After the feast, the main hall was cleared of all tables. Tomorrow, we would go to battle. Tonight, we would spend one more night with our loved ones. At 0800, we would all be standing there in the main hall, counting off. Myself included.
I walked to the armory and commissary with Margot. we had to make sure all the packs were filled with enough food for the campaign. I held her close as we went. Our men and women in uniform would be fitted with the armor we now had to counter the weapons of the sec-bots. And the new attack droids and cyborgs the suppliers had sold to the enemy. It was an odd relationship, the one between us and the arms makers.
They sold weapons to the enemy, then sold us the counter-measures. Our intel assured us that the dealers and makers had purposely not sold the enemy the armor, stating that there wasn’t any such armor. We had, in turn, been sold both weapons and armor. I got the feeling that the arms makers and dealers were secretly plotting with us to destroy the corporations. After all, the arms makers had lost a huge chunk of their income through the sudden banning of all weapons privately owned and they had always wanted that ban lifted. We represented their best chances of seeing their wishes come true.
We had bought anti-droid/bot weaponry, created to punch through and destroy any nonhuman defense. We had anti-cyborg weaponry, which was created to shut down the mechanics within, or totally meltdown all cyborg systems. and we had stunner weaponry to put down, but not kill human defenses if need be. But I doubted that the mercenaries would put up a resistance. Nor would the workers. Most, if not all, would desert their corporate bosses and join us. I had already planted that seed at the beginning of the revolution.
The workers would go wherever they felt protected. In this case, they would come and join us. It would be like taking candy from a baby. I smiled at the thought.
We were met by Aldus. He had always been in charge of the armory, and yet I barely remembered the day I hired him. I nodded to him. “Aldus.”
He nodded back. “Sir. All service packs are complete. The armor is ready for every soldier to put on. We will be more than ready to begin operations tomorrow, Boss.”
I smiled when he called me ‘Boss’. “Good man. How many MREs to a pack?”
He smiled. “There are at least four per meal. That is meant to give him a choice of meal. We will refill all packs before the last one is eaten. We will be filling the packs with more once the missions become longer.” He looked at me. “They are getting longer, aren’t they?”
I chuckled. “Yes. First, we take this city. Then the next. And the next. I intend for this whole country, no the continent, to be freed from this evil.”
He nodded. “Yes, Sir, I agree. It would not do just to free one city.”
Margot hugged my side. She was taking this all in. And loving every minute of it. All except the idea of me being gone longer periods of time in the future. But she knew it would be necessary. Especially to show our soldiers that I was not just their commander. I was also one of them.
I looked over at her as I got ready to go back to our bunker. “Ready to go home, Baby?”
She looked into my eyes and smiled. “”You betcha, Soldier.”
I smiled. “Let’s go. This may be one of the few nights we have together for a while.”
Her smile faded into a look of concern. “I know. I wish it wasn’t so, but you have the need to go and serve. I admire that. I respect that. I only ask that you come back in one piece. Alive.”
I smiled sadly, but reassuringly. “Don’t worry, Love. I do not intend to put myself in harm’s way.”
she nodded. “I know.”
I pulled her close as we walked. I knew it was going to be a long night. But I would wish that it could have been longer. I hated those ‘night before’ type nights. They were always the hardest. The joys of spending time were lessened by the ugliness of what tomorrow would bring. And our tomorrow brought me leaving to fight with those I had enlisted for this revolution.
As I imagined darkness settling over the land, separating day from night, I picked a playlist for the evening. Beethoven seemed too pretentious. Too brash. Too tumultuous.
Perhaps a little Chopin. And Bach. Of course, I would have to throw some Benny Goodman in there along with some Glen Miller. Nothing metallic. Nothing rock. Nothing old contemporary. Just a little jazz and classical.
We entered our bunker and I slipped over to the sound system. I found the antiquated discs and put them into the player. Then turned the music down to set the mood. I gently took her by the hand. “May I have this dance, My Dear?”
She grinned. “Of course, Soldier.”
We spent a good three or four hours dancing around our makeshift living room. Waltzes. The Charleston. Whatever her heart desired. And, of course, I had made sure we had learned all before this fated day. But she had already known most, so it really didn’t matter.
I never asked her where she learned them, having known her father. He had been big into dancing when I had first met him. He would talk of the days he used to take her mother out dancing. And of how he’s taught his daughters how to dance. I had allowed how I was a fair dancer myself, and he’d challenged me to a dance-off. He’d won.
I could see a lot of him in her. The fiery temper. The take-charge mentality. The readiness to take on injustice. And the willingness to call a spade a spade. Lord, how I loved her!