Marching in March

March 12

  So we are now all back on solid land--or, er, cloud. It turns out that Jacques,being some kind of a Pirate Lord, had quite a few pirates at his disposal--which means we have a pretty good starter army. But Mr. Drawf informs me that Bosh had been building his military ever since he took office, so there's no doubt that he would outnumber us if it came to a battle.

  But then, his army consists wholly of lunatics, who are not so great when it comes to obeying orders. On the flip side though, lunatics are said to have extraordinary strength. There's a reason why the phrase "to fight like a madman" exists.

  Which brings up a question that I've been itching to ask. But I want to put it tactfully. Finally, a few days ago, I just blurted it out,

"Jacques?"

"Yes, Princess?" he said, preoccupied reading a map. I keep trying to get him to stop calling me Princess, but he won't. And it's not because he wants to be respectful; it's just to annoy me. The worst thing is that because he, the captain, calls me Princess, the rest of the crew has to as well. I think he enjoys watching me squirm when everyone used that ridiculous title.  I ignored it this time.

"Why aren't you mad?" So much for tact.

He straightened, and looked at me. "Pardon?"

"Um..."I was regretting asking this question now. But I had to go through with it. "Well, it's just that the couple of humans I'd met here, they're all somewhat...insane. They reply to voices in their heads, have invisible pet unicorns, things like that. But you seem--well--normal."

Jacques laughed. "It's Lalaland we're talking about," he said. "That invisible pet unicorn probably exists. Insanity is normal here."

"You know what I mean."

"Well, it's probably the sea air." He said, returning to his map. "I hear it's quite invigorating. Clears the mind and all that."

But I wasn't finished. "Why didn't you need the protective suit on the Arsenic Sea? Are pirates immune to the hydroflouric acid or something?"

"Oh no, not at all," he said. "Every year we have a couple people die falling in, or after being splashed too much. Weeds out the weak, you know." He lifted up a brown hand. "I can't feel a couple of fingers in this hand. Hurt like hell when I got acid on it. Always wore gloves after that."

I was sufficiently horrified after that to bother him any longer.

Yesterday we started marching for Windsoar castle. The drawf is very confident that we'll be able to gather more anti-Bosh supporters along the way. The thing is, I don't like marching much (never been a military person). I just don't really see the appeal of walking continuously from dawn til dusk.

"Don't we have tanks or something?" I asked.

"Tanks are Bosh items," the drawf said, in a tone one would employ when talking about cockroaches or leeches.

This made me wonder what chances our on-foot army has against tanks (not to mention nuclear bombs or whatever Bosh has in his arsenal).

"Or cars, even," I said. "I mean, I just mentioned tanks because it seemed more military. Any transportation would be good, really." I tell you, even marching on clouds takes a toll on your feet after a while.

"Cars pollute the air," the drawf said shortly. Geez, he's not much fun, is he?

"What about llamas? Didn't we ride llamas here?" I asked.

"We do not have llamas for the whole army. And just you riding with others walking on foot would not set a good example of you as the future Queen."

Oh, for goodness's sake. I thought the whole point of being Queen was being pampered. But I guess I would feel uncomfortable if I rode while others marched. Darn you, conscience.

And so we marched.

Ah well, I can pretend I'm Queen Elizabeth I or someone. She marched with her army too, didn't she?

The End

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