Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 -

The Art of War

by John Benson
Published: Dec 20, 2013
Words: 23,706
Category: fantasy
Orientation: M/F
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The Art of War

The Overlord sat quietly, listened attentively. The General found that encouraging. He should not have.

"They sing songs insulting to the chain of command," the General whined. "It's... it's obscene."

The Overlord frowned. Had the General known him better, he might have been more worried. "Bawdy songs?" asked the Overlord. "You think good order and discipline is at risk from bawdy songs? Can you give me the name of one army since the fall of Troy which has enough morale to fight and did not sing bawdy songs? Good Ghods, man."

"No, no, not the ones about fornication, we don't much care about those," the General said. He gestured as if batting away some pesky fly, which was not good form at all. "It's the ones insulting to the senior staff. The ones which hint at, dare I say it..."

"Buggery," the overlord said with exaggerated calm. If only the General had known this was not a sign of serenity but of self-control, he might have been less rash.

"Beg pardon, Lord," Jeeves said. "Might we have a word at some point?"

"When I am done with the general, please, unless it is Class One," the Overlord said.

"Thank you Lord," Jeeves said.

"Yes, dammit, buggery," the General said. He was getting worked up, red in the face. "They need time in the punishment box, every filthy-mouthed one of them. The women, too. After all, you use it on your daughter."

"General," the Overlord said. "You are an idiot."

"What? How dare you?"

The Overlord's eyebrow arched. "An idiot," he said. "For years I have heard rumors of your incompetence and to my great shame did not believe them. Do you know how important grousing about superiors is to unit cohesion? No. You don't. You're a moron. Nor do you have a fucking clue why Maggie gets sent to the punishment box with the dial turned up to High."

"To teach her not to disobey," the General said. "See? That's not hard. I treat my children likewise."

"Idiot," said the Overlord. "As I thought. No fucking clue. I want your resignation on my desk within the hour."

"You can't do that. I have rights."

"Rights to a hearing, General, not to the outcome. You may invoke those rights and it will be a matter of public record that you were dismissed for being an idiot. Or we can just call it early retirement and speak nicely but blandly about your long years of public service and call it good. Now get out of my fucking sight."

The General deflated, his shoulders slumped. "All right, My Lord. I'll go. But tell me why? Why make your daughter experience pain if you're not trying to teach her to behave?"

"To teach the little shit a lesson," said the Overlord, "but not about obedience. She's my heir not my chattel, and I'm proud to say one of the feistiest females on the planet. She's learning a painful lesson about the importance of proper planning and flawless execution. I'm teaching her the imperative of never getting caught."