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29 May 2017 @ 08:55 am
_Scrambled_ part 32  
 

The general screamed as Nick hoisted him and held him upright, only a little of his weight on his fractured tibias. Fu cursed him through clenched teeth.

"Stop. Shooting." Nick switched to Mandarin and projected his voice. "Stop firing, else I will start cutting pieces off of General Fu. Good. Now listen carefully. I am going to allow you to keep your weapons, because you will need them for hunting. If you use them to shoot a person, I will hunt you down and kill you."

Glares. In the back, some maneuvering for a better position.

"Then I will find General Fu and cut a piece off of him."

An uneasy pause in the crowd noises.

"The rules are simple. No war will be allowed. Murder is illegal, rape is illegal, assault is illegal, theft is illegal. I am judge, jury, jailor, and if needed, I will be the executioner."

The bullet knocked him back a step, zinged off his shield. He'd expected it, and returned with a needle push. The man dropped.

General Fu was folding, screaming. Nick grabbed him and threw him face down across the hood of the nearest vehicle.

Grabbed the little finger of Fu's right hand and twisted the knuckle out of joint. Drew his knife and sliced through tendon and muscle.

He stepped out to face the soldiers . . . who were suddenly stopping and reversing their rush toward him.

Nick held up the finger. Ignored Fu, who was clutching the vehicle hood left handed, trying to not put weight on his legs.

"That's one. Do you wish to face him after the second?"

He waited a beat. "Good. You and you, see to the General." He tossed the finger onto the hood beside Fu.

Perhaps their doctors or machinery can reattach it. But perhaps the lesson has been learned.

"Now, the rest of you stack your weapons over there, then see to the injured."

Movement to the southeast. Lou's electric runabout, disgorging half a dozen people. Gamer held up a bottle of wine.

Oh. Good idea.

"My people will assist, with magic healing." He walked back to the wall, climbed up and stood atop it, surveying the mess . . . and across no-man's-land, troop movement.

***

He pulled more power. Ignored the stab of pain in his head. Projected his voice.

"Minister MacU. There will be no more war, not today, not ever. Pull your men back. Now."

Looks like they've learn a few things—and of course that's my fault for teaching them shields. Pity they didn't stick to defense.

He concentrated hard, focusing the sounds coming from the minister's platform.

"Poe! Kill that criminal! The man who slaughtered two hundred of your fellow priests!"

Poe stepped forward, raised his hands, hesitated. "I'm . . . I'm too far way . . ."

"You are a Priest! I've seen what you can do! If you can't do it from here get out there and do it!"

Poe stepped away. Stopped, head down.

"Get out there!"

"No." The little man turned around, lifted his head. "I don't know if I'm a priest or a warrior. But I am quiet certain I an not a politician's lackey. The Warrior Nick ibn Nicholas ibn Emre has ended the Earther attack. You need to end the Oner attack. Right now."

"Why you little shit . . . Sergeant, kill him."

"Sir! That is not . . . "

As the Minister reached for the sergeant's gun, Poe gestured and the Minister stumbled back, missed a step and rolled down the platform.

The sergeant turned, raising his gun, collapsed.

Poe leaned and picked up his gun by the barrel. Drew it back, and as MacU charged back up to the platform, he swung it hard and low. The Minister dropped, clutching his shin and screaming.

Poe looked at Nick across the kilometer separating them. "It doesn't work as well as a crowbar, but perhaps it will be good enough. Now . . . where is Ijje?" He walked off the platform.

Nick focused back on the closer issues.

Kirk, Enuf, and Marco were standing watch, while . . . good grief! Half a dozen women from the Red Zone were dosing his fireball and ricochet victims with wine.

Out in the hub Gamer and Skinner girls were lifting a limp figure onto the cart. Dipper, yes, there was Dipper, standing with help and limping to the cart.

He tried to not sag with relief, steady the shaking of his hands.

The cart drove off south, wisely avoiding the troops, who had stopped in a rather disorganized fashion. There was some hubbub in the rear.

. . . and Nick couldn't pull power to listen . . . and standing was getting a bit problematical. He crouched to put a hand on the top of the wall before he jumped off. Tried hard to not stagger as he walked to meet Gamer.

She held out a bottle. "Mostly fruit juice, plus salt and such. We're out of boost."

He drained it, felt the wave of sugar through his body. "Guess I was getting a bit drained, there."

"Guess so. Now drink this. I think that's mostly other peoples' blood all over you, but the bruises are all your own. Your shields were getting weak at the end, there." She poured a jot of wine into his bottle, added water . . . "Your Dipper will be fine. Don't know about the other guy."

"Oh. I knew I was forgetting something." He walked back and climbed up the wall. Spotted someone with more stripes on his uniform and raised his voice. "Bring the rest of the Oner prisoners out here."

Apprehensive looks, hasty departures.

The Oners came out, mostly on stretchers.

The girls dosed them, then got them over the wall and hauled them off a bit. Twenty men.

They didn't waste much effort on medical care, by the look of it. Or maybe they've been tortured for information

The guys retreated over the wall, and helped move the stretchers further.

They all stopped to eye the confusion in the Oner ranks.

Nick spotted movement to the south—Lou and his runabout had made it to the apartments and was escorted inward, no doubt to the medical clinic. The men in civilian garb were crossing the wall and heading their direction. "No weapons. I think they're coming to carry stretchers."

Gamer squinted. "There's Captain Ahco, heading for the mess. I hope he has some authority with the Ministry Guards."

 
 
 
matapampamuphoff on May 29th, 2017 05:14 pm (UTC)
Oof! I really need to get a couple days ahead, so I can reread and edit before I post. Oh well, so long as I fix it in the final version, right?
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on May 30th, 2017 03:00 am (UTC)
Yes so long as it gets fixed before publication. I like how Nick is establishing the way of the warrior again. I also like how it is taking. I have a feeling the red zone group and maybe main accounting will likely want to stay.
(Anonymous) on February 25th, 2018 02:59 am (UTC)
Surviving capture
I thought that oners invariably committed suicide on capture. How come the, particularly the captain survived to be released?
matapampamuphoff on February 25th, 2018 04:14 am (UTC)
Re: Surviving capture
Because they were retired REMFs in a cushy job guarding politicians, not front line troopers.

The Oners push the mystique of committing psychic suicide to avoid becoming an intel asset in the enemy's hands, but it's all implants and bullets.