No-nonsense General Dee looked up from his papers at the spectacle of the pavonine Generalissimo Muwati’s arrival. Dee ran a calloused hand over his crew-cut before wiping it on well-worn fatigues. His counterpart stopped and clicked the heels of his knee-length patent leather boots, which caused his eleven rows of decorations to rattle beneath his silk-lined cape. Muwati removed his ostrich-plumed headdress and saluted. Dee shook his new allies’ hand and wondered what the politicians had got him into this time.
The crystal lake provided a looking-glass into the surrounding countryside. Grand mountains framed the heavens, and the green of the pine forest contrasted with the snow-capped peaks. Harold knelt to drink from the mirror waters and watched the ripples he caused dissipate and the image of a majestic eagle once again come into focus.
His own image was not so comforting, however. The broken nose, and blackened left eye were testimony to the trials of the night before.
The warrior had fought in many battles, but he was still unprepared for that barmaid’s right hook.