“How’re we going to manage this?” Jade asked, slowly shaking her head in disbelief as she surveyed Napoleon’s assembled horde, lurking just beyond the treeline in the distance.

“It's not going to end well” Jay said, darkly “There must be about a hundred of us here, but if memory serves, I think only about thirty make it through to the Alamo”

Jamie scowled “You’re assuming Brittany’s won't just cut her losses and kill all the reinforcements, to be on the safe side”

“She’d have already done that if she was sure she had found us”

Everyone turned to stare at me, making me shift uneasily. I hate coming across as supercilious, but this stuff is just fucking obvious.

“Then how do you explain the arrows?” Jamie demanded.

“This is a pivotal historical event – it’s just standard STCP manipulation”

“Yeah, you could be right." Jay grudgingly conceded "I just don’t remember Rickson mentioning anything about aiding a mad French dwarf”

“Rickson?” Jamie said sharply “Who’s that?”

“The agent who was assigned to the Alamo affair” Jay shrugged “Things might have changed – This was more than four hundred years ago for me”

“So the STCP are all over this?”

“They’re all over everything” I retorted “History is as Brittany likes it – From earthquakes to the outcome of wars, she can influence almost anything”

“No wonder Greyman says that she has to be stopped” Eve murmured.

Shrugging, I gave her a noncommittal sort of half-smile. Brittany needs to be stopped alright, but I’m not sure what the alternatives are or if any of them are palatable. Greyman’s interest in this, for example, has yet to be adequately explained and there’s always the possibility that another entity will evolve to assume Brittany’s position – Better the devil you know, and all that.

In any case, I’m fucking terrified that I’m going to get erased from history – The easiest way to deal with Brittany, would be to kill my progenitor before she had chance to run the transformation and assume Brittany’s role; but that only leaves me with a very narrow window in which to exist and time travel isn't an exact science.

“So what are we going to do?” Jade asked, jolting me from my reverie.

“Five minutes!” the thickly accented Napoleon bellowed through his loudhailer “Five minutes, you English pig dogs, an’ then we come an’ fuck your faces!”

“What the...?” Sam’s brow knotted in consternation “Did he just say faces or faeces?”

“Oh, oui” Napoleon continued, apparently relishing the sound of his own voice “’Ah’m so looking forward to it. You’ll be all ‘Oh, no – Please don’t’ and I’ll be all 'Ouiiiiii. Make a noise like a little pig - Ouiiiiiiii'”

Feeling my blood run cold at this all too familiar sound, I glanced between the other Dwarfers, wondering if any of them were thinking the same. “It can’t be?”

Even Jay looked shaken.

“Ouiiiiiiii” Napoleon repeated before breaking into an echoing, raucous cackle.

“Surely not” Jade was aghast.

“What?” Eve demanded; her evident confusion showing on her face – she's not the brightest button on the coat.

“It seems like Napoleon could be an earlier incarnation of Mini Phil” Jay said grimly.

“No!” Eve gave a strangled cry, looking at once, both terrified and revolted – and with good reason too. Poor girl must have felt like she’d never be clean again, after that incident back on the Reality Resort.

The thunder of approaching hooves gave us pause as we turned to regard Colonel Neill, galloping down the column towards us.

“I’ve given the order to stand down” he announced as he approached “There are just too many of Napoleon’s men out there – We’ll be massacred if we try and make a stand”

“There’s no way I’m going to be anyone’s sex slave, much less that little pervert’s” I snapped, to a chorus of agreement from Jade and Eve “You can go screw yourself if you think we’re surrendering”

“Cass” Jay said sharply, a note of warning in his voice that made me prickle, indignantly.

“You’d do well to keep these women under control, Mr Chrysler” Colonel Neill said icily

Fucking sexist prick “It’s Napoleon that’s French, not us”

“Damn it Cass” Jay rounded on me in exasperation. He’s cute when he gets mad.

Colonel Neill, as expected, didn’t get the cultural reference but shook his head in any case “My order stands” he said stiffly and turned to ride away.

“Napoleon is going to kill us all” Jay called after him, “We might have some equipment that could help to beat him”

This made Neill halt and bring his horse back around to face us.

“Go on” he said warily.

“We have an equipment cache” Jay explained, skirting the subject of the time drive’s null-space cache “There may be shields and weaponry in there that we could use”

There was, of course, one other option that nobody had mentioned. I took a deep breath “We could use the time drive to jump us and the Delorean to the Alamo”

Jay grimaced “It’ll cause a paradox, so it’ll likely be a one way trip” he said heavily “and since the time drive can’t manage everyone, it would mean abandoning more than seventy men to their deaths”

I shrugged – Given a choice between my life and anyone else’s; it’s my life every time “Anyone else got any other ideas?”

"Two minutes, my little English chums!"

So there’s three choices for you:

Surrender and take what we’ve got coming to us – Is Napoleon really an earlier incarnation of Mini Phil? – Can we somehow escape if we do surrender?

See what we can find in the equipment cache – Heavy weapons, shielding units, anything else? – Anyone fancy a battle?

Safely jump to the Alamo with the time drive and try to ignore the prickling of our consciences.

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