In the centre of the newly designated meeting room stood a hologram of commander Codsworth, apart from a few extra scars on his face, he was identical to how the group had last seen him. It had taken a while to get the hologram system working, but they had finally worked through the kinks and the technology was fully operational.
“Ah, so you’ve decided to answer my messages now have you.” Codsworth said.
“Not now Codsworth.” Alan said, he would normally have humoured the commander, however the recent news had frozen his sense of humour. “How goes the war?” he asked.
“Good, we’ve fully cut Boris off from Riveruster now and are finishing up the regiments of The Iron Company that failed to escape our trap.” Codsworth said.
“So, the war is almost won.” Charlie said relieved. Knowing that her homeland was no-longer under threat was the best news she had had in weeks. However, Codsworth next words put pay to those thoughts.
“Unfortunately, not. Whilst we have managed to drive them out of your home, his fortress remains out of our reach.” Codsworth said. “I need more men if I am to win the war.” He finished.
“Then why are you contacting us. Why not The Mayor.” Alan said, Osmund would be able to provide more troops than they could ever gather together.
“I don’t need more untrained boys.” Codsworth said. “I need people with experience, specifically experience of navigating that fortress.” Codsworth said and turned to Dmitri. “You and your Bot’s are what I need, you’ve been inside the fortress and have a better understanding of its layout.”
“Only in the cave system, I haven’t actually been in the fortress itself.” Dmitri said.
“That’s more than either me or any of my soldiers have done.” Codsworth said.
“We can have a map drawn from our archives but other than that, none of us have ever been inside the fortress recently.” Alan said. the last time he had personally been inside the fort was well over a decade ago and he was almost certain that the old fool would have redesigned it to avoid people just looking at plans for the building to find their way around.
“That would be useful. We have a plan to take the fortress, but we need an experienced strike team to complete it. Like I say.” Codsworth said as both Jack and Dave entered the cave along with Mia. It had taken a lot of convincing on Jack’s part to get his younger brother out of his room.
“Send me your location, and I’ll be there by weeks end.” Dmitri said. “I’ve only got a few Bot’s with me at the moment though.” He finished.
“Anything you have will work.” Codsworth said as the screen flickers and the commander ends his transmission.
Two days had passed since Codsworth communication and Dmitri had been working round the clock to create three more Bot’s to add to the stockpile, these however would not be going on the raid, they were to be used in the defense of the manor in case it was attacked whilst both Dmitri and Charlie, along with Jamerson, who along with the two others; Fredricks and Kerl had agreed to take employment at the manor as a security guard after the war with Boris was finished, were with Codsworth in the south.
“How much longer until you leave us?” Alan said as he walked up to Dmitri.
“Tomorrow.” Dmitri said simply. Alan nodded. “I’ve waited long enough to make tracks, plus I don’t want Codsworth to win the war without me.” Dmitri finished grinning slightly.
“I see your sense of humour returned.” Alan replied. “Let’s just hope this plan of Codsworth’s works, whatever it is.” Whilst he trusted the commander and would normally have no reason to doubt a plan he came up with, he was now planning against someone who had mascaraed as an ally of theirs for the past half century and had done such a good job, he had fooled them all.
Upstairs seated in Jack’s room were Dave and Mia, along with Jack. Mia looked eager at the prospect of going to the south. Dave looking mildly sick sat still, he had not spoken a word since confessing to Vernon.
“We’re going to the south then.” Jack said looking at the pair.
“Yes.” Mia said, Jack nodded before looking at his younger brother. Dave only sat there not speaking, as if by opening his mouth he would be violently sick. The eleven-year-old took a deep breath and spoke for the first time in four days.
“What about dad.” Dave said, his voice croaking after not having been used for half a week, he had been thinking about this fact since Jack had brought it up, and whilst their father had been a lot more relaxed regarding his and his brother’s recent escapades. He didn’t think somehow that tolerance would extend to being alright with them leaving to go to war.
“No problem.” Jack said waving the concern away like it was nothing. Dave raised his eyebrow at this act of bravado, and silently wondered whether or not his older brother was taking this as seriously as he should be.
The following day Dmitri, Charlie and Jamerson were heading into the gunship along with all their supplies, as well as all but the three newest Bot’s and Fredricks and Kerl who seemed the most eager to get going.
They were about to take off when they were joined by three others: Jack, Dave and Mia. Who had all agreed together to go on the mission for varying reasons, for Dave it was the fact that he couldn’t remain in the house where he murdered someone, for Jack it was guilt of letting his younger brother become a murderer, and for Mia it was simply the need to continue her quest for revenge. No matter the fact that her tormentors were all dead.
“What are you guys doing here?” Dmitri said walking into the compartment. He was ready to do a lot of things but taking kids into an active warzone was not one of them.
“We’re going join the fight.” Jack said simply.
“Does your father know about this?” Dmitri said.
“Yes.” Jack lied and hope that Dmitri wouldn’t check on that.
“We’ll see.” Dmitri said and walked to the comm link and turned it on. “Alan, did you give permission for Jack, Dave and Mia to come along with us?” he asked. There was a brief moment of silence when the three thought that the game was up before it had even begun, they waited, and Alan’s voice came over the comm’s.
“It appears that I did.” Alan said. “And Dmitri, I can give permission for my son’s, I can’t however direct Mia.” He said before the comm’s went silent once again.
“Next time trust your old man.” Dmitri said as he pushed a button and the door ‘s to the gunship closed and they began to take off.
Halfway towards the destination Dmitri and Charlie decided to put the gunship back onto auto pilot. It had been a close-run thing, as about an hour into the journey they had almost collided with the mountains, the strange thing was however that no-one had any idea as to why the gunship had suddenly tried to kill them.
As Dmitri and Charlie walked into the hold the kids looked up, with Dave in particular looking greener than he had been when they had first taken off, but all of them had thrown up at some point of the journey.
“Should arrive by nightfall.” Dmitri said sitting down on one of the seats, whilst not comfortable, they were a damn sight nicer to sit on than the seats in the cockpit.
“Okay.” Jack mumbled, with both Mia and Dave both only nodding but not speaking.
“Why did you come?” Charlie asked, she was no longer bothered with the pleasantries, she was just determined to get to the facts of the matter.
“I needed to get out.” Dave said, his voice still croaking from lack of use, but also not helped by it breaking at the worst possible moments, as like now when he was trying to convince these people of his need to leave the place where he had less than a week ago committed cold blooded murder. The worst part was that nobody had taken him up on it, it was as if it never happened, with the only confirmation of his crime being the looks he would occasionally see people giving him, even his two younger brothers although how he doubted, they understood much about what had happened.
Charlie nodded, before turning her eyes on Jack and Mia.
“Well.” Charlie said, not unkindly but with a tone that brook no argument about the situation.
“I wanted to help.” Jack said, it wasn’t a lie, he was just leaving out some details.
“I want to kill Boris.” Mia said simply, which certainly took the attention off Jack, as everyone looked at her.
“That is certainly a reason.” Dmitri said, trying very hard not to smile.
“Why?” Jamerson asked, he too had thrown up on the ride south as had both Fredricks and Kerl, both of whom certainly looked worse for wear. It looked like that, for a moment that Mia wouldn’t answer, but after a few moments she spoke up.
“I told you about my brother dying in the warehouse, but my other brother went south along with this Codsworth and never came home, why do you think I was in the orphanage in the first place.” Mia said, to the silence inside the gunship.
Dave looked around the gunship wishing that somebody else would speak, but nobody did, it remained silent all the way to their destination.