“Musi’s positively giddy,” said Fachi.
Desi grimaced, but said nothing. Fachi had been trying to find out what happened at the meeting for over a week now, and although Desi knew he was patient enough to pull the story out of Desi eventually, Desi wasn’t going to make it easy on him. The nosey bastard can suffer for a while.
“You’re not going to make it easy for me, are you?”
Bastard’s a mind reader, too. Or, he just knows me too well, thought Desi.
“Anyway, we’ve got to go on duty. Our mans have a job to do, and they won’t always work quietly while you’re away.”
Desi grunted and stood up from his desk. He grabbed his bow, his gun, and his sword, strapping them on while Fachi lumbered off to get his own equipment.
Fechi was half-recent with a rifle since he didn’t have to move much to use it, but bows were beyond him and he couldn’t find a swordbelt to fit around his waist. Few elves had his waistline, and those that didn’t didn’t serve in the military. The powers that be had decided that Fachi was intimidating enough with a rifle alone, so he didn’t have to carry a sword.
Desi and Fachi walked together to the manshouses and led their mans to the pit. It was weird, really, working on his own project like this. Still, it was no different from normal work, except that Desi knew the reason for the work this time.
“This is pretty weird, though, isn’t it?” said Fachi, waving his mans into the pit. “This isn’t a trench like usual. It’s just a pit, a hole in the ground. Right here in the middle of the country! I’ve heard of contingency plans, but we’re not even at war with Giandus or Amaroada right now and there’s no way they could make it this far anyway.”
“We’re digging a hole under the ocean,” said Desi, smiling oddly. He ignored his mans as they passed. They knew what they were doing, despite what some elves thought.
Fachiburst out laughing. “Oh, right, that’s the way to do it! Right on under! Should only take about four generations of mans to get to the other side, eh? No, I think we’re burying something here. Maybe another missile silo, eh? We’ve got the most, but there’s always room for more!”
Desi smiled as said, “Yeah, maybe so.”
Desi noticed how the mans balked at the idea of digging all the way across the ocean, all their lives and their children’s lives and their grandchildren’s lives. Don’t worry, you silly brutes. Machines will be doing most of the work.
Desi and Fachi walked down into the pit after their mans, then broke off toward their details.
Desi watched his mans for a while once they got to their spot. They worked hard, you had to hand it to them. This was a particularly rocky zone, with several large rocks that blocked their downward progress. Desi felt somewhat sorry for the mans, but this was the price they had to pay for the food and shelter and enlightenment they would receive from working in elven lands. Back-breaking work for the men, housekeeping work for the women, and small agricultural oddjobs for the children who were old enough to work. That’s how it is for them here, and that’s all they know now.
Not very enlightening, though, is it?
One of the mans caught Desi’s eye. He hadn’t seen this one before, that he remembered. Must be a new recruit or a transfer. Desi made a note to look into his record. He was a tendency to pick up other people’s cast-offs and troublemakers.
What was he poking at with his shovel? What was he looing for? Why wasn’t he digging like the others
Desi decided to go find out.