--donation bonus (day #27, post 4/5)--
Desmond reached into the bag at his feet and pulled out a special treat for everyone. “As you can see, I have in my hand here, your commanding officer’s head.”
A ripple of murmurs passed over his audience.
Desmond held up his other hand. “Please hold all questions until after the presentation is over.” He cleared his throat. “I didn’t catch his name, so we’ll just call him Teddy. Teddy was very brave. Teddy didn’t want to do as my friends and I asked.” Desmond dropped the head on the floor. “Don’t be like Teddy. Don’t be brave. We’re looking for cowards here today. Cowards listen to us. And more importantly, cowards get to live. But if, for whatever reason, you are still feeling that courageous impulse, then absolutely feel free to tell any of my esteemed comrades, and they will happily solve that little problem for you. I’m sure you all recognize our faces already and are therefore aware that we can snap your frail bodies like the tiny, insignificant twigs that they are.”
‘Nice speech,’ said Ezmortig privately. ‘Move it along before our friends start getting restless.’
“Right. Everyone, please make your way to one of the designated vehicles on your left.”
Six armored cars sat near the wall in a disjointed line, and the soldiers all began to filter toward them. It wouldn’t be enough for all the troops, but that was what the small jet in the adjacent hangar was for. Desmond very nearly felt a tinge of pity for the soldiers who ended up on that plane, because Hanjir was the one piloting it. The reason they hadn’t stolen a giant plane for everyone to board together was because Hanjir was the only pilot of the seven, and nobody else wanted to fly with that maniac at the controls. There’d been talk of stealing a new pilot to go along with it, but Hanjir made a fuss, ranting about how they shouldn’t trust some random person with such an important part of the mission. It seemed obvious enough to Desmond that Hanjir just didn’t want to share the sky with anyone, but the man’s words had convinced the reapers.