The suicide squeeze play

I wonder if I could have talked them out of it.  I’m pretty good at talking people into doing things and out of doing things too.  That’s like my special power.  Even now, in this place, I’m still pretty good at it.   I was worried about that when I first woke up in the aftermath of the world implosion.  Would my well-honed ability to influence people be useless when I can barely understand what anyone is saying and those people also have an entirely different life of experience from mine and their own alien value system? 

Turns out I was worried for nothing.  I’m still great at it! 

If I had tried probably what I would have said to the nomads is that they were actually being cowards by engaging in their suicide attack.  If I had tried that what I would have said to them is that reclaiming your honor by throwing your life away is bad math.  That if they really wanted to undisgrace themselves that they had to do it the hard way, but earning it every day forward.  I would have said something like, you want your land and your dignity back?  How does dying for nothing accomplish that you dirty cowards?  Go back home, rally all the clans or whatever you have in your society, gather your weapons, get your shit together, and then fight to get it back.

I didn’t try though.  I wonder if it would have worked.  An appeal to their vanity might have worked better.  Trying to shame them into it might have been a bad hand to play.  Martialla and Lucien were franticly trying to figure out a way to coordinate with the Antolpians to let them know that the attack was coming.  Any potential disruption of the Invincible blockade could have given the defenders a chance to sally forth and maybe try to take back the river-fort.  Or just get some forces on the outside to harass the Invincible.  They had all sorts of plans for what could happen if they could make contact with the defenders.

But there was no way to do that.  Other than trying to sneak in under the cover of night through the Invincible patrols, and then also finding a way to sneak back out.  And no one was willing to try that.  Maybe I could have convinced one of the Jesus girls to do it.  I’m pretty good at convincing people of things.  But I didn’t try. 

The next morning the plainspeople mounted up for their death ride.  There was a goth rock band called Death Ride back in LA.  Linda LeSabre was the lead singer, I remember because I met her at a party once and I happened to be driving a 75 Buick LeSabre Custom Hardtop Coupe at the time.  Until then I didn’t know that LeSabre was a real name that people had.  And no, that wasn’t a stage name because her stage name was Beastmistress because she was in a goth band so of course it was. 

The funny thing (relatively speaking) is that the suiciders drove right through the Invincible cordon at first.  The Invincible were so surprised by the attack that they didn’t react right away.  I remember an old timer at the VFW telling me a story like that.  One time his CO ran through a German held position to link up up with another unit and no one shot at him because what he was doing was so insane that no one knew what was going on. 

The plainspeople drove a full circle around Antolpe before the Invincible started trying to kill them.  Wasn’t the opening scene in Dances with Wolves like that?  Was that movie based on a true story?  Seems like it might have been based on a real thing.  Is there a parallel there?  If you’re in shitty gun times instead of trying to avoid fire is the best you can do zip around right in front of the people trying to shoot you? 

Once the Invincible dove into the killing with both feet it didn’t take long.  The most interesting part is that all the activity stirred up a beast like the one that bit off Paul’s kneecap the other day only this one was the size of a cement truck.  That really livened up the battlefield when that thing tore out of the ground.  If I ever re-invent baseball I’m going to make sure one of those things is under the field.  Keep the action going.

The beast didn’t do much damage in the end, wrecked one vehicle and devoured a couple guys before an exploding harpoon made its head fall off, but it was a hell of a distraction.  If the Antolpian’s could have rallied a fighting force to go on the offensive during all that commotion maybe they could have turned the tides a little but there wasn’t so much as a peep from them.  They were probably just like us, watching and wandering that the hell was going on. 

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I have to say (well no, I don’t have to literally but I am going to) it was mildly disappointing as far as suicidal death ride charges go.  All those buggies racing across the plains was kind of cool but I’ve seen it plenty of times now.  After that it was mostly a big cloud of dust and confusion.  If the beast hadn’t shown up to give the whole thing a shot in the arm I wouldn’t have even put it in my top ten charges of various Light Brigades. 

There’s probably some kind of life lesson in there.

1 Comment

  1. Image is from D&D/Pathfinder/whatever. I spent about 15 minutes looking for the artist but it’s used so much online I could not track it down. Is that enough time? No. I will be happy to attribute if anyone knows.

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