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Rated: E · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #1643868
The Republic attacks Nirvana to capture Cateyln
It was hard to imagine in those times that a fetus so deficient and skewed could be treated and carried to term. Everyone knew that a Whisper and a Curse were anomalies for which there was no hope. The only difference was that a mother generally survived the former. The theories and therapies developed at Nirvana were breakthroughs.

The success of the Mind Melding was immediate and succeeded beyond all expectations. As Uta and the matrons listened, the psyhic resonance could be heard, moving from the fringe back towards the center. The transformations brought discomfort for both the mothers and their infants, but with each day the prognosis grew more encouraging. The darkness and light slowly began to merge and with each session, the fetuses began reverting into a harmonic balance.


The Listerian Council struggled to stay abreast with all that was happening. The other Elvin councils, along with the Dwarves, followed the developing events and used Tristan as a clearing house for information.

The news of the medical success excited the hopes of everyone and the mothers became celebrities. The Prophesy, instead of the usual ambiguity, was seen by most as clear and self-evident. The Husbands were about to be reborn and their future wives would arrive at the same time. Nobody was more relieved that Lord Kulrick and he belatedly began to realize that his wife might survive after all.

Then he received news of a startling new development. As part of the security procedures, a patrol was occupying an observation post in the mountains along the Western border with the Empire. From there, they began receiving signals that showed a military presence close to Nirvana. On the heels came collaboration, from the most reliable and classified of their assets.

“What do you think Ubo?” asked Lord Kulrick.

“It appears there’s a Simian Elf transmitting from inside the valley. She’s using a narrow band and short bursts.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means the Republic has a military unit in the area.”

“What size?”

“The transmission source won't indicate that…but to risk a Simian, it has to be more than a recon patrol.”

“What could they be after?”

“I think we have to assume the worst.”

“Go on.”

“That they have received word of the Prophesy, and the six mothers. That they intend to attack and kill them.”

“We can’t risk transmitting a warning…”

“We must go in person and with all haste. Pray we get there in time.”

“How do we explain our actions without revealing our source? We can’t just go racing in there for no apparent reason.”

“Let the world think I’m forcing my wife to come home. Have it whispered about that I’m abusing power for personal gain. It’ll give the spies something to report… monitor anyone leaving the country in the next few days and keep your ears open.”

“What if Climatus finds out…?”

“Hopefully, we can keep that from happening.”


In the shadow war that continued between the Republic and the Confederation, there was a never ending probing and intelligence gathering. The Elves and the Republic Guards often sent patrols deep into the territories of one another as a means for determining capability and intentions. It became a game of sorts, albeit a deadly seriously one, to intercept the enemy on the one hand and avoid detection on the other.

Nobody was better at the game than Guiles Standaloft and his patrols ventured deeper and stayed longer than any that ventured into the Empire. The Elves did a better job of locating and destroying the human Republic reconaissiance and more and more that job was left to the Snagar. On the other hand, the Republic was aware of the Confederation probes into their territory and was determined to stop the incursions. To this end, they created an elite force from their most capable troops to track down and destroy the Elvin patrols. So effective did they become that operations were severely curtailed, until only Guiles and two other commanders were trusted with the mission. This was a setback, because the most valuable Listerian intelligence source was near Cornith and required relays to get the information back to the Council.

When Guiles applied for leave, to attend his mother’s wedding, it was initially disapproved. It took the direct intervention of Lord Kulrick to allow him home for the ceremony. Bedelia was dispatched to the valley. There she operated from the temple where she relayed for Albiana, however, more importantly, for the patrols in the mountains and the one operating on the fringes of Corinth.

The Elite Guard SOF Platoon was with Deritter. They were disguised as Scavengers but looking for the stones and an opportunity to snatch Cateyln. The tax collectors arrived as expected and took up residence in the town Inn. The “Scavengers” made camp with the Gypsies who were operating the Carnival. Both groups routinely traveled with the Tax Collectors on their rounds of the Provinces.


Cateyln and Orin planned to get married during the Carnival. It was one of the happiest times of the year for the town and it helped take the edge off paying taxes, always a raw nerve. Since the Inn was full, Matilda and the Dwarves were invited to stay at the Smith House. This meant that Lilith had to give up her room and move into the Citadel with the other Mothers. Liope also moved out giving her room to Miranda. This put the Witches at Orin's and the Mothers in the fortress, which suited Orphious and Varnack just fine. A baby shower was planned for the the day before the Wedding. The Witches and everyone who was remotely connected, were all there and lavished gifts on the expectant mothers. It broke up at around midnight and everyone returned home in good spirits and went to bed. At two O’clock Kulrick and a Company of Elves arrived at the Citadel.


"Open the Gate!" the High Counselor cried out…. "Open the gate."

Varnack was on duty and seeing Lord Kulrick and his men, gave the order.

"Lower the bridge and let them inside."

The company flowed into the courtyard, exhausted from the forced March.

"Thank God we’re in time…'rouse the garrison and man the walls. I believe we’re about to be attacked."

Meanwhile all the commotion was waking everyone up. The Mothers went to the windows on the second floor, and began looking down and wondered what all the commotion was.

"What is it?" asked Climatus.

"It’s your husband," answered Olivia… "I was afraid this might happen."

"You think he’s here to force me home?"

"The Hell he is!" said Rogoletti, storming downstairs.

Lord Kulrick entered the Main Hall followed by Ubocastor. He was confronted by a group of men that included, Rogoletti, Guiles, Varnack, Dumar, Pluto, and Young Jernigan.

"What’s going on?" demanded the Squire.

"I fear we’re about to be attacked," replied Kulrick. "We need to evacuate the Citadel and get to the border with all haste."

The Mothers began streaming down the stairs.

"Is this a ruse?" shouted Olivia, "to get your wife back?"

"This is real," Kulrick answered, "tell them Ubo."

"We have reason to believe that a sizable enemy force is in the vicinity. That they know about the Prophesy and have come to prevent it."

There was a murmur of voices talking excitedly among themselves

"You believe?" spoke Olivia in disbelief, "and you expect us to rush out the back gate… six pregnant women, in a high state of anxiety…because you believe..., maybe,... possibily..., and perhaps with the slightest ulterior motive, that the Republic has somehow managed to invade this valley, without our knowledge with a force capable of storming and taking this bastion…really, do you have a shred of evidence to back up this claim of yours?"

"I have more than a shred, but I can’t elaborate."

"How convenient…and do you really feel so threatened with a hundred of your own men, inside the walls of this fortress, that we can’t protect ourselves from this obscure threat?"

"Don’t believe me then…! The timing is variable but the threat's real. Since you hesitate to leave, then let us man the walls at high alert. Tomorrow we can venture out and make a search. I say again that there is a Republic force nearby that must be dealt with. If the attack comes tonight, we must be ready to take the Mothers and flee for the border. What will it take to convince you...a bolt sticking out of your forehead?

"That would at least be convincing. However, since you're so certain, we need to get the carriages ready and be prepared for the possibility."

"Very well. Guiles, post yourself between here and town and report any enemy movements in our direction. If you give the warning, we’ll exit through the Eastern gate."

“I need to tell Orphious,” said Dumar.

"I’ll go with you," said Young Jernigan, and the three left via the West gate for the edge of town.


When they arrived on the outskirts of town, it was quiet.

"You wait here Captain Standaloft, with Jernigan, while I go over to the Armory and let Orphious know what’s happening…"

As he was about to depart the attack began. The assault team of the Republic stormed the Smith House. Six of them burst through the door killing the downstairs security team. The commotion alerted the dwarves upstairs and Trueaxe and his men in the loft of the corral.

"What is it?" Cried Matilda from Upstairs,

Milo grabbed his crossbow and fitted a bolt.

Peering out the door Jonas gave the warning… "Guardsmen coming up the stairs."

The door burst open and Milo fired… the lead solder fell with an arrow thorough the throat. Behind him came a second. He fired a bolt into Milo, who fell mortally wounded. Jonas plunged his dagger into the neck of the second and they grappled falling over the rail onto the second floor. A third entered the room and seeing Matilda fired a bolt into her. She slumped forward. The soldier fitted another and turned as Miranda came out of her room. He fired instinctively and she too fell mortally wounded. Downstairs the second team burst into the bedroom. Orin struck the leader with his axe. A second shot him through the chest. Gabby snatched her crossbow from off the nightstand. Crouching behind the bed she aimed, hitting the second. The third pushed through the door and shot her through the chest. She fell forward onto the rumpled covers.

From across the street Morgolic, Trueaxe and his men raced towards the house. The encountered the security team covering the snatch team inside.

There was an exchange of cross bow fire. Three guardsmen and four elves fell.

“Miranda’s in there!" screamed Trueaxe and rushed through the door.

The soldier from upstairs shot him in the chest but the veteran, continued across the room and up the stairs. With the last of his strength, the doughy elf drove the Guardsman through. In anguish he crawled over to Miranda and died next to her. The rest of the Honor guard closed with the security force, killing them in an exchange of crossbow fire. Three more elves fell. Four more rushed inside. The remaining defender killed one as the three elves closed and hacked him to pieces.

Dumar arrived breathless at the Armory.

"We’re under attack!" said Orphious. "That’s what I came to tell you," replied Dumar.

"I’ll take the Ready Reaction Force," said Orphious. "You rouse the others and follow."

"Let's go men," exhorted Orphious, "After me."

The Militia poured onto the streed and rushed to join the fight...right into an ambush in front of the General Store. Guiles watched the slaughter….

"Report to Lord Kulrick," he told Jernigan. "The target is not the Citadel but the Smith House. Tell Varnack to bring his men."

"Yes sir," Jernigan answered, and raced back to the Citadel. Lord Kulrick, Rogoletti, Varnack and Pluto stood waiting.

"The Captain sent me to get Varnack and his men. ...The attack is on the Smith house."

"You must secure the Citadel my Lord," said Varnack. "The Women must be protected at all costs."

"I will," answered Kulrick, "How many men do you have?

"Ten," answered Varnack, "but we know the area and if Guiles is right, it should have enough."

The mothers crowded around listening in shock to everything being said.

Varnack called out to his men, "Saddle up!"

"Wait for me," said Rogoletti. "Me too echoed Pluto…"

"Nooooo!" screamed Olivia.

Bedelia ran up to Pluto and grabbed his arm…"Be careful," she said, as he slipped from her grasp and followed the others beneath the wall.

"Secure the gate and raise the bridge!" commanded Kulrick.

As the drawbridge cranked up Olivia looked over at Bedelia. She was leaning against the wall, staring vacantly.

"Are you OK Bedelia?" she asked. There was no response. "What’s the matter with you?" she demanded sharply. Bedelia continued to stare. "Something’s the matter with Bedelia," she called out. Lilith put her arm around the young girl and looked into her eyes.

"Oh my god!" Lilith stammered…. Bedelia Spirit jumped into Pluto…she can’t do that...she's pregnant. Its not healthy for the baby!"

"Uta dropped to her knees and listened to Bedelia's stomach…

"Might not be... but it don't really matter," She answered, "Orwald went with her."

At the corner Guiles was waiting. "They ambushed the Militia," he said pointing to the bodies."They have an automatic crossbow on the roof of the General Store. Jernigan, tell Dumar to hold back until we clear the roof. Then come in from the flank and attack those on the ground level."

"Yes sir," Jernigan answered and ran off towards the Armory where Dumar was assembling the follow-up forces.

"Quitely," ordered Guiles, "We need to slip around back and up on that roof."

Drawing their daggers, he and Rogoletti moved stealthfully down the alley. They spotted two sentries posted below and sprang upon them with a rush. It was over in an instant. "You four go with the Captain," Varnack instructed a team."The rest follow me." There were two ladders leading up to the roof.

"When we get to the top don’t hesitate." Guiles explained calmly. "I’ll go for the automatic weapon, with Pluto." Rogo, you take one side, Varnack the other. We have to clear the roof before Dumar launches his attack."

There were six Guardsmen on the roof as they came over the top. It was a spirited fight. Guiles and Pluto closed with the team on the crossbow. The Guardsmen spun around drawing their swords. Guiles killed the Gunner with a quick thrust while Pluto grappled and broke the neck of the other. Rogoletti thrust his sword beneath the armpit of as one Guardsman who turned in astonishment. Behind him came the rest swarming. Varnack and his men overwhelmed the other two. From below they heard the Militia under Dumar fighting with the rest. On the roof the skirmish ended. They went back down the ladder and back around to the front. Dumar and his men had just finished mopping up. Dumar was down on his knees holding Young Jernigan, rocking back and forth.

Out on the street Orphious and ten of his men lay dead.

Beyond the house, behind a wagon the last phase of the battle was playing out. De Ritter stood with the remaining six of his men pouring a steady stream of bolts into the last of Trueaxe’s Honor guard. Morgolic was the last to fall as he reached the center and drove his sword into a Guardsman. From the flank Varnack and Rogoletti charged with half the remaining force. From the other came Guiles and Pluto with the rest.
As they rushed forward there came a sporadic volley of bolts. Rogoletti was struck in the chest. Then they grappled, as the momentum carried the attackers, hand to hand into close combat.

As Pluto swept past he took hold the hilt of Mongolic’s two handed sword. He had never felt so animated…. The handle melted into his hand and as he swung, there surged through his body a strength and quickness he never dreamed possible. Closing, he severed the head from a soldier who stood fumbling with his crossbow. Then he pirouetted leaping around the wheel and struck down another. Finally the commander stood before him. With an overhead swing he crushed DeRitters parry with a stunning blow. The blade deflected and slammed into the Officer's temple Knocking him unconscious. A cry came to his lips, primitive and haunting, from a voice that was not his own...a battle cry not heard in six-hundred years. He looked about in astonishment.

"It's OK," he heard Bedelia whisper inside his head, "Everything's under control. Pay attention now...Look, over there behind the back wheel, crouched in the corner."

The others stood looking at Pluto in utter disbelief. He walked over to the back of the wagon and reached down. HIs hand closed about the collar of a Simian Girl, no more than six years old. He felt Bedelia’s mind reach out and saw the child’s Witchy eyes open in wonder.

"Don’t worry," he heard Bedelia knell, "The Big Guy won’t let anything bad happen you."


As the sun came up Lord Kulrick led the Mothers out of the Citadel. Two soldiers carried Bedelia on a stretcher. As they entered the town, Liope saw the body of Young Jernigan. She knelt and kissed him on the cheek, tears streaming down her face. Olivia took her beneath the arm, dragging her to her feet. They continued down the street.

Ubocastor walked over to Dumar. He whispered in a low voice.

"Go tell the Tax Collector we were attacked by Brigands. That he is to depart and report what happened.

"But they weren't Brigands," answered Dumar in dismay.

"Just do as I say," insisted the Wizard.

In front of the Stone House the bodies were laid side by side.

"Oh god no! not this!" Liiope cried out, at the sight of her parents.

"Oh god no," wailed Climatus and Trilla, at seeing Miranda and Trueaxe.

"Oh god no!" echoed Lilith…as she gazed upon Matilda, Milo and Jonas.

They staggered forward, falling to their knees, embracing their loved ones.

After an eternity Olivia spoke up.

“There’s more...," she sighed, “up by the wagon.”

Coming to her feet she once more took hold of Liope's arm and they continued.

PLuto saw them coming. He took the Simian by the hand and walked over to the stretcher. Reaching down he touched Bedelia. Her eyes fluttered and she awakened. "How beautiful you are," she said to the wide eyed girl.

As de Ritter regained his senses he found his hands tied behind him.

"Here comes the Queen," said Guiles. "Down on your knees before I break them.

The Lieutenant fell to his knees.

In front of the wagon, on a strip of canvas laid the rest of the Honor Guard, along with the bodies of Rogoletti and Morgolic. It was more than Liope could bear. The same was true for Olivia and she sank to the ground. The sword of Orwald rose from the ground at their feet.

Olivia commenced to wailing, joined by Albiana. They embraced their loved ones holding their heads and rocking back and forth. The other women joined about sharing their grief, tears streaming down their faces. Liope stood mute staring at the carnage. At length she noticed de Ritter.

"What do you have to say for yourself?" she demanded coldly.

"He looked up at her. He saw no mercy.

Dumar came up, in time to see the spectacle.

Liope took the ancient sword and raised it on high.

"I summon the powers of darkness to bear witness." she declared, "We have been greviously wonged and justice will not wait on ceremony."

She looked to the heavens, eyes glowing red. The blade began to pulse with a radient energy and hues of blue and green swirled about it. A rush of malice coursed through her body, animating every pore and fiber. The sky grew black and a stillness settled in.

Raising the sword she stepped up to the prisoner. All eyes were upon her. Lifting the handle and extending the blade downward she raised it up and plunged it down. The tip entered through the Guard Officer's neck passing through his torso and into the ground. De Ritter writhed about as she held the handle twisting it back and forth. The edge had severed his heart and he died quickly. She pulled it out and he fell forward, face down into the dirt. Wiping it on her gown she rested the point at her feet and placed her forehead on the handle.

Lilith took off her battle axe and flexed it back an forth. She spat, bringing it down, cutting the head from the corpse. She wiped the blood on her gown and took the trophy by the hair and brandished it for all to see.

Albiana watched stricken with terror.

Bedelia looked over at Martha in approval. Martha looked back, and nodded her head.

Guiles saw the exchange and couldn’t believe it.

Dumar was shocked.

Climatus went over to Olivia and helped her to her feet.

Pluto looked on in absolute amazement.

Taking a pike from a a Militia-Man Lilith pushed the handle through the neck and into the skull. She carried it among the witnesses, pausing now and again to look everybody in the eye. Her actions left no doubt that a line had been crossed from which there was no turning back. When she finished she stood in front of Liope and drove the point into the ground. Then she stepped up, took a knee and kissed the hem of her gown. One by one the other Mothers followed suit... and then everyone else gathered about. When they finished Liope spoke.

"I swear by all that is holy…. That as long as breath lives in this body…that I will awake each morn in remembrance of this day …That I will bring hope to the peoples of our land and strike terror into our enemies…This I promise, for now and forever, so help me God.”

When she finished Liope turned towards Pluto and motioned. He hustled forward and took the sword from her hands. Olivia put her arms around the young Queen and the entourage walked back to the Citadel.

© Copyright 2010 percy goodfellow (trebor at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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