A strong center was what Marcus was always told was most important in war. Slaves on the flanks. The whips could hold them there but it was
recommended that one set their most trained men in where the carnage could not be avoided. These men had to do it willingly so they were the citizens
looking for fame. So what did this say about him and his men? Every battle that they took place in they were placed on the far right flank. On his
back sat a single plate of steel that was meant to deflect arrows. This lack of armor was provided to them basically because the generals looked at
his unit, and every regiment like his, as a weakness to each battle. They were mere cannon fodder.
He had to escape but as the flags signaled their position there didn’t exist an opportunity for him to enact these dreams. Thus Marcus walked with
his fellow slaves down off of the hill to his designated spot on the field below. A solid line was key in this style of warfare and his masters, some
group that referred to themselves as Antia, punished survivors of battles who failed to maintain a stable front.
It wasn’t always this way for him, he was once a farmer in the valleys of the three rivers. His lands were owned by a kind ruler named Ontaria.
Unfortunately, he was too kind and lost his realm to these barbarians. His life ended quickly but his subjects now get the poor luck of being dragged
out into carnage and bloodshed, for Antia never stops its conquests. He hopes that one day a stronger nation will come along and defeat this disease
once and for all, but these hopes are slashed down by the realization that this result will not bode well for him and his now captive people.
The orange flag raises at the same time as the whips strike sending both extreme flanks forward. In front of him sat another poor civilization that
could not survive the coming carnage. Marcus didn’t even know their names but could see that the coming surprise of cavalry would break their morale
when they sprung from the forests behind them. He ran as if he didn’t have a choice, it was if survival depended upon crashing into another group of
men armed with swords looking to exterminate their enemy. Their eyes looked like they didn’t even understand what position he was put into, this
wasn’t his choice.
When they collided it proceeded as every other battle had after he become enslaved. This was the moment that was more simple than any other aspect of
his current life, kill or be killed. Swords swung and shields blocked, skin gave way to steel as the carnage started. It was a damn shame he
couldn’t choose another life, choices though did not exist for him. The generals expected his flank to give but it didn’t, they weren’t that
weak even if everyone expected his tribe to be.
Back on the hill fires were lit signaling to the cavalry so that they would begin their surprise attack from the rear. These men were the best from
Antia for they were the nobles, trained from birth for moments as these. His sword brought the end to another poor souls troubles on this world. It
wasn’t what he wanted. His eyes looked to the woods in the distance, they were hard to fully see but nothing seemed to be happening. Minutes went by
and the men to his left and right fell, his feet shuffled backward even though the whips pushed them forward. Steel was more painful than leather and
still the forest remained quiet.
It started with a few horses that were running wide eyed without any riders. Quickly it grew into a wave of fresh troops, foreign to the leaders of
Antia. It turned into the worst view possible. There were thousands that emerged from these woods and they were not lightly armored. The next thing
was a sight that brought joy to Marcus even if it might lead to his death. The hill where the generals gave orders from went from shock to panic as
the enemy sprung their trap. A circumnavigated cavalry strike similar to the one they attempted that broke this demonic creation.
The men whom held the whips fell quickly and even though this was great it didn’t really bring good news. He was now trapped between heavy horsemen
and a line of infantry that was bending their right flank back. It was only a matter of time before it gave and Marcus was not going to see when that
happened, in fact it was him that started the rout. The hills was where he would go and quickly.
His feet went and his body followed. Nothing could stop him as he ran at full sprint. It wasn’t easy to escape. A horse and three men had to lose
their lives but nothing on this cursed world was fair. The gods didn’t favor him or any other human for that matter. The woods welcomed him and a
few other men with open arms, archers did in the rest. That strong voluntary army that held the center vanished behind him. He hoped the worst for
Deer paths, that was what he wanted, they would lead him to a hidden safety that he hadn’t felt for over a year. If he did survive this he would
never understand how he persevered throughout all of these circumstances. His mind drifted to his wife and son, even this massive defeat did not make
up for their deaths. After an hour of running he found his path and followed it until he couldn’t hear any screams, which took five hours and came
with night fall.
The night gave him the ability to hide but did not provide safety, for that he needed to gain distance. For hours he traveled the deer paths under
moonlight meandering his way through the rolling hills hoping that something lucky came his way. His steps were made with as careful a progress that
he could make but in the end it was meaningless. Fate held something in store for him that he couldn’t resist. It was something that he could have
never looked out for.
As his foot came in contact with a long black stone and his weight shifted onto it, it fell downward pulling him with it. They fell a few feet before
striking soft wet dirt. The chunk of rock embedded into the mud while he began a stumbling somersault down into the dark chute. He landed onto a
concrete wall hitting his head, forcing him unconscious.
His eyes opened to a sight of darkness, a cave that shouldn’t exist in this place. This was supposed to be a simple farming land with one city
center some fifty miles off to the west. Was it possible that he had stumbled onto something not known to anyone else? The possibilities of answers
immediately flooded his heart with a small sense of happiness. This was a feeling that hadn’t shined on him for some time now, since far before he
had been enslaved. This emotion intensified when he realized that if anyone would be looking for him they would now struggle to find him. This
included the assured victors of the field for they would not identify him as a poor sole stuck in some situation that was beyond his control, no he
was only the enemy to them.
Looking around didn’t help much, it just led him deeper into the darkness so he gave up and sat down onto the ground. He stared back towards the
hole and focused upon a small group of stars in the sky. There was a peacefulness hidden in the fact that he could see them but was hidden from their
faint view. It was serene.
Part 2 to follow.
edit on 7-11-2014 by TacticalStats because: Edited to make it more appealing on ones eyes.