During a break on the march to Southland, Agate takes an opportunity to tell her women about their mission — and encounters some resistance.
While her women sat, scattered across the road in a rough semi-circle, chewing on their rations, she spoke clearly and quietly. No one said anything, for her women were loyal, and always showed the respect they knew she deserved.
“As the Queen said, this is a delicate situation. If there are any of you who feel you are not up to the task, tell me now.”
There was a small pause while the women looked around at each other, an assessing gaze on each face, and then – Agate had been expecting it – Bethany stood. “Ma’am,” she started, but didn’t get a chance to say “I feel I would jeopardize the mission” because Agate cut her off.
“Shut up, Bethany. You’re coming and that’s final.”
Bethany gaped like a fish out of water, then shut her mouth with clunk sound. “Ma’am,” she said tightly, through her teeth, “with all due respect I think that’s an uninformed decision.”
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