Case of Earwyn
19 July, 332 YD — somewhere, the Lovlos Sea, Tyrfing
The newlyweds gazed out at the limitless blue. Time had stopped, and the mainland had finally escaped their vision, after three hours of sailing. Every so often one of the ocean's gray waves would splash over them, but they could barely notice the cold, entranced with each other's touch as they were. Though they were hundreds of miles from Vakil, Lana's salt-kissed lips still and home.
Earwyn wrapped one arm around Lana, and pointed out to the horizon with his other.
"Look, love. That speck off in the distance is Lyapunov Tor, the shifting island. We're so lucky to be able to be able to see it up close. It's like the gods wanted this moment to be especially romantic."
The dream ended as Lana pulled away from her husband and scowled.
"I'm sorry?" Earwyn was puzzled.
"Wynnie, don't you know any history?"
"Of course I do." He frowned for a second to recall, and then continued. "In 307 Year of Death, the Confederacy liberated the island from the Glorious Republic in twelve days of naval and aerial battle. The battle was remarkable for the Confederacy's novel use of druidic teleportation magic to keep up with the island's movements, and in that Bradamante's presence in the Tyrfing Archipelago collapsed soon after."
"Wynnie, my grandparents lived on Lyapunov Tor. They died in the bombing. Or maybe they were among the stragglers that Bradamante executed during the evacuation. Whatever. Nobody knows and it doesn't matter."
"Before we have kids, you need stop viewing war as a game. Otherwise they'll inherit that crappy attitude."
Earwyn could not think of any fair response to that, except a weak little "I'm sorry."
"If you're sorry, then promise me something."
"I know you have connections with the powers that be, even if you pretend to be a common soldier."
How the hell does she know that? Who else have I spilled my secrets to?
"Wynnie, promise me this. Before our children are adults, you'll push for an end to the cold war with any means you have. I won't see our babies get drafted."
"Honey, they ended conscription years ago. Murakami only uses undead armies now."
"You said you'd promise me anything."
"Yes but, well, okay. I promise."
18 February, 348 YD — Base Glenius, District Vakil, Ame-no-Murakami
"Sir, please wake up."
Earwyn groaned and looked up to see a thoroughly peeved Nadeko looking down at him.
Gods, did she really have to wake me up there? Earwyn's dreams had been true to memory, and if his memory served him well, it was just about to get to the good part, wherein Lana forgave him and they spent the next week absorbed in each other at sea.
"I don't understand why you stay at the office so late every day when you always just end up falling asleep around the thirteenth hour."
"You know damn well why I stay so late. More than that, you're the only one I trust enough to let know why I stay so late, but since your memory is apparently quite poor, let me drill it into your head again."
"Since the ROSCOE Incident six months ago, we have been in the position to end the cold war. General Nema is a greedy profiteering ass, so he would not approve — so I only advance these designs after he departs for the day."
"Sir, as your attendant, I am charged with giving you candid advice, though you may like it not." Her words were so cold, they could make an ice dragon retire. "Have you ever considered that General Nema would not approve your plan because of how absolutely, completely, fucking reckless it is?"
"The first principle of war in the Equinoctial Analects is that great victories require great risks. But this plan is really not so reckless; if things go south, the fallout will mainly affect the desert outside Akadeos, which was uninhabitable anyways."
"Sir," Nadeko asked, "Why do I not report your insubordination to General Nema?"
"You do not report my actions for two reasons. The primary reason is that, while you have a shadow of doubt in you, you know, deep down, that I am in the right. A secondary motive, I suppose, is that the magic on you prevents you from leaking any more of my secrets; after your run-in with my son, I made sure of that."
Earwyn stood up, wiped the sleep from his eyes, and towered over Nadeko.
"In two years' time, the Cold War of Ascalon will be a fantasy for the history books."