Our Story Thus Far

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Contents

As of the beginning of the current book...

Be warned, there are major spoilers herein!

[two paragraph summary of who the main players are]

The latest book starts 12/5/2016... summary to come.

The Books

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Book 1: The Tub of Happiness

Summary

This is the first 507 days of Schlock Mercenary. Meet Schlock when he enlists, meet Breya when she buys the company he enlisted with, and meet Captain Tagon, who doesn't want to take orders from a woman. **This 240-page collection of strips is in print, and you can buy it here**.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Meet The Mercenaries in which many people join Tagon's toughs, and a bitter enemy is acquired.

Diplomatic Pouch of Doom in which the toughs encounter a very strange ambassador sent to deal with an explosive situation

Mini-Adventure Number One in which the toughs decide to relax and go to a bar. Everybody's Gotta Eat in which the toughs go out to a restaurant BOARDERS!! in which the toughs must take their own ship from the hands of zealous food-service commandos and the sinister plots of the partnership collective. The Shopping Trip in which Tagon makes a great many business decisions with which Breya is less than happy. Bureaucracy Bountiful in which the toughs face lines that have spawned religions, save a lawyer, and find a surprise in an ancient computer. Bombs Ahoy in which the toughs must escape powerful bombs planted by the partnership collective without destroying Luna. Bounty Hunting In which the toughs find out why a no-weapons policy for visitors makes sense even in an office building. Big Haunted Battleship in which the toughs acquire an excellent deal with an interesting catch. Interlude: Interrogation in which even the narrator gets confused. Big Haunted Battleship in which the plumbing problems become a minor concern. Battle for the Wormgate in which winning a space battle isn't everything. Union Blues in which the toughs try to do less violent work. Interrogation Interruption in which a copy of an old friend must be rescued. Equivocated Prevarication in which Tagon is faced with a difficult decision. Magic Dream-Land in which the toughs are paid to prevent hurting people and breaking things. Schlocktoberfest 2001 in which the toughs battle monsters on a space ship.

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Book 2: The Teraport Wars

Summary

You've met the mercenaries. You've seen them kill or be killed. You've seen them kill AND be killed. Now see them recover lost body parts, fight in the biggest war on record, and create an entire demographic of clones. **This positively ginormous assemblage of 493 strips, the second (and demonstrably better) half of the first 1000 in the archives fills 228 pages of book, and is available here.**

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Quest for Second Sight

..in which Schlock hires the company to help him steal a fresh set of eyes. Part I - Through The Ages ...in which the company learns of bits and pieces of Schlock's past. Part II - Through a Darkened Glass ...in which the resident mad scientist gets his first command. Part III - Through The Roof

The Teraport Wars

...in which we find that Admiral Breya Andreyasn has started a fight that the whole galaxy may need to help her finish. Part I - Kickin' Buuthandi and Takin' Names Part II - A Whole New Can o' Wormgates Part III - F'Sherl-Ganni or Cut Bait Part IV - Any Teraport in a Storm Epilogue - Send in the Clones

Petey Promoted

...in which everybody's favorite psychopathic, schizophrenic, cuddly, suicidally-inclined Artificial Intelligence is given a little bit of rope. Sawed-Off Schlockgun Filling the Tub of Happiness Schlocktoberfest 2002

Post Post-Dated Check Loan

... well, that last bit could have worked out better. But things could be worse, right? Part I - Raising Capital Offensive Part II - Tandem Acts of Kindness Part III - Handsome Ransom Part IV - Tempestuous Fugitives Part V - Might Makes Right-Of-Way

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Book 3: Under New Management

Summary

Captain Tagon, Sergeant Schlock, and the rest of "Tagon's Toughs" have been dragooned into hunting down an old friend. The trick isn't finding her. The trick is surviving long enough to get paid. **This 80-page book is in print, and can be purchased here.**

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I - The REALLY Clever Monkeys Part II - Tonight's Top Story Part III - Board of Accidental Tourism Part IV - Under New Management


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Book 4: The Blackness Between

Summary

Tagon and company finally track down Admiral Breya. Explosions explode, treachery treaches, and the gorillas get naked. **This 100-page book is in print, and can be purchased here.**

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I - Needle in a Haystack Part II - Breya in the Zoojack Part III - Trouble in the Outjack Part IV - A Little First Contact Part V - Backstabbing on the Fast Track Epilogue - Taking a Crack at Payback

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Book 5: The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance

Summary

Captain Tagon, Admiral Breya, and their little fleet go hunting for work and spare parts... but not adventure. No, that was NOT what they were looking for. **This 80-page book can be acquired here, and is also available with the first four volumes in a boxed set known as "Munitions Canister I."**

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Hand to Mouth Part II: A Hand of Acey's (CSI Parody) Part III: Handle With Care Part IV: Hand it Over Part V: Many Hands Make Light Work

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Book 6: Resident Mad Scientist

Summary

Tagon and company take a vacation, take a new job, and make some powerful new enemies. And then they discover that the galaxy may just need saving....

    • Released in July of 2010, you can get this 144-page book here**.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Primate Principio Part II: Schlocktoberfest 2004 Part III: Life's a Beach Part IV: Old Habits Die Hard Part V: Instant Replay

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Book 7: Emperor Pius Dei

Summary

The Toughs get a new ride, an old vacation, and a chance to be on TV. Meanwhile, in the galactic core...

    • Released in June of 2011, you can get this 176 page book here.**


Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Big Schlock, Little Schlock, What Begins With Schlock? Part II: Schlocktoberfest 2005 Part III: Return to the Tub of Happiness Part IV: Touch and Go Part V: Glamour Assault Part VI: Long Arm of the Law

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Book 8: The Sharp End of the Stick

Summary

Somehow Kevyn, Elf, Schlock, Brad, Nick, and Pronto have gotten themselves into primitive circumstances. Maybe things will get better if they make them worse first.

    • Released in June of 2012, you can get this 128 page book here.**

Plot Synopsis A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Jeopardy Part II: Schlocktoberfest 2006 Part III: Out of the Frying Pan... Part IV: Do You Mind if I Rewind? Part V: Dropping The Other Shoe Part VI: ...And Into The Fire

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Book 9: The Body Politic

Summary

How much money do you need in order to swallow your pride (and sanity) and rescue a mortal enemy? How many times can you get paid for stealing the same corpse? How many of those payments will you actually remember to collect?

    • Released in August of 2013, you can get this 128 page book here.**

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: King for a Day Part II: Royal Flush Part III: Schlocktoberfest 2007 Part IV: We Kept The Party Hats Part V: Collecting Part VI: Thanks for the Memories


Book 10: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse

Summary

New memories, new recruits, and a new contract. Welcome to Credomar, where things look like they can't possibly be made any worse.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Prologue: Drydock Part I: Wet Feet Part II: Enter the Longshoreman Part III: Schlocktoberfest 2008 - A Wrinkle in Time Part IV: Fuller's Soap Part V: The Longshoreman's Apocalypse Epilogue

Book 11: Massively Parallel

Summary

Our merry band splits into four commands to raise money for repairs. They are going to get interrupted.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Prologue: Meanwhile, At The Galactic Core Part I: High Olympus Command Part II: Barsoom Circus Command Part III: Credomar Command Part IV: Mallcop Command Part V: Command and Conquer


Book 12: Force Multiplication

Summary

Doctor Bunnigus makes a house call. It couldn't be that easy.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Black and White "We don't take kindly to your type around here" "I'm a doctor" "That what I said" (not actual dialog from this story)

Part II: Mass and Might We meet (among others) Shep's mom, a hooded stranger, and an evil doctor, and learn that Shep is upset that he can now only barely bench-press three times his own weight.

Part III: Fight or Flight While Schlock loves a good bath, we learn how he really cleans himself. Favorite line: Schlock: "That's sort of icky, but naked headless zombie Xinchub was worse"

Book 13: Random Access Memorabilia

Summary

In which we will find ancient puzzles, modern problems, and lots and lots of Gavs.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Read Brain surgery for everyone! The Gavs hire the Toughs for security on an ancient wandering artifact. Bunni & Theo get married (again, but they don't remember that). Part II: Write The Gavs aren't "Gavs" anymore. And a zombie. Road trip to MallONE! Part III: Execute The A.I. goes feral, a DaME and the UNS brings a battleplate to the party. Oh, and Schlock gets armor!

Book 14: Broken Wind

Summary

No ship, no job, and no prospects. But somebody did just pop a sapient balloon. Let's find out what's inside...

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Highlights include:

  • This station is HOW BIG?!?!
  • “Engineering feats lose their punch after you’ve popped the containment system somebody built around a star” (2013-08-20)
  • Challenge Coins!
  • This station is HOW OLD?!?!
  • Wait, the feral A.I. from last book isn't dead?!?!

Part I: Breath and Business

  • General Karl Tagon, while doing Parkata Urbatsu in Mall-One, accidentally hits an Oafa (blimp-like creature), tearing its gas bag. After the Oafa, Hioefua Far-Wanders, is healed, it gives General Tagon a job offer to pass on to his son Kaff Tagon.
  • General Tagon, upon hearing that his son was involved in the destruction of a U.N.S. battleplate, decides to leave the station, fearing that the U.N.S. will try to capture him and his associates for intelligence about his son. He takes Kathryn Flinders, her crew of urban acrobats, Nick, and his girlfriend Liz. Major Alexia Murtaugh invites herself along too. They fly out on the Bristlecone.
  • Petey tells Captain Tagon that his damaged ship is beyond salvage, and he would have to buy a new one.
  • Petey offers to let Tagon’s Toughs retire on his planet if they stop taking dangerous missions that hurt people. Various characters think about a life of not shooting at people, and of not getting shot at.
  • Bristlecone tells General Tagon that the party that paid for Bristlecone after Ventura liberated it was her employers, the U.N.S. intelligence services. (2013-02-19)
  • Petey tells Ventura that he removed a bomb from her spine, which exploded after being connected to the hypernet, so Ventura will be safe from her former employer as long as she doesn’t reveal herself.
  • General Tagon and Kathryn approach on the Bristlecone.
  • Ventura is contacted by Bristlecone. She laments that she doesn’t want to retire, and Bristlecone asks her to get Karl and Kaff Tagon together on the ship because it finds them interesting.

Part II: Can Full of Sky

  • Ventura convinces Schlock to convince Captain Tagon to take the mission and leave on the Bristlecone rather than retiring, despite Petey’s entreaties.
  • Captain Tagon decides to take the Bristlecone and take the Oafa mission instead of retiring. An unspecified of his set decides not to join him on the mission.
  • Major Murtaugh joins Tagon’s Toughs as a Sergeant, and designs a challenge coin for the company (2013-03-20).
  • Para Ventura, General Tagon, and Captain Tagon argue over the captaincy. Captain Tagon is assigned to be the leader of the mission, while Ventura is re-enlisted in Tagon’s Toughs and assigned to be coxswain of the ship, since the Bristlecone only listens to her.
  • Tagon’s Toughs meets their client and explores the topology of the Oafan ship, which is older than the human race. It’s a giant blimp with a mostly hollow interior and a pole around the center axis.
  • Bristlecone heads to and enters the giant cylindrical Oafan space station Eina-Afa, which is 81,000 km long.
  • Inside the space station, Tagon meets with the centaur-like Admiral Fphlessce at the Prabstdi vessel Mothership (2013-04-28), and threatens him into letting him investigate the station. Ennesby steals a code from the Admiral’s handbrain that will allow Bristlecone to teraport once.
  • After following a shaft into the space station, Ventura uses the ship’s lasers to burn a wooden wall blocking the way. This starts a huge fire.
  • The company meets one of the “scary flying things” they are being paid to hunt (2013-05-12), dubs it “Kong”, and starts chasing it. At this point they can see the artifical sky on the walls of the space station, the “can full of sky”.
  • After Tagon calls an officers meeting at which there is food, the officers are happy to learn that Liz has improved Chef Ch’vorthq’s meals by serving it before he had the chance to puree everything with his whisk.
  • After Sergeant Murtaugh gives challenge coins to Liz and Ch’vorthq in thanks, Liz describes some of the psychology behind the practice of challenge coins, suggesting that Murtaugh is (perhaps unconsciously) trying to grab power. (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2013-05-26 2013-05-26)
  • Ennesby is chosen to lead a team to attack the flying thing. His team, including Schlock and Murtaugh, drop out of the ship to follow two camera drones. Murtaugh is hazed by not being given a hardsuit, and having to fly in only her flight-capable uniform, which has no autopilot.
  • The squad lands on a giant cable (cylinder) in the middle of the space station, having been dubbed team “Xeno”. They take samples of the xenobiology: moss, and giant winged spider-like bugs that they fight. Kevyn uses a program to start looking for “alien DNA” in the samples.
  • Tagon renegotiates the contract with Ambassador Hioefua, since the Prabstdi told him earlier than they had no money to pay him with. Rather than Tagon having to kill everything threatening to the Oafa in the station – which would be almost everything – Hioefua tells him where to find the ruins of an older civilization which may still have ships that could be worth something, as proof of payment.
  • The fire Ventura started comes roaring around the central spindle, having continued, and is now “the size of Brazil”.
  • Team Xeno fires their plasma guns to deplete a lightning storm they are heading into.
  • Para Ventura gives Bristlecone an avatar on Captain Tagon’s request. (2013-07-17)
  • Bristlecone confronts Ennesby about signs of having trapped another AI inside him – the remnants of Tagii, who we have seen him conversing without throughout this chapter. Ventura seizes Ennesby and starts diagnostics. Tagon confronts her.
  • Captain Tagon calls the Prabsdti, only for them to tell him that they are being attacked by drones that flew down the shaft they went up. Then the connection is lost. Bristlecone tells Tagon that the T.A.D. field of the Prabstdi is down, but another T.A.D. field by an unknown party is up.
  • Team Xeno explores another section of the ground (Eina-Afa’s interior surface), still trying to understand the local biology. They enrage a green dinosaur-thing by sampling a leaf that was part of its tail. They escape it by flying up using their suits and decide to move on to somewhere else.
  • Ventura spells out Tagon’s dilemma of whether to let Ventura fix Ennesby or not (2013-08-07), then resolves it by telling Bristlecone to take orders only from Captain Kaff Tagon. She starts working on Ennesby.
  • Tagon works with Bristlecone and Kathryn to analyze how to exit the station and save the Prabstdi. After finding that the doors are locked, they look for an emergency exit at the end of the habitat.
  • The ground team finds a giant wall that they reason is a baffle to prevent hurricanes. Kathryn and Tagon discuss what the habitat might be for.
  • Ventura starts separating Tagii from Ennesby’s mind.
  • A hatch opens in the station, and missiles fly towards the ship (2013-09-01). The ship destroys them, and the hatch closes up again.
  • Bristlecone and the analyst team realize that the reason the habitat has plants growing everywhere is that occasional hurricanes blow dirt everywhere. The ship comes upon the empty space where a baffle would be that allows the hurricanes to form (2013-09-18). General Tagon theorizes that a baffle was present originally, but was knocked down by some enemy.
  • Ventura is having trouble figuring out a way to separate Tagii from Ennesby without damaging Ennesby’s mind. (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2013-10-04 2013-10-04)
  • Schlock gets eaten by a giant sea creature while attempting to sample it. Nick gets himself eaten too to aid him. Schlock and Nick kill the sea creature and escape from inside it (2013-10-27).
  • Elf is in charge while Captain Tagon takes a nap. She tries to break into the spindle by attacking a section of a godwall (baffle) that was repaired with weaker material.
  • When Captain Tagon wakes and goes to get food, Liz gives him solid food. She negotiates a double-pay job in the kitchen.
  • Pi smells something burning near the kitchen. Shodan talks with Chef Ch’vorthq and finds that Ch’vorthq is feeling so betrayed and angry, his original biological function as an explosive is starting to reactivate (2013-10-25).
  • Tagon hurries Ch’vorthq and a surgery team led by Tailor out of the ship and onto the godwall. The ship is attacked by a larger swarm of drones than before, and the ship has to leave the surgery team. Tagon finishes breaking through the weak section of the godwall and flees into it to fight the drone-missiles in a more enclosed space, which gives him a tactical advantage. After a third of the drones are destroyed, no more drones try to enter the godwall and attack the ship.

Part III: Exhalation and Exit Strategies

  • After Liz pulls a “coin check” and the Captain doesn’t have his coin, for the favor she is thus owed, she asks Tagon to not survive by being “lucky” like they just did, and start surviving by being cunning.
  • The surgery team tries to save Ch’vorthq’s brain while his body starts the countdown to exploding.
  • Ventura slows Ennesby and Tagii down to real-time so she can ask Tagii “in person” to move from inside Ennesby into another computer.
  • more…
  • Bristlecone is teraported into Eina-afa, the Oafan blimp-ship. They can’t shoot without hitting their client’s ship and breaking their contract. The mercenaries hand the gold hostage cylinders to robots that arrive to collect them.
  • more…
  • Tagon learns that the enemy is providing electrical power to the Oafan ship. He tells Ventura to use that connection to hack the enemy. Since the access point is on the central strut of the ship, a team of mercenaries helps Ventura, Ennesby/Tagii, and her equipment get onto there, by pulling on a rope that they wound all the way around the strut.
  • Ventura realizes that since Ennesby’s original hardware was meant to hold multiple personalities (the New Sync Boys), Ennesby wasn’t corrupted by having Tagii move in with him. Rather, Tagii was inserted as a separate, sapient entity. This resolves the trust issue between Ennesby and Tagii. (2014-01-26)
  • The enemy starts trying to communicate with Eina-afa. Ennesby and Tagii agree that Tagii will upload herself to the ship to perform the hack, since Tagii can pretend to be the very old Oafan ship better, because she can better act out having gone crazy from loneliness. Ennesby is once again alone in his mind.
  • more…

Book 15: Delegates and Delegation

Summary

Hey, here's an idea. Let's take a job back in Sol System, one of the few places in the galaxy where they know our names and want to arrest us.

Plot Synopsis

A more detailed point by point explanation of the events

Part I: Confidence Part II: Conflict Part III: Conflagration


Book 16: Big Dumb Objects

Summary

Cans full of sky, balloons full of star, and rogue artificial planets full of death: They're not dumb, but poking them to see how they work just might be

Part I Part II Part III Part IV

Book 17: A Little Immortality

Summary

Maxim 45: The size of the combat bonus is inversely proportional to the likelihood of surviving to collect it.

Part I


Speculation

External References