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A Whole Lot of Bull
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Topic: A Whole Lot of Bull  (Read 663 times)

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on: May 12, 2018, 06:30:08 PM A Whole Lot of Bull

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OOV Document 012 - A Whole Lot of Bull
2018-04-20 (thru 2018-05-12)
Dutch Galaxy

Well, as we’re approaching the endgame of the Varian/Veekar storyline, I thought I would prepare a two-section OOV to help celebrate the roundup. Of course, time ran away from me, so - this is Section One only.

Musical interludes are provided by:   Mean Mary on Fast Banjo: Iron Horse

Theman walked down the hall of the hold. While the halls and corridors of power, here on Gianfar wee not as crowded as they were, earlier in the season, he still had to duck and dodge to make his way. Only the first several caravans of holders and crafters had departed to return to the north, leaving a still overly large crowd in the south, pending warmer weather.

Peering over the massed heads and shoulders of a particularly unmoving throng, Theman saw the lady holder turn a corner towards her steward’s office. He checked the hide in his hands - good - that was where he was invited, to be. Theman walked faster, with purpose, heedless of the throng.

Still well down the hall from the office, he again saw the lady holder, her head even with a decorative work on the wall, walking into the open door. Approaching, Theman looked straight at the artwork - not up, but straight at it. Wasn’t the lady holder taller than he was? Curious.

Knocking, and entering when bidden, he was surprised to find the lady holder absent, the room’s only occupant a grizzled veteran of her lady’s service, a trusted lieutenant, sitting at a desk in front of an ornate wall hanging. The man looked up. “What?”

“I was asked here.” Theman opened. “Did I see the lady holder enter? Is she available?”

“The holder is out, on business and is not available,” the irascible man countered, looking over Theman’s invitation and then continued, “but we summoned you here, as we need your services, in service to the hold.”

“??”, Theman expressed his punctuation with a look.

“This is important. The hold needs you to deliver one to two dozen stout strong young bulls, ready to board ship for a sea voyage.”

“Are you looking to destroy your ship?” Theman asked, amused. “Young bulls are full of vim and vigor - they will fight, each other, you, the ship, just about anything all looking to assert dominance. That’s why we isolate them in separate paddocks, preferably not even in sight of each other. Your ship will not last an overnight. And by the way, sea voyage? Where on Pern do you need them?”

“Where we need them is not your concern. We just need them, is all.”

“Still not a good idea, if you value your life. Whatever do you need them for? Maybe I can suggest an alternative means of transport?”

“They are needed. We need them to charge a particular location, and we do not want animals which can be turned aside. Now, when can you deliver those bulls?” The lieutenant countered.

“How about this,” Theman demurred, “I deliver you a dozen steers. They’re altered, heavier, won’t want to fight, be easier to handle, AND,” he added, holding up a finger, “they won’t kill you getting to wherever it is you want to go.”

“No. I want big, I want aggressive. This exercise is designed around an animal stampede. We need the bulls.”

“Do you want to die before you get to where you’re going? Bulls require careful handling - who do you have… you were going to handle them yourself, weren’t you.” Theman’s question was less an interrogative, more of a statement - an accusation of idiocy. “I don’t want to see even you get killed by ignorance of the ways of these beasts. Better yet, I get you twice the number you ask for, in steers, and an apprentice to handle them. Deal?”

The lieutenant considered Theman’s words. “Will the animals charge? Without turning?

“Once they start moving, they’ll move, and not alter their tracks. They’re also heavier, so external influences are less likely to affect them, either.” Theman said, understanding this man’s strange needs, but for what?

Can I depended on your apprentice? We’ll have other animals as well, runners and burden beasts. How about - we’ll take the steers - and TWO apprentices, AND you.” The man’s request had a finality to it.

“I’ll need some time to gather the animals and people, maybe a sevenday or two. When do you want to depart, from where and two where?”

Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate....
- Dutch

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