Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Life and Times of Aries Webb Part 7: War’s End

Aries slammed the report down on his desk, causing Anthony to jump in surprise. It was another loss. The Americans had taken the water processing plant Allegheny Vallis. Though it was only a secondary water source for Olympus Mons, it was a major source for the smaller mining colonies Arsia Mons, and would make defending those colonies now a major priority. Those mines provided the Martian Army with much of the metal it needed to function. To top it off, Al-Qahira Vallis, a major food producer on Mars, was now under siege by General Atherton. The whole war effort was going to hell in a hand basket. Something needed to be done.

He signed the paper that Anthony was putting in front of him, and the dismissed his assistant. He needed to make an important decision, and he did that better when he was alone. His troops were spread thin, and their moral was done. Five years had passed since Amelia had been taken from him, five years and they still had no idea where she was. Bo had received a report that she had been taken off world, but he didn’t want to think of that. If she had been taken to Luna or worse to Earth, it was unlikely that he could truly rescue her.

He had to win this war. That had become linked to rescuing Amelia. Once the Americans had released his world, they could start getting things started on their own. He could even release the government from the Martial Law they had passed on him four years ago. With these responsibilities turned over to someone else, he could focus his attention on getting his wife off Earth and back home.

He reached across his desk and picked up another report. It contained only a letter, on which was a singular offer. He had turned it away out of hand at first, but now he had to seriously reconsider. If he accepted the terms, this could turn the tide of the war in his favor. Even though some allied countries on Earth had begun to put political pressure on America to stop the war on Mars, they just didn’t give up. Though they were stalemated against China, the government kept painting Mars as China’s ally, and thus wins here were wins against the Communists back there. And accepting this offer would only make those accusations true, at least in the eyes of the American government.

Still, he didn’t think he had any other choice. He re-read the letter again, just to make sure he wasn’t missing anything. Truth was he didn’t trust the offer. But it didn’t seem like there was anything missing. He called in Anthony and told him to bring in Bo.


“Has hell frozen over?” Bo said. “I can’t believe that you’re considering this for even an instant!”

“It’s a good deal,” Aries said. “We need the reinforcements this offer gives us.”

“At the cost of our soles?” Bo asked. “This is so far from being a good deal that I am beginning to question your judgement. More than normal!”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Aries asked. It had been a long time since the two of them really argued. Ever since being elected Prime Minister of Mars, and Bo made the General of the Army, the two hardly ever argued. It was a strictly business relationship, with Bo the General taking orders from Aries the Prime Minister. Today, though, Bo was letting all his anger out.

“It means some of your military decisions over the past few years have been really shitty,” Bo said. It was rare he used English slang like that, he preferred to swear in Chinese. “We’ve lost every major battle since Amelia’s capture.”

“Well, if you and your generals would follow my orders instead of changing my plans,” Aries said, “we wouldn’t be in this position.”

“Seriously, Aries?” Bo replied. “You really want to argue this? ,You’re idea of strategy is throwing troops at the enemy in the hopes of just wiping them out entirely. We’ve had no choice but to change tactics in order to try and make something useful of your orders. And even at that, we can’t pull miracles out of our asses. You need to give us something solid to work with. And now you want to accept aid from China? Troops in return for mining rights? That’s ridiculous. Not only is it a bad idea to give them a foot hold on our world, but it will turn public opinion on Earth against us and prove the Americans against us.”

Aries started to argue again, but stopped, his mouth open. He sighed, slumped his arms at his side and sat down in the chair behind his desk. Bo was right, and he just had to admit it. He was tired of all this.

“You’re right,” he said in a small voice that sounded as tired as he felt. “You’re right, I’ve fucked things up royally.”

“It’s not too late to recover,” Bo said, turning around to look at his friend. His voice also lowered. “We can still turn this around and pull out a victory.”

Aries looked up at Bo.

“I should have been letting you lead all this time,” he said. “It should have been you sitting behind this desk, not me. What the hell were we thinking? We were so young, and I was still in college. I would give anything to go back to that time, and just stick to my science. I could be a scientist now, studying the rocks and insides of Mars, instead of ordering men to their deaths.”

“Aries, listen to me,” Bo said. “We can’t think like that. What If’s and Maybe’s don’t do anyone any good. We’re here now, and I truly believe that we’re both right were we need to be. Mars needs us, and they need us to win this war. And we can do it. We just need to return to a basic strategy that was working for us in the beginning. We need to return to being defensive, make the Americans spend resources trying to get us. Eventually, we can make this war too expensive for them, and they’ll be forced to quit.”

Aries sighed again, and looked Bo in the eye. He saw an intensity there that he hadn’t seen before. Bo wasn’t just saying these things. He believed them.

“Okay, Bo,” Aries said. “Tell me what we do first.”


“Something has changed,” General Atherton said looking over his map of Mars. It was a holographic map that represented all the topography and terrain of the world, so that he could get a better look at thing. It was also covered in several red and blue dots, showing which sights and colonies were controlled by the Martains and which were controlled by the US.

“Indeed,” his Colonel said. He pointed to a red dot on the map that marked Eos Chasma, the place of the US Army’s latest defeat at the hands of the Martians. “They’re fighting defensively again, that’s whats changed. Our attack at Eos should have drawn them out, they should have wanted to chase us down to defeat us once and for all, where we could have continued to whittle down their numbers. Instead, they stayed behind, and never advanced. They used the terrain as they have never done before, finding features we didn’t even know were there to take advantage of us. They defended, and they did it so well that we were forced to retreat before we lost too many men.”

“And this is the third time in the past year they have done so,” Atherton said. He ran a hand through his hair, still dark brown despite his age. “This young general, Bo Wu. This is his doing. The leadership of the army has transferred back to him, it has to.”

The Colonel nodded his head. “That begs the question, sir. What do we do about it?”

The General rubbed his chin. “He’s conservative, this Wu.”

“Form every report we have, yes,” the Colonel said.

“Not just from that,” Atherton said. “From his actions. He conserves, his resources, his troops. He even waits to fire until we are almost on top of them. He knows this land, this world, like none of us do, even those of us that were born here. He uses that knowledge to his advantage, and does so very effectively.”

“Sir, you sound like you admire him,” the Colonel said.

“Of course I do,” Atherton said, still looking at the map. He circled the table that generated the computerized map on it. “He has proven himself worthy of my admiration.”

He paused, looking down at the hologram. Suddenly he jabbed his finger. “Here.”

The Colonel looked down at the map. “There? Sir, There is nothing at the Moreux Crater. Only an abandoned mine, not even usable as a base. It holds no strategic value at all.”

“Here,” Atherton said. “That is where we will draw them out. Wu will be expecting us to attack Arsai Mons.”

“As we should be,” The Colonel said. “Its a major farming center on Mars. We’ve talked about this attack for the past two weeks.”

“Yes, which is why we will not attack it, we’ll go to Moreux,” Atherton said. “We’ll draw them out. We’ll start marshaling forces, slowly at first, let them wonder what we’re doing. While that happens, and we’ll study the landscape. We’ll turn his tactics against him. We’ll make him attack us, and we’ll defend.”

“What if they don’t take the bait?” the Colonel asked.

“Oh, they will,” Atherton said. “They will see this as the opportunity to end the war once and for all.”


“He’s baiting us,” Wu said.

“Of course he is,” Aries said, looking at his own holographic map. “This is Zachery Atherton we’re talking about. He is the man that lead the US to victory in the South American conflict, and again in when the US aided Egypt in defending itself against Lybia. He’s a tactical genius, one of the most decorated Generals in the US. The only reason he’s not serving on the Joint Chiefs is he refused the posting.”

“And as a reward,” Bo said. “He was transferred to Mars, to live out the rest of his carrier. Kind of like putting him out to pasture.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t presented to him that way,” Aries said. “From what my dad said, Mars was a choice assignment when we were kids. Giving Atherton Mars would have been a kind of reward, even if it was the political equivalent of putting him out to pasture. Two birds with one stone.”

Aries looked at the map again. It was showing several blue squares moving towards the Moreux Crater. He just didn’t know why. There was nothing out there. It wasn’t even a good place to stage an attack, it was too far away from everything. They would know the moment he made a move. And yet, he was gathering forces there. Bo was right, of course. It was a trap of some sort, the problem was he just didn’t know what kind.

“Well, General,” Aries said, pointing to the map, “If we know its a trap, what do we do?”

“We spring it, of course,” Bo said.


“You see, Edwards?” General Atherton said to the Colonel as they watched the assembling Martian forces from the deck of the General’s temporary headquarters.

“Yes, I see that they took the bait,” the Colonel said. “But they are not attacking. They have set up a siege position, and even started putting in fortifications. They intend to wait us out.”

“But as you and I know, that won’t work,” Atherton said. He turned from the deck and walked back into the building. “We have supplies coming in through a way they will never figure out.”

“Can you be sure about that, sir?” Edwards asked.

“Positive,” Atherton said. “If they knew about this, they would have set up a supply base here a long time ago. It’s the perfect location for such a place, right in between three major colonies like this. We’re still getting supplies in as needed. We can hold out here for a year if we need to.”

Edwards nodded, but there was something about this whole thing that he didn’t like. Why didn’t the Martians build some kind of depot here, a station to sort shipments between colonies? The General was correct, this was the perfect place for it, especially with the secret they had discovered about it.

“Edwards,” the General said, sitting at his table to eat. “You worry too much. Come, sit. Chef prepared us quite the feast. Real Martian delicacies, from what I am told.”

Edward nodded again and sat. But he only nibbled at his food. Something about this was still disturbing to him.

“Oh, spit it out, Edwards,” Atherton said, waiving his fork at the Colonel. “What is it?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Edwards said. “There’s just something about this I don’t like. They have to know that we’ve set them a trap here. Why would they just walk into it?”

The General put his fork down and then placed both hands flat on the table. He glared across the table at Edwards. The Colonel had worked for the General long enough now to have experienced this before, and didn’t even flinch at the look that had cowed even presidants.

“I’m only going to explain this once, Edwards,” Atherton said, “so listen closely. They come knowing it’s a trap because they have no choice. If they want to end this war, and they do, the come to us. They will try to prepare for what we are going to do, but without knowing the secret of this crater, they will fail to be ready for the final attack. We will surprise them, and obliterate them. If I am very lucky, that young wolf, Wu, will be there. I wold love to see that man face to face.”

Edwards nodded. But it was clear from the look on his face that he wasn’t convinced. The General sighed.

“Edwards, if your questioning wasn’t so important to me, I wouldn’t put up with you,” Atherton said. “Ask your self this question. Have I ever lost a campaign? Individual battles, sure, but entire campaigns?”

The Colonel shook his head. That much was true about the General’s carrier. It did make Edwards feel a little better. This battle had the feel of the end of the war, he realized. Maybe that was what made him uncomfortable.



“Something is not right about all this,” Bo said.

“Is that why I came out here, to the front lines?” Aries asked.

Bo looked at him with narrowed eyes. Aries smiled. He had asked to come out to the field HQ Bo had set up, to give a talk to the troops. This battle just felt too important to for him to not be there.

“Listen to me,” Bo said. “We’ve been at this for, what, six months now? This siege should have started having some kind of effect on him. Instead, they stay hunkered down in there. Every time we probe their perimeter, we get a fight. No one is surrendering in order to get food. They’re getting supplies in there.”

“Air drop?” Aries asked, looking to the sky as if he expected to see jets fly by on his cue.

“No,” Bo shook his head. “I mean, sure, they have jets fly in, but our air force has pretty effectively cut that route off. The amount of stuff that gets through that way is minuscule.”

“The Air Force must be pretty happy about that,” Aries said. “Their first real victory in this war.”

“Yeah,” Bo said. “General Gomez has been bragging to me about his success this siege, as if I wasn’t somehow doing my part.”

Bo sighed, and flopped back into his chair next to the map. The map automatically zoomed out to its default view of the whole crater. Aries watched as the blue and red squares representing buildings and troops shrunk and turned into dots as the landscape expanded to cover a larger area.

Then, he saw something.

“Bo,” Aries said, circling the map. “Is it possible that the air drops are a distraction?”

“What?” Bo asked.

“The air drops,” Aries said again, leaning over and squinting at the map. “Is it possible that they are not really bringing in any supplies with them, they’re just distracting us with them?”

“It’s not just possible,” Bo said, leaning forward, “it’s very likely. I mean, they’re obviously getting in supplies somehow. I just don’t know how.”

“I do,” Aries said. “And to top it off, I know a very easy way to stop them.”

Bo grinned.


The tunnels shook around Colonel Edwards. More explosions. He would say that he knew it was too good to be true, but the truth was he’d been saying that for the past month. The Martians had discovered the tunnels. The tunnels the General had repeatedly assured him they did not know about, the secret they had used to get supplies to them from the few colonies they controlled. Now, one by one, the tunnels were being shut off, and the troops bringing in the supplies were being attacked. They were starting to enter a real siege here, and eventually, they would have to either attack or surrender. The tunnel stopped shaking, and he looked around. Where ever the explosion happened, it didn’t affect the supplies they already had stored here. That was good, at least. They could still hold out for several months on these supplies.

He left the cave to go find the General. He found the older man in his office as normal, looking over his communiques from Earth on his portable computer. He didn’t look happy when he motioned Edwards to move in.

“Those fools,” he said. “Those simpering, weak willed fools back on Earth don’t know what they are doing.”

“Sir?” Edward said. The General must have received new orders, but whatever they were, he wasn’t happy about it.

“Well, this new administration may think they know what’s best, but when I win this battle, and thus the war, I”ll show them,” the General said. He was ranting as if Edwards wasn’t even there.

“Yes, sir,” he said in reflex. This was a highly unusual state for the General to be in, and Edwards was beginning to worry that his leader was loosing it under all the pressure.

“Come, Edwards,” The General said, suddenly standing. “It’s time for this charade to end.”

The general walked out of his office and down the hall. The building was temporary, of course, made from pre-fabricated walls and bolted together on the field. They were solid armor, and good protection from anti-personal weapons, but they wouldn’t stand up to artillery fire. Still, they were more comfortable than a tend, and allowed the General his luxuries, such as his desk.

“How many of the tunnels have they shut down?” the General asked.

“About half, sir,” Edwards said. “And it looks like they’re not done yet. I don’t know how they found them, but it looks like they’re taking them down one by one.”

“And how many of our troops were lost in those tunnels?” Atherton asked, never looking at Edwards as he marched down the hall. He looked like a lion stalking its pray.

“Approximately ten thousand men are on those tunnels right now,” he said. “Assuming that they shut down all the tunnels in the next two hours, which seems likely, we’ll loos them all.”

Atherton nodded, as if expecting to hear that news. “Order those troops on their way here to stop and return to HQ. No need to loose those troops for good. We won’t need them anyway.”

“Yes, sir,” Edwards said.

“Then, I want you to order a platoon to secure one of those tunnels,” Atherton said. “They seem intent on taking these tunnels down one at a time. Find out which one is their last target and stop them from taking it down. We can still use it to launch our attack.”

“Yes, sir,” Edwards said, and rushed off to deliver the orders. He found himself feeling excited. This was the General Atherton he had served with in South America and Africa all those years ago. Bold, decisive and always with a plan. If anyone can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it would be Atherton. After delivering the orders, Edwards returned to his own office in the make shift headquarters. His desk was just as portable and austere as the rest of the building, but it served him. He sat at the computer terminal to check his own communiques and then prepare for the battle ahead.


“Thank you, Captain,” Bo said to the man, who saluted and walked away.

“Reports from the scouts?” Aries said, practically jumping up and down to read the note over Bo’s shoulder.

“I knew it was a mistake to let you stay here,” Bo said, and then unfolded the report and began to read.

“They found it, didn’t they?” Aries asked again, turning away from Bo and pacing around the table that was the only piece of furniture in the room besides the two chairs.

“Seriously, are you the Prime Minister, or a six year old?” Bo said, trying to read the report.

“And they don’t know about it,” Aries said, as if he didn’t hear Bo. “Or if they do, it’s not guarded.”

“I would know all this for certain if you wold just let me read the report,” Bo said.

“It’s perfect,” Aries said. “We can leave a contingent of troops out here as bait and net at the same time, and send most of our forces through the tunnel to catch them by surprise.”

Bo ignored him this time, reading the report. It had a lot of details on it regarding the specific volcanic shaft that Aries had been talking about. Aries finally stopped pacing and waited for Bo to finish waiting, his arms and feet constantly moving.

“It looks like you were right,” Bo said at last, tossing the report on the table. Aries didn’t even look at it. He grinned at Bo. The general sighed. He really was a little boy sometimes.

“Okay,” Bo said. “This is the part where you tell me how you knew about this tunnel? Even with your descriptions, our scouts had the devils own time finding it.”

“Geology lesions,” Aries answered immediately. He had obviously been waiting for this very question to come up.

“Geology lesions,” Bo said with a sigh. Aries was obviously enjoying this, and wanted to drag it out as long as possible.

“Yeah,” Aries said. “When I first went to university, my Geology professor decided we needed hands on experience rather than a lot of book learning, so we took a lot of field trips. And I mean a lot. We traveled all over Mars to various interesting sights. Climbed mountains, looked inside craters, and even checked out several volcanic shafts. Including this one.”

“Well,” Bo said, crossing the room and tapping his finger on the report folder. “Do you know what this means?”

“It means I have outsmarted Zachery Atherton,” Aries said.

“No, you ninny,” Bo said, resisting the urge to smack his best friend upside the head. “It means that we’re about to win the war.”


“Are we all prepared, then?” Atherton said.

“Yes, sir,” Edwards said. He looked rather distracted to the General, though.

“What’s the matter, Edwards?” Atherton asked.

“Er... nothing, sir,” Edwards said, then looked towards the gathering troops. “Our men have secured tunnel four, the last remaining tunnel. We’re working on digging a branch line to the rear of our opponents outside the crater. We should be ready to launch the attack in as little as four hours.”

“Excellent,” Atherton said. “Excellent. Start gathering the men. I want to give them a speech. A speech on the dawning of a historical battle is fitting, isn’t it? Maybe someone should record it, for posterity. In fact, that’s an excellent idea. Colonel, get someone to record this speech. I’m going to prepare it, I want to give it in one hour.”

“Yes, sir,” Edwards said. He watched as his General walked back into the building that housed his office. Edwards shook his head. He was beginning to fear that Atherton had lost his mind.


“Are your troops all set?” Aries asked Bo. Bo nodded. “Good. I’ll only give a quick speech. They’ll expect it, seeing as how I’m here and all.”

Bo only nodded again. Aries was serious now, and Bo almost preferred it when his friend was the smart-ass he was a few hours ago. But this was a serious moment. A solemn moment, even. After today, everything changed. This would be the deciding battle, one way or another. Either Mars would finally be truly free, or the US wold win, and all their work would be for naught. Bo wanted to be hopeful, and believe that this battle would lead to freedom. But, he was a realist, and a General. Battle plans had a tendency to go to pot when confronted with a live enemy. That was why they were the enemy, after all. And this particular enemy was lead by a highly decorated American General, who was something of a hero back on Earth. What right did little Bo Wu, rebel and upstart, have to take on, never mind hope to defeat, Zachery Atherton?

“Bo, were you listening to me?” Aries asked, snapping Bo out of his revere.

“Uh...” Bo hesitated, then sighed. “No, sorry. I was thinking about the battle ahead.”

“I said I need some advice,” Aries said. “I need to know what to say to these men. This could very well be the end of the whole war.”

“You don’t know what to say?” Bo asked, eyebrows raised in disbelief. “You, the man who has had the media wrapped around your pinkie before you were even born? Mr. I sway public opinion just by showing my face on the news? You can’t figure out what to say?”

“This is different,” Aries said. “The media is one thing. Even addressing the populace is different. These men, these boys... they’re our people. They’re about to put their lives on the line, maybe give the final sacrifice, for our freedom, our Independence. This isn’t something I am saying to convince people that the hard times we’re going through now are for the greater good, or to negotiate a deal with a foreign power. Or even to try and get some positive press for me and our cause. No, this is far more important than that. This is history. And I’m not going to be the one making it, these men are. I think it’s important that they know that, and that I, personally, and very proud to have been here, simply to see them, to shake their hands, before they make that history.”

Bo just paused and stood staring at Aries right then. This was one of the things he loved about this man. Those things were not just pretty words or rhetoric. These were things Aries believed in, with all of his being.

“I think you should just say that,” Bo said.

Aries paused. Then, he nodded.

“Pull back, pull back!” Bo screamed as the enemy troops poured out of the tunnel they were unable to stop. He had expected an attack from that front, but not one as strong as it had been.

“We’ll take up defensive lines near the crater lip,” he said to the captain at his side. “Move platoons six and nine over to the left, and try to flank him as they come through.”

His aid nodded and ran off to deliver the orders. Bo sighed and raised binoculars to view the rest of the battle. As expected, things were going to shit and fast. The troops sent through Aries’ secret tunnel had yet to emerge, and while Bo held the terrain advantage, Atherton still had the advantage of numbers. Making this a pretty much even match for the time being. The only thing going his way was that Aries had gotten away before the fighting started. Wouldn't do to have the Prime Minister killed in the field.
Aries had better be right about those tunnels, Bo thought. Because if he’s not, and we lose those troops down there, this battle is over right now. And we’ve lost.


The explosion went off behind Atherton as he watched the fight outside the crater through his ePad. He dropped to the ground and scrambled for cover behind a large outcropping of rock. Colonel Edwards was at his side a second later, as were several soldiers that served as his guard. As soon as he realized that he was cowering under a giant rock in front of his soldiers, he stood up and shook himself off.

“Someone find out what the hell that was,” he shouted. He turned his binoculars towards the direction of the explosion. “What the hell?”

“It looks like... enemy uniforms?” Edwards was next to him, his own binoculars to his head. He had adjusted the magnification to full zoom, but the resolution got a little shaky at this level.

“Armor,” the General said. “Enemy armor. They’ve found a way to penetrate our position, and they brought armor with them!”

“Withdraw,” the Colonel shouted into his radio. “For a protective circle aroudn the general.”

Immedatly, the closest platoon did just that. The fighting was happening right in their front yard now, and it was very obvious that this was not going to go well for them. Edwards looked over at Atherton, but all he saw in the man’s eyes was anger.

“Push forward,” Atherton said.

“What?” Edwards said, unsure he heard the command correctly. A push would be suicide.

“Push forward,” Atherton said. “Attack. Counter attack them, damnit! Platoons five and six are on the other side of the ridge, attack them from the rear.”

“Those platoons are engaged with the enemies outside, sir,” Edwards said. “And a push from us out be suicide.”

“Give me that,” Atherton said, grabbing the radio from Edwards. Then, he was yelling into it for the attack to happen, spittle flying out of his mouth in his rage.
The Platoon hesitated to act, though, looking at the Colonel for confirmation. Atherton’s rage grew. How dare these men disobey him. He was the general, not Edwards! Then, amidst the din of battle, Atherton heard the quiet noise of a gun cocking right next to his ear. Slowly, he turned to look at the gun, and then followed the arm holding it to Edward’s grim face.

“Edwards,” Atherton said, glaring at his aid. “This is treason.”

“No sir,” Edwards said. “Its obeying orders. See, I got the same communique this morning that you did, the ones from Earth and the President. They ordered us to leave Mars, that the Earth was officially surrendering the planet to Prime Minister Webb, and that they would recognize the serenity of Mars from here on out. A similar letter was surely sent to the office of the Prime Minister. I didn’t do anything about it at first, because there was still a chance you could win this battle and get the enemy to surrender to us. But now, with our army facing defeat... surrender is the only option we have right now that doesn’t end with all our men dead.”

“Traitor!” Atherton bellowed. The madness was quite clear in his eyes now. “Those fools back on Earth don’t know what they are doing. These rebels can’t get away with this, or others will try and do the same! I have never lost a battle, you hear me? Never! And I don’t plan to start now!”

Edwards only nodded to some nearby soldiers, who took the General under custody. He then picked up the radio, and gave the order to surrender. This battle was over.

And with it, so was the war.


“Colonel Edwards,” Bo said, accepting the saber offered to him by the US army officer apparently in charge of the enemy army. “I accept your surrender.”

“Thank you, sir,” Edwards said.

The two stared at each other for a few moments, not quite sure what happened here.

“So,” Bo said. “I guess this is it then. The war is officially over.”

“Yes, sir,” Edwards said. “It most certainly is.”

“You’ll be something of a hero here on Mars,” Bo said. “For stopping Atherton like that.”

“I’m not a hero, sir,” Edwards said. “I’m just a soldier.”

Bo nodded, understanding that statement more than Edwards could ever understand.

“Still,” Bo said. “If there is anything we can do for you, Colonel...”

“There is one thing, sir,” Edwards said.

“Name it,” Bo said.

“Do you happen to have a form for requesting citizenship?” Edwards said.

Bo laughed.

The End

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