For ages weapons have been mostly swords and axes or even bows. Then came charged weapons with powder and a lead pellet. They were heavy and hard to reload so not very popular. When the smiths and alchemists got together something new was born. The weapons became lighter and made out of steel.
The alchemists were the reason. They mixed powdered ore and three different types of plants. The result was a pourable mix that turned into a hard wax that was explosive like the powder in the old weapons. It let us put the pellets and charge together to make a single round that could be loaded quickly.
From that double barreled weapons evolved and even weapons with more barrels. Finally my grandfather had an idea. Instead of many barrels that made the weapon heavy he thought of a single cylinder of chambers with one barrel. To say it was a success was an understatement. The idea exploded and he had dozens of smiths come to learn.
Before long every man in the empress’s army carried one of the new rifles ... I rode down the dry creek bed and shook my head. Above and to my right was the company. I was new and fresh out of training and assigned as one of the scouts. This was just a routine patrol a day from the border.
I turned in at a cut and kicked the horse. It went up and out and I went straight across and through the two columns where there was a gap. I was headed for the edge of the trees and shifted the revolving rifle in my lap. I saw something moving and a riderless scout horse was moving out of the shadows.
I pulled the horse to a stop and lifted the rifle, “WERE!”
Suddenly things were rushing through the trees at me. They carried longer crude rifles and fired. I aimed and fired and my horse began to dance and then screamed when it was hit. I had cocked and fired five times and my horse reared and fell to the right. I kicked free and landed hard but held onto my rifle.
I spun and went prone as I used my thumb to open the loading gate on the left side. I pulled bullets and pushed them into the cylinder while turning it. Once it was reloaded I closed the gate and aimed. The company was firing and the orcs were going down but they just kept coming out of the trees.
I spun when I heard the bugle and rose to a knee. Sommerland cavalry were charging out of the trees to the rear with rifles up. They charged the company and I began to aim and fire. The lead officer went over the side and fell and then the next and the next and ... I dove and rolled away when a orc leaped and tried to use the butt of the rifle in his hands.
I let the rifle go as I came to my feet and pulled the saber on my left hip. I lunged and sank the blade into its gut and twisted and ripped it free and slashed to the right. I cut another’s throat and kicked to the left and into one more. I heard screams and yells as I continued to fight and after the orcs fled it was the Sommerland soldiers.
Before I knew it I was mixed in where the company had been. Dead men were everywhere and there were only a couple of dozen Sommerland left. I had a moment when I was free and knelt and grabbed a rifle. When I began to fire they broke and ran and only six of us were left and I was the only one not wounded.
I searched for the captain and found his body trapped under a dead horse. I knelt and pulled the mage amulet out of his shirt. I placed my bloody thumb on the gem in the middle, “this is private Sanders. We have been ambushed by orcs and the Sommerland cavalry. Only six of us are left and five are wounded.”
It was a minute before the air shimmered above the amulet and a face peered at me. It blinked and nodded, “hold. The border posts are coming.”
I nodded and the face vanished and I looked around. If the orcs or Sommerland returned we would die. I helped the wounded back into the dry creek bed and then began catching horses. Finally I went to get my rifle and search all of the dead. I took their rifles and ammo and set them on the lip of the creek.
I also took the captain’s pistol and then began to search the Sommerland dead. I added their rifles to one side and took their captain’s engraved pistol and saber. I checked on the wounded and they were resting. There was not a lot I could do for them except give them water and cover them with a blanket.
Just because there was nothing else to do but wait I went to search the orcs. I brought their crude rifles back with belts of ammo. Next I checked each and every rifle quickly and reloaded them. I sat to drink water and looked at the enemy captain’s horse when it snorted. I froze before leaping up and looking over the edge of the creek.
Orcs were moving out of the trees and I moved to the left and picked up the first rifle. I cocked and fired and kept it up until it was empty. I dropped it and grabbed the next as the wounded struggled up and staggered to help. We moved down the line as the orcs charged and then a platoon of Sommerland soldiers.
Those we killed as fast as we could and the enemy was almost to us when I pulled out my bloody saber and one of the pistols. I leaped up and rolled and came to my feet in time to meet the first orc. I fought savagely and hacked and cut and stabbed and shot until I heard the bugle. The orcs turned to flee with the few Sommerland soldiers still alive.
Two full companies of cavalry charged while firing rifles and the enemy died before they reached the trees. I slowly knelt and then turned to look at the wounded men that had continued to fire the rifles. Only one was still standing, the rest had died or collapsed. I struggled to my feet and slowly staggered down to help those still alive.
That was where the colonel found me. I was covered with blood from my head to my feet. I had managed to wipe my saber clean before putting it away and tucked both empty officer pistols under my belt. The sergeant major swung down as I tried to stand and only fell. He bent to pull me up and I held his shoulder and looked at the colonel, “I tried to stop them sir.”
He snorted and then shook his head, “son you did more than any man could hope for.”
We buried the fallen over the next couple of days and dug a huge pit for the enemy and covered them as best we could. I kept the enemy captain’s pistol, saber and horse as well as our captain’s pistol. I also kept a second rifle and the mage amulet. We were at war and all of her majesty’s army was on the way to the border.
For my actions I was given the empress’s medal of valor and a promotion to sergeant and with it a barony. Of course right then I only cared about killing the soldiers in Sommerland and any orcs I found. I finished cleaning the enemy captain’s saddle and equipment and brushing down the horse.
He had been as bad as I thought, when I saw the bit in the horse’s mouth I was pissed and removed it. I made the horse a promise to never use a bit again. I looked at the party of officers and mages crossing to the corral. I had finally been reassigned to a new company and asked to be a scout which the captain had agreed to.
We were scheduled to leave for the regiment assembly point the next day. I came to attention as the officers got close and saluted the general. He returned it and glanced at the horses and then the saddles lined up on the top bar of the fence, “sergeant I have a request from the empress.”
His face reddened as he glanced back and one of the mages moved up. He bowed, “actually her majesty was answering the request of two of our daughters that live close to here.”
He glanced back at the post headquarters building, “Senira and Akara saw your image from the amulet. They have requested the right to claim you as their mate.”
I blinked and reddened, “they want me?”
He smiled, “apparently they have an understanding and a vison.”
I looked at the post headquarters and finally shrugged, “okay but I am still going out to fight the enemy.”
The general chuckled, “you have earned that right.”
They walked to the gate and I turned to hold out the last carrot to my horse. She was more than eager to accept it and I rubbed the side of her face before I headed for the sergeants quarters. When I opened the door into my room it was to find two teenage girls. One had long red hair and the other had short brown hair.
They were both wearing long split skirts with dark shirts opened to below their breasts. They shifted as I closed the door, “and you would be the two girls that want to claim me as your mate.”
They nodded and the red head cleared her throat, “I am Senira and this is Akara. We are bond sisters.”
I looked at my bags that were already packed and the four extra piled with them, “Gab.”
Senira moved towards me, “have you eaten?”
I shook my head and Akara walked to the door and smiled, “you will need your strength.”
Senira smirked as she looked after her, “or we will.”
Akara laughed and I blushed as I realized what they were talking about. They pulled me out and we went to see the cook and ate. After we finished we walked to the horse corral and stood watching the horses while they told me about themselves. Finally Senira caught my hand and pulled, “we need your bed Gab.”
I blushed and let her lead me back to my room. When Akara closed the door Senira turned and looked at me as she began to undress. I slowly took my clothes off while watching her and staring at her body. When Akara pressed her naked body against me I jerked in surprise and she gave me a push to the bed and Senira.
.... There is more of this story ...