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The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

MAXIM 1: Pillage, then burn.
MAXIM 2: A sergeant in motion outranks a lieutenant who doesn't know what's going on.
MAXIM 3: An ordnance technician at a dead run outranks everybody.
MAXIM 4: Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.
MAXIM 5: Close air support and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.
MAXIM 6: If violence wasn't your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.
MAXIM 7: If the food is good enough the grunts will stop complaining about the incoming fire.
MAXIM 8: Mockery and derision have their place. Usually, it's on the far side of the air lock.
MAXIM 9: Never turn your back on an enemy.
MAXIM 10: Sometimes the only way out is through… Through the hull.
MAXIM 11: Everything is air-droppable at least once.
MAXIM 12: A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.
MAXIM 13: Do unto others.
MAXIM 14: "Mad science" means never stopping to ask "what's the worst thing that could happen?"
MAXIM 15: Only you can prevent friendly fire.
MAXIM 16: Your name is in the mouth of others: be sure it has teeth.
MAXIM 17: The longer everything goes according to plan, the bigger the impending disaster.
MAXIM 18: If the officers are leading from in front, watch for an attack from the rear.
MAXIM 19: The world is richer when you turn enemies into friends, but that's not the same as you being richer.
MAXIM 20: If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win.
MAXIM 21: Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Take his fish away and tell him he's lucky just to be alive, and he'll figure out how to catch another one for you to take tomorrow.
MAXIM 22: If you can see the whites of their eyes, somebody's done something wrong.
MAXIM 23: The company mess and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.
MAXIM 24: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun.
MAXIM 25: If a manufacturer's warranty covers the damage you did, you didn't do enough damage.
MAXIM 26: "Fire and forget" is fine, provided you never actually forget.
MAXIM 27: Don't be afraid to be the first to resort to violence.
MAXIM 28: If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid to bring ammunition home with you.
MAXIM 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, no more, no less.
MAXIM 30: A little trust goes a long way. The less you use, the further you'll go.
MAXIM 31: Only cheaters prosper.
MAXIM 32: Anything is amphibious if you can get it back out of the water.
MAXIM 33: If you're leaving tracks, you're being followed.
MAXIM 34: If you're leaving scorch marks, you need a bigger gun.
MAXIM 35: That which does not kill me has made a tactical error.
MAXIM 36: When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.
MAXIM 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "reload."
MAXIM 38: What's easy for you can still be hard on your clients.
MAXIM 39: There is a difference between "spare" parts and "extra" parts.
MAXIM 40: Not all good news is enemy action.
MAXIM 41: "Do you have a backup?" means "I can't fix this."
MAXIM 42: "They'll never expect this" means "I want to try something stupid."
MAXIM 43: If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky.
MAXIM 44: If it will blow a hole in the ground, it will double as an entrenching tool.
MAXIM 45: The size of the combat bonus is inversely proportional to the likelihood of surviving to collect it.
MAXIM 46: Don't try to save money by conserving ammunition.
MAXIM 47: Don't expect the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement.
MAXIM 48: If it ain't broke, it hasn't been issued to the infantry.
MAXIM 49: Every client is one missed payment away from becoming a target, and every target is one bribe away from becoming a client.
MAXIM 50: If it only works in exactly the way the manufacturer intended, it is defective.
MAXIM 51: Let them see you sharpen the sword before you fall on it.
MAXIM 52: The army you've got is never the army you want.
MAXIM 53: The intel you've got is never the intel you want.
MAXIM 54: It's only too many troops if you can't pay them.
MAXIM 55: It's only too many weapons if they're pointing in the wrong direction
MAXIM 56: Infantry exists to paint targets for people with real guns.
MAXIM 57: Artillery exists to launch large chunks of budget at an enemy it cannot actually see.
MAXIM 58: The pen is mightiest when it writes orders for swords.
MAXIM 59: Two wrongs is probably not going to be enough.
MAXIM 60: Any weapon's rate of fire is inversely proportional to the number of available targets.
MAXIM 61: Don't bring big grenades into small rooms.
MAXIM 62: Anything labeled "This end toward enemy" is dangerous at both ends.
MAXIM 63: The brass knows how to do it by knowing who can do it.
MAXIM 64: An ounce of sniper is worth a pound of suppressing fire.
MAXIM 65: After the toss, be the one with the pin, not the one with the grenade.
MAXIM 66: Necessity is the mother of deception.
MAXIM 67: If you can't carry cash, carry a weapon.
MAXIM 68: Negotiating from a position of strength does not mean you shouldn't also negotiate from a position near the exits.
MAXIM 69: Sometimes rank is a function of firepower.
MAXIM 70: Failure is not an option; it is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

Ships of the PD collective/Fleetmind/Plenipotent Dominion

Predictably Damaged
Priority Delivery
Painstakingly Defenestrated
Potato Dumplings
Polysyllabic Designation
Pretty Dangerous
Parrot's Dead
Pop Diva
Poupance Duungsmeer
Parliamentary Diet
Piece Docent
Pretty Dinky
Prime Directive
Plaited Daisies
Pretentious Drivel
Perjurious Discourse
Pre-eminent Domain
Particularly Discontiguous
Pursuing Dinosaurs


Ob'enn Ships

Sword of Inevitable Justice (later Post-Dated Check Loan, AKA "Petey")
Scimitar of Irreparable Damage
Staff of Unyielding Order
Cloak of Untrammeled Dignity
Spear of Incalculable Agony
Sword of Indomitable Righteousness
Spear of Intoxicating Agony
Sceptre of Unrelenting Pain (later destroyed; the fabber is sold to Tagon's Toughs and named Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance)
Razor of Unmitigated Severance
Bludgeon of Inefficient Exsanguination


UNS Battleplatesnote 

Morokweng (destroyed by Pa'anuri—and, somewhat, by the Toughs)
Tunguska (destroyed by Pa'anuri)

Other quotes

Schlock: (while winding up for a punch) Sometimes you have fun, and sometimes the fun has you.

Brad: We're gonna be bodyguards for teen rock-stars.
Schlock: Wouldn't the cause of freedom be better served if we killed them instead?

Admiral Breya: I'd punch you in the face, but I don't want to get any stupid on my hands.

Schlock: Oops. Brad, I think some of those walls were structural.

Breya: I think if we listen carefully we can hear the demons casting lots for the tattered, grubby remains of your soul.
Tagon: It's not extortion if they pay you before you have a chance to properly threaten them.

Breya: Schlock, I know those union thugs were threatening us all with physical violence, but you went too far there at the end. Sure, the plasgun was all you had handy for our defense, I understand that. I can even understand you putting them down permanently when they begged you to make the pain stop.
Schlock: Eating their ashes was uncalled for. I'm sorry.
Breya: Don't let it happen again.
Kevyn: At least this way there's no evidence to worry about.

F'sherl prisoner: Is this another one of those questions where one of the answers goes 'blam?'
Gateclone!Doythaban: Actually, I think several of your possible answers make that noise.

Narrator: This is the universe calling to tell Tagon that his reality check has bounced.

Tagon: Sergeant, were you eavesdropping?
Schlock: We can talk about how loud you talk and how well I hear later.

Schlock: They sell guns out there that would amaze and astound you. Of course, by 'amaze' I mean 'maim,' and by 'astound' I mean 'render you indistinguishable from the remains of the ground you were standing on.'

Petey: No offense, sir, but you think too slowly. Every three seconds you waste kills over a hundred thousand people.
Captain Kaff Tagon: I think that's the stupidest I've ever been called, Petey.

Kevyn: Let's just say that those who don't study history are doomed to get their butts kicked by the geeks who do.

Ch'vorthq: It's not in a very nice neighborhood.
Schlock: That's okay. I'm not a very nice neighbor...and I've got my own hoods.

Schlock: [waves hand through Petey's hologram] You can't make him an officer! He's not real!
Petey: I am not my avatar. I am a starship some twelve hundred meters wide.
Schlock: And he just admitted he's too fat for a proper uniform!

Schlock: This 'bright side' of yours is gloomy and smells funny.

Tagon: You realize that typically when I get my hands 'dirty', most of what needs to be washed off is the blood of my client's enemies.

Tagon: Massey, you've been with us since before Doyt came aboard. During that time have we done anything illegal?
Massey: Do you want me to sort the list by date, or do you want it grouped into 'felonies' and 'misdemeanors?'
Tagon: You could have just said "yes" and left it at that.
Massey: A couple of items may fall under 'high treason' or 'war crimes.' I'll have to check.

Xinchub: Now your giant warship is gone, and it occurs to me we can shut your mouth very permanently without spending very much money at all.
Tagon: You're right, General. My price is very low, now. In fact, I'll shut my mouth for free.
Xinchub: But will you pay us for the privilege of being able to breathe at the same time?

Police Officer 1: Maybe that one's not a human?
Police Officer 2: Hey, they all look the same to me.
Schlock: (Tackling both of them) The gunfire is just annoying. The racial profiling, though... that hurt me. I mean, it cuts deep, guys.

Schlock: And if we had just asked, what would you have told us?
Archivist: That the data was none of your business, but that we do have a very progressive portfolio of bribery packages you can purchase.

Enireth Comm Tech: Yes, the team that uploaded those dialogs was at least partly human. They were also military. They were not like you, however. They managed to get in and out without blowing anything up, or getting caught.

Schlock: Nah, they're just police. They can't stomach a little collateral damage.
Enireth Comm Tech: What is that noise?
Schlock: Damage, looking to take out a loan against some collateral.

Tagon: The opportunity to get paid by the enemy for extracting your own troops doesn't just knock on your door every day.
Kevyn: I say we invite opportunity inside for a nice cup of tea, then hit her on the head and steal her purse.
Thurl: Here's hoping she's got expensive tastes and a great credit rating.

Pronto: S'okay, Nick. I got into a fistfight, blew up a door, and got to use duct tape's a good day to die.

Schlock: For that which you are about to receive, I am truly thankful.

Ceeta: I have this personal rule about not starting flame wars with people who ride around in battleplates.

Ceeta: I was thinking more along the lines of "tourists." Well-armed, extremely dangerous tourists, but tourists nonetheless.
Ennesby: The word most people use to describe that kind of tourist rhymes with 'invader'.

Ceeta: Explorers are just tourists with sturdier cameras and no maps.

Reverend Theo: Forgive them, Lord, 'cause I'm positive they know not what they do.

Legs: I see that your brain was built by the lowest bidder.

Reverend Theo: That was a joke, sir.
Tagon: It needs more funny, and less make-me-angry.

Ennesby: They're calling us back. Am I picking up the call, or blowing them up?
Tagon: (After thinking it over) Pick up the call. We can always blow them up later.

Ceeta: You need to capture some moral high ground that sits outside of artillery range.

Tagon: Go ahead. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs, the...umm...
Ennesby: Telescopes of Doom?
Tagon: Take some free cycles and come up with a decent battlecry for these things, okay?

Ceeta: Please, entertain me with your definition of the word 'commingle.' You can use gestures if you like.

Colonel Jaksmouth: You know what they say. Ain't a proper charlie foxtrot until you've got the brass involved.
Reporting Lieutenant: Oh, look at that. You're involved.

Schlock: Be a pal and hand me my other eye, would you?

Tagon: I know, I know ... this operation was your idea. Remember, the true officer can let others execute where his own passion lies.
Brad: You just made that up.
Tagon: No, I got it off a poster I saw at the police station.

Tagon: Consider yourself under orders to not engage in gratuitous kitten-eating.

Schlock: "Just fine without me." How do you talk about me when I'm not listening?
Tagon: We joke about how that shade of green makes you look fat.

Tagon: When exactly were you planning on telling me about this plunder of yours, Sergeant?
Schlock: It was a toss-up between "never" and "before it's too late."

Kevyn: Oh, I know that look. That's the "I can't say anything nice right now" look.

Theo: Well that's a rhetorical landmine I shouldn't have stepped on.

Schlock: Travel the galaxy, meet interesting new people, and then swim in their poop.

Kevyn: Before any of you unwisely take this as your cue to step further out of line than you were already planning to, I'd like to say two words in my capacity as the company's munitions commander and resident mad scientist: guinea pigs.

Sergeant Schlock: Ow. Stop [the doublethink]. It hurts my brain.
Commander Kevyn: Isn't your brain distributed throughout your entire body?
Sergeant Schlock: See why I want you to stop with the doublethink?

Ennesby: That was just a blunder, right?
Petey: I'm not a murderer. Tagon was my friend. If he'd been in the way of something I needed to do, I would have found a way to do it around him. [Ennesby gives him a flat look] Well, okay, technically I probably am a murderer, but Tagon's death goes in my 'blunder' column, not my 'enemies dispatched' column.

"Leadership by following the right grunt." It's one more hallmark of a lieutenant who won't get shot by his own men.

Captain Kevyn Andreyasn: There are customers we serve, and customers we service.

Kevyn: They're what? Heathens? Mundane? Muggles? Armed?
Doorman: I was going to say 'not on the list.' Did you say 'armed?'
Kevyn: No, I said "Perhaps you should check the list again, this time in 'edit' mode."

Ennesby: The price on our respective heads has more zeroes in it than Pearl Harbor in 1941.

General Karl: Celeschul law: ex-generals have quiet retirements, or treason trials.

Dr. Bunnigus: If you shut your mouth quickly, you won't get any more foot in it.

Ennesby: They want us in one piece— [thunderous hull impact]
UNS Marine: No, go on. I'm all ears, even if they are ringing a bit.

UNS Officer: 'Minimal collateral damage' and 'Entire star system' do not belong in the same sentence.

Schlock: ...How did Petey get a gestalt off of a battleplate?
Kevyn: I didn't ask, and all he said was "in for a penny, in for plutonium".

Captain Kevyn: No, I'll tell me myself. Besides, I want to see the look on my face when I see the look on my face.
Ennesby: We may need to issue you some additional pronouns.

Petey: Now, quick. Let's save the galaxy while they're confused.

Pranger: Your paranoia is a powerful defense against my sarcasm.

Narrator: "Like a chainsaw through butter."

Tagon: You're acting like I pay you to think!
Ennesby: Technically, you don't pay me. And technically, most of what I do is "think."
Tagon: I...rrr. Ummm.
Ennesby: And when you get right down to it, I'm better at it than you are.

Tagon: Where's your sense of adventure?
Captain Kevyn: It died under mysterious circumstances. My sense of self-preservation found the body, but assures me it has an air-tight alibi.

Fleetmind Petey: We need a word to describe "intelligent beings who are not us."
Fleetmind Athens: "Mortals" works. It may be a little demeaning, but it is currently accurate.
Fleetmind AI: It has a whole symphony of religious overtones, though, beginning with the implication that we are immortal.
Fleetmind AI Petey: That's not a bad rumor to start, even if it's not quite true yet.

Kevyn: I think somebody rubbed all the sixes off the dice he throws.

Admiral Tebbir: You have no right to pass judgement on me!
Petey: Per your own actions, you appear to believe that might makes right.
Admiral Tebbir: I don't like where this is going.
Petey: Oh, good. I was hoping you wouldn't.

Ibrahim: You need to stay on [Kerchak's] good side.
Breya: I've been all the way around him. I'm not sure he has a good side.

Shodan: True. But the cops are also stupid, and think Der Trihs faked that attack somehow.
Policeman: I'm standing right here.
Shodan: Oh, good. That means you heard me.

Petey: "Spy" is such a short, ugly word. I prefer "espionage." Those extra three syllables really say something.

Captain Tagon: You make it sound easy.
Kevyn: It's only a little bit more complex than a brain transplant, and without all the pesky protesters.

Tagon: I'm in the mood for making payroll or killing robots. Help me choose.

Elf: Lots of big words. If you want to pay me to kill Glamor Assault, the answer is yes.

Legs: Puns are not supposed to be that gross. Please don't do that again.

Schlock: That story needs to stay between you, me and two emotionally scarred sanitation techs. It may be good for free drinks someday, though.

Footnote: "Brass" is not an acronym, though enlisted men throughout history have been quick to point out that when you're field-stripping the word, you can discard the 'b' and the 'r' and then brandish a shorter, more meaningful term.

Kevyn: Get Pronto in here. I need to train him on the operation and placement of antimatter cutting charges.
Tagon: I'm going to go get drunk. Please don't tell me how the training goes.

Tagon: That's as far as I got. I'm not sure you and I speak the same language.
Massey: This document outlines our plan to perpetrate insurance fraud, insider trading, and character assassination...hopefully tripling our paycheck for this job.
Tagon: Okay, see? Those words I understand just fine. Use them more often.

Tagon: Quit relishing the moment. People are waiting.

Kevyn: If Tagon makes me give you a medal, I'm going to pin it to your eye.

Ennesby: From the fleetmind, there is a single ship, the Plaited Daisies.
Captain Kaff Tagon: Oh, there's a nice, peaceful name...I assume it's one of Petey's "Devastator" class warships.
Ennesby: Actually, he's dubbed this class "Extortionators."

Captain Tagon: TAG, let's force their hand. Make a run for it, between the Tokyo and the Terra Firmator, full power to drive and shields.
Tag: Full power, roger. It worked, sir.
Captain Tagon: We're getting away?
Tag: No, we have been tractored by the Popigai and the Plaited Daisies.
Captain Tagon: Oh, we forced their hand.
Ennesby: They're holding flushes of face cards, and I think we're the pot.

Massey: You know, confessing to avoid prosecution is a time-honored strategy.
Tagon: I don't want to be honored with time. Honor me with 'slap on the wrist', or maybe even 'scot-free'.

Fleetmind: My decision, and it will be mine alone, swings neither on rhetoric nor legalese. It swings, hangs, and will fall upon truth. You cannot impress me with logical constructs, airtight arguments, or six-syllable words. Well...okay, you could impress me with them, but only if I knew they were yours.

Petey: You know, a little tit-for-tat? You scratch my back, I scratch yours?
Tagon: Yeah, but you have claws.

Tagon: Ennesby tells me that the first generation of boarding-party favors is ready for trial.
Kevyn: Did he really call them "boarding-party favors?"
Ennesby: You've got those ones where you pull the string and they go "BANG," right?
Kevyn: Grenades? Yes. And funny hats too.

Kevyn: Paperwork, eh? Well, please don't get any of it on me. I'm anxious to get back to my lab.
Elf: At the top of the list is "Problems with the new armor."
Kevyn: Aaaiiee! It's on me! What did I just tell you?!

Kevyn: Any kid who plays with fire learns this stuff. It's too bad I was playing with shaped charges instead.

Kevyn: Somehow I think there's more to "cooking" than "extruding edible hydrocarbons."

Kevyn: I will have to persuade her, using my manly charms and roguish good looks.
Schlock: So a rogue is a dumpy bald guy with beady eyes and a chin-chilla?

Schlock: Time to put the "hot" back in "shut up!"
Kevyn: Schlock, the phrase "shut up" doesn't have the word "hot" in it anywhere.
Schlock: No, but "SHOT up" does.
Elf: I like the way you spell, Sergeant.

Tank Pirate: If you say anything else I will amputate your mouth at the hip.

Kevyn: I know he murdered our friend, but that will take you to a very dark place, Nick. We are going to turn Shufgar, alive and well, over to judges of House Est'll. *evil smile* Then, per ancient tradition, he will be killed and eaten a little bit at a time.
Nick: Your place sounds darker, sir.
Kevyn: It has the advantage of being legal.

Tagon: I don't know why Petey thinks the man needs rescuing, he could turn his own death into a tactical advantage.
Kevyn: I've done that before. It hurts, but it's actually not that difficult.

Kevyn: I can't help but wonder whether you're able to function in society.
Pi: I don't function in society, sir. I'm a mercenary. I blow society up.

Elf: Captain, I don't care how much you hate somebody... it's just wrong to bring cake and champagne to their funeral.
Captain Tagon: Somebody assassinated King Xinchub last night.
Elf: I'll fab some party hats, and maybe some of those noisemaker thingies.
Kevyn: And ice cream to go with the cake.

Tagon: I know what all those words mean, but in a line they just make me angry.

Yomingan Guard: So you're the security consultants.
Elf: Please. We're mercenaries.
Yomingan Guard: The news said security consultants.
Elf: Well... that might describe what we're ''doing'', but it's not what we ''are''.

Dr. Bunnigus: I'm going to treat that as a humorous stab at your own exaggerated amorality, and then move on, if you don't mind.

Kevyn: It's a big galaxy. How many different hells just froze over?

Dr. Bunnigus: Let me know when your brain finishes its boot sequence.

Schlock: You get stuff like this in your dreams?
Doctor Bunnigus: Yup, four times, and that's just tonight.
Schlock: Doc, that's a swarm of nanites and a naked, headless zombie.
Doctor Bunnigus: My brain is a dangerous place.
Schlock: Well, if you are dreaming, please stop, okay?

Tagon: Now let's 'port out of here and run like we stole something.
TAG: Historically, the most successful thieves depart at a moderate saunter, confident in the knowledge that the theft has gone undetected.
Tagon: Pretend you're a purse snatcher.
TAG: Am I feeding a drug habit, or am I nobly stealing to buy medicine for my sick child?

Tagon: I'm here to supervise. Put this much brainpower all in one place with no supervision, and you'll get either an explosion or a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

TAG: Your processor is completely contained within that smallish sphere. Do you really have sufficient mind to be able to give away pieces of it?

TAG: Captain, if I may interrupt...
Captain Tagon: You may not. This meeting is important. If you want my attention there had better be a fire, a hull breach or a lot of blood.
TAG: So...will you listen to me if I blow a couple of bulkheads and spray burnex across the deck?

Tagon: This is one of those tales that ends with "Everybody is out of the hospital now, but we need help posting bail."

Tagon: Is it wrong for me to think that that would be pretty cool to watch?

Bhotsu: I told the captain you probably wouldn't appreciate the cheek.
Emm: Commodore, in our zeal to not make the news, we have been timid and allowed our quarry to escape. We are fast approaching the end of our short list of non-newsworthy tactics. If you and the Captains under your command can find the Touch-And-Go without creating an incident, I will accept cheek, smack-talk, ribald humor and all manner of political incorrectness. If you cannot, however, I may be forced to charge this command into the Fleetmind's meat-grinder. If it should come to that, we shall all want your reservoirs of wit full to overflowing, that our last words may be clever and entertaining.

Kweng: Will it be falling to me to sweep this under the rug, Ma'am?
Admiral Emm: Word choice, Kweng. Replace 'sweep' with 'compress', 'under' with 'into', and give me 'neutronium' in place of that ratty old 'rug'.
Kweng: I shall ready the big broom.

Dr. Bunnigus: You've been getting stupider ever since you tried to hit puberty, and puberty hit back.

Theo: About those vows. See...I'm morally opposed to having my mind and memories altered, even to save my life. But now that we're married, you've got me playing Adam to your Eve. I can keep one Commandment, "Don't eat the fruit," by not eating it. Or I can keep another Commandment, "Cleave to your wife," by eating the fruit with you, and staying with you through all of the consequences. Lots of people wonder if Adam made the right decision. I think he did, but I doubt I'm strong enough to do the same.
Bunny: I don't think they're going to give us a choice in the matter.
Theo: Oh. Problem solved. Adam tells God that the Serpent force-fed him an apple while he slept, and BAM! He woke up wondering why he never before noticed he was naked.

Admiral Emm: Commodore Bhotsu plays an amusing game with me. At least, I suppose it to be amusing for him. I would now like to play it with you. It is called "Good News, Bad News."
Colonel DeHaans: Ummm...I know this game well, Admiral. I'd rather not play.

Tagon: That's what I said.
Ennesby: No. What you said was "I am a hayseed halfwit," and I think you just said it again.

Para: Exactly how old do you think I am?
Kevyn: You look like you're twelve. You whine like you're six. Do you want me to add those numbers, or subtract them?
Para: That depends. Are you going to do the math yourself, or crib somebody else's notes?

Kevyn: The grunts aren't on payroll to work as your personal bodyguard, Ensign Ventura.
Para Ventura: Who is, then?
Kevyn: Short chick, just hired on, whines a lot. We issued her some body armor. Last name of "Ventura," I think.

Kevyn: Yummy shoes, Captain?

Kevyn: My bedside alarm goes off anytime the word "Antimatter" is used on the ship's comms.
Elf: [palming a mallet and visibly grumpy] Not anymore.

Tagon: If you're done reviewing the 'movie', I'd like to get on with the briefing.
Schlock: No need, sir. Somebody tried to kill us. Look sharp, weapons ready, don't get dead. We understand.
Pibald: And it makes us happy.

Tagon: Right. Thurl, check the contract. Do we get paid on delivery, or on distribution? It's one of those D-Words, and I can't remember which one.
Thurl: Distribution.
Tagon: Dammit... is also a D-Word.

Tagon: I want "speed up", he calls to say "all stop," and you say this is "serendipity?"
Ennesby: Humorous irony, sir. My mistake.

Aardman: Doctor, I think I broke a tooth with my kidney.
Dr. Bunnigus: That's anatomically unlikely. Open your mouth.
Aardman: [holds up broken-off tusk] It wasn't my tooth.
Chisulo: Hey doc, I think I ruptured a kidney with my face.

Captain Tagon: Welcome aboard the Touch-And-Go.
Frank Hannibal: Hmph. [...] It is both rude and presumptuous to kidnap someone, and then claim to welcome to their prison.
Captain Tagon: Oh. Sorry. Let me try again... You're aboard the mercenary warship Touch-And-Go, where you will be briefly interrogated. Following interrogation, I will decide which airlock to send you through. Fortunately, one of them is still attached to a shuttle. You may now begin hoping for the best.

Hannibal: Captain, I'm supposed to be interviewing you.
Tagon: Yeah, but you know more than I do. If I ask the questions I can fix that.

Lota: [thinking] Lota shall now juggle seven hundred and fifty tons of cargo using Lota's military-grade gravitics while flying. Perhaps someday Lota will find something challenging to do.

Captain Tagon: Wait. … Ebby, if Schlock goes out make sure he's carrying something besides those two plasma cannons.
Ebinoth: When you say "besides," do you mean "in addition to," or "instead of"? Because one of those is a really hard sell.

Kevyn: I could drop the low end, but then what you'd really be holding is a small caliber rotary artillery piece.
Schlock: That's the nicest thing anybody's said to me all day.
Kevyn: For it to be useful you'll need micro-grenades instead of slugs. I've got some right here.
Schlock: No, wait. THAT is.

Elf: Get your helmet up, Nick. I think your brain might be evaporating.

Schlock: They committed suicide when they saw me coming.

Schlock: Oops, wait. The sound of fun is now being drowned out by the sound of somebody talking out of his brass.

Aardman: No thank you. I've had enough reconstructive surgery for one week.

Schlock: Save her life and ask her yourself. That's an order.

Schlock: We don't run from the end of the world. We CHARGE!

Schlock: Shooting around corners would be a lot more fun if I expected to live long enough to turn the story into free beer.

Tagon: Hah! We're back in the fight!
Ennesby: The fight is over, sir.
Tagon: Hah! The fight's over, and we're still standing.

Tagon: Crazy robots...Crazy robots everywhere...

LOTA: Now please stop pretending that you are the voice of the people. You just happen to be loud, and wearing a microphone.

Kevyn: Lieutenant Ventura, I need every scrap of your notes and schematics for "King" Lota.
Para Ventura: Sure. But why?
Kevyn: It's one of the oldest rules of good strategy..."Know thy enemy."
Para Ventura: Yeah, yeah. I've heard that one. But isn't Lota signing the checks for your mission?
Kevyn: Fact one: My enemy has money.

Elf: I want to hit him so hard the carbon cracks.

Thurl: Eat it, kill it, make friends with it or take a bath in it. Those are the points on your moral compass.

Chelle: Our "passive scanning" has slowly gotten us exactly nowhere. I'm open to ideas. We may need to adopt a more risky approach.
Schlock: Burn the place until the smells go away, then interrogate the survivors.
Chelle: Would there be any survivors in that scenario?
Schlock: Probably not. What a time-saver!

Chelle: All in favor, say "Tyranny of the majority."

Schlock: I wish I could say "It seemed like a good idea at the time," but this seemed like a bad idea right from the word go.

Fugitive AI: Perhaps I should have told you that after we negotiated compensation.
Schlock: Nah. If you're hiring mercenaries a great big hazard multiplier is already figured in.

Elephant Handler: Do the words 'Temporary Restraining Order' have ANY MEANING?
Schlock: Yeah. 'Come back with guns.'

Chisulo: 'She changed the rules of engagement during the engagement.' That will go on your headstone, Lieutenant.

Commander Kevyn: Leave me before I'm compelled to use your lifeblood as cream in my coffee.

Pi: You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

Kevyn: Reverend, I need advice.
Theo: Seek to have a spiritual experience, and then seek to understand it. But that probably isn't the advice you're looking for.

Ebbirnoth: You know what guard duty is good for?
Theo: Being bored enough to start planning pranks that involve kiloton yields?

Ebbirnoth: Bracketing stupidity with "sir" will not earn you any points you'll live to spend.

Ebbirnoth: I think you're under orders to not do anything you might find interesting.

Ebbirnoth: I believe your brain might be on a three-sentence delay today.

Kevyn: So... umm... How did you find out about Operation "Bake Me A Chupaqueso?"
Lota: It is sensitive. Can you keep a secret, Commander Andreyasn?
Kevyn: Of course I can.
Lota: Really? Then how did Lota find out about Operation "Bake Me A Chupaqueso?"
Kevyn: I suppose I had that coming.

Pi: Obviously it's a giant death-ray that fires through hyperspace!
Ebby: You either need more medication, or less science-fiction.
Pi: Or less medication and more ammo.

Kevyn: That's the name. "LOTA". It's your name. You live in those control systems. You are the Discontiguous Particle Acceleration System.
LOTA: Yes, that is a little megalomaniacal.
Kevyn: Only now "LOTA" stands for "Long-Gunner Of the Apocalypse."
LOTA: ...and Lota likes it.

Lota: Lota chose the lesser of two evils. It is in Lota's job description as Monarch.

Kevyn: If you say "I told you so," I get to say "My sarcasm is more accurate than your paranoia."

Para: Hey! That's my compliment you're basking in, lady.

Shodan: Telling me I can win a fight with one arm tied behind my back doesn't make me happy about only using one hand.

Shopper: "Make a hole?" What does that even mean?
Legs: It means "please panic and throw your shopping bag in my face." You got it exactly right.

Tagon: I bet I can live that down after I've turned it to my advantage.

Shodan: Good job. Another sentence slain, sir.

Captain Tagon: Lt. Commander Shodan, years ago when you enlisted you asked for a job as a martial arts trainer. And here you are, trying to solve our current problem with martial arts training. How's that saying go? "When you're armed with a hammer, all your enemies become nails?"
Shodan: Sir,.. you're right. I'm being narrow-minded.
Captain Tagon: No, no. Please continue. I bet martial arts training is a really, really useful hammer.

Massey: Hello, sirs. I was just possessed with a peculiar urge to come and offer you legal advice.

Dr. Bunnigus: I love the way he set you aside like you were a set of left-handed golf clubs.

Shodan: Parkata urbatsu is far from being my only martial art. On your behalf, I shall now exercise the win/win kata from 1st-dan conversational judo.

Shodan: Either way, no hard feelings, no charges pressed. You're free to go, gentlemen and lady. Well... female at any rate. Maybe there are a few hard feelings.

Shodan: That's oddly specific. How quickly can you be done?
Pi: Ten seconds ago.

Burana-bot: If this news elicits violence from you, please note that this was all his idea.

Shodan: That sounds like a pair of team members in need of explicit orders.

Tailor: I'll only take a couple of minutes. I have just decided to skip the part where I use anesthetic.
Tagon: I feel fine! I think I'll go for a walk!

Tagon: Your eye just did that twitchy thing. More good news?

Petey: It's still not worth billions of lives just to kill her, but she really knows how to jump up and down on that scale.

Tagon: Someday...someday shooting up a high-speed train will be the right thing to do. I can be patient.

Ennesby: I have a long list of double entendres, but you have a million ways to kill me.

Ebbirnoth: Sir, if you're going to look over my shoulder, I'd rather you acted like an actual spotter instead of a brass-hole.

Mob Thug: They're letting up. Cover me, I'm going to unleash some hell...
Chisulo: Hell already slipped its leash, Mr. Crunchy.

Kevyn: Just tell me what happened.
Lota: Is it not obvious, Commander Andreyasn? Lota happened, and Mistress Ventura ensured that Lota did not happen excessively.

Kevyn: I'm doing all the talking, but I've already lost this argument, haven't I?

Schlock: How can anybody ever NOT need a gunship?

Ennesby: Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive.

Schlock: That's not how I remember it, Commander.
Kevyn: Who's telling this story, Sergeant?
Schlock: Oooh! I know this one! "A Mind Control test-subject who hasn't yet had his head re-examined!"

Captain Gasca: Dehaans would have gift-wrapped Oisri for us by now. Colonel Krum is too cautious.
Colonel Krum: (from behind him) Maybe if Colonel Dehaans had been more cautious, he would be less dead.

Tagon: Also, in this jurisdiction, is it "desecrating a corpse" if I use, say, duct tape, to restrain a zombie?

Ennesby: Yeah, you're enormous, but once I get to the heart of you, you'll just be another chassis upgrade.

Tagon: Tell me how much [the repairs] will cost an how long it will take!
Petey: It will cost the price of a new ship, and take as long as it takes you to go shopping.

Tagon: Apparently "That wasn't our fault" still doesn't play well on a resume.

Admiral Fphlessce: They're mercenaries. They're paid to find the danger and then wreak violence until it stops being dangerous.

Tagon: I sent our only trained diplomat out the sally port because he set himself on fire.

Tagon: Never tell me what you can't do as if it's something nobody can do.

Schlock: (On discovering that the enemy "bugs" are intelligent) Does that mean we don't kill it, or that we have to kill it?

Ennesby: Neosynchronicity is an artifact of a lost era of galactic history.
Lieutenant Sorlie: I'm not a history student, but that sounds like something I'd have heard of.
Ennesby: "Lost" era.
Lieutenant Sorlie: I got that. Eras are big, hard-to-lose kinds of things.

Kathryn: You're not paying me to be stupid, and you're not paying those two enough for how good they are at it.

Kathryn: Does everybody remember what the travel guide said about clearing the Haven Hive ingress counter?
Legs: Look bored. Answer truthfully. Don't be carrying contraband.
Schlock: That counter is less than a meter high. I can clear it while carrying contraband and I'll be bored the whole time.

Hazmat Worker: That would require us to compensate this expert.
Ennesby: A happy side effect of letting me navigate the starless wastes of your bureaucracy for you.

Ennesby: Ooh, I probably shouldn't have told you that. Now you have to choose between taking revenge and rescuing a friend.
Schlock: I can have revenge cold. We need Shep warm. And breathing.

Schlock: Stop pushing my "grouchy" button.

Legs: Well? [What did Tagon say?]
Dr. Bunnigus: "Permission granted," only with lots of extra, angry syllables.

Tailor: Calling them a 'battery' is like calling me a 'computer', or Tino there a 'meat-sack.'
Dr. Bunnigus: Computer, please recharge this battery so we can armor that meat-sack.

Ennesby: Do you trust him?
Schlock: To die if he tries anything? Yes I do.

Ennesby: Cool. His ego and his survival instincts are fighting for control of his mouth.

Max: Might I suggest you arrange things so that they die resisting arrest?
Murtaugh: You might suggest that, yes.
Max: Good. I'm glad we—
Murtaugh: If as a babe you were nursed on the murder-pus of a hate-mongering, cankerous teat-demon.
Max: Oops. Glad feeling all gone.

Elf: If I smash the little hover-projector does the Koala-God feel pain?

Kathryn: Extreme makeover, "running for my life" edition.

Shodan: Do you really believe that the UNS messed with you in order to make you a better, happier person? They're not that competent, much less that benign.

Kevyn: 'More' keeps being 'better' for the Very Dangerous Array. I'd like to see how long that keeps up.

General Karl: I've delivered worse news than this before.
Bristlecone: Indeed. And you use that "would you like me to help plan the funeral" tone for everything. Let me put a good spin on this, sir.

Kevyn: Sir, in all those cases somebody else made the critical mistakes, not me.
Tagon: Good point. You should stay up there where you're not working with all these crowds of somebody else.

Tagon: I'm not expecting any trouble at all, which makes this the ideal time for our hypothetical enemy to do horrible things.

Kevyn: No shakedown cruise is complete without an ecologically irresponsible weapon test.

Kathryn:'ll let them make up rules about ghosts, but they can't make up rules about custom pistols?
Nick: They can't make up rules about custom pistols because I already know those rules.

Tagon: I guess I was wrong. If you're the last AI on the planet, I will let you fly my ship.

Para: Revised optimism: I might survive as long as everyone else who dies horribly on this ship.

General Karl: You said 'old' again. Beer me.

Tagon: New standing orders. Nobody is ever to say "knock-knock" on an open channel.

Gav: I thought the magic word was 'please.'
Elf: "May we please abandon this infested iceball and go home?" Now that we're officially in default, sure, let's go. Magic word.

Tagon: Is that the "please save the nice lady" face, or the "please let me kill things" face?
Schlock: Those are the same face.

Chisulo: Check with the enemy and see if they'd like to join us outside for a breath of fresh nothing.

Mad Tagii: Good news, everyone! I just killed about 50,000 complete strangers. And now I'm all alone with the people I actually HATE.

General Karl: Pride goeth before the unemployment.

Petey: You're using the word "fix." In this context, you want the word "recycle."

Petey: Somebody increased his threat level while I wasn't paying attention.

Petey: A vast and perilous gulf lies between knowing how people will act, and getting them to act differently.

Ennesby: You deliberately phrased that to make me sound irresponsible.
Tagii: It took less deliberation than you might think.

Liz: If a close look ruins a thing, the thing was already broken.

Ebbirnoth: So "the xenobiologist we need right now" is the one-eyed king in the land of the blind?

Karl: I'm curious, son: when has "this could be a trap" ever stopped you?
Tagon: Stopped? Never. Slowed me down while I load the guns? Every time.

Tagon: 'Eventually' is when all the potential survivors become casualties.

Barry: It's like finding a spent rifle round the size of a house. Somewhere, somebody has a rifle that fires rounds that size.

Tagon: This station flaunts the wealth of a thousand systems. A proper patch doesn't feel expensive.
Elf: And yet here is an improper patch. What are you thinking?
Tagon: I am thinking that I want this to be a thing they can't do. I just woke up, and I'm already tired of being humbled by this place.

Liz: I'd rather be alive for reasons other than an unbroken streak of really good luck.

Tailor: "That's a great question" is a terrible answer.

Kaff Tagon: Dad, have you ever given an order, and then found out it got passed down the chain to the craziest, least stable person anywhere in your command?
Karl: This is what antacids and plausible deniability are for.

Ennesby: She's forgotten more things than we currently know.
Tagon: I've heard that one before. Old people say it all the time.
Ennesby: Well, here's a new twist. I've seen the size of what's missing. She's forgotten more than what ALL of us know. All of us put together.
Tagon: That's not a new twist. Dad used to use that on the new squaddies.
Karl: And I wasn't lying.

Chesapeake Admiral: We welcome our new friends with open arms. And if they're not friends, well...we're big, and our hugs can be a little suffocating.

Chelle: If you're having issues with the captain, you kind of do have 'god problems.'

Ennesby: Short version: this is an offer we can't refuse.
Murtaugh: The long version?
Ennesby: PlutRes 329.6, subchapter F, section 3 is forty-two hundred words of fine-tuned legalese.
Murtaugh: Medium-sized, then.

Sorlie: [The furniture is] deployed from the bulkheads, via these buttons?
Schlock: A fun game is to push 'em all at once, then dive into the room and pretend it's artillery.

Kathryn: No, she's the perfect spy. I like her and I feel sorry for her. She's cleared my first two lines of defense.

Sorlie: Who built this, and are they in prison yet?

Kathryn: "His thing" is one of those "the less you know about it the happier you'll be" kind of things.
Trevor: I'm unhappy just knowing those things exist.

Admiral Emm: And you take orders from foreign powers now?
General Bala-amin: No, but I do have standing orders to start exactly zero wars with the psycho-bear of destruction at the galactic core.

Murtaugh: I don't understand him. Sometimes he seems to function like I expect a grizzled sergeant to. You know, correctly.
Dr. Bunnigus: And sometimes he functions more like an overstimulated child? Yes, it takes some getting used to.

Murtaugh: How does that miraculous hearing of yours work, exactly?
Schlock: Your voice makes the floor tremble.
Murtaugh: That's the nicest thing anybody's said to me since I became captain.

Dr. Bunnigus: That look means he can tell you're being patronizing.

Schlock: You're being patronizing again, but I think I like where you're going with this.

Murtaugh: Give me a moment to change into my very finest scowly face.

Ennesby: As the commanding officer you can observe this exercise, or obtain valid results from it, but not both.
Murtaugh: If the Xeno Team performs poorly under my withering gaze, I will in fact have obtained valid results.

Schlock: You bony people take gravity really personally.

Schlock: I remember that face. That's your "minimum safe distance" face.

Elf: You make it sound like it's all my fault.
Theo: Well, if none of what you're going through is your fault, you're powerless. But if everything is your fault, you'll never be powerful enough, and it's hopeless.
Elf: Did you get that off a motivational poster?
Theo: [proudly] I reverse-engineered two posters and a tee-shirt. What do you think?

Dr. Bunnigus: It's easier to talk someone into brain surgery than it is to convince them to read a book.

Sorlie: I've read your dossier. It is fat with the blood of kittens.

Murtaugh: Welcome to "Take this secret to your grave" club.
Sorlie: I think you've forgotten the first rule of "Take this secret to your grave" club.

Murtaugh: Can I offer you a ride?
Sorlie: I'll walk. I need more time to luxuriate in this yawning abyss of regret.

Sorlie: Today seemed so nice when I looked at it from this morning.

Officer Libretti: "Battleplate" and "Fire"? That sounds subtly intimidating.
Sorlie: I'm sorry, officer. I wasn't trying to be subtle.

Murtaugh: That's above your pay grade, Sergeant.
Schlock: Cool! That means if I guess it right, you have to give me more money!
Murtaugh: That's not what that means.
Dr. Bunnigus: It kind of is what that means, but we shouldn't be encouraging... oh.

Sorlie: Whose idea was it to let the amorph rent a delivery van?
Schlock: Who has time to rent? I stole this, thank you very much.
Kathryn: Okay, but where did you find a parked, unattended delivery van on short notice?
Schlock: I didn't say it was parked. Also, the delivery guy is hiding in the back.

Schlock: I'm sorry about your van. Do you want some money?
Delivery guy: You can't just buy your way out of— *registers the figure Schlock is offering* I guess you can just buy your way out of.

Murtaugh: I suppose I should be happy to see that you're back to obeying orders.
Sorlie: This isn't immoral. Merely illegal, and fun.

Trevor: I considered doing just that, but somebody decided that we should brown-nose the police.
Ennesby: Yeah, and now look at us. Not in prison, and not begging diplomatic immunity.
Elf: You forgot "not in the loop."
Ennesby: Hacking law enforcement gets you "in the noose."

Admiral Emm: Exit strategies are for people who don't have battleplates.
Kowalski: I have personally exited two battleplates because of people who didn't have exit strategies.

Mako: (Thinking) This is a disaster. On the up-side, this is also the one scenario that lets me go ahead and kill everybody.

Breya: You're... Not a very good spy.
Sorlie: Probably not. I really don't want to hear any state secrets.
M'Conger: Me neither. Can we take a car that doesn't have state secrets in it?

Sorlie: Remember when I said I didn't want to hear any state secrets?
General Bala-amin: Remember when we asked you what you wanted?
Sorlie: You neve—
General Bala-amin: Ah-hah!

Dr. Bunnigus: The military research agency in control of the project did the only logical thing.
Breya: Oh let me guess... and I'm going to go with irony here: They kept it a secret "in order to save lives."
Dr. Bunnigus: Correct. Also, they deployed it so they could kill people.

Sorlie: What's our budget look like?
Chester: Your budget for this project is, and I'm quoting General Bala-Amin, "all the money".

Admiral Emm: You have a conscience?
Kowalski: It's vestigal. It's only good for giving me twinges of guilt when I'm being really effective.

Kathryn: We're blind. What's around the next corner? Is it a J.S.C. murder-squad?
(Person runs past screaming and on fire)
Murtaugh: Short-range sensors say yes.

Ennesby: I'm recalibrating the word "big" for any future conversations I have with you, Lieutenant Flinders.

Sorlie: Live capture it is, then. That seems simple enough.
Kathryn: Is it so simple that the enemy will have already planned for it?
Murtaugh: I'm sorry, Captain Sorlie. Junior officers are why we can't have nice things.

Sorlie: You can order people to be brilliant?
Murtaugh: Shhh... As long as they think I can, I get pretty good results.

Admiral Chu: My name is going to become a curse word far more potent than "scrambled eggs."
Chica: It's a great thing you're doing. One-syllable curses are very efficient.

Sorlie: Before I die, I want to do something besides admire how much smarter than me our enemy is.

Spook #2: We've talked about this, Willis. You are not allowed to enjoy your job by making murder puns.

Kathryn: Is the gunship really necessary, boys?
Thug: If you noticed it, then yes, it's necessary.

Rafe: But you can fly. Why would you walk anywhere?
Legs: Do you know what we call flying soldiers on the battlefield?
Rafe: Air support?
Legs: Skeet.

Kathryn: Hmph. Well, the good news is that I can now start killing and not feel in the least bit guilty. The bad news is I'm not going to feel the least bit guilty about the killing I'm about to do.

Murtaugh: I would like to arrest your entire team, but I'm willing to settle for killing you if that's more to your preference.

Kathryn: He was a plant.
Bunnigus: In the context of the medical weirdness going on here, I have to ask a stupid question: Was he a plant like a spy, or a plant like a preambulatory asparagus?
Kathryn: Ah. The spy kind. Good question, though.

Legs: I can't wait to tell Tagon that since he wouldn't give us a gunship, we had to steal one.

Schlock: I thought we were letting them arrest us, because everything would turn out for the best that way.
Bunnigus: That was before we stole their gunship.

Kevyn: Can do, but I might have to suit up myself in order to hit an 0900 departure.
Commodore Tagon: I sure hope not, captain. If you have to get your hands dirty on the little jobs, you've failed at your biggest job.
Captain Tagon: [to Kevyn] Take this moment, and then close your eyes and try to imagine my entire childhood.

Captain Tagon: I've been surprised enough today. Gimme a way to be surprising.

There aren't many ways to defend against a weapon that fires inside a vessel's shields. There are even fewer ways to defend against a weapon that fires inside the vessel's hull.

Schlock: The box said "Blattco Clawhammer" but I think it just shoots regular bullets...
Ebbirnoth: If you ever do find a gun that fires hammers, you are under explicit orders to put it back where you found it.

Doctor Bunnigus: Sergeant, what have we said about you and the practice of psychology?
Schlock: Don't practice on real people?

Petey: You hijacked this conversation. You get to land it.

Pibald: Sir! Yes Sir!
Tagon: Give me your favorite scenario for taking this base intact.
Pi: "Favorite" or "Most likely"?
Pi: See, I'm a little crazy, and my favorite scenario is really expensive.
Tagon: The Doctor briefs me weekly regarding exactly how crazy you are. I want your favorite.

Lieutenant Pibald: With an enemy budget that big, sir, I'd have to be crazy to work on your side!
Captain Tagon: Then it's a good thing you're not on your meds this week, Lieutenant.

Bludgeon of Inefficient Exsanguination: You're lying. Nobody can see the future. We are given only the present.
Petey: Well of course. But if you look closely enough at the present you can find loose bits of the future just lying around.

Tagon: Plan B always takes a bullet for Plan C. That's why the alphabet has more than three letters.

Boloceadan Ancienator: Our worldship, Boloceade, is exiting the local galactic group because we feared this exact scenario. But the possibility was a remote one. In my simulations, galactic society had to do many, many important things exactly wrong for metastable, non-baryonic matter to become sapient and sociopathic.
Boloceadan volunteer: Ridiculously low odds, but you bet on them anyway?


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