Schlock Mercenary

comedic science fiction webcomic

Schlock Mercenary is a webcomic by Howard Tayler. It follows the adventures of a mercenary company aboard a starship in a 31st-century space opera setting.

Travel the galaxy. Meet fascinating life forms...and kill them.
Motto of "Tagon's Toughs"

2000 Edit

Der Trihs: We don't do sociological stuff like "interspeciated workplaces". We're a crack company of space mercenaries. We do "hurting people" and "breaking things".
Schlock: draws his plasma cannon Sounds like my kind of fun.
(12 Jun 00)

Breya: Even though the Partnership Collective clones them by the millions, attorneys are still expensive to replace.
Schlock: I have some money.
Attorney Drone: I heard that.
Schlock: ...Just burning a hole in my pocket...
(19 Jun 00)

Brad: We're gonna be bodyguards for teen rock-stars.
Schlock: Wouldn't the cause of freedom be better served if we killed them instead?
(21 Jun 00)

Shodan: You obviously have prior training. A black belt perhaps?
Breya: I have four brothers.
(2 Jul 00)

Der Trihs: So, it rips you apart and teleports you in pieces?
Kevyn: Basically, yes.
Der Trihs: *smirking* And you call it a "Tear-Apart"?
Kevyn: "Teraport". Geez! You sound just like my skittish investors.
(7 Jul 00)

Ennesby: About this "life" thing: If I screw it up I can revert to a saved game, right?
(20 Jul 00)

Schlock: on Ch'Vorthq: I think somebody spilled a bottle of ugly in his gene pool.
Ch'Vorthq: I am diplomatic enough NOT to say that you look like a cow-pattie.
(25 Jul 00)

Tagon, Schlock, and Brad are escaping from a building full of angry Creeth
Tagon: Sound off! Brad, do you have the Ambassador?
Brad: Check!
Tagon: Schlock, do you have our money?
Schlock: Check!
Tagon: Are we still being pursued?
Creeth Soldiers: Check!
(19 Aug 00)

Tagon: Someone has locked down our ship, and shot one of our men. As of right now the kid gloves come off.
Breya: What kid gloves? Not an hour ago you and your men totally killed a man in a thousand-round projectile buffet.
Tagon:(smiling) Yeah, we did, didn't we?
Kevyn:(smiling) The poor coroner had to resort to evidence bags!
(25 Sept 00)

Narrator: Trapped in Einsteinian space, our heroes are running out of time - and their only hope just crawled out of a toilet. Tune in tomorrow, please.
(1 Oct 00)

Jud Shafter: I'll never talk, you mercenary scum!!
Schlock: (having swallowed Jud) You've seen how fast I can eat. Would you like to find out how fast I can digest?
(5 Oct 00)

Breya: Fortunatly, the enemy's men are no brighter than my own.
(13 Oct 00)

Breya: We don't charge to eat in the ship's mess. It's free, so you can't apply restaurant regulations to us.
Attorney Drone: Ah, but you do charge money. Behold, Exhibit A...your vending machine.
Narrator: The prosecution rests, habeas colas.
(20 Oct 00)

Narrator: on Theo: He's really more of an irreverend...
(19 Nov 00)

Brad, Kevyn and Schlock see Breya's "anatomically correct" power-armor for the first time:
Brad: Form follows function...
Kevyn: Do not go there.
Schlock: Yowsa. Kiss me, hot-metal mama.
(22 Nov 00)

Breya: Don't think of it as menial paperwork. Think of it in a blow in the fight against bureaucracy.
Ennesby: I'd rather blow bureauceracy with my maser.
(8 Dec 00)

Brad: Doctor, come quickly - Nick got in a fight with an elephant!
Bunni: Oh, my! Do I need the cryo-kit?
Brad: Maybe, but I don't think the elephant will fit in it.
(17 Dec 00)

Schlock: He's an elephant, Nick. he doesn't have "manos". He does have a trunko, and two sharp tuskos, though.
Ennesby: Oooh! And four big stompos.
(21 Dec 00)

Breya: Fighting with civilians is against the rules. Go break it up.
Schlock: Right now I've got just two rules to live by. Rule one: don't taunt elephants.
Nick: (offscreen) Bring it on, pinocchio!!
Schlock: Rule two: don't stand next to anybody who taunts elephants.
(22 Dec 00)

2001 Edit

Massey:'s full of stars!
Attorney Drone: Oops. Wrong switch. Let's try this again...
(12 Jan 01)

Schlock: Sweet! I just took out three walls and an evil attorney drone! I think I'll try cranking it up two notches to '7'.
(14 Jan 01)

Ennesby: Thurl, this is Lunesby. She's been self-aware for less than 20 minutes, and is already over a hundred times more intelligent than you could ever hope to be.
Thurl: Through no fault of yours, I'm sure.
(21 Jan 01)

Schlock: on the Partnership Collective: Let's take the fight to them! Out-think 'em, and vaporize them all...
Tagon: That was my thought, but Massey had a more profitable plan. It's slow, and painstaking, but truly fearsome...we're going to sue them.
Schlock: Yeeaargh! I just had chills run down my spine, and I don't have a spine.
(21 Feb 01)

Ch'Vorthq: reading the tin of Ovalkwik Listen to this list: glucose, fructose, corn syrup solids, concentrated cocoa-bean extract, assorted methylxanthine alkaloids (including caffiene, theobromine, and theophylline), sodium laureth sulfate, minoxadyl, Buckminster fullerine, codeine, hyper-ephedrine, nicotine, with BHA and BHT added to preserve freshness. Sergeant, you will be drinking a very heavy stimulant cocktail cut with shampoo and inert ultra-tensile carbon.
Schlock: I don't drink it. I eat it straight.
Ch'Vorthq: And I suspect you're addicted to it.
Schlock: draws plasgun Step away from the tub of happiness.
(25 Feb 01)

Shv'uu: But sir, on the Kitesfear we had a policy about armed guests...
Tagon: ...because we didn't want anyone hijacking the ship. I know. I doubt he's going to be able to fly away in a stolen office building, Shv'uu.
(27 Feb 01)

Tagon: Your ideas tend to result in unnecessary violence, Sergeant Schlock.
Schlock: And your point is...
Tagon: Let's broaden the definition of "necessary".
(4 Mar 01)

Ennesby: Everything seems to work. It was unnerving being broken, though.
Kevyn: Well, you managed okay. No permanent harm done, right?
Ennesby: Not quite. I still have this humiliating memory of resorting to rolling myself down the stairs with my eyebrows.
Kevyn: I could erase that for you, but the version recorded by the security cameras goes in my private collection.
(12 Mar 01)

Schlock: What'cha readin', Reverend?
Theo: 'The Lost Ordinances of the Reformed Apocalpytic Cathostancey'.
Schlock: If the ordinances are in the book, then they're not lost, are they?
Theo: ...I think you've just invalidated the last eight hours of my research.
Schlock: My work here is done.
(17 Apr 01)

Kevyn: I understand the Reverend needs help with a ghost?
Tagon: I've been told that it's proving difficult to banish.
Kevyn: I imagine so, considering there is no evidence whatsoever to support the existence of ghosts.
Voice in the Pipes: YOU ARE ALL DOOMED!
Kevyn: The plumbing in this ship is certainly noisy, isn't it?
Tagon: And rather opinionated, it would seem.
(21 Apr 01)

Ennesby: The Tausennigan Ob'enn warlords look like cuddly teddy-bears?
Petey: Yes, they do. And they'd cheerfully exterminate your entire race for making that observation!
Ennesby: I guess that explains their rich military history, then.
(3 May 01)

Bunni: You're an expert on the esoteric biology of amorphs?
Gatekeeper: No, but I have killed them before.
Schlock: Oh, that's reassuring. Now give me back my plasgun before I have to hurt you.
(3 Jun 01)

Kevyn: So, what's your definition of 'derelict'?
Petey: 'Unable to fire back'.
(5 Jun 01)

Union Thug: What's that? Some fancy hair dryer?
ommminous hummmmm
Schlock: If by 'hair' you mean 'plasma', and by 'dryer' you mean 'cannon' then yes. Yes it is.
(20 Jun 01)

Narrator: Finally, you guys are making traditional comic-book villain mistakes.
Gatekeeper: When I want your opinion I'll mind-rip it out of your shattered skull, thank you.
(8 Jul 01)

Ennesby: Cut your engines. I'm gonna 'port you into one of the bays.
Doythaban (Doyt): But what about...
Doythaban (Doyt): ...our relative velocity? We were doing point-three cee back there.
Ennesby: Inertial sump. I bled off the extra kinetic energy and converted it to mass.
Doythaban (Doyt): Is that why I feel heavier?
Ennesby: No, I think that's an aspect of your density.
Doythaban (Haban): Oh, be nice. I have to share a skull with him.
(14 Jul 01)

Tagon: I don't know if you've seen what happens when mercenaries are forced to choose between large sums of money and following orders, but I assure you, it's seldom pretty.
Breya: This sounds like 'captain-work'. I'll be in an escape pod if anyone needs me.
(20 Aug 01)

Tagon: This kind of work is right up our alley. My troops can be heavily armored, and armed so far past their teeth it would send even the most masochistic orthodontist screaming into the streets.
Fez Bejo: I need you to protect my park, not level it.
(13 Sept 01)

Attorney Drone: We'll have a chupaqueso platter with monosfritos and a big-chug, mucho-size it.
Brad: drawing down on the attorney-drone Would you like a side order of BLAM with that?
(21 Sept 01)

Tagon: Do you have any more details for us?
Liner Captain: No. We've lost all contact with our service personnel aboard the Princess Tyola, and the techs we sent to board her through the aft service-ways never reported back.
Tagon: You lost contact with them the moment they entered the liner?
Liner Captain: Well, no. We lost contact with them about three minutes later, right after the screaming started.
Tagon: See, that's a detail. We need those.
(4 Oct 01)

Narrator: After courage and valor have long since fled, the day will be won by the guy who remembered to bring reinforcements to the party.
(28 Oct 01)

Tagon: I can't think of a worse way to wake up than discovering my head is in a jar.
Der Trihs: Try waking up with your head in a jar and having deja-vu.
(31 Oct 01)

Bunni: I'm torn trying to decide whether your metabolism is more intriuging than your psychology.
Schlock: It's standard behavior for my species. 'Necessity is the mother of digestion'.
Bunni: How do you feel about 'you are what you eat'?
(4 Nov 01)

Emergency Medical Hologram: Captain, I can't restore Nick to his previous physical state.
Tagon: So which is it... you can't do it, or you won't do it?
Emergency Medical Hologram: What's the difference?
Tagon: Equipment that can't perform up to spec gets replaced. Equipment that won't perform gets abused until it will, or until it can't.
(5 Nov 01)

Breya: to eye-less Schlock: I didn't realise you were this bitter. I'm sorry.
Ennesby: He's not bitter. He's afraid of explaning that he only has eyes for you.
Schlock: Pardon me while I give the talking maraca a good rattle.
(15 Nov 01)

Schlock: Are you worried about sending troops into harm's way?
Tagon: No. I'm worried that they might have to do some serious thinking down there, and that's not where they're strongest.
(26 Nov 01)

Kevyn: I hope you're not talking about our Lieutenant Der Trihs.
Tagon: He strikes a perfect balance between leadership, combat ability, and wit.
Kevyn: Oh, yeah. Zeros on all three arms of the scale.
(28 Nov 01)

Brad: Why don't I just fly us in normally?
Kevyn: mean screaming through the atmosphere like a trebuchet-launched, gasoline-drenched cat? Knocking down trees and rattling the ground with mach-blasted thunder? Convincing the low-tech natives that we're either gods or devils, and inviting any station-dwelling paranoids in orbit to shoot at us?
Brad: Well, when you put it that way...
(12 Dec 01)

Petey: This is the graveworld of an ancient civilization. I say the whole planet must be haunted, and this is proof.
Tagon: You don't still have a ghost-phobia, do you?
Petey: We could destroy the planet and pretend we were never here...
(27 Dec 01)

2002 Edit

Kevyn: I can't start a firefight in here. There are innocent civilians all over the room.
Doythaban: Kevyn, I've been in rooms just like that before. There are no innocent civilians. Trust me. Every last one of them has done something.
(4 Jan 02)

Schlock: Judging by the sounds of general panic, I want a gun like that.
(16 Jan 02)

Hob: First rule of tact'cal 'splosives: someone always complains 'bout the length of the fuse.
(20 Jan 02)

Lady Emily: Depending on your answers to our questions, we either kill you or take you prisoner so we can torture you for more information.
Schlock: Miss, I'd like to propose a few additional alternatives.
ommminous hummmmm
Schlock: If you're lucky, I'll let you pick one that does not involve massive third-degree burns.
(27 Jan 02)

Schlock: See, I've traveled the galaxy, and they sell guns out there that would amaze and astound you.
Chuck: Oh, really.
Schlock: Of course, by 'amaze' I mean 'maim', and by 'astound' I mean 'render you indistinguishable from the remains of the ground you were standing on'.
(29 Jan 02)

Schlock: I'll have you know that I only resort to violence when the situation calls for it.
Lady Emily: Of course, by 'situation' you mean 'voices in your head', right?
Schlock: And you don't want to know what they're saying right now.
(3 Feb 02)

Chev: Did this amorph have eyes?
Gamm: The enforcer reports do not mention eyes, nor a lack thereof. Of course, the reports seldom get past the 'white-hot blazing maimery' spewed from the amorph's plasma cannon. After telling that part my witnesses just curl up and whimper.
(8 Feb 02)

Elf: C'mon team. It's time to go paint the undefended town a nice shade of 'BLAM'.
(27 Feb 02)

Massey: Your honor, are you aware of the fact that the organization I represent has been authorized by governments of human space to pursue and collect bounties on attorney drones such as the one you are getting ready to consult with?
Councilman: What are you talking about?
Massey: I'll make it clearer. Your honor, please step away from the attorney drone, so that we can avoid getting any of it on you.
(24 Mar 02)

Narrator: At amorph wakes the receiving line and the buffet line are the same thing. And that's probably too much information.
(31 Mar 02)

Tagon: Next time we go into harm's way, I want most of the harm to be working for us.
(7 Apr 02)

Thurl: One at a time, guys. Which one of you wants to go first?
Tchukk (1): There is only one of me here.
Thurl: Riiiight. I don't see any wires, and I don't believe in telepathy.
Tchukk (2): Do you believe in radio?
Thurl: Okaaay...'bicameral communal life-form'. Just don't expect more than one paycheck at a time.
(13 Apr 02)

Nick: We're hirin' elefunts?
Shep: That's not what he sed, dummy. We're startin' a circus.
Narrator: Shep's obviously seen the new recruits...
(14 Apr 02)

Breya: on Kevyn: The problem is that he doesn't want to work for me. He'd rather work for a tiny, low-margin mercenary company.
Jaksmouth: I don't see a problem there. You've basically told me that although he can't be bought, his employer can.
(17 Apr 02)

Jaksmouth: Our original plan was to put you out of the way on perimeter patrol.
Tagon: Boring, yet often profitable work.
Jaksmouth: Then it came to our attention that you've got as much firepower and carriage as any two of our carrier groups put together.
Tagon: That sounds like the preface to an assignment that will send both boredom and profitability fleeing in unrestricted panic.
Jaksmouth: I looked at what we're paying you. I'm confident that profitability will be sticking around and getting nice and chummy with 'highway robbery'.
(29 Apr 02)

Kevyn: I think it's time for some empirical testing.
Gav: Fire it up and map the power traces?
Kevyn: Fire it up and throw a rock through that opening.
(30 May 02)

Gav: ....I'm gonna use a wallet.
Kevyn: Are you sure you want to do that? We have no idea what'll happen to your wallet when we throw it through that aperture.
Gav: My wallet will remain safe in my pocket. Captain Megiddo's wallet is going to take a little joy-ride.
(1 Jun 02)

Kevyn: ...we expect a pretty impressive supernova in about four days.
Megiddo: See, that is worth telling the fleet about.
(15 Jun 02)

Tagon: How can a bomb possibly hurt anyone if it explodes inside a star?
Petey: It just needs to be big enough. Try to imagine a fragmentation grenade that can use an entire star for shrapnel.
(2 Jul 02)

UNS Trooper: Don't worry about the overkill. Dead is dead - you'll just get there faster than most.
Schlock: Actually, I was worried that you might want to be pointing your anti-tank weapons at, say, incoming tanks.
(8 Jul 02)

Schlock: Kevyn doesn't have protection from a gun that big, either.
Elf: Heh, whaddya wanna bet he built it? Out of spare parts, no less.
Schlock: Well, if he's firing it indoors, he needs help in more ways than one.
(11 Jul 02)

Doythaban: I'm not going to say anything like "this will be a milk-run" or "we don't expect any trouble on this trip."
Der Trihs: But we don't expect any trouble on this trip, right?
Schlock: AAAAUGH! Take it back! You're going to doom us all!
(8 Aug 02)

Kevyn: My new first rule of advanced weapons testing: make a backup of yourself before opening fire.
(10 Aug 02)

Xinchub: My critics forget that slime is a defensive lubricant. Slimy creatures are difficult to catch.
(14 Aug 02)

Schlock: I made a matching pair of sawed-off multicannons.
Kevyn: Schlock, the entire length of the barrel is an integral part of a multicannon. Plasma couplings and aperture controls are gone, there's no autotracking...those weapons are now a menace to anyone standing within a hundred meters of you.
Schlock: Perfect. I'm going for intimidation value, here.
Kevyn: I'd be more comfortable if you strapped grenades to your chest.
Schlock: Sounds like I cut the barrel in just the right place, then.
(3 Sept 02)

Ch'Vorthq: You can hold out for a couple of days for a CostClub run. Besides, if I don't get another 3200 frequent shopper points this month, I'll lose my subscription to 'Armored Chef'.
ommminous hummmmm
Schlock: If I don't get my Ovalqwik fix today, you'll wish you were an armored chef.
(8 Sept 02)

Ch'Vorthq: on Petey: Gee, if he's that smart, and he gets shot at, he might qualify to be a sergeant.
Schlock: If he's that arrogant, though, he's officer material all the way through.
(15 Sept 02)

Schlock: You make it sound like we're going to hire ourselves out to a gang of punk delinquent kids.
Petey: We are.
Schlock: to Ch'Vorthq: He's got the 'I am a stupid greeny lieutenant' act down pat.
(20 Sept 02)

Petey has just gleefully explaned how the Toughs got paid five times for this job:
Petey: Hopefully camp will teach you little thugs that crime does not pay.
Gangster: Obviously it pays for you.
(29 Sept 02)

Schlock: Ahhh...goober rounds. Shoot first, ask for concessions later.
(30 Sept 02)

Ob'Enn Admiral: Please remind them that the words 'prize crew' mean 'your admiral will be upset if you gut this one with plasma fire, you brick-witted morons'.
(21 Oct 02)

Schlock: You know what I like most about these solo missions? I don't have to wait for somebody else to holler 'open fire'.
Narrator: Or 'cease fire'. Or 'AAUGH! SERGEANT, COLLATERAL DAMAGE!', for that matter.
(27 Oct 02)

Tagon: As soon as they throw that allegiance switch, Petey will no longer be inclined to obey any of the standing orders I've given him. Especially not the very first one.
Kevyn: Ah. The one about not committing suicide over the whole "I'm afraid of ghosts" thing.
Tagon: I'm torn between 'porting back into the system to warn them, or 'porting back into the system to watch.
(30 Oct 02)

Theo: I've never done a funeral for an artificial intelligence before.
Ennesby: We figured as much.
Theo: Oh?
Ennesby: I think the "Petey's not in hell for committing suicide because he had no soul to begin with" argument gave you away.
Doythaban: You're not eulogizing me when I die, even if it means I have to take you with me to make sure.
(2 Nov 02)

Bunni: I'm a doctor, not a tailor.
(3 Nov 02)

Kevyn: The only way for there to be out-of-spec back doors or faults common to all these systems is if there were a secret cabal or conspiracy among all the manufacturers and vendors we used...of course, if there were such a cabal, they probably wouldn't have our best interests in mind.
Tagon: Welcome to my world, Kevyn.
(12 Nov 02)

Ennesby: I overheard you saying how illegally fast these shipboard systems were, and then I noticed you left a port open. How could I not move in? The temptation was much too great for a simple little mind like the one on the table. Of course, with this new mind I've got, I could easily resist those sorts of urges.
Kevyn: So you'll be moving back out, right?
Ennesby: I'm successfully resisting the urge to move even as we speak.
(19 Nov 02)

2003-2006 Edit

Xinchub: We're going to need some new pronouns before we finish this briefing.
UNS Major: Not my field, general. You might talk to Colonel Urquhearst, though. He's the man running Operation Babelfish.
Xinchub: I've tried. They've made enough progress that it's impossible to carry on a conversation with him.
Man In Black: Breeding adverbs with pronouns...those guys have gone too far.
(9 Feb 03)

Ennesby: They crashed a gas giant.
Tagon: You mean they crashed into a gas giant?
Ennesby: They did that, too.

Ceeta: You realise you can get ten times the output from a gun less than a tenth that size, don't you?
ommminous hummmmm
Schlock: I like the soothing sounds I get out of this one.
Ceeta: The glow of doom from the barrel is a nice touch, too...

Ennesby: Commander, we don't have a fabber. How do you expect to build decent astronomy gear from scratch?
Kevyn: By not starting from scratch. I can get excellent resolution by building a hundred-node 'Very Large Array' from existing components.
Ennesby: A Very Large Array would work, Kevyn, but the only thing we've got that many of is missiles.
Kevyn: It's also going to be a Very Dangerous Array.

Tagon: I see you got rid of the defective toaster made by our defective fabber.
Kevyn: Schlock took care of it.
Tagon: I'm surprised he didn't take care of you. He's not keen on exploding food or practical jokes.
Kevyn: Are you kidding? This is Sergeant Schlock we're talking about. He begged me for it so he could take it down to the firing range.
(Red Bar Of Evil)
Schlock: [holding the toaster] See? You get a lot more stopping power out of whole wheat.

Ennessby: Our "enemy" is targeting high density energy sources, like the ones in your powered fullerene uniforms.
Captain Kerchak: I don't feel too good about your solution to the problem, little one.
Ennessby: How do you feel about suddenly exploding pants?
Captain Kerchak: Listen up, monkeys! We're getting some naked time!

Kevyn: On a scale from 'that's not free checking' to 'heat death of the universe', I'd say we're looking at 'the enemy has a superweapon we can't track.'

Ennesby: [as the Serial Peacemaker] You there on the ground. Drop your weapon, or you'll be fired upon.
Kreely slaver: I'll die before I'll -
[Ennesby blows him away]
Ennesby: '- finish my sentence,' I think he was saying.

Tagon: Okay, wait a minute. If you're just trying to trounce your competition why did you pay us ten times what their business was worth? You could have just bought them out for that kind of money.
Kreely Employer: True, true. But by bringing us the owners themselves, you gave us the ability to mindrip them and drain their accounts. We expect to come out slightly ahead, and with one less competitor to worry about.
Tagon: This isn't moral high ground. This is the artillery range.

(The Toughs have just finished watching a cartoon about themselves)
Brad: Man, forget about the cute, cartoony look. That show they made about us was violent.
Schlock: But that's the way it happened. We had to grow you a new body afterwards, remember?
Brad: Only 'cause you ate the one I was born with.
Schlock: Hey, we didn't have space in the Cryokit for all of you, and I needed the extra mass. Two birds, one stone.
Ennesby: ...and one bottomless appetite.
Legs: This bird is happy she enlisted after you passed that stone.

Schlock: Everybody stops shooting, or I start eating.

a Gav-clone: More Guinness to the front! Somebody sounds stressed, and I think it's a me!

Vending Machine Repairman: Mister, it looks like the whole C.H.O.N. Bake-and-Vend path was ripped out by a giant gorilla.
Kevyn: He's not talking about you, Elizabeth.

Narrator: If you're new here, the bad guys are the cute, furry ones. You should be cheering for the pile of crap.

Schlock: Eat hot suppression, psycho-bears!
Schlock: Quit complainin', lieutenant. My suppressing fire worked. They're suppressed now.
Elf: Suppressed. Yeah. And on fire. We want prisoners, not a barbeque.

Legs: I heard the Rev got a dressing down from Tagon.
Schlock: The Rev doesn't like Petey. He said he was a soulless warmonkey. I don't like it when my friends don't like each other.
Legs: Actually, 'soulless warmonkey' sounds pretty cool.
Schlock: You just like the word 'monkey'.
Legs: Who doesn't?

Kevyn: ...and the Captain left me in charge. Before any of you unwisely take this as a clue to step further out of line than you were already planning to, I'd like to say two words about my position as the company's munitions commander and resident mad scientist: "guinea pigs".
(6 Oct 04)

Kevyn: Petey, what's going on here?
Petey: Isn't it obvious?
Kevyn: Well, all I can see is that you decided to attack an entire star system as a feint to draw off the battleplate Vredefort so that you could escort us from the system with minimal collateral damage.
Petey: See? Obvious.
U.N.S. Officer: 'Minimal collateral damage' and 'Entire star system' do not belong in the same sentence.

Athena: (on Breya:) Even frazzled she can insult both the A.I. and the ape in one go.
Kerchak: Easy, sis. I helped re-install you, so I know where you keep your brain.
(2 Mar 05)

Captain Kevyn: Hi, Kevyn. I'm you...okay, that's not quite true. I'm you as you'll be seven weeks from now.
Kevyn: I'm going to be captain?
Captain Kevyn: Yes. Maybe. Let me try again. I used to be you, and now I'm seven weeks older and I'm me, but that doesn't mean you have to end up like me. In fact, I'm here so that you can work with me to make sure that the conditions that resulted in me don't happen to you.
Kevyn: It sounds like I lean to babble like an idiot in the future.
Captain Kevyn: It's the clothes. We have got to get me out of these things.
(17 Apr 05)

Narrator: When the messenger arrives and says "Don't shoot the messenger," it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

TAG: Actually I am self-aware. I just don't care.
Tagon: See? Creepy.
Kevyn: [to TAG] Shouldn't you be, I don't know, plotting a course or something?

Tagon: [on cutting the grunts' pay] Remember how I reacted when Doctor LaFrench stiffed us? Multiply that by fifty, and use less restraint.

HTRN Host: ...and I get a cut of the profits.
Elf: Oh. So you're a fellow mercenary.

Tagon: Massey just volunteered to take out the enemy's reserve assets.
Massey: I volunteered?
Ennesby: And now you get to kick some assets.

Ennesby: [to Tagon] Oh, and please leave the bad punning to me, sir. It'll hurt you.

Kevyn: ...and because of your unique abilities, you're not just delivering the orders. You'll be helping to carry them out.
Schlock: Whoa, cool. You want us to steal some TV equipment?
Kevyn: Carry them all the way out, as it were.

Theo: So you've decided through inaction to let evil, injustice, and suffering continue to exist.
Petey: Actually no.
I've decided to let freedom of choice continue to exist.
You people. . . you mortal people, are the ones who are allowing for evil, injustice, and suffering. You keep choosing it.

Theo: Wow. You really do think you've become a god.
Petey: I'm just trying to do what I think a god would do in my position.
Theo: You're being so responsible. Where's all the old-school smiting?
Petey: With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.
Theo: Ah, the Gospel of Uncle Benjamin.

2007 Edit

Kevyn: What if we vaporize part of his ship? You know, like a really loud warning shot?
Schlock: If you vaporize the bits with the good plunder on 'em I will be very upset.
(13 Jan 2007)

Schlock: Time to go put the 'hot' back in 'shut up'!
Kevyn: Schlock, the phrase 'shut up' doesn't have the word 'hot' in it anywhere.
Schlock: No, but 'SHOT up' does.
Elf: I like the way you spell, Sergeant.
(27 Jan 07)

Kevyn: I can't help but wonder whether you're able to function in society.
Pibald: I don't function in society, sir. I'm a mercenary. I blow society up.
(29 Jun 07)

Tagon: I've never been clear on what "adjut" means, so "adjutant" is a complete mystery.
Ennesby: It's from ancient Earth languages. "Ad" means "torwards" and "jut" means "stick out". Idiomatically, it means that your adjutant is the person who sticks it to you.
(1 Jul 2007)

Schlock: This definitely tastes like Xinchub. Greasy, with kind of a tripey aftertaste.
Elf: Just spit the rest into this jar for the doctor, okay?
(13 Aug 07)

2008 Edit

Lota Lota must make the humans predictable. Oh, look. Lota has cannons that Lota has been hoping to use all day.
(28 July 2008)

TAG: I am sure that once you do set foot on the dock additional resistance will materialize for you to shoot at.
Tagon: You make it sound like a birthday present.
TAG: It is one you can unwrap with a pistol and an entrenching tool.
(09 Oct 2008)

2009 Edit

Schlock: We don't run from the end of the world. We CHARGE!
(2 Jan 09)

Schlock: Shooting around corners would be a lot more fun if I expected to live long enough to turn the story into free beer.
(4 Jan 09)

LOTA: Now fly the plotted course, or Lota shall actualize the metaphorical breach in your britches.
(18 Jan 09)

Tagon: Crazy robots...Crazy robots everywhere...
(10 Feb 09)

Tagon: Hey now, teraporting out was MY idea! Give me at least a little credit!
Ennesby: Sir, I don't think you want to get any more of this on you.
(17 Feb 09)

Pi: Ebby, if you want me to mine the approaches, just say the word.
Ebbirnoth: I suppose the word is 'sure, I'd love to die quickly and in small pieces'?
(09 Oct 2009)

Reporter: Do you always wear full body-armor to dinner?
Ebbirnoth: Let me tell you about the meal I had at Panda Gonzalez..
(30 Oct 2009)

Pi: That was an accident, I swear.
Ennesby: Congratulations. You've just invented "negligient regicide".
(2 Nov 09)

Kevyn: You knew we had an assassination plan on tap, and you didn't have us all arrested?
LOTA: You were just taking responsibility. Speaking of which, you should now confiscate Lieutenant Pibald's pistol. It can shoot a hole in the world.
(6 Nov 2009)

LOTA: Those systems house Lota's consciousness. They are not to be interfered with. More to the point, in consideration of your previous assassination plan, should any of you as much as approach those systems Lota would be required to fire you.
Kevyn: ...okay, I get it.
LOTA: Out an airlock.
(22 Nov 2009)

Ebbirnoth: So Lota evicted everybody after all. Great. We still don't know what Credomar is.
Pi: Sure we do. Obviously it's a giant death-ray that fires through hyperspace!
Ebbirnoth: You either need more medication, or less science-fiction.
Pi: Or less medication and more ammo.
(11 Dec 2009)

Pi: Hyperspace Death-Ray. That's what Credomar is.
LOTA: Correction: "Credomar" is a city-state full of coddled humans who currently reside on a habitable moon of their very own. The remains of their station...THAT is a hyperspace death-ray. You are here to help me name it.
Pi: Only after we see you shoot it.
Kevyn: Lieutenant!
Pi: Please?
(13 Dec 2009)

LOTA: Lota chose the lesser of two evils. It is in Lota's job description as Monarch.
(19 Dec 2009)

Kevyn: That's the name. "LOTA". It's your name. You live in those control systems. You are the Discontiguous Particle Acceleration System.
LOTA: Yes, that is a little megalomaniacal.
Kevyn: Only now "LOTA" stands for "Long-Gunner Of the Apocalypse."
LOTA: ...and Lota likes it.
(20 Dec 2009)

Thurl: Whoever took him was not subtle.
Kevyn: Broken furniture?
Thurl: Craters.
(27 Dec 2009)

Tagon: Sure, sometimes I destroy robots and then purge their backups, but only when they were evil spies who had it comng.
(30 Dec 2009)

2016 Edit

Petey: I love all kinds of data, and living beings are data that make more data.
(1 Jan 16)

2018 Edit

Schlock: Okay, here's my plan. You and me, we kill all these people, and then break their spaceships.
Ellen: That doesn't have enough details to be a plan.
(27 Apr 18)

The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries Edit

  • Rule 1. Pillage, then burn.
  • Rule 2. A Sergeant in motion outranks a Lieutenant who doesn't know what's going on.
  • Rule 3. An ordnance technician at a dead run outranks everybody.
  • Rule 4. Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.
  • Rule 5. Close air support and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.
  • Rule 6. If violence wasn’t your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.
  • Rule 8. Mockery and derision have their place. Usually, it's on the far side of the airlock.
  • Rule 9. Never turn your back on an enemy.
  • Rule 10. Sometimes the only way out is through... through the hull
  • Rule 11. Everything is air-droppable at least once.
  • Rule 12. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.
  • Rule 13. Do unto others.
  • Rule 15. Only you can prevent friendly fire.
  • Rule 16. Your name is in the mouth of others: be sure it has teeth.
  • Rule 17. The longer everything goes according to plan, the bigger the impending disaster.
  • Rule 21. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Take his fish away and tell him he's lucky just to be alive, and he'll figure out how to catch another one for you to take tomorrow.
  • Rule 22. If you can see the whites of their eyes, somebody's done something wrong.
  • Rule 24. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun.
  • Rule 27. Don't be afraid to be the first to resort to violence.
  • Rule 28. If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid for bringing ammunition home with you.
  • Rule 29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.
  • Rule 30. A little trust goes a long way. The less you use, the further you'll go.
  • Rule 31. Only cheaters prosper.
  • Rule 33. If you're leaving tracks, you're being followed.
  • Rule 34. If you’re leaving scorch marks, you need a bigger gun.
  • Rule 35. That which does not kill you has made a tactical error.
  • Rule 36. When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.
  • Rule 37. There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "I need to reload."
  • Rule 38. Just because it's easy for you doesn't mean it can't be hard on your clients.
  • Rule 39. There is a difference between spare parts and extra .... [maxim cut off]
  • Rule 40. Not all good news is enemy action.
  • Rule 41. "Do you have a backup?" means "I can't fix this."
  • Rule 42. "They'll never expect this" means "I want to try something stupid."
  • Rule 43. If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky
  • Rule 44. If it will blow a hole in the ground, it will double as an entrenching tool.
  • Rule 45. The size of the combat bonus is inversely proportional to the likelihood of surviving to collect it.
  • Rule 47. Don't expect the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement.
  • Rule 49. Every client is one missed payment away from becoming a target.
  • Rule 51. Let them see you sharpen the sword before you fall on it.
  • Rule 70. Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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