Reckless Optimism

“When will they be here?”

“Could be any time now. An hour at most. Hm. Probably closer, judging by the rumbling.”

“Wait, that’s them? I thought it was thunder or a train or something.”

“Nope. Probably the behemoths. It could be the dragons, too, but they’re more likely to be flying.”

“So tell me again why you’re just sitting here, waiting?”

“Not much more to do, now. I’ve prepared as much as I can. The rest happens when they get here.”

“Couldn’t you just, um, run?”

“Oh, I tried that. Several times. This time they’ve got all directions covered. And the dimensional barriers are locked down tight, so no gating out.”

“You’re making me really glad I’m incorporeal.”

“Bonus for you. It should be a hell of a show, no matter the outcome.”

“So you really think you could win?”

“Win? Hell no. Not by any classic definition of the term. If I’m lucky I might carve out a window or send enough of them packing to make them think twice.”

“Isn’t that just running away, then?”

“I suppose. But they have to get bored eventually, right?”

“You haven’t heard what the Emperor has been saying at the capital, have you?”

“He’s best when tuned out completely, I’ve found.”

“Suffice to say they’re not giving up any time soon.”

“Well, their loss. Or mine. Remains to be seen.”

“I still don’t get how you can be so cheerful in this situation.”

“Hope’s all I have left at a time like this. I figure I should milk it for everything it’s got.”