Seconded Colour

Sorry for the pause. Now that this is headed for novel-hood, I cannot keep scrolling up and down to recall tertiary character names; you never know when they might get their own book. Also, I’ve begun to print regional maps and make notes of legionary and other military dispositions.

I’m guessing that Colour sees what she will be telling the general as “old information, ” and thus not classified. It is, of course, for her, but for Aurie it is the world through a human’s eyes, not some data feed into her enhanced mind. She’s old enough to value that.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

Colour had awoken at some point in the night, bewildered at where she was for a few moments.  Her sore butt brought recollection.  She eased out of the cot and poured and drank some water.  It had the faint chlorine smell of the recently treated.  Back down, it seemed she had only closed her eyes for a moment before hearing calls and shouts from outside.  An outside with the morning sun streaming through her partly open tent flap.  A glance at her windup watch said just before seven before pushing her way outside.

“Morning, Ma’am,” a sentry in battle gear with a machine pistol in a tactical sling declared to her left.

“G… good morning.” He had some kind of patch on his upper arm but it was unrecognizable to her.  “About a bathroom…?”

“Here, first, Ma’am,” the man pointed to a rucksack just behind his boots.  “Toiletry kit, plus.  General’s orders.”

“Thank you,” she said, looking about at the bustle of hundreds of uniformed men at this hour.  “Which way do I go?”

“Stream for rinsin’ that that ways,” he tossed his head left.  “Shittin’ and pissin’, opposite.”

“Right, please.”

“Of course, Ma’am.  Follow me.”

“You’re my bodyguard, sold – er – legionary?” she asked with a tiny smile.

“Escort, Ma’am,” he corrected.  “You ‘uns don’t need no bodyguard here.  A guest of the princess?  In the heart of her army?  You are in the safest place on earth.”

“I guess so,” Colour agreed softly.

“Here’s you goes, Ma’am,” her escort said, waving ahead to the trench.  About a dozen now slightly embarrassed young men looked up from their squat.  “For decorum’s sake, there’s a single towel, like a drapery, just there to the left.”

“We in the Northern Federation, men and women, are not snowflakes, legionary,” she said in an even voice while pulling some of that rough toilet paper from the rucksack, even if she was a little nervous on the inside.  She took her place about a yard from someone who looked like a boy of barely eighteen and pulled her pants down.  When he glanced and turned red, she smiled, “Morning!”

Forgoing a splash in the stream at the far opposite end of the camp, the legionary, ranker Blaise, he told her when asked, took her back to her tent and told her there was a fresh uniform inside.  A cotton-wool-polyester blend, it fit her very well.  Someone had even taken the time to stencil “C. Jansen” over the jacket’s right pocket.  The moment she stepped back outside, Blaise asked her to follow him once more. 

A few steps had them to the adjacent command tent.  Just outside was a slightly older man, perhaps mid-20s, in a chair at a table awash in paperwork.  A look up had him tilt his head for them her to go in.  Her escort remained outside.

It was a little darker but with the front and some window flaps open, she took in several tables with eight men, some seated, some standing.  At the center behind the largest table was her friend.  General Princess Aurelia Hartmann.  Who with one word could lay waste to her country.

“Friend Colour!” she cried as she looked up.  Coming around the table, she gave her a great hug.  “Pretty daring, taking a dump in front of my men!”

“I’m told I’m safer here than anywhere else,” Colour rejoined.  “And I’m too old to worry about modesty, Miss Wanders-about-in-her-panties.”

“Hah!  Sit over there,” she indicated the only empty stool, “and be older about what I do.  Any questions about the composition of the ad hoc cohort I suspect we’ll not use, legate?”

“No,” Paras replied.  “I’ll send notice to the men but not pull anyone until we hear from up north.  Other orders for Fifth Legion?”

“Just what I mentioned at the start,” Hartmann said, pointing, Jansen saw, at a map of greater Boston.  “I shall take two cohorts south in the direction of the old city center.  I care to see with my own eyes the state of the deepwater port facilities.  Can you shed any light on what we might see on our way and once there, Miss Jansen?”

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