Chapter IV: A Vital Enterprise
|Chapter IV: A Vital Enterprise|
|Linked to||Pigmote Isle|
Story description[edit | edit source]
The Chief Engineer emerged from underground with a motley assortment of other rats: he introduced them as weapons experts, strategists, and field commanders. "So you're going to help us beat the Cavies," he said, a hard edge to his voice. "But how exactly?"
Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]
Chapter IV: A Vital Enterprise is triggered when you do the I finished my exploration action in Chapter III: A Rat In The Making.
Interactions[edit | edit source]
|I had nothing to offer but my advice
The King took it, in desperation if not gratitude.
The Cavies had the advantage over the rats. To prolong this much longer was a sure path to defeat. I advised them to put everything they had into one desperate assault on the beached ship. Unhappily, they concurred.
The sound of gunfire and screams echoed as far away as my ship, where the crew and I sat and watched. Few of the rats that marched forward that day returned to the light of their precious Rat Star. Those that did returned bloody and shaking... yet in triumph. It was as much as they could have hoped for, if hard to call a victory..
|I offered my strategic assistance
We engineered a distraction, that the L.B.s could use to plunder the Cavies' ship and turn the tide in their favour.
|Weighed and found wanting
We pretended to take a rat hostage and approached the Cavies as with a gift, demanding an audience with the Seneschal. A battalion encircled us almost immediately. Their armour and helmets clanked as they purred and chattered amongst themselves.
"Well well," said the Seneschal, regarding me with what I supposed to be a smile, "a reversal of fortune? How unlikely. I suppose you will have no trouble slitting this savage's throat on our behalf?"
My fraction of a moment's hesitation was all the confirmation the Seneschal needed. "See to the ship," she snapped, and half the party scurried to intercept the rats skulking aboard it, screaming war cries that curdled my blood.
"As for you," said the Seneschal, sweetly, "thank you very kindly for your gift. I assure you it is most graciously received."
More swiftly than I would have thought possible, the Seneschal leapt onto the rat I held bound and sank her incisors into its chest. I escaped with my life - but found myself unable to forget how the rat screamed and writhed while the Seneschal raised her face to me again, his liver gleaming obscenely in her mouth.
|A Questing Beast
I dressed up one of me zailors in a mess of shabby cloth smeared with prisoner's honey, and instructed him to roll around in the black earth of the island. Soon we had a glorious mud monster to send thrashing through the Chickenwoods towards the Cavies.
The distraction worked perfectly; the Cavies diverted their force towards our makeshift beast, leaving the rats with very little opposition as they plundered the grounded ship.
They returned triumphant - as did my zailor, laughing, having led the Cavies a merry chase. Within a few hours the rats' diligence had resulted in the building of a remarkable cache of weapons with which they successfully routed their enemy
The rats, ever egalitarian, shared their spoils in addition to the promised food and fuel.
|I determined to take the lead
I had a ship. I had cannons. We would steer her to the Southern side of the island and have at those uppity animals!
|The bitterest of defeats
I gave clear orders. My navigation was impeccable. But it seems the Cavies got wind of our intentions quickly enough that they were able to man the guns of their grounded pinnace, and give us a bracing dollop of what-for! Their ship was already sunk, and its crew provided only tiny targets: it was an impossible battle.
The shame of being defeated at zee by a brace of guinea boars was bad enough. Worse, however, was the several members of the crew who complained that the triumphant wheeking of the Cavies now haunts their dreams...
|A palpable hit!
The rats gave me what information they possessed about the Cavies' settlement, but I still had to improvise a great deal on the spot. A perfect storm of speed, stealth, and strength in arms favoured us; our cannons letting fly a volley of shot onto the beach before the Cavies could scramble onto their grounded ship to man its guns. Screams and squeals filled the air! The enemy fled!
A damp hush settled over my crew as the smoke cleared to reveal the torn, bloodied bodies of guinea pigs littering the shore. A grim business; but I had honoured my commitment to the rats, and found a wealth of scintillack ringing the beach to harvest as spoils.