Continued from Episode 2.
“Crakehall,” called “Hardhead” Ser Jorah Stone over his PTR, “how are Thorne and Morrigen?”
He cracked thick knuckles of one hand and then the other against his plate carrier awaiting a reply.
Both men had turned up ill the night before after an ill-advised foray to a brothel. It was generally accepted that someone in the city had tried to poison them. Morrigen, a cheerful little Stormland scoundrel with a penchant for both married woman and their daughters, traditionally drove the troop’s 7-tonne truck. Thorne, a largely imperturbable Massey’s Hook man who could sleep anywhere, most always drove the Garron.
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No Mercy in Meereen
Episode 3 | (by David Reeder)
“Thorne will live,” came the reply after a moment, “though he might wish he didn’t. Morrigen of course is Morrigen.”
Someone else on the net snickered. See Jonah nodded.
“Gods be good,” he murmured. “All three drivers.”
When Jorah spoke it was low and rasping. His voice had been smooth once, but now was rough and jagged, like he’d been a singer upon a time then suffered a throat wound. His men often had to strain to hear it, but none could fully miss a voice that stiffened the spine of a generation of soldiers.
He rolled his head to crack his neck as a loud hiss reverberated across the courtyard. The big truck began rolling. Jorah checked that his rifle was slung securely, grabbed the forward tow ring of the Garron, stepped up on the plow arm, and leapt up to the roof like a man half his age.
The truck, with former Stormlander corporal Lyonel Morrigen at the wheel, pulled up behind them, waiting on their assigned Merciful Man to climb onto the seat beside him. Morrigen hated taking the wheel of the cumbersome vehicle, it the most vulnerable one they had. But, he was a superb driver who could be counted upon to always keep his head and drive, whether in the face of ambush, IED, or any size of screaming mob. So, he got the job.
None of Jorah’s men were particularly nervy, but Morrigen seemed blithely unaware of his own mortality. Perhaps it was because he had been wounded and recovered so many times.
“Nobody can kill Morrigen but Morrigen,” the mercenaries joked, and it seemed true. Morrigen had survived rollovers, IED blasts, at least three doses of the clap, a half dozen shrapnel wounds in a third as many years, even a helicopter crash. Jorah kept him around as much for preternatural luck as he did for his ability to keep his head and drive in a fight.
It was for much the same reason that Eddard Sallt had been pulled off the Zorse and made the 7-tonne’s gunner, though it was the last place he wanted to be.
A shrill whistle cut through the courtyard. Jorah turned.
Nommo Ter Daal was clambering up the side of the truck. The copper-skinned Lhazarene had been standing by the sallyport, working his way through a checklist while awaiting the convoy’s departure. He had a rucksack full of medical supplies slung over one shoulder and an extra Nalgene bottle in his hand. Smart, that. The day promised to be sweltering and long.
“Good to go, ser!” bellowed Ned Sallt. He beat on the top of the cab from inside the makeshift cupola they’d built, pounding the improvised armor there like a drum. He jerked the bolt of his machine gun back and swiveled it toward the gate, hand on the butterfly grips, indicating the truck was finally loaded and that the last of the laggards had climbed aboard or were inside their vehicles.
If he was still dismayed at his new perch he gave no sign of it. All that had been expended shortly after the op-order, off to the side with Hugh Crakehall, the “Andal Corporal.” Crakehall had listened intently to Sallt’s extraordinary litany of curses, nodding at the more inventive profanity, then told him to shut the fuck up.
Gawr Weg bellowed something in the Old Tongue, prompting several replies from the rifle-armed sentries atop the battlements.
Stone sighed. They were finally ready to roll out. Perhaps they’d avoid trouble after all.
To Be Continued In Episode 4.
Check out the Tactical Tyrion collection. It includes Clegane the Assaulter.