Pax Britannica and the Undead (IC)
Charles puffed his pipe, taking his time to walk down the plank that stuck into the ground leading to his ship. Hundreds of men shifted planks of wood around the beaches, forming an arced barricade across the sands. Others carried boxes of gunpowder, rifles and bullets off the ships, arranging them in some pre-determined order.
"So, this is Dunkirk," he said. He took in a deep breath of the smoke, and exhaled in relief.
"Indeed, Captain." A man walked beside Charles. This man stood at about 172 cm in height. His blue eyes, unwrinkled countenance and brown hair made him look like a man in his thirties, but Charles knew that the Duke was a man nearing his fifties. How a man of such legend had managed to maintain his youth for so long intrigued Charles, but that was not the time to think about it.
Charles turned towards the duke. "Your Grace," he greeted him politely. Meeting a legend would have driven most men to their knees and turn their knees into jelly, but this was not the first time he had met the Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. The most respected living man after Napoleon's demise, the duke was the man to suggest the 'Reclamation Campaign' to the House of Lords. Charles had gotten to the point where he could argue with the Duke without panicking.
"We should not be so passive in our actions. The shamblers do not starve."
The duke shook his head passively, as if he heard that line before. "I know," he mumbled quietly. "You see children, women, peasants and others like that in the hordes. People you never expect to try to eat you." Wellesley looked at Charles despondently. "It breaks the men to kill so much that look so innocent and now so monstrous. We cannot expect them to do much more than that."
"We've killed only 500 the last campaign!"
The duke waved a finger, a gesture normally meaning 'no'.
"And lost 0."
Charles nodded and sighed. He could argue with the duke, he just couldn't win. He felt half-convinced, as if his indignant mind did not accept it fully.