Sunday, May 11, 2014

lady in the shiny armor

She lie there writhing in pain. The arrow had gone through her thigh. The armor was split at the joints. She cursed the greedy blacksmiths of Stoneville. If she gets out of this mess alive, she would surely love to pay them a visit and take off their tiny fingers as a 'souvenir'.

Right now, she had bigger troubles to deal with. The thundering horde of horsemen were butchering her lot in huge numbers. The wild ones had caught them in an unexpected trap. She realized with horror that shed had to make a final stand and keep the horsemen away from the fleeing peasants, further down the trail.

The wild men would for sure slaughter them if she let them through. She had absolutely no doubts on that. The last raid by one of those tribes had taught everyone what to expect from these men. She remembered how the council had initially thought that the wild men can be bought. But they went horribly wrong as the wild men systematically looted and burned down every house in the village that was handed over to them as part of the treaty last time. She was a trainee back then and remembers in horror how the brave warriors returned home, their usually  proud heads hung low in shame and self loathing.

That was ten years ago. Now a front line commander, Laura faced an even more organized and mobile horde. She had got reports of their overwhelmingly fast progress through the countryside, wiping out villages and forts that stood in their way.There were suspicions that these men were different from those they faced last time, and seemed well organized and trained. The spymaster had sent instructions to all field commanders to hold them at all costs by 'improvising' strategies.

Laura knew what it meant. The council has completely failed to read the enemy's strategies and have left the field commanders to their own devices to handle the threat. She managed to climb on a rock to get a better view of the battlefield. It hurt like hell, but she managed to cling on. She could make out a couple of her divisions still in formation, while the others seemed to be a mix of survivors driven in from other divisions. The confusion was obvious as she couldn't make out any of them in formations. If this continued, they would last hardly for an hour. She watched as more and more horsemen in shiny black leather armor poured into the scene.

She hurriedly blew her horn three times loudly to signal her divisions. She wanted them to move closer to each other and cover the flanks of the survivors. She looked out for the shiny orange helmet of Lawrence, her most trusted lieutenant. She caught sight of his bulky torso cutting down enemies and moving his division into formation. She breathed a sigh of relief, as slowly both her divisions drove the enemies out and closed the flanks protecting the confused survivors. Someone in the middle seemed to be rallying the survivors in supporting the divisions with archers. Laura was curious and wanted to meet this guy once the ranks closed in on her.

For now, the survivors were secure and actively participating in the battle. But what should she do next to stem the advance? Was this the main force or just some diversion? She was completely cut off from the intelligence network. She also wondered if she could form a unit strong enough to retreat out to safety and re-organize for a counter-attack. Time was short and she could feel her grips weakening as the grass beneath her became thick with warm blood. She eyed Lawrence signalling to her frantically before the darkness filled her eyes.

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