Tuesday, July 21, 2015

166 - You're Done, Mum

Captain Eks had a handful of ammunition left, carefully husbanded and one box left in trusty old Aesh’s hands.  The attack had started almost on the heels of the last storm and only one of the ship traps had blown an Arkan five-banker into the air, burning.

That had been the distraction because as the Fehinnans had faced the expected attack, exaulting that they'd killed one of those devil ships, firing on the others entering their harbour, a wave of savages had assaulted the desert-side wall. Grandpappy, I unnerstand yer stories ‘o thousands ‘o savages pouring down on you and you an’ the boys bein’ the last Giyush standin’ in Blue Mountain Pass.

She was filthy, her uniform torn and bloodied and covered in soot from the burning buildings because the ‘Liance forces din’t care for the buildin’s just burned ‘em down. There was a bloody scrape along one cheek and they were holed up in the last standin’ sitcheachun.

The blacks all wearing lion skins or leopard skins were being joined by the blondies as people got dragged away, either walkin’, limpin’ or corpse-limp by the ankle.

She’d seen Buonson fall with two arrows standing in his chest, a third hitting him on the way down. A black had stuck a lance into him, on the way by and she'd shot him down a heartbeat later, but it was too late for Buonson.

That had been at the desert gate where them black as night tallest weren’t supposed to be able to even GET troops to.  The High Priest’s people and all the military ginks had said them blacks had no navy.  They din’t.  They’d gone and gotten the blondies’ navy to help them out, damn their eyes. She held her breath as a red and gold armoured old gink, under the blacks' waving banner of a lioness wearing a collar of snakes, stepped up next to the black commander who still had his lozenge of a shield covering him.

The red ostrich plume on the old bed-slave fucker made a fine target.  She had him right in her sights, even as he turned. She was close enough to see the sun shine off that high eagle-swoop of a nose. She held her breath and began to tighten up on the trigger, ignoring the sounds Aesh made, just behind her.

A cold and very sharp blade came to rest under her ear and Aesh, very quietly said, “Ease up now Mum. Stop. This is done. You’re done.”

She’d frozen in shock but her finger had tightened and the gun kicked her hard in the shoulder. The firearm slammed her against the knife and she saw the bloody darkness pour out of her throat, light falling down out of her eyes, but the Arkan General fell, and she smiled as she died.


As Minis came down from the roof, running a hand over his wet face, smiling, he came face to face with Assemblyman Kallen, standing, patiently waiting, with a writ in his hand.

The man did the most ostentatious prostration Minis had seen in weeks.

"Gehit," he said, heart sinking at the smug smile on Ilian's face.

"Imperator, You Who Has The Gods' Ears. The Assembly of Arko has settled on a protocol for an Ordeal to Petition the Ten, that They might save us from extinction.  Mercy, Most High, have Mercy."

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