"He won't talk, Xraf, or you just don't have the stomach to get it out of him?" The Clown spoke in a voice calm enough to alarm his subordinate. Lexicus lay in the back of blue base, near death from a punctured heart; and for the past seven hours the CTF battle had stalemated, as each team had their enemy's flag hidden God knows where. At such times a soft voice is to be feared. Xraf chose not to respond.
"Go check on Lex. I'll talk to Doc." Chuckles walked into the holding room and let the door shut behind him. The man in the chair had been stripped of his MJOLNIR suit and bore the marks of "lively" interrogation. One glance told the Clown that, yes, Xraf possessed quite a strong stomach. Hardcase Chuckles thought. Not for long.
"I'm no sadist, Doc; I'm a soldier. But I'm sure," the Clown said shaking his head slowly, "that in a few minutes you won't be able to tell the difference. You have the information we need. Give it to me now and you live. Fail to give it to me, and you'll pray for death."
Doc looked up at Chuckles, and began to laugh. "You might want to send Xraf back in; he did a better job. You think I'm soft because I'm a physician, you freak? You don't scare me."
Chuckles' reaction was strange: he began to remove his helmet. Few if any outside of blue team had ever seen Chuckles' face, so the captive watched with interest; interest that quickly rotted into horror.
The Clown's skin was as pale as a corpse not yet prepared for a viewing. His large mouth was a crowded mess of jagged yellow teeth that seemed on loan from a wild-life exhibit. The lips and nose were the color of fresh blood, and his orange hair rose from his head like a fire gorging itself on pure oxygen. Set in the center like two hideous jewels were the eyes: not blue, brown, green or black; they were the hue of death. Taken together, the face was maddening; like a nightmare that lingers for hours after you wake. One look and Doc knew he would tell him whatever he wanted to know; one look and he wished only for death.
"Turpertrator's got it." A now helmeted Chuckles reported to blue team after he left the room. "Xraf, you stay here and keep an eye on Lex. Rhinox, you help him. Freedomman, come with me."
They made their way out across the frozen, barren landscape to red base. Nobody was standing guard outside, and there was no sign of snipers on the cliff. That means that all four of them will be in there Chuckles thought. Good.
Freedomman carried a rocket launcher, so he went in front as they crept along the wall to the entrance.
Chuckles rolled a grenade inside the front of the base. BANG! Following an instant behind the explosion, Freedomman ran inside, and fired two rockets. One went harmlessly into a wall, but the other obliterated two soldiers. But just as Chuckles entered firing his pistol, a rocket slammed into Freedomman's chest, throwing him against the wall like a rag-doll, dead. A second rocket sizzled through the air, glanced sideways as it scraped against Chuckles' shield, and exploded into the ceiling. The blast threw the Clown out of the right entrance.
There he lay, face down and uninjured; like a shotgun-packing corpse. He heard footsteps approaching, and the metallic sound of an RL being reloaded. The footsteps got closer, closer, right next to him. Perfect. In one motion, he turned over and jammed his shotgun into the barrel of the RL. Surprised, his enemy backed up, jumped and began to squeeze the trigger. In the thousandth of a second between the trigger being pulled, and the rocket firing, the soldier thought he saw a shotgun stock sticking out the end of the launcher. His next thought was scattered over the side of the canyon.
Turpertrator was now in the base alone, and the Clown was all funned out. Heck with it. A deep breath, a sprint, a jump, a roll, and Chuckles was again inside the base behind a bulge in the wall. Knowing that Turper was just the other side of the stairs, the Clown rolled a grenade towards the back and it stopped between Turper and the wall.
Some choices are good, some choices are bad, and some choices are evil. Turpertrator had an evil choice. He could stay where he was, and die in the grenade blast, or he could run and be fragged by Chuckles. Had he known what the Clown knew, he would have chosen the grenade, blessed, blessed grenade. Had he known what Chuckles knew, he would have leapt on the grenade and held it with maternal compassion.
But he didn't know. He couldn't know. So he chose pain. He chose suffering. He chose worse than death: he chose the Clown.
Turper ran for the front of the base. He saw a flurry of motion in the corner of his eye as an iron grip seized his head and smashed it into the wall. Everything went black.
He awoke fifteen minutes later, without his MJOLNIR armor and strapped to a table somewhere in his base. Turper could hear the approach of a warthog, undoubtedly carrying more from blue team. "Well, Chuck, as you can see the flag is no longer here. You fought for nothing you clown! NOTHING! Pathetic freak. No doubt you got Doc to talk, but you know better with me, right? Well, you should. Do what you will, but I will never tell you where the flag is!"
Turpertrator couldn't see it, but inside his helmet the Clown smiled. "I don't care where the flag is, Turper. I'm not here for the flag, I'm here for you. Lex is shot up bad and if he doesn't get a heart transplant within the hour, he'll die. We don't have the equipment to clone one for him, so we have to do it the old-fashioned way." Chuckles bent over to look Turper in the face. "According to Doc," the Clown said as he tapped his finger on Turper's chest, "you are the only one who is compatible."
Chuckles pulled out his eighteen inch combat knife and said with mock sympathy "I'm afraid that our anesthesiologist is on vacation this week, so brace yourself: this might sting a little."