Dergoz seemed duly hesitant now, though whether it was out of respect, confusion, or fear, Lawrence could not tell. Perhaps all three. ‘What about Sanko? Is she involved in your plan, too?’
“No, unfortunately. She remains entirely loyal to Sermung.”
‘But she could arrive any day now. If she joins the Rainlords against us--’
“It won’t come to that.”
‘How can you be sure?’
“You will just have to trust us.”
‘You have something up your sleeve?’
Parson only smiled.
And Lawrence began to realize how wrong he’d been about these two. For as long as he’d known them, Parson and Overra had been the most moronic of all his superior officers. Parson perhaps a little more so than Overra, but still. They’d always been goofball slackers, enjoying themselves just a bit too much for Dergoz’s liking, and Lawrence couldn’t really disagree.
And yet, now that Lawrence was thinking about it, they had been largely successful in most of the missions where he’d worked with them.
There was more to it than that, wasn’t there? By now, he and Dergoz had worked with them dozens upon dozens of times, but Lawrence was struggling to think of an instance when they’d truly failed a mission. Things had certainly gotten messy sometimes, and no doubt, some of the official reports would indicate failure as a result, but that wasn’t the whole truth of it.
Lawrence recalled an incident during the Jungle Wars where Parson lost track of a certain unruly Melmoorian diplomat whom they were supposed to protect. They eventually found the diplomat in an Abolish prison and rescued him. The man was so grateful that he went on to provide the Vanguard with decades of key political support that probably ended up saving Melmoore from the same financial ruin that caused its neighbors to crumble.
Then there was the assassination attempt that should not have succeeded but did anyway, because Parson insisted on an overlong equipment check that morning. They caught hell from Lamont for that screw up, and yet, a few years later, documents surfaced which indicated that the man they let be assassinated had been maintaining secret prison camps for Abolish.
There was always something like that, Lawrence was realizing. Parson would make some mistake, be labeled an idiot for it, and then everyone would forget. Or at least, Lawrence would. Only in retrospect did it become clear that most of those “mistakes” had since been vindicated in some way.