Trevor watched the crowds hundreds of feet below. Folks on the fringes were trickling away, but most weren’t going anywhere.
Give it a couple hours of (hopefully) nothing happening, and anyone not completely dedicated to whatever had brought them here would start to move along. His supporters, at least, had mostly set their signs and amplifiers to automatic and were plugging into the ‘net, to get some real work done. Wu came up to stand beside him.
“General Winehurst wants to speak with you.”
Trevor sighed. “Might as well get it over with. Send him in.”
Wu bowed and left. Trevor turned away from the window to survey what would become his official office. Three cream-colored walls, bare of decoration, and one wall of windows rose 15 ft a ceiling that had been painted with a mural of the world and its peoples. Or at least, it’s human peoples. The floor…
Winehurst burst in before he had finished the survey.
“We did it! I told you my men were the ones for the job.” Winehursts milk-pale face glowed with excitement and the disgusting gender-erasing phrase slipped naturally between his lips.
Trevor smiled and took the general’s hand in both of his. “You did, and they did. Your people have done us all proud.
“So when do we start cleaning up?”
“Why, now, actually.” He tightened his grip, making the general wince. “I am delighted to accept your resignation general, dated immediately. You assassination and leg-breaking teams were invaluable in creating this new world, and I know you want to rest from your labors.”
Winehurst tried to pull away, but he had trained with weapons 30 years ago. Trevor trained in hand-to-hand twice weekly with Wu. He couldn’t beat a real fighter—he hadn’t kept in real training for over ten years himself. But the general wasn’t escaping him by main strength.
“What! No. Damnit we talked about this. You promised me a chance to rebuild the military make it a real fighting force again! Let go, damn it!”
Trevor timed his release so the general lost his balance, stumbling backward and nearly tripping over Wu and Deborah. Deborah wore the distant look Trevor was used to seeing when she called on her God. Wu was focused on Winehurst.
“I have every intention of keeping my promise, general. But I’m afraid you and I have very different ideas of what a “real” fighting force will look like. My idea does not look like the murders, bullies, and abusers you’ve gathered around you to abuse and extort civilian populations. It looks like a military force. With discipline and a purpose.
“So I suggest you take your retirement bonus and go. You won’t get a better offer.”
Winehurst strode towards Trevor, getting in his face and trying to loom over him. “I’m the only military office you’ve got. Without me, you can’t hold the troops. And without the troops, your brown ass will be dead before the week is out. You may be the one with the big chair, but you don’t scare me.”
“I see. Well, I admit I was warned that even if you took retirement you’d be likely to try to… meddle. Better to have everything out in the open, then.”
“Darn right I would. Now let’s talk salary.”
“Of course.” Trevor stepped back, giving way to the general. A hand behind the general’s elbow turned him toward one of the conference tables. Then the grip shifted, and the elbow lock forced Winehurst to keep moving until he walked with into—and through—the glowing 30-story window that should have held up to a shoulder-fired SAM. And had before Deborah’s cast her spell.
Winehurst screamed all the way down, of course. Trevor sighed. “Goodbye general. I told you you wouldn’t get a better offer.”
One of the security gryphons winged down to hover before the window. “Sir?”
“I’m fine. However, we need to up our weapon search procedures.” Trevor shook his head. “I don’t know what he thought he was doing, attacking me with Wu and Deborah right here. And please order a cleanup crew for the sidewalk.”
Deborah came to stand beside him and looked down at the splattered remains of the general.
“Thank you, Deborah. That was quick thinking.” Trevor shook his head. But was it necessary?
“Gevurah,” she said. “It was justice.”
“Was it?” Trevor heard himself ask.
Wu put a hand on his shoulder, “Honored friend, not all the deaths on our hands will be just ones. But your servant has seen his work first hand. Even if he had accepted your offer, he would have continued doing harm to many. This death was indeed just.
“And having it known that you can defend yourself against attack at need? Your honored servant will sleep much better at night knowing that your enemies will know you are no easy target.”
With the window gone, the noise of the crowds, now punctuated by screams and shouts, came to him clearly. He looked down at them and waved, doing his best to show them that he was alive and unharmed. Camdrones zoomed towards him. “Wu, deal with those please.” He turned his back on the broken window and sat at the desk he had done so much to claim.
“I have work to do.”