Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Enemy's Gate

We waited in the rain for the trumpet to sound. The Water poured off our armor and ran in an army of rivulets in the damp packed earth. It ran, as best it could, between the feet of the army that stood on that earth. Stood waiting.

The gate had been closed for days. They had know we were coming. Mostly because we had told them. But they were expecting a seige. Sieges that lasted weeks or months before the army or city would surrender.

Our commander didn't do sieges. He had a different way. A faster way.

The trumpet sounded and we began to march. But as we march, a single man on a horse, rushes forward. He zigzags a course toward the enemy gate.

A hail of arrows are launched at him, but in the rain he his hard to target.

Raicing forward reaches the gate, and tosses the bag he is carrying at the foot of the gate. Then he turns and retreats toward our line using the same zigzag pattern.

Once he drops the bag, a drum behind us begins to beat. We keep marching forward. We march in time with the drum. Then suddenly the drum beat stops, and the entire mass of men drop to one knee, and bring shields up to bear.

And in the next heartbeat there is a loud concussive boom. Followed by a shower of rocks and splinters.

Again as one, the army rises to its feet and begins to march. There is a hole where the enemy gate used to be.

A small pile of rubble has mostly fallen into the pit excavated by the explosion. More stones from the wall threaten to fall into the gap. There are still men manning the walls and they begin to shoot arrows at us. But the shock of this tactic is one of its move effective attributes. Some squads are retreating while others hold their ground.

Even if they regroup, they will no longer be as effective as they would have been. The city was not prepared for the wall to be breached today. There will be supplies just inside the walls, and people will not be well equipped for hand to hand fighting having mostly bows and long range weapons.

Today, the city will be ours.

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