Saturday, January 11, 2014

Legio Urbilis

“What the hell happened here?”  The crew and guests of the catamaran were gathered back on the boat for the night.
“Didja see the mess tent?”  The others nodded and assented in their fashion.
“I saw the tent and it was a mess but I don’t understand the significance of what I saw.” Ch’Voga said.  “What did I miss?”
“About how many soldiers would you say it could hold, laddie?” Dunbar asked him.
“Perhaps two score.”
“Aye, a pair o’ dozens if their cozy.”  He leaned back as if he’d made his point.
“And that’s … odd?”
“It’s a mite bit short’o a legion, reverend.  By aboot five t’ousand.”
“Perhaps this is only an outpost and the rest of the legion is somewhere else?”
“Could be.  A listenin’ post, a whisker they calls it.  Aye, grant ye, could be a whisker but the other signs say tis the whole dog.  Or what’s left of it.”
“Well, take our wee Sergeant Mac Omber, f’rinstance.  Since when does an NCO give orders and make decisions without checking in wi’ headquarters?  Mm?  They doon’t.  And why so many support lizards for jes’ one wee tank?  Place is lousy wi’ ‘em.  Where are the swaggerin’ front-line pikers?  What’s a legion wi’out soldiers?”
“Ouais! Tout semble usé: uniformes, véhicules, les gens.”
“That they do, Joostine, that they do.”
“What do what now?”
“She said they’re all lookin’ a mite worse for wear, laddie.  I tell ye, the sooner we quit this troop the better.  This place has a haunted look aboot it.”
“Haunted?” Kurga asked.
“Haunted, I says…or hunted.”

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