|Min of the Mark
Author: Do Play With Fire PM
In the event of an invasion, a group of teens are ripped from their homes and forced to stand and fight against one of the most formidable opponents, an empire that is yet to lose a war.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 28 - Words: 44,435 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-26-12 - Published: 07-12-12 - id: 3041295
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
These twenty white stallions were the finest bred stallions in the entire Empire, and they were now being put to use. The great General Markus Scipio knew that the barbarian horses were not as good and fast as these twenty. The General often boasted that these stallions were the best stallions in the world, and they were now going to be set out on the three remaining youths from northern Gardlens.
Their riders were only trained for cavalry and the occasional manhunts that Imperial troops sometimes had to go on. The manhunts were the main emphasis of their training, and it was what they most enjoyed. Their mission was to bring back the three remaining youths from northern Gardlens alive and ripe for torture and death by the General and Empress's hands. The General and Empress had come to a compromise. The Empress could kill that accursed Mark girl in revenge only if the General could kill the two boys.
The riders set out, and the General watched with glee as the riders flew off at a tremendous pace in the distance. They were unstoppable, and they would achieve what they had set out to do. The Mark girl would finally be dead along with her pet boy and the brown haired one.
Commander Cato was the leader of the riders, and he was very happy. He could finally do his real job, the one that he had been training all of his thirty-seven years of life for. He was the best rider, and he hoped to one day be the General of the Imperial army, although he doubted that he would ever be. It was more likely that he would die before General Scipio died or retired.
He rode, and the landscape melted underneath the hooves of his fine stallion. He had to admit that he had been impressed by the landscape of Gardlens. It had beautiful colors and radiant skies and grass, but it would be great farmlands, and it just had to have many natural resources to be exploited underneath its soil.
He could see the tracks in the grass and smiled. The barbarian children were not very far off. They would be overtaken shortly, probably within a day. Then he would be victorious and bring himself, his family, and city honor. The General would be pleased, and he would be put in the running to be the next General, given that he lived that long, but what kind of assumption was that? He was an Imperial officer. He was unstoppable.
He pushed the horses and riders on the same pace throughout the duration of the day and the night. He knew that the barbarians would stop to rest, and by the light of dawn, he found the traces of a burned out campfire and the prints in the grass of sleeping people. They would overtake the barbarians quickly.
Joarsha knew what was happening. He heard the echo of hoof beats in the land. He knew that they were coming. He knew that they could not outrun them, but they could still try.
"Streak," he said. "We are being tracked by the finest imperial riders in the entire army. They are riding on the finest stallions in the empire. Make our horses go faster."
"How did you know that I am a Listener?"
"You have a calming effect on animals, which is the complete opposite of what you have on people. I am also a Listener of the land. I know what goes on in it. I can be more omniscient than you think."
Min nodded and cast her mind out into the minds of the horses, and she was reminded with a burst of speed and lots of complaining. The horses were already exhausted. Going faster was not going to help them in the slightest bit. Min knew this, but their lives depended on it. They needed to hurry.
Min looked at Ander, and she knew that Ander did not have the will to make his horse go any faster. She cast her mind out to the horse, and Ander's horse suddenly had a burst of speed. Ander's expression changed from one of sadness to shock to sadness. Although Min knew that he was aware of the oncoming threat, he did not seem to care. There was something wrong with him. A part of him had been missing since Gwyneth's death, and Min doubted that they would be able to get it back.
"We cannot outrun them!" Joarsha shouted to her.
"No we cannot," Min agreed. "But for your and Ander's safety, we can try!" Their pace quickened even more.
Commander Cato examined the tracks from his seat on his stallion. The strides were longer. The horses' paces had quickened. How did they know that they were being tracked? Commander Cato had heard of the tangled history of the royal family of Gardlens, and he cursed. It was the Mark girl's pet boy.
The Commander made his riders quicken their pace. Those barbarian horses would tire soon enough, and then he would catch them and bring them back to the Imperial camp. How the General would be proud of him. He would be rewarded greatly. He would get some sort of medal, and Commander Cato wondered what it would be.
He rode faster and faster. They were gaining on them quickly. Victory was in the air. It would not be long now, and Commander Cato would be remembered for centuries as the Commander who finally captured the Mark girl and her barbarian comrades. He smiled when he saw three silhouettes on the horizon.
Joarsha looked back and swore. The Imperial soldiers were definitely gaining on them. He could now see them silhouetted on the horizon, and he could feel his horse tiring beneath him. When the Enthöniens caught up to them, they would be forced to stand and fight. It would be another battle, and Joarsha would be forced to kill again. He was sick and tired of killing. It was so wrong.
He saw Min look behind too, and she cursed under her breath. Joarsha felt his horse jolt forward in an attempt to go faster, but then it fell back to an even slower pace. The horses were exhausted. It was a miracle that they were able to still keep galloping relentlessly. How long could they keep going?
The imperial soldiers came closer and closer. Min could see the individual horses and riders all riding. She could even detect the same look in their eyes, victory. They were ready to overtake them, ready to fight them, ready to capture or kill them. Min looked at Joarsha and nodded. Then she turned her horse around. It was time to fight, and Min was ready to kill.
Min charged into the oncoming troops violently. She now could see fear in their eyes. They had heard of the barbarian Mark girl. They knew that she could fight better than any of them dared think. They had heard that one of the soldiers in their army started a rumor believing that she was the war goddess Bellona. They of course did not believe it. It was impossible.
Streak's sword's pierced their armor easily and quickly. The troops barely had time to attempt to defend themselves against her. She was a killing machine, and she found a strange feeling of pleasure in what she did. It made her feel like she had power over them. It gave her a sense of superiority.
Min saw Ander. He was not fighting as well as he could. He still looked sad and depressed. What was his problem? Did he want to be killed, because that was what it seemed like? His strokes were slow and heavy. It would not be long before he was overwhelmed. Min swore under her breath. She was going to need to help him, and she did not necessarily want to. Out of all of them, Ander had always been her least favorite, but he still was part of Gardlens, and it was wrong for him to die.
Streak rushed toward the soldiers that were fighting Ander. They were good. It was a miracle that Ander had been able to hold them off for so long, but they were afraid of her, and Streak knew it. She took advantage of the fear. She smiled at them maliciously, and she angled herself in such a way that her fiery hair and golden eyes caught the light giving her an unnatural aura. This terrified the soldiers, but not Commander Cato.
Commander Cato saw the Mark girl attack his other soldiers in order to save the barbarian boy. This angered him. He had lost half of his soldiers because of her, and another tenth of them to the black haired and blue-eyed barbarian boy. It was time that he had some success, even if it meant being unnaturally bold. He had a plan.
Commander Cato rode forward at a tremendous pace. He threw his arm out sideways even though he knew that there was a huge risk of getting it cut off by the Mark girl, but it did not matter. It was the only way for him to accomplish what he had just decided to do, and he had made up his mind to do it. Commander Cato grabbed the brown haired barbarian boy.
Commander Cato yanked the barbarian boy right off of his saddle. He clubbed him with the butt of his sword, and the boy was knocked unconscious. He spread the boy out over his saddle and began to ride back toward the Imperial army camp, and gave the order for his troop to move out. They did not have enough soldiers to get the Mark girl and her pet boy, but they did have enough soldiers to capture the other boy. In a way they were victorious, but they still had failed in the ultimate mission.