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Soldiers Live

Alynore's picture

His absence is a gaping wound.

It matches the tear in the side of the gunship, where the giant reaver ripped us open, one more injury on top of all the other losses.

The High Tinker is keeping busy with repairs. He hasn’t been this grim since the attempt to retake Gnomeregan.

Greymane stalks among the ranks, everyone deferring to him without—

I thunk my head back against the bulkhead and listen to the sounds of tired, injured, dying, surviving soldiers.

We could recover from the disaster at the Broken Shore—if the Legion allows us the time. The size of those forces, the constant invasions spreading across the world, all make that seem unlikely.

Why had the Horde left us? Were they forced, or is it as Greymane believes, and the Banshee Queen betrayed us? To what end? The Legion will destroy them the same as us.

Doesn’t matter. The result is the same in the end. We have people injured, missing, and our own dead. My friends and colleagues. I can barely think of them yet, I’m just too numb.

My friends were supposed to be getting married today. My XO was supposed to be getting married in October. I am too tired to do more than simply note those facts. Probably for the best; if I think on them too long, I’ll start down the twisting paths of might-have-been.

We’re docking above the harbor. There’s so much to do. Everything hurts and I just want to sleep for a week. I stand up instead, pushing off the wall. We have to report to the Keep. To the other leaders.

To the young king. That boy we once knew, protected, and chased across half a damned continent. We have to tell him and the others how Tirion Fordring is lost. How our friends were cut down around us so we could live, broken into pieces. We have to tell him how his father fought to the bitter end. We’ll pledge our fealty, and pray he has time to grown into the mantle he’s inherited.

Our king is dead. Long live the king.

******

"Soldiers live, and wonder why" - Glen Cook, The Black Company series