Dominique, the Cyclops. Gray, the Nine Lives. Chapel. Cain, the Long Shot, E.G. Mine, and a host of other next door neighbor types more commonly referred to as The Gung Ho Guns. A funloving bunch of guys and one gal that knew how to kick back, relax, and kill anything that moves in a variety of colorful ways. But little did people know that these were not the first batch of folks to be go by such a cool name. (Well, Knives thought it was cool, and we know what happens to people that criticize him.) Now, Mindless Tripe Productions is proud to present, unearthed from a secret vault buried under a really dry and sunny desert in the middle of nowhere, because it really sucked and no one wanted to fess up that they did it...
The Top Ten Rejected Gung Ho Guns
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Yep, some minor spoilers here from around episode 17 or so. The Vash Flashback episode.
Knives pulled himself out of the clear fluid-filled chamber that had been home to him for several decades now. It was all because Vash, the insipid fool, went over the line when all Knives had tried to do was help. But Vash would pay, and it would be in a lot more than the pitiful 60,000,000,000 double dollars those wretched humans were offering. Knives' chief flunky, Legato Bluesummers, was on the case and had promised him that he would band together a group of pawns to use against Vash. This was, presumably, why Legato had awakened him.
As the fluid cleared from his eyes, Knives saw a group of ten strangers, with Legato at the head of them, patiently waiting his recovery. It took Knives only a minute to throw on an outfit and then wait for Legato to explain.
Legato gestured to the group assembled behind him. "As you requested, Sir, I've gathered together a group of dangerous outlaws to do your bidding in your war against Vash the Stampede. Allow me to introduce-"
"Wait a minute. What's that thing on your shoulder?" Knives pointed to the set of iron spikes protruding from the right shoulder of Legato's outfit. "It looks like you've sprouted a weather vane."
"I had an accident with a wrought iron fence right before we came here. It was silly, really. Slipped on a banana peel and fell into it. I killed every banana vendor in town, of course."
"I see. Rather stylish, in a Neo-retro sort of way. Keep it."
"Very good, sir. Now, allow me to introduce to you the Gung Ho Guns. First, we have, Makki, the Florist." Legato indicated a rather effeminate man, dressed stylishly, and adjusting a bouquet in his hand.
Knives' eyebrows formed a 'V'. "Did you say, 'Florist'?"
"I suppose he can control plant growth or something."
"Sprout thorns and skewer people with them?"
"That would be news to me, Sir."
"What exactly is it he does, then?"
"He can brighten any room with a minimum of flowers. Note how he has made this otherwise dank rest chamber so much lighter with merely three arrangements."
"It does look much brighter and cheerier. By the way, did you pick him up in San Francisco?"
"Why, yes. How did you know?"
"He just blew me a kiss."
"He's a caring individual. I can attest to that firsthand. But don't think for one instant he's the committing kind."
"Riiight. I think I've learned far more than I wanted to about him. Moving on."
Legato pointed to a second person. He had oily black hair, a dreadful dull red polyester leisure suit with the first five buttons undone, showing a hairy chest that was as oily as the hair on top of his head, a number of gold necklaces, and a Mr. Microphone in hand. He tried giving a dazzling smile, which died halfway into the effort, not that he appeared aware of it. "This is Luigi, the Lounge Lizard."
"Now this sounds promising. Can he do something cool, like create waves of pure force that are capable of rending flesh and metal merely by singing?"
"A pity. I rather liked that idea. So, what does he do?"
"He sings so badly that the enemy is forced to cover their ears rather than go for their weapons, thereby making them vulnerable."
"Not too bad. How do you keep our people from having to do the same?"
"You hadn't thought that far, did you?"
"I'm afraid not, Sir."
"Riiight. Moving on."
Legato indicated a third man. He was dressed as a cowboy, with a pair of pistols in the gun belt he wore on his hips. His arms were currently crossed in front of his chest. "This is Toushu, the Quick Draw. He can outdraw any man alive. His speed is superior to anyone, even Vash the Stampede."
"Now this I have to see."
"You just did." Toushu informed him.
Knives blinked. "I beg your pardon."
"There, I did it again."
"Drew on you."
"No you didn't. You were just standing there. You arms were crossed and out in the open the entire time."
"Nope. I drew both times. And I just did it a third time while we were talking."
"Impossible! No one is that fast." Knives grabbed a glass sitting on a nearby table and held it high and away from his body. "Prove it. Shoot this glass out of my hand."
"You want me to shoot that glass there?"
"Yes, unless you were lying about drawing."
"No, I drew. Okay." Toushu spit into his hands, tensed up, then crossed his arms again.
A gunshot rang out, despite the fact the man appeared standing still. Knives, for the first time in his existence, was impressed with a 'mere' human. "That was unbelievable. You're at least ten times faster than Vash. You'll be able to kill him easily." Knives place the glass back on the table. "Now we can... wait a minute!" He looked at the intact glass again. "I told you to shoot this. You missed."
"My gun sights are off is all. Hold it up again."
Knives did so. Again the man appeared to be standing perfectly still when a shot rang out.
Somewhere in the distance, a cat screeched out in pain.
Knives' eyebrows furrowed again.
Toushu said, "I sneezed."
"No you didn't."
"I did it too fast for you to hear. I'll hit it for sure this time."
A third shot rang out. Luigi went down, holding his foot in obvious agony. The shot was made all the more remarkable by the fact he was standing ten feet behind Toushu at the time.
"Windage," Toushu calmly explained.
"We're indoors, you moron! You couldn't hit the broadside of a barn!"
"Not true. I've hit the side of a barn before."
"Were you aiming at it at the time?"
"Well, you see, the sun got in my eyes-"
"Enough!" Knives turned his attention to Legato again. "Show me the next one."
Legato pointed to a tall, but average-looking man with unruly brown hair and a wild look to his eyes. He wore a set of colorful furs. "This is Bestiality Bob. He-"
"I don't want to know. Next."
Legato pointed to the handsome man standing next Bob. He was dressed in a rather tight set of leather pants and a plain white shirt that did little to hide his finely chiseled chest. "This is Sasi, the Foot Long Spike."
"Foot Long Spike? Is that because he has a-"
"You don't want to know that either, Sir."
"Ah, probably not. Moving right along."
Legato indicated a beautiful woman whose impressive chest was barely restrained by the tight black leather outfit she wore, an ensemble which hugged her in all the right places. A set of razor sharp swords were held in scabbards crossed behind her back. A pair of wicked-looking guns were also strapped to her waist. She gave Knives a dangerous, yet sultry glance. "This is Katrina, the Razorfist."
"If she's even half as good as she looks, or even half as good as her name sounds, she's going to be something we can work with."
"I doubt that, Sir. She's just the token female."
"What? But, the swords and guns?"
"Just for show. She doesn't have the faintest idea how to use either."
"And the, ah, impressive leather outfit?"
"Do you honestly believe anyone could fight in an outfit that tight? It's purely eye candy."
Knives gave her one last mournful look, then moved on. "Who's next?"
Legato pointed next to him. "Yurimaru, the Constipated."
"There's no one where you're pointing."
"Yurimaru had to go to the restroom while we were introducing the others. He does that frequently with the problem he has."
"Riiight. Moving on once again."
Legato indicated a body lying next to Makki. "That's Devem, the Corpse."
"And he as the ability to..."
"He's doing it right now, isn't he?"
"Even as we speak. Another good reason to have a florist in the group. Helps to drown out the smell."
"This is all because I didn't give you a raise during your last evaluation, isn't it?"
"I have no idea of what you mean, Sir."
"Money's been tight, you know. It's not like I have a source of income. I am a psychopath that's never even had a job. And with me being bottled up for so long, well, I don't have two double dollars to rub together. You do understand, don't you?"
"Of course I do, Sir. Your personality is more than enough to sustain me. Shall we continue?"
"Why not? Not that it will do any good."
Legato moved next to a man that was dressed in cowboy regalia, just like Toushu. "This is Chuck."
"Chuck, the Wagon?"
"Ground Up Chuck?"
"Rather boring, isn't it?"
"And what does he do?"
"Haven't the faintest idea. He introduced himself as Chuck and just started following us one day."
"I hate you."
"Only one left, sir. Then it will all be over."
This was exactly why all the humans needed to die. "Just get on with it."
Legato indicated a fairly average-looking man in his fifties with a slightly bulbous nose. He was a bit overweight, had a low cut of whitish hair, and wore a nice business suit. There seemed to be a perpetual smile on his face.
Legato said, "This is Slick Willy."
The man stepped forward to shake Knives' hand. "How're you doing? Found myself unemployed recently and I'm trying to make ends meet. Don't suppose you've got any spare interns lying around."
"RIGHT! That's it! All of you except Legato, get close together."
"What about Devem, the Corpse?" someone asked.
"Just drag him along."
Knives watched them get together in a small group. "Someone's missing."
"I'm coming," an overweight middle-aged balding man shouted as he ran from the direction of the restroom, adjusting his pants along the way.
Once Yurimaru had joined the others, Knives said, "Perfect."
"Now what?" Toushu asked.
"Now this!" Knives pulled out a long barreled pistol and fired. From in the middle of a group a pitch black hole formed in mid-air. It was pure obsidian, and did not reflect light in the slightest. It expanded to a huge size before the others could react, sucking them in as the surface of the orb touched their skin. Their screams and struggles (except for Devem, who accepted his fate with grim aplomb) were to no avail as they were inevitably consumed by oblivion.
The last thing Knives heard was Makki shouting, "When I wished I could disappear in a black hole, I didn't mean it this wayyyyy." His voice trailed off into nothingness.
Once all trace of the 'Gung Ho Guns: Version 1.0 was eradicated, Knives breathed a sigh of relief.
Legato was left pouting. "It took me nearly a whole week to dig those guys up. And in Devem's case, I mean that literally."
"I want cool Gung Ho Guns!" Knives wailed. "Not morons like that. I want... I want cool guys. Like, maybe someone that wears a visor and shoots red beams of energy from his eyes. And a short guy that can make claws grow out of his hands and heal real fast. Maybe an attractive woman of color that can control the weather too."
"Copyright problems there, Sir."
"Well, Sir, there is good news. You said you thought being able to manipulate sound waves as destructive energy was impressive. I heard that there is someone that can do that."
"Plays an instrument."
"Saxophone, I think."
"Well, okay. As long as it isn't a tuba. I don't like tubas. No member of my Gung Ho Guns is allowed to use a tuba."
"Got it, Sir. And I believe I heard of a cross bearing man who has guns concealed in the his giant crucifix."
"Sounds like a religious fanatic. I don't like those. They preach all that fire and brimstone crap. And then they find out I want to exterminate the human race and get all bitchy and say I'm going to hell, and then I always end up killing them because they make so much noise. It's just a major pain."
"I think it's more a style thing than any actual fanaticism. Remember, he is a killer."
Knives considered that for a long moment. "I guess so. All right. We'll build upon that as a core and work outward from there." Knives yawned. "Now, I'm tired, and going back to sleep. Wake me up when you have them assembled."
"Very good, Sir."
"Consider that raise yours."
"Very good, Sir. I'm sure you'll be much more satisfied with the next group I bring you. Nighty-night."
"Nighty-night," Knives said as he yawned again and went back into his chamber, dreams of murdering sax players and cross bearing gunmen dancing through his mind.
No prereaders this time out. No need in inflicting that sort of harm upon everyone.
Thanks for reading.
And thanks to Brian Randall for looking this over.