Fozzeh and Fozbeh had been together for as long as they could remember. Well, almost as long. She had popped a turn before him, and he often made jokes about her being an older woman, out to exploit the naïve and bright-eyed newly popped. Wakka wakka.
But it had been love at first sight, even if it took a turn or two before they realised what was going on. The shy sideways glances, the sudden coughing fits when the other walked into the room, the embarrassing delay after the “who’s there?” of the inevitable knock-knock jokes.
Eventually the stack sergeant had got sick of the ridiculousness, and assigned them to guard the same stretch of wall. Out of sight of the rest of the stack, Fozzeh had made her feelings for Fozbeh quite clear, and Fozbeh had reciprocated in kind, and with gusto.
That had been a dozen turns ago, and the two had been in relationship bliss ever since. One end of the massive barracks had been given over to them, with curtains for privacy, and the rest of the stack learnt not to come knock-knocking when the pairs’ ties were hung in a certain place.
Life in Fraggle Stone was a simple cycle of guard duty during the turn, and furious furry fun at nights. Fozzeh and Fozbeh were as happy as a pair of
A-Type units have ever been.
Then Lord Henderson had been croaked in Sesame Drive, and Mike Jaboc moved the capital to Fraggle Stone. Nothing changed for the lovers, except there was an extra building to guard.
Then, the others had come.
The pair had been on sentry duty on the wall. The Moppet turn had ended, and Fozbeh was counting the minutes until sundown, and dreaming of what Fozzeh kept under her hat. The trumpet sounded, and every unit on the walls was looking up at the vast silver spheres floating in from the East.
The Voyerans had arrived, and signalled for Parley. Mike Jaboc agreed, and one of the spheres approached to talk to the ruler.
The conversation went on for some time, out of the earshot of the defending units.
Fozzeh left her post, and stood next to Fozbeh. They held hands.
After what seemed like hours, the ruler gave an order, and the Fozzies stood down from defensive positions. The Voyerans landed their spheres, and they disgorged what seemed like dozens of units – most of them Sand Elves dressed in desert robes. The turn soon ended, with non-allied units in the hex.
Fozzeh and Fozbeh ate their evening rations in silence with the rest of the stack. No one had anything to say. Afterwards, the pair went to their end of the barracks, hung up their ties and hats, and held each other. They made slow, careful, gentle love. Then they held each other until dawn, and the start of the new turn.
The Voyerans were assembled in the middle of the city when the Moppit turn started. The Fozzies formed up opposite them. Mike Jaboc walked in front of his troops, saluted the Voyeran commanders, and led the way out of the city.
Fozzeh looked at Fozbeh as they were promoted to field units. They had never left the city before – never stepped beyond the walls. There was excitement there, but also great sadness. It was very clear they would never return to Fraggle Stone, never return to their nest in great barracks. Everything was going to change.
Fozzeh looked back as the last Moppit unit left the city, and shuddered as the blue Voyeran banner rose over the city. Her home – the only home she had ever known – was gone, and there hadn’t even been a fight.
It was a hot and dusty march, and the night phase was sweltering. Even so, Fozzeh and Fozbeh took the opportunity to answer an ancient question.
It seems bears do it in the field as well.