Opposing Forces

Opposing Forces Page 3

The sergeant rides up a hill, and stops near the top. You both dismount.

There’s a long gap past the hill, and across it you can see the monastery. This is the first time you’ve been this close to one, but you’d recognize it even if you’d never seen a picture. The style is so jarring, so lacking in Harmony.

But much to your chagrin, you also see your sister Melody. She joined the Corps two years before you, and she’s never liked you much.

“Melody,” says the sergeant. “Got your report. Can you share any more details?”

“We don’t know when they’re going to launch the stink bombs,” she says. “But we’ve managed to infiltrate. Our agent’s mixed some noise bombs in their stockpile, and will set them off when they make their move.”

Stink bombs? You were just a little one the last time those were used, but you remember the smell lingered for days. It was so distracting you could barely sing.

“And you’re sure they’re launching tonight?”

“Yeah, but they’re keeping it real quiet. None of their trainee monks know.” She frowns. “It’s real worrying. I think they might be on to us.”

“Well, that’s what backup singers are for,” the sergeant says grimly. “If the agent can’t set them off, we’ll have to.”

Melody glances at you, looking annoyed.

“Sir, with all due respect, I don’t think my sister over there is ready for this.”

“She’s just been officially certified,” the sergeant replies, annoyed. “She knows what she’s in for, and we need all the vocal chords we can get right now.”

“I mean, I don’t think she can do this particular job, sir.”

“And just why do you think that?”

Oh no. You know just what she’s going to say, and it’s going to be so damned embarrassing.

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