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The Modan Republic

The purpose of this assignment is to write an entire story without using any description outside of dialog. Also, you cannot put any dialog tags. Examples:

Allowed: “I love that blue shirt on you, Sally. It matches your eyes.”
Disallowed: Bill loved the blue shirt that Sally was wearing. It matched her eyes.

Allowed: “Bill, why are you doing this?”
Disallowed: “Why are you doing this?” Sally asked Bill.

Allowed: “I don’t understand you, Sally. You’re just not making any sense.”
Disallowed: “I don’t understand you, Sally,” said Bill. “You’re just not making any sense.

Put your story below this line…

WATER
by John P. Logsdon

“Name?”
“Arch Commander Rinder Kern, designation seven-three-nine…”
“Rinder Kern, then?”
“Excuse me?”
“You are no longer an Arch Commander and your designation is irrelevant, so do you wish me to refer to you as Rinder Kern or simply as Rinder?”
“I…uh…”
“Rinder Kern, then.”
“But I’m a soldier of the Republic of…”
“Did you not just lay down your weapons and accept the Terms of Surrender?”
“Well, yes, but…”
“Those terms clearly stated, in sub-section four-point-two-six, that you have accepted the constitution of the Modan Republic. Therefore, Rinder Kern, you are a full-fledged citizen of this great land.”
“But I’m a prisoner!”
“Oh, you have broken a law since becoming a citizen?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Then how are you a prisoner?”
“I just led a troop of soldiers across the field beyond that wall. We killed at least five soldiers on this side of the wall—and likely a hundred more over the last weeks—and then we were captured.”
“And you were read the Terms of Surrender by the commanding officer, and accepted them, yes?”
“I’ve already answered that.”
“Then you are a citizen. Welcome to the Modan Republic, Rinder Kern. Please move down to the next station for debriefing and a nice glass of water.”
“Water?”

* * * * *

“Name?”
“Rinder Kern, former Arch Commander…”
“You’re in the military?”
“Well, yes.”
“Your uniform doesn’t match those prescribed by the Modan Republic.”
“That’s because I was just captured by the Modan Republic.”
“Oh, I see. So you’re a new citizen.”
“I guess so.”
“Welcome to the Modan Republic. Would you like some water?”
“Huh? Water? No, thank you.”
“Suit yourself. I am citizen Larning. I’m here to help you determine how you can best fit into the republic. What are your primary skills, Rinder Kern?”
“Rinder.”
“Pardon?”
“Just call me Rinder.”
“As you wish. What are your primary skills, Rinder?”
“I’m a soldier.”
“Excellent! The Modan Republic is currently in need of soldiers. We are at war you know.”
“Yes, I’m aware of that.”
“What experience do you have as a soldier?”
“Well, as I tried to say before, I was…I am an Arch Commander of the Republic of Carginan.”
“That’s perfect! Many of our commanders are new. We could really use someone with more expertise.”
“But…”
“Are you more tactical or strategic?”
“Tactical, but…”
“Perfect. Have you ever been in actual battle before, Rinder?”
“Well, yes, just about thirty minutes ago.”
“Better and better. Have you ever been captured?”
“This is unbelievable.”
“Being captured…”
“Yes, I’ve been captured.”
“When did this occur, Rinder?”
“Again, about thirty minutes ago.”
“Well, hopefully you’ve learned some lessons so it doesn’t happen again. If you’ll take this slip and go to the front wall, you’ll be given a new uniform and appropriate weaponry.”

* * * * *

“Rinder Kern, reporting.”
“Name?”
“I just gave you my name.”
“I hadn’t asked for it. We have a very strict chain of procedures in the Modan Republic military. Name?”
“Rinder Kern.”
“Designation?”
“Uh…I guess I don’t have one.”
“Your jacket marks you as a soldier of the Republic of Carginan. Were you or were you not a soldier of the Republic of Carginan?”
“Of course…Yes! Yes, I was…am!”
“And you have no designation?”
“Yes, I do. I mean I did, I guess. It’s just that when I was captured…”
“Right. So you accepted the Terms of Surrender?”
“Well, yeah…”
“Welcome to the Modan Republic, Citizen.”
“Oh boy.”
“Would you like some water?”
“No, I don’t want any water.”
“Larning sent you here for reassignment?”
“Yes. Here’s the slip.”
“Oh, a commander! Excellent. I don’t know if Larning told you, but…”
“Yeah, I know. You need commanders. I’m tactical, by the way.”
“Yes, it says that here. Okay, remove your jacket please and wear the Modan Republic greens instead.”
“What about pants?”
“Same design. Yours will do. The jacket looks to fit fine. Good. Here is your weapon. Your squad will be exiting through the south gate in ten minutes.”
“But, wait…you don’t expect me to actually fire on my own people, do you?”
“Of course not! Why would you?”
“Well, you’re sending me into battle.”
“Yes.”
“And I was just fighting for the other side, not an hour ago!”
“Right.”
“Those are my people!”
“I thought you said you accepted the Terms of Surrender?”
“I did!”
“Then you are a citizen of the Modan Republic according to sub-section four-point-two-six.”
“Fine, but I’m also a citizen of the Republic of Carginan.”
“No, you’re not. Sub-section four-point-two-seven of the Terms of Surrender clearly state that by accepting the terms you relinquish any prior citizenship and swear allegiance solely to the Modan Republic.”

* * * * *

“Arch Commander Kern!”
“At ease, Meggert.”
“Yes, sir. You look tired, sir. Can I get you some water?”
“You too? Why does everyone keep asking me that?”
“I don’t know, sir. If I may, sir, what will be our tactics today?”
“To not get killed so we can get back to our side, Meggert.”
“Our side, sir?”
“Yes, our side.”
“Excuse me, sir, but according to the Terms of Surrender we are now citizens of the Modan Republic.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“No, sir. Sub-section four-point…”
“I know the damned sub-section, Meggert! What’s gotten into you? All of you are soldiers of the Republic of Carginan. It hasn’t even been an hour and you’re already preparing to turn your weapons against our comrades.”
“Of course not, sir!”
“Thank heavens. Finally some sense.”
“We’re going to turn our weapons against the enemy!”
“Now you’re talking.”
“The Republic of Carginan.”
“What?”
“We are now citizens of…”

* * * * *

“Welcome back, Commander.”
“Hello, Larning. I’m no longer a commander.”
“Oh?”
“I’m a prisoner, seeking punishment.”
“Prisoner?”
“I yelled at one of my soldiers for being a better citizen than I’ll ever be.”
“That’s not a crime. A nice glass of water would calm your nerves.”
“I don’t want any damned water, thank you very much. And yelling at someone about their prowess at citizenry apparently is a crime.”
“How so?”
“Sub-section nine-point-one-nine states that any new citizen who criticizes any other new citizen in a raised tone, whether it be negative or positive toward the new citizen, a crime has been committed.”
“My, you’ve learned the statutes quite thoroughly.”
“I’m just repeating what the arresting officer said before sending me back to you.”
“I see.”
“So now what?”
“Execution.”
“Execution!”
“Indeed. You’ve broken a law.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! Two hours ago I was a member of the Republic of Carginan. I was instrumental in the killing of over a hundred of Modan Republic soldiers during the last few weeks. I was captured and treated like gold. I yell at one guy and I’m sentenced to death?”
“Ah, but two hours ago you were not a citizen of the Modan Republic.”

* * * * *

“Rinder Kern, please state your final request.”
“I have none.”
“Rinder Kern, you must state a final request. Maybe some water?”
“I said I don’t have one.”
“According to sub-section eighteen-point-seven-one-five, you are required to have a final request before your demise.”
“Incredible.”
“Pardon?”
“Okay, fine. My last request is that you not execute me.”
“Damn.”
“What?”

* * * * *

“Hello again, Larning.”
“Rinder Kern? I thought you were to be executed.”
“Loophole in sub-section eighteen-point-seven-one-five.”
“Ah, you requested not to be executed?”
“Right.”
“Funny how only new citizens figure that one out.”
“Doesn’t surprise me.”
“Why is that?”
“No reason.”
“I see. Seeking reassignment then, Rinder?”
“Yes.”
“Okay. Let’s get to it then. What skills do you have?”
“This is…never mind. I’m still a soldier, Larning.”
“You wouldn’t happen to be a commander, would you? We could really use someone with command experience, especially tactical.”
“I’ve died and this is my eternal punishment. That has to be it.”
“Pardon?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.”
“You look confused, Rinder. You should really consider having some water.”
“You know what, Larning, I think I will. A nice tall glass of it.”

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