Ready to Board

This just felt weird. Evans was standing in a suit that probably cost more than everything he owned combined. He was standing next to Polly, who was wearing an equally expensive dress. And around them, the military was running around, doing their thing. The Ligurian ship was supposed to arrive today. It contained mail and journalists.

As part of an agreement in the beginning of the war, as long as Liguria remained neutral, neither nation would touch their transports. As part of their neutrality, Ligurian vessels  were not allowed to transport military related items. They were, however, allowed to ship civilians, mail, and a wealth of products that might otherwise be unavailable. To keep things neutral, Liguria consented to having a Vledscan officer and an Ethslin Officer assigned to each ship that went to either country to inspect the cargo. Occasionally, Military officers such as Colonel Harvard were allowed to take a trip, as long as they were accompanied by a Ligurian representative in some fashion. In Harvard’s case, there was a man who sat in the front of the truck, spending his time reading books.

And, since Evans and Polly were now civilians, they were allowed onboard. Or at least they would be, if the transport would come on time. Evans pulled out a cigarette and looked for his lighter, another well dressed man walked over, struck a match, and lit it for Evans, “So, who you with?”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m Charles Watson  with the Strongfield Post.”

“Oh, sorry, we’re not reporters. We’re… on government business?” Evans looked to Polly, “What the fuck do we say we’re doing?”

“How should I know, wait for the Colonel?”

“So you’re here on what kind of business?”

“Sir, I’m gonna level with you,” Evans took a puff of his cigarette, “I have no idea what we’re doing here. We’re just waiting for the next ship outta here.”

“Ah, might I ask who you two are?”

“James Evans. I’m from Halton.”

“Halton…” Watson furled his brow, “That’s a small town on the rail line out of Strongfield, right?”

“Yep,” Evans took another puff, “My family has a farm, so we come into Strongfield every once and a while to sell our crops.”

“So how does a young farmer end up on ‘Government Business?’”

Colonel Harvard walked up, “These two are assistants for Duchess Medway, working to prepare for her coronation. You want an exclusive? The other one is Ann Stoddart.”

“Oh, wow, may I have an interview?”

“No, sorry, transport has arrived, and Mister Evans and Mrs. Stoddart really must be going right now,” He looked to the two of them, “Come on, let’s pop off. Transport leaves in an hour.”

As the trio left, Evans shouted back to the man, “IF YOU WANT A HEROIC STORY, LOOK FOR ENSIGN CARRUTHERS OF THE FIFTH!”

“Alright, first off, I apologize deeply, but you two will have to share a room. Normally I’d offer to share a cabin with Mister Evans and give Mrs. Stoddart a room to yourself, but I have to stay with my representative so they make sure I don’t bring any documents… It’s all a bit ridiculous, but you know, whatever they have to do to get you to safely to Medway. And, if anyone asks you what you’re doing, it is perfectly alright to say what you’re doing. It’s not a secret or anything. Just make sure to act professional about it all.”

“Yes Mister Harvard.”

“Very Well. And remember, you will be searched once we get on board, so empty your pockets and try not to look too suspicious, alright?”

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