The bad news is that the helicopter isn’t converted to run on future sludge. It looks like the Invincible used it to get here, or get some of them here anyway, so that must mean that they have some source of gasoline right? Maybe it came from the same place as they keep their planes. Which may be the same place they produce all their weapons? How many secret fortresses can they have?
I was supposed to be in an American remake of the Hidden Fortress you know, but three weeks after production started the studio pulled the plug because some dickhead at MGM claimed that he found out that Star Wars was “basically the same movie” as the Hidden Fortress which is bullshit on a couple different levels. Are you fucking kidding me? First of all people love movies that are rip-offs. Magnificent Seven and the Seven Samurai? Hello? Second of all, what does space lasers have to do with the Hidden Fortress?
Anyway, speaking of the Invincible air force, the good news is that we saw one of their planes flying over our new conquest. Wait, did I say good news, I meant TERRIBLE news. Now they know that we’re here and there’s probably a kill-squad on the way right now.
We had a meeting with Old Ela and King Hollywoodland and some other local jerkfacess in the general area of the Trollbridge, which is being repaired and expanded even as we speak. I told them about the plane and the impending kill-squads but they were more interested in arguing about who was going to be in charge of the new river crossing that I opened up for them. They’re all under the impression that it’s going to become the most important thing in the area pretty soon.
It took most, no ALL, of my verbal cunning to get them to understand that the Invincible would own the river crossing soon enough if we don’t get our shit together. They reluctantly agreed to table the bridge ownership hissy fit for another day. The report from Antolpe is that the Invincible are still squeezing the life out of them and have not yet stormed the place but that it was inevtiable. The Invincible have them trapped like a rat in a cage and are are bleeding them dry.
“Well gather your forces then and let’s go relieve them. Antolpe is the first domino around here so let’s make sure they don’t fall.”
No one was pumped about that very smart idea. Each faction was being very coy about the size and capabilities of their forces. I think in part because no one wants their “allies” to know their true strength. But even more than that I think they’re afraid that even all together they can’t match the Invincible.
They talked at length about how there were a lot more of the Invincible than they thought. A lot more. What’s even more of a concern to Lucien and Martialla than lack of bodies on our side though is that it seems clear is that the Invincible have a lot more vehicles. Out here on the plains people seem to be a lot less Mad Max machine focused than on the coast. Which is backwards because here on the wide open plains vehicles should be more important not less right?
“Okay so we don’t have cars of people but we got boats, and Antople is right by the river so that should work. Isn’t that where the phrase gunboat diplomacy comes from?”
Everyone was dubious about that idea. My point to them was that even if the Invincible could just drive away from the river if we got the upper hand in battle that would still be a good thing because then they wouldn’t have a stranglehold on Antolpe. We could supply them by river. This failed to convince everyone but I no one ever told me exactly why.
Even worse than that naysaying was that some of the northern river people were trying to float the idea that maybe the Invincible weren’t so bad and they should get on board with their slavery program. I was expecting Old Ela to smack them down but I’m getting the impression that she’s less of an Empress and more like the President of the Senate.
I explained to them that the Invincible only have one deal to offer, servitude. I gave a whole rousing speech about how you can’t capitulate to a powerful enemy. One guy with a crazy snaggletooth pointed out that you can’t really fight a powerful enemy either. I told him to go back to live in his dirty mineshaft until the Invincible filled it up with lava and burned him alive.
Never mind the fact that he kind of has a point, but if you can’t make peace war is the only option right?
After that people were saying, well we can’t help Antolpe, so what we should do is just sit tight and wait for the Invincible to attack us. Fortify and rely on our defenses, fight a war of attrition. I told them that was the worst thing we could do. The Invincible already have pretty much every other advantage, we’re going to let them take the initiative too? The only thing we have working for us is that they’re not expecting us to fight back. Waiting for them to sack Antolpe and then consolidate their gains is giving up.
It sounded good. Might even be true.
For some strange reason it’s very hard to convince people to attack a superior force without any ideas of how such an attack might be a success. Or even survivable. Back west I was able to get things going by winning a stupid race, and murdering a couple people, but there doesn’t seem to be a way like that to kickstart things over here.
I said as much to my loyal companions to which Shwyrm said “Since we have lightning now maybe we can get a robot going and that would impress them.”
“Are you saying you know where there’s a robot?” She nodded mutely “Good lord woman, why do you keep these things to yourself?!” I looked around at everyone’s stupid faces “Would anyone else like to reveal any shocking and amazing secrets they’ve been keeping for some reason? “