away

“I wish you didn’t have to go off to war again, Jack.”

“Me too,” he wanted to say, but instead uttered: “Duty calls. Heterocera needs me — us.”

“So you’ll take Tronesisia with you?”

“Of course. Unless you think you need her more here for your services.”

“No no,” his wife Kate McCoy insisted. “She gives me great pleasure but I can find that elsewhere. There’s a little shop in the village that sells somewhat acceptable alternatives.”

“Good.” He pauses to think of the likely alternatives and shakes his head a bit. The price they pay for war, specifically 680 lindens or so in this particular aspect — last time he checked. “I’m sorry again that I have to do this.”

“Well. Summerhill Nova *stressed* that Heterocera isn’t dead and that VHC City can continue on as a powerful ally for us. *And* as they face a threat from the west I suppose there’s no alternative than to help out a — friend? Can we call Summerhill now a true friend? She tried to kill our mother, brother, and niece and nephew. And that was only in the last year!”

“She’s assured me that’s all in the past,” Jack Snow reinforced, thinking several weeks back to the, hopefully, final attempted assassination of a family member at the hands of Clan Nova. Poisoned ketchup. Luckily, Nephew Jimmy was a mustard guy. “We can put all that behind us. If we–”

“–help them,” Kate McCoy finishes for him. Her makeup applied, she gets up to accompany her husband to the awaiting battle ship. So much more needed to be said. Why the Fries with Cheese Church again, of all the religions Summerhill could have chosen? The one that would obviously lead to conflict.

(to be continued)

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