General Sid - Cover

General Sid

Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 17

At the sound of a knock on his door, Sid frowned and sat up in the bed. Exhausted from all of the activity before the battle for the citadel, the battle itself, and taking control after the battle; all Sid wanted to do was get a half hour nap.

Looking over at the door, he said, “Come in.”

Fred opened the door and said, “I’m sorry to disturb you, Sid, but I thought you would want to know about this. There is a woman here to see you.”

“A woman?” Sid asked wearily.

He was tired of women wanting to sleep with him out of gratitude for being freed. The rules of Crossroads forbade him from sampling the charms of women native to Chaos. He wasn’t even allowed to sample the charms of the women from Cassandra until he brought them back to Crossroads.

“Yes. Should I send her up here or will you want to go down to the front room?” Fred asked.

There were times when he really wished that Cynthia had come along to take care of his sexual needs.

Standing up, Sid said, “I’ll come down.”

“Yes, Sid,” Fred said stepping out of Sid’s way. When Sid passed him, he smiled and shook his head. He had a good idea that Sid would be very interested in this particular woman. The minute he had met her, she had reminded him of two other women he had known.

Stepping into the front parlor, Sid looked at the woman waiting for him. He recognized her immediately. She was one of the damsels that he had come to find. He hadn’t expected to find her in this area.

In a soft voice, he said, “Mary of Cassandra. I’ve been looking for you, but I didn’t expect to find you here.”

Upon hearing him say her name, Mary knew that Sid was one of the Heroes. She had been hoping that General Sid Jones was related to Gerald Jones. She had to confirm her belief, she asked, “You are a Hero?”

“Yes, my Damsel in Distress. I came here to rescue from your slavery,” Sid replied as he moved over to her.

“I have to know, is this a real rescue?” Mary asked. The idea that she would have to wait to be rescued from some other horrible situation was almost too much for her to bear.

“Yes, Mary of Cassandra, this is a real rescue. I will be taking you back to Crossroads,” Sid said.

With a sigh of relief, Mary took a moment to examine Sid. Her eyes dropped to his crotch while she tried to estimate the actual size of his package. What she saw pleased her significantly.

Licking her lips, she said, “I can’t wait.”

The hungry look on her face had the usual impact on Sid. Once again, he couldn’t help feeling a little intimidated by the hunger that women from Cassandra had for sex. His exhaustion didn’t really allow him to think too much about it.

He turned towards the door and said, “Fred?”

Fred, who had been waiting outside the room, opened the door and entered without saying a word. Sid said, “I need you to find a room for Mary. She’ll be staying here with us for the next few days.”

With a gesture towards Mary, Fred smiled and said, “Come with me and I’ll get a room for you. Are you hungry?”

“Not for food,” Mary answered. She turned to examine Sid once again. A shiver of anticipation went through her body at the idea of what she had heard about Earthmen.

Looking over at her, Sid said, “I’ll see you after you’re settled in.”

Sid watched the pair leave the parlor. Exhausted beyond belief, he made his way upstairs and crashed on the bed. He didn’t even have a chance to take off his boots before he was sound asleep. After an hour, Fred came into the room and pulled the boots off Sid’s feet. Sid didn’t even move.

Although he expected Fred to wake him after half an hour, it was the next morning before Sid woke. Climbing down the stairs, he was surprised at all of the activity. Mary was eating breakfast while chatting with Fred. It was obvious that Fred was completely amazed by whatever Mary was telling him.

Taking a seat at the table, Sid loaded a plate with sliced ham, scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, melon, cheese, and several rolls. Looking down at his plate, he realized just how much food he had taken. Feeling a little embarrassed, he said, “I hope everyone else has eaten.”

Laughing, Fred said, “From what Mary has been telling me, you’re going to need all the energy that you can get.”

“Oh, my,” Sid said and looked back down at his plate. His stomach growled impatient at the delay in eating. Winking at Mary, he added, “Maybe I’ll manage seconds.”

“And here I was hoping you’d go for thirds. Taking care of me is going to require a lot of energy,” Mary said with a smile. She licked her lips and leaned over to peer over the edge of the table. The angle was bad and that which she had wanted to see was hidden from view.

Masterson came into the parlor and grabbed a roll. He ripped off a chunk of the roll and held it up to his mouth. Before popping the piece of bread in his mouth, he said, “It looks like the enemy really wants to surrender. If I had to guess, they didn’t have any food or water in that big building of theirs.”

Looking puzzled, Sid asked, “Why do you say that?”

“Well, I had a few of our men break their fast at a table I placed in front of the building. It was a simple breakfast with roast of beef, ham, eggs, bread, melons, cheese, fish, chickens, and breakfast pies. You should have seen the men in that building hanging out the windows watching our men eat,” Masterson said with a grin. He figured that most of them hadn’t eaten in the last day. He popped another piece of the roll in his mouth.

Shaking his head, Sid said, “You’re enjoying this too much.”

After washing the bread down with some hot tea, Masterson said, “That was just the beginning. After the men were done eating, we threw the left over food into the trench around the building. One man actually fell out of the window.”

Peterson hid his face behind his hands and asked, “So what did you do with him?”

“Ah, we tried to throw him back but he didn’t really want to go back,” Peterson answered with a laugh.

Shaking his head, Sid asked, “So what happened?”

“Well, after we started feeding him another dozen fell out the window,” Masterson answered. Ripping a piece of the ham off the bone, he added, “They really are an accident prone group of soldiers. I’m really looking forward to lunch.”

“How did the General react?” Sid asked. He looked down at his plate and found that he’d already eaten half of the food on it.

“The man has no sense of humor. He didn’t even grin,” Masterson answered with a shrug of his shoulders. The enemy general had been furious. Grinning, he added, “The language the man used was quite impressive.”

Connor shook his head and said, “I’ll bet it was.”

“Maybe you should board up the second floor windows. I’d hate to think of them hurting themselves by falling two floors,” Fred said with a smirk. He preferred to think of them hurting themselves by falling three floors, but was tactful enough not to voice his preference aloud.

“I figure it will take at least a week before the general comes down,” Sid said. Turning to Connor, he asked, “So how are the freed slaves settling?”

“Well, it was a little rough, last night. Too many people and not enough places for them to sleep. Barson is taking a bunch of them out into the country to settle in some of the farms around the citadel. Almost six hundred of them volunteered to join with us,” Connor answered.

“Is that going to be a problem?” Sid asked knowing they had suffered significant loses during the attack. The defender always had the advantage.

“Not at all. We have close to six thousand here. We can add a new man to every ten man squad without much harm,” Connor said. Shaking his head, he said, “We lost almost that many in the attack. We’ve got over a thousand wounded. Most of the wounds are minor, but we’ll lose another hundred for the duration of the war. It’ll take them that long to recover.”

Sid had been afraid of that. He sprinkled some salt on his tomato quarters while thinking about what to do with the wounded. Because he had conquered the citadel, he became the owner of the citadel. It was his to dispose of as he desired. Looking up, he said, “Give the seriously wounded men houses in the citadel and the rank of guard. Make the highest ranking man of them the Captain of the Guard. When they heal, they’ll be in charge of the defense of the citadel.”

Peterson nodded his head and said, “Your uncle did exactly the same thing when he established his citadel.”

Sid had not known that, but it made sense to him. Nodding his head, he said, “Some of the lesser wounded men we’ll set up in some of the surrounding towns. Let them be the night watchmen. When they heal, let them decide what they’re going to do.”

“What about their pay?” Peterson asked.

“We’ll continue to pay them so long as they continue to serve as guards,” Sid answered.

Peterson, Masterson, and Connor all looked at each other. They knew that Sid’s decision would reach all of the men. One of the great fears on a campaign of this magnitude was that a man would be wounded and then left behind to beg for a living. More often than not, groups of such men would band together to become bandits. Sid’s solution of establishing the men in positions where they could recover their lives would bind his army to him more than ever. Peterson said, “I will tell Barson to make the arrangements for that.”

Sid nodded and said, “If any man expresses a strong desire for a different future, then do what you can to make it happen.”

The source of this story is Finestories

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