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11 May 2017 @ 12:24 pm
_Scrambled_ part 18  

/// tour, explain the water system, the one-way pipes, Macy and her coins ///

/// Dope up some wine for Lou to take back with him ///

/// decide to add a hunt for the hardware store among the ruins, grab clothes and hunt while delivering Lou back home. ///

Kick grinned. "That's Nick. Taking care of people. I guess he was raised to be responsible."

Nick glowered. "I was raised to believe that everyone is responsible for themselves. I'm just making sure they have what they need to do so."

The teenage girl who'd been introduced as "Nick's sister Gamer" shot him a worried look. "You've always been responsible for us . . . I suppose it's a relief to have us almost grown."

Nick hunched a shoulder. "I'll do whatever I have to do. It is nice to not have to worry about the police. Just . . . two small armies."




Chapter Nick and Fu

Nick let Kirk drive, and he rode in the back with a rifle at the ready. Marco opted to ride inside , and Lou rode in the back.

"So there are friendly Earth troops?"

"At least one patrol's worth. Six men. They are having trouble with what they called General Fu's Special Troops."

"Good to hear that. Maybe sanity can prevail. Of course, on our side it's the commanders—the Minister of War specifically—who are the problems."

Lou nodded. "Not that I know much about the real soldiers. I'm just a Gate Authority security guard. But I think Fu's got a large insular group . . . What?"

Nick focused on movement across the grasslands and thumped on the roof of the cab. He stepped up for a better look

A dozen trucks in tan and desert camo. Halfway across the grass strip heading south and turning toward them.

"Looks like I may get to meet your General Fu." Nick hopped down. "Marco? Can you shield the truck long enough for Kirk to get out of range? Lou, keep your head down, you don't want to be recognized." He vaulted over the side of the truck. "I'll walk out and talk to them."

"Nick!"

The man grinned. Shrugged off the gun he had slung over his back and set it in the truck. "Don't worry. I won't hurt them . . . too badly. Hand me that crowbar, will you?"

Lou handed it over, looking baffled.

I need to give these people—hell, everyone—a long talk about everything Ebsa told me. Exile Worlds. Another One World that shut the gate to Granite Peak. That remained a true empire, that is still exploring across the dimensions. The Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation. That will be looking for us.

That I will hide from.

But first I need to send this army away.

Nick strode out to meet the advancing column of vehicles.

Categorizing vehicles, and feeling for people was he got nearer.

Light truck, command, not out scouting. Four people.

Five personnel carriers, twenty men in each. looks like they may have light armor on them.

Five covered trucks. Two men in each. Supplies? Ammo? Fuel? Empty space to fill with loot?

He stopped and let the lead truck drive up to him.

Soldiers poured out of the second trunk and set up a cross fire zone with him in the middle, before the passenger climbed out of the back of the light truck. Two men flanked him. Bodyguards.

Something feels off . . . wrong . . . ah. Chinese in the wrong uniforms. Right. These are not the Imperial Chinese soldiers that I fought. Not the troops that overran Fort Rangpur and killed my father.

But the man in charge is rather reminiscent of General Chen. Stars on his collar.

"General Fu. May I ask your intensions, here in my territory?"

That got a sneer. "It will be my territory soon enough. You forgot your big gun this time, boy. I recognize you, and I'd rather recruit you than kill you."

That got a twitch from the man who seemed to be in charge of the troops. But no change of expression, not a single word.

General Fu glanced his way, and spoke in Chinese. {He would be useful, we can get rid of him later.}

Not much changed from the Mandarin I learned as a child, to understand the enemy. Not that I'm going to let him know that I understand him.

"Come with us. I understand you are a wanted criminal."

Does he have a spy, an informer? Here or around in the apartment towers? Easy enough to collect gossip, I suppose.

"I am an independent operator, but I will protect the civilians, Oner or not."

"Oh yes, you're living with the Natives we kicked off Earth, aren't you? Aren't you tired of their primitive ways?"

"Hadn't actually noticed. But then they're all second or third generation Earth-born, so I suppose they've picked up a few things from your people. Pity. We could use more people who are used to living the way we'll all soon be living."

"Speak for yourself. All we need is to find a crude oil source and we'll maintain civilization and grow from here."

"A good plan. So long as you refrain from shooting people. I suspect those stupid Ministry Guards have better sense than to start the shooting war all over again. Do you?"

A snort. "Only the strong will survive here. And I'm the strongest. Join me or die."

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on May 12th, 2017 12:05 am (UTC)
Famous last words!

Holly