Deal 921: Orange is the new Ninja

Orange is the color of carrots, the color of Dutch royalty, the color of many sweet citrus, and the color of traffic cones and highway safety. Orange is a county in at least two states. Orange is a state of mind.

Will was an Orange. At least, that was the claim of a persistent family legend that traced their origins to the house of William III of England. Of course, such a claim is officially impossible as King Billy had died without issue. Of course, when considering the households of royalty, there is little that is truly impossible. So the family story, although unlikely, had resulted in at least one child named Will or Mary in every generation since.

In the present world, this made for little more than an amusing fable.

But events have a way of conspiring to thrust the subjects of amusing fables into action.

The troubles were going to be short lived. That is what they always say when troubles start. No one plans a decade long war, at least not openly. No, they plan a grand invasion, a quick overthrow, or a decisive battle followed swiftly by an unconditional surrender.

For a foot soldier, it is well known that there is little more permanent than a temporary military action. Of course, sometimes the permanence is made apparent by the short life expectancy of the soldier. Usually it is the fatalistic admission that the one swift decisive battle is just as much a legend as the story of Will being descended from royalty. Will didn’t believe either one.

But he did know that he had skills that could be useful, and if applied could shorten what was looking to become a long entanglement. So he transferred to a unit that worked less openly, and used methods that were effective despite being deemed “unsporting”.

Little is known about the work Will and his team performed. But it is reasonably sure that the sudden deaths of several of the royal family were not a simple accident, but had been arranged. Arranged bravely by Will and others working silently under cover of dusk to place poisons where they be the most effective. Actions that did indeed shorten the conflict.

The odd fact that the poison they favored was bright orange was just another coincidence, and perhaps one day will become the stuff of legends.

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