Mohinder’s Fortune had taken out the two scout ships hiding behind the rogue planet after a brief but brutal fight. Both scouts had been completely destroyed, though not before damaging the Fortune. After the battle, scanners had picked up mining activity on the planet’s surface and a faint energy signature coming from deep underground. A ship’s boat was readied,and the Expendables were sent down to “investigate”…
“Got the Bastard!!” said Troll over comms. “Moving to clear the next room.”
“We’ve got two hostiles down here in the Control Room, Troll” came Vera’s staticky response from two rooms away, “Ours are wearing Combat Vaccs and have Gauss weapons, how is yours kitted up?”
Moving over to the still smoking hulk of the enemy combat robot, Troll examined it. “Looks like we might be facing Combat ‘droids, everybody be careful. Someone appears to have handpainted the name ’Benny’ across this ones chest and to have given it a broom, probably in hopes of concealing it’s true menace until it was too late, so everyone be on the lookout for fake Janitor ’bots.”
“Got it, Troll. We’re moving North.”
Bringing up his weapon, Troll continued moving East, towards the large door at the end of the room. Opening it carefully, he saw a trooper in a boarding Vacc crouching behind a barrel. Simultaneously the trooper spotted him, and quickly threw down his weapon.
“Don’t shoot, I’m your contact!” came the muffled shout from the trooper, now moving to a kneeling position.
Troll brought the weapon up to sight it on the trooper’s helmeted head, gently squeezing the trigger. At the last minute he released the tension in his fingers and keyed his comm.
“Hey Vera, were we expecting an inside contact? Or do we have to worry about ‘fake’ surrenders now too?”
Looking quickly around the room while he waited for a reply, Troll brought his attention back to the kneeling guard, “Hey you, turn around so I can see you’re not strapped with explosives like some kind of Jonkereen suicide bomber.”
“Do you want me to stand up?” asked the trooper.
“No, just lay down and roll around, so I can see you haven’t got…”
“Does nobody pay attention to my briefings anymore?” broke in Vera’s hissing, and hissed, response over the comm relay. “Ask him his name please. Then say ‘the Duke of Regina is very bold’. Patch me in so I can hear his response.”
Staring hard at the trooper rolling around on the floor in front of him, Troll said loudly “the Duke of Regina is very bold.”
The trooper stopped rolling around and, very carefully, sat up.
“It’s pronounced Duke of ‘Ri jahy nuh’.” he said.
Exasperated, Troll quickly brought his weapon up again, but before he could fire, Vera’s voice came over the comms, “That’s our man, Troll. Give him back his weapon and bring him to meet us at the stairwell, we’re heading down to the next level.”
Half an hour later, while Vass and Troll saw to the wounds of the party, Vera stopped by the guardsman to talk.
“You fight well, soldier. The Expenables could use a man like you. What’s your name?”
“Robert Wainwright the third. But my friends call me ‘Bob’. My enemies call me ‘English Bob’…”