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The Voice

Joan was happy herding sheep but a voice in her head had other plans.

(Author's Note: This is Part One of a piece in-progress)

A 100 Years War..?.!" the Voice said to itself in disbelief, "The last thing I needed was a war that just goes on and on and on."

What was supposed to be your average rampage through the country side has turned into a complete mess. The English are in Northern France, the French, when they're not killing each other, have managed to make themselves fugitives in their own country, lose Paris (PARIS for Pete's sake!) and are without a King for the first time since Pepin the Short.

They're also so obsessed with "looking noble" that they seem to be practicing a form of "Metro Chivalry" with their "elan", their designer chain mail and color coordinated armor. They conduct war as Fashion Week with sharp implements and are getting the pate knocked out of them by the scruffy, disease ridden, fashion challenged Brits.

The Voice had been guiding human events since there were humans. It suggested to early man that that big rock over there might persuade the rival tribe to back off, it told Moses to go and check out that burning bush, and it put the idea in Brutus's head that it might be time to give Caesar a "time out."

It now needed France to be French and England to be English, but it couldn't wait forever. History was marching on, soon it would be the Renaissance, then the Age of Discovery, the Voice was already way behind schedule.

What it needed was an a messenger, someone who could get the French army moving, put the king back on the throne and get the English to go back home. It had tried all the obvious candidates, whispering into the ears of nobles, generals, clerics, even a village idiot or two, but no one was taking the hint. The Voice was so upset that it was talking to itself.

Wallowing in self pity, it looked up to see a flock of sheep marching in perfect formation, turning right and then left as if they were soldiers on the march—and there, leading them from the front, was a teenage girl.

He moved closer to get a better look.

"Snowball, stay in line," she bark out, "Fluffy, don't look at me like that. Keep up or you'll be the main attraction at Easter dinner. You are all, without a doubt, the saddest bunch of live stock I've ever seen."

"Well," The Voice said to itself, "Maybe it's time to think out of the box. I've gotten nowhere with military leaders, why not a shepherd. Soldiers, sheep, they both basically follow orders. At this point she couldn't do any worst.

Since the whole "voices in the head thing" clearly wasn't working, it decided to take the extreme measure of assuming human form and appearing as a nondescript gentleman of the 15th century.

He made his way towards her.


"Leave me alone Pierre," she snapped, not bothering to look up, " I told you I'm not interested...and, before you even ask, neither are any of my sheep."

"Pardone Mademoiselle, I was watching and you have an impressive command of your flock."

"Do I know you?"

"Yes and no...Joan, have you ever thought of doing something else?

"That's all I think about. I'll do anything to get away from these damn farm animals...and Pierre.

"Joan, this is gonna sound a little out there so stay with me...how would you like to see Reims? All you'll have to do is take a message to the Prince.

"The future King? Me? How? Why? Did Pierre put you up to this? I swear it might just be easier to sleep with him so he'll leave me alone..."

"No, no Joan...I know all about you, how devoted you are, how chaste and pure but also how brave, how you dream of great deeds even though you are only a farm girl. Joan I am here to tell you that your dreams are not dreams at all, but premonitions foreshadowing great things to come."

"Do as I say and you will more than fulfill the greatness you seek, but you must follow my instructions to the letter."

"So all I have to do is deliver a message to the Prince?"

"That and a few other little things like...rally the army, raise the siege of Orleans and see that the Prince is crowned as King...." The Voice held its breath waiting for her reaction, if past experience were any indicator, very shortly there could be much running away and screaming.

Joan did not look up, she took a deep breath and quietly asked

"OK, I'll play along...I'm farm girl, what do I know about armies and sieges and..."

"Look, Joan, this is the Middle Ages…"

"The what Ages?"

"Never mind…look at it this way, current military theory really isn't all that complicated. You have one band of ill fed, unwashed, ill-tempered men hacking away at another band of ill fed, unwashed, ill-tempered men. All you have to do is yell "Follow me" in an authoritative manner, point them in the right direction and at the crucial moment, get out of the way."

"Oh!...sort of like the sheep?"


End of Part One


The Other Side

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St. Muffy
Jebadiah the Near Messiah
The Voice
Mayan Acopalypse