Chapter 1: The General (part 3)Mature

Francis Yeyger checked his watch and saw that it was nearly 9 O clock. Better get this girl up and running he thought to himself. He called to the other two crew in the stormwalker's main body Thompson, Klaut and Jenkins. "All right boys lets get moving" he said. technically Jenkins, the ships gunner and Thompson who reloaded it did not need to be present but it would have been wrong to exclude them or Feredova up in the 'head' of the machine as it was dubbed.He  rapped his knuckles on the metal above him. "Get ready darlin, we gonna get movin". He heard no reply. Kid probably fell asleep he mused. He did not blame her., being stuck up there could get very boring, at least down here in the belly of the beast their were always things that needed checking and rechecking. He would wake her up before the procession came to an end. It would be quite humiliating to be caught by none other than general Tiberius himself when sleeping on the job. Klaut fired up the engines and the steel behemoth roared into life. its chassis rose up slowly and the stationary stabilizers retracted back around the machine's 'hips'. It then began to plod down the street at Francis' command

Garviel felt the machine vibrate as its engines powered up. He opened the view slit where he was which gave him a narrow view of the street ahead of the machine. It rose up and fell sharply as it plodded along the cobbled street. Within a few minutes they came out onto a street thronged with people cheering,waving and screaming. the nambtha lamps shone with greater luminosity here and most likely  deliberately at this moment to enhance the parade.  Soldiers of the imperial army marched in three ruler straight lines all moving in synchronisation. Th officer at the front of each barring a regiment flag. behind them came more officers on cavalry, he even caught a glimpse of a zeppelin overhead firing off fireworks. Finally came the large rectangular mechanised float which general Tiberius himself rode. He stood on a podium like structure waving and saluting to the crowd. He was a tall man in his early fifties at least reasoned Garviel. he had a well built frame with wide shoulders, His greying hair was kept short and his grey mustache kept immaculately trimmed. His grey eyes stared at the people with great fondness. He did not look like a man capable of stealing and murder, and yet as Garviel knew he was. They had intercepted letter to his loyal associates about his plans to become emperor and the money he stole. It all ends tonight for you General thought garviel with a sense of satisfaction. How dare this man who was sworn to protect the empire stoop to attempt something so devious. Garviel's stormwalker filed in beside the general's float and another stormwalker also appeared from another side street and fell in at the other side of the float.

The procession continued until they came in sight of the Imperial Dome where the empress herself resided. By now they had past the last of the crowds. Garviel gently opened the hatch and peered out. below him Tiberius was pulling out a bottle and taking a long slug of whiskey from it. The night seemed to have worn the old man out. Garviel waited until the float passed into the shadow of a large building before he made his move. He vaulted out of the stormwalker and landed deftly on the float behind the general. he snuck up until he was close enough to smell the fine Walters Bourbon from his breath. He grabbed the man by the shoulders and spun him around. The general did not even get to scream in horror and Garviel's masked face stared right into his. Tiberius could see his own shocked expression in those merciless green lenses. Garviel brought his right hand up to the man's neck and whispered gently enough for only them to hear. "find peace, traitor" Tiberius finally regained his ability  to speak "please..." he cried weakly. The blade of the clockwork mechanism on Garviel's right hand shot out and jabbed straight into the man's throat. A thin jet of crimson fluid came squirting out as the blade entered. he general's mouth opened in shock and pain and Garviel could see the blood that was already beginning to flood his mouth and redden his teeth. He let the General's limp body go and visualised himself on top of the roof on a building adjacent the float. He Heard someone cry out  behind him "By the empress!, he,s been killed!. The guardsmen began to fan out in the street and look to the rooftops to see where their leader's killer had gone. Garviel smiled to himself as his entire body turned translucent, he had not been capable of that before. He walked across the rooftop and away from the corpse of his first target. He was sure there would be many more to follow in the years to come


The End

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