Sharoma Frontierverse Why Did The Groigan Dance? Chapter 28

Why Did The Groigan Dance?

Chapter 28

War and Peace

"Yes, that is what we mean, Mr. President," Charon said politely. "Both of our organizations have been had the wool severely pulled over our eyes by these rogue terrorists."

"Really," President Wilson of the Federation said, eyebrow raised. It wasn't a question. "I do not recall any of our people making an aggressive move on Imperial territory."

"We are sorry for that, Mr. President," the Emperor smoothly put in. "At the time, we had significant reason to believe that it was 'your people' who were slaughtering innocent Imperial citizens. You will be giving full reparations of course."

"Naturally. I still find it odd that no one has accepted responsibility for the incident at Mount Olympus."

"Ah, aren't we all, good sir?" Floyd replied gracefully, dodging the bullet with ease. Bush suppressed a smile.

"Yes, a truly tragic event. One of the worst terrorists events ever, I am sure that children fifty years from now will be learning it in their history courses," Charon continued.

A pained look crossed Bush's face. This was a terrible topic, but God! he was getting to like this acting stuff. "I'm not sure you are placating the President any, my lord Duke. You have our sincere condolences - the Empire, and all of mankind, weeped on that cursed day." For a moment Bush considered becoming a poet. He managed to shake the thought before he was overcome with a bout of laughter, hand on his cross to protect his lying soul.

"Yes, yes," President Wilson said. His eyes flicked towards something offscreen. "I'm afraid that I must go now, but rest assured that I am pleased that this conflict has come to an end and that peace may now flourish between us."

"Likewise, Mr. President," Duval replied. "I do believe that the Federal Agency for the Pursuit of Public Happiness will find quite a large donation in its accounts tomorrow by one Sudaj Abrahams."

"Perfect, Emperor Duval." They exchanged pleasantries, and the holoscreen communicator switched off.

"Well, at least that's over," Bush commented, letting out a deep breath. "I can see where the rest of the Feds get their arrogance from."

"Don't forget, he was elected into office," Floyd pointed out. "The President is supposedly the epitome of what a Federal citizen should stand for." He picked his cloak off of a stand in the corner and threw it around his shoulders. "I trust you got all of that, Baron?"

"Definitely, sir." Bush grinned and poked one of his metallic eyes, provoking a sickened groan from Charon. "Thanks for showing me how to get these babies working."

"It was my pleasure, Baron; anything that is good for the Empire." A pained look crossed his face. "Can you stop poking them though?"

Bush grinned and removed his hand from his face.

A few moments later the group had dispersed, each going his own way. Bush found himself silently walking with Charon, blank-faced guards walking behind them with lasguns at the ready.

"You know what this means, don't you?" Charon said finally. He didn't look at the Baron.

"What? It means we aren't going to go to war, obviously," Bush replied, looking over at Charon, who was looking at the ground pointedly. "You heard the President."

"Oh we aren't going to war with the Federal dogs anymore, you can rest assured of that." Charon tore his eyes from the plush carpets and gazed at Bush somberly. "But that doesn't mean we aren't going to go to war. And that you aren't our most capable fighter."

Bush topped in his tracks, almost causing one of the guards to crash into him. "What the hell is that supposed to mean? Of course we are going to go and get Red and Ulysses, but after that, what's left?"

Charon smiled wanly. "I keep forgetting you began a grunt and you're a grunt at heart. Of course we're going to rescue those two. Of course, if you think that it'll stop there, you're a damn fool." He pointed to the cross on Bush's chest; one could see its outline through his shirt. "I didn't give you that because I thought you were a stupid man. Do you think that simply because we figure out the evil plot and rescue our boys, we can ride off into the sunset? This isn't a Wayne Johnson movie, dammit! That damn Brunswick won't stop whatever he's doing if we don't kill him, and there are still Thargoids to worry about! Or did you forget?" Spit flew from the little man's mouth, he was so enraged.

Bush raised his hands defensively. "Hey, calm down. You want the cross back, you can have it." His moved to take off the chain.

"No, no...that's all right, Jonny," Charon sighed heavily. They began walking again, guards following, though the one guard did not march so close to Bush this time. "The recent events have been getting to me, that's all. Besides, as I said, once a grunt, always a grunt."

Bush laughed merrily. "I'd hardly call myself a 'grunt'."

"Yeah, you got the speech down right but you have a steadier hand."

"And I can count to ten."

"The plan is almost at a head, Lord Brunswick," Frost hissed, kneeling in front of the former Prince. Redfield, from his cell, felt his hatred well up inside of him again. "The targeted one will be arriving soon, according to our Imperial sources. All is ready."

"Splendid," Redfield heard the traitor say; he could only see the traitor's feet from this vantage point. "You are dismissed. Tell the other to get in here."

"The Other" was Comrade Putin. At least that was the name he allowed the Count and Sinclair to call him by. The communist was a level-headed and fair man, interested simply in doing his job and collecting his pay, having none of the unprovoked malice of Frost.

"Yes, sir," Frost replied coldly, standing up. Redfield saw the anger and jealousy in the Lavian's posture, and the way he strode out of the room.

"C..can you feel the loooove?" Sinclair asked weakly from the corner. He wasn't looking that good - alcohol withdrawal is a nasty thing. Pale and shaking, Sinclair grinned uneasily. "If we're lucky, they'll all kill each other and then we'll be free to go."

"I wouldn't bet on it, Squire," Redfield grinned back. "Don't worry, Wolf and Mark'll get us out of here."

"Really, my dear Count?" Redfield looked back to the traitor's feet. "I haven't seen any heroics yet, I'm afraid. Do not, fear, however; the Baron is coming, but I doubt that he will be able to prevent your own demise."