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Day 1
    The Eastern Aristocrats are hereby to share their wealth with the military police for distribution the well-being of the nation! You are to be given 48 hours to comply to our demands. Failure to do so will result in a forceful takeover.

    I spoke these words in front of the Mansion of an aristocrat known as Flash about 24 hours ago at 13:34 hour. It is now 12:02 and I have yet to even see movement from their mansion. Madame Green, my superior, tasked me taking care of the Flash Aristocrats, be it peacefully or not. I had hoped to resolve things peacefully but it doesn't seem like this was going to be the case. I came out from my tent and decided to patrol the nearby gristmill. I struck a small conversation with the farmers that worked there, but it didn't amount to much; most seemed too intimidated to say more than monosyllabic responses. Regardless, I was grateful for their services as they provided food for our small camp.

Come the thirteenth hour, I called in a scout. The small mouse scampered in and stood at attention. "I don't think the Flash Aristocrats are going to concede. I want to be ready for when they attack. Take your group and scout out the area." Flashing his salute, the scout scampered off. 

The scout returned about 4 hours later, reporting his findings with his company. "Sir, the Flash Aristocrats seemed to have hired more pigs for their gristmill. I think it's safe to say they're starting to gather more food to sustain an army." 

"I was afraid of that," I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose, "What of the land?"

"Sir! I'm sure you're aware of the gristmill on the way to their mansion. On the eastern edge of the farm, there's a bridge that leads to another gristmill to the other side of the mountain. That is all," said the scout looking straight on. 

"Very well. Continue scouting and report any more relevant information you may find. Dismissed." 

As the mice ran off, I walked over to the edge of camp where the moles were resting. As I came into view, they scrambled to attention, "Good evening, sir!" they called in unison.

"At ease," I said, "It seems we're going to start taking the Flash Aristocrats down, I want warrens, for toads and for squirrels. We may have a formidable force with us currently but it never hurts to prepare reinforcements."

"We'll be done by morning, sir!"

"Very good. Then I'll leave it in your capable hands."

By now, I notice the camp had started turning on their lanterns. The squirrels promptly made their fires and gathered around to eat. As I was walking around I happened to overhear one of the squirrels group talking about alcohol. I slowly loomed over the squirrel holding a bottle of liquor, whose back was turned to me. While he went on rambling on how he got the good stuff, his fellow squirrels remained staring at me, wondering what sort of punishment they would be dealt. It was only when the rambling squirrel noticed the unusual silence that he looked onto his fellow mates. When he realized, his tail drooped as he slowly turned around to face me.

"So," I said slowly, "This is the good stuff eh?"

Unsure of how to answer, the squirrel looked back at his mates, all of which didn't seem to want any part in the conversation.

"What is your name, son?" I asked instead.

"Billy, sir," he answered weakly, barely having the confidence to look up at me.

"Billy, then," I replied taking his bottle reading the label, "Hmm. Acorn wine. Y'know I can't say I've tasted this before and it would be damn shame if it, say, got lost on the battlefield eh?"

Billy looked up, "sir?"

"I hope you have enough glasses for us all," I said with a smile, handing the bottle back. There was an impending battle tomorrow, and if experience had told me anything, it was bad to have unhappy squirrels on the front line. Besides, if tonight was going to be their last, it might as well be a good one. Tonight, I'd be their friend, not their commander. The night drew on, laughter and song filling the camp. Even the pigs decided to join in our merriment. I had to make sure no one got carried away. It'd be no good to be spirited away before the battle. 

Soon enough, all was quiet. The revolution has caused nothing but death and chaos. I hated to think I was to add to that chaos but it was what had to be done. For a last moment before I drifted to sleep, I hoped the Flash Aristocrats would give in to our demands. Wishful thinking.

Day 2
"Enemy Scout!"

I quickly woke up and scattered out just in time to see the scout turn tail and run. "Quick scouts follow him back." I quickly commanded.

A few of the scout quickly hurried out of the camp to follow the enemy scout. "All hands at the ready!" I yelled out, bringing the camp to their feet. If anything, this was the Flash Aristocrat's declaration of defiance. At this point, we had to be ready for anything. I ordered each company to take turns in having their morning meals. By the time our scouts returned it was around 10:00 hour. 

The scouts had discovered that the Flash Aristocrats were also starting to rally troops; a good number of squirrels and some toads. "We also discovered they have a well protected gristmill. It's only accessible on foot through their mansion. It's on the east side of the valley over the mountain to the east. A group of falcons could easily take out any production had we any."

That was an error on my part; I had not anticipated a need for aerial combatants. In hindsight, this must have been why they were said to have a surplus. A lone gristmill could provide enough food to last months, and they one all to themselves.

I called in one of the sergeants into my tent. To match their surplus, I wanted to hire the pigs at the gristmill northwest of our camp. 

"There also seems to be a pass to our north, where a gristmill also resides," the scout interrupted, "If we're not careful, the Flash Aristocrats could send their units through there and attack the gristmill or our camp from the rear."

I pondered the possibility and took a look at the rough map the scouts had managed to piece together. I decided against having the northern pass guarded. It would take them too long to route their troops around in a fashion where we wouldn't spot them out first. I sent the sergeant out to recruit the pigs with a small company.

In the meanwhile I asked our moles to create warrens for spitting cobras. A look of understandable unease came over them. It was any wonder why snakes would take up arms next to rodents such as us when they could easily gobble us up for food but for whatever reason, we realized there were more civilized and reasonable than previously imagined. Unfortunately, it didn't stop us from instinctively fearing them. However, despite their reluctance, they began to work, digging their way to the nearest allied cobra den.

Afterwards, I rallied the squirrels and toads to move out. Our destination was the gristmill over the river to our northeast. We arrived at 12:00 hour. I asked the local gristmill for shelter. Luckily for us, the pigs were in a generous mood and allowed us some shade and shelter from the hot sun. I positioned a few scouts on the edge of the farms to alert us at the first sign of danger. 

After our afternoon meal I had the troops outside to participate in a short march to keep their blood flowing. But soon that marching turned into scattering.

"ENEMY MORTAR FIRE!"

I quickly turned around and looked up, just in time to see a mortar shell reach the peak of its trajectory. "Get out of its way!" I shouted running to take cover. The mortar thankfully hit nothing but the ground, spewing dirt and debris everywhere. "To arms! Squirrels in the back! Toads, to the front line!" I cried, "They're attacking from the hills! Let's move it! Watch for the mortar fire!".

I lead the charge up the hill. When I got there, I was met with two spitting cobras followed by a small company of toads and squirrels with a ferret in the back. Leading their charge with the aristocrat, Flash. I was surprised he wasn't back at his mansion enjoying his luxury while someone else dirtied their hands. But all the better, if we beat him here, we could immediately put him under arrest.

The company made their way up the hill, doing their best to dodge the incoming bullets, venom, and mortar. I saw a few of our own toads and squirrels shot down. However, a few toads were able to penetrate their front lines and do some damage. "They're starting to retreat! Pick off any stragglers while you can!" 

"Battle report!" I yelled to our remaining members. 

"One squirrel down here."
"Two here."
"Two toad down."
"One squirrel down."
"Two toads."

Blast. We had lost a few numbers. "Reposition to the top of the hill," the same trick won't work twice on us." Just as we were arriving at the top, my Wolf sergeant came to reinforce us. Perfect timing. 

"Everything went as planned, General. All available pigs have been put to work."

"It's good to have you, sergeant. You always had a way with the troops. I swear they always seem to be stronger in your hands rather than my own."

"Please, General, without your guidance we'd be nothing."

I gave a good hearted laugh. My Sergeant had been at my side for a long while now. He and I have been in numerous battles. I attribute most of my victories to him, though he usually returns to the credit to me. However, I knew, without him, some of my victories would have been loses, and easy victories, would have been battles won, only at a high cost.

With my Sergeant at my side, I felt like I could march right up to their base and win the battle. I let it get to my head and that's exactly what I decided to do. We charged their mansion, with my sergeant and myself leading the charge, moral at an all time high. 

Some of the enemy were caught outside of their base and we quickly made short work of them as they retreated towards their base. However all that confidence got winded out of me the moment we marched past their gates. Toads. 

The next thing I knew, I was on the ground, ears ringing and vision blurred. The only thing I could feel was the ground shaking as one toad after another decimated my army. "General!" I think heard someone shout. All of a sudden, I was lifted from the ground and carried off. "Call for reinforcements!" I heard my sergeant say as my hearing came to.

Just as my sense were coming back to me, my sergeant staggered, dropping me to the ground, "What's wrong, sergeant! We have to reach reinforcements. They're almost here." The wolf only smiled and shook his head. It was only then I noticed his back was riddled with holes. "It's too late to save me, General. I'm glad I was able to do you one last favor." He said falling to one side. 

"Goddamn it it, if you do me a favor at least give me a chance to repay you!" I screamed back in anger. As his life faded away he said on last thing, "Then win for me. Stay alive, and win...."

At that moment something switched off inside me. All my emotions were muted and only one thing drove me from then on. My thought of revenge. As the reinforcements arrive I drove them forward in a never-ending attack. I had no reason or sensibility to realize it was a losing battle as the line of scrimmage kept being pushed towards our base.  

Eventually, the battle was right at the front steps of our base, where the warrens were. Troops were forced to fight the moment they came out of their holes only to be immediately gunned down or blown up. We had managed to drive them off, even if temporarily, but not before they destroy one of warrens and damaged several others. 

Even then, I yelled commands to drive the army forward. One of the moles, who had to come to inspect the damaged warren came to me. "Sir, I think you may want to rethink our strategy." 

"How dare you! What makes you think you know what to do to win this battle! Sergeant Wolf was gunned down in battle protecting me! The least I need to do is wi-" I didn't get a chance to finish, as I was interrupted by a shovel to the head.

I turned around to see another mole. "My apologies, sir. But I'm sure you and I both know that is the Sergeant were still here, this is not how he would conduct battle. You're not yourself right now, General." He was right. I wasn't myself. I got up and took a deep breath. 

"And, uh... sorry for hitting you over the head, sir. I'm prepared to take any punishment you would give me!" he said standing at attention.

"Very well," I said, having gathered myself. I spoke to the other moles who there, "You are to inspect all damaged warrens and make repairs as necessary." The moles gave a quick salute and went to work. I turned to the mole who had attacked me, "As for you, I want you to collapse one of the squirrel warrens and reroute it to another group of snakes."

As the mole went off, a pig from the nearby farms came to me, "Sir, we're running low on food. Most of our fields are farmed out and it's going to take months to regrow our stock." I sighed. In the heat of the battle, I had forgotten to secure more food for the troops. There was the gristmill just on the other side of the river but it was too close to battle and would be easily taken down of the Flash Aristocrats scouted what I was doing. 

I thanked the pig and sent him on his way and called over to the moles who were inspecting the tunnels, "I have a new task, create an artillery cannon on the sound side of the gristmill across the river. Flash and his army mainly consists of toads, it's going to take more than a couple of toads to take down a cannon. I will accompany you with a small group of soldier to protect you while you build. Afterwards, we'll secure the gristmill and start the pigs there on production."

I thought about it for a second before I realized how late it had become, "On the second thought, have your equipment ready overnight. That way we can get a head start come morning." 

The moles gave their gave their 'yes sir!' and went to work. The rest of the camp slowly fell to sleep. Before I went to bed myself I patrolled the outskirts of the camp talking to each of the the scouts who were positioned to alert the camp in the case of a midnight assault. When all was quiet, it became my turn to turn in for the night. 

Day 3
I woke up earlier than usual, at the first sign of daylight. I gathered a respectable army of squirrels, toads, and snakes and marched with the moles to the gristmill over the bridge. As soon as we got into position, the moles went to work while the scouts went out to survey the land.

0928 hour. The artillery was about half finished. I was caught wishing things would go off without a hitch when one the scouts alerted the company. Of course. I made my way to the scout that cried the alert, "What's the news?"

"Several squirrels and toads. I see three snakes on the front line and a ferret in the back. They're marching forward." he said handing me a binocular. 

"ah, crap. He must have seen the artillery. He's going to want to stop it," I said. I ran back to the company. I readied the troop for battle and sent one back to call reinforcements. Battles with toads were always unpredictable and I wanted to make sure if I was caught on the short end of the blasts, another line would be there to push them back. 

Within the hour, Flash ran his army towards us. "Squirrels! Take out the toads before they get to you! Snakes up front; you can take a few shots!" Blasts from the toads took out a good number of squirrels. "Toads forward now!" The toads hopped forwards taking out a few of their numbers as well. 

"We're under fire!" The moles cried out. I looked up to see mortar fire coming down. "Take cover!" I yelled. After the blast settled I yelled to the snakes, "Take out the backline!" The snakes made quick work of the ferrets as reinforcements started to arrive. "They're retreating!" I called out.

After things had settled, I checked in with the moles, "Status report?"

"Some parts took damage but none of the essential ones. The artillery will be slightly less durable but just as effective, sir." They said continuing their build.

"Very good. Keep at it."

The work continued for another few hours before it was complete. Moments after it was done I contacted the gristmill and hired the pigs there to provide us food only moments before I was told we had run out back at base camp. I had some of my rodents carry back some supplies to our base to feed the troops there. In doing so, I suddenly wondered about Flash's own resources.

Other than the gristmill on the mountain there was no reports of other gristmills he had taken. Given the scale of our battle, he had to have used as much resources as we have. I pulled out a map of the area and noticed there was only one gristmill within his reach. 

I sent out a scout to check whether or not that gristmill had be taken or not. Within a few hours the scouts returned reporting that the Flash Aristocrats had just begun negotiations with the pigs at the gristmills and that Flash was marching a small army of squirrels and toads up to the gristmill.

Perfect, they were one step behind us, and with their most recent loss, he couldn't possibly have much more troops than he left with. I called up two of the snakes that were basking in the afternoon sun. 

"How ssshall we ssserve, sssire?" they slithered, when I addressed them.

"I have a few teeth for you to collect, come with me." 

The snakes writhed in excitement and followed me to the outskirts of the gristmill. For the next hour we skirted along the edge of their army, picking off a members of Flash's army one at a time. When his army had thinned, I brought the rest of my troops with me to the gristmill to the north. 

However instead of waving his blue banner, he was bearing white. The rest of the evening was spent rounding up him and his troops and marching them back to the Military Police HQ. I wanted to kill him right then and there for what he had done to Sergeant Wolf, but that was not my judgement to make. Tomorrow, we march back and tomorrow, justice shall be served.
So this is something a bit different than my usual narration if you haven't noticed. This is for a game known as Tooth and Tail by Pocketwatch Games. For those curious, Tooth and Tail is an Arcade-style RTS (real time strategy) game that takes away all the APM requirements of starcraft making it easy and fun to play for those that may not be familiar with the game. 

Unfortunately the original game this story was based on in no longer available. Hopefully, you can imagine what happened. xp

Pocketwatch streams every Thursday at 2pm PST at twitch.tv/Pocketwatch

To learn more about tooth and Tail: click here
If you're interested in the joining the Pre-Alpha, click here, join the chat and request an alpha key from one of the higher up. 

Feel free to ask me any question you have about the game, and I will answer them to the best of my abilities. 
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March 3, 2016
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