[Taocow PBEM] [Oz] Book 3 - Chapter X - The Quest For Louissa
mightymartianca at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 22:35:25 UTC 2013
On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 1:19 PM, Karl Prosek <karl.prosek at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> "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.
The man stares down at the ground for a few moments, clearly
contemplating Oz's words.
"We know the Splugorth are coming." the man says. "And the Hook said
he'd fight them to the last, but he... we've been bandits a long time.
The King's likely just to lock us up if we give in. Any way you look
at it, we get a collar 'round our necks."
The man drops his voice. "Tell you what. I'll tell 'bout the magic
that keeps us bandits safe, if you untie me, give me a gun and let me
go. Trust me, you won't see me again." The man seems a rat. A scared
rat, but a rat nonetheless.
One of the prisoners shouts out, "What you talking about Tommy?" One
of the guardsmen gives the other prisoner a swift kick. "You say
anything, an' we'll skin ya!" the other prisoner says between clenched
"Shall I gag this one, Sir?" the guardsman asks.
mightymartianca at gmail.com
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