“If you cannot kill the beast directly, starve it out. Burn it out. Drown it. Steal what it needs to live and its own inevitable hunger will hollow it out from the inside.” Walls of maps, charts, soothing gentle hum of the projector. Her face is fiercely backlit.
“What does it eat?” It’s a test, and they know it. No room in this woman’s army for cowards; they must dare many things, but first of all a wrong answer.
Tristan the Lion snorts a laugh. “Hey, that’s a waste product, drained out a thousand different ways. But, yes, block up the shitter and it’ll go septic eventually. A slow death, and uncertain — they grow assholes faster than we build plugs. What else?”
“Ha, yes.” She’s delighted, a messenger of death before a door undaubed with blood. “It eats people, shits money. Choke off the endless banquet and watch it suffer.” Cracks her knuckles. “No room here or anywhere for sideliners. Whoever not with us is against us.”
This one they know. “Whoever not against us is with us.” Out they go, their faces more known to each other than to themselves, their names both a blessing and a killing word. Discipline is a form of vengeance.