Guerilla/Battle Lines

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“It’s, uh… it’s the Vanquishers, sir.”

Tension filled every square inch of the room as a man in a white lab coat stood in front of Guerilla’s desk. The massive ape sat in the chair glaring up at the scientist with an angry scowl on his face. A low growl that seemed to resonate inside the minds of the man explaining the situation, as well as the monkey/human hybrid soldiers keeping guard inside the room, let everyone know that Guerilla was not happy about what he was hearing.

“They’re onto us. They must have found out you’re using Genetizol somehow. And since we’re the only ones who make it,” the man continued as sweat formulated into beads upon his brow. “Well, I think they’re trying to cut off your supply.”

Everyone in the room was holding their breath, waiting in complete silence. Nobody wanted to disturb Guerilla while he thought through what he was being told.

“How? How is this happening?” Guerilla asked, audibly frustrated.

“I’m n-not sure, sir,” replied the scientist, his voice wavering as the fear inside of him grew. “The day after your attack on City Hall, we got a visit from Eric Starr himself.”

Guerilla growled again, this time with his actual voice.

“...he wanted to see the facilities. He said he was thinking about having Starr Industries invest in the facility so that he could have easier access to Genetizol. I tried to say no, but it’s kind of hard to say no to Eric Starr, you know?”

The scientist laughed sheepishly, but abruptly stopped almost as soon as he started once he realized nobody else was laughing. He didn’t even think anything was funny; it was a nervous reaction. He pulled himself together a bit and kept going.

“Right. So, we had to give him a tour. But he left afterwards and said ‘I’ll have my people get in touch with your people. Thank you for your cooperation, and have a wonderful day!’ before he left. He’s actually a really nice guy.”

Guerilla was obviously unamused. “Tell me,” he began, “how does this explain why we are no longer receiving our shipments? We had an agreement. You know what the stakes are.”

The scientist gulped. “Look, I’m just the plant manager, okay? When the other investors got wind of Starr, the deal happened almost overnight! He sent in his own people and took over the operation. Everything is being monitored by the new management… I can’t siphon off some Genetizol for you and cover it up without someone noticing anymore. Everything’s chan—”

The scientist’s sentence was cut short. To everyone else in the room, it looked like he was trying to speak but for some reason was unable to get the words out. All of Guerilla’s soldiers were intimately familiar with what was happening, but they said nothing.

Inside the scientist’s mind, as Guerilla’s psyche held the scientist’s in a mental vice grip, the beast’s unmistakable, harsh voice echoed.

‘No. This is unacceptable.’

The scientist choked. His face started to turn purple. Other than the sound of the scientist struggling, the room stayed silent.

‘If you’re not going to do your job, then I’ll find someone else who will.’

The scientist’s eyes rolled back into his head. His face had turned completely blue. Blood was dripping out of his nose. After a moment of extreme agony, the scientist went limp, and his dead body collapsed to the floor. The two guards by the door instinctively stepped forward to drag the body out of the room.

“Foxtrot,” Guerilla said as they did so. A mercenary standing behind him stepped forward to his right side. “I need you to send them a replacement. Make sure the new one will comply.”

“Yes, sir,” Foxtrot answered. “I’ll make sure it’s done. Should I also start preparing your contingency plan?”

Guerilla sat and pondered the idea for a minute. He opened a drawer of his desk, pulled out a file, and splayed out its contents in front of him. Everything inside documented a series of experimental procedures done decades ago in Nazi Germany, as evident by the swastikas and SS insignia officializing each page.

“We need to find the rest of these files. If we can recreate these procedures, then we won’t need the Genetizol,” Foxtrot said, stepping forward to pull forward one of the documents on the desk. He pointed a finger at the part he wanted Guerilla to see. “We find out what happened to him, and we might be able to find the rest of these records.”

Guerilla leaned forward to look at the name beneath Foxtrot’s finger: Dr. Reinhard Schmulz.

“Do it,” Guerilla commanded.

Foxtrot nodded and immediately left the room, leaving Guerilla alone. From the hallway, Foxtrot felt the restrained rage of Guerilla creeping into his mind.

‘And send in the banana cart,’ Guerilla spoke into Foxtrot’s mind from his chair inside the room.
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