A silver-armored man gazed down on the milling mass of soldier beneath him. He had long since abandoned his helmet, chilled ice cold by the intense rain. The droplets had whipped through the plains, stopping the advances of either side- wiping clean the slate of combat. Each side retreated, treating their wounded, and cursing their infernal luck.
"General Altos!" A young man, a lieutenant, slipped and scurried his way up the steep hill. Altos had ascended the hill without a thought, but others were not quite as limber as he. "Altos, sir!
Altos glanced at the lieutenant. "Yes, soldier, what is it?"
"We've obtained a general idea as to their numbers, sir. It looks as if our original estimations were overly optimistic. They have a hundred thousand soldiers, General. That's four times ours."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, General." The man shifted uncomfortably. "We cannot hold against such numbers, sir." A pause. "The men are growing restless, even without knowing the odds. There's been talk of desertion. No one here wants to die, and, honestly, our reason for fighting seems a bit weak." Altos was silent for a long while. The lieutenant shifted again. "Sir?"
"I will speak to them. Do not falter in your efforts, lieutenant. Any and all information you can obtain on our enemies is both useful and valued. You are dismissed."
The lieutenant bowed, and staggered back down the hill. Altos looked over his shoulder, to his hastily erected tent. A horse stood there, tied to a post. Inside, his second in command and brother waited. The other man met Altos' gaze intently. There was nothing else to do.
Altos gathered his energy, and painfully made his way to the edge of the hill. He was not injured, physically. The battle had been long, and the sacrifices great, and now he learned that it was all for naught. He was not as young as he had once been, either. His arm shook, but he stilled it through sheer will.
"Soldiers!" Altos roared. His voice carried over the practically flat land, causing all the various people below him to suddenly freeze and turn their gazes to him. "To me!"
With all attention on him, Altos stepped onto the side of the hill, and descended to the camp. Whispers and looks all hissed all around him. The General rarely descended from his tent during times of 'peace'. He spent the time planning, and thinking. For him to be walking through the common soldier's camp was rare indeed.
He made his way to a scaffold of sorts, where messengers and merchants spoke and traded. Took one heavy step after another, up the creaking wooden steps. He turned to face the crowd. He took in their features, their defeated, bleak looks, and made his decision. They would fight, no matter the cost.
"Comrades! I have recently been informed of our enemy's numbers." He was cut off by murmurings and shifty glances. "They far outnumber us! A hundred thousand men!"
He was stopped again, this time by outraged cries and moans of fear. He persevered. "We are tired, cold. Our muscles sore, our minds weary. You wish to flee, and I would accompany you without hesitation." This statement brought another round of muttering.
"I would leave with you, if only I were able! To abandon this cause of ours and retreat to safety! I would gladly flee!" The rain continued to fall, pouring onto his face, soaking his grey-streaked hair. "This, I would do, and do it happily."
He raised a hand. "But consider why we are here! We are not here for some baseless purpose. We are not here on the whim of some warlord or prince. No! We are here for a far nobler cause!"
There were no more unhappy sounds from the crowd of bedraggled soldiers. They were staring at him with almost [I]hungry[/I] looks on their faces.
"I have come here, today, in the hopes of ending a conflict which has long since run its course! A war which has torn families apart, ripped men from their homes, and crushed the souls of those left behind."
His voice continued to rise. "We are here, not because of our own reasons, but because we will not stand these horrors any longer! WE WILL NOT LET OUR ENEMY DESTROY US AND ALL WE STAND FOR!"
A fierce light burned in Altos' eyes. "My friends! We are here to protect our families, our livelihoods, and our world itself! Will we abandon our position simply because we are outmatched? NO! We will stand here, and hold our lines! We will fight! Take heart in your purpose, men! Show the enemy that your courage cannot be denied! We will fight! And we will win!"
It was hastily created and even more so delivered, but Altos' army bellowed approval. They stomped their feet, banged swords on shields, and shouted.
As if on cue, the sun peeked out of the clouds, shining down on the silver army. Altos had not even realized that the rain had stopped.
"Are you with me, comrades? Will you give me the honor of fighting alongside you?" As the sun shone down onto his face, and the sound of victory filled the air, he heard the answer before it came. Slow and disjointed at first, but then more and more powerful.
"YES! YES! WE WILL FIGHT!"
-Definitely one of my weaker works. I wrote it at midnight and so it isn't really that good. It's just a little bit I wanted to write, like a general giving the most inspiring speech imaginable to his troops. Yes, I know it isn't really that inspirational but that's because there isn't a story to inspire with, nor will there be.
-It's a one shot. No more is coming.
Hope you enjoyed.