leaning front and back to better depict what he meant and at the same time, he began rubbing the girl’s crotch with his hand.

“So my head was fucking throbbing with pain, the crane was rocking and I looked out of my booth to see what the hell was going on. I couldn’t believe my fucking eyes. There was a war happening down there. The guys I’d gotten hammered with earlier were lined up in front of the entrance to the new wing, the one I’d set up the day before. They were going fucking crazy with their rifles. There even was a dude with a grenade launcher they use in mines. Each time he aimed, boom, he fired. So I thought to myself: why the fuck are they going at me like that? Did I fuck something up or what? I don’t remember fucking up bad enough to bombard me with grenades.”

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“So I looked out and saw that they weren’t really shooting at me. Why would they, right? The base was up and running. We drank on it, everything was peachy. They were fucking shooting at a core hundred-twenty. A fucking hundred-twenty! A hundred and twenty feet, a large container dropped off a ship at the beginning of construction. It was empty. I mean everything that was in it when it was dropped has already been set out. The only thing left inside was leftover stock that you don’t bring to the base straight away. You know what I’m fucking talking about, I mean pallets with some junk, some dry foods, detergents, spare cladding or some slabs for building corridors if there’s need later.” He looked the youngster in the eyes to check if he knew what he was talking about. You never know with the young ones, they don’t know shit about life and they probably had no idea what a fucking hundred-twenty was.

“It’s not like I was that fucking hungover but I thought: are they fucking mad or high? Why do they want to blow up the container? It was in decent state, could probably be used for another ten drops or so. And then I fucking saw it. I don’t even know what to call the fucking… THING. It was like an ant or some other cockroach but it was huge as fuck. I didn’t see it when it crouched behind the container but when it stood upright, its head was a meter above the top of the container. And they were shooting at it. The thing got up, stuck its head out and spat at the boys. It must have been something like acid because the guy that got hit started screaming. He threw his rifle and started running around like he was fucking crazy, tearing his clothes off. That damned thing ducked down again. I had a better view than them because the booth was hanging from the crane. I knew where to look. Then the thing started kind of transforming. I’ve got no fucking idea how to describe it. It looked like there was a fucking Roman Legion on it doing the testudo. The thing moved almost all of its armored scales to the front… and I won’t say another fucking word cause my mouth is dry as hell.” Patrik slammed another empty bottle on the table.

The youngster was smiling just slightly but he obediently went to the bar. But, the girl’s eyes were wide like Orbital Deer’s bottle bottoms. She squeezed Patrik’s hand tight between her thighs. This time the youngster brought fresh bottles a bit later because he went to the bathroom. Patrik didn’t notice whether it was before or after he bought the alcohol. Other than that, the girl was not as ugly as she seemed at the beginning. Fuck this. And fuck that. The important thing was that another deer was coming his way.

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“After the thing morphed it took off towards the guys. When they saw this shit was running at them, they broke for the base. Only the dude with the grenade launcher stayed. He took aim and hit the damn insect. His aim was accurate, right. He had mining equipment and it wasn’t far. The blow was so fucking strong that my baby started rocking again. Judging by the fire I thought the mutant was fucking done. I could see its pieces flying. One bit even splashed on my window. But hell no! The blow only threw it back and now, half-naked without the armor, it was stumbling and trying to run away. It’s what I thought back then but I was fucking wrong. It wasn’t running away. It was chasing the guy it spat on earlier. It got him by a moisture separator. It brushed him once with its pincers or whatever the hell it had up there, and the dude was gone. It hammered his head into the body like a nail. Then it sliced the man in half, wham bam! He was fucking dead on the spot, guts smeared on the ground, it was a fucking carnage. But then the guy that didn’t fuck up - I remember now - he was their boss, they called him Mandala, reloaded the grenade launcher and sent another shot straight into the fucking skull-crasher’s ass. That finally fucked him dead. All that was left was a pile of slimy goo that didn’t move. So the boys that had split, came out of the base and ran to see it up close,” Patrik took another big gulp of the Orbital Deer not noticing that it tasted a little different.

“I was lucky like the twins, our two beautiful bright Suns, glory to them in the highest heaven. When they all ran to look at the corpses, I mean the corpse of their buddy and that insect, I saw two dozen or so of those motherfuckers crouching behind the base. The same ones like the one that just got fucked up. What the fuck was I supposed to do, huh? I hit the emergency button and got the fuck away from there. Before I made it to the orbit, I could see those fucking insects on the monitors dismantling the base. They just took off external slabs and lugged them to some hole. Then, one after another, they carried canisters with liquid drain unblocker from the hundred-twenty. I still see a row of cockroaches passing each other canisters with Mr. Plunger’s blue logo. Mr. Plunger removes dirt and unblocks pipes, Mr. Plunger is what every lady likes, la la la,” Patrik sung a song from a holovision ad and then abruptly flopped face flat onto the table.

Levy was not surprised to see that the couple of freaks, who had been buying Patrik rounds all night, were now carrying him towards a cabstand. He even waved them goodbye because they took care of a potential problem for him - dealing with a drunk customer.

No one ever saw Patrik again. No one would ever listen to his fantastic stories about truck-sized insects attacking human colonies.