United States

Cellist who kinda wants to see his fictional world burn
Definitely won't pull a Nero on his world

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Slowly getting a story that's been stuck in my head onto keyboard and screen after it spent enough time in there to have a whole book on lore and characters alone.

The Start of the Plan

May 21, 2021


    “I’d ask how y’all are doing,” Lieutenant Colonel Kern told her company. “But I’ve asked that way too many times. I’ve gotten the same answers I’ve always had, losses to the company and general distaste of how the revolutionaries’ visions brought us here. So I’ll instead ask, who wants out?”

    Her question floated through the air as her company looked at her, shock dominating faces that were full of sorrow and boredom.

    “These wars have followed us from the queen’s era and forced us to continue fighting them while our new leaders sit in their ivory towers and play God with us,” she continued. “Every day I get new orders, and the little spark inside of me grows as each order is burnt in it. And I’m sure you all feel that way. I can see it on all of your faces. So, if you’d like to desert us, I won’t call it in. Hell, I might even join any deserters. You have until 2200 hours to decide who’d you like to stand with before those not deserting march to join Colonel Garavito's battalion. Captain Salcedo, Captain Tovar, and Lieutenant Moshe, I’d like to speak with you three privately. Everyone else, get some sleep and fill up on food and water.”

    “Can I ask why we’re meeting with you, Colonel?” Salcedo asked as the three followed Kern.

    “Routine status update on the company,” Kern replied.

    “With all due respect Colonel,” Moshe said. “I don’t see why I’m grouped with the captains. I don’t give or do any reports on the company, and not to mention, the captains gave an update yesterday.”

    “Just stick with me, Lieutenant,” Kern said. “All will be explained.”

    Kern opened the flap to the command tent and waved the three inside before waving away the guards outside the tent.

    “Lieutenant, to answer your unasked question, this is not a status update,” Kern said, walking in and sitting on the tent’s only stool. “At least, not an official status update. I wanted to know where you all stood on the option to desert. You three have permission to speak freely on this matter.”

    “Is this personal opinions on the matter or our platoons’ opinion, or squad in the Lieutenant’s place?” Tovar asked.

    “Both,” Kern said. “But I’d like to hear personal opinions first.”

    “I honestly don’t know Colonel,” Tovar said. “I agree with you that each order’s been more fuel to the fire, but my personal fire’s never grown to a point where it made me even consider deserting.”

    “I’ve always considered deserting,” Salcedo said. “The Queen’s Guard was never the best regiment to be in. I’m not trying to question your promotions Colonel, and no offense either, but had I not been enlisted into the Queen’s Guard I probably would have been made a general.”

    “No offense taken Salcedo,” Kern said. “Lieutenant, any thoughts on this?”

    “I’ve built my career on strictly following the rules,” Moshe said. “And as page 34, section 20, subsection 20A in the Enlisted Personnel’s Handbook of both the Queen's version and the Collective's version clearly states, ‘No Personnel shall consider, talk about, or go through with deserting any and all units.’ My answer is no, Colonel. I will not desert. I speak for both my squad and myself when I say that.”

    “You’ve never thought of leaving a unit at any point in your career Lieutenant?” Tovar asked. “I find that hard to believe.”

    “No, Captain, I have not thought about it at all,” Moshe said. “And if I did, I’d have to report it according to page 14, section 20, subsection 20B, which states that, ‘All considerations, talks, or actions of deserting are to be reported to the nearest highest-ranking officer available.’ which in this case is our dear Lieutenant Colonel Kern.”

    “Did you miss the part where the Colonel said she might join the deserters?” Tovar asked.

    “I didn’t,” Moshe said. “Which is why page 15, section 20, subsection 20D is there. Quote, ‘If the highest-ranking officer is either deserting or otherwise incapacitated, Desertion Reports are to be reported to the General of the Army, a General, or a Lieutenant General.’ And as you all know, my uncle is the General of the Army.”

    “Not for long with how he’s running things,” Salcedo muttered.

    "What was that Captain?" Moshe asked innocently. “Doth mine ears deceive me or is that a complaint I need to add to my report Captain?”

    “Might as well be Lieutenant,” Salcedo said. “Just know he’ll be soon replaced by the Collective. And about damn time they did.”

    “We are getting off track,” Kern said, stopping Moshe’s retort before it started. “As it currently stands, I have a Captain who's all for deserting, a Captain who’s unsure, and a Lieutenant who’ll report all deserters to his uncle. How about the platoons?”

    “My platoon has been started talks about deserting so I’m sure they’re packing up and getting ready for tomorrow,” Salcedo said. “A few might stay back, so feel free to add them to your snub-nosed squad Lieutenant.”

    “Duly noted Captain,” Moshe said, sarcasm dripping from his voice at the title.

    “My platoon will follow me no matter what I order them to do,” Tovar said quickly. “So whether or not I join, my platoon will stand firmly with me.”

    “And the Lieutenant’s rule-following squad will join Colonel Garavito’s battalion tomorrow on their way to fight Lady Yang's army,” Kern said. “Lieutenant, I have two orders for you. Order one, return to your squad, prep them for the march tomorrow, and start your Desertion Report to General Moshe. Your squad and any other company members who won't desert will leave at 2200 hours tomorrow night. And order two, from 2200 hours tomorrow until you join with Colonel Garavito's battalion, you have full command of your squad and any who join you no matter their rank. I'll have a letter with both my written approval and my official seal regarding both those orders sent to you before you leave. Dismissed, Lieutenant.”

    Moshe saluted to Kern and quickly left the tent, writing furiously in a notepad.

“Salcedo, any idea of how many in your platoon will desert with you?” Kern asked.

    “As a general estimate, about half of them Major,” Salcedo said. “What are the deserters going to do after Moshe’s squad leaves?”

    “We'll essentially become an army for hire. There’s bound to be some kingdom or country who wants an army that used in the Collective’s army,” Kern said. “We know the tactics and numbers the Collective has. And when we add in Tovar’s highly successful information squad, we’re valuable troops. We have the information and training others have only dreamed of getting.”

    "I assume this is the first step in your four step plan Colonel?" Tovar asked.

    "It is," Kern replied. "Step 1 is a two part step. Part one is to desert the Collective. Part two is to try and find any survivors of Major Burch's platoon and get them to join us."

    "You still think she's out there Colonel?" Salcedo asked. "It's been what, two months since we split and a month since you got the note from Lady Yang?"

    "She's a highly effective officer," Kern said. "If anyone can survive an attack by Lady Yang's army, it'd be her. I suggest you all don't doubt her if you haven't started doing so already. All who are deserting will leave after the Lieutenant does at 0100 hours. You have until Lieutenant Moshe leaves to inform and convince your platoons of their choices. If there is nothing else, you are dismissed."

    Both captains saluted to Kern and left her tent. Outside of it, they shared a look of concern for their commanding officer.

    "It's unhealthy you know," Tovar said. "Her continuing obsession of finding Major Burch."

    "I know about it all to well," Salcedo said as she walked towards her platoon. "i've had my fair share of moments like hers. It never ended well for me or the missing member."
A/N: Well, well, well. I can safely say the plot is officially moving along, we met the core cast of this story (minus Moshe), and I hopefully start a continuing thing with author's notes. And surely those last few sentences aren't cases of severe foreshadowing....right?


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