[Vfw-times] MK Winter Assault part 55
COkane8116 at aol.com
COkane8116 at aol.com
Fri Nov 16 00:47:39 CST 2001
"Yes, Dad?" they both chimed, their high piping voices well formed from out
of their rodential snouts.
"Would you get these three gentleman something to eat. And don't fight over
who gets to carry the extra plate this time." His voice carried that
weariness only a father with mischievous sons could have.
Both of the young squirrel's tails twitched as they looked at each other and
then back at the three Sondeckis. Their eyes settled on the rat and then
grew very large, nearly popping out of their head. "Charles!" one of them
shouted in delight, skittering over, almost on all fours to be at the scout's
side. "You came back!" the other added as he joined his brother.
Charles looked at them both, trying to decide which was which and failing
completely of course, and then smiled affectionately, giving them both a pat
on the head. "Good to see you two as well. Are you being good little helpers
for your Father?"
One of them, Darien he thought, nodded and wrapped his tail about one of the
table legs. "We're helping to make the arrows!"
"Oh really?" Charles aid, letting his eyes widen in amazement. "That takes a
lot of skill, why you two must be very talented." He could hear Brian stifle
a laugh over his shoulder. Both the other two Sondeckis were grinning as
they watched. Angus and Garigan nodded in agreement with Charles though,
congratulating the two young squirrels for their efforts.
"Mr. Berchem says in another year we'll be making them for the whole Glen!"
Christopher proclaimed proudly, or was it Darien? They'd both grown several
inches since the last time Charles had seen them, he could not even guess
which was which!
"I'm sure he's right," Charles said, smiling that huge grin which encompassed
his thick set of whiskers. His stomach then offered an indignant growl, and
he had to chuckle. "Now, would you do us three a favour and bring us
something good to eat?"
"I'll do it!" one of the two shouted, darting off towards the kitchen behind
the counter. However, his brother was following right after him, protesting
that he'd be the one to get their food. Lord Avery sighed, shaking his head,
his tail laying against the floor in defeat, but laughing lightly with the
others around the table.
Jerome watched their long tails dart behind the counter and out of view and
then looked at Brian whimsically. "Those are your children? They're
adorable, and slightly incorrigible too, I might add."
"And they're a bit taller than I remember them," Charles added, looking back
to the exasperated father.
Brian nodded a bit, leaning back in his chair slightly. "Yes, they've grown
nearly half a foot since April. They don't even go around in clothes during
the summer, because they keep outgrowing them! I think Walter stitches them
new outfits every four months."
"Why are they growing so fast?" Zagrosek asked, even as he drew his cloak
tighter about himself, as if the mention of heat had left him chilled.
Lord Avery turned to the lack-haired Sondeckis, his face gone curious.
"Aren't you from Metamor?"
Zagrosek shook his head, "No, Charles is an old friend who we're visiting.
You'll have to bear with our ignorance, I'm afraid."
Angus and Brian looked at each other quickly, their faces suddenly very
serious. "You do realize that if you stay here for long you may end up like
us? We are still inside the radius of the curse here at Glen Avery."
"We know," Jerome said, glancing back at the kitchen door once before turning
his wide face to look at the three Glenners seated across from him. "We are
willing to take that risk."
"We'll help you in anyway we can, and stay for as long as we are needed,"
Zagrosek added, favouring them a tight grin.
Angus nodded approvingly, while Lord Avery smiled. "I'm very glad to hear
that. We can use all the help that we can muster up here. What can you do?
Are you good fighters, scouts? Can you use a bow, staff, sword? What are
your specialties. We're going to be making our plans soon, and I'd like to
know what you are capable of."
The two Sondeckis flashed glances at each other, smiling slightly, while
Charles just chuckled to himself. Jerome, then spoke, his voice certain,
"Whatever Charles is capable of, we can match it. Our strong suit though is
close combat. We could wield bows if necessary, but I'm afraid our accuracy
leaves much to be desired."
Lord Avery shook his head then. "We have more than enough archers. What
weapons do you use?"
Zagrosek set the retracted Sondeshike on the table and just gave them a
rather amused smile. Jerome held out his hands and favoured them with a
similar smirk. "We don't need much, Charles can tell you."
Angus reached out and plucked the small cylinder from the table, and examined
it in his paws. He traced two thick, hairy claws across the smooth surface,
twisting it about, but he did not press the catch set in the middle. Setting
it back down before the black-haired Sondeckis, he gave the man a very
dubious stare. "Show me what you can do with that."
Zagrosek took the Sondeshike and extended it with a flick of his wrist,
spinning it over his head in a graceful arc before stashing beneath his arm
and shoulder. "Something along those lines."
The badger laughed quite loudly, while Lord Avery just stared in disbelief at
the large staff that had suddenly appeared in the Sondecki's hand. "If we had
the time, and Nasoj's army wasn't marching over top of our home, I'd take you
out to the fields and spar with you a bit, just to see how good you really
are with that thing. What do you call it?"
"A staff usually," Zagrosek said, returning it to its compact form and
slipping it beneath his robes once more. A plate suddenly found itself in
front of him, as the two young squirrels returned with their breakfast.
Charles grinned at the two boys, but they quickly ran off back behind the
counter, probably to work on more arrows. They'd been served a large helping
off eggs, with a biscuit on one side, and a small portion of warm oats.
"I see Mrs. Levins has taken over all the cooking for you." Charles spooned
some of the eggs into his muzzle, and knew instantly he'd been right. There
was some flavour to them that he'd never known in simple scrambled eggs
Jerome and Zagrosek were too busy feeding their faces to add to the rat's
peroration, but Brian Avery nodded emphatically. "She has a way of making
even the simplest of meals taste like a banquet." His dark eyes trailed after
his sons, and then his face lit up with a forgotten question. "Oh, you
wondered why they are growing so fast. Because they were born as squirrels,
they age faster than normal children would. It is a burden that Angela and I
are happy to bear, except that it makes them twice as hyper as normal
Zagrosek chuckled between mouthfuls, and grinned, "Well, they are adorable."
Then, he paused a moment and swallowed the last of his eggs. "Now, you said
you've been discussing what you are going to do about this supply line. What
have you thought of so far?"
Angus, Garigan, and Brian Avery leaned over the table further. A few of the
other Glenners that had been mired in their own conversations stopped and
turned to watch them as well. Charles chewed down a bit of the oats as he
gazed down at the map of the northern Valley before them. He recognized the
ravine between Mount Nuln and Kalegris that Misha and he had scouted last
April, where the Lutins had been building catapults. However, where the
squirrel's paws were was atop the forests near the Giant's Dike.
"Our scouts have found that Baron Calephas is making his camp just south of
the Dike. They've got provisions there to last at least a month, and every
few hours or so, a wagon is loaded and sent south to Metamor along the old
North Road. As Garigan has informed us, and our scouts have confirmed, there
are about twenty Lutins guarding each transport, with ten covering each
"Yes, we found that out the hard way," Jerome muttered as pushed his plate
"Now, Calephas's camp appears to be well guarded, and there are several
hundred Lutins stationed there. They're going to Metamor piecemeal, but as
it stands, we do not have the manpower to assault his camp. But we do need
to stop those supplies from reaching Metamor."
"So what are we going to hit instead?" the skunk named Berchem asked.
"I think we should try to destroy the bridge." There was a bit of a gasp from
several around the room. "It is the easiest way to cross the gorge in the
hills without going to the eastern side of the Valley. Without that bridge,
Calephas won't be able to get the supplies to Nasoj's troops for some time,
hopefully long enough for the Metamorians to turn back the assault. Now, it
is being guarded, several squadrons of Lutins on both sides, and several
hounds with them, so we'll have to be cautious in our approach. We cannot be
certain how many patrols they have circling the area either."
Angus tapped the line of the gorge that drew up into the Western mountains.
"Perhaps we could come in from below? Torch the bridge, let it burn. It is
made from wood after all."
"We'd need an awfully hot fire in this weather," Berchem pointed out, his
monochromatic tail circling behind his head.
Avery glanced over his shoulder at the woodpecker who was hopping from one
foot to the other so he could see. "Burris, do you think you could help
"I think so yes, I'd just need a few moments free from distraction to
convince the wood to burn hot enough."
"Good, then we'll definitely have to send a team down into that ravine.
Unfortunately, that means they'll need to leave several hours before the
rest. We'll have to have an attack up above as well, to keep the Lutins
occupied while Burris destroys the bridge. Bercham, I would like you to take
several of your archers and accompany Burris in the ravine. Charles, why
don't you and your friends accompany them, you may run into some unpleasant
company on the way."
Charles nodded and hen glanced at the skunk, who was grinning slightly, "We'd
be delighted to do so. When are you planning to attack?"
Brian Avery gazed at him, his face set in a firm moue. "As soon as you can
reach the bridge. It takes three hours to walk there via the road. You'll
have to take the long way around, so you had best leave within the hour.
Once we are finished making our plans, we'll get you powdered up and then you
can be off."
"Powdered?" Jerome asked suddenly, noting the amused grin that had crossed
the skunk's face. Angus wore a similar one, and as he looked about, he
noticed that almost every Glenner wore that mischievous smirk.
"Of course, you'll need to blend in, and you are not quite white enough to do
that yet," Lord Avery said, his own smile quite large.
Jerome and Zagrosek looked at each other uncertainly, but then shrugged, and
turned back to the map. Charles had to stuff his biscuit into his mouth to
keep from laughing.
End part 55
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the VFW-Times