Jade Force #8 Civil War in Misera - Cover

Jade Force #8 Civil War in Misera

Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 2: Dining In a Rebel Camp

May 27, 1993

Dr. Wilfred Tanguma did not look like a professor of history bundled up in heavy winter clothes. He was sitting on a folding chair that was half buried in the snow facing a half barrel in which a small fire burned. He was leaning forward with his hands over the flame trying to keep warm. It was bitterly cold.

His childhood friend, Bertulfo ‘Bert’ Venzor, was seated next to him in much the same position. He had just delivered some very bad news.

Bert said, “I don’t like it. Those Jade Force folks are vicious.”

“I know. I really didn’t expect Klay to hire them. It never even occurred to me,” Wilfred said.

“What are we going to do? They’ll kill thousands of people,” Bert said.

Wilfred said, “Maybe if I surrender, they’ll spare everyone else.”

“He hired three hundred of them. They aren’t going to accept surrenders. We’re dead. Everyone who’s protesting is dead,” Bert said.

He scrubbed his face in frustration. He didn’t see any way out of this mess.

Wilfred said, “It was supposed to be simple. We get the people of Misera to overthrow the government and then we petition the new government for a right to vote.”

“That’s a brilliant plan. I kind of expected that, after reading your paper on the Itan/Romal war of 1555.”

Both men turned to look at who was talking. She was standing right behind them.

Oh, shit!”

“A Jade Warrior.”

“Let me introduce myself. I’m Sword Sada. Oops, that’s not right. I’m acting as a Pen, today. So call me, Pen Sada.”

“Hello. I’m Wilfred Tanguma.”

“I’m Bertulfo Venzor.”

“Your friends call you, Bert. Can I call you Bert?” she asked in a chipper cheerful voice.

“Feel free,” he answered wondering how she knew that.

He looked over at Wilfred as if to ask what was happening here. Wilfred shrugged his shoulders, a gesture nearly lost under the thick clothes he was wearing.

“Do you mind if get a bit closer to the fire?”

“Make yourself right at home,” Wilfred said.

“It’s cold out here. I fear that our training was not very good at preparing us to deal with cold weather. We’re going to have to correct that in the future,” Pen Sada said.

She plopped down in the snow.

Dryly, Wilfred said, “Yes. Imra isn’t known for having a cold climate.”

“I’ve got a few friends with me. Do you mind if I invite them into camp?”

“I don’t think we’d be able to stop you,” Wilfred said slumping down in his chair.

In perfect Ganginata, she shouted, “Hey, everyone. You’ve got visitors. Please welcome them to your fire. They’re cold and miserable. Dr. Wilfred Tanguma says it’s okay.”

He shouted, “It’s okay. Let them in the camp.”

“You speak Ganginata,” Bert said.

“Yes. It’s one of my eighteen languages,” she replied.

“Why on earth would you bother to learn Ganginata?”

“Good question. I’m afraid that it’s one that I really can’t answer.”

“Can’t or won’t.”

“Both,” she said with a smile.

“So what now?” Wilfred asked.

“Now, we talk,” Pen Sada said.


“From your conversation earlier, I would guess we were successful in letting you know that we were hired to end the civil war.”


“It was my idea to inform the Gangin sweeping the street in front of the government building that we were hired. You know that he had to have someone’s ear to pass along whatever he overheard from people leaving the building,” Pen Sada said.

Bert and Wilfed exchanged looks of dismay.

She held her hands over the fire and said, “That feels good.”

“Is he still alive?”

“Yes. We haven’t killed anyone ... yet.”

Bert said, “Can you spare him? He’s my cousin and he’s a good kid.”

“He’s not in any danger unless he picks up a gun and points it at one of us,” Pen Sada said.

“Thank you.”

Pen Sada said, “Well, what do you want in order to end this civil war?”


“I believe that your declaration of war stated that you wanted everyone to have fair representation for the people and term limits for the cabinet and the president.

“That’s correct.”

“I think you want more than that. How about real rights for the Gangin? Things like the right to vote, own property, and to be free of the reservation.”

“The plan was to petition the new government for those things,” Wilfred said.

“Brilliant plan. Stir up a revolution, let everyone else do the fighting, and come in after everything is over saying that the Misers didn’t harm a single citizen of Misera and that the Misers supported them in the best way possible by staying out of the fight. I think it might have worked,” Pen Sada said.

“Thank you.”

Pen Sada said, “Then you got us.”

“Yes,” Bert said.

“So are you going to shoot us now?”

“No. How’s this sound? You want term limits on cabinet members, and the President. Every election must have at least two candidates for the election to be official. You want full rights as citizens of Misera for the Gangin. You want amnesty for anyone who participated in the rebellion.”

“That’s great,” Wilfred said. He exhaled loudly and asked, “That’s what I want. It’s not going to happen.”

“Well, we’ve been hired to end the civil war. I think having the government agree to those terms, a speech by you over television declaring that the citizens of Misera got what they wanted, and a short statement from us would end things very nicely.”

“Have you met President Klay?”

“Not personally,” Pen Sada answered.

“He’ll never go for it,” Wilfred said.

“We have a contract. We’ll complete the contract.”

“You don’t know him.”

Pen Sada said, “It doesn’t matter.”

“Why not?”

“Before going to war, one should exhaust all diplomatic means to avoid war. War is a last resort. You negotiate first. That basically says that one side says what they want, the other says what they want, and then you try to reach a reasonable agreement on what will satisfy both sides. Only if there’s a complete failure to reach agreement is it necessary to actually go to war. We haven’t reached that point yet.”

“You’ve read the Mastery of War, by Hung Chou.”

“Of course, I’m a warrior. I’ve studied war my whole life,” Pen Sada said.

“I knew that you and your friends are warriors. I just didn’t realize that you were so well read.”

“It’s easy to be underestimated,” she said. She sighed and said, “That’s the story of my life.”

“So you’ve got my demands.”

“Well, they need to be written down.”

“Okay. I guess I can write them down.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve got a treaty right here. All you have to do is read it over and then sign it,” she said.

She reached into her armor and pulled out an envelope. She handed it over to him. He opened it and glanced over the treaty. There were two pages to it. It read more like a legal contract. It was going to take him a little time to get through it all.

She turned to Bert and said, “So what do you do for fun?”

“Are you talking to me?”

“Yes. He’s busy.”

“I hunt and fish,” Bert answered.

“Hunting is part of our training. I went after a man-eating tiger for my hunt,” she said. “You ever go after a tiger?”

“No. I usually go after deer,” he said amazed.

“Let me tell you about my tiger hunt,” she said.

Without waiting for him to say anything, she then proceeded to tell him all about her tiger hunt in the bamboo jungles of Imra. Bert stared at her throughout her description of her hunt. It was hard to believe that she could actually go after a tiger. The only thing more dangerous than a tiger was a water buffalo or a hippopotamus. He wasn’t sure which. Looking at her, he realized that the most dangerous animal was a human.

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