Jul 26, 2005

HR, 24

"Well, that's actually something of a mystery." Harlequin chuckled. The fierce pigeon was incapable of showing amusement.

"You fight dogs, too?" she asked.

"Hopefully not. I hope that I can sit down and reason with them, talk about civilization and such."

Pegasus tried to spit in disgust. "They are mean dogs. Fighting is their only way of talking."

"I'm afraid she's right," Hubert chimed in. "The General doesn't like to talk. He'd rather eat you than listen to you."

"Well, I'm still hopeful," said Harlequin with stubborn optimism in his tone. "Nevertheless, I'm capable of humane and civilized warfare, if that's what is required."

Pegasus cooed affirmatively, but Hubert rolled his eyes. Harlequin began a contemplative.

"The first key to warfare is strong leadership," Harlequin reasoned with a steady voice, gesturing authoritatively with his tail. "As it is my strange fortune to have defeated Attila and caused this disorder, I offer to take the honor and terrible responsibility of Commander of the Allied Defense. Any objections?"

Hubert and Pegasus were silent, entranced by the stern determination in Harlequin's face.

"So be it. As Commander, I appoint you, Pegasus, to be my Chief Warrior. You've got the courage and spirit to slay a dragon."

Pegasus didn't know what a dragon was, but fluffed her feathers proudly.

"Hubert: you know a great deal," continued Harlequin. "You will be my Senior Advisor in Combat Affairs. As your first official duty, I'd like you to give us a rundown on the opponent."

Hubert coughed self-consciously.

"Like I said, there's seven of them, but without me, I guess they're only six. You've seen Dorian, already. Little, but mean. Hmmmm... There's Jasper, old Toothless... hmmm... yes, Scout. They're all tough old dogs: wouldn't like tangling with any of them. I haven't seen the new recruit, yet. Word is he's big and mean. Ahh, yes, the General. As tough as they come. Sharpest teeth I ever saw, real strong, fiercer than any dog. Hmmm..." Hubert trailed off, and seemed to be reconsidering the wisdom of his decision.

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