[Taocow PBEM] [Oz] Book 3 - Chapter X - The Quest For Louissa

Karl Prosek karl.prosek at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 21:19:39 UTC 2013

> Two of the guardsman lift a man up. He might be young, but a hard life
> shows. Though he can't be much more than thirty, there are already
> flecks of grey in his hair and lines on his face. He has a few scars
> visible
> "I won't answer no questions." the man says defiantly. "We's all
> brothers 'ere, an' we've sworn to take our secrets to our graves. So
> send us to your fine City jail, or blow our 'eads off, but I won't
> prattle on with the likes o' you!"
> One of the guardsmen raises his energy rifle, looking ready to hit the
> prisoner in the head with the butt of it.

Oz raises a hand to wave the guardsman off. "No, not like that. Give
us some room, would you? That's a good man."

The German gives the prisoner a friendly smile. "Fair enough. I like a
man who can stay loyal. Unfortunately for you, we can trace the
chemicals in the mud on your gear and the equipment of the squad we
destroyed and quite reliably locate your point of origin. It's
amazing, what modern technology can do. I won't even go into what we
could do with magic."

Oz shakes his head. "I'm not going to threaten you." He gestures at
the guardsman who wanted to hit the prisoner in the head. "I could've
let him hit you, but I doubt that would get us anywhere. I just want
to talk to you."

"Are you aware interdimensional aliens are, even at this moment,
attacking your country? I don't just mean New Avalon, which they
surely are, but your entire land. I saw them arrive, you know. An army
that covered the ground from horizon to horizon. Flying tanks and
aircraft that nearly killed me more than once while I tried to evade
them. Disgusting, tentacled monsters keeping lovely women in thrall-
women, you might be interested to know, who are just as likely to try
to kill you as their monster masters."

"And all of them hell-bent on enslaving every human on this island."
Oz shook his head. "I don't see a way around it, honestly. They
outnumber you, they have more powerful weapons and... and these mutant
monsters..." The German shuddered. "Ugh. Revolting things, really."

"I'd say retreat is your best option, but the aliens almost surely
have the coastline under their control." He sighed. "So all that
leaves is surrender. Or resistance." Oz gestured at the man's tattered
equipment. "And you couldn't even resist me and two Guards. I suppose
that means your people have no hope."

"A guerrilla action, you say?" Oz shrugged at the man's imagined
question. "It can be done, but it requires strong leadership and,
preferably, outside support. I don't doubt that Arthur and his knights
will fight to the last in their defense of New Avalon. And who does
that leave? Can you think of anyone capable of organizing a guerrilla
action against overwhelming odds?"

"But that man would need to start organizing now. He'd need to know
what was going on, would need access to weapons to distribute into
caches, access to current intelligence on the enemy. And make no
mistake, the aliens are all of our enemies. They don't care what color
you wear." Oz shook his head sadly.

"Whoever is going to lead this fight needs to get on the ball right
now. Otherwise the aliens will sweep over the horizon and kill him in
his bed. Or worse, put a chain around his neck and march him off to
the slave market."

It was woefully clumsy in Oz's ears, but maybe this backwoods hick of
a bandit would fall for the scam and offer up the Hood in a fit of
pride in his commander. Or maybe not. If not, well, Oz was pretty sure
the man would start talking after he burned the bandit's feet off at
the ankles and stabbed splinters into his... well, it was best not to
think about that.

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