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Author Topic: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)  (Read 1354 times)

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Offline Fortis Scriptor

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The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« on: February 16, 2017, 10:48:31 AM »
Sorry but this lore was so outdated I've removed it so I can go back and update things.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:18:36 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline Zetnodan

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 04:54:05 AM »
It looks like you've got a great framework to expand upon. I don't want this to sound like a criticism, it really isn't, and I think you're already adding creative and funny ideas to your characters (the "narrow-mindedness" of the Dwarves sounds like a pretty great character trait and having the Elves as a kind of fallen species that seems to rely on Humanity adds a humbleness to how we generally see the race).

I just want you to consider what you are creating in the context of a broader creative backdrop. Creatures like Elves, Dwarves, and Human-Animal Hybrids have been around for far longer than you or I have. When dealing with an archetype so ubiquitous and seemingly immortal it's important, I feel, to really look at what you can offer to the continuation of the archetype visually, narratively, and then use that to break away from the norms. That's how these characters have lasted so long.

Really think about where your idea of an elf or a dwarf comes from. When I think of Elves the Lord of the Rings influence is so strong that I start picturing Orlando Bloom instead of my own original character. That's when I know I need to step back and reconceptualize my world.

Thanks for Posting, hope I gave you something to think about.

Offline KeanFox

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 08:03:57 AM »
Good start. Will love to see more.

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 10:45:21 AM »
Heyo readers, this is just a quick little update, and by that I mean I'm posting this reply to the thread to turn your attention to the new section of lore up top, today's topic is religion something that has saved and ended tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives at least. Fun right?  :biggrin: Anywho I also wanted to say, thank you Zetnodan for your response it brought up some very thought provoking things to consider which has and will continue to help me improve the lore of my universe.  :thumbsup:

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 09:11:28 PM »
Removed so I can make updates!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:19:18 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 01:11:52 AM »
Removed for updates.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:19:36 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 08:18:00 PM »
Removed for updates.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:19:53 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline alpha Boss

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 06:55:35 PM »
hello i like what you have done alot of people myself included write just about the main character and hint at their worlds but you have A full glimpse into tours that leaves plenty of side stories and fan made stories without taking away from your own no criticism here keep at it

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 11:11:58 PM »
Thank you very much alpha, I'm glad you like it.  :thumbsup:

Offline alpha Boss

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 11:35:44 AM »
No problem im working on writing a story and now im going back and do the world setting so thank you for the help

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 01:23:38 AM »
Happy world building Alpha, though I do warn, once you go down the rabbit hole you're going to have a hard time climbing out.  :thumbsup:

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 09:59:52 PM »
Removed for updates
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:20:11 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 03:59:59 PM »
This is the story that started this universe, though I haven't worked on it in a very long time so I may come back to do another draft of it.

Invictus.
Spoiler

On the morning of the fifth day, an hour before dawn, the Eclenian Loyalist defenders of the small earthen redoubt were awoken by the pattering of rain on their faces.

The tired and hungry soldiers rose from their muddy resting places and prepared for the day ahead of them. Captain Thomas Karlton, the company’s commanding officer, permitted his troops to finish the last of their rations, giving most of his to the soldiers of his platoon... everything but the bag of cheap Eclenian tea which he brewed in his mess tin.

With tea in hand, the Captain climbed up the small wooden ladder onto the firestep of the north wall. He was accompanied by Lieutenant Danny Sotiris, the Captain’s executive officer, commander of second platoon, and nephew of the Empress. The two of them sat crouched overlooking the field around them.

Karlton had no doubt picked a good spot to dig in. Fort Invictus, as the men had named the earthwork redoubt they’d built, sat in the middle of a large clearing in a forest with six hundred yards of flat grassy fields between the walls and the treeline. It was, by this point, littered with bloated bodies and pockmarked with shell holes. The heavy rain had started to churn the dirt up into a muddy grass stew with a light fog hanging over it giving it a ghostly haunted appearance.

“They brought up more guns.” said Karlton, pointing to the enemy artillery positions in the northwest.

“That makes it a half-battery now if I’m not mistaken,” Danny replied.

“If you account for the two we disabled before we lost our gun, then yes it’s a half-battery.”

“They look like more seven-pounders to me. What do you think Tom?” Danny asked, taking a sip of tea out of the mess tin.

“I’d guess that too, though it’s hard to see through the fog... hey that’s my tea Danny... go brew your own!”

“Sorry, wrong cup.”

Karlton shook his head before turning his attention to the east. “Damn, looks like they brought up more infantry too....”

“How many?”

“By the number of tents I’d guess just over a hundred that I can see in the treeline… there could be more though.”

Danny retrieved a small notebook from his pocket and opened it up, “That brings them upwards of six hundred infantry that we can identify, not accounting for casualties inflicted.”

“Hmm... well it could be worse, but our ammunition is probably going to run dry today,” Karlton said, scratching at the scruff that was growing after six days without shaving.

“That’s perfectly fine Tom. We’ll just give them the bayonet,” Danny said with a weak halfhearted smile.

“Exactly... “ Karlton replied, “Hey, look up on the hill... is that what I think it is?” he said turning a bit paler than he was before.

Danny looked through his binoculars and saw what the Captain meant. On the hill north of Invictus, there appeared to be a small fortified position made of sandbags and branches chopped off of the surrounding trees. There were two ports with machine gun barrels poking out of them.

“By Uriel, they’ve brought up machine guns.” He looked to his friend, “Tom those aren’t in range of us, are they?”

Karlton looked through his binoculars again. “No, they’re just out of range.” He let out a relieved sigh. “Praise be to the Attendants. If those Merchant bastards had put that position just a few yards further forward we would have been in quite a spot of trouble.”

The two men let out some stifled laughter looking back into the fort at their men. Most of them looked somber with grim expressions on their faces, but something caught Karlton’s eye. A small group from first platoon, sat huddled in a small circle around a fire they’d lit in a cooking pot, talking and laughing as if it were another day in a garrison.

“You know at this rate the Merchants might just give up and go home,” one soldier joked.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen anything quite like them; they’re the best dressed soldiers I’ve ever seen and yet they die quicker than pigs in a slaughterhouse… seems like a waste of good fabric to me,” said another.

“Yeah you’ve got that one right! My wife used to give me a good tongue thrashing for even the smallest rip in my trousers. I couldn’t imagine the world of hurt I’d be in if I brought my tunic in with a bullet hole torn through and a bloodstain across.”

“She’d probably raise you from the grave just to kill ya again!”

The men cackled like a pack of hyenas.

“Hey, where’s Grier?” one of them asked. Everyone stopped their laughter and looked around.

“Oh, there she is, over at the wall,” one of them pointed.

“What’s she doing still sleeping... it’s almost zero five thirty; she’s always up by zero four hundred,” another commented.

“Hey Stazny, go get her. She needs to eat while she’s got the chance,” a corporal said.

“Got it,” Stazny replied, getting up and trudging through the muck to get to where Marksman Grier was lying up against the wall with an overcoat covering her.

“Hey Lexia, it’s time to get up,” Stazny said tapping his comrade’s shoulder.

She didn’t move.

“Come on, it’s almost zero five thirty you need to get up and have some breakfast. We even saved a bit of chocolate for you.” Stazny lied, trying to get her to get up.

“You’re a bad liar Stazny,” Lexia’s muffled voice came through the overcoat, “I’m sure that was the first thing you guys ate with rations this morning,” she continued.

Stazny sighed, “Yeah you’re right, but you really do need to get up and eat while you can.”

Lexia came out from under the overcoat but kept her head down, the brim of her kepi hiding her face from Stazny.

“Come on, let’s go over to the guys... we’ve got a fire going so it might warm you up a bit better than that shabby old coat. I do warn though it’s still muddy.”

Lexia got up with her rifle in her hand and wiped as much mud off of her trousers and the butt of her rifle as she could before joining Stazny, as they moved to the fire where the rest of the group were seated.

“Morning, Lexia,” they greeted her.

She plopped herself down in between a couple of her comrades and began eating her rations silently listening to them joke around.

“Hey come on Lexia, you’re usually quiet but not this quiet,” one of them said.

“Yeah, let’s see your face... it’s one of the few good looking things in this hellhole,” Another said, pulling her kepi off, revealing Lexias tear stricken face.

All of their expressions sank.

“What’s wrong, Lexia?”

Lexia tried to act tough wiping the tears off her face only to burst out crying,
“We’re all going to die... don’t you get that!” she blubbered out. “We’re surrounded, we’re outnumbered, we’re now out of food, we’re running out of ammunition, and there’s no chance of any reinforcements coming to rescue us because nobody knows we’re here and even if someone did they’d probably be killed before they can get to us.”

Her comrades faces began to reflect her hopelessness when Stazny said, “That may be so, but that doesn’t mean we have to let that keep us down.”

“Why Stazny!?” Lexia exclaimed, “Explain to me why.”

“Because, if we let our own mortality damper our spirits, then we let the enemy win without firing a shot today. And I for one will not lose without expending every round in every clip I have!”

“Yeah!” one soldier agreed. He was followed by the rest of the troopers in the group aside from Lexia who was still crying.
Stazny came over to her and put an arm over her shoulder. “Now come on, let’s get you cheered up,” he looked over to the Corporal. “Hey Corporal, how about we sing about our friend John. That one always gets Lexia’s spirit up!”

“I think this one time Stazny, I’ll take an order from you,” the Corporal replied, with a smile. “Now all you rotten bastards know this tune so how about you join in the chorus.”

“Aye!” The men replied.

The Corporal cleared his throat, “Oh my friend John was tall and slim and he’d a leg for ev’ry limb, but now he’s got no legs at all. For he ran a race with a cannon ball. Timmy roo dun da, fadda riddle da, whack fo’ the riddle Timmy roo dun da!”
“Come on, I told you to join in the chorus!” he hollered. “Well were ya drunk or were ya blind when ya left your two fine legs behind…. Or was it when you were diggin’ a latrine wore your two fine legs right down to the knee.”

“Timmy roo dun da fadda riddle da, whack fo’ the riddle timmy roo dun da!” The rest of the men joined in.

“Alright, well John do you wish to answer?” the Corporal said, looking at Stazny.

Stazny smiled and sang, “I was not drunk I was not blind when I left my two fine legs behind. Nor was it when I was diggin’ a latrine wore me two fine legs right down to the knee,” He and the rest of them joined in, “Timmy roo dun da, faddle riddle da. whack fo’ the riddle timmy roo dun da!”
“To each Civil War I’ll now denounce ‘tween the good ol’ Empress and the Merchant dogs. For I’d rather my legs as they used to be than the Soerian King and his whole navy,” Everyone chimed in again for the chorus.

Over by the center of the fort next to the flag, the Captain and Lieutenant Sotiris watched with smiles on their faces.

“I’ve always hated that song,” Danny said,

“Your smile begs to differ,” Karlton replied.

“With all due respect sir, shut up,” Danny chuckled.

“Oh I was tall and I was slim and I had a leg for ev’ry limb, but now I’ve got now legs at they done come off on a cannon ball, Timmy roo dun da, fadda riddle da, whack fo’ the riddle Timmy roo dun daaaa.” Stazny finished the song. “Feel better?” he asked Lexia.

She wiped the tears off her face again and smiled, “Yeah, I think so.”

“Ten-hut!” a voice called, sending the soldiers from their seated position into attention.

The entire company was formed around the center to some extent standing at attention as company ensign second lieutenant Jackson flanked by the company fifer and drummer, raised the flag. The fife and drum played the Eclenian rendition of Red Mists of Aspya. The soldiers’ hearts pumped hard with the beat of the drum as they proudly saluted the flag, but every one of them knew the purpose of the song.

As the song came to a close an artillery shell screamed into the fort exploding above the defenders’ heads.

“Artillery! Get to cover!” an NCO barked.

The troopers scurried to the edges of the fort, rifles in hand, and huddled up against the walls praying that a shell wouldn’t hit them or detonate next to them.

The Merchant guns fired in rapid succession, pounding the earth like heavy bass drums.

“Danny!” Karlton yelled.

“Yeah Tom!” Danny called back.

“What time is it!”

“Zero six hundred!”

Karlton gave Danny a thumbs up which was replied by a nod. He breathed a deep sigh while he could still smell the fresh morning air and braced himself for the barrage.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

After seven hours of long nonstop bombardment, the guns ceased fire, leaving only the sounds of the rain, and the cries of the dying.

At least twenty of Karlton’s men were dead. It was hard to tell an exact number since all that was left of some were nothing but puddles of torn cloth, mangled flesh, and splintered bone.

In this moment of reprieve, the defenders organized themselves and their equipment and prepared for the next challenge from the enemy.

At an hour and a half past midday, a vicious roar echoed around all sides of Fort Invictus; it was the Merchant battlecries. They hurled insults and called for death and defilement of the Empress and Princess.

The men inside the fort at first trembled at the sheer volume of it, but then Captain Karlton climbed up the firestep of the north wall and began shouting back with insults of his own. He waved to his men and called for them to join him.

Soon it was a battle of warcries, and even though the Eclenian Loyalist defenders were heavily outnumbered, they banded together letting out one united ferocious roar which dwarfed the out of tune hullabaloo of the Merchant horde.

After a good while the battle of taunts and insults was over, as the men on both sides had yelled their voices hoarse. The men inside the fort climbed down off the firestep and formed up by platoon.

Karlton stood next to his men at rigid attention waiting to man the north wall. Danny was in the same position with his platoon at the east wall, and the same could be said for the other two platoons and their commanders.

Karlton stared down at his pocket watch which he’d managed to get working, waiting for the hour hand to strike two.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Months ago...

“Tom, what are you doing here? It’s only noon,” Danny said a confused smile on his face.

“What?! By my watch it’s two,” Karlton exclaimed.

Danny shook his head, “Honestly I don’t know why you carry around that old junky watch... it’s almost always off.”

“Ah, I’ve had it since I was a cadet; it was a gift from my father.”

“Huh, well, what are you doing here at the palace anyway?” Danny asked, scratching his head.

“I have an appointment with the Empress at two thirty.”

“So you decided to arrive a half an hour early? Or really two and a half hours early.”

Karlton squeezed the bridge of his nose. “Oh I hope Remiel leaves my soul to wander.”

“Hey this is no time for cursing, let alone self cursing. As it is, you’ve come at the perfect time to catch her outside of your appointment. She’s in the garden right now.”

“I wouldn’t want to disturb the Empress in her leisure time.”

“Tom, who made the appointment?” Danny said, a flat look on his face.

“The… Empress did.”

“If you’re here at her request, I don’t think she’ll mind,” Danny said, patting Karlton on the shoulder, “Come on, let’s go, I was on my way to have tea with her anyway.”

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

The imperial garden was beautifully alive with a wide arrangement of colourful flowers, songbirds chirping away from their perches on the cherry trees, and little honeybees buzzing about. In the midst of all this beauty was a small secluded patio sitting area with lounging chairs and a few small tables to put down some food or drink.

The Empress Maria sat comfortably with a cup of tea in her hands and a gentle, relaxed smile on her face.
Danny was similarly seated next to his aunt looking just as comfortable if not more so.

And across from them in a dinner chair sat Karlton, his posture perfect and the cup of tea held in accordance with proper etiquette.

“Thank you for coming, Captain Karlton, it’s good to see you.”

“I was honored to accept your invitation,” Karlton replied. “But while I am happy to have tea with you, I am sure that is not the reason I came here. Your note said that this was important.”

The Empress took a sip of her tea, “A good cup of tea is an important part of my routine, but you’re right. I sent for you for a far more important reason.”

“You have my utmost attention, my Empress.”

The Empress sighed, stirring her half empty cup, “As you know this war against the Merchant Republic is not in our favour.”

“I am sure we will be able to turn the tide as we have the best soldiers in the world.”

“Perhaps at the beginning we did, and I hope you are right, but of the few things my father tried to teach me that stuck was that you should always plan for the worst possible scenario. And that, Captain, is why you are here.”

“What would you have me do?”

“In the event that our lines break and the enemy reaches the Capital, I want you and your company to escort my daughter off of the mainland.”   

Karlton and Danny both looked wide eyed at their Empress.

“Aunt Maria, isn’t it the duty of the Praetorians to protect our family?” Danny asked.

“Under normal circumstances yes, but there is no one I can trust better with her safety than you and Captain Karlton. Besides, the Praetorian guard are the only unit I directly command.”

“What are you saying, Empress?” Karlton asked.

“I will not abandon my home and it’s people. Should the Capital come under siege, I intend to hold it for as long as I can.”

Both Karlton and Danny looked like they wanted to say something but both of them knew their sovereign well enough that there was no chance of changing her mind.

“I will protect the princess with everything I have,” Karlton said. His tone sounded as if he were conceding.

“Little Sis won’t come to any harm as long as I have my eyes on her,” Danny assured.

“Thank you both.”


\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:21:34 AM by Fortis Scriptor »

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: The Wondrous World of Mithra (Lore for my universe)
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 04:01:08 PM »
And here's the second half since there's apparently a character limit on MR

Invictus second half
Spoiler

Now...

The hour hand struck two and like clockwork the Merchant officers began barking orders to their men.

“Fix bayonets!” Karlton hollered. His soldiers drew their bayonets from their scabbards and attached them with an audible click.  “Company, climb firestep!” The men followed orders climbing up the small ladders and crouching, leaving them only visible from the shoulder up.

 Karlton looked around the perimeter, making sure his all of the platoons were in position.

The Merchants opened fire. Dirt kicked up all around and bullets buzzed by the defenders’ heads.

“Hold your fire lads,” Karlton ordered.

Then the Merchant officers yelled out the order to advance. The Merchant infantry pressed forward, formed in tight formation of black uniforms which completely surrounded the forest clearing.

Karlton grabbed his trench whistle and blew the present arms call; his subordinates echoed the call. The company complied, bringing up their rifles and picking their targets. 

“I call upon the strength of our father Saban, and the grace of Maufa. May my aim be true so that my enemies may pass into eternity quickly and without pain,” Lexia prayed, adjusting her scope to be perfectly accurate. She put her sights on the upper chest of a Merchant Officer. “Father Saban, please keep my brother safe in the coming bloodshed, Maufa Falal, ” she finished her prayer and took a deep breath.

The Eclenian Loyalists watched as the Merchants attempted to advance across the muddy, shell hole ridden field to get to them. Karlton counted the distance in his head. As they passed two hundred yards he sounded the order to prepare for ripple fire, and then the direction, from right to left, the starting platoon, being first platoon, and the number of rounds fired, three. His subordinates repeated the calls.

“150...145….130….125,” Karlton counted. When it reached 125 he sounded the call to fire.

One by one at rapid speed the soldiers fired, massacring the front ranks of the Merchant troops, then repeating the action two times. By the time the last man of fourth platoon fired his third shot, the Merchants were on the run back to the treeline. The field in front looked as though they’d managed to kill or wound at least a hundred and twenty enemy troops, many of them still in the field moaning and crying for their mothers.

One of the troopers of first platoon grabbed his kepi from his head and cheered, and his comrades followed suit. The defending Loyalists cheered and taunted the Merchants, but then the machine guns on the hill to the north opened fire strafing the field killing most of the wounded men. Karlton and his men stopped cheering. The message was clear... the Merchants were here for blood, they weren’t even sparing their own wounded, let alone any Loyalist.

Karlton brought up his binoculars, calculating what the Merchants would do next.
“Hmm, they’ll probably hold off for a little while and tend to their wounded who made it back to the line.. I’d guess they’ll shell us again and then push forward.”

Danny tapped on the back of Karlton’s leg with his walking stick and said.
“Sir, with all due respect, seeing as the enemy has ceased their attack for the moment, perhaps we should get off the firestep, and take a moment to rest?”

“That sounds like a great idea Danny,” he replied, wiping the sweat from his brow, “if you wouldn’t mind passing on the order, so that the rest of the platoons do the same.”

Danny smiled, saluted, and carried out the order. 

The men began dropping down from the firestep aside from the platoon sharpshooters, including Lexia who stayed on the walls to keep watch.

Karlton dropped to the ground and slumped down against the muddy dirt wall. He pulled a photograph out from his tunic. It was a family picture taken a few months earlier. Karlton smiled at first, but it faded into a sad, pained expression.

Then suddenly shells screeched into the fort, with one exploding just above where Karlton and his men were. Lexia was sent flying off the wall, as she landed on her side on the mud ground in the fort. Karlton was concussed by the shell; he shakily checked on the soldier who’d sat next to him. There was a huge cavity in the top of his head where a massive piece of shrapnel had torn through it. Karlton looked as though he was going to vomit and then passed out. Men were screaming in pain, and the officers and NCO’s barked orders getting the troops under control as more shells burst over their heads.

“Captain!” Trooper Stazny yelled, seeing the Captain’s unconscious body up against the wall.

“First platoon fall back to the center earthwork around the flag!” Danny ordered. “Medics get the wounded to the center as well.”

“Yes sir!” The medics replied, running for the nearest wounded men before grabbing them and dragging them back.

Stazny broke formation and ran to the wall, then grabbed the Captain and dragged him away from it.

First Lieutenant Angus McDellar, the commander of third platoon, ran over to Danny, “What’s the plan Danny?”

Danny looked around. “Well, if I had to guess, once this shelling is done, they’ll come at us again with their infantry. I’m going to leave first platoon at the center. To make up for the smaller numbers, I’m going to put all four of our sharpshooters on the north wall along with a contubernium of my boys, and that should be enough to hold it for a while. So send over yours and pass the word on to Lieutenant Jackson.”

“You mean the kid?” McDellar asked rhetorically.

“Yes, the kid, now go!” Danny replied a bit irritated. “Speaking of, I hope he’s doing alright over there…” He thought looking over at fourth platoon’s position.

McDellar ran back to his platoon and ordered his sharpshooter to head to the north wall, and then he sent a trooper over to fourth platoon to tell Lieutenant Jackson the order. He followed it, sending his sharpshooter over as well.

Danny counted up the men now huddled up against the north wall and noticed one missing sharpshooter. His eyes darted around until he spotted Lexia knocked out on the ground in between the center square of first platoon and the wall. He rushed out to her, bits of shrapnel tearing his clothes and grazing his skin.

He picked up her rifle with one hand and then shook her shoulder with the other, waking her up.

“You alive there, Marksman Grier?”

Lexia groaned, “Yes sir,”

“Good, now get up. You have a job to do!” Danny said, reaching a hand out to Lexia.

She grabbed hold and with Danny’s help got up.

“Head over to the north wall. The sergeant will fill you in, and I’d suggest you lose the tunic.”

“Yes sir,” she replied. She took off her mud covered tunic and dropped it but left her kepi on.

Danny handed over her rifle and then they parted ways. Lexia running for the north wall, and Danny running to his platoon on the east wall.

Soon the shelling ceased and everything was silent. It was short lived though as the Merchant line officers roared out the order to advance.

“Company climb firestep!” he quickly barked.

The Company climbed back up onto the firestep, they were immediately met with gunfire coming from the Merchant troops who were charging full tilt across the field.

Danny blew the order to return fire by volley for second through fourth platoon.

Lexia and the troopers on the north wall had gotten their orders already, which were to fire at will, but conserve ammunition as best as they could.

She shouldered her rifle and looked down the scope; there was a single large crack going across the glass, it was luckily still functional. She picked her target, a flagbearer; she aimed center mass and pulled the trigger. Her sight was a little off causing the bullet to go a little low hitting the target in the middle of the left thigh.

He dropped like a rock, letting go of the flag to clutch onto the wounded leg as he fell into a shell hole filled with murky water landing with a loud splash.

Lexia took a deep breath and moved onto her next target.

Over by fourth platoon, Second Lieutenant Jackson was holding steady though his heart was pounding hard in his chest.  A bullet snapped by hitting the man next to him in the shoulder splattering blood on Jackson’s face and tunic.

“Medic!” Jackson called.

Fourth platoon’s medic came running out from the square and grabbed the wounded man pulling him off the wall and carrying him back to the square.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

An hour went by of the troopers on the wall firing with everything they had into the Merchant troops. The medics ran back and forth from the square to the wall to grab wounded men and the officers continued to keep their men calm and steady. 

But even though they had dealt hundreds of casualties to the Merchants, the defenders were quickly running out of ammunition and the Merchants were by this point at the bottom of the slope of the wall, bodies piling high.


“Sir, I think their attack is slowing,” a sergeant next to Danny said.

Danny looked through his binoculars, “I hope to Uriel you’re right, Sergeant…” At that moment Danny spotted at the rear of the enemy assault from the north, there were some troops different from most of the Merchant Regulars. They wore the same uniform, but instead of the customary red plumes worn in their hats these soldiers wore green plumes, and not only that, the men were at least a foot taller than the regular soldiers and most if not all of them had big beards that covered their whole faces and hung down to their chests, all of them carrying sapeur axes made for quite a terrifying sight. “But something tells me this fight is far from over…”

The gigantic brawny soldiers quickly pushed through their comrades, as they shoved the smaller soldiers out of their way like they were nothing.

Lexia took notice, chambered a new round and took aim at one of them and jerked the trigger as a bullet whizzed very nearby her head. The bullet found its mark hitting the big man in the arm, causing him to falter, but it didn’t stop him… He roared with anger and pressed forward even faster throwing or trampling the men in front of him.   

Lexia’s blood froze. She shakily bolted another round into her rifle and fired hitting the man in the stomach but he kept coming. He was by this point climbing over the corpses at the bottom of the slope.

The other troopers took notice and turned their aim towards the irate berserker pouring another eight bullets into him at once, at least two hitting him in the head disintegrating the top half of it, finally stopping him.

His death had not been in vain as the distraction had given the other Merchant troopers time to push bodies out of the way or climb over them. They fired at point blank range killing a number of the defenders on the north wall.

They ran as fast as they could up the deep slope reaching the top and going for the bayonet. One of them stood over Lexia and prepared to thrust, when a volley of fire came from the north facing contubernium of first platoon’s square. The man’s corpse fell forward on top of Lexia knocking her from the wall.

She tried to crawl out from under the body when another fell on top of it pinning her down.

More of the Merchants began to climb up the slopes as the defending soldiers ran out of ammunition.

“Lieutenant McDellar, I’m out!” a soldier panicked.

McDellar sliced a Merchant across the stomach spilling his guts out, “Then give ‘em the pick sticker lad!” He looked to his platoon medic and hollered, “Medic, go tell Lieutenant Sotiris that the lads have run dry for bullets!”

The medic nodded in response as he dragged a screaming wounded man by the shoulders.

“Yes sir!” The soldier replied, plunging his bayonet into the throat of a big Green Plume Merchant soldier.


On the west wall Jackson and his men were holding better than the rest of the defenders as they’d managed to conserve the most ammo, and they kept morale high by using the company drum and fife. Not one Merchant soldier had managed to reach them for hand to hand yet.

Third platoon’s medic ran over and tapped the fifer on the shoulder.

“Lieutenant!” The Fifer called to Jackson.

“Yes Ben?” He replied before turning back and shooting a Merchant with his sidearm.

“The medic says they need an extra pair of hands at the center to help with the wounded.”

“Alright, go and help them!”

“Yes sir!”


Just then, the Merchant troops broke through at the north wall and men began pouring over it.

“Damn it!” Danny cursed, “Trooper run to the other platoons and tell them to get off the walls and fall back to the square or, just stand and fight them, give them everything! Bullets, the bayonet, I don’t care just fight!”

The Soldier Danny ordered quickly saluted and jumped off the wall scrambling towards Lieutenant McDellar’s platoon first.



The defenders on the walls fell back into the courtyard where the fighting began to devolve into an all out brawl. 

At the north wall, Lexia was still pinned under corpses, and more were piling on. She was battered and bruised and felt like she was going to suffocate. She tried to scream for help but it was completely mute under the bodies and the sounds of battle.

Jackson and his men whose spirits were still high were cocky and fought like madmen.

“We’re whipping them boys, keep it up!” Jackson cheered, blocking a bayonet thrust. He was swept up in the moment, the adrenaline pumping like wild. He was completely oblivious to his surroundings. A Merchant took aim at him from the top of the west wall.

“Lieutenant!” The Company Drummer yelled, warning his superior.

Jackson turned around just in time to see his friend run and jump in front of him catching a bullet to the chest.

“Charlie!” Jackson yelled, as he watched his friend fall to the ground blood gurgling from his mouth, the round probably having pierced his lung.

He stopped fighting and just stood there in the middle of the bloodbath and the reality of what was happening around him suddenly hit him like a stampeding bull.

Two of Jackson’s men saw the ordeal and rushed over, grabbing him by the shoulders and pulling him back towards the center square.

Jackson struggled to get free from them, “No! No! We need to go back! Charlie is still alive we need to get him!”

The two men kept a tight hold on him and got him back to the medics in the center.

“He needs a break, sir.” One of them said to Sergeant Marcus Harlow, the medic of first platoon.

“Alright,” he replied, “Come on son, take a seat.” He said putting an arm over Jackson’s shoulder.



The fighting in the courtyard continued with an intense brutality. Lieutenant McDellar was perfectly suited for it. He was a huge muscular man who stood a head taller than his men. He swung his large thick bladed broadsword around hacking enemy soldiers to pieces.

His kepi was knocked off his head by a glancing blow of an enemy rifle butt, revealing his bright red hair which matched his blood lust which he let out to feel the sheer gluttonous joy of the killing spree.

He was taking on fights of three, and four, and five on one, and did so with a smile on his face that went from ear to ear.

His men fought with a similar ferocity. Stabbing, slashing, punching, and curb stomping their foes into gorey pulps in the mud.

The Green Plumes took notice of McDellar, and came at him. The first took him on fairly, axe to sword, clashing in an even match. Then as McDellar raised his sword arm up to strike what might have been a final blow on his opponent, another Green Plume came up behind him and with one hard chop, lopped off McDellar’s arm.

McDellar howled in pain and clutched his shoulder. Then four Merchant regulars charged in bayoneting him from all sides bringing him down.

McDellar’s men, seeing their commander dead, slowed in their fighting and seemed to lose heart. The Merchant Green Plumes were for a moment happy with the result, but then McDellar’s men sped up again and fought harder, without a shred of mercy left for their enemies.

At the east wall, Danny and Second platoon were in a similar brawl. They appeared to be getting the upper hand against the Merchants and pushed them back to the wall.

Danny’s head was on a swivel he had to fight, and keep track of the situation around him. Since his men were winning, he decided to run over to the center square and check on the wounded.

Due to the tight spacing in the center, the wounded were practically stacked on top of each other; the Medics were moving frantically from patient to patient giving whatever aid they could provide.

“How goes it Harlow?” He asked.

Sergeant Harlow rose from a trooper with a bullet wound in her shoulder and wiped the blood off his hands onto his tunic, “I’ve had better days, Danny, I’ve had better days, but we’re doing the best we can.”

“Good, keep it up,” Danny said. Then he spotted Jackson who was sitting next to a couple of wounded troopers from his platoon holding onto his knees. He looked pale as a ghost staring off into the distance, blood was splattered across his face and uniform. Danny knelt in front of him, “Jackson, are you hit?” 

Jackson looked at Danny and shook his head  “No.”

“He’s in shock sir. I don’t think he’ll be getting back into the fight.” Harlow explained.

Danny looked at Harlow and then back at Jackson, “What happened Jackson?”

“Charlie’s still out there... he’s hit... they won’t let me go get him.” Jackson muttered.

“We’ll go get him...” Danny replied.

This got Jackson’s attention, “We can?”

Danny nodded, “Yes, but we have to win this battle first.”

Some color had returned to Jackson’s face and his expression seemed much more alive. “Right…”

“I need your help to do that. Can you take command of first platoon and keep a watch over the company?”

Jackson nodded, “I think I can do that.”

“Good man, no matter what, Jackson, I’m counting on you to keep it together; if everyone else goes down then you will be the one wall to stand firm. Can you accomplish this?” Danny said grabbing hold of Jackson’s shoulders and giving him a good shake.

“Yes sir!” Jackson replied enthusiastically.

Danny gave Jackson one more pat on the shoulder before getting up and running out of the square back into the fray.

More Merchant troops had swarmed over the east wall and forced second platoon back on the defensive.

“For the Empress!” Danny cheered.

His men replied with cheers and an extra push into their foes.

A Merchant trooper ran at Danny. He dodged and slashed him across the back with his sabre.

Danny continued to inspire his men, and Jackson who was up began directing fire from first platoon.

The two officers worked in harmony. Danny and the men outside the square keeping the Merchant troops who were up close at bay, while Jackson and first platoon’s square slowed the flow of enemy troops from coming over the walls alive.


“Keep it up lads! Keep it-” Danny’s encouragement was cut off when a stray bullet tore open his jugular and carotid arteries sending blood spraying out everywhere. He dropped to his knees grasping his throat. Some of his men stopped fighting, but then Danny let out one last loud gurgling yell waving his sword towards the enemy before falling to the ground atop the other corpses.


At this point the men in first platoon had seen every single one of their officers go down, all of them except Lieutenant Jackson, a seventeen year old who had just months ago been enjoying his senior year at a prestigious military academy. They were trembling with fear.

Jackson too felt the terrible weight on his shoulders; he wanted just curl up in a ball and cry, but Danny’s words echoed in his mind. He hyperventilated, and looked up at the regimental battle flag fluttering sporadically in the rainy wind,  then he took one deep breath, “First platoon keep up the fire... I don’t want to see any more Merchant dogs getting over that wall do you hear me!”

The first platoon troopers were shocked. Jackson didn’t sound like the kid he usually did... he sounded more like his big brother who had commanded fourth platoon before him.

The clear order settled their minds and they opened fire.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Jackson commanded the company alone for another two hours, but then like a miracle from the Attendants of God, he received some assistance.


Captain Karlton coughed hard spitting out blood and a tooth. He reached his hands up to his face and felt the torn flesh on his right cheek dangling down.  He looked around seeing the center square and the other wounded men around him.

Sergeant Harlow took notice and ran over to the Captain, “By Remiel you’re alive Captain!”

The Captain didn’t appear to hear him but started to move his head.

Since the Captain was now definitely alive, Harlow opened up his medical bag “Captain, stay down! I still need to patch up that cheek.” Harlow said,  “Do you understand me sir?” He shouted over the fire, shaking the Captain’s shoulder.

Karlton nodded in response.

“Good, now sit still,” he said, retrieving a square bandage and a bottle of whisky from his medical bag. He doused the bandage in the whisky before pressing one hand on the top of Karlton’s head and using the other to put the bandage on his face, which stung harder than a Brakian wasp.

Karlton tried to curse at the pain but Harlow had a tight enough grip on his head that he couldn’t move.

“Nice try sir, but I’m not letting you make this hole any bigger,” he said with a chuckle. “Now hold onto the bandage and don’t let it move.”

Karlton tried to nod along but couldn’t get free from Harlow’s death grip.

Harlow pulled a small roll of bandages from the medical bag and wrapped the bandages around Karlton’s head tightly to keep the central one in place.
 
“Alright sir, you should be good to go,” He said letting go of Karlton, before rushing over to another wounded trooper.


Karlton got up and observed the situation. He saw the free for all bloodbath in the courtyard, and the firmly holding square of his own first platoon.

As Jackson looked back towards the wounded he saw Captain Karlton.

He walked over to him, a relieved smile on his face, “Thank the Attendants you’re alive sir! We’re holding our position as best as we can, but we’ve taken heavy losses.” He reported with a tired salute.

“Glad to be back in the fight. Where’s Danny?” Karlton asked looking around.

Jackson’s smile faded and he took his kepi off, playing with it in his hands.

“Lieutenant Sotiris is dead sir, in fact all of the platoon commanders are dead aside from you and me sir.” He said, biting his lip angrily.

“So you’ve been commanding the company alone?” Karlton asked.

“For the past couple of hours, yes sir.”

Karlton put a hand on Jackson’s shoulder feeling him shake, “Good work, Jackson, your father would be proud…” The shaking stopped at the mention of Jackson’s father.  “Now, let’s get back to work.”

Jackson nodded, his confidence replenished.

The two officers drew their revolvers and turned to face their men.

“Fusiliers!” Jackson shouted.

The men in the square turned to look at Jackson and saw that the Captain was alive, and back in the fight their expressions going from somber to joyous.

“For the Eclenian Empire!” Karlton roared.

The troops holding the square cheered.

Karlton and Jackson took up positions on the square, each making sure to have a hand on the shoulder of one of their men to keep them calm and encouraged.

Karlton took aim with his revolver at a Merchant soldier who was trying to bayonet one of his men in the back. He squeezed the trigger and watched the enemy soldier fall to the ground with her screaming and clutching the smoking hole in her stomach where blood was now gushing out.

He shifted his aim to an enemy officer who was encouraging his men from the top of the north wall, and squeezed the trigger again feeling the adrenaline rush as the officer dropped like a rock. 

As the men on the west side of the square were reloading, four enemy soldiers tried to rush them with bayonets. Karlton stepped over and shot three of them and finished the last one off by throwing a rifle like a spear into his head the bayonet caving his face in.

Karlton reloaded calling out encouragements to his men. Then brought up his revolver again and opened fire, making sure every bullet found its mark.

The wounded men, who weren’t too badly hurt to move, passed ammunition from the last box to the troopers in combat, but they were by this time reaching to the bottom to retrieve single clips of five.

Karlton fired and reloaded his revolver again and again until his cartridge box was empty. He slid open the cylinder and saw he had three bullets left. So he holstered it and drew his sabre.

He looked over to the wounded troopers who were crouched by the ammo box and saw that it was empty.

 He then went around the square, trooper to trooper asking how much ammunition they had left. They all seemed to be down to their last clip of five rounds, many having already spent at least two of those. 

He looked out into the courtyard and noted that their numbers were dwindling.

Karlton picked up his trench whistle and blew the call to prepare to charge.

The men in the square steeled to go psyching themselves up as they witnessed their brothers and sisters in arms already in the melee.

Those in the courtyard fought harder tapping into some reserve of energy they’d never used before.

Karlton looked to Jackson and said, “Jackson, I want you to stay here with a contubernium and protect the wounded.”

“Yes sir,” Jackson replied heading over to the north facing contubernium and gave them their orders.

Karlton came back to the task at hand and stood behind the men facing west.

He muttered a quick and silent prayer then charged out of the square sword raised over head screaming at the top of his lungs, “Charrrrgggge!!” He stampeded into a Merchant soldier and ran him through with his sabre.

The exhausted Merchant troops were utterly surprised by the charge some of them breaking and running before getting cut down by the Green Plumes.

Karlton’s men followed close behind him following his example.

Karlton charged another enemy infantryman, who narrowly escaped death, blocking Karlton’s sword swing. Karlton looked him in the face and saw that his opponent was a youth who couldn’t be more than 16.

Karlton grabbed him by the lapel and pulled him close, kneeing him in the crotch. The soldier puked on Karlton’s tunic and dropped his rifle. With his sword free, Karlton dropped the boy to the ground and moved on but looked back and saw the poor lad getting trampled in the mud.

His momentary distraction almost killed him as two more enemies sprinted at him. He knocked one of their rifles to the side which tripped the other, then quickly dispatched them with a couple of slashes of his sabre.

A gruesome mist of arterial spray and bits of flesh rose into the air obscuring the clash as The Eclenian Loyalists fought their way forward. It became hard to tell friend from foe as everyone’s uniforms were drenched in blood.

The ground was like a festering wound filled with maggots as the wounded squirmed around trying to reach some sort of safety. It was impossible to take even a step without trampling someone, dead and wounded alike.

The Loyalists continued forward and soon realized something... they were winning. At the start, the wall had been a good twenty yards from them but they’d pushed the Merchants back ten.

“Come on lads, if we keep up like this, we’ll retake the walls!” a soldier hollered.

The Merchants were starting to break; some of them dropped their weapons trying to surrender, only to be mercilessly cut down by both sides.

Karlton saw one man break down crying, dropping to the ground into the fetal position before a Green Plume Officer stopped and shot him in the head with his sidearm.

The Loyalists shoved the Merchants into the wall and skewered them with their bayonets, butchering them without remorse.

They cheered as they watched those lucky enough to make it to the firestep get torn to pieces by Merchant artillery firing canister shot. The bodies, falling off the walls back into the courtyard, landed on top of their living comrades.

It was then that Captain Karlton looked at the north wall and saw the Green Plume Officer from earlier order the machine gun crew something in Burjionese.

Time seemed to slow as the gunner racked the bolt back, before unleashing a fusillade upon everyone on the west side of Invictus.

The bullets tore through Merchants and Loyalists alike, pulverising them into bloody messes.

Karlton was hit twice. One shattered his right shoulder; the other ripped into his left thigh. He fell to the ground atop the other corpses and stared into the darkening gray sky as he felt the heavy rain drops start to clean the blood and dirt from his face.

Suddenly the machine gun fire ceased. Karlton used his good arm to sit up a bit and saw the crew dead at their post. Jackson and his riflemen had managed to save some of them.

“Captain!” he exclaimed when he spotted Karlton. He started to rush over to help his Captain, but then Karlton saw enemy infantry rushing over the east wall.

Karlton tried to call out to Jackson but choked and couldn’t speak.He tried to wave but by the time he did it was too late. Jackson stopped cold as the shining point of a bayonet pierced through his chest. He coughed up blood and fell to his knees before being kicked to the ground by the soldier who had stabbed him.

Karlton cried out coughing hard as he did, tears rolling down his cheeks. He felt a great burning pain in his heart.

Even with his shoulder completely shattered, Karlton mustered up the strength to draw his revolver and screaming with pain and rage, he unloaded the last three bullets into the enemy soldier’s chest.

He threw the revolver away and shoved the body one of his fallen comrades off of him and crawled as fast as he could towards Jackson.

He came within an arm’s length of him before a boot stomped on his back, stopping him.

He looked up and saw two enemy officers standing over him and Jackson with victorious smirks on their faces. One of them was a Green Plume Officer and the other was wearing a Burjionese officer's uniform. Both were covered in mud and blood.

“Major, I think we found the enemy Captain,” one of them said with a thick Burjionese accent.

Karlton looked past the enemy officers and saw a man in an ornate Burjionese Major’s dress uniform calmly walking across the body strewn courtyard as if he were on a morning stroll, and occasionally stopped to direct a soldier’s bayonet at a wounded soldier squirming on the ground.

As the Major reached them, the first thing one could notice was his perfectly clean uniform in contrast to the mud covered and bloodstained uniforms of his two subordinates.

“Deal with that.” He said pointing at Jackson,

“No don-!” Karlton was cut off as one of the enemy officers drew his pistol and shot Jackson a couple of times.

“Now, that that’s dealt with,” he said putting on his gloves. “Captain, how about you and I have a nice chat.” He walked over, rolled Karlton over with his boot, crouched down, and pulled Karlton up by his tunic. He had dark eyes, a big bushy handlebar mustache, and his breath stunk of cigar smoke.

“Screw you, Burjionese trash,” Karlton managed to say before spitting blood into the Major’s face.

He took one of his hands off of Karlton to retrieve his handkerchief and wipe off his face.

“Now that was rather rude, Captain, I would expect better from an officer of the Eclenian Fusiliers,” he said, with disappointment in his voice. “I suppose I can forgive you since you’ve spent the past few hours butchering these poor Merchant Republican fools... Honestly I’ve seen children from Burjion fight with more bravery than these… Sheep,” he said, with false pity in his voice.


“Now onto the business at hand, I heard, from a reliable source that your company was assigned to escort the young Princess to the port so that she can, I don’t know go off into hiding on some remote island, in the middle of nowhere. So my question dear Captain is simple. Where is the dear princess, so that I can get her on her way to that island. Of course I’m referring to the island in the clouds where her eternal fate will be decided by Remiel, but I’d say our goals are close enough that we can make a mutual agreement,”

 He paused for a moment waiting for Karlton to respond. “I promise that my men will not defile her in any way and they will make her death as quick and painless as possible,” He paused again waiting for the Loyalist Captain to respond. “Are your injuries too severe for you to speak anymore?” He asked impatiently.

Karlton smiled revealing his bloody teeth, looked him in the eye and said,“The princess is already, long gone.”

The Major smiled as well, “Well then if you could direct me to where you buried her body, that would be helpful, I’d love to have it returned to her mother in the Capital.”

Even though it hurt like the devil Karlton laughed hard at his reply.

“Now what is so funny Captain, I hate to be ignorant of something comedic.”

“It’s hilarious that you’re so sure that the princess is here Major. The truth is the Princess is far from this graveyard, she is by this point on a ship on her way to the South. So all I can say is that you are by far the least observant officer I have ever had the pleasure of killing.” He said, letting go of the spoon of the grenade he’d grabbed hold of earlier.

“Grenade!” One of the Burjionese officers yelled, before shoving the Major out of the way and jumping on top Karlton.

The grenade went off killing both Captain Karlton, and the Burjionese Lieutenant. Major Larue who was enraged that his uniform had been dirtied drew his pistol, bellowed with rage and emptied a ten round magazine into the two dead officers on the ground, before straightening his jacket, putting his hat back on, and wiping the bloody mud off of the side of his trousers.

“Damn it!!” He roared.

 Larue’s subordinate Captain Forestier stood there silently shaking.

Over at the center Lieutenant Francisco Grier stood with a group of his men over the Loyalist medics and wounded.

Sergeant Harlow looked back at the Merchant officer trying to figure out where he recognized him from.

“What are you staring at Loyalist.” A Merchant trooper snarled.

“Huh, I could swear I recognize your Lieutenant from somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it.”

This caught Grier’s attention he knelt down to be at eye level with the enemy NCO, “Does the last name Grier mean anything to you?”

It was at that moment that Harlow recognized the officer before him, the Soerian features of Aqua coloured hair and dark tan complexion, and the soft amber coloured eyes, and the last name confirmed it. This was Marksman Grier’s brother. “Yes it does. I know a Lexia Grier, she’s in my platoon.”

Francisco’s eyes lit up, “Do you know where she is?”

“Not currently, the last time I saw her she was on the north wall.”

“Was she alive!” Francisco asked a fire in his eyes.

“Yes, but it was hours ago… I have no idea what happened to her.”

“But you didn’t see her die?”

“No, like I said I don’t know what happened to her.”

“So there’s still a chance” Francisco thought, “Thank you Sergeant?”

“Harlow.”

“Sergeant Harlow, thank you so much,”

“I hope you find her alive,” Harlow wished to his comrade’s brother.

“Lieutenant, shouldn’t we ask the Major what to do with the prisoners?” A trooper asked Francisco.

“Yes, since you brought it up how about you go ask.” Francisco replied.

“Yes sir.” The trooper ran off towards the Major.

  The trooper came up to Captain Forestier and whispered the question to him.

Forestier straightened his coat, adjusted his hat and walked up to his commander, “Major, what should we do with the enemy wounded and medics, they’ve surrendered.”

Larue shot a dark glare at Forestier, “Kill them.”

Forestier wished to protest but dared not defy Major Larue, “Yes Major.”

Forestier turned back to the trooper who was looking at him concerned.

“You heard the Major, go tell your Lieutenant to carry out the order!” Forestier barked.

The trooper quickly ran back to Francisco and told him the orders.

“What?!” Francisco exclaimed.

“He was very clear sir.” The trooper nervously said.

Francisco let out a sad sigh, “I’m so very sorry Sergeant Harlow… But it appears that we aren’t taking prisoners today.”
The Loyalists looked at Francisco and his men with a mixture of different expressions. Some were frightened, others just looked hopeless, and the rest stared back bravely.

Sergeant Harlow looked back at Francisco with a somber smile, “Do your duty Lieutenant… But as the last words of medical advice I’ll give to anyone, bourbon is the best for forgetting the things we do as soldiers. I’d suggest at least two shots per day.”

“I’ll keep it in mind Sergeant, may Remiel speed you away to heaven where you may join your brothers and sisters.”

“I wish the same to you when the time comes,”

“Detail form firing line!” Francisco commanded.

  His men formed in a line and aimed at their surrendered enemies.

“Let the Republic’s will be done... “ Francisco muttered aiming his revolver at Harlow’s head, “Fire.”

The detail fired a first volley killing all of the medics and a couple of wounded. Then repeated the process until all of the Loyalists were dead.


Major Larue looked down at the dead Eclenian Captain and spit on his corpse. Muttering some curses in Burjionese.

Forestier walked up to Larue, “Sir, do you have any orders about the bodies?”

“Make arrangements to have our losses shipped back to Burjion, let the Merchant sheep do what they will with their dead The same goes for any family members of theirs among the Loyalists.  and with the rest of Loyalists… strip them of equipment and weapons and burn the bodies, except for the officers, when found, remove their head and bring it to me. Leave the bodies to rot.”
 
“What of the our wounded?”

“Leave them at the nearest town, I’m sure the medical corp will come around eventually.”

Larue drew his sword and knelt down and proceeded to saw off Jackson, and Karlton’s heads and picked them up before walking to the center of the fort and running down the Eclenian battleflag. Then he folded the flag to let it act as a bag which he put the heads in.


\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Hours later Lieutenant Grier and his platoon were cleaning up the bodies at the north wall when one Merchant trooper made a frightening discovery.

As he picked up another body off of the pile he came across Lexia who was barely conscious.

The trooper screamed in terror, “There’s a body moving!”

Francisco ran over, “What are you talking about Gage?”

The trooper pointed down at Lexia who was half passed out and mumbling under her breath.

Francisco grabbed a lantern from one of his men and brought it over He bent down and took a closer look. “Lexia!” He gasped.

“Francisco?” Lexia groggily muttered.

Francisco could barely contain his joy, “Yes Lexia, it’s Francisco!”

He put the lantern down and waved to his trooper, “Gage come here and help me pull her out!”

Gage quickly rushed over. The two of them put an arm under each of Lexia’s shoulders and pulled her out from under the bodies.

Tears welled up in Francisco’s eyes, “Thank Maufa, you’re alive.” He tightly embraced his sister for the first time in four years.

Lexia woke up more and returned the embrace burying her face into her brother’s coat. 

“Gage, tell the sergeant to take over command for me, I’m heading back to camp.” Francisco said with a happy smile on his face.

“Sir, isn’t your sister a Loyalist?’ Gage asked.

“Yes, why?”

“Sir, our orders are clear we aren’t taking any prisoners.”

Francisco looked at his sister and then back to Gage. “Gage, get me a coat from one of our dead.”
Gage smiled, “I see sir, I’ll get private Jophiel a coat.”

Francisco raised an eyebrow, “Thank you Gage.”

“Of course sir.”

“Don’t worry Sis, everything is going to be okay.”

Lexia fell back to sleep in her brother’s arms.

“Here’s her coat sir,” Gage handed the coat over to Francisco.

He wrapped the coat around his sister picked her up and carried her out of the fort. As he left he saw the remnants of the Loyalist defenses and thanked the gods for saving his dear Lexia