Monday, March 3, 2014

Day Six-Forty-Six: The Big City

Oh my! What a pretty city. I like the big holes in the walls. I am uncertain whether or not it will remain pretty, but its memory its etched forevermore into my mind.

My brother, his lesbian partner (her sexual orientation fills a niche!) and myself spent much of Friday and a good part of today tracking the soldiers who abducted Mud and the rest of our friends. My ninjas moved ahead of us and provided regular reports as to the progress of the war wagons, and the gypsy scouts who agreed to guide us confirmed what we suspected: the Imperium's soldiers were headed to Rodentia.

I have read about Rodentia. Would you care to know what I've read? Of course you would. Information is power, and power is overrated. But I like it anyway.

Rodentia is the capital of the Imperium. Settled upon perhaps the fairest and most fertile soil in all the land, Rodentia was established over a thousand years ago as a military garrison for an alliance of races. In the wake of the Great War, a period of time which is annoyingly short on details, it prospered into a proper city. All decisions made by the Imperium Republican Council are inevitably filtered through Rodentia's grand meeting halls before siphoning out into the rest of the territory. Rodentia grows as the Imperium grows, and is easily the largest urban district on the planet.

We have also discovered that it has very tall walls. Very tall.

The last report from my ninjas came in at 3 pm today, just as the snow was beginning to pick up again, and by 5 we'd moved past the staggered farms and dependent villages of the outskirts and arrived at the feet of Rodentia's great barricades. Unlike much of the land we'd passed, which is demolished and burning (I wonder where that sloth has gone?), the city remains standing...

... though tense. Very tense. I daresay Rodentia's defenders look positively stressed, their faces painted a subtle, ashen white as they deny entrance to scads of frantic farmers who demand to be let into the city. Their skin resembles my mother's pearls, though only if those pearls were to be commissioned and handed suits of shiny grey armour. Militarized pearls, they would be.


Ha ha!

I am the funniest person I know.

"Stop laughing to yourself, it's creepy." The lesbian watched me carefully, as though I might suddenly lunge forward and gnaw on her sacrum. "Couldn't we have left her behind? Seriously?"

Logan shook his head. He peered through the crack in the barn door behind which we'd taken shelter, hoping to avoid the sharp, airborne eyes of Micro-Dragon patrols. "She's good at this stuff. You'll cope. Your ninjas sure they took Dragomir in there?"

I nodded. "Yes. Mud is almost certainly inside. As is our father. And several other people of lesser value."

He turned to glare at me.

"What? Don't tell me you haven't weighted your relationships with the crew of the Dauphine. I reevaluate mine almost every day."

(It's true. Mud is only my tenth-favourite crew member. I prefer his wife; she has spunk. Also, her pies are dreadful.)

"Let's just get outta here." The lesbian picked at her tail scales, flicking something off into the silent darkness of the barn. "Get back on the road again, solo-style. You wanted to vamoose anyway. Now's a good chance."

"I can't leave my friends in jail," Logan growled. "They've been feeding you for weeks. Aren't you a little grateful?"

"Oh, yes! I'm so grateful!" The lesbian cradled her head in her hands, batting her excessive eyelids. "They fed me and clothed me and gave me a cot to sleep in and I just wanna spend my whooooole liiiiife living with mommy and daddy and sissy!"

"I believe she is mocking you, brother." I'd quickly noted the parallels. Her wordplay is substandard.

"Gee, thanks." Logan rolled his eyes. "I'm not going anywhere. You can if you wanna, Nagi. Not gonna force you. It's been fun."

The lesbian stifled a sigh, though her expression was bitter and resigned. "Gods damn you, kid. I hate guilt trips. You're going to get me murdered."

Grinning, Logan creaked the door open an inch and peered into the sky. Between his arms I watched a squadron of Micro-Dragons sweep off to the west of Rodentia's tallest towers, joining a much larger aerial battalion. They disappeared somewhere behind the ebony-ivory walls of the city, moving in low over the landscape.

"So how do we get in?" the lesbian asked, joining Logan at the door. "They aren't lettin' anybody through those front gates. Nor any of the sides, I'll bet. Not while there's a sloth somewhere nearby. And lemme tell ya, I'm not too keen on staying out here if there is a sloth, which I'm still hopin' is just a bad rumour."

"Don't worry about that," I replied, even though she wasn't asking me. "I have it covered."

"Oh yeah?" The lesbian didn't even look at me. I suppose I'm not her type. "I'm so relieved."

And, oh, she will be. She will be.

We continue to scout for tonight, looking for smaller entrances into the city. I am confident we shall find one, and when we do, it begins.

Sincerely, and with a brilliance that eclipses the skies,

Celine the Magnificent

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