Tides Of Chaos Chapter 9
By John Donahue
And then the Chaos Knights charged.
At Marle's command, the crossbows and archers poured volley after volley of bolts and arrows into them. The cannons fired, plowing through the Knights. The mortars lobbed their shells deep into the enemy lines, sending them flying upon impact. Chanting arcane words of power, Magus and Schala unleashed their powers on the chargers. Still they came. Crono's regiment formed up alongside Dar's and Frog's. Tristain's was on the other side. Behind them were a few units of spearmen. The center regiment in the front lines was a unit of mounted lancers, including the King of Gaurdia, and his Battle Standard. Swords held high, the front lines met the charge. The battle was horrendous. The both sides took heavy casualties, but neither gave any ground. And then it happened. Perfectly timed alternating bolts of power from Magus and Schala dug through the Knight's lines.
Immediately after, the cannons spoke, killing several more. Then the hail of bolts and arrows came, causing yet more casualties. Then, two perfectly placed mortar shells exploded and killed at least ten thousand each. The Forces of Chaos were on the brink of total rout. Tristain, sensing this, stepped from his regiment and, sheathing the Shadowsword, reached into his boot, pulling out a dagger. Holding it high, he screamed, "BLADE STORM!" and threw it. Out of nowhere, several hundred thousand daggers appeared and cartwheeled at the Chaos lines. Each found its mark. The Knights collapsed into complete routing, and almost to a man their pursuers cut them down.
Cries of victory rang in the air. Crono stood at the head of all the regiments and held his arms up for silence. He began, saying, "Yes, we have won, but this is not the end. This is only a victory. The war is yet to be fought. The campaign is just beginning, and already many of us have fallen. This battle will be won, mark my words. But that day has not come yet. We must gather the survivors, tend the wounded, and bury the dead. This fight is as much as a loss as a victory. Look around you. The units that were once ten ranks deep are now but four. The ranks of spears were routed, and many died. If we fight another frontal assault, I don't know if we'll pull through. The only way to win this war is guerrilla fighting, surprise attacks, ambushes, and booby traps. If we try another straight fight," he gulped, "we will lose. It's as simple as that."
The ranks of survivors, once cheering, were now solemn. Then, out of nowhere, a voice rang out. "Excellent speech, Crono, but it will do you no good. Even as we speak, my forces are preparing to launch a all-out assault on your little station. We will give you one week to surrender. If at that time, you have not, you will die. Goodbye, boy, see you real soon."
Crono gulped, and spoke, "You heard the man. They attack in seven days. Get busy. Everyone help. Dar, Tristain, Frog, Ayla, Magus, Schala, Marle, Robo, back up to the White Omen. We need to conference with Lucca."
Five minutes later, they were all assembled. Lucca began, "Tristain, does his threat have any basis, since we're up here?"
He answered immediately, "Yes. The plans for the Neo-Epoch fighters were began at least a month ago. There's no telling ho many he has, but there's sure to be at least twenty, and also, work had started on bombers as well. This Station might be able to hold out, but it is unsure. We WILL, however, need to fight them ship-to-ship. How many Time Skimmers do we have?"
Lucca checked. "Five. And the White Bird requires two, so it's just enough."
"Magus and I will take the White Bird," said Schala. The rest of you divvy up the rest of the ships." She got up, and with Magus at her side, left.
"I wonder what that was all about," asked Crono rhetorically. "Still, it's better to appease her, so she and Magus'll take the White Bird. Dar, Tristain, Marle, Frog, and I will take the skimmers. Robo, you and Ayla will fly Epoch, and Lucca, you stay here, and she what you can do."
"Check," everyone said.
Over the next few days, everyone practiced. Using harmless beams of light, they were able to tag each other without hurting them. All of them got a good workout, and were very proficient at getting fighters off their tails. While they did that, Lucca worked on something none of them knew about, along with all the builders she could find.
Then, time was up.
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