Prying Eyes

World News

Sitting high on a tree branch, the orc scout Milug peered through the branches at the city in the distance. As he watched the humies milling about, completely unaware of his presence as they bought and sold their wares, he could not suppress a scowl. Already he missed his fort near the human city of Cove. He missed the comfort of his hut, the daily brawls, and the occasional forays into the woods looking for prey. Even more strongly, he missed the smell of charred meat in the cookpots and the hoots of laughter as yet another orc mage inevitably earned a beating from one of the lords after setting something ablaze while practicing his arcane arts.

His only instructions had been, "watch city, no bash humies, report back what humies do, no bash humies, wait ‘til we tell you what do next, no bash humies." Milug hated instructions, especially when they involved "no bashing". And his orc lord had said "no bashing" three times, which meant Milug could not pretend to have forgotten the commands. "Orc Lord too smart," Milug thought. Subconsciously rubbing the bump on his head, Milug remembered well the last time he had disobeyed his lord's orders. Orc lords could hit really hard when they were mad. Milug didn't like being hit. He much preferred doing the hitting. But it had been over a week now, with still no word from the fort with an explanation as to why he was here. Milug was becoming impatient, as were the others.

The sudden sound of a tree falling shook him from his orcish musings, and he looked down to see another orc, wielding a rather nasty looking ax, dragging a tree into the clearing. They had decided to risk building a small encampment near the town, but far enough into the woods to not be noticed by most. Of course, any humies who did venture too close were more than welcome... after all, the orcs did need something to put in their cookpots!

Reluctantly turning his attention to the city once again, he spied a small band of adventures exiting the city. He let out a long and low rasping sound to signal those around him to remain silent. The other orcs immediately ceased their chopping and hid behind the trees. Milug readied his long way killer, almost hoping the humies would spot him.

"Not Milug's fault if humies walk into camp," he thought with a grin. Milug considered making some "accidental" noise, but thought better of it as he again rubbed the bump on his head. The rest of the orcs gripped their axes tightly, only the strong threats from their lords keeping them from attacking the humies. Growing more impatient by the minute, the orcs waited quietly until the humies were gone before resuming their work.

As the orcish scout was about to continue his spying on the city, another orc called up to him in the guttural orcish language. Milug recognized it as the latest news from the fort, and grinned for the first time in days as he looked at the city again. The news was as he had hoped.

It would not be long.

From the Britannia News Network - The Journal of Ultima Online, May 16th, 2001.