Well, here's the latest installment of the Princess story. I've been a little bored recently since none of my classes have much homework yet and everyone else seems to be in class when I'm not. Oh well. Hopefully this bit of the Princess story is up to par.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to war we go. I’ve been educated about “camo” and “guns” now. At first I thought “camo” was something that goes in the guns, but no, that’s “ammo,” which is short for “ammunition” and apparently entirely unrelated to “camo.” I have now been told that “camo” is short for “camouflage;” fortunately I understand that concept and don’t need it explained. Whoever invented these contractions clearly didn’t understand typical contracting conventions. “Ammu,” if you pronounce it “amm-yu,” would have made so much more sense than “ammo.” There’s not even an O until the end of the word, for goodness’ sake. I think this so-called modernity has some serious drawbacks.
We got involved in a little skirmish an hour ago. We? I guess I think of myself as one of these people now. My life in the tower seems almost dreamlike in comparison to this. I’m having an adventure, that’s a fact. No one is going to believe me whenever—if ever—I find my way home.
The skirmish was, of course, very loud. For all this talk of camouflage, no one seems to realize that if guns weren’t so dratted loud, it might be easier to stay hidden. Lieutenant Fowler says the guns have to be loud because of an explosion and some other things I don’t quite understand—such as what the heck is gunpowder? Lieutenant Fowler says it explodes, but shouldn’t it be something you’d put on your gun to make it dry or pretty or less smelly? I’m still so confused. I always thought powder was something non-explosive that goes on your face or on babies’ behinds and such. Obviously I was incorrect. As I sit here, I think I have been incorrect about a lot of things. “Camo” and “ammo” come to mind. I still can’t get over that foolishness.
For some reason, no one seems to be able to articulate why they’re fighting. The standard answer is, “Well, there was a threat that had to be taken care of, so we were dispatched.” I tried asking Lieutenant Fowler about the threat. He just said something about terrorists and then scowled at me.
“Why so many questions? Maybe you’re a terrorist.”
Well, obviously that’s absurd. I’m a princess who just escaped from a tower and has been guarded by a dragon for the past few years. This is a bit of a sore point, if you couldn’t tell. Can I tell him that? Of course not. I may be nutty as a fruitcake, but I’m certainly not stupid. My position is therefore somewhat tenuous. According to the prevailing opinion, I either need to be executed or put in a padded room. I’m not saying my brain is totally 100% without issues, but I think the padded room would be a little far. Tomorrow I may feel differently, though.
If I’m supposed to be a self-rescuing princess, it’s kind of a given that I should, well, save myself. Maybe I can show these people where I live. There’s the obvious issue of whether or not they can get there, and the equally obvious issue of what they would do to my country, but I might as well try to get one of them to see that I am not, in fact, any kind of threat and could never present any obstacles even if I wanted to.
Of course that sentence made sense. It’s just long.
Perhaps Lieutenant Fowler will be amenable to my idea. The issue is, I suppose, his superiors, whoever they are. Their ranking system makes as much sense as the contraction of ammunition.
I think I just contradicted everything in the Princess Training Handbook, specifically in sections 3.5.11 (Proper Speech) through 3.6.2 (Proper Comportment). This is what I mean:
Me, as I march into the command tent, thereby violating 3.6.2b (Proper Walking): I can prove I’m not a terrorist.
(Everyone is staring at me. I must look funny to them in my rough clothes. I think my hair is also frizzed straight out from my head—it’s annoyingly curly and it’s been burnt, if you remember. This violates 3.6.1c [Proper Hairdressing]. Added to this, it’s so blond that it’s almost white.)
The guy in charge, apparently called a General: Do you have documentation? Witnesses?
Me: Well… not as such. Not here, anyway. So… no, not really, unless you count a dragon.
(The General is clearly unimpressed.)
General: A dragon, huh? That’s new.
Me: Actually, he’s pretty old. He talks, too. Not with his mouth; just inside your head. He’s very educated on the subjects of burning, smashing, and eating.
(I’ve just violated 3.5.11a [Proper Speech to a Superior], and the General is at this point done with the conversation. I could be okay with that or I could push the point. Guess what I did.)
Me: You probably think I’m crazy. I don’t blame you. Heck, if somebody had come to me talking about ammo a week ago, I’d have ordered them sent to the local nuthouse. You have to give me a chance. If you send just one guy with me, I promise I can show him I’m not a terrorist. I’ll even let him talk to the dragon, provided I can get the dragon not to eat us. Anyway, if you don’t let me go, I’ll just come here and bug you.
(Yeah, there went every Propriety section in the book. Well, darn.)
General: Okay, fine. I believe that you’ll bug me, even if I don’t believe the rest. Go get Fowler. If you’re gone more than twelve hours, though, I’m sending a recon team after you with orders to kill on sight.
(I have no idea what recon is—probably another stupid contraction—but I get the whole “kill on sight” thing. It’s what dragons are programmed to do, after all. I nod and march back out of the tent. The Princess Training Handbook can go cry in a corner.)
See, that’s why I would be a terrible queen. I can’t seem to keep my big mouth shut. Then again, I got what I wanted, so maybe the Princess Training Handbook is really as outmoded as I’ve always thought. Who knows. Now I have to go find Lieutenant Fowler.