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03 April 2019 @ 11:15 am
_Guardsman_ part 35  
Not sure I'll include this scene, it seems premature.

Chapter Fourteen

The third time Dave drove the President to Gate City to visit his grandkids, Dave got twitchy and got off the freeway an exit early.

Foo, riding shotgun opened his mouth . . . then shut and subvocalized something to the escort, half of which they’d just lost. “Your reputation . . .”

“I know, or rather I don’t know.” He turned right, left, ahead four blocks, then abruptly left. “Sorry.”

Foo snorted. “Don’t be, the other guys are reporting suspicious activity, cars now running what looks suspiciously like a semi-organized search of alternate routes to Paer’s house . . .”

“Hold on!” Dave wrenched the wheel and hit the brake then the gas. A skidding U-turn and burn rubber as something exploded behind them. A skid turn at the next intersection.

Foo was cursing. “Rocket propelled grenade. You do realize you turned before you could possibly have seen them?”

“That’s how my magic works. In the clutch, not in practice. Now be quiet for a minute, I think we’ve lost contact for a moment.” Dave glanced in the mirror, “Do we have any escort, at the moment?”


“Right, that makes this easier.” He turned up an alley, turned into a driveway and pulled up until the front bumper touched the garage. Put the car in reverse, foot on the brake. And relaxed. “I think it’s over. But lets sit here for a moment and be sure.”

The President sat forward with a grunt. “Despite what everyone keeps saying, I wasn’t quite prepared for Lucky Dave in action. Good job. Any of our guys hurt?”

Foo grunted. “Nothing serious. A couple of local cops injured—car crash. We’ve captured three cars and have nine men in custody, most of them heading for the hospital first. City cops have IDed some local gangsters, probably just hired . . . Oh and an Al Iadrah mid-level—not that they can’t be hired, but they tend to be . . . self-motivating.”

The President picked up his comm. Glanced at it. “Paer says they’re all evaccing to the SGA. We’ll meet them there.” He sat back with a huff. “I wonder what set this off?”

Qayg, who had been silent throughout snorted. “They’re voting on whether to bring the Reclassification Bill out of committee. A general alert—which is no doubt in progress—will postpone that. A successful assassination would put it off until this session expires and all unapproved bills die with it. And the next session? During an election year? Even our side probably won’t bring it up.”

Orde winced. “Well, they always say to not interrupt the enemy while they’re making mistakes. But I wish they’d chose less violent way to lose the next election.”

Dave looked around in surprise.

“If they vote on the bill and it loses, the One First Party will fall apart. They’re a one issue party. Even if the bill passes, there’s a year before the election, for everything to settle down. But right now, the One Firsters are pulling votes from both the Isolationists and the War Party, making it easier for one of the more sensible party candidates to win.”

“Ah. I see. Mostly that I was mistaken in thinking the future was so amazingly civilized.” Dave shook his head. “Is this normal for a Presidential campaign? Murder stating six months ahead of the candidates even announcing that they were running?”

“No, but the one with a lame duck President—me this time around—do tend to be livelier than the ones with an incumbent running for reelection.”

“I see. Maybe someone should drop a hint about the efficacy of just setting off the fire alarm, next time?” Dave backed out and drove onward, through a maze of streets and alleys, and then finally onto a main thoroughfare, onto the freeway and immediately off and through the SGA gate without even slowing.

The president snickered. “I will drop that on someone at an appropriate time.”

Oldy and Itsy both armed to the teeth were waiting just inside, with Ahsi at the wheel of their car. They ducked back into the car and it took off and trailed them all the way to a street full of warehouses . . . All alike except for the numbers . . . except for number Fifty that sported graffiti style 3-D forced perspective rendering of its number.

Ra’d waved them in and pointed at an open vehicle bay. There were other men . . . Right Scar and his team, another couple that he recognized.

Dave turned off the car and stalked to the entrance. “Was meeting here, where everyone in XR knows Paer’s team works a good idea?”

Scar grinned. “The building is very strange. The four of them—Nighthawk is a regular visitor—have put up amazing shields, and they all have bubbled rooms, Plus the three of them are probably the most dangerous people we’ve ever met. I will exclude you from that last, just in case.

“And because we have on record at least three times you took evasive maneuvers before you could possibly have known about it, and the way you went through a couple of intersections was jaw dropping. I’ll bet there’s not a scratch on that car.”

Dave shrugged. “That’s how it works. Generally. I’ve also been known to drive straight into a mess. Ask Davos.”

“We have. Did you really get a tank stuck in a pigsty?”

“Yes. And the stench haunts my worst nightmares. And no, we never got it out.”

Scar looked innocent. “The tank or the smell?”

“Embrace the power of ‘and’ and you will understand many things in this world.”

Joe Wojo Jr: pic#110087271wojorider on April 3rd, 2019 07:20 pm (UTC)
just love this quote. “Embrace the power of ‘and’ and you will understand many things in this world.”
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 3rd, 2019 07:53 pm (UTC)
On Baen's Bar one Bar Fly (poster) uses that as a catch phase.
matapampamuphoff on April 4th, 2019 02:48 am (UTC)
yep. not original.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 4th, 2019 12:49 am (UTC)
==Plus the three of them are probably the most dangerous people we’ve ever met. ==

Poor Rael. A standing joke again.

Edited at 2019-04-04 12:50 am (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on April 4th, 2019 01:13 am (UTC)
Bwhahaha! And since they've met Xen . . . Maybe I'd better make that 3 of the top 5 and then they could argue who ranks where.
(Anonymous) on April 4th, 2019 01:04 am (UTC)
I like the scene. Lucky Dave needs action scenes to show what he can do. But none of his antagonists has gotten in serious licks so far, including the One. He hasn't really faced a serious threat. Is he the first Oner God? God of Luck?

Haven't seen Dave's luck do something stupid yet either. Could you give us some comic relief?

Perhaps you could use this scene now, but featuring a different target? Maybe Izzo? That could work as foreshadowing another more climactic reprise of the event later in the book.
matapampamuphoff on April 4th, 2019 01:33 am (UTC)
At this point, no one has any reason to kill Izzo. But throwing the legislature into a tizzy and dropping some bills they want dropped . . . is still a poor reason to assassinate a president.

Although if the result was an interim committee until the election, which is still over a year away, they might figure they could shoot down the bills they don't like.

But did someone think that the disruptive effect of even an attempt would be useful enough to toss some money to Al Iadrah?
(Anonymous) on April 4th, 2019 03:27 am (UTC)
You can always use someone who has some reason that makes no sense to anyone else. Think Unabomber, except targeting government instead of industry.

He's pissed because his wife, whom he loved, was playing the game and went after a more valuable target, and then she and her new husband died in an auto accident so now he's targeting any government official that reminds him vaguely of what he's mad about because the people he's really mad at are dead. Izzo (if you want to put Izzo in here) hit his radar because he has a hot princess wife and kids, won the Game, and was on the news back when whatever happened (Izzo's made news more than once, IIRC) and this guy's a plotter so bided his time a while before approaching Al-Iadrah.

(Anonymous) on April 6th, 2019 01:11 am (UTC)
Maybe a child of one of the officers from the aborted invasion of Target 42 (if any of their subordinates managed to kill one once the "suicides" started they would be an excellent candidate) who grew up with the knowledge their parent was a hero...

Who has now spent years fulminating & festering over Comet Fall not being conquered when the chance raised it's head again, followed by the claims they were the remnants of Those Left Behind, & again by the dishonor of the "false accusation" that the officers murdered their troops when the invasion was cut off...