[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter XVII

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 23:52:57 UTC 2016

The company's conversation is interrupted when there's a knock on the
door, and Colonel McClaren walks in. "The General is ready, follow

The Colonel leads the company down another long corridor, to a large
steel door. When it opens, they find themselves on a platform
overlooking a long tube that stretches off in either direction as far
as the eye can see. There is a single metal rail at the bottom of the
tube, and floating above the rail is a long sleek vehicle; by the
looks of it a mag-lev vehicle. As the company steps aboard, those with
hair feel it stand up as they enter what must be a fairly powerful
electromagnetic field.

"This is one part of what was once a trans-Atlantic transportation
system," the Colonel explains. "New Strathclyde restored part of it
many years ago, a big stretch known as the NorAnglo-Ireland Line, and
this is where many of New Strathclyde's forces fled during the Great

Once everyone is inside, they find the vehicle, while well maintained,
must be truly ancient. The fabric of the seats is so old that it is
yellowed to the point that it's original cream-white color can only be
guessed at. Much of the plastic inside has also yellowed. Still, it
smells clean, and the seats are comfortable enough. They are lead to
the forward section, to a fairly large stateroom that has been turned
into an office. Sitting at the desk is an aging man, perhaps seventy
years old, with silver hair with a few streaks of red in it. He has
two cybernetic eyes, four cybernetic arms, and strikes an imposing
figure. Still, his smile is warm.

"Sit down sit down!" he says. "I'm General Malcolm Campbell, commander
of the Third Unified Division of the Kingdom of New Strathclyde.
You've met Colonel McClaren."

He gestures to a younger man who looks like he could be the General's
son. "This is my Aide-de-camp, Colonel Stephen Campbell." He then gets
up, and the company finds him to be an imposing figure, with two
cybernetic legs that make him nearly seven feet tall. He leads them
over to a conference table, where breakfast has been laid out.

"I hope it's to your liking," the General says. "Since this terrible
winter hit, we've been forced to improvise, but we make do."

As the company eats, the General explains that the Third Unified
Division is the only surviving part of the New Strathclyde Army, that
fled the final confrontation thirty years ago, when the Fomorians
seized the last great fortress. "By that point, a power struggle
between the rival factions of Clan Galbraith had already done their
worst. I was forced to seize power, what little there was, and rally
as many surviving troops to the Third Unified Division, and we made
for our stronghold. Since then, we've slowly began trying to clear the
old supercity of Maligs and Fomorians, and everything else. There are
still a few surviving remnants of Clan Galbraith about, enough that
they might do us harm, so we kept ourselves to this area."

"I'll confess we had some scouts south of the River Mersey who
reported your approach, and we were able to do a partial decryption of
some your radio chatter to determine that you were from New Camelot.
We knew New Camelot still existed, and even had a few agents there
from time to time, but we kept to ourselves, building our fortress and
preparing for a time when we might join our old allies in battle. And
now that time has come!"

"But now, tell me of yourselves. I know you, Knight Commander Oz, are
a New Camelot commander, though your accent puts you decidedly east of
here. But what of the rest of you?"

He is keen to hear whatever they will tell, and asks many questions
about what is happening in North America, and though he pleads
ignorance often enough, he lets slip enough details to indicate that
his knowledge of England and the wider world is far greater than he
would lead the company to believe. While he seems friendly, and
certainly is charismatic, something doesn't quite ring right about the

As they talk, a young soldier comes in and delivers a message. The
General opens it, quickly scans it, and nods to the soldier, "Make
sure containments are put in place," he says.

He then turns back to the company. "Tell me about the supernatural
creature in your hold." It doesn't come out as a request, but sounds
an awful lot like a command.

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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