BOSH VI, Ch. 22: The General's Thoughts
The General's Thoughts
The precarious footing on the rocky bluff seemed like an odd vantage point for the fifty-four men to be standing, but the battlefield below was clearly visible. The sky was darkening, the wind cold and threatening.
The General, standing on the highest point, took one last look below. “This is the place. Tomorrow we shall return here at dusk.”
They would not return to do battle; they were returning only to observe, as the outcome of the battle would determine the fate of the Legion. Only a few weeks ago, it seemed that the Legion would face only despair until the next summer. Fate intervened, and with victories against our last two foes, the chance for greater glory has come to us.
The General knew that the opportunity for that glory rested upon the shoulders of others, as well as upon the Legion itself. Though he had only been the General of the Spiralhorns for less than a year, he knew well that the Legion had been in the same situation before. He could only command one battle, one to occur in two days.
But that battle against the Norsemen would mean nothing if the Native Warriors, defeated by the Legion only a few days past, did not grasp victory tomorrow.
The Norsemen. The General was familiar with them, for he had been in their employ a short time ago. He knew their plans well; he knew where they were strong, and their weaknesses. He had his plans for attack made days ago. He knew the key to victory lay in the arm of his Captain, and the warriors who were quick with their hands and sure with their feet. He thought of his Captain’s guard, the five who stood to protect him, and how only one of them had been there through every battle. Too often, he had seen enemies of the Legion fight through the guards to strike the Captain, yet those who stood guard now showed promise. He thought of the original warrior…the man who does not show his age, and who struck harder at the Native Warriors than most young men could hope to. He thought of the young one, Steven, son of Jack, who had promised to carry the Legion on his shoulders if given the chance, and who had proven his worth.
The Norsemen of the Twin Citadels. The General knew that they had stood in the way of the Legion’s quest of the Ultimate Prize before. He would not let them stand in the way this time.
The Dark Winged Warriors stand in the way of the Legion. The Obsidian Pantheris block the path as well.
But the battle tomorrow is the first. Should the Native Warriors stand victorious after the battle, then hope for greater glory is within reach of the Spiralhorns.
As for the victor of tomorrow’s battle, it matters not. As the General leads the other fifty-three men to their camp, he knows what must be said.
“You know that our chances to advance toward our goal are dependent upon the skills of other armies, as well as ourselves. Had fate looked favorably upon our campaign sooner, we would not be concerning ourselves with other battles than our own. But, I say this to you: It does not matter what the outcome of those other battles may be. We must worry only about one battle, the one taking place in two days, when we face the Norsemen. They, themselves, admit that they cannot withstand attack from the air, and we know this is one of our strengths.”
The men talked quietly among themselves as they continued their travel towards their camp. The Captain, walking alongside the General, was the first to notice the Flag of the Legion, proudly flowing in the winds, visible in the light from the fires from the camp. “General…”
The General held up one hand, signaling his men to stop. “Warriors of the Spiralhorn, look upon our standard! Do not worry yourselves with the prospect of battle beyond this week. The prophecy is not clear about our path this season. What is to be shall be. We need only worry about our next battle. We may not control our entire destiny, but we shall fight with pride, fight for victory, and we shall hold our heads up high!”
“WE ARE SPIRALHORNS!”