02/21/2020 Snippet, SWAMP PATROL.

This may be a little too much. I haven’t decided yet.


Tim thought that halflings were good at moving silently before, but when the reek of bad magic was in the air you could almost track one from where the sound wasn’t. And they were fast. Maybe even a little faster than Tim was.

But they were keeping pace with him, which was the important thing. It meant that when he heard the unmistakable accent of a Universal Dominion mage — which was absolutely impossible, this far east — the Ranger was able to keep what was now suddenly a rescue squad in good order, with no delays or confusion. That would be important.

“Nora,” said Tim as calmly as he could, “You running hot, or cold?” A quick look sideways told him the answer, but everything was training. Everything, including this.

“I’m running hot, Ranger-Man,” admitted Nora as they paused for a precious minute to catch their breaths. “I know I want to run cold, but it’s a fucking Dominion mage. They make it hard.”

“I hear ya, Nora. But you know you. You fight better hot, or cold?”

“Depends on the day I’m having, Ranger-Man.” Nora looked at the other three halflings. “We won’t lose our shit, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I ain’t asking that, Recruits. I’m asking if all y’all are where you need to be. Bring the ice, bring the fire, just as long as you bring something.”

“Don’t worry about that, Ranger-Man,” said Markie. He sounded like one of the ones who liked to run cold. “When it’s the Dominion, we bring everything we can carry.”

1 Comment

  • acat says:

    …. what, in this, is possibly “too much” ?
    Captures the concern, both quasi-familial and personal, Tim’s havin’, bringin’ what are apparently green or greenish troops (and from a different ethic group) into combat with an unexpectedly foul foe.
    Captures the confidence of the troops .. one hopes they’re not over-confident, but .. fortunes of war and all that.
    Still don’t grok the magic system, so I’ve rigged a heavy duty suspension-of-disbelief net around those aspects until you finally take my money and give me a book…
    Cat’s opinion .. it’s not too over the top, nor too much.

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