Hey, it's a new one-shot. Danny reminisces about an old hobby of his.

Un-beta'ed, so quibble away.

- o – o -

Rock Falls, Everyone Dies

Danny could remember every asthma attack he'd ever had. It wasn't a particularly great skill to have, but he had to make do. What else was an asthmatic going to do when the primary crop grown in the community he lived in nearly killed him?

His first attack had come shortly after his sixth birthday; Charlie had been nine. Only their mother's intervention had kept him from suffocating to death. After that, Rachel and Ben had never let Danny do anything around the farm, or even anything that would aggravate his asthma. Luckily, a stranded Google employee living in the community had stepped in.

Aaron had saved Danny from a lifetime of boredom. Over bowls of peas to be shelled, or piles of arrows that needed to be made, Aaron had taught Danny the rules of Dungeons and Dragons. Specifically, the former programmer had taught the boy in his charge how to strategize.

Over the years, Danny had gotten better at plotting out scenarios. People could do almost anything in those scenarios, but they had circumstances forced on them to make them act differently.

It would figure, the teenager thought sardonically as the wagon he was riding in rolled over another pothole, that he was living in one of his dungeons. Back when asthma had been his biggest worry and Aaron was teaching him how to write dirty jokes in binary (with strict instructions to never show Ben), Danny had thought going on an adventure would be a lot of fun. He wouldn't have asthma, of course, and Charlie would be the one in danger.

Now, though, he was living his campaigns. Charlie was probably doing something stupid to rescue him. And the bad guys were going to win, because Danny couldn't arrange the scenario in favor of the neutral or light parties in the game.

Now that he had unlimited free time, Danny was running scenarios on how to kill Captain Neville and his men.

Falling rocks crushing everyone was the feature of choice.

With that pleasant thought, Danny began laughing.

Captain Neville looked back at his charge, wondering why he'd been the one to get stuck with the crazy prisoners. Oh yes… He'd been the one who'd lost the general his supply of coffee. Again. He could be fighting the Confederation of Georgia, or be killing rebels, but he'd lost the coffee.

Some days, the job just wasn't worth it.

"Rock falls, everyone dies," Danny murmured, just loud enough for Neville to hear.

On second thought, make that most days, Captain Neville amended silently.

- o – o -

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