Toy Soldiers

Victor Arsov is a power-crazy maniac. And, somehow, he's gotten hold of some of the world's most influential new technology, so now his toy soldiers...

Are real soldiers.

Victor Arsov pursed his lips distastefully, beady black eyes searching the table before him.  Upon it were four, green, toy soldiers, all of which were lying on their plastic backs, placed about a foot apart from each-other.  It was a painstakingly simple situation, the one Victor found himself in:

Decide what his next move would be.

Or, rather, decide what their next move would be.  

Victor took a delicate sip of his sparkling water, and then set it back on the gleaming wooden table, careful not to spill it.  

Victor preferred to think that he was not an old man, though most people would disagree with him.  He was a right tortoise of a man; several of his maids had placed bets the previous week on whether he was older or younger than one hundred.  He had a shaggy, thinning mop of shockingly white hair, which perched atop his liver-spotted head with all the poise of a particularly ungraceful parakeet, and a terribly large, hawk nose that was far too big for his prune-like face.  The gambling maids had also started pools on what animal he most resembled: tortoise, bird, or hairless cat.  Victor himself had put twenty thousand rubles on the tortoise - he was quite the affluent "old timer."

The bare room that Victor was sitting passively in was utterly silent, until Dominika, one of the more portly maids, tittered into the room.  "Mr. Arsov!" she trilled, Russian accent thick,  brandishing a duster in his direction.  "Use a coaster, please!  You'll ruin the new finish!"

Her hand dove for his spindly glass of bubbly water, but she blundered, and the glass was knocked to it's side, spilling its contents all over the table, drenching the toy soldier that it was closest to.  

"NO!" roared Victor.  "Get out! Out, out, out!"  Dominika hurried from the room, looking utterly frightened.  Victor hovered worriedly over the mess for a moment, at a complete loss, before he pulled a large, purple handkerchief from one of his suit's many concealed pockets, and did his best to sop up the displaced liquid.  Scowling, he picked up the effected soldier with the utmost caution, and set him on his feet.  

"There," he breathed, relieved that nothing had happened.  

But then a grainy screen in the corner came suddenly to life.


Finn awoke with a start, on his feet in an instant.  The barrack around him was silent, all of his troop-mates still sleeping soundly.  So what -

"Tsunami!"  Finn's commanding General, Charles "Chip" Prewitt, erupted into the tent in an explosion of light and sound, throwing open the tent flap to reveal the chaotic scene outside.  Finn froze in shock.

An enormous wall of water was all he could see, as the military camp seemed ant-sized in comparison.  People swarmed outside, some running, some standing as stock still as Finn himself.  

"Come on, men!" roared Chip to the groggy troop.  "Get ready for this!  I want everyone to have pony bottles on hand, goggles on.  Head for the choppers.  We're getting as many people out as we can."  No one moved.  "Wanna live?!" Chip was livid.  "Get going! It's a first-come, first-serve kind of thing, now!"  

Finn leapt into action.  He had no intention of dying out there, on the cold beach.  He was getting out of there, if it was the last thing he did.  

And it probably would be.

Finn didn't think that he had ever strapped on his utility vest as quickly as he did then, nor lace up his heavy combats with as much speed.  He was out of the tent within thirty seconds, running flat out through the mayhem, headed for the small airfield.  But, as he skidded to a halt behind a thick throng of soldiers, he found that every helicopter in sight was already hovering, packed full of soldiers, twenty feet from the ground.  

His commanding General was abandoning him.  Finn had never felt such a horrid sensation in his gut as that one: betrayal.  

He was now at the mercy of the gargantuan wave.  


Victor watched the screen in horror.  His soldier, Finn, was about to die.  One soldier dead would make Victor one soldier weaker.

He couldn't have that.  

After crossing himself once, praying that his efforts would succeed, Victor took the wet toy in his hand, and held it high above his head.


Finn pulled his goggles down over his eyes, wincing slightly as it tugged on his bright, fiery hair.  He faced the wave head on, as if daring it to take him down.  Even though he had been left to die, he had no intention of going down without a fight.  Some of the others around him had much of the same idea, but most were running, as if the meager distance that they could put between themselves and the wave would save them.

The wave was cresting now, rushing down towards the encampment in a froth of white bubbles.  Finn brought his pony bottle to his mouth, but did not breathe through it just yet, as he would need every second of its five minutes of air.  He scrunched his eyes tightly shut, and braced himself for impact.  There was a rushing sensation, and then the great noise of the wave crashing, the tortured screams of his comrades, the sudden rush of cool air, but.... no impact.

Finn pulled his breathing regulator away from his mouth, and looked around himself in shock.  

All he could see, for miles, was the calm, azure sky.  And, below him, the roiling ocean, the floating remains of the camp.  

"What the hell..." he breathed.  

This was a whole new level of crazy.


The End

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