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Continuation from here.

(tweaked - June 28th)



Kougaiji frowned as he returned to his desk. "I trust him to do what is in the best interest of his people. The humans know by now that there is no hope of currying favour with Gyumaoh. There would be no long-term gain for him in betraying us."

"This is gonna take some doing," Doku remarked, following him across the room. The map Kougaji had spread out on his desk made it clear just how much distance there was to cover between the fort they were currently occupying and Âvárana.

Kougaiji nodded, his brow knit in a slight frown that was almost becoming habitual. "It's a pity about the long-distance dragons...."

Doku sighed and nodded. "Yeah, I was thinkin' the same thing. But it was better to put them out of their misery, after what happened." Whether it was the inverted thunderclap of power at Gyumaoh's resurection, or simply the bio-engineered beasts reaching the end of their lifespan, they never had been able to determine. But the sudden frenzy the dragons had gone into had been horrific to watch and, left to their own devices, they would have torn each other, and themselves, to shreds.

"I know. And even if they had not been suffering, they were..." He hesitated, his gaze drifting off sideways for a moment.

Bar-coded, Doku supplied silently.

"Traceable," Kougaiji finished briskly. "So, we are left to more mundane means of travel."

"It's gonna take weeks," Doku groaned. "Oh, for a Jeep."

Kougaiji slanted a dark look at him. "Now you're just being lazy."

"Eh?"

"We can still travel faster than humans."

Doku studied the map again. "Yeah, but."

"If it takes weeks, it takes weeks, General. We need this alliance."

With a slight toss of his head, Doku sighed. "I know. And us getting there isn't really the problem."

"No, it isn't," Kougaiji agreed, raising a corner of the map to search for another piece of paper.

"Moving our army is...." Sliding the map out of the way, Doku tapped a claw against the most recent enrollment and supply lists.

"Will be," Kougaiji corrected absently, picking up the lists with a nod of thanks. "The more immediate concern is to whom you will delegate your authority while we're gone."

"Johar," Doku replied without stopping to think about it.

Kougaiji made a considering noise as he sank down into his chair. "You think he is ready for that?"

"The men respect him, Kou, and he has a real talent for inspiring and leading them."

Glancing up, Kougaiji held Doku's gaze for a long moment.

"Hey, you're the one that told me to stop thinking of him as Gojyo," Doku said quietly. "He might have been..." He stopped, unable to find a single word to describe the brother he'd known only briefly as a man. "Well. That's not why."

"There are others who have been with us longer who might take such a decision as a slight."

"Not many," Doku replied softly. Their "escape" from Hotou Castle had turned into a bloodbath for the men loyal to the Prince. Too many had paid with their lives.

And Yaone....

He shook his head sharply, trying to dislodge the thought. "I don't think it'll be an issue, Kou. They all have their divisions and men to look after."

"And you're promoting Johar above that, if only for a short while."

"Kou," Doku began, warning creeping into his tone. "I know the men are loyal to you. But they trust me, too." His army now, though to a man they would die for Kougaiji.

"All right," Kougaiji replied after a moment. "Let's get on with preparations, then."

Date: 2005-07-08 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reichsfreiherr.livejournal.com
Hmm… interesting. Particularly the possible effects of Gyumaoh’s resurrection.

I can’t help but think of the stock image of electrical storms that tamper with the mind. Most horrific.

Date: 2005-07-09 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nekonexus.livejournal.com
I think electrical storms would be a very apt parallel image, except the ripples would have been invisible... although I suppose they can be with electrical storms as well... I'm just more accustomed to the image of them being accompanied by lightning.

Date: 2005-07-09 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reichsfreiherr.livejournal.com
Lightning outside or along cables perhaps but between subspace the ripples would probably be unseen anyway.
Of course, I’m rambling now…

And one year I might even buy that anthology but until then I shall have to look forward to whatever you choose to post.

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