XXI – Ambush And Retreat

There is an excuse used by every would be general I’d ever had the displeasure to know and it was this: We never saw it coming.

I hated that line! I had always considered that line to be a poor excuse for bad leadership and avoided using it myself. However, times change and I suddenly found myself in exactly the situation where I had to use the words I had chided others for.

We never saw it coming.

How they got to us from behind I didn’t figure out till some time later. But, just as I had finished chewing out one of my Titans, it happened. Seemingly out of nowhere, we were hit by a tide of nasty, skull faced reptile types with lethal hand and foot gear. However, fate seemed to smile down on us.

Let me explain.

Some the men had used their leisure time to practice war manuevers such as the turtle and shield wall. Well, it was that they were doing so as the enemy smashed into an already established defensive shield wall. My guys were hit so hard that their line was picked up and slammed several feet backwards.

However, these men were not regular legionaires, but the elite of the Praetorian Guard. The shield wall bent to near breaking, but held. That manuever gave the rest of us time to grab our gear (mere seconds at worse) and join in the fracas. As we firmed up the shield wall and began to push back I realised something was seriously wrong.

It was the direction of their attack. They had hit us from the tunnel itself, which was patently impossible on the face of it, as we had not met their party at any time in said tunnel. My mental confusion quickly disappeared in the face of battle. I was in my element again.

And so the battle raged. It turned into a bloody maelstrom of claws clashing against swords and the thunder of shields being struck. We were holding our own and actually seemed to be turning the tide of battle in our favor. Any two of my men were a match for one Nephilim and it appeared that we had at least a two to one advantage over them. The Furries had climbed a few trees nearby and were slinging spears and small, spiked balls at their foes.

It was working, as the Nephilim had to look two directions at once, giving us a further advantage. Looking back, I am grateful the Furries never used those spiked nasties on us. The Nephilim were taking serious damage from those things, slowing down a bit and loosing momentum.

Yessir! We were doing great and it seemed we were going to win this thing. Nephilim were down everywhere and they were being forced back with heavy losses. That’s when it happened again. Suddenly, from the direction of the cavern behind us came another charge of Nephilim. This time they were being accompanied by smaller versions of themselves (I learned later that the small guys were the Elohim) equipped with nasty looking, barbed spears.

That second assault tore through our ranks, cutting our forces in half and driving us apart. I and a large group of Praetorians and Valparta were forced in the direction of the cavern, while Acteus and the rest of my men seemed to be holding their own. I did see that many of my boys were down and presumably dead. I lost sight of them as we were continually stepping backward from the pressure of the enemy lines.

We needed to disengage and regroup somehow and soon. Then the cavalry showed up. A shower of Valparta spears rained into the enemy ranks, causing confusion and death. We responded with a forward attack of our own, breaking up the enemy ranks and throwing them into retreat. We didn’t press our advantage as we were still severly outnumbered.

Even with massive casualties the Nephilim and Elohim still greatly outnumbered my small group. So it was that we continued our own retreat in as orderly a fashion as possible. It was in the middle of it all that a nasty thought hit me. Where were the Seraphim during all of this? Also, what had happened to Acteus and the rest of my men?

Chapter XXII

Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXI […]

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