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_Vengier_Book 1_A New Rising

_Preface

At the height of the Roman Empire during the Parthian Wars and the expansion of Rome, reigned the lust for power and dominance between the legendary good and evil throughout the empires. 
By 113 A.D., the Parthian King Osroes I killed the Armenian King to strengthen the Parthian borders.  By doing this, he had finally broken peace between Rome and Parthia.  The Roman emperor Trajan reacted with haste and moved his troops east to prepare an invasion.  Trajan had long yearned to invade Parthia but was unable to without cause.  He eventually got his political vindication to proceed to Parthia.
Over a period of three years, Trajan moved south from Armenia into Parthia.  His campaign was proven successful with the capturing of many major cities and towns.  As a result for capturing the cities, Trajan received the title of Parthicus.  Trajan then reached the Persian Gulf by 116 A.D.; unfortunately he was forced to cease his advance and proceed back home due to a health condition.
Before he gave up entirely, Trajan decided to conquer the town of Hatra in 117 A.D on the way back to Rome.  It was a desert town on the other side of the Tigris River. With very low supplies, Trajan and his men failed to siege the town and suffered their first defeat of the conquest.  He had long wished to follow the steps of Alexander the Great and have vengeance against the people of Hatra, but the emperor continued to march back to Rome due to health issues, where he then died in Selinus. 
There was, however, a chapter of the Parthian Wars that was unwritten due to the high secrecy of a special legion of soldiers that was formed many years before Trajan became emperor.  It was never recorded in any historical document because the creators of this legion feared that their enemies would discover the presence of this legion and go searching for it or steal the abilities that this particular legion had learned. This legion was created when the Roman Empire first began to spread.  The sole purpose of this legion was to perform special, yet secret, tasks assigned by direct authority from the emperor, with assistance from his unknown council of supervisors.  The legion was trained since birth to be a special selection of soldiers that were considered to be of the highest quality of skill and the top of the line testers of technological warfare.  Their preparation to becoming soldiers was considered unnatural and inhuman to the normal Roman training.  They lived, breathed, slept, and dreamed of their tasks.  Though they longed for it, they had never known the warmth of a woman’s body nor the soft luxury of a cotton padded bed or pillows. This legion is known as Legion L1 or specifically, the Romahi. 
The soldiers wore somewhat similar uniforms of the normal Roman soldier, but with a few advancements in design and technology.  Their blades were of the utmost importance to them and were some of the sharpest and strongest ever forged.  They carried the traditional u-shaped shields of the Romans, the feathered hats, and a red cotton cape.  Most of the soldiers in this legion were similar to frontline soldiers.  The others were the archery, catapult, special tactics and maneuvering squad (STMS), explosive, cavalry, and other sub units within the legion.  Every sub unit was trained to perform not just their sub unit task, but in all kinds of combat.  Every soldier was exceptionally skilled in archery, sword, and horseback fighting as well.  There was another sub unit in this legion new and unheard of in the normal Roman legion.  This sub unit was called the Warlans; soldiers that are like warlords, supreme in skill and a short temper ready to attack with haste and incredible accuracy.  They were considered the best of the best. 
The Warlans originally were frontline soldiers.  Then were recruited to be part of the Warlans by showing vast bravery and skill with the sword, along with other distinct characteristics that can’t be clearly stated.  After being accepted, they went through intense training to put their skills to the test.
The normal training for a frontline soldier consisted several stages. The first stage they were taught how to properly march.  The Romans believed that the individuals who couldn’t march according to rhythm would be apt to be attacked first.  After the marching stage, they must go through a series of training skills with a wooden sword and a shield.  The wooden swords were twice the weight of the actual sword they would be using in battle, because the Romans figured that if a soldier could handle the weight of the wooden sword, then they would be twice as quick and accurate with the lighter weight metal sword.  The soldiers then went through bow and javelin training.  A javelin is a lightweight spear that was thrown by a thrust of the shoulder and releasing of the hand.  This technique is somewhat similar to throwing a baseball.  The soldier was trained to master the bow on foot and horseback (the more difficult of the two).  The soldier practiced several times a week shooting at targets shaped like men and leading moving targets.  If exceptionally skilled with the bow, they were recruited into the archery units, which stayed further back from battle using firing techniques as part of a planned strategy during battle.  Lastly, they were required to learn how to mount a horse.  They trained riding the horses while shooting bows or slicing at targets with the sword.  Soldiers must master all balance and accuracy on a horse since there may be need to mount a horse and fight while in combat.  Soldiers would encounter many different unexpected situations in the field, and they must be prepared to face these situations without hesitation.
As for the Warlans, their training took the basic Roman training a step further, more intensified step that sometimes could result in serious injury or even death.  Since the Warlans started off as frontline soldiers, they already were accommodated with all the stages of the basic training, but when recruited they acquired a few new stages. 
To start off their training, they practice with real swords, not wooden ones.  They believed that training with the heavy wooden swords were fine, but they knew that going from a heavy wooden sword to a very lightweight sword would hinder the alignment on their accuracy ever so slightly.  They thought they should be skilled enough to practice with a real sword; if not, they would get hurt, and that’s where injuries came in. But they didn’t care; they had a thirst for blood.  Instead of practicing with dummy targets, they practiced with each other.  This way their adrenaline was always high, making their awareness, speed, and reactions greater than normal.  As for shields, they were considered a heavy burden and a waste of equipment since their skill with the sword should be greater than any challenge against a shield.  They did not carry a bow or a javelin, as they were too much to carry.  Warlans needed to be very quick, and heavy equipment can make them slow.  So if they needed to use a bow or other weapons, they would simply take it from a dead soldier and use it for the task and then be rid of it.  They simply stuck with the sword, and by doing this they became the ultimate masters of the sword and all its capabilities.  However, they didn’t have just one sword, nor was the Roman style of fighting their main style. 
When the Romahi first began, the Warlan unit had not yet formed.  It was not until the Romahi made a trip to distant China, when they found a new fighting style.  When the Romahi first entered China, they were running scouting missions for new land.  But, while doing this, they became acquainted with masters of martial arts in several towns.  The Romahi decided to spend time learning this new fighting style.  Some were able to perform this style, others weren’t.  The soldiers, who were able to perform martial arts, began the Warlan unit.
While the rest of the Romahi continued their quest across the lands, the Warlan unit spent 20 years mastering the different kinds of martial arts.  They became highly skilled and learned how to combine the Roman fighting style with martial arts.  Martial arts allowed them to master new types of sword, bow, axe, spear, and hand to hand combat techniques.  They used several types of weapons during their training, and they learned how to become one with their weapon.  The Warlans favorite weapon of choice, of course, was the sword.  They created new sword designs that had a combination of the Roman and Chinese swords.  They carried a main sword that was more like the Roman sword, but they carried two smaller, thinner swords mounted on their backs in a crisscross fashion that were more like the Chinese, with a few tweaks, similar to scimitars.  After the 20 years of training, the Warlans tracked down and rejoined the Romahi legion.  From there the Warlans continued their tradition of the martial arts/roman style fighting.
The general of the Romahi is the ultimate master of the Warlan art.  He has a poignant past and a lust for honor and retaliation.  He is known as: “Victurius Cornelius Gracchus;” in short he is known as: “Victor.”
He was born in the military world and trained for the Romahi (and Warlans) since he was just a young boy.  He was beaten, scarred, pushed to the limits, and dodged death to become the leader he now is. 
The selection process for becoming the general of the Romahi is the same as for becoming the emperor; only the chosen son of the previous general can be trained for the position.  When Victor became general, he helped with a crusade against a primitive empire northeast of the Roman Empire around the Euxine Sea (Black Sea).  There, Victor conquered many major cities and civilizations.  His main accomplishment was conquering Taurica (modern day Crimea, between the Black and Azor Sea’s).  This raid gave Victor new enemies.  Three of which were generals of the surrounding lands of Maeotian Lake (Azor Sea), ones he would soon face.
However, the military life was not all that he lived for.  He fell in love with a beautiful woman he met while on a journey across the prairies. He spent a considerable amount of his off duty time with her.  All he wanted was to be with her.  Eventually, they married and lived in the open prairie of northern Italy, modern day Romania.  There he spent his years farming and raising a young son and daughter just two years apart.  He enjoyed his life there, and planned on staying during the Romahi’s break point.
Unfortunately, his past came back to haunt him.  Without warning, or mercy, or any known cause, the three generals of the Maeotian Empire Legion (Plutorian, Gaeous, and the head general Draccus) and a collection of men raided Victor’s home.  They took his wife and kids, tide them up, and hung them from a wooden beam coming off the edge of the house.  Victor was tied up and forced to his knees; forced to watch his wife and kids murdered right before his eyes.  He screamed and struggled to fight back, but to no avail he looked into the direction of his family.  It is unknown (at this point) why the three generals did this, why they tortured and killed his family; it made no sense.  He was crushed, crying with rage and hate.  The generals and their men left right afterwards and didn’t look back.  Victor managed to free himself and walked up to his dead family, weeping in sorrow.  Victor was utterly overcome with a rage he had never felt before.  Immediately after he buried his family, he mounted a horse, and road with haste to where his legion (Romahi) was placed doing their training. 
In 116 A.D., he arrived at his legion and assembled his troops.  He was determined to seek revenge of three men who murdered his family without cause.  He sent word to Trajan that he was moving northeast to track down the men.  Trajan did not agree with this; he wanted aid in the south against the Parthian War, but Victor refused and continued his quest. 
Traveling across the Tyras (Dniester) and Borysthenes (Dnieper) Rivers, Victor re-conquered the cities and villages from his past quests, and dominated all who stood in his way.  Nothing was going to come between him and the generals of the Maeotian Empire. He marched across the land using men in his legion specialized in field tracking, in order to follow the generals back to their homeland.  The Romahi then entered the land of Taurica, chasing down the path of the three men to a city called Theodosia.  Theodosia was an important city port for Taurica across the Euxine Sea.  Victor planned to block the Maeotian legend at the edge of the sea.  He prepared his attack, one on a massive scale that involved all of the Romahi’s training and abilities.  Victor was not going to hold anything back, nor show any mercy for those standing between him and the generals.
Here, at Theodosia, is where we pick up with the beginning of the epic story of Victor and his search for justice, or vengeance, whichever came first.






_Chapter 1_The Battle at Theodosia
0700 Hours, October 15, 177 A.D. (Earth Calendar)
Theodosia Borders_Somewhere in a nearby field




Bright and early in the morning, there is a low mist along the edge of the field.  A man stood in the middle of the field thinking of his son and wife.  He missed them so much.
He is quit tall, with short dark hair, and an even shorter beard, like a grey charcoal, but smooth.  He had his helmet placed on the ground next to him in front of a straying tree located in the center of the field.  He kneels down next to his helmet and lowers his head.  He must be praying.
He is wearing a silver, metal vest plate that is engraved into the shape of his chest muscles.  Stacked on top of that is buckles on his shoulder blades that are holding up a long red fabric as if draped in blood that stretches down to his feet.  The red fabric faded into a dark brown at the base of the cloth after his long journey.
He carried a sword by his waist, short and thick for quick stabs, along with an additional two smaller, yet thinner, swords on his back in a crisscross type fashion underneath their capes.
He rises up, looks at the tree and then to the sky.  The sun was trapped behind the morning dew and the thick grey clouds.
“Victor,” the lieutenant behind him on a horse says.
“I don’t mean to interrupt, but the troops are ready and waiting for your orders sir.”
Victor turns and looks at the lieutenant.  There with him are his other head officers.  All on horses dressed in their slick Roman gear.
Lucious, the lieutenant who spoke, had cuts and bruises on his arms and face.  He had been through a lot...they all have.  He was a determined and fierce warrior who was in charge of the frontline infantry.
Palvonius, settling a horse just next to Lucious, had a stern look on his face.  He had a bow strapped to his saddle.  He was the 2nd Lieutenant in charge of the archery as well as part of the artillery. 
Marcus, Victor’s Major and good friend, was saddled on a black horse that had a skull-like helmet strapped to its head.  Marcus was considered second in command to general, Victor.  Marcus has been with Victor ever since he was accepted into the Romahi.  He was there for Victor whenever he needed it, and was prepared for the worst.  Marcus too had two swords similar to Victor’s; laced on his back in the same crisscross fashion.  This only meant they were both part of the Warlans.
They were an insane group of elite soldiers that were within the Romahi Legion.  They had no room for error, nor would they ever consider losing a fight.
“What are our orders, sir?” Marcus asked.
Victor draws his attention to Marcus.
“It’s time.” “Lets go.”
Victor then walked through the tall grass towards his three officers, then took a glance back at the tree in the middle of the field, as if he wasn’t quite through with it.
“Here you are, sir,” Palvonius hands the straps of Victor’s horse to him.  He slips his foot into the slot and jumps onto his horse.  He spines it around and faces his officers, “Are the Warlans ready Marcus?”
“Aye sir, they are awaiting in the swamps for the signal.”
“Our archers and catapults are loaded and ready to fire, the only thing left is to prepare the DESI Launcher for impact,” added Palvonius.
“And the frontlines?”
“Infantry is in position for shield maneuvers, sir, and flanking positions are underway,” Lucious stated.
“Alright men, the time has come.  To get our revenge, and take back what’s ours...For Rome!”
“For Rome!” the officer shouted.
The four officers snap the straps on their horses and set off into the nearby forest.  They're galloping fast, dodging between the trees and bushes, passing by beams of light piercing the tree roofs.
Victor was a proud man.  He was the general in charge of the Romahi and the head leader of the Warlans.  He was skilled with the sword...fast, accurate, and deadly. His father was the head general before him.  He was trained, by selection, to become the leader he is now.  This war, this battle, was much more than conquering land or his men being the best.  It was about vengeance in the massacre of his family right before his eyes.  Maybe that’s why he was praying at the tree.
The horse’s hooves scooped up dirt and rocks into the air as they rode across a road when a field comes into view just ahead.  Hundreds and hundreds, into the thousands of men break into view.  They were all lined in formations of infantry, artillery, cavalry, and archery.  The field was swarming with beaten up Roman soldiers.
Victor and the other officers enter the field of men, and as soon as they come across the soldiers, they all stand up at attention.  Some were holding flags high above their heads.  They praised Victor like he was Caesar himself, though his men gave their lives, honor, and respect mainly to Victor.
They were all haggard up and beaten; yet stood tall and stronger than ever.  Helmets with red lines of feathers spiking from the top, rectangular curved shields placed in front of them, and a red cape draped over their shoulders and down their backs.
Some had bows, some had javelins and spears, but all of them had swords.  They were expected to fight with any weapon.
Victor rode through the aisles of men up to the back of the formations on higher ground so he can see everything.
“Aye Sir”
“Sir”
“To the Death, Sir”
“Sir” “Sir”
“We’re ready, Sir”
“Aye Sir”
“Sir” the men would say as he rode past them looking at them with the utmost trust.
“For Rome, Sir”
He passed a series of tree spikes driven into the ground and placed at around a thirty-five degree angle to slow down fighters or horses trying to get to the artillery placements.  Catapults that hurl flaming balls of oil for hundreds of yards were placed along the upper level of the field.
Victor stops his horse and dismounts.  Jumps off and makes a thump on the ground.
“Is the DESI Launcher ready soldier?” Palvonius asks a soldier turning the lever on one of the catapults nearby.
“Yes Sir, we have placed the DESI in its locks, we just need to know the target for the first blow, Sir.  It takes a moment to reload the weapon.”
“How fast?”
“The weapon or the reload?”
“The reload.  I know the damage this beast of a weapon can cause.”
“Around five minutes, Sir.”
“That’s too slow, we need to make that much faster soldier. 
We don’t have much time to spare.”
“Yes Sir,” and the soldier walked off to inform the other men of the need to reload the weapon faster.
“Time is fine Palvonius, we have plenty of it,” Victor states silently to Palvonius.
Palvonius doesn’t respond.  He takes in the reply and continues down the line of catapults making sure they’re set and ready.
“I must make way to my post, Sir.”
“Alright Lucious, keep an eye on the flanks, make sure they understand the routes.  I trust you will fight well,” Victor says with a stern look on his face.
“They won’t know what hit them, Sir.  We will use our hit and strike maneuvers that will knock them off their guard.  They should know when to quit,” Lucious said with such certainty in his men.  His men were the best in Rome. 
“Don’t underestimate them, we don’t know much about the Maeotians nor what their intentions are,” Victor responded.
“Aye, Sir.”  Then Lucious marched off down to the lower fields to take his post over the hundreds and hundreds of infantry.
Both Marcus and Victor look to the frontlines and ahead into the battlefields, and then across to their enemy’s location hundreds of yards away.
“What do you think of it Victor?”
“It is a strong point that’s for sure Marcus, but with the DESI Launcher and the special tasks unit, we can penetrate that central wall.  Hopefully big enough to get our frontline soldiers through the front of that thing and into the city to find them.”
“We will find them, Sir.  They cannot hide long for what they’ve done,” Marcus responds truthfully and concerned for why Victor is in this.
“Thanks my friend.”
The structure they were observing was a tall-fortified wall, like a castle, that had a spotting tower in the middle that could see over the land.  Beyond the fortress about a mile or two was the city of Theodosia: a central shipping city that was a key element throughout the sea.
The fortress had archery units placed all along the top, and a thousand plus standing out front.  They were unsure of the number of men in the city, but the Romahi knew the stakes the city would face if this fortress were lost.  To make sure the fortress wouldn’t fall, the enemy had over a thousand reserve units placed behind the fortress.  The Romahi planned to take these forces out quickly using their special unit, the Warlans.
Victor stares at the fortress intently, wondering if he will pull with absolute victory or fall a great defeat.  The rim of his eyes turned red with emotion, but he must hold it in to show his strength and bravery to his men.  To cry would mean failure of this.  He must concentrate on the situations at hand and not what happened in the past; though, he must not forget either. 
With all put aside, it was time to wade battle.
“Marcus, its time,” Victor stated.
“Right; stations gentlemen, wait for our signal. Then! Show them no Mercy,” Marcus yelled.
“Till Death,” he yells.
“Till Death, hoo-ra!” the men yell in return.
Marcus and Victor mount their horses and set out into the forest again.  Ten Warlans accompanied them; they were wearing black feathers on their helmet and capes draped over their backs.  They strode off into the woods on the right hand side of the field.  They rode into the deep forest.  Probably a good thousand yards in.  They then came to a very small opening in the trees.  Within this opening, there waited over a hundred of the best soldiers of the Romahi, the Warlans. 
Everyone dressed with black armor, two stealth swords on their backs, and a chest plate that seemed like it mimicked their muscles.  Some had capes draped from their shoulders while others preferred not to have them since it allowed them to run faster.
Victor and Marcus entered the opening area.
“Gentlemen, who will win the contest of most kills this time?” Victor humorously asks.
The men laugh.
“It’s sure as hell not Gillian.”
“Ha ha ha,” the men laughed again.
“Ha yeah I’m sure I’ll be the best this time, I was simply distracted last time,” Gillian, a Warlan soldier, claimed, “but then again, it was a good distraction!”
“Yea, we’ll see about that,” Victor says, “but lets put all that aside.  We can’t have any distractions on this run, but the contest is still a go!”
“Ha ha ha,” the men laughed.
“Anyway, everyone must stay sharp.  Infiltrators stay low and fast; you mustn’t be spotted on your approach to the tower.  Set the powder and take aim from a distance.  We need you to create the gateway into the fortress for the frontlines.”
“Yes Sir,” the men, the infiltrators, sound out.
The infiltrators were a stealth unit within the Warlans.  They were professionals at staying in the shadows and being undetected, while carrying light equipment and eliminate their targets.
“Riders! Don’t slow down once you’ve past through our lines, wait for the first blow to subside then head out, we will hold our ground till you enter.  For the first wave, attack your first strike, then pull back to join the rest for the second attack.  The rest will tail the first on foot,” Victor explains to them all.
“You all know what to do.  I expect nothing less than absolute perfection.  Lastly, I want to thank all of you.  You are the best and would give your hearts to defeat the enemy honorably.  You have followed me everywhere I have asked you to go, and I thank you.  Remember this day.  For this day we do not ride in battle as sheppards, farmers, politicians, or merchants.  For this day we do not hide amongst the weak, but show strength.  For this day our fellow friends must not die in vane. For this day we will ride through the valley of death and face our enemy’s head on.  For this day we do not fear death, but unleash fear on those against us.  And for this day we shall remember forever, that this day, we fight!” Victor yells our to all his men.
“Hoo-Rah,” the men yelled.
“Remember this day men; this will be a day of days.”
“Sergeant Tiberius, launch the signal to attack,” Victor says calmly, while at the same time anxiously waiting to strike.
There was a silent second before Tiberius grabbed his bow off his back.  Took an oil lit arrow and sent it hurtling into the sky like a phoenix on fire.


-  -  -
“That’s the signal,” Palvonius, of the archery unit, stated to the men standing next to him adjacent to a catapult, “men light up.” 
At that moment, a few men run down the lines in front of the archers lighting the oil line in front of them on fire, as well as the oil buckets in the catapults.
The archers then pulled out their bows and lit the tips from the blaze of fire in front of them.
“Fire the DESI launcher,” Palvonius yelled out to the men operating the DESI launcher.
A series of gears turn and twist as the weapon was being shifted to fire.  This weapon was like no other.  It is a weapon engineered and used by only the Romahi.  The weapon itself looks like a large spear.  It has a sharp metal tip at the front but will break on impact and ignite the explosive package behind it.  The mechanisms launch the weapon with a spring reaction (similar to a crossbow), hurtling it forward into the air and a fuse then ignites the propulsion section of the spear sending it even faster towards its target.
 “Hmm, a little help from our Asian friends is heading its way,” Palvonius muttered to himself.
The weapon roars across the field leaving a black smoke trail behind.  It soars across to the fortress and strikes one of the high towers, sending it into a blaze ball of fire into the sky, full of rock and debris that filled the sky.
There was a second or two of silence; then Palvonius raises his sword and yells out as loud as he can, and unleashes his battle cry, “Unleash Hell!”
At that moment, every archer raised their arrows, released their grasp on the bow string, and watched the sky fill with hundreds of arrows towards the enemy standing out front of the fortress.  It looked as if sharpened meteors were raining down on the Maeotians.  There were bodies dropping left and right.  Bodies were burning after being pierced through their bodies.  The head, chest, stomach, legs and arms; some were even hit more than once.  Several times actually.
Then the dozens of catapults released their huge boulders of hot oil and exploded when they hit their targets.  The ground lit to a molting hot blaze, melting all that was touched.
Lucious was standing in front watching the airborne arrows and boulders fly overhead.
“Ready weapons men. March!” he yelled out, leading the walk towards the enemy who were standing out front of the fortress.
The frontlines picked up their spears and shields, which were u-shaped and curved around their bodies.  They were not red like the traditional Roman shields, but black, and they had a sharp spike at the center of the shield for those close range kills.
The men took one step forward, which sounded off a huge vibration in the ground that echoed across the plains.
They continued forward across the field, getting ever closer to the enemy.  The walk seemed like it was taking hours, but was only taking minutes.
The Maeotian were shooting their series of arrows, but it was useless against the Romahinian shields.  The archers continuously pelted the enemy with arrows and their catapults. They moved slightly forward so their shots were ahead of the Romahi frontlines marching forward together.
Another DESI was launched and it roared across the field and struck one of the side towers sending it down into the grave followed by several falling bodies from up above.  It was a weapon not to be underestimated, that’s for sure.
As the frontlines approached within a hundred yards of their target, the adrenaline and intensity of their heartbeats grew faster, but with each step forward they grew stronger.
The Maeotian stared back at them and saw the faces of the Romahi approaching.  Lucious was out front but as they got closer he blended into the lines.
“Stand your ground and hold the line; work as a team and attack in shifts,” Lucious yelled out to his men.
“Aye, Sir,” they chanted back.
As they entered fifty yards from their target, the enemy yelled out loud and charged forward.  The ground rumbled and the eyes of the men widened.  They were charging fast, but the Romahi frontlines slowed to a halt and readied their shield.  They watched as a wild pack of men ran towards them.
Within seconds, their fear was lost, breathing slowed, muscles tightened, and not a heartbeat was heard; the two sides clashed with a powerful bang.


-  -  -
Meanwhile, back in the forest, the Warlans started to send in the infiltrators, and begin the first raid of cavalry.
Only three infiltrators sprang forward from the group disappearing into the forest.  They carried no gladius sword nor cape or shield.  They were dressed in a solid black outfit; a thin black chest and back plate in the form of their muscles, no helmet but had dark mud smeared on their face, and they had their arms and legs painted the same way to cover up their skin from any detection.
It seemed as though they were disappearing from tree to tree, invisible to even the animals that lived there.  They moved swiftly along up to the edge of the fortress, creeping between the trees and bushes on the side.
“Deploy hooks,” Aralis, an expert infiltrator, whispered to his two companions.  The three threw their hooks up to the top of the wall with a rope attached to them.
“Lets go.”
The three of them grabbed the ropes and eased themselves up the side of the wall.  Their shoes have small spikes at the bottom so they can get an extra grip on the block siding.  They also had gloves that had tiny spikes in them for extra grip of the rope, or to hit anyone in the face, whatever works.
While climbing, the three look over and notice hundreds of Maeotian reserve soldiers that Victor had told the Warlans they’d be attacking.
Just before they reached the top, the first wave of cavalry Warlans appear from the woods and are charging forward.  Bang!  They then strike into the reserve units.
The hooves of the horses were trampling the enemy as they galloped over their bodies.  Swords and spears were clashing together, and bodies flying over from the impact of the horses.  Then the cavalry backed off and rode back into the forest.
The enemy began to chase them, but as the horses disappeared into the woods, the ground assault of the Warlans stepped out and raised their circular shields over their heads, planted them on the ground and stuck their spears out to strike the enemy as they impacted together. 
The Warlans punched the Maeotian with their shields, turned sideways and a second wave rushed through between them, striking the enemy with their gladius’s.  Dropped their gladius’s and pulled out their twin swords, hurtling themselves forward and striking their opponents using martial art skills.  The two sides clash in battle and the Warlans began ripping the enemy into shreds.
The three infiltrators notice the archers on the walkway above them being distracted by the action that just took place.  This gave the three the diversion they needed to get over and down into the fortress.
They leaped forward on the walkway, checked the area, and repelled into the fortress just in time to bypass the two men that passed over them running to the back to assist the other archers.
“Ok, Rankin, get the explosives,” Aralis said.
“Got it,” Rankin, one of the three infiltrators replied, “We should move fast, the frontlines are getting closer to the front.  We need to get them through.”
“Right, lets move through the buildings, we will be less detectable through them,” Exodus, the third man, added in.
“Lets move.”
The three moved forward into a stable nearby; the stables were large and empty so they must have cavalry somewhere.  They crossed across the room and through the alleyway into the next building.  They checked for the enemy and noticed men were scattering around, getting arrows, and loading catapults.  It was like watching an anthill at work.  How would they get across the yard in front of them; it seemed almost impossible.
“Ok, here is what we’re going to do.  Rankin, take a pinch of the powder and twist it in this pouch,” Aralis said, “Victor gave me a little idea if we ran into a situation like this.”
Aralis pulled out a small glass of some kind of clear liquid.
“This is an Arkanian Acid.  When busted, it explodes onto a cloud of thick smoke.  We can use this to run low and with haste to get across the yard.  It also works as an eye irritant when it’s dispersed; after five seconds the eye irritant disperses and an explosive fume is left in its place.  That’s where the powder comes in.  Once we’re across, light the pouch with one of the torches attached to the wall on the other side.  Then throw it into the smoke. The explosion should keep them occupied while we perform our task,” Aralis explained, he sounded rather excited about coming up with the plan himself.
“Sounds perfect,” Exodus noted.
They finish their preparations then Aralis looks for a good spot to throw the acid.  There, next to the catapult dead center, a perfect spot.  He hurls the glass into the air and smashes on the block ground where a large irruption of smoke covers the entire yard.
“Now”
The three sprint forward, passing men grabbing their eyes trying to whip clean whatever it was that was causing them to burn, pass the catapult and into the alley.
“Quick, light it.”
Ranking grabbed the torch and lit the pouch’s tip, and threw it into the smoke.  A second later the powder exploded and the flames caused the smoke to ignite and erupt.  The area was ablaze setting several men and two catapults on fire.  The other men caught by the attention, unsure of what the hell just happened, ran over to assist the burning men.
The three make haste and maneuvere their way along  the front gate.  There were men all along the top of the wall, shooting arrows towards the frontlines.
In addition, there were four catapults on raised platforms inside the walls.
“Look, there is our target,” Exodus points out.  There were storage units next to the wall beside the main gate.  Within the units were barrels of oil for the catapults.  The infiltrators must discharge the powder next to the barrels to make a hole in the wall. (The Romahi would have hurled huge boulders in the air to break the front walls down, but they have learned on their quest that the enemy’s fortresses have walls too thick to down easily.)
“Rankin, I don’t want to get any closer than we have to.  Do you think you can throw the bag of powder into the doorway to where we can see it?  I don’t think they will notice it, they seemed to be pre-occupied elsewhere,” Aralis asked.
“Yes, of course, my aim isn’t that bad.”
“Ha, we will see.”
Rankin rears back his arm, releases the pouch, and sees it enter the doorway.
“Ok, light one of your arrows Exodus.  Strike the pouch,” Aralis whispered.
Exodus grabbed one of this cloth covered arrows in his pack, lit it with the torch, placed it on his bow, pulled back and release the arrow sending it flying.
Instantly the arrow struck the bag of powder, and exploded, setting off a chain reaction with the barrels of oil.  A huge eruption within the wall sent massive chunks of the wall hurtling into the air, with rock weighing several tons. Debris scattered everywhere and landed on the Maeotian’s frontlines sending several of them to their deaths.  When the smoke cleared, a huge opening was left and the three infiltrators could see their frontlines fighting the enemy.
“We must go, quickly, I think they’ve spotted us,” Rankin yelled.
“Lets get back to the rear wall, we must take out those archers to help out the Warlans, then we will leave,” Aralis stated while they were running through the alleyways.
“Right,” both Exodus and Rankin answered.
Back behind the fortress with the Warlans, the ground forces backed away from the enemy, leaving a twenty-yard gap between the opposing sides.  Both sides then reformed their men into straight lines.  The Maeotian created two sections of ten lines, with a gap between the sections where the battle sergeant stood on a horse.  The Warlans lined up, then the first line stepped back to let a new force of ground units step forward.
The front line of the Warlans raise huge flags making it very difficult for the enemy to see.  They begin to smile to themselves. 
“What’s so funny, you’re laughing at death,” the battle sergeant on the enemy’s side yelled across.
There was no response; instead the enemy heard a faint rumble behind the Warlans.  It grew and grew to the point where it felt like a stampede was on top of them.
Suddenly, the Warlans created a series of vertical lines with two-foot gaps between them, but the front horizontal line held till the last possible second.  Just then they stepped aside into the vertical lines, removing their flags to show the view of several cavalry slipping between the gaps charging forward.  The sound of them trampling forward was piercing.
There was a sergeant in the cavalry that was at least twenty plus yards ahead of the rest to make the first blow.  Before making contact, he pulled out his gladius, stood up on top of his horse and jumped off his horse when he entered the enemy’s line.  It launched him over the lines and straight at the battle sergeant on the horse.  The man raised his gladius above his head with both hands, came down yelling at the top of his lungs and striking the sergeant killing him instantly.
At that moment, he pulled out his twin swords to begin fighting the rest of them, and then the Warlan cavalry behind him penetrated the enemy lines while they were paying attention to the flying man and the sergeant’s death.
After the cavalry had finished passing through the gaps, the rest of the Warlan ground units pulled out their twin swords and joined the battle.  Victor and Marcus spring forward off their horses and pulled out their swords.  They sliced through men like they were butter.  Pulling twists and turns, blocking an attack, and then striking back with skilled martial arts movements.
A man sprang forward toward Victor and Victor stabbed him with his gladius, pulled his twin swords (he called raptor blades) and continued fighting alongside Marcus.  Both were dodging and striking at incredible speed.  Everything was according to plan.



Standing just out front of Theodosia, along with 5,000 soldiers, was Plutorian, Graccus, and Draccus.  The three generals, of the Maeotian, with whom Victor was after for so long on his quest, were overlooking what was happening from afar.  Keeping a close eye on their targets.
“Hmm, that Victor doesn’t seem to know what he is getting himself into,” Plutorian says, sitting on his horse wearing a dark outfit with dark hair down to his shoulders.
“Do you think he is really the one we’re looking for Draccus?” Graccus asks, a shorter yet better fighter than Plutorian.
“No, not yet at least.  But I fear if we don’t put a stop to this, he soon will be.  It’s only a matter of time before Archimedes makes his move,” Draccus explains.  Draccus was the lead general of the three, and the most powerful.
“Lt. Guidan?” Draccus calls out.
“Yes, Sir?”
“It’s time to end this, send them in.  We will soon be making our approach.”
“Right away, Sir,” Guidan responds, “Ok, you heard him men, move out.”



Everything was going to plan, the frontlines have almost made it to the main gate of the fortress, and the Warlans were making progress.  So it seemed.
Suddenly, after Victor had finished slaying several men, archers from the fortress rained hundreds of arrows down on them.  The Warlans with shields managed to survive the attack, but the others weren’t so lucky.  Some, like Victor and Marcus, were skilled enough to slice the arrows before they got to them.
Many Warlan bodies, as well as many Maeotian ground forces, dropped to the ground.
“Dammit, those arrows, where the hell are those three we sent in the fortress?” Marcus argued.
“There they are,” Victor answered, “they’re a little late but we’ll manage.”
Aralis, Exodus, and Rankin leaped onto the walkway above, cutting down archers left and right. 
“Agh,” Rankin was shot in the shoulder and knocked to his knees.
“Rankin!” Exodus yelled out and ran over to attend his comrade.
“No, you fool, stand your ground,” Aralis yelled, while he was fighting with a man, at Exodus, but it was too late.  A dozen arrows came through the air striking Exodus and finishing off Rankin.
“No”
Aralis screamed running towards the dozens of archers killing many of them.  He dodged several arrows and struck each one with a blow to the chest with his blade.
“Ugh,” he took three arrows to the gut falling to his knees.  No.  He mustn’t give up.  He wasn’t going to let his comrades die that easy and not have their death avenged.  He sprang forward taking two more arrows, but that didn’t stop him.  He pulled out his pouch of explosive powder and lunged forward with his sword killing two more victims.  He was finally taken down.  However, the pouch of powder managed to strike a torch lying on the ground.
Boom!  The top walkway exploded killing dozens near Aralis’s body.
“Oh no…Aralis!” Victor said to Marcus.
“Crap, best hope the frontlines made it through.”
“Yeah, lets.”



The frontlines had annihilated everyone in front of them.  They were getting closer to the gate by the minute.
“Alright men, keep pushing forward.  We should be completely through by now,” Lucious yelled out to all his men.
Lucious whips around a man and stabs him in the back with his gladius.
“Sir, the Warlans they need us through that gate right now,” a Warlan messenger runs up to Lucious and says while at the same time is fighting off three men with his twin swords.
“Right.  Roxie, Sentro, Gaio; lets start this raid.”
“Yes, Sir.”
The four men grabbed many others and charged forward yelling.  The ruckus caused the rest of the Romahi frontlines to push forward even harder.  The enemy began to fall to their feet, one by one.  The frontlines were almost to the gate.
“Come on, take it to them,” Lucious yelled.
“Ah,” Gaio, the man next to him, shouted out.
The men were full of adrenaline, pumped to the max, taking out everyone in front of them.  Sliced in the side, stabbed in the chest, head and arms severed; the men overcome with anger and excitement.
Only a few more feet ahead, right at the entrance, then the fun really begins.
Lucious impelled a man through the heart with a spear, grabbed his gladius and sliced the three men around him.
Roxio stabbed a man then pulled out his knife and threw it at an archer above the gate, hitting him in the neck and watched the blood shoot out of him like an overflowing waterfall.
“Nice one, let’s see if I can beat it,” Sentro laughs at Roxio.
“Ha, you wish”
Finally, Romahinian soldiers began pouring into the fortress.  They couldn’t be stopped.
“Yes, they made it,” Palvonius stated out loud to his men in charge of the artillery.
“Alright, their through, it’s time to haul ass, load up the machines, we got to push ahead and give them a clear road to Theodosia,” he shouted out.
“Yes Sir, hoorah.”
“What the hell?” Palvonius cried out.  Suddenly he saw over a thousand men on horses peel out of the left side of the woods.  The frontlines became extremely vulnerable; they had left a huge gap between them and the artillery.  They had overlooked the option of being flanked from that side of the field due to the terrain.
The Maeotian cavalry trampled over hundreds of men outside of the fortress, leaving the men that made it into the fortress into a death trap.  It would be a slaughter.
“No, this can’t be happening,” Palvonius cried out, “Colonel, reload the Deci and take them…oh wait, look out!”
The Colonel looked behind him, only to see a blade come at him, slicing his head clean off.
Hundreds of men on horses came from behind them, running over them.  Romahinian men began to fall like trees.
Palvonius pulls out his sword and heaves it at a horseman heading his way, cutting him down off his horse.  His men all unsheathed their swords and began to fight, but it was too late, the horsemen were right on top of them, bringing them down.
“Quick, destroy the DESI launcher, we can’t let them have our technology,” Palvonius yelled to the men in front of him.
One of his men grabbed a torch used to light the fireballs and arrows.  He ran towards the DESI launcher to light the DESI spears.  Shink.  An arrow struck the man in his spine.
“Agh, No!” Palvonius screams out slicing the leg off a horseman.  He runs as fast as he can, grabs the fallen torch.  Shink.  An arrow strikes him in the shoulder, but keeps going.  He kills another man in his way.  Shink.  Another arrow brings him down to his knees.  No, Palvonius knew he mustn’t give up.
He screams and gets to his feet, struggles to sprint over.  Just a few more feet.  Shink.  Another arrow strikes him, but he was able to spring himself forward, letting the flame on the torch strike the explosives.
Suddenly, the spears ignite, sending the entire area in a huge explosion causing a chain reaction with the barrels of explosive powder and oil all along the artillery line.  The whole place explodes creating an earthquake like shockwave across the land leaving wood debris with bodies flying everywhere.



Victor had just finished slicing four guys when he noticed the huge eruption out front.  The sky was completely covered with flames in the distance.  He knew they were gone, but what about the frontlines?  No, he mustn’t think about that, but instead about the situation in front of him.  His men had been fighting constantly for a good while now.  They were obviously high skilled men; however, the amount of men they were fighting seemed to keep replenishing, never ending.



Lucious had just made it through the gate when he turned around only to see his men being trampled by horsemen, hundreds of them.
“No, we must clear the area and get onto the walkways fast,” Lucious yelled to his men, he was beginning to panic.
Lucious guided the men around him through the buildings, fighting against man after man till they reached the back of the fort.
Boom!  There was a loud explosion behind them near the gate.  Someone had triggered a barrel of oil near one of the catapults.  Body parts flew all around.
“Looks like it’s just us boys.  Lets try to hook up with the Warlans and make something of ourselves.  If we’re going down, then we’re not going quietly,” Lucious demanded to the men around him, “let’s get up top now.”



“Well, well, well, this is going better than I thought,” Plutorian states with humor, “I don’t see any reason why we have to worry about this battle anymore, it’s over.”
“It isn’t over quit yet Plutorian, we still need to talk to Victor,” Draccus said.
The three men were riding with the group of cavalry behind the ground troopers heading towards the fortress.  They were getting closer, only a few hundred yards away.



Marcus takes his twin swords and slings them behind him stabbing the two men in the gut.  He swings around with both blades and slices them across the chest.
Victor throws one of his swords and it sticks in someone’s head, he leaps forward pulls the sword out of the mans skull and swings upward slicing the next victim from the stomach up to the chin.
Suddenly, over a hundred arrows hurtle down onto them from the fortress.  Several Warlans as well as Maeotian soldiers were shot.
Then at that moment, the ten frontline men along with Lucious sprang up behind the archers on the crosswalk in the fortress.  They forced their swords into the men that had shot the arrows.
Lucious whips around ducking and dodging the archers attacks slinging his blade along the man’s legs and twists behind the man and pierces his kidney.
“Good work Lucious, we needed that.  Now, stay up there and keep guard.  We need all the help we can get,” Victor yelled up at Lucious. 
Surprisingly, Lucious understood him, being so far away and down on the battlefield under all sorts of commotion.
“Yes, Sir, we will do our_
“Lucious look out!” Marcus yelled frantically.
Lucious looks up in the sky as dozens of fireballs rained down on him.  He was struck in the body.  Nothing was left.  The wall was set to a blaze and all his men suffered.  Some managed to stay alive long enough to be put down by the heat of the fire and the oncoming swords from the men kept alive in the fortress.
“This can’t be happening,” Victor stated.
“Shut-up, and look at your back,” Marcus yelled to Victor.
Victor spun around, ducked and impaled a man in the chest with his twin swords, sending the man flying on his back.
“Thanks.”
“I’ll expect you to do the same,” Marcus said smiling, but this was not a time to smile.  Everything had turned against them.  There were only a handful of the most skilled Warlans left.
It was over a hundred Maeotian soldiers to every one Warlan.  The odds were dangerously against them, but the odds mattered little to them.  Deep down they knew the end was near, but none showed it, none showed any fear or any sign of giving up.  It was all or nothing to them.  The final blow.
The sky filled with another series of hundreds of arrows from the fortress and behind them towards Theodosia.  The men were skilled enough to fight off most of the arrows, but many were struck and killed.
About twenty Warlans remain, and the arrows wounded most of them, even Victor had an arrow in his arm, but it didn’t affect him.
Men kept coming forward constantly, and Victor and his remaining men, along with Marcus, rushed along and began slaughtering once again.
The martial arts training they encountered from their eastern travels were paying off.  Marcus flipped around kicking a man in the face sending him off his feet only to be left with Victor’s sword in his chest.
Another series of arrows shot through the air, slicing into half that remained, wounding all the others.  They were all bleeding, some worse than others, but they kept fighting.
One Warlan ahead of the others turned and saw the arrow strike and said, “This shouldn’t be happening.”
“Oh, but it should,” a man with a dark voice behind him said.
The Warlan soldier turned around, but was stabbed in the stomach as he faced the man.
“You all should know when your conquered, but you just don’t learn do you,” the man said, he released the sword violently sending the man to the ground, with his insides seeping out through the wound.
The man that killed him was tall, muscular, and had a dark figure about him.  He was the one in charge of the Maeotian, one of the three generals that Victor and the Romahi were searching for.  It was Draccus.
Victor turns around sending his next victim into the grave; he looks up and sees the three men he was after.
“Marcus.”
“Yes Victor?”
“Their finally here.”
“Well let’s give them a warm welcome, shall we?”
“Definitely.”
Victor and the men push forward towards the three generals, slicing arms and stomachs, heads and legs of the men in their way.  He spins around, blocks a sword swing, rolls sideways, jumps in the air, and brings his sword down on a man, and swings backwards him from behind.
His eyes were flaming with anger and vengeance.  Though he had two arrows in him, as well as his other men, it was as if he was floating in midair running right over anyone who stood in his way.
Victor sees his horse at the edge of the woods.  He whistles and it gallops over to him.  He mounts it and Marcus hands him his two swords, “Go, you will have a better chance against them on your horse, the rest of us_” Slash! Marcus cuts a man down ”_the rest of us will cover you,” he continues.
“Right,” he says, and snaps the reins on the horse.  He rides forward, slicing men left and right on his way to those three.  His men behind him were fighting along the way with haste trying to keep up with Victor.
He was getting so close, only thirty yards away.  Suddenly, another series of arrows hurtle through the air, covering the view of the sky.  Victor blocks a few but is struck.  He falls off his horse from the blow of the arrows; leaving him twenty yards form his target face down on the ground.  He brings himself to his knees and looks behind him to see his men.  They’re on the ground with several arrows in them.  He looks for Marcus’s body, but he was unsuccessful.  There were dead corpses all around him, all were bleeding and torn apart limb from limb. There were several hundred arrows everywhere in the ground and all over the bodies. 
“So, if it isn’t the great warrior, Victor,” Draccus says to him humorously, “I thought you were better than that, obviously not I’m afraid.  I was looking forward for a challenge, but apparently your not the one we’re looking for, seeing that your dead sooner than expected.”
“What, not going to say anything, weakling?” Plutorian asks him, “just like your family.”
“Hmm, your first,” Victor says as he is raising his head to look at his target.
Plutorian sits there on his horse and watches Victor scream at the top of his lungs, running toward him.
Victor picks up his twin swords as he sprints towards Plutorian, raging with anger and the lust for a kill that wasn’t going to stop him.  The first kill would boost his adrenaline giving him the extra edge.
Woof.  Two arrows strike him in the sides sending him back to the ground.  He quickly recovers and crawls back up almost instantly hurtling himself forward, but is struck again with one more arrow.
He rises up once again with his swords, begins to sprint but he finds himself falling to the ground and being dragged along the ground by his feet.  He looks over and sees a rope wrapped around his legs that is attached to his horse.  The explosion happened in the background of the fortress as Victor was attacking must have frightened the horse making it run.
“Get him,” Draccus yells to his men to fetch Victor, “I want him dead... make sure he is dead.”  Several of his men run into the forest chasing after Victor.
“No, no, no, let me go, leave me be, I must die alongside my men, turn around you fool, agh,” Victor cries out at his horse.
He struggles to set himself free, he still carries his two swords and tries to cut the rope, but it was hard to cut it because he was being dragged along into bushes and dodging trees and rocks.
The horse ran along through the woods, the deep woods; unaware that it was carrying his master.
“Let me be, I must fight for my men’s honor, ah, ugh, let me go,” he yelled again.
The horse continued to drag him along a dirt path that led into a large grassy field.  The horse ran into the open and Victor noticed the clearing.
He finally got the chance to cut himself free.  He cut the rope and came to a stop in the middle of the field, leaving his horse running along.
He was bleeding and completely out of breath.  His chest felt like it weighed a ton.  He was panting and moaning in pain.
He looked up and noticed a tree next to him.  ‘Could this be the same tree he was next to before the battle began,’ he thought.  He crawled forward to the tree and looked up and around slowly.  Yes, it was the same field he was in at the beginning of the day.  He began to laugh to himself and knew being there meant something.
He looked up at the tree and began to speak, “Sandra...I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything to stop them.  I tried, I tried; I wish I was there with you,” he says crying out with tears, “I swear to you, in this life or the next, I will avenge you, I will avenge you and Alex.  Take care of him for me please, I miss you and Alex so much.”  He began to cough up blood, his body was cold, and his muscles were weak.
He could see their faces, like it were only yesterday.  Playing with his son in the yard, and cooking meals with his wife.  He wished he were with them, enjoying the little things in life.
He continued to talk to them; it was all he had left.  He had six arrows in him.  He was on the verge of death and his vision began to blur.  The air was thick and he was cold as ice.
“There he is.”
“Get him,” two men yelled from in the forest.
The men had tracked his path and had finally caught up to him.  They began to run out into the field.  The men were followed by several more that sprang out of the woods.
Victor didn’t notice the men, but instead he was in a daze, starring at the tree, talking to his family.
Suddenly, there was a huge bright light that beamed down from behind the tree.  Victor looked up at it.  It was so bright that it lit up the entire field.  He only saw the faint image of the blackened tree.  He looked up at the light, raising his hand up in the air towards it and spoke out, “Sandra, I love you.”
The light overpowered everything around, and Victor felt as if he was sucked into the light as his vision blurred to a black halt. 




_Chapter 2_Plutorian
1345 Hours, February, 2045 A.D. (Earth Calendar)
Philadelphia, Pa - Inside Glen Tech Facility (HIGH SECURITY)


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