Lola must take responsibility for her actions.
Lola hadn’t counted the number of survivors of their scout party until they were all lined up. There had been twenty of them, with orders to split up once they were through the forest, then rejoin later once their surveys had been completed. Wine Company’s scout parties were heavy because they were killed off so easily, as the remaining seven of Lola’s party showed. Their failure was such a disaster that they had been sent to the capitol for punishment by the general that commanded their regiment. They had been lined up and stripped, publicly humiliated, punished, and probably executed for their dismal failure. Her fellows had tried so hard to keep Lola’s secret, but it was difficult to hide her womanhood while completely naked, which had surprised the General, not to mention the whole company, who were watching the spectacle.
“You’re very brave to be taking this,” the General commended, “I would have expected a woman to beg for mercy. But you’re standing straiter than the men. I respect that. Not to mention that I’m impressed that your commander speaks so highly of you, ‘Lasseo.’ I’ll give you a deal, how about that?”
“I already made such a deal,” she replied, then looked at the General strait in the eyes, “to get into the army. To accept its rules and its punishments. If you’re going to flog us, then do it already. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.”
“I don’t need your permission. But I’ll respect your decision anyway, simply because you’ve insulted me by speaking back in such a manner,” the General chuckled. He walked to the other side of the naked soldiers and shouted to the company.
“Let these six men and this woman be a lesson of incompetence and cowardice. Your company has shown itself time and time again that it is unreliable in battle. A joke in the regiment. I will make sure that this does not continue. Effective immediately, I am installing the office of Commissar in the entire regiment. They will fight alongside you, lead you, and if you so much as think about running away, they will kill you on sight. As an example for the rest of you. And we will begin with them.”
At the news, the company fell silent, and the elements of the regiment that were there started to jeer at the company, throwing whatever was handy. A few soldiers of the company fell over after being hit in the head with rocks. Lola turned about, causing everyone to pause. The General drew his sword with a snarl, but stopped just short of her neck when she spoke.
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