A story of the past
"I'm Alicia, Sergeant of the first Savannah Defense Group. I'd like to welcome you to our city, but you seem ready to launch an attack on us."
"You'll have to excuse our caution," Vee replied, "We've encountered nothing but violence and hate since our return. I'm VeeDee, this is my second in command, El."
She studied the bull, then the lynx. "VeeDee? El? You're the Specialists?"
"You know about us?" El watched as the Anthros behind her whispered and seemed to explain to the humans.
"Are you kidding? Everyone knows about the First Specialist units. We were on our way to Vermont from the San Diego Army depot. Where are you coming from?"
Vee took his time replying, and when he did so it was with a question instead of answering hers. "How come it looks like you've settled here, if you were going to join the Lab?"
"The city needed a good defense force when we got here, the wall was barely started. We were only going to stay long enough to help them finish it, take the time to train the people here in the basics of fighting, but Governor Artell made a good case for how we'd be more useful here, rather the at a base where probably every other Anthro was heading for."
"How many were with you?"
"About three hundred when we left San Diego. Half that when we got here. Like you, we encountered a lot of violence on the way. The country fell apart."
"All of them Anthros?"
"We had a dozen humans, mainly sergeants and captains. The Brass got wind of something coming and ordered the humans to leave. Only the few who worked with us on a daily basis stayed. The others got in helicopters and flew off, only to drop from the sky as every other technological item stopped working." There was no glee or joy at that in her voice, but also no sadness. El wondered if it was because by then she'd grown not to care about the humans giving orders as he had, or if the hardship that had come afterward had inured her to what had happened.
The lizard at her shoulder, covered in twice the layers, had no trouble making his feeling heard. "Good riddance," he spat.
She didn't react to his vehemence. "Before the helicopters crashed, stuff exploded all around. Best we worked out is that as stuff failed, combustibles mixed, but our sniper, she had enhanced vision, also saw missiles falling from the sky."
Vee nodded. "They stopped working when technology stopped."
"But it's more than that. You've noticed that you can't boil water, right? Have you tried to work with electricity? That's gone too. We tried to collect lighting, Marie-Anne is a historian, so she has a lot of physical books. Some of them cover really old experiments, from before we had technolog-"
"Sarg," the lizard interrupted, "I know you guys aren't feeling it, but it's really cold out here. Is there any chance we can continue this so exciting discussion inside? Where there are fires going? I mean unless you prefer having to carry me back."
Vee studied him. "You are?"
"Charlie, Sir. With the sixth Recon Division."
"And you're cold-blooded?"
"Yep. The scientist who made my group thought it would be great if we could beat heat sensors. Of course they didn't think things through, we fall asleep at anything below five degree Celsius, and above thirty we start overheating."
"And you came out here?" El asked.
"I go where the Sarg goes. I owe her that much."
She rolled her eyes and El got the impression the two of them had had arguments about this, but there was affection in the expression. "Charlie's right, we'll be more comfortable inside, where it's warm." She looked them over. "I'm not going to ask that you hand over your weapons, Sir, but I have to request that you put them away."
The bull looked at her, not putting his sword away.
"Sir, they're good people here. I know you've had bad experiences, but the people here, they appreciate us."
"Not all of them," Charlie said, "But most. The governor makes sure we're all equals here. None of the shit about us having to do everything humans say we have to deal with at the base."
"Charlie," Alicia warned.
The lizard smiled. "No one likes a perfect story, especially not after what they've gone through. It's no paradise," he told Vee, "but I don't think you'll get any closer to it while you're alive."
Vee nodded and sheathed his sword. El did the same. "Let's go get warmed up then. I've had enough of the cold."
With sighs of relief the others followed their example, sheathing swords and unstringing bows. The badger led them through the gate, and El saw it wasn't just a palisade, they'd built two walls and enclosed them, forming rooms inside the wall, and the one she took them to had racks of weapons, but more importantly, it was warm. Four pits had been dug in the ground and fires burned in them.
Charlie was at one before everyone was inside. He stepped through the people already around if and moved close enough the flames licked at his furs. By reflex El tried to push the fire away from the lizard, but while he felt it, it didn't obey.
Charlie took the furs off and threw them at the people behind him, who seemed used to it as they caught them and hung them on pegs in the wall. When they were all off all he wore was an old pair of jeans. Vee and El joined him at the fire, not standing as close, while everyone else found a fire to stand close to.
El rejoiced at the heat, feeling for the first time in weeks like there was a reason to keep going. When they were warm enough, they had to shed their extra layers, Alicia brought them to a barrack.
14 January 2019 at 19:02:16 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 7,700 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/lord-.....s-4-4-22816120