Flannel

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Flannel

Sir R-----! Will you join me in a glass of ale and, perchance, a wager?

I must say that it does this old soldier the power of good to hear it!

May I suggest a game played by Venusian soldiers keen to distract themselves from both the horror and the tedium of their, centuries long now, civil war?
The Venusians are an unusual people in that they come in two distinct species, the cerebral Colroms of the northern hemisphere and the muscular Yolis of the southern. The true cause of the conflict has long since been lost to history and each side maintains that the other is entirely culpable. The Yolis, having historically been the labouring serf class of Venus, assert that they are fighting to free themselves from the northern yoke, whilst the Colroms maintain that their rule was entirely benevolent but that so long as the Yolis classify them as foodstuff war can be the only option.

The rules of this game, known as Flannel on account of the soldiers' use of their prodigious supply of flannels, needed to mop their brows whilst warring in the insufferably close Venusian summers, as makeshift gaming tables are plain enough. Here, I have chalked upon the table rectangles numbered from one to six in which you may place your stakes. I shall then roll these three dice and for each number you have bet upon that turns up I shall return your stake and add to it an equal amount for each die upon which it shows. For each of those you have bet upon that do not show I shall have your stake for my purse.

When I explained the rules of this wager to that so called student I know he had the unmitigated gall to claim familiarity with them; as if a wretch such as he should have dared set foot upon Venus!

Now come, take another draught and choose your stakes!

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