XXVII – More Mysteries Revealed

So there we were, watching Bert’s very impressive military force form itself up for the march back to their camp. I already knew about Bert’s thousand relatives, but the actual size of the entire Valparta army took me by surprise. In addition to Bert’s family, there had to be at least five thousand other Furries present. I knew this because the whole battle force was arranged in three massive marching columns that seemed to stretch backward out of sight.

Bert’s bunch headed the central column and it was there that me and my boys formed up. We were placed directly behind Bert and his officers in the place of honor. Actually, I think it was so that Bert could keep an eye on us. Whatever. It gave me an excellent opportunity to quiz our host during the march. I already had my first question ready which had to do with the overwhelming size of Bert’s army.

“Say, Bert. How come you’re here with such a large mob? Can’t have been just for fifty eight Legionaires and four hundred Furries. I gather you guys don’t fight your own kind anyway.”

Bert swiveled his hairy head toward me and smiled a smile full of very sharp teeth.

“You right Varus. We don’t fight our own kind. Didn’t know Tummi and others with you. Didn’t even know you here until we run into you. Heard rumors of strange, red, spikey army burning villages in this area. We mass up quick. Gather as many fighters as we could find to counter attacks. I had fear we would still be badly outnumbered, but had to try anyway. Imagine my surprise when we see you instead of red, spikey guys.”

Now I was really confused.

“Why, then, were you so ticked off at first?”

Bert scowled slightly, and I thought maybe I had overstepped a bit. Then he smiled and I breathed an internal sigh of relief.

“When Bert saw you, I thought maybe you brand new invasion from somewhere else. Was not happy at all.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Seven days ago we pick up another group like you. About hundred some odd fighters. Leader’s name is Acteus. Also, Marcus and Philos lead their own groups. They concerned about missing comrades lost somewhere. Said leader’s name was Varus. When I heard your name, realized you belong to other bunch.”

I staggered a bit when I heard Bert’s news. Acteus and the others were actually alive and, apparently, in a safe place! I very carefully asked my next question.

“Are they alright, and where are they now?”

“They healthy and, mostly, unhurt. Some small injuries from earlier fights. Your doctor take good care of them. Also, they camped with us at big camp.”

Hades! With that news I wanted to run to the Valparta camp I was so anxious to see my missing Titans. I passed the news down our line which cheered and whooped with joy. And so, it was with renewed vigor and high spirits that we headed off to Bert’s camp.

The journey was short, being only a few miles distant. Thus we made the trip in just over three hours time. When we arrived, I saw something else that caused me to re-evaluate the military power these guys had. Looking out over the plains we had just come from were cannons. Dozens of them by the look of things.

My own people had been working on a similar idea for some time. We just couldn’t get the darned things to work. I’d found out about it in Ravenna, when I made that city my headquarters for an attack against Rome.

Anyway, after a time we gave the whole idea up as a bad job and went back to traditional Roman artillary. Yet here they were. The Furries had apparently figured out how to make the things work. The artillary batteries present proved as much.

As we headed further into the enormous campsite, Bert’s army began to disperse toward different camps. Bert himself came up to us and spoke.

“Follow me.”

And so we did. We zigzagged between camping areas until we came to an area set right up against a tall cliff face. There were Roman tents in neat rows. Over two hundred of them at first glance. It was who was in front of those tents that gladdened my military heart.

The Titans were lined up in parade formation with Acteus, Marcus, and Philos standing at rigid attention in front of their troops. We were united again and things were starting to look up once more. An officer’s meeting would change my initial feelings about our good fortune.

Chapter XXVIII

Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 3:12 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXVII […]

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