Mariana and I were elbow slumped on the bar, combat adrenaline draining by the moment. Mariana reached over the bar and grabbed a spoon then carefully removed all but one piece of ice from her glass. Locking her gaze straight into my eyes, she handed me the spoon. I did likewise with the ice and waited a moment.
She raised the glass “To Honored Foes”
My response “May they find an open seat at Fiddlers Green”
“And a cold Beer close to hand”
We then tipped the drinks, carefully drained them and spun the glasses upside down on the bar.
A voice behind us said “That looked a bit like a ritual”
I answered with a long winded reply.
“It is my friend. It comes from the work of an old military philosopher named Grossman. He said Human society could be divided into three types; Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves. My Grandpa changed that a little. He said the world is divided into the Garden, the Wall and the Jungle. There are people best suited to live in each; those are the sheep in the garden, the sheepdogs on the wall, and the wolves in the jungle. Naturally being by nature fairly close the wolves and the sheepdogs eventually interbreed. Some of these events produce sheepdogs, some wolves and some a new breed. Those are the wolves with a conscience. This new breed could basically exist anywhere but they came up with a new concept. Do not stand on the wall, get out in the jungle and stop the threat. Surprisingly they developed a thing called a Code of Honor. You do not attack until the wolf is a legitimate threat then; you kill without mercy or undue torture.
When those first two goons approached the ramp, one was carrying a force beam projector. If he had clamped to the visible inside corridor wall and the HOR; we would either still be there or learning to breathe vacuum. He had to be stopped NOW! After that the gloves were off.
But the Code of Honor requires one other thing. Honor the dead, no matter which side they were on. For if you do not-“
And Mariana finished it “You become them”.
“If it ever gets too easy or you do not feel like crap; you no longer have a place in the garden”
“Yooh Tim, can we get another round??
(To Be Continued)