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   Chapter 63 No.63

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 4922

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

There was a soft, vague, understanding empathic chorus of approval.

"What those young guys don't have is experience!" Smythe said wryly. "And at three in the morning when you're lying under a bush or behind a sandbag instead of in your warm comfy bed back home, trying to find a spot on your body that doesn't hurt, you will know exactly what I mean by 'will to fight'!"

A slightly louder chorus of voices came from the assembly. Smythe paced a little, then continued, shouting.

"When Little Johnny Fascist Wannabe is nodding off on the front line taking a beauty nap – I'm going be right there, wide awake, standing over him with my blaster – asking him where he wants it!"

Cheers began to rise from the volunteers throats. "I want you there right beside me!" He shouted. "Where will you be?"

"Right there with you!" The words reverberated across the barnyard like a peal of thunder.

"Where will you be?"

"Right there with you!"

"Where will you be?"

"Right there with you!"

When the cheering died down, Smythe continued, lowering his voice to sound mean and menacing.

"I look at you all – and do you know what I see? I see the best Deanna has to offer! Not the youngest, probably not the smartest!" He chuckled. "And gods know, certainly not the prettiest!" A couple of chuckles came from the crowd. "But I tell you – those young jokers who came here to play soldier, who think war is some kinda game, have no idea who they're messing with!"


"For us, maybe – but what about all those people in that awful place? How could anything be okay for any of them ever again?"

Tim gently held her face in both hands and looked her in the eye.

"Hey!" He whispered. "It's going to be okay! We're doing all that we can – more than anyone else can do to make it right! To make Deanna safe again – for everyone! We need to keep it going, Dory! We can't slack off or lose hope, or give up!"

The Reserve Army's troops began to file up the ramp, carrying their meager possessions, folded tents and kit, past them into the Celeste's cavernous cargo bay, while the old ships drive system came online and began to hum faintly all around them as it warmed up in preparation for take-off.

In the barnyard, another farewell was taking place, between Jenny Grauffis and the former resident of her basement – a dark-skinned, scaly reptilian biped a little taller than her, dressed in the Starmarine uniform of the Reserve Army.

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