The Four Horsemen.

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The Four Horsemen.

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:02 pm

((This is my novel from November 2010's NaNoWriMo challenge. I won the challenge (completed a 50,000 word novel within 30 days).
The novel sucked. I'm finally editing it, so maybe it will be less suck. I'm using Word so I can track changes, just for funsies. I'm in the process of editing it, so I won't post the whole thing at once.

This is the opener. It's short, I'm sorry, but I think it's best to post this and the next part separately.))




The Four Horsemen.
OR
A Tale in which the Apocalypse is averted.


Orlick Thompson was, arguably, the most talented and dedicated Agent of the Cog in recent history. When he graduated at the top of his class from the Academy, he was almost immediately put into active duty. He soon expressed tremendous skill in the fields of mental agility, leadership, and social interactions, epitomizing eveything the Agency strove for. He quickly advanced in the ranks, and was soon allowed to take on an apprentice.
That apprentice was Othello Buccarri.
Orlick Thompson and Othello Buccarri made an incredible pair. A Tori’muuk with a Gakkurri made for an odd-looking duo, what with one’s green skin, large lower mandibles and red eyes, and the other’s coarse skin-wrappings, sparkling eyes and awkward buckteeth, but the two were quickly identified among London civillians as a popular pair for settling disputes and solving problems. The two patrolled often and stopped criminal activity by the truckload. They even used similar beam weapons, both based upon an ancient guard-shoto sword, with the blade perpendicular to the hilt

The day Othello died was, possibly, the only day anyone has ever seen Orlick’s BloodRage. The inseparable pair had been following a report of a break-in at the museum. They arrived shortly after the bandit fled the scene and saw him scamper off with only one artifact. Immediately, the pair of Agents gave chase. They chased the bandit up and down the Thames until they finally cornered him in an alleyway off the Blackfairs Railway Bridge. As Orlick and Othello closed in on the bandit, the Tori’muuk was able to identify the stolen artifact: the Bow of Souls.
“Yes,” he had said into his handheld telecommunicator, “It’s the InflectoAnimus,” radioing back to headquarters. The bandit had raised the Bow then (oblivious to its true power) and pointed it at the Agents . Othello had cried out as the bandit let fly the arrow, which burned through the London night air like a candle negative. The bolt flew at Orlick and would have struck true, had Othello not leapt forth and shoved his master out of the way. Orlick watched as the Effectus Tellum ripped into Othello’s body. The young apprentice’s soul and body was ripped apart and brutally destroyed by a spear of demonic energy.
No one remembers what, exactly, happened after that, not even Orlick. Some Agents found Orlick at the scene in early morning, covered in blood, with what was left of Othello’s head in his lap. The Tori’ would not leave his apprentice’s body until he passed out from sheer exhaustion around midafternoon. He would not speak until a few days after that.

In short, it changed him.
Orlick was required to undego therapy and see many a psychiatrist before he could resume active duty. He is to be accompanied by another Agent at almost all times, to monitor his actions and mental state after such a traumatic event.
Orlick has requested to resume active duty unmonitored many a time, only to be turned down by the Council.
However, what with the rising tensions in China, we are in need of any and all Agents we can get. The Council approved Orlick’s last request on one condition: he take on another apprentice. Orlick refused at first, but the deal was non-negotiable. With much grudge and contempt, the Agent agreed to another apprentice..
That new apprentice is me.
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Re: The Four Horsemen.

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:20 am

PART I

My name is Eureka Townsend. I am a recent graduate from the Academy and Orlick Thompson is my first mission. I am assigned as his new apprentice and am thereby required to stay by his side at most times during active duty. My first few assignments with him were … interesting. I found him somewhat cold and indifferent. It was only after I proved my worthiness to him that we were able to communicate like a true Agency Pair should.

((Alright, I’m gonna stop right here. This was probably my first and absolute worst mistake. I should have gone with the story of how Eureka proves her worth to Orlick, but I was more interested in the action of the story than in a character development novel. I apologize. I will, one day, write the first novel of the Orlick and Eureka series, where Eureka “proves her worth” and they save the day.
God, that was such a stupid thing for me to do.))

Orlick and I ate breakfast in the Agency’s cafeteria. He had his legs crossed alongside the table and was perusing the morning paper while sipping his tea. I was just finishing my toast when he spoke.
“What do you think of the colonies?”
I blinked. “You mean the States? They won their Revolution, sir.”
Orlick smiled into his cup. “Yes, you’re right,” he said. “but I will always think of them as the colonies.” He was silent as he sipped some more tea. “Well, what do you think of them?”
I had always wanted to go to the Americas. However, when the first colonists were heading over, my grandparents viewed the Americas as a land of danger and debtors and remained in England.. It wasn’t until a good number of years later, after the Colonial Wars, that England had finally recognized the United States as an independent country. The States had paid back her debt to Mother England in attempts to smooth things over, but, as expected, there were still some pockets of contempt. In the recent years, though, relations had improved, especially with the advent of the new American Universities and such.
However, Orlick was known to randomly quiz me over the years over random facts and the like. I immediately began to scroll over any and all facts I had gathered over the years. Statistics such as trading enterprises, population growth, Native American deaths, and other things, like towns colonized and failed, how many of each species had traveled to the Americas between 1800 And 1830, what crops had been introduced-
Orlick severed my train of thought with his deep, throaty laughter. “No, no, child,” he chuckled. “This isn’t a test.” He snickered some more, putting down his cup and folding his paper. “I genuinely want to know what your opinion is.”
I blinked again. It was rare that Orlick cared about anything other than hard facts and numbers. I was not used to something like that. “I … uh,” I began. “I think that the country must be very beautiful. And I think that there must be a very interesting series of flora and fauna there, worthy of study.”
Orlick smiled at me over the top of his teacup. “Would you like to go there?”
“I would like that very much.”
Orlick smiled and finished his tea. “Good.” He abruptly stood up and folded his paper, placing in on his empty plate. “We have a new assignment. We must meet with the Head Director.” With that, he strode out of the dining room. I hurriedly finished my toast (in a manner somewhat unbecoming of a proper Victorian woman) and rushed after him.
We exited the Agency’s bottom floor dining room and immediately found ourselves in the Main Atrium of the Agency of the Cog. The Atrium is huge; I’m sure it spreads over a good number of acres. It’s all done in refreshingly modern décor, as well; the street side facade shows the Agency as a building constructed of glass and metal. The doors sweep open into the spacious hall, where thousands of people bustle about endlessly on all floors. If you were to stack all the various statues of great Agents within the Atrium, head to foot, you would not even brush the ceiling of the Atrium, so vast is its arch. During festive parties, chandeliers of ivory and gold are hung from hooks so far away you can’t see them from ground level. The brass railings sparkle in the sunlight, since the roof is made predominantly of tempered glass and steel reinforcements. Stairways leading up and down the numerous levels of the Atrium are lined with a rich red carpet and accented with brass railings, in unison with the marble floor and the gold statues and fountains.
As Orlick and I ascended the stairs up to the Head Director’s office, I couldn’t help but notice (as I always do) the sheer size of not only the Agency’s Atrium and facility, but the size and diversity of the Agency itself. In any given moment, you can see any species and any sex moving about on the same level, the same social status and opportunities. It took many years to weed out the racism and sexism (especially in humans like myself), but we have finally accomplished it. It’s a wonderful thing.


((Another thing. This is really dumb. Even in the modern day and age, we still have racism and sexism. It’s not like it’s just going to go away magically. I didn’t want to write in the racism and sexism stuff, but I should have.))

The door to the Head Director’s office is what has always scared me the most. The office itself is located on the top floor of the Atrium, at the very northern end of it. The entrance is somewhat closed off from the rest of the Atrium, feeding into the long hallways and deep passageways of the internal labyrinth of the Agency’s office complex. The Head Director’s office door is that of grand oak, nearly ten feet high, and with intricate carvings dancing about the locks and frames. It’s said that the very first tree in London was cut down to make the Director’s door, and that they very first carpenter designed, carved, and stained it himself. (Granted, that’s probably not true; London has been around since forever, and the Agency has only been around since forever minus one day.) When I was a Trainee, sometimes I would have to come to the Head Director to apply for a certain class or ask for permission to enter the Restricted area of the Academy’s library. The initial knock was the worst. I would raise my fist and hesitate a moment, half expecting the massive oak doors to swing open simply by the willpower of me not wanting to be there. They never did, and I always had to rap sharply on the blank spot in the carvings. It seems everyone knock on the same spot, just above and to the right of the door’s magnificent gold handle. The blank plane is the only one within reasonable reach for any average Agent (except for an Entomian, of course, but even they seemed to knock there, with their lower set of arms).
The only person I knew that did not knock was Orlick Thompson. Today, he simply pushed open the door and strode in. It is said that he and the director were at the Academy at the same time, neck-and-neck for first in their graduating class. I sometimes detect some leftover school-days contempt from the two as they exchange banter. I imagine (and have heard rumors that support my thesis) that Orlick did not approve of his observation after Othello’s death. It was at the insistence of the Head Director that Orlick given someone to monitor his actions. Since then, Orlick and the Director don’t speak much, except when ordered to.
“Head Director,” Orlick said as he snapped to attention. I did the same immediately after. The Director nodded his head.
“You two are here about your next assignment.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement. The Head Director was a large Automata by the name of Octavian Dorothy. He had a dark, toad-like face and skin tone, matching his small eyes that sparkled with dry calculation as he looked both of us over. The director withdrew a small portfolio from a drawer with his broad hands and placed it on his desk in front of Orlick and myself.
Orlick looked down at it, then back at the Head Director.
“This is all we have on the case,” he said simply. “It is from the Americas, in a central state. We have heard reports, with increasing frequency and of escalating magnitude, of destruction of crops and barn houses. Eyewitnesses say that it seems to be a swarm of locusts that buzz with such menace that any living thing is repulsed by its sheer sound.” He eyed Orlick and me. “And each time we get a new report, it seems that the swarm is growing.”
I furrowed my brow, but said nothing.
Orlick seemed to have a similar idea: “Aren’t there pesticides and the like to dismiss such a threat?” he asked with a raised eyebrow. He was skeptical of the value of this mission.
Octavian nodded gravely. “That’s the problem. American farmers are trying everything to prevent the locusts from destroying all their crops. Insofar as we know, nothing has worked reliably.” Mr. Dorothy withdrew a file from the folder and read from it. “’Let it be known that the farmers of the Americas have been using everything within their power to prevent and halt this destruction. Nothing we have tried has been successful, from the most deadly of chemical pesticides to the arrangement torches about the fields. The only thing that has slowed the swarm down is a Sealed Circle all the way around the field, and even then, it appears that if the Sealer is not a practiced user of Magic, that the Circle may fail by sheer weight of the forces acting upon it.’” Octavian replaced the file. “Now, if that doesn’t sound significant to you, Orlick, then maybe I can get another Agent to investigate-”
Orlick cut him off. “No, Eureka and I will investigate. We have handled similar situations.” He glanced at me. “And I think that Ms. Townsend is a plenty practiced user.”
I almost blushed. It’s true, I was the best in my classes at the Academy where Magicianship was involved, but I was nowhere near as good as the men and women who made their living of Magic. Such a class was a testament to the humanoid determination and skill it took to properly entice and manipulate Lady Physics into bending to your fingers. With the new research done in the Demonic Plane, the Magicians have advanced in their knowledge by leaps and bounds, allowing even commoners to master simple spells and purifications. It is a well-known fact that a Sealed Circle needs only an unbroken line encircling something and some willpower (be it in a drop of blood, sweat, tears, or by only closing the circle mentally), and any being that exists only partially in the Demonic Plane cannot breach the line. This has saved many a person’s life, including mine and Orlick’s.
Octavian clapped his hands together. “Good. I will have you two sent over to the Americas as soon possible.” My eyes must have brightened immediately, because the Head Director chuckled. “Yes, you will be departing sometime later this evening. I suggest you go back and pack accordingly. There will be an American Agent already there.”
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Re: The Four Horsemen.

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:39 pm

Orlick and I were on the red-eye flight out of London on a high-speed dirigible. We arrived in the Americas about a week after our departure and met up with the American Agent Octavian had told us about: a young Entomian with orange skin and a bright smile. He introduced himself as Will Casey.
“Pleasure to have you two here, Agents Thompson and Townsend,” he shook our hands when he met us at the docks. Orlick had insisted we travel lightly and together, so all we had with us were our bags that held our extra clothes. Being Agents of the Cog, we were allowed to keep our weapons throughout the duration of the flight, and Will identified us by them almost immediately.
“Ah, the famed Helen and Clytemnestra,” he said as he spied Orlick’s twin blades. “And, of course, the ArcoSanguine.” He grinned ever wider when he saw my scythe strapped to my back.
I refrained from rolling my eyes. The scythe had been more or less named that because of a pair of Italian Gakkurri whom Orlick and I had captured on an earlier raid. I had brandished my weapon rather flashily (albeit somewhat unnecessarily so). The visible frequency that my blade’s particles vibrate at almost perfectly matches that of a bright red blood spatter. The two Gakkurri had later been tried to community service for their fairly tame crime. They had seen us around during that time, and had been helpful informants later; during each encounter, they never missed an opportunity to playfully harass me about my blade. Orlick later told me that he figured I scared the shit out of them the first time, or else they would have forgotten about it.

“Do you want me to take you to your inn, or would you like to see town a bit?”v Casey asked jovially, gesturing to the quaint port town we had landed in.
“I think we should get to Brunsburgh,” Orlick said simply. Casey’s brow furrowed momentarily.
“Wh- oh, the town that’s had all the crop trouble. Yes, I think that would be a good idea.” He offered to take my bag. I glared him down.
“No, thank you,” I said with a bit of ice. “I’ll take it myself.” I had earned my place among men, and I would not be treated as a weaker being.
Casey looked a little taken aback. “Sorry, ma’am,” he said with a grin. “It’s just, my momma always taught me to treat ladies with respect.”

Orlick, Casey, and I caught a buggy away from the port town and rode through the woods of a state called Virginia. We had departed in early evening, and the late evening sun was painting the American countryside a beautiful gradient of rustic amber and earthy mauve. It really was beautiful in America.
“So, I hear you two are going to investigate the crop pestilence that Brunsburgh is having trouble with,” the Entomian remarked as he casually reclined in his seat. He had one leg almost level with his body, the other dangling on the floor, while his top set of arms reached across the back of the seat. His lower set was clasped in front of him. Despite being tall and tin, he managed to take up the entire booth across from Orlick and me. As usual, Orlick was sitting with rigid posture, his back perfectly straight, his sand green hands clasped in his lap. I tried to echo him, but I found my eyes wandering out the window every time I let them. Orlick didn’t seem to mind.
“Yes,” he said. “We were instructed to look into what might have caused such a strange swarm to appear.”
“So it really is something odd going on,” Casey leaned forward conspiratorially, his leg swinging down so that he could lean on his knees. “See, I haven’t really heard much about the situation. Would you mind filling in some details for me?” His eyes sparkled with interest.
I looked at Orlick, who regarded me with a sidelong glance.
“We haven’t been told to share our information … ” he said.
“But … we haven’t been told not to,” I finished.
Orlick smiled.
The Entomian grinned.
I leaned in a little, myself. “From what I’ve read on the subject,” I began, “there’s been an unusually large swarm of locusts that have been destroying crops at an alarmingly powerful rate. It seems that every time the swarm reappears, it gets bigger and more destructive. These … “grasshoppers,” as I believe Americans call them, are abnormally large and incredibly resistant to pesticides and the like. I’ve heard that the only thing that can reliably stop them is a Sealed Circle.”
Will’s brow furrowed. He sat back and chewed on the information I had given him. “But … that would mean …” He rubbed his chin and trailed off. He began again. “Do animals exist in the Demonic Plane? Even partially?”
“I don’t think so,” I said, looking to Orlcik.
“Most don’t,” he confirmed with a nod. “But any animal being controlled through the Demonic Plane can’t enter a Sealed Circle.” Orlick smiled as our brows asked the question we did not.
“It’s because of the spell used to control the animal,” he said. “The spell most common is somewhat reminiscent of a marionette doll; the animal is tied with an ethereal thread by its feet, head, and body. The controller then may use the threads to control what the animal does by manipulating the threads on his end.” Orlick cleared his throat. “Usually a remote sensory spell is coupled with something like that, so that the user can see and feel what the animal is doing. However, it is extremely unusual that a spell master uses more than one sensory Marionette at a time. The information flooding into the brain from two separate entities is likely to kill the user.” The Tori’muuk’s pale green brow furrowed. “Which is why this is a matter that is investigated by the Agency. The fact that a Sealed Circle stops the swarm means that someone could be controlling them. The fact that the Sealed Circle stops all of the swarm means that the entire swarm is being controlled.”
“But…” Will stopped rubbing his chin again. “But that would mean that one person is controlling thousands of Marionettes.”
“And since the Sealed Circle stops the entire swarm,” Orlick said, “all of the locusts must be tied somehow to the Demonic Plane.”
“Otherwise, the Sealed Circle would only stop the leaders of the swarm,” Will Casey finished.
“That’s what worries us,” Orlcik nodded sagely.
“But, couldn’t it be a number of spell masters all working together?” I asked. Orlick looked at me, his eyes smiling in approval.
“It’s certainly possible,” Casey said, but he didn’t sound convinced. “Either way, the Marionette-swarm idea leads down to a bad ending.”
I nodded. We didn’t need any more fanatic cult groups trying to stop the newly formed United States from prospering. And I shuddered at the thought of a singe Mage controlling an entire swarm.
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Re: The Four Horsemen.

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:01 pm

We Agents rode the rest of the bumpy way in silence, pondering our mission. I hadn’t noticed that I had fallen asleep until I awoke with my head on Orlick’s shoulder. I immediately sat up and glanced out the window, clearing my throat nervously. The buggy had stopped, and I could just see the silhouettes of a small town wreathed in the transient embrace of the morning fog. Orlick smirked out of the corner of his mouth before reaching across to wake the American Agent.
The Entomian started as sleep scampered away, but quickly regained his composure. “Oh! We, uh, must be here.” Will Casey wrenched open the door and leapt from the buggy in haste to rid himself of such an embarrassing situation.
I followed the four-arms out the door and landed on the moist American dirt. And promptly stumbled and fell down, into it..
Orlick chuckled as he slowly crept out, letting his joints pop as he extended them fully. “You should probably let your legs stretch a little before you decide to start jumping about,” he said, grimacing back a wry smile. The Tori’ unfolded himself from the compartment and calmly descended to the ground.
I stood up as soon as my angry legs let me, leaning against the mud-spattered buggy. It felt good to be in the open morning air and to have blood rush back into my stiff knees. I arched my back and stretched, enjoying the space. The fresh building around me shook off the last remnants of the hazy morning, revealing the town square of Brunsburgh. The town hall loomed over us, its austere presence shading the ground before us. The too-loud peal of a nearby bronze bell brought my attention around to the town church, its occupants already streaming out the heavy wooden doors.
“Mass must have just let out,” Will Casey said as he leaned on the buggy next to me. His face was still a little red, partially from embarrassment, partially from falling on it. He raised a hand in greeting to a tidy-looking human in a priest’s black robe. “Father Michaels. How are you this fine Sunday morning?”
The man quickly strode up to the Entomian and then stopped. “But, Master Casey,” the man said. “It’s not Sunday.”
William Casey blinked. “What?”
The priest sighed heavily. “Today is Tuesday. The town leaders called an emergency meeting.”
“About what?”
“About the problem all our neighboring towns have been facing.” The priest looked into Casey’s eyes. “We believe we are next.”
Orlick stepped forward and said, “That, Father, is why we are here,” and bowed deeply. I followed suit.
Casey quickly recovered from his initial shock and snapped back to reality. “Oh, uh, yes, of course. Father Michaels, this is Orlick Thompson and Eureka Townsend, Agents of the Cog.”
The Father looked at us for what seemed to be the first time. “Oh,” he said, eyebrows rising. “Oh! The Agency sent some kind Agents to help this poor town?”
“Yes, Father,” Will nodded, a grin beginning to spread over his features.
“That’s wonderful! You may be our saviors!” The man practically threw himself upon Orlick, who almost looked taken aback. “Oh, you two are the answer to our prayers!” He released Orlick and immediately latched on to me. For an old man about a head shorter than me, he had quite a firm grip. When he let go and stepped back, his face was beaming. I was still trying to regain use of my chest cavity.
“Yes, we were sent to investigate the strange locust swarms that have been appearing lately,” Orlick confirmed, nodding. “We have reason to believe that there may be some foul play involved.”
The old man’s brow sunk. “But, why would someone want to …”
“There are plenty of people who want nothing more than to stop the growth of your country,” Orlick said solemnly. “We at the Agency believe that to be an encroachment upon the United States – England Peace treaty, making it plausible reason for action.”
The priest smiled warmly. “While I am a man of peace, I thank you for your support.” He inclined his head to Orlick and me in turn. As we lowered our heads in reciprocation, the priest muttered: “Though, I hope, when you find whoever is responsible for all this destruction, that you beat his head in with a post.” We all straightened, and Father Michaels smiled brightly. “Would you like to see our town, or go straight into your business?”
“I’d like to see the crop fields that have been eaten first,” Orlick said.
The Father’s face fell a little bit.
I glanced at Casey.
He simply smiled and looked down. It was admirable how dedicated Orlick was to his duty, and how ready he was to start investigation, even if it meant not allowing townsfolk to show off their beautiful town.
“You can show us the highlights of the village after that,” I interjected. That seemed to make the old man happy. Orlick looked at me with a quizzical eye. I shrugged in a way that tried to say “We should let them show off for us a little bit.”
Orlick regarded me impassively. It said “We have work to do, young lady.”
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Re: The Four Horsemen.

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:45 pm

Father Michaels and Will Casey took us to what used to be the farm of an old Tori’muuk couple a ways outside the town boundaries.
The farm had already been hit by the swarm. Nothing but chewed wood and splinters remained where the fence had been. The barn itself had been reduced to the vague perimeter, the hay scattered everywhere and any wood not eaten chewed to the point of uselessness. Thankfully, the house itself was mostly in tact; I assumed the Tori’muuk had erected a Sealed Circle just in time. There was a clear circle surrounding the building where the lawn was unperturbed. The crops, howeve, had fared much, much worse. I could only guess at what had been growing a week before, as there was naught but the chewed stumps of stems, rows upon rows of what used to be the immaculately plowed fields of a proud and hardworking farmer.
I saw the couple step out of the house upon our arrival. They were a little older than my parents, probably around their fifties. The male had an austere presence to him, his recently-shaved bald head gleaming the pale green of split-pea soup in the midday sun. His wife stood unflinchingly beside him, her silver hair concealed by a traditional shawl of white. Her rose-colored eyes were as sharp as her hands were knobby. They had been together for years, I could tell, and weren’t going to give up now.
I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sorrow for them. Orlick and I nodded our condolences.
The old Tori took a deep breath. “I suppose you two want to see the damage, yes?”
Orlick nodded silently.
The farmer turned to his wife. “Martha, would you take the Father inside for some tea?” When she had left, the Tori turned to us with sad eyes. “She doesn’t need to see the damage any more,” he explained as he stepped down off his porch. We followed him in silence down to the far end of his property.
“This is my easternmost quarter,” he said, gesturing to the rows. “I have been told that the pests are moving from East to West, eating up everything they can find.
I certainly believed him. I could see the short stubs of brown stalks penetrating the dusty earth, but there was little sign of anything else. Everything was chewed down or nonexistent for as far as I could see. Trees, corn stalk, fences, bushes, everything was either gnawed down to nothing by the hungry mandibles of a thousand locusts or simply knocked over by the sheer force of so many buzzing through the air. I could only image what the previous towns looked like; eaten farmhouses, toppled churches, ravaged homes … It sounded terrible.
Beside me, Orlick knelt down to examine a corn stalk stump. He withdrew a magnifying glass from somewhere and peered through it at the locust-eaten stump. “Real locusts,” he said, uprooting the stump. A mass of dried roots came up with it, pulling up and unearthing a moist, brown soil. “And that seems to be the only problem.” The Tori’muuk stood up and faced his fellow green-skin. “Am I right in this assumption?”
The old farmer nodded. “Yes, the growing season has been spectacular,” he said. “It would have been a wonderful harvest, if not for…” He seemed unwilling to complete his thought. I didn’t blame him.
Orlick took his by the shoulder and looked him in the eye. “I think we can still make it so,” he said. The Agent had a determined look in his eye, one I had seen only a few times before. The raw hope that poured out of the farmer’s emotion overwhelmed and spilled out of his eyes, tears running down his dirty and wrinkled face.
“I…” he chocked a little. “I would greatly appreciate that, sir.”
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