Fantasy Fiction posted September 15, 2014 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 


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The two armies advance as Allutia ponders her role.

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Born Enemies: Soon To Meet

by michaelcahill




Background
Two souls meet as humans through time. When human they are not consciously aware of their connection.
Previously, Tibertin hurriedly mustered his troops for battle. The troops from the south would arrive in roughly a day. The Persian army was on a pace to arrive at almost the same time. The slaves, having been alerted to the coming of the Persian army, prepared to join the battle with hopes of turning the tide against the Romans. Allutia agonized over her decision to tell the secret she had learned by being present as Tiberin's guest when the news was revealed. She betrayed whatever trust she held by doing so. We coninue the story now in the slave quarters as plans are made and Allutia ponders her decisions.



~~~~~~~~Slave quarters


Danaria approached Allutia, who stared above the horizon as though transfixed on some point in a cloudless sky. "You appear bewitched by a ghost in the sky, Allutia. What troubles you?"
 
"Oh, Auntie, I am confused by the speaking of my heart. It argues with itself and comes to no conclusion. I have enjoyed the company of my enemy. He extends me courtesy and I am loathe to dissuade him. My father's most reviled enemy. The enslaver of my people."
 
Danaria looked on Allutia with surprise. "Tibertin? You have made a liaison with him? I have never heard a kind utterance on his behalf cross your lips. He looks favorably upon you? How is that so?"
 
"He professes his love to me. I rebuke him with logic. The senselessness of it almost amuses me. A slave girl. Would that he knew, I am the daughter of the General that means an end to him. Would that he knew that I have betrayed him already. But, what would he have me do? Would not he, in my position, seek freedom? Would not anyone?"
 
"How long has this been the case, Allutia? I would think you might have consulted with me long ago. With your mother gone and your father far away, I am your family. Why have you not spoken of this?"
 
"I have met with him but twice and briefly at that. But, I cannot deny that there is a bond between us. I felt it the moment I beheld his gaze. I knew him. Somehow, I knew him. He lost himself in my presence. He held no air about him. He nearly fell at my feet enchanted. How is this possible? Now, I may be his undoing."
 
Danaria closed her eyes. She spoke softly, "Do you still dream child. Do you dream of things that never were? Do you dream of things that have yet to be? What do you see in his eyes?"
 
Allutia grew silent and the color drained from her face. She had learned to put her dreams from her mind. She had learned to turn a blind eye to what danced on the horizon in the empty sky. "I have seen figures on the horizon. I try not to look, but how can I not. My dreams are without meaning. Pictures of people living like animals. Pictures of animals that are not of Earth. Yet, it is all familiar somehow. But, what does any of that have to do with this."
 
"It is said that the spirit within us does not die. It becomes part of something greater. There are those that believe that some have been here before. Your mother believed that. She believed that she and I had lived together in ancient times and spoke of it. She said things that I understood, Allutia. I couldn't explain why I understood. I only knew that I did understand. I knew your mother in ancient times. I do not remember it. But, she remembered. When she spoke of it, I knew that it was true. What do your dreams tell you of Tibertin?"
 
"They tell me nothing. I dream of things that are not real. Of people that live in caves and hunt strange animals with sticks and stones. Their life is harsh and unrewarding… but…" Allutia paused and looked away.
 
"But what, my child?"
 
"There is a child that amuses the leader of the cave people. The child makes him laugh. The child laughs and finds amusement in everything. The child… the child is… "
 
"Go on, Allutia. What is it? The child is what?"
 
"The child is him. No. That is my own mind telling me foolishness. I am confused and under a great strain. My mind is playing tricks on me. Enough of this. It is all for nothing. My father comes to secure our freedom. That is real. We must be ready. Tibertin will be left to his own devices. He is clever in battle. I cannot concern myself with the well-being of my master. My place is with my people."
 

~~~~~~~Tibertin's troops on the move
 

Tibertin's troops continued a steady advance as Tibertin paused to consult with Cardasius. He unscrolled a map and laid it out on a large boulder that acted as a table. "Where do you estimate the enemy is at this point?"
 
Cardasius studied the map for a moment. "I would calculate their position to be here." He pointed to a point about two thirds of the way through the valley. "If they had any awareness of your plans of course they would be rushing forward. But, there is no way for them to anticipate such boldness on your part. If we continue on our pace, we might be in time to trap them in the valley."
 
Tibertin studied the map. He closed his eyes and cocked his head as though listening for something. "I want a small contingent of men to take a position in the mountains above the valley. Send the horns with them. Upon arrival, they are to make the signal to attack. They are to continue to travel across the mountain until they are behind the enemy and once again signal an attack. They will be safe in the mountains. They are to make no aggressive move. Simply sound the signal of attack at the two places I have indicated."
 
"But, sir, you are signaling an attack that will not come. I don't understand the purpose."
 
"The signal will cause them to react. Whatever their reaction is will not matter. It will delay them. That will ensure we will trap them in the valley." Tibertin smiled and showed great confidence in his plan.
 
Cardasius remained puzzled, but he organized the small party and sent them at the fastest possible pace to complete their task.
 
Cardasius spoke under his breath to Merackin, "He attacks with music. Does he hope the Persians will be moved to dance? Well, his ways are strange, but I cannot argue with his record of success. May the Gods favor his actions."
 

~~~~~~~The Persian troops advancing through the valley
 

Artabanus was pleased. The element of surprise had been lost. However, his troops had marched at a high rate of speed for a long time. They had moved much further through the Romans could possibly anticipate. His troops were at the ready. They would be in action much sooner than Artabanus anticipated.




 


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Continued excellent feedback has me right on track. The reviews have been excellent and most helpful. Please keep them coming. I read every word and I apologize for being behind with responses.

The horns used in these times were quite simple and some military men used them to signal troops to advance or take a particular action. Music came to early Roman culture by way of conquest. They simply took the music of the Greeks and Persians and adopted it as their own.
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