Mute’s Wizardly Ass-Filled-Dumpster Sandbox

New Polinar is the perfect example of capitalism and its great virtues. And its deepest flaws. Big corporate skyscrapers litter the skyline with their logos projected on the side of pristinely clean glass. Of course, there were no factories here. Those would be out in the Wildlands, where the filth of pollution and overconsumption is shown bare naked. Hank MacIntosh was a simple man, with a simple life, with a simple paycheck. He had went to a school known for its pristine class quality. He finished his school Summa Cum Laude, honor roll. He could’ve been the best paid man, working to make new technologies in any field he could’ve ever wanted. But, he settled for an office job, strangely. He’s on payroll for the Downes Life Improvement Facilities. He wakes up, showers, has breakfast with his kids, suits up, and heads off to the office. He comes back at the end of the day, ready for playtime with the kids. He goes to sleep, and the cycle restarts for the next 4 days until he has his days off. Hank is a happy man. That is, as long as he does his job right to make people believe he is. In reality, Hank works for the Downes Manufacturing Megacorporation. He’s part of the so called Death Squads. When you live in the Wildlands, and the DMM wants your land, you are leaving your house one of two ways. With a fistful of cash, or in a bodybag. These stubborn farmers have gotten an offer to live in the suburbs of New Polinar and never have to work a day in their life, in luxury. And yet, even though they have just enough crop to be well-fed, they turned it down. Hank goes to the office.

He calls his usual transport, company covered. Lovely.

“Hey, Hank.” The driver says.

“Mornin’, Jo.” He replies.

“What’s on today’s menu?” She asks.

“Just the usual, Accounting fucked up and now the desk jockeys at my department have to clean up their mess.”

“What’s the fallout?”

“Some people looked at their bank account with a 3 million credit debt. Do NOT ask me how they managed to screw it up that bad.” Hank says with a faked annoyance.

“Yikes, they getting it voided?”

“Probably, I usually see to it myself, but it’s a busy day for me so I can’t be on station 24/7.”

“I feel ya. I’m keeping it solid in this little van, as you can see.” She chuckles. “As long as the gas is good, I’m good. None of that desk life for me.”

“To each their own, Jo.”

To each their own. That was the mentality he’s went with all his life.

“Alright Hank, we’re here. Get your butt off of my seats.”

“Yeah yeah, whatever you say Miss.”

“See ya around, Hank.”

He nods as he enters the main lobby, being amazed every-time. It has plenty of cherry blossom trees, with marble flooring and a beautiful purple tinted palette of colors. He walks up to the lady at the reception.

“Signing in, Hank MacIntosh.”

The lady responds with the fakest smile he’s ever seen.

“Welcome to the-“

“I need express access, sorry to be so rash.” He interjects.

“Of course, please provide your ID.”

As he gives it to the woman, he feels a hand come down on the back of his head.

“Hey, asshole!”

Hank turns around and sees Max, his friend since childhood.

“Yeah, fuck you too, Max.”

“Haha! Had a bad cup of coffee?”

“No, Max, but I’d like to keep my vertebrae intact.”

“Alright, alright, I got ya.”

Max and Hank get into the elevator.

They arrive at what is called the “Area Reclamation Department.”

They scan their IDs at a scanner, and head into their mess hall.

Now, the veil of the office is lifted into a militaristic environment, where men in pristine white common company wear dine together, talking about their lives and hobbies, among other things.

Hank grabs a tray and serves himself eggs, bacon, white beans, sausage and a big hash brown.

“You know, Hank, you keep eating that stuff, your wife’s gonna get pissed.” Max says.

“Ah well, as far as she’s concerned, this whole place shouldn’t even exist!” Hank replies as they both laugh.

He sits down with Max at the table.

Hank converses with his company, and as he’s finishing his breakfast, Staff Sergeant Dennisen enters the room.

“Ah fuck, D’s here.” Max whispers.

“Lovely. We’re getting fucking smoked…” Someone on the opposite end of the table murmurs.

“Alright, listen up! Assignments coming up. Team 1-1, you’re on 15-5. Ohm-3, you’re on 6-4, as usual. That means you’re with me!”

Max lets out a sigh and a curse under his breath.

“Well, that’s us.” Hank says with a sigh.

“6-4, gear up and meet me on the pad, you got 15!”

Geared up, Hank and Max move into the hangar. A dropship takes off with its jet engines beaming hot air over the people near it. The Staff Sergeant is waiting inside their dropship, taking names of everyone who needs to be onboard as they enter through the rear hatch. Hank boards the ship, checks off his name, and sits down. Wheels up in 5.

“6-4! Eyes on me!”

Squad 6-4 is now en-route to their designated kill-zone in their dropship.

“Our tasking today is as follows: We are to fully execute the families living in buildings 14, 81, 23, and 47. Juveniles are present, they have not been marked with grace and are to be considered targets.”

Fuck. Those were always the hard ops. But Hank knows damn well that if he doesn’t do what he has to do, he’s next on the squad’s list.

“Furthermore, we are to leave the area uninhabitable, to ensure that if we miss anyone, the elements will take care of the scraps. We will enter with Kos-gas, so keep your masks on, unless you want to be paralyzed from the waist down for the next month. We move in quick, effectively, and efficiently. 6-4! All clear?”


Hank is new to 6-4; usually he just conducts in-city raids on apartments with people who hadn’t paid off their DMM debts. This was different. He’s thinking about how different life could’ve been, but the pay and housing was too good to turn down. But before he could get far into his train of thought, the PA blared over the ship.


As 6-4 mounted their helmet-mounted masks, they lined up at the hatch, waiting for the drop.

“15 SECONDS!”, the staff sergeant yelled.




There was no gunfire. No visible gas. But that was the point. Kos-Gas paralyzes your limbs, but you’re fully aware of your surroundings. And all of that while it’s odorless and colorless. You don’t even know it’s there. Move into the buildings, put a single round down into the head of the people on the floor, and get out. After that, you burn the land and houses, and leave the area. After 30 minutes, Kos-Gas becomes highly corrosive and will act as your clean-up crew. A month later, the oblivious techies move in, and the factory is made.

Hank and his team of 3 move into house 14, quickly firing off all their shots.

“Staff, 14 is clear. Valuables seen, how copy on retrieval?”

“Negative, the resources here are not needed. Move on.”

“Copy that.”, Hank replied. Damn. That watch really was something, not some assembly line stuff. It would look great on him.

The team swoops through the trodden land, popping off 2 elderlies who weren’t inside.

“Charlie, Max, stack up. House 23 is here.”

As he plants his foot down on the door, he wishes to the powers that be that he didn’t. He saw a pile of children, no adults, all piled up in the corner, limp. And they we’re looking right at him. Their eyes followed him. He sees his own kids’ faces on them, scared of what the man in the red and black armor is going to do to them. Their facial expressions are blank, but he feels their judgement, their fear, their disgust. They knew what he had done, they can still hear after all. But it doesn’t matter, he knows he can’t feel for them. But, he tries to stop this anyway. Not for the kids, he just wants to spare himself lying awake at night.

“Staff, these children are of no threat. We can wipe them and bring them to the Academy.”, Hank radios over.

“The tasking was clear, Macintosh. Execute.”

He wants to insist that they should be brought back to New Polinar, but before he can radio back, he hears his squadmate calling.

“Hank, clear it out, Evac’s wheels up in 5.”, Max said.

“Yeah, right.”, he muttered as he moved back out and walked just beyond the view of the children, before grabbing his frag. He wishes he could say he was sorry, but deep down he knew he couldn’t be, because he still took the pay. He pulled the pin, released the spoon, and counted.

One. The kids didn’t ask for this. Maybe they even asked for their parents to just take the money and live comfortably.

Two. What was he doing? Throwing a grenade at some kids for 2500 credits a week.

Three. He’s going to hell after this. He knows.

Four. Hank throws the grenade inside and slams the door shut.

Five. Job done. Head to the evac.

“Staff, 23 is clear.”

“Good. 81 and 47 are cleared out by the other team. Move out, the Kos goes corrosive in 10.

He boards the ship, and heads back to New Polinar. He showers at the barracks, gets into office clothing, and goes home. He sits down at the dinner table and he is asked the same question he always is.

“How was work today, Honey?”

“Work was good, as always.”

Hank was a happy man.

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