River of BLOOD!!!

Is this how wars used to happen?  The only way you find anything out is by someone running up to you and telling you what they maybe thought they think they saw three days ago?  If so that must be why old timey generals all thought they were such hot shit.  You execute a plan without being able to see or know anything or any way to communicate with anyone involved and maybe you should be allowed to overthrow the king and cut everyone’s heads off.   

As best we can tell the river armada attack didn’t go exactly according to plan.  Remember when we first came out here to the river plains and we murdered those petard people that were attacking the Missouri Bell Riverboat Casino?  Turns out there’s a whole bunch more of them.  And they appear to have allied with the Invincible.  I would imagine the Invincible came to them with the timeless offer of “hey we’ll help you murder those people you hate”.  That usually works.

The river, whichever one it is, I’ll say the Monongahela (Martialla’s note, that river was in Pennsylvania and we’re nowhere near there, she just likes the way it sounds) it’s a big body of water but it’s still a river.  I have no idea how you fight a battle on a river.  That would be like trying to having a boxing match in a short hallway.  Martialla said something about the Persians at Thermocline but I wasn’t listening. 

What we think happened is the Invincible and the Mortar People captured some villages, or maybe made a deal with them, north of Antolpe and took all their ships and brought them downriver.  Even so Queen Ela had a lot more ships so no problem right?  Well the MP also put their shitty old timey artillery on the east bank of the river in fortified embankments which was bad, but what was even worse is once the engagement started somehow the Invincible had ships/boats/whatever BEHIND our forces.  Unbeknownst to anyone they transported them overland and deployed them quickly back into the water. 

The Invincible formed a mobile “shield wall” on the west bank with their heaviest machines, which Martialla says she may have inadvertently taught them when she was out west, meaning Queen Ela and her flotilla were 100% surrounded.  Which, and I’m no military expert mind you, is not good.

Despite all this her Queenship managed to maybe sort of win the day.  That’s assuming she’s still alive, we haven’t heard from her directly or even indirectly and several allegedly eyeball witnesses say her flagship was in the heat of battle. 

As the story goes the river turned into one of those old timey logging photos you were where the water is jammed with wood (if you know what I mean) only this was from boats that were being bashed to bits instead of logs being logged.  I have to admit that it sounds fucking horrifying to me, a battle where nobody can move and you’re just blasting each other into submission.  It’s like a “game” these barbarians play sometimes where they lock arms and stab the shit out of each other.  That’s it, no maneuvers, no finesses, no luck, no nothing, just who can take the punishment and live. 

At least one alleged witness claimed that the river was so clogged with debris that some of the Invincible vehicles thought they could use it as a bridge to cross the river in their killer cars.  Sounds like bullshit to me, no one would be that stupid, but in any case the person who says they saw it says the ones that tried it were wrong – they disappeared into the muck.  The casualty estimates have been all over the place so we have no clue, what most people are saying is that the Invincible force at the river was all but wiped out and Queen Ela took heavy damage. 

BUT, at least one dude who seems to be a real hardcase mofo which lends him some aura of credibility, says that those people are wrong.  According to him it may have looked like the Invincible really got wiped away but he says that the Mortar People actually retreated without much damage and it was only the boats that got destroyed, which he says were sacrificial goats anyway.  According to his read of the situation the Invincible did exactly what they wanted, bog down and badly damage the river fleet and then bail.

We do know that her Ladyship took Antolpe because the Invincible retreating in good order from there came straight south on the warpath.  Had the Paloose Train Company not sent a bunch of people up to join the fun they would have swept through all the communities around here.  How did they get here so fast?  By fucking train!  The crazy bastards built some kind of train that lays tracks as it goes.  Can you believe that?

They built a railroad track to the fork of the river below Dynamite City as they were going there.  I don’t even know what to make of it.  They had shit for weapons but the Invincible didn’t know that, they just were suddenly confronted by thousands of people they weren’t expecting to be there.  The I-Boys reversed course instead of attacking and everyone agrees they probably headed for the valley where they’re probably backdooring our other “wing” as we speak. 

Martialla quickly assembled an “elite” force of train guards with the weapons we had just seized from the Invincible supply base, gave them five minutes of training on how to point, shoot, reload, and jammed them onto every vehicle we could find to head for the valley.  It’s all about the valley now.  I guess.  I have no clue really.

I don’t want this to be like one of Martialla’s stupid boring reports of the war on the other side of the mountain, so I’ll relate to you this conversation while Martialla and I were watching everyone load up and get ready to go on the warpath.

“Remember when you were going to be a host on Access Hollywood?” Martialla asked me apropos of nothing.

“Yeah” I guffawed “What kind of a question is that?  It happened to me, why wouldn’t I remember it?”

She smiled slightly “What was the line that got you canned from that gig?

I remembered fondly “Up next how low can J-Lo go?  It’s a Lo down dirty shame and we have the footage.  Jennifer Lopez goes commando doing the limbo and shows her no no.  Oh no!”

Her smile widened “Well crafted.”

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