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The Moshroom War

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Do note that I did this as a joke. If it isn't good, oh well. It only spent about three hours on it. I didn't spellcheck or anything either. Anyway, enjoy. or something.

Colonel Bolete tapped his foot uneasily on his carriage's floorboards. He glanced around at his men, none of which accepted the brief offer of reassuring eye contact. The squad had been riding for just under an hour without a word. Each of the soldiers appeared to be lost in their own thoughts, but it was clear that wartime had gotten to each of them. Too many Moshroomen soldiers had lost their lives in battle for those that remained to not feel uncertain about their own. There were only 8 men left in Bolete's squad - including the driver - it had dwindled down to just under half its original size.

The war never really made sense to Bolete. Cultivated mushrooms and wild mushrooms didn't have so many dissimilarities that they should find reason to fight one another. There wasn't really anything that separated them biologically, but everyone had to find something to hate and stereotyping always made that convenient.

"I've never understood how people can take hatred as something to bond over" the Colonel announced. Most of the squad didn't even respond. Pvt. Morel looked up and stared blankly at the hilt of Bolete's sword. Just as he appeared about to say something, he turned back to face the grassy plains they were traversing. The two had exchanged words on the subject plenty of times before.

"We're nearing some suitable camps Colonel." announced the driver.

"We aren't stopping tonight. We don't need the Marshs getting a line of sight while we're planning an invasion of their main base."

"You're aware we are far outnumbered sir?"

"Waiting isn't going to give us the upper hand private. They may have numbers, but we have strength and technology on our side. I've said it a million times."

"Yes sir."

Bolete was a bit anxious himself, but it didn't show through. The fact that 8 Moshroomen were preparing to take on the main Marsh base was enough to do that to anyone. There were of course other squadrons that could have been sent in, and plenty of infantry were scattered elsewhere engaging in less covert operations. Winning the war was the first concern of Bolete's squad, and they had proven to be remarkably innovative and responsive in the past. They weren't first chosen for the assignment, but it was nonetheless an honor to be so far ahead of the rest of the troops. If Bolete and his squad performed, this could be the end of the Mushroom War.

The carriage rolled silently over the hillside.



(A few hours later)


"Everyone out" commanded Bolete. The squad exited the carriage with the uniformity you would expect. Following standard procedure, the carriage was collapsed and placed into Pvt. Trumpet's pack. The science behind such a maneuver was Trumpet's masterpiece, though that was long forgotten by anyone in the squad. Bolete and the squad moved silently through the grass up to a good viewing point of the Marsh base. Morel observed with his binoculars, noting that there wasn't anything particularly ornamental about the base. It looked ordinary: a stone dome with some mounted towers at four sides. No special guards or other defensive measures appeared to have been taken.

"Trumpet?"

"Yes sir?"

"You take Chanterelle, Mane, and Hedgehog. You're in charge. If you can find an entry point, don't hesitate. You're leader of this unit until we meet back up. Get moving."

"Yes sir."

Trumpet and the rest moved off silently to the southern end of the base.

"Morel, did you see anything that suggests this is going to be a non-standard operation?"

"No sir. The base seems to be perfectly similar to other Marsh units."

"I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but this is our chance to get inside if we're going to have one. With any hope Trumpet's group and the rest of us will be inside and meet up without too much difficulty in ten minutes. He's taken the south, so we're going for the north. Any objections?"

The group was silent. Bolete motioned with his hand for the group to follow, and the group hunched low and moved towards the south entrance. As the northern door of the building came into view Bolete noted that there were exactly the expected number of guards: four. He had been anticipating a more challenging arrival to a main base, but perhaps that was in store once they entered the doors.

"Sulphur, I want you to throw a flare at the door on my mark."

Pvt. Sulphur nodded "Yes sir."

Bolete grinned to himself about the loyalty of his squad. Perhaps the only thing that made them such an effective group was that orders were taken, and disagreement rarely occurred; they had trust in Bolete.

"Morel, you're coming with me. When Sulphur flares the door it's going to attract a lot of attention. We need to be able to take out at least the four guards before the flare dies down. Sulphur, you and Tooth need to take out whatever tower guards seem to be causing problems. That means arrows, darts, or a rush for the base. Any of that, and you need to neutralize them. If they get inside, we're going to have problems. Once the guards at the door are cleared, follow behind immediately. Any questions?"



Silence.



Bolete and Morel put on thick black glasses and unsheathed their swords. They crouched at the hillside onlooking the entrance. Bolete waved his hand forward and Pvt. Sulphur lit the flare and tossed it at the door.

Bolete and Morel immediately dashed at the guards. The guards were startled and immediately prepared fighting stances only to have to cover their eyes. As a guard walked to get his back against the wall Bolete got a clean slice on him. The other guards stumbled about entirely unable to see. A single arrow flew downward from one of the turrets and screams of a breach began to break out among the Marsh troops. One of the guards swung wildly in the direction of Bolete, feet away from even touching him. Bolete swung at his legs, causing him to fall to the ground. As he yelled Bolete neutralized him.

"What's going on over there Morel?!"

There was no answer from his comrade. Bolete stepped closer to the door and was met with a heavy thwack by an unknown enemy. He fell to the ground, apparently passed out. Sulphur and Tooth watched from the hillside as Bolete was dragged into the base - there was no sign of Morel.



(inside the base)



Trumpet walked confidently through the base wearing a full Marsh uniform. The other members of his squad were waiting in the main communications centre for the base, having taken out all Marsh soldiers inside. Trumpet passed a large soldier dragging Bolete and cringed at the fate of the members. There had to be at least two dozen other Marsh on this floor alone… However many stumbled into the communications centre could be considered a non-problem but there was only so long before the Marsh noticed a problem. Trumpet walked down a stairwell and saw a general or commander of some sort sitting and talking with other important looking members of the Marsh army.

"General Portobello?" Trumpet thought to himself. He felt slightly unnerved each time he passed a Marsh officer, but held the appearance that he was just as any of them. None had noticed his disguise thus far. As Trumpet mapped out various other sections of the base he found a quick route back to the control centre. As he reached the door he knocked three times fast and two times slowly, then entered. The Moshroomen squad relievedly lowered their weapons.

"They have Bolete. I didn't see Morel, Tooth, or Sulphur."

The crew had a brief staredown with Trumpet.

"I'm not sure what room Bolete is being held in, but downstairs there are a group of officials who look to be some of the Marsh Leaders. If we can find a way to capture them, we can win the war and guarantee the safe return of Bolete. I don't have a plan for how we could do it, but the base is far smaller than expected. There are only about 30 other Marsh here."

"Trumpet, I think we should focus on rescuing Bolete for the time being. Even if there are only 30 of them, we are still far outnumbered at four."

"I realize the stakes are high here, but if we're going to win the war we are going to have to make sacrifices. We've all known that."

"You're in command."

"Glad to see we still trust Bolete in these circumstances. Let's get moving."

The four Moshroomen made their way through the halls clad in Marsh uniforms. They managed to get down the stairs and to the room with the general with little difficulty. They approached the door and opened it, only to quickly be stopped by a guard on the opposing side.

"Portobello is in the middle of a conference. You know you're not allowed in here private.. Privates? How many of you are there-"

Trumpet grabbed the guard and passed him behind him. The squad hurriedly entered the room and locked the door behind them. At the conference table all the men began to stand.

"Sit down, now!" exclaimed Trumpet. All but General Portobello returned to their seats.

"Or what?" asked Portobello. "You've clearly caught us off guard. We're standing here, totally unarmed. If I'm expendable because I'm unwilling to sit then certainly you would have killed me already."

Trumpet walked up behind the general and pulled him harshly back into the chair.

"Don't get smart. Your base was pathetically easy to infiltrate-"

"There are a variety of reasons for that, none of which I feel the need to explain. Though we are a main control, this is but a small faction of the Marsh army. It takes only a few to lead, the many who do the work of war work best unclustered. You should have realized that by-"

Trumpet slapped Portobello. Portobello rubbed his jaw…

"Hitting me doesn't change the reality of your situation. We have hundreds of bases that fit the specifications of the ones here… Your army is outnumbered at least three dozen to one and we've gotten vital information about your technology from inside sources. This war is as good as over, even if you don't acknowledge it."

Trumpet shook his head in disbelief as all the people at the conference table stared at him. The crew still had swords readied and waited for Trumpet to speak.

"Prove it."

"Why don't you take a look at that control panel, just over there?"

The general motioned to a console in the corner of the room. Trumpet made his way over to the screen and flipped through the figures. The General hadn't been lying - in fact, his figures were an underestimate. The Marsh army was nearly fifty times larger than the Moshroomen army and equally well equipped. They had bases encroaching on the main Moshroomen camp, and a lot of them. The danger had somehow slipped by unnoticed, but the General was absolutely right. There was no way to win this war. He continued flipping through screens, looking at weapons silos and other statistics.

"Is it so hard to accept that one side must win a war?" Asked the General.

"What about this button here?" Trumpet asked, pointing at a large red switch on a screen titled "Nuclear Launch Site."

"What do you think it is? It's a nuclear launch site. It launches nuclear missiles. You specify them onscreen, and fire them at your enemies. It's archaic and hasn't been used in decades. Any respectable officer should know about that. We've got tens of thousands of them at the ready from the older days of war. This location was chosen as a base specifically because of that feature actually."

Trumpet activated the entire reservoir of nuclear missiles as prepared for launch. He designated the first to be aimed at the Moshroomen base.

"What, are you a traitor now?" Portobello asked. "You know that firing a single one of those missiles would cause irreparable damage to that base if not destroying it entirely."

Trumpet's crew looked at each other warily. What sort of bluff was this? Trumpet started setting destinations in a rhythmic pattern around the entire globe. He focused in particular on the Moshroomen base.

A look of dread suddenly rushed into Portobello's eyes. "Surely you aren't going to destroy the whole world because you are losing a war? Are you so childish?!" He began to stand from his chair and was hurriedly stopped by one of Trumpet's crew. They grew more anxious by the second, unsure what to think of Trumpet's actions. Could this really be the solution?

"You're mad! The whole world will be entirely destroyed! Marsh and Moshroomen both completely eradicated by your juvenile inability to accept defeat!"

Trumpet looked at the conference table. "We are a race of people almost indistinguishable from one another. It doesn't matter who wins this war. We have willingly fought and killed our own species. We are no longer Moshroomen and Marsh. We are monsters."

He slammed his hand onto the button and a thunderous shake moved the room as the missiles launched into the air. Everyone's eyes widened with shock as they looked to trumpet for an answer to what he had just done.

Trumpet stared the general straight in his eyes: "I'm not destroying the world. I'm saving it."

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