Book 2 - Text Updates 022
Captain Ford had yet to receive orders from Gobwin Knob, but he could see what needed to be done. His Chief Warlord had been captured. And although he had never been the kind of driven, control-oriented leader Ansom was, he assumed command of the remaining infantry forces immediately.
His ranger hat in hand, Ford assembled his few remaining high-level units. "I have not sought this enormous responsibility," he told them solemnly and humbly, "but I will not shirk it."
There were only fourteen heavies and one other warlord left here. On the road behind them stood six hundred nine of the column's remaining thousand and fifty infantry. Not enough for any hope of victory. These troops had only been meant as an occupation force at the captured Jetstone capital.
At their feet, the dust of comrades still sifted over Haggar's fallen fighters. He pitied the enemy croaked, more so than the dusted. Those bodies would surely depop, without ever gaining a new life and purpose. That was the greater waste.
"If the enemy attacks," he said, raising his head, "our lives shall end here. We must hope that they do." His troops looked at him in befuddlement. He shook his head. "Attack. I mean, hope that the enemy advances upon us."
As his men murmured, he pointed off in the direction of Jetstone's capital. "Above the great city of Spacerock, our Mistress is now in peril." As he spoke, he felt his voice gain confidence, heft. The troops watched him closely. "We must beseech the Titans that the enemy will give us this one chance. One opportunity to even scratch the forces which will be arrayed against her! For that, our repopped lives would be well spent!"
Some short barks of assent rose up. A sword or two was raised. Captain Ford placed his hat on his head, and swept on. "Therefore. Should the enemy attack, our order of battle shall be somewhat unorthodox. Follow closely!"
He drew his sword from its sheath on his back, and indicated the other warlord, a man with dark bangs and pointed ears. "Captain Twenty and I will each lead a max stack of our top remaining troops, split evenly. Behind that, we will have all other units at the roadside, in two reserve groups."
He walked a few steps toward the foot of the bridge, drew his sword, and pointed at it. "If the enemy advances infantry first, we will allow them to enter the hex unopposed. The led stacks must try only to engage unit types which can inflict harm upon our flyers in the city! Casters are therefore our primary target, followed by flyers, archery, and then leadership."
He lowered his sword to his side and looked at them gravely. "Not everyone was meant to stand out in legend," said Ford. "But whatever our calling, whatever our part, we must serve willingly and well. We must strive to make what mark we can. For if we fail..."
He looked into the brave eyes of his men. "Well, if we fail, may the Titans pardon us."