I awoke with a start on a day like any other, taking to a breakfast of turnip and stew. I made haste with the days duties on the farm, choosing to first head to the cellar and fix the pipes which had given me some trouble the day before. The pipes were made of a sturdy bronze, sticking between the sandstone and rock of the deserts core. They pumped water from an underground aquifer to be used on my farm and to give water to passing soldiers and travelers with marks from the King and so on; but just the other night I pulled on the above ground dispenser to find no water at all.

Taking out my tools I set to work, only to be interrupted minutes later by the distant sound of treads rolling on the soft sand above. Making my way back up the steps to the side of my home I walked out to see what approached. From up north I could see two steam-crawlers lurching their way towards me, with their wide dirty treads kicking sand up all around them. Upon each crawler stood two bronze-men, large nine foot machines the soldiers would use as suits of armor in battle against the Giltons and Virgils alike.

Meeting them at the pump not far from my home I greeted the travelers, only to find that one of the men was my good friend Franke who I would see when he made runs between the Capitol and the towns south of here.

”Im afraid the pumps not in action this time around. ” I said as the men dismounted.

”We know, ” said Franke. ”The aquifers gone dry early this year, and as winter approaches Im afraid thats all the water we
e going to get. ”

”Well, then Im assuming I don need to write the King on getting a shipment of water here soon. The harvest isn for another week and I only have a few gallons saved up for myself during the winter. ”

”About that, ” said a man in a weathered blue officers uniform with gold trim along its sides. ”We came not for water but rather to get you, I have a statement from the Palace asking for a Deckard Bilfur to be drafted for the Kings army. ”

Being rather surprised I looked to Franke who now thought it timely to drift his gaze away. I had always known I could be made to join the army but I always assumed they had more than enough men at the Capitol and in the towns of the Kingdom. Why they needed my farmstead abandoned a week before the turnip harvest made little sense at all

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