A story of the past
"My designation is VDK, of the First Speci-"
"I don't care."
"I am a representative of the US military," Vee said. "We're on our way to-"
"I said I don't give a damn who you are. Maybe you missed the message, but there isn't a United States anymore. It's every city for itself now, and as far as I'm concerned, your kind is the reason for it. You're not natural, if they hadn't made the lot of you, we wouldn't be in this mess."
Vee ground his teeth. "My kind has been fighting wars for your kind for over five hundred years. We've served our human officers without questions. We've died for your kind."
"Yeah," the man sounded bored, "Unless you're looking to join all the others who've died for us, you're going to put your weapons and packs down. You're going to leave your carts and walk around the wall and continue on your way."
El looked at where the ground gave way and the sound of water hitting it came. He could sense further that the water extended under the road, making the pylons supporting it, also the only thing supporting the wall there.
The man followed the lynx's gaze. "You can swim if you want. I don't care. I just want you out of here."
"We're not leaving you our supplies, but we're willing to trade you some of our weapons and tanned hides for food, then we'll leave."
The man raised his bow and let an arrow loose.
El had expected something like this and had been focusing on the surrounding air. With a muttered "No" under his breath he had the wind divert the arrow so it hit the ground a few meters before them. He kept focusing and closed his hands into fists to keep them from shaking.
"We don't want to fight you," Vee said as if he hadn't been shot at. "But if you attack us again, I will designate you an enemy combatant and respond in kind." He took the bow off his back and strung it. Those behind them did the same. "El, how long can you keep their arrows off us?"
"I can agitate the air between them and us for a while, but I don't have the precision I used to. I can't promise I won't knock your arrows off too."
Vee notched an arrow, but kept it pointed at the ground. "I repeat, we are only looking to trade and pass through. Do not force my hand."
"You think we're scared of you?" the man had another arrow in his bow, and the others on the wall were ready to shoot. "That was a warning shot. The next one goes through your heart."
"Soldiers!" Vee called. "If they attack, respond with wounding shots only! You are to avoid enemy casualties whenever possible, as misguided as they are they are still American citizens, is that understood!"
"Yes, Sir!" They responded as one.
Arrows came at them before the air was done reverberating. With a mental push the air exploded, sending them tumbling.
"Fire!" Vee ordered while the men reached for another arrow. And the arrows the soldiers let loose found their targets. For a moment there was no one standing on the wall, then more came to replace the fallen men.
El wasn't able to keep all enemy arrows from reaching them, and a few times he disrupted his side's arrows, but with Vee there to heal their injuries almost as soon as they occurred they remained standing, while the men on the wall kept falling, until fewer and fewer of them came, and eventually a white flag was waved.
Vee motioned, and the soldiers lowered their bows, keeping the arrows notched.
"Please stop," a woman called.
She stood, holding the flag. She was older, her hair gray, her face wrinkled.
"Do you surrender?" Vee asked.
"Promise me you won't hurt anyone else." She kept her fear under control, her voice barely trembling.
"You have my word that we won't fire on anyone who doesn't attack us first."
After a slight hesitation she nodded. "We surrender."
"Open your gate and let us in. Anyone holding a weapon when we enter will be considered hostile and treated accordingly. I tried being friendly, your people opened the hostility. I will not take any chances, is that understood?"
"No." Vee tone was hard. "Anyone holding any kind of weapons will be considered an enemy. If you need time to ensure everyone is disarmed, I'll give you until sunset. But take heed, if you use the time to try to mount a surprise attack, I will raze this city to the ground with everyone in it. Am I making myself clear?"
She nodded, then said, "yes sir. The gates will open before the sun sets." She disappeared behind the wall.
Vee turned. "Mary get as many people as you need and collect the arrows. Don't worry about them being broken, we'll go through them later. Stay on your guard, I don't trust them. El, how-?"
"I have about three hundred meters in range. No fine control, but I can keep anything off us."
Vee smiled. "I was going to ask how are you holding up?"
"It's way more tiring than it used to. Moving this little air feels like I'm trying to shift the entire state's air pattern."
The statement got him surprised looks from the others as they passed to get the arrows.
"I can't keep focused on you, so if they attack again and you need me to take away the exhaustion call out."
"I will, don't worry."
"Sidney! When the gate opens, I want four guards on it. It doesn't close until everyone and the carts are inside. Anyone trying to close them before that is to be considered hostile."
They'd collected all the arrows, and the sun wasn't quite touching the horizon when the gate opened. The woman, holding the white flag, stepped out.
10 December 2018 at 18:07:42 MST
Tiranis is a world of humans and furries, of super science and super powers, of ordinary people and extraordinary ones.
Stories of the Past is a series of stories exploring the history of the city of Tiranis, as well as the world it exists in or sometimes people of importance in it.
This is excerpt is about 1000 word of a 4,700 word chapter.
You can read the full story, as well as other stories set in the world of Tiranis by joining my Patreon at the 1$ level https://www.patreon.com/posts/22815934