The Oblivion Chronicles: Book 2 - The Answer's Call by JHarris15 | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil

Chapter 21

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Chapter XXI

The Calm Before the Storm


Two weeks had passed since the raid on Boris’ fortress, and the fallout had been swift and sudden, The Mayor had branded the mission a foolish errand and had apparently raged for over a week, what was now even worse was the news was calling for Codsworth’s head. 

There had been no more raiders that had returned since Brydon had carried Dave through the camp a fortnight ago, although that hadn’t stopped the beast from going out every day to continue the search, but even he was becoming less and less hopeful with every passing day. On the bright side though, all enemy activity in the region had ceased, nobody had left the enemy fortress since the attack and that was perhaps why Codsworth still had a job. Although it was on everyone’s lips that the commander was going to be summoned back to The Imperial City and removed from the region entirely.

“How long are we staying here?” Dmitri asked Charlie as they walked towards their shared tent. He had wanted to leave before things could get worse for them, however Charlie had refused to leave, certain that more people would come back to the camp.

“Tomorrow. Dave should be fit enough to travel by then.” Charlie said. They had sent word back to the manor that they needed a new chopper to get them home, along with the news about what had happened to Dave in the old one. The lad had suffered little, considering the crash he had been in. A few minor burns on his left arm, with the only serious injury was the cut he had sustained on his right side, that had been the nasty one, going all the way from his armpit to his hip when a piece of shrapnel from the gunship had collided with him, which was what had caused the excessive amount of bleeding. Had it had hit him dead on however, Oscar the field medic had told them that they would have been sending an entirely different message home.

They had also finally gotten a list of all those who had failed to make it out: on the top was Brian, the leader of the Rivermen in their army. They had almost recognised others. Kerl, who had blown up the cave entrance, had failed to get out, as had the translator Bruce. Nobody had any idea whether or not Mia was still alive, as the last person to see the girl had been in the medical tent for the past two weeks. There were almost a hundred other names but neither Charlie nor Dmitri knew who they were.

“Good.” Dmitri said. “I thought it would be good to be back on the front lines again. But this…” Dmitri halted looking at the list of the missing. “Is not what I ever imagined.” He finished. Charlie to wanted to go back, however until Dave was cleared by both Oscar and herself, then they were stuck where they were.


The following morning the gunship arrived to take them back up north, Dave who had been cleared to travel the previous night by Oscar. Limped up to the gunship, holding onto his older brother for support. And seemed rather sheepish as Vernon hopped out of the gunship to greet them.

“Well, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.” The butler said, but he seemed happy to see the again as he turned to Charlie and Dmitri walking up to the gunship, followed by twenty others, a mix of  both Imperials and Rivermen; including Jamerson, and Fredricks, bringing up the rear was Codsworth looking more weary than ever. “Leaving your men?” Vernon asked of the commander, this was certainly odd, as in all the time he had known the commander he had never seen him leave a battlefield without claiming victory.

“They aren’t my men anymore. I got the news this morning that I’m to report to The Mayor.” Codsworth said, leaving the rest unspoken. However, Dmitri knew what it meant the commander was going to be stripped of his command, and whilst he knew that Codsworth had royally fucked up, it was sad to see one of the greatest military minds the imperials had, be torn down by the likes of Osmund. Vernon only nodded before turning back Charlie.

“Who are these people?” Vernon said turning his attention to the others who had followed Jamerson on the chopper.

“Fresh recruits, according to Jamerson at least. Here to join the security of the manor.” Charlie said shrugging. Vernon only nodded and was the last to clamber into the chopper after Dmitri.


Four hours later, the chopper made its final descent onto the manor lawn, where Alan stood waiting for them. Almost a month had pasted since they had left the manor to join the war against Boris, and Alan looked like he had aged almost a decade in that time, his hair seemingly having more grey in it despite his relatively young age. At his heels was Echo, who was bounding around like a little puppy in stark contrast to his owner.

The chopper doors opened, and Vernon was the first out, he hated flying almost as much as Codsworth and had no intention of remaining in the aircraft for anything more than the required time. They had previously dropped the commander back at the city to face The Mayor’s onslaught, but other than that, everyone who had gotten into the chopper now exited it. 

Last to do so were Jack and Dave, however when they did, Echo bounded towards them and ran around them several times. Jack did smile at this whilst Dave only grimaced. Alan first turned to Jamerson who told him about the people he had recruited to join him in guarding the manor. Which Alan greeted each one, shaking their hands before turning to his two eldest sons.

“So, have you had a good enough adventure boys.” Alan said staring sternly down at the two of them. They didn’t say anything at this, and seemed to be waiting for the biggest verbal barrage that they had ever experienced to come shortly. But they were both surprised when it didn’t come. “I’m not cross, at your age I did more than my fair share of reckless things. Just ask Vernon.” Alan said and Vernon only nodded. Alan knelt down and then hugged his two eldest, which the two brothers returned.


In the medical bay Dave sat on one of the beds, his shirt was off, and Vernon was examining the wound. Oscar had managed to a great job stitching his side back together, with the only lasting visible signs being a scar running from his arm to just above the hip. A good sign, but he knew that if Dave did anything reckless and stupid, which seemed to be this kid’s hallmarks, then the wound would surely reopen.

“Not bad for a field medic without a proper surgery.” Vernon said and took a step back from the wound, as Dave put his shirt back on. “But you won’t be going out anytime soon, young man, that I can promise you.” Vernon finished sternly.

“What. I’m fine.” Dave said, looking confused and angry. “The doc cleared me and everything.” He finished. That had been why they were forced to wait in that cesspit, at least that was what Jack had said when he had asked why they were still there several days after returning wounded from the raid.

“He cleared you as safe to travel, not to go out into the wilderness once again.” Vernon retorted back at him. “Are you determined to kill yourself boy, is that it?” The butler asked, he was now starting to have serious questions about Dave’s mental well-being.

“I’ve got to go and find Mia.” Dave said stubbornly, it had been all he could think about during his time in the medical tent as well as on the journey home. He made to get up at this, but winced at the pain still coming from his side. Whilst it was no longer throbbing. Dave doubted if the injury would ever heal fully.

“I see.” Vernon said, in truth he didn’t know if the girl was even alive or not, but he knew better than to raise that doubt, if there was one thing these Wolfrick’s were, then it was that they were a stubborn lot. “I’m sure that Mia will return to us in her own time Master David.” Vernon said, it wasn’t exactly a lie, if the girl was alive then she would try and get back here. This did make Dave sit down slightly calmed, but the old butler guessed that he was only planning his next escape.

“Why didn’t you stop us Vernon?” Dave asked, it had been bothering him for some time. Vernon had spent his life trying to stop him from doing reckless stuff. But on this occasion the old butler had seemed to just give up trying and let him fall flat on his face.

“Why didn’t I stop you.” Vernon said, stopping to think on his answer. He had advised Jack not to go, and he had hoped that he would have passed on his warnings to his younger brother. But Dave was right, he had not been as forceful as he usually was whenever it came to the boys hair-brained schemes. And this was about as hair-brained as they had come. “Would you have listened if I had tried to stop you, Master David?” Vernon replied. But that was only passing the blame and Vernon knew it. The real reason was even worse. “After the incident in the cell. We didn’t know how you would react, all we did know was that it would be bad. Killing a man does something to you. So when I heard of your plans to go south, in truth I was relieved. It was the best possible place, you would be kept under close supervision and I had hoped protected from the dangers of this world.” Vernon continued.

“I wish I hadn’t killed that man. But he said stuff. Stuff about mum and… I dunno, I sort of snapped.” Dave replied. Despite what everyone seemed to think, he had not gone into that cell with the intention of killing that man. He had only wanted to get more information as to why he had tried to kidnap him.

“What did he say about your mother lad?” Vernon asked, he had guessed that was the reason for Dave completely loosing his senses back there. But he was also probing, thinking that it might shine some more light on this whole situation, as despite what Dmitri and Charlie said about their victory at the temple, Vernon wasn’t too sure that they had won.


Later that night Codsworth returned to the manor to find Alan waiting on the driveway, they had half expected him to return here rather than to the front lines after the disastrous raid. But even so seeing Codsworth in civilian clothes was odd to say the least. He had been waiting out here partly for the commanders return, but also to stop Dave from sneaking out, although his attempts were getting better, the last time he had had to call his second son down from the perimeter wall. Which had been difficult as a deep mist had come in from the south and was sitting right over them.

“Well.” Alan said, looking at the commander, before remembering that he may not hold that rank anymore.

“I’m still a commander, for now at least.” Codsworth said, as if he could read Alan’s mind. “But I’m no longer in command of the southern armies. They did at least let me choose my successor though.” He continued being thankful for small mercies.

“Well, there’s always a place for you here old friend.” Alan said welcoming the commander into his home.

“I thank you. But they’ll want me back eventually. They’ll need me back.” Codsworth said, it sounded more like a pray rather than anything else, but Alan had the sneaking suspicion that it was the truth.

Whilst they talked neither of them noticed the pair of eyes watching them from the distance.


Once inside the manor, Alan had to stop Dave from climbing out of the window, who had paused when he saw his father and Codsworth walking through the front doors. As he dragged Dave from the window ledge. Vernon walked up looking as equally shocked to see Codsworth in civilian clothes as Alan had.

“Ah Vernon, have a room made up for the commander, and.” Alan said looking at Dave for a minute. “Remind me tomorrow to fit a lock on this one’s door.” He finished before walking into the dining room.

“Yes sir.” Vernon said before walking Dave up to his own room. A few moments later he returned to join: Alan, Dmitri, Charlie and Codsworth in the dining room. Jamerson had set two of the rivermen to guard the doors to the room and had set an imperial to watch the main entrance doors to the manor. The rest were scattered around the house and the grounds, where a small collection of tents had been erected, until rooms fully opened up inside the manor.

“Where is the hard drive now then Codsworth?” Charlie asked, with everything that had happened she had forgotten to ask, they had given the data to Codsworth when they dropped him off in the city before returning here.

“Handed it to The Mayor when I left him. Probably the reason I still have a job to be completely honest.” Codsworth said, he had been personally blamed by Osmund for the failures, however the obese man’s mood had improved when he presented the hard drive, and he had simply been told to hand in his badge of command to him and to name his successor.

“Who’s in command now anyways.” Dmitri asked.

“I nominated Barca, whether he gets the job is a different matter entirely, but better him than any of the others, the rest are all tired old men, or others who have simply bought themselves a command.” Codsworth said and Dmitri nodded.

“How many in total?…” Alan asked. Not needing to finish the question. As Codsworth responded slightly quicker than was called for in the situation.

“One hundred and four missing or dead.” Codsworth said simply, though he doubted the missing was needed. In reality those that had not returned were all dead. But before he could elaborate on that thought they were stopped by the sound of Echo barking loudly at something outside. They looked up but couldn’t see anything out of the windows.

“I’ll go and see what it is. Probably just your cat though Charlie.” Alan said smiling before a more worrying thought came to him. “Or my son.” Alan finished as his brow furrowed at the thought of Dave trying to make another break for freedom.

“I’ll come along.” Dmitri said and the two walked out into the dimly lit and misty night.

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