Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Mercenaries

A ruthless bunch of mercenaries, they were.

The Sniper. Agreed, he couldn't send out multiple bullets at the same time, neither did he use ammunition strong enough to kill an elephant. But he was the most basic of them all: he shot in abundance and never missed, he took out everyone he aimed at.

The Treble. He had this triple-barrel device, using which he could shoot three bullets at once. Mind you, he wasn't as accurate as The Sniper, but the triple bullets could take care of three targets at once, which made him doubly as effective (assuming he would miss one out of three).

The Bomber. The pilot who bombed all and sundry with stunning accuracy, bringing down the toughest of targets with mindless brutality.

The Siege. The anti-structure guy. While the others specialised in human targets, The Siege brought down buildings at an astonishing rate; he had an assortment of weapons, often the rather archaic ballistae or cannons. Typically, he was the first if a stronghold needed to be attacked.

The Kamikaze. It was sheer coincidence that he was not needed before today. He was the ultimate answer when everyone else had failed. However, the others had been so clinically efficient that he was not needed at all. Of course, their camaraderie was so strong that the other four had gone to unbelievable extents to protect their colleague.

Between them, they had formed the most formidable quintuplet in the history of armed combat. Each one had their own specialised domain; and between them they represented a power matched by none.

***

Today had turned out to be different, of course. As always, they had kept an eye on the formidable castle for weeks. They had penetrated into the castle, disguised as laymen, living off scraps; but as they had maintained low profiles, their eyes had remained alert, looking for every possible weakness of the castle that was famous for its impregnability.

They had planned well. The sheer toughness of the opponent demanded an incredible amount of planning, and they were up to the task. When the guards tended to doze off in the small hours of the morning, The Sniper would climb up the walls and place himself at the turrets. The Treble would attack the guards at the main gate at close range, taking out three at a time, as The Siege would bring the gate down. The Bomber would circle the sky, blasting out various strategic points. And of course, The Kamikaze would remain ready to deal the final blow - the blow that has never been necessary in any of their previous missions.

***

Except, things started to get wrong. Horribly wrong. They had no idea that the number of visible guards was not what they had estimated. The fifty-odd guards suddenly became about three times the number; they had seemed oddly prepared for the sudden attack. Several heavily armed and armoured guards had remained in ambush, and sprang into motion as soon as The Treble had attacked. He was captured.

The Siege's weapons were lethal, and he had dealt a couple of severe blows on the gate. But the potency of the siege weapons also meant that they were heavy, and when fifty-odd guards charged at him at an alarming pace, he could not escape quickly enough.

The Bomber was brought down quickly by the already alarmed anti-aircraft troop of the castle. His parachute didn't take him far enough, and he was fell captive in the hands of the group of guards that had waited for his descend in slow motion. It was an easy job.

The Sniper, sensing danger, had tried to remain inconspicuous. He had shot down a couple of guards, but amidst all the pandemonium, his existence had gone largely unnoticed. However, his shadow on the castle wall, thanks to the full moon, gave away his location. Guards were sent up, and though he had put up a brave resistance, it was only a matter of time.

The four were dragged to the Great Hall in chains and cuffs. They knew that they would be tortured now, and  every effort would be made to extract information out of them. They knew that all of them would die, and it would be a death as slow and painful as they, or anyone else, had ever imagined.

The Kamikaze, disguised as one of The Emperor's henchmen, looked at them rather passively, taking utmost care to avoid their eyes. He, too, like the others, had realised that their time had come. He took long strides, and with both his mates and The Emperor of the Castle in close vicinity, triggered off the bomb.

***

No pain. No smoke. No haze. No sound. No odour of gunpowder. Sheer emptiness.

Was this what afterlife was like? A weird emptiness, with no floor to set foot on, no sky to look up to, a dazzling mindless seamless whiteness? Was that all?

And then the man came into view. He should possibly have looked like a fierce warrior of many tussles; he resembled an rather docile accountant instead.

The Quintuplet looked at each other. Was this man going to decide their destiny in this unknown realm? This man? He doesn't even seem to have lifted a weapon of any kind.

He had a name tag of sorts, they noticed. C Gupta, it said.

"I'm The Keeper of your records. Or of everyone's records, for that matter."

They kept quiet.

"You have sinned. You have murdered innocents for money. Had I had my way, I would have ensured you have had to pay for this. However, you're fortunate. The Authorities think they would give you another chance."

More blank stares.

"Apparently, they have decided to go by abilities rather than past actions, which should not have been the case. To add to that, they're also in a soup. They're under attack. And as it had turned out, their defense has turned out to be futile."

The Five stared at each other, and then again at Gupta.

"They need your help. If you succeed, you shall be granted entry into the heavens to listen to the dulcet tunes of the harp and watch the nymphs dance. You might also be granted ambrosia, if you perform really well. If you fail, you will possibly end up being slow-cooked in pots by my men", said Gupta, as his mouth twitched into the most singular of smiles.

"However, there is a catch. I really do not want you to succeed, you see. And while I cannot overrule my authorities' decision to send you to war, I can always have my way in certain aspects."

"Of course, you shall remain The Sniper, The Treble, The Bomber, The Siege and The Kamikaze. You shall all retain your specific abilities. That's a part of the order. But there is nothing mentioned about the form that you'd assume," Gupta smiled again.

"What should I make you? Leeches? Nah, the opponents might not notice you - and moreover, you shall have the ability to suck their blood. Earthworms? No, you might hide under the soil. What then?"

"Then a thought crossed my mind. What can be more helpless than a minuscule flightless bird? Too small to run away, no wings to fly and large enough to be noticed. Just in case they do not notice you, I've decided to paint you in the brightest of colours."

Poof!

***

The five wingless birds walked towards the battlefield. They had a plan chalked out. They had to win this, they knew. The Porcines could be defeated, they knew. They found a medium-sized Y-shaped stick on end of the battlefield, and huddled around it. They needed some practice.

The Authorities, who went by a collective name called Rovio, had for some reason decided to call this mission Poached Eggs.


This work of fiction actually demands a dedication: to those three people who had brought Angry Birds into my life on a bright July day in 2011, and changed my life forever. Thank you, Amrita, Arjun and Sneha.

26 comments:

  1. I am... you are.. I mean.. wait...................... WOW!!... W-O-W!! I was so engrossed in it I simply never ever imagined that it would end up like this! The very own-very known thing! AMAZING! SUPERB!

    P.S. you were right, as always :-)

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  2. Inspired by the recent defeat that still hurts, i suppose.

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  3. My boys squeal-scream-shriek when I shoot purple pigs sans a gun.
    *applause*
    Take a bow Sir,before these strawberry colour freaky midgets... I hail you as The PowerCyborgimator.

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  4. Perfect 10.... End is superb..Applause.. :)

    -Sougata

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  5. The subtlety that cracked me up upon re-reading—“more blank stares”.pause.”blank stares”

    "What can be more helpless than a minuscule flightless bird? Too small to run away, no wings to fly and large enough to be noticed. Just in case they do not notice you, I've decided to paint you in the brightest of colours."-philosophical contemplative.
    Excellent line.



    Have you seen pikachoo and pokemon on pogo.
    trust me,you'll leave the world more intelligent.

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  6. Never thought that the story would end up like this!!!excellent!!

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  7. The Angry Birds obsession continues!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. jata!!!!!!!!!just jata!!r kono bhasa khuje pachchi na...!!!!!!:):P:D
    r amar tatkhonik reaction to dekhtei pele...khub bhalo...aro lekho..aro porte dao...:)

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  9. Chokh ache...bolechilam.

    Jakge, lekhata bhalo hoyeche.

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  10. Felt bathos,then gladdened.

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  11. It was a stunner..
    mind-bowled
    u just personified the sniper, bombs n what not.

    Hats off
    Loved it !!

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  12. previously I had typed rofl in chats, but this is the first time I was rolling on the floor laughing, in real. everyone started laughing...

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  13. Incredible! The ending was too unexpected! And now I need to play Angry Birds again!!

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  14. have mercy abhishek mukherjee...eto bhalo likhle ki kore cholbe? Awefuckingsome!

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  15. http://wulffmorgenthaler.com/strip/2011/08/20/

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  16. Darling,when's the next post due?

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  17. Congratulations!
    After birds,other animals want you to address their plea too.You are being touted as the Anna hazare of animals.
    The next post better be on dogs.

    http://www.dilbert.com/blog/

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  18. wow superb article on angry birds :-)
    Keep blogging.
    All d best for the contest dude.
    I wish u win any prize.

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  19. since updated....superlike :P

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  20. HAHAHAHA ... brilliant as usual... i know what i am going to be thinking next time i play Angry Birds

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  21. khik! sesh ta ghyam toh!!!! :D so unpredictable :D

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  22. ahahaha this is AWESOME. I Love Angry Birds AND this post!

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  23. I laughed laughed and laughed. I laughed, sorry loved it. The end!!! Totally unexpected. :D

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