(If you want, buy their previous rampages for $2 by clicking on the covers below.)
The four men stare down from their balcony, the laughter of their prisoners making them grind their teeth in unison. All of them have large portraits of themselves above their seats, which helps to identify them without proper introductions. Sitting on the largest throne, Earl Phobos adjusts his toupee while a butler pours him more ice water. His crimson suit is thinning at the elbows and knees, the material threatening to tear whenever he bends a limb. A pair of binoculars hang from his neck, which he uses to look over the large installation. Staring through a telescope to his left, Esposito Smith devours ribs by the plateful and wipes his greasy hands on his white shirt. Whenever his top is too filthy to use as a napkin, he tears it off to reveal a fresh one underneath. A wide-eyed maid stands off to the side with a new set of shirts in case the bald man runs out before his belly is full. To Earl’s right, a silver-haired man in a matching suit tries his best to appear taller than his companions. Kappa holds up opera glasses to focus on the prisoners, their echoing laughter making him angrier than the others. The sweat-dripping fingers on his left hand are adorned with four wedding rings that he tries to keep in the sunlight to show off the sparkling diamonds. Lurking behind the others, Max Hutter stands on a box and looks around with his hands shaped like binoculars. The old man is hunched over and repeatedly coughs, but there is a spryness to his movements. Combined with an unblinking stare and a beak-like nose, he reminds the prisoners of a vulture sitting above three potential meals.
“Please make them stop laughing,” Earl says to the two guards. He groans as the armed men are kicked in the groin and tossed into a nearby pit. “Okay, we’re going to continue whether you want to behave or not. We are the original agents of Johnathan Custer and you two are our ticket to return to the fold. Even though he has cast us aside, we remain loyal and know that it is only a matter of time before he welcomes us home. I helped put his growing empire together by giving him the perfect plan to conquer this broken country. If it wasn’t for Grymer and Elaine, I’d still be in Vegas. Still, I won’t hold a grudge. Merely bide my time and use your deaths to get closer to my enemies. Seriously, why are they still laughing?”
“You guys look ridiculous!” Lloyd shouts from below. Holding onto a nearby rail for support, he wipes tears from his eyes and tries to catch his breath. “What the fuck are you guys supposed to be up there? It’s just so pompous and pathetic. You look like kids trying to play Julius Caesar, but three of you want to be him. The other looks like a fucking Nosferatu, but with worse dental hygiene. Seriously, I can see the yellow from here.”
“I was an influential smuggler who got Johnathan Custer into this country!” Max screams, spit flying onto the back of Kappa’s neck. He uses his sleeve to clean up the mess, but ends up knocking his friend off the chair. “Don’t take us lightly. Kappa is the man who handpicked the leaders of the new world. True, Grymer took credit and then had him kicked out by framing him for four murders. Still, there is nobody more cunning than this man, except for Esposito. He’s the one who started the information campaign that made sure everyone knew Johnathan Custer was here. True, most of what he said were lies that could be easily disproved because they involved aliens, demons, the King of Hawaii, and something about shrimp causing hepatitis. Where was I going with this?”
Cassidy holds her stomach and slumps to the ground, her chest heaving from her constant belly laughs. “Please stop or I’m going to die. Where the fuck do these ass-hats come from? I mean, was there a sale on stupid minions when Custer first got here? I don’t even think I can take the other two talking. Then again, they look angry. Did the Ghoul of New Jersey over there steal your thunder by spouting your backstories? Oh my god, I’m so glad we didn’t get to take our weapons because I really needed this laugh.”
“I’ve heard enough of this,” Esposito growls, crunching a bone in his teeth. The shards slice into his gums, but he shows no sign that he is in pain. “These two are obviously deranged and immature. All of their reputation must be lies spread by their warlord friend. How else could you explain a tiny woman and a mindless killer doing so much? Somebody would have killed them by now. Let’s just throw them in the pit and get it over with. Glut is already under orders to eat everything, except their heads.”
“Now, I don’t think we should be too hasty since we don’t normally get guests here,” Kappa suggests in a drawling voice. He stares back at his friends, but is unable to understand why they look confused. “I’m only saying that it’s usually just the four of us, the guards, the servants, and whatever women show up when we throw parties. Not that they have fun since they leave after the food and drink run out. What was I talking about?”
“We have no idea,” Kappa mutters, stepping down from his perch. Walking to a horn, he carries it to Earl and places it on the man’s lap. “Let’s just get this over with. Johnathan’s plans are almost ready for the final stage. If we don’t act now then we’ll be left out. You promised us a chance to get back in, Phobos. That’s why we stayed here instead of begging for even the smallest positions.”
“I’d never beg,” Esposito proudly declares while ripping off his last shirt.
“I could go for a little groveling if need be,” Kappa interjects with a shrug.
Picking up the horn, Earl runs his fingers along the rough sides and nervously licks his upper lip. He takes a deep breath and lets it out, the relaxing act causing his friends to frown and stomp their feet. Drawing a pistol, he threatens to shoot Esposito in the head if they do not stop making the annoying noise. Once they listen to the silent command, Earl blows the horn until his face turns red and he wavers in his seat. Thirty cheering guards with batons, sledgehammers, and baseball bats come running out of a rusty gate that opens below the balcony. They corner Cassidy and Lloyd, making their only escape a jump into the pit that emits the sounds of tearing flesh and sickening belches. Instead of attacking, they look up at the four leaders and wait for the signal. With Earl acting first, all of the men raise their right arms over their heads and hold their other arm across their bellies. As one, they slam their fists into their palms, which stirs the guards into attacking.
To the surprise of their enemies, Cassidy and Lloyd rush the first line of enemies and each claim a metal baseball bat. Standing back-to-back, the pair viciously beat anybody who dares to come within reach. They notice that nobody tries to get between them and the pit, so they gradually move closer to the balcony. With Lloyd swinging high and Cassidy aiming low, the small squad is pushed back and kept at bay. Most of their enemies stay down after one hit, the groaning men and woman rolling out of the way. Not wanting to waste time on those who have lost the will to fight, they ignore the ones that retreat and focus entirely on getting to the rusty gate. Occasionally risking a glance at the leaders, the pair take some joy from the way the four men cringe and sweat at every blow.
Bats heavily dented and dripping with blood, they are almost free when Earl blows his horn and guards wearing riot gear come rushing out of every corner of the installation. Using cattle prods and wooden canes, the renewed army is able to push Cassidy and Lloyd back towards the pit. Zaps to the pair’s baseball bats causes them to drop the metal weapons, which makes it easier to herd them. Some are still knocked to the ground by punches and kicks, which find unprotected groins and chins. Yet, their losses are not enough to give the cornered prisoners an opening for either new weapons or an escape. Driven by a blooming sense of victory, two of the armored guards grab the prisoners by the shoulders and try to drag them the rest of the way. As Max screams for them to be more careful, Cassidy and Lloyd grab the man and woman by the arms and leap into the pit with their new friends.