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21 April 2017 @ 05:40 am
Scrambled_ part 8  
 

***

The Minister accompanied them.

His limo—unwashed and dented—bumped over rough ground, taking a winding path, so the foot soldiers managed to keep up with it.

Major Atzw had three hundred men under arms, spread out, a quarter of them ahead of the limo, the rest flanking it. More or less.

Captain Ahco and his small command had been placed under the "older, more experienced" Captain Ijje.

Ijje was sweating in a mixture of terror and excitement. "We finally get to get those damned Earthers."

Ahco suspected that he'd been a desk jockey his entire life.

Lieutenant Ynja was trying to keep a professional game face on. Kept slipping and looking appalled, while dealing with sixty former soldiers.

At least they're young and healthy! Ahco watched Captain Ijje panting as he led them up and over another discontinuity, and wondered how many of the Minister's army were going to have heart attacks from the unaccustomed exercise.

His own tiny group had started out in good shape, well-fed and carrying water and medical supplies. And I really hope I don't need to test that . . . interesting potion Myyk got from Azho.

He'd had fifty men added to his command. Lots of gray hair. Lots of beer bellies. Servaones and Halfers, One save me. At least my Halfer grooms are fit and good shots. But only seven of us who can raise shields.

He had them less spread out than the other undersized companies, his Black Horse Guards to the front, under orders to shield at the first sign of active hostilities. They all knew how to extend their shields to cover other people. Ahco was on the far southern flank, roughly on the route they'd taken that morning, with the horses.

At least Atzw didn't want my "ponies." Ha! Once we run out of gas, they're going to be wanting the horses. Demanding them, more like.

He shoved the thoughts away and paid attention as they approached the edge of the hub.

This time the Earthers were coming out the meet them.

One man in the lead, waving the other soldiers back and advancing alone. Standing, arms crossed and frowning at them.

Good, they're going to talk first.

Minister Mac You climbed out of his dusty limo and straightened his suit. It was immaculate.

Must have had a change of clothes in the limo. Damn. I need a change of clothes. The Earthers can probably smell me all the way over there.

The Minister walked forward. "Three/// days ago your world established a gate to our world and attacked us through it. Your defective gate cause this mess. Now we are all stuck here until we are rescued . . . which will not be before one of our polities gets a gate working . . . and then finds us. To prevent a repeat of your attack, I demand that you surrender." His voice was magically amplified, and quiet clear.

The uniformed man facing him from twenty meters away, sneered. "Your people blew up the gate and caused this mess. I think that pathetic ragtag gray-haired excuse for an army needs to surrender." He had a drill sergeant's ability to project, no need for magic.

Minister Mac You sneered back. "You have made an unfortunate choice." He turned away to address the Major. "Kill them all."

The Earther Officer said. "Now!"

Ahco yelled "Shields!" Raised his own. And his gun.

As ordered, most of his troops went to ground, finding physical shields.

Firing from behind shields was tricky.

His own guards had drilled it often enough. An angled, anchored physical shield with two gun ports, a green glow showing the second man where he could stick his rifle through and shoot. His hasty organization as they'd mustered before moving out, had assigned a third man to each of his shield men.

Ahco had Kooky on his left and a new man, Aqua, on his right. He fired himself, but the Earth soldiers had been prepared for a battle. Their general had dived behind a low wall, unharmed as far as Ahco could see, when he caught a glimpse of the man retreating to his lines.

And his shields weren't taking more than sporatic impacts. "Cease Fire!" He stood carefully, attracting more shots . . . but the vast majority we're concentrating on the center . . . Where limp bodies were being slung into the limos.

:: Zee? ::

Nothing. The limo doors closed and it backed away. Drove off a lot faster than it had come. Covered by soldiers backing off in what might charitably not be called a rout.

"Shieldmen! Six across, solid cover! Riflemen, get behind the shieldmen and back away. Save your ammunition."

Movement among the Earth soldiers.

"Black Horse riflemen? Dissuade pursuit, if it looks like they're feeling ambitious." Ahco turned, kept his shield up behind him, and followed his troops in a disciplined retreat.

My only hope is that the Earthers don't want a return engagement. I am NOT hoping the Minister is dead. I am not!



Chapter Fourteen

Nick hesitated. Climb the tower and see what had happened? The fight had been brief . . . probably nothing to see. He should go home, to people who liked him . . . fuck a couple of whores . . .

"This is not puberty. This is a brief . . . hormone spike, probably caused by that damned potion of Ebsa's. I will stop obsessing about sex soon. And lose those violent . . . impulses. I will not be like that Purple creep I . . . killed without a second thought."

A flash of memory, the man grabbing Gammer . . . gropeing. He flushed, his . . .

"Arg! That did not turn me on!" His body made that a lie.

"Right. Tower it is. Talking to myself. Not good. I'll sleep up there."

The first flight of stairs had his stomach twinging. Not a good sign.

He poked his head out of the stairwell. The nearest door bore a sign. "Excelsior Exploration. Whatever that is."

Another flight, more businesses. Ten floors up, the signs disappeared, the doors were just numbered.

And he was nearly doubled over with pain. "High enough." He leaned on the wall. That way is north, so this door closest to the corner should have a good view.

It actually took over a minute, fumbling with the spells to get him through the door . . . into a very nice apartment. The living room had windows to the north and east. The hub was being fortified, the Earthers carrying rubble out to make a wall. No sign of Oner troops.

I think they lost. Those black uniforms, more Black Horse or perhaps Ministry Guards? Seems like there were a bunch of them. Wasting irreplaceable ammunition on each other.

Nick turned away from the windows. Must be a bed around here somewhere . . . and I think I will raid this nice liquor cabinet and if my gut explodes tonight, maybe I can just die in my sleep, or drunken stupor, whatever . . .

Another hangover from hell.

He tried to convince himself he was glad to be alive, but it wasn't working. Puking sick was an improvement over the other pain, which had gone away over night.

He whimpered, and crept out of bed, back to the liquor cabinet. Surely he'd seen . . . yes bottled water. Drained one. Opened the next.

I ought to dump it on my head, get cleaned up . . . can't wash my clothes . . . clothes . . . There was a huge closet full of clothes. Mens. Looked . . . about the right size.

"The toilet tanks should have enough water in them for me to get mostly clean." He headed that way, stripping off his filthy shirt. And his pants were binding . . . he adjusted the crotch . . .

In some weird surrealistic state he unbuckled his belt and let his pants fall.

Looked like balls.

Felt like balls.

He wobbled down to sit on the floor. Head pounding, stomach roiling.

Definitely scrotum.

Definitely something that was pretty close to what he remembered testicles felt like.
He crawled into the bathroom, shedding clothes, finding towels, soap, shampoo, lid off the tank of the toilet, yep, a couple gallons of water. Time to get clean.

He raided several apartments, and hauled away bags of clothes, both male and female in a spread of sizes.

An awkward burden. But nothing attacked him until he got back to the camp, whereupon too many worried women yelled at him. And the little kids cried.

Gammer stopped first, frowning at him. "Where did you get those clothes?"

"Raided some empty apartments." He waved at the bags he'd dropped. "Merry Christmas."

 
 
 
matapampamuphoff on April 21st, 2017 10:45 am (UTC)
And now you've caught up with my writing. Which means there may not be a post until I figure out where this mess is going.