Not a Princess Ficbit – Stripes

“Sorry you’re AWOL, Captain. Seemed like the safest option.”

Sitting all the way up, Hank carefully swung his legs over the side of the bed, toes reaching out to brush the floor before he committed any weight to his feet. So far, so good. The scar twinged, but it didn’t feel like there was any serious damage left unhealed. “Hauling me out of a medic’s hands doesn’t seem safe-”

“The colonel in charge of the hospital wanted you shot. Will waited, watching to be sure Hank had read that before writing on. “There was an officer from Intelligence arguing with him, but colonel ranks lieutenant and I didn’t think she’d get orders to countermand him in time.”

Ah. The old game of “count the stripes”. That might be reason enough to sneak quickly and quietly away. Still. “Why did he want me shot?”

“I don’t know.” Will tapped the board, underlined the words, and gave Hank a pointed look. “Cain lied about you. Did he lie about Elaine?”

Blood on her coat, bubbling from her lung- Hank flinched, and had to turn away. “Yes.”

Chalk scraped. Hank winced, but made himself face the words.

“What happened?”

“You’re not going to like it,” Hank warned.

William stared at him a long moment. Deliberately blinked.

“Right, you already don’t like it.” Hank shook himself, trying not to remember every last detail of that horrible evening. “The night before we were supposed to make that last push, Elaine called me away from the camp to talk….”

He laid it all out, sparing nothing. William had a daughter and a swarm of orphans to look after. If every Incarnate was going to go mad – Will, of all people, needed time to prepare. For his children’s sakes.

12 thoughts on “Not a Princess Ficbit – Stripes

    1. Very possible. Vathara talked about the potential reasons the Squad as a whole were falling apart and why Hank might not have been going the same way some while back.
      This could be what Will needs to get on the same road.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So far as we know, yes – at least before he was a zombie dragon. The town was terrified of him anyway.

        “It’s really hard to feed a dragon” is going to be a serious problem in this fic, too. Hank is going to be running up against “wounded soldier stipend doesn’t cover nearly what our supplies covered, This Is Not Good.”


  1. Comes to mind that Elaine was cracked, and that she was perhaps setting the incarnates up for failure.

    Comes to mind again that this is a good setting for fanfic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. /Comes to mind that Elaine was cracked, and that she was perhaps setting the incarnates up for failure./
      Well remember that something has seemed to be giving ‘guidance’ to Elaine.

      Elaine: “The voice of God. Are you sure you can’t hear it? All I’ve done is obey the voice. That Voice is what birthed you. All of you. The Incarnates.”

      So it’s possible that her meltdown of ‘no hope, kill everyone’ came about due to the entity/Somnium/whatever* relaxing it’s grip/stopping it’s ‘suggestions’ enough for her to really parse what she had created.

      *Comments for one of the latest raw chapters suggest that Elaine was supposed to be a sacrifice or something to awaken/revive a god due to her connection to the Somnium.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Mmm… Elaine didn’t seem cracked to me, not in that way. More that she’d crossed the Despair Event Horizon, and it was making her stupid. She was, IIRC, openly planning on following Hank into whatever afterlife awaited them, as soon as she’d “paid her penance” for the crimes she’d committed against him, the squad, and god/nature/whatever.

      *Cain,* now… he looks like he went quietly nuts (some mix of sociopathy, psychopathy, and megalomania) well before, and I suspect he was preying on, and feeding, Elaine’s fears. Possibly even finding ways to covertly destabilize other Incarnates, or at least prevent the more unstable members from finding avenues to counteract their mental slide. Especially if he has any of the classical vampire mental-manipulation powers.

      And given that both Hank and Elaine trusted Cain *implicitly*, without so much as a tiny suspicion that he was playing them, right up until the Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal….

      Liked by 2 people

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