Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day Five-Fifty-Eight: It's not easy being mean

Yep, we're gonna ram through the assholes.

But not yet.

Today was sat down in Command and had a looooong meeting. It's a good thing that Command is nice and spacious, 'cause danged near everyone made an appearance, and the place was pretty crowded. I stood in the middle and outlined the problem, and demands to attack immediately flew fast and furious.

It was not me, but Grylock, of all people, who silenced 'em. "SHUT IT! Goin' now is retarded, and you're all retarded if ye think we'd survive!"

The room went quiet. Everyone watched the little goblin strut about on his boar as it circled the perimeter and approached me.

"I sneaked over last night," he continued, voice both even and haughty. "They've got a full garrison, 'n a lotta backup te boot. Havena gotten close enough to tell, but that little fort 'o theirs is highly entrenched. Very, very well built 'n maintained. Their stationary guns will do us a great harm on the way in, and the extra firepower they're totin' in the back'll finish the job. Just 'cause this thing is big doesn't mean it's invincible."

The din was nowhere near as loud as before, though people began to quietly discuss and argue the point. Grylock silenced them with a loud rap of his poisonheart on a nearby table… then ordered his boar up onto it. He waved the sword around; most people fled. You don't mess with a poisonheart.

"Ye argue for naught, dumbass humans! We aren't gettin' through there as is! Not without plenty o' hurt! Wouldn't ye agree, Mr. Commander?"

Grylock pointed me. Reluctantly, I nodded. "Yep. That sums it up, I figure."

Libby, as well as a small gang of engineers and maintenance workers behind her, stepped up and growled. "You think my Dauphine can't shred those assholes? They're a buncha tin-suited twits. Wouldn't stand a chance."

Grylock rolled his eyes, undaunted by the opposition. (I assume he rolled his eyes. Hard to tell. Opaque glasses and all that.)  "If they had no cannons, yeah, I might agree. Problem is, they do. These guys ain't the catapult-totin' guys ye're used to, Libby, m'dear. They can rip us apart with one good shot."

Still snearing, clearly unconvinced, Libby stepped back.

"Good girl. So we're left with three options." Smiling, Grylock raised a finger. "One. We wait for an openin'. Give it a week or so 'n watch 'em. If their patrol decides to bugger off, we can use the moment to blast through. We'll take damage from the checkpoint still, but an allowable amount, I'd say. Problem is, I doubt that patrol contingent's goin' anywhere. Could be waitin' a long time. I'm guessin' you're on a timetable, Dragomir?"

I nodded, though, to be honest, I have no idea what that timetable may be. The faster the better? Sure, that works.

"So that's out. Two, we wait, but we do it outta sight. Drive away, maybe a half day's travel, 'n stick it out. The Imperium'll send a scouting party, but they won't move too far past the border t'see where we've gone. Most they'll probably do is make sure we haven't headed off to another checkpoint. We wait a week, keep checkin' 'til the extra troops are gone, 'n blast through. I advise this one, m'self."

Murmurs. I nodded. "Okay. 'n the third idea?"

Grylock's grin grew large and sickly. "Me, her royal bratness Celine, and a couple o' her ninjas sneak over there durin' the night and poison their water supply. Food, too, if'n we can manage it. Can scrape some lovely toxins offa this sword you so generously gave me, Dragomir. Would wipe 'em all out within a day or two."

The whole room went silent, save Daena in the back, who barked an unequivocal "No".

Grylock shook his head. "Buncha lightweights. Then, yeah, option number two. What say ye, fearless leader?"

Everyone looked at me. I remember the days when this level of scrutiny would've driven me antsy. Now, though, I simply scratched my chin and thought it over.

"I say we keep talking a bit longer," I said, and opened up the floor. 

I knew there wasn't much point. For all the extravagant schemes we concocted, Grylock's wound up being the most suitable. Straightforward is good, and straightforward will get us over the border.

We've already moved the Dauphine. Waited until night to do it, when the watch on the other side of the border was at its sleepiest. Roused the whole garrison, judging by the number of torches that went up, but no one chased after us, nor did any cannonballs fly over state lines. I assume the orc who took the message back to his superiors - whom we never did see again! - felt very much relieved to see us go, and the stalemate ended.

We've parked some fifty kilometers away from the garrison. We've set up a more-or-less direct route back there, when the time comes to make the dash, and Grylock's remained behind with his boar to watch for the enemy's departure. I'd wish him luck, but, hell, he doesn't need it. If he can survive bein' mind-controlled by June and attacked by the biggest wave of Non I've ever seen, I'm sure Grylock'll be just fine.

We wait. Hopefully we don't wait too long, though, 'cause those Non… those Non who destroyed Villeinville are still behind us. 'n though I managed to drive off twenty of 'em, I don't know that two hundred will be quite so easily spooked.


Dragomir the Wanderer

1 comment:

  1. "Today was* sat down in Command and had a looooong meeting." Did you mean 'we'?