Fantasy Fiction posted September 19, 2014 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Four forces converge and surprises will be the norm

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Born Enemies: Destiny's Own Time

by michaelcahill




Background
Two souls encounter each other as humans quite often. They are unaware of their strong connection when they are human.
Previously, A small child at play turned out to be the key to discovering that Tibertin had left the city unguarded. The Persian slaves easily overcame the minimal guard compliment and took the city. Tibertin's troops closed in on the valley while Artabanus's forces rushed to clear the valley. The Persian slaves decided to rush to the aid of their Persian rescuers. We join the southern Roman troops now as they make a decision as they rush to reach the city.





~~~~~~~~The southern troops returning to the city
 

Waltrian rode in front of his troops alone. He seldom consulted with any of his advisors. He found most advice to be short sighted and predictable. His ways gave no quarter to the opinions of others or to any convention of the day. It did not gain him favor with his advisors, but it elevated him to near god status in the eyes of the soldiers who saw victory emerge from certain defeat as though by magic. They had learned to follow his orders without question no matter how strange they seemed.
 
He raised his hand and the all came to a stop. He turned his steed and rode to his commanders. "We bypass the city and head to intercept the Persians enroute. Tibertin has already taken that course."
 
"But, sir, our orders… "
 
"My orders are clear, I believe. Is there anything else?"
 
He didn't wait for an answer. He turned and returned to the front. His commanders gave signals and the entire force moved forward towards the valley where Tibertin's forces raced to meet the Persian invaders. The city would have to wait for these other matters to resolve themselves.
 
Waltrian rode as though he were alone. To the very few that knew him well he would speak of visions…  battles remembered from antiquity that haunted his dreams and always, he was there… sometimes the victor, sometimes the vanquished, but always the better for having learned. Follow your heart, Tibertin, and we will emerge victorious.
 

~~~~~~~~The city formerly under Roman control
 

Allutia strode through the chambers that she had been summoned to as a slave to meet with Tibertin. She reflected now as a free woman. Perhaps this was a temporary freedom. Much that would determine that was out of her control. Forces met in a valley far away. Her fate rested in the hands of the victor. For now, her thoughts drifted to more simple things.
 
She thought of a man, her captor, master even. A man that professed his love to her. What have I done? You ride to your death perhaps. You ride to slay my father. There can be no good to come of this. She picked up a piece of pottery and smiled slightly. She recalled a flustered Tibertin in earnest discourse with it. She held it before herself. "Am I to profess my love to you? But, perhaps you are dead. Perhaps you return as my master and the murderer of my father. Do I profess my love? Yes, I do. But, Tibertin, I can never pledge myself to you. That I cannot do."
 
Dreams and images drifted through the mind of Allutia. They seldom made a lot of sense to her, but they touched her spirit. Ideas came to her as though they had been sent through time in whispers to capture from the breeze that gently tickles the neck. As though suddenly awakened, she ran to seek Artellian.
 
Artellian was in counsel with the newly formed military men that had been imprisoned for all these years. They had not forgotten their training. He saw Allutia approach and rose to greet her.
 
"Artellian. Why do we wait here in the city of our enslavement? If we are indeed free, then why do we not rush to the aid of those that come to aid us?"
 
Artellian had a look of awareness come over him. Then a look of embarrassment followed. "By the gods, you are right! Have I been enslaved for such a length of time that I know no other thing?" He approached the men at the council table. "Prepare the men for battle. We take the fight to them. This is not our city. It is time to go home. We are free."
 
Allutia spoke up. "We will not be left behind. We have no ties to this prison. We will follow and we will fight if that is what has to be. But none of us will spend another day as a slave!"
 
Artellian could see that it was not a request. "Arm all that can carry arms. Spare the lives in the city; they are but woman and children. Let them remember this kindness."

 
~~~~~~~The Persian troops in the valley
 

"Look lively now. Forward! The end of this valley is in sight. Push forward. Less than an hour's time."
 
Artabanus could hear the sound of horns continuing periodically from the rear and occasionally to the east and west in the mountains as well. His instincts caused tension at every blast of the horn. His resolve kept him at a steady forward pace with no more delays. Your tricks will not work on me Tibertin. We march straight to you. Prepare yourself. We are not swayed by your foolishness.
 

~~~~~~~The Roman troops in sight of the valley
 

"Tibertin, the valley is less than an hour's travel and still no sign of the Persians. I think your plan may have worked." Cardasius seemed surprised.
 
"This should come as no surprise, Cardasius. It is as I have planned. Are the battalions deployed to the east and west?"
 
"Yes, commander."
 
"And the horns as well?"
 
"Yes, as you have commanded. May I ask… "
 
"You may ask, yes. As I have told you. The Persians are quite familiar with horns and their purpose by now. Watch and learn. Put yourself in the place of the Persian commander. That will give you the answer. It is not only what we think, Cardasius. It is what they think as well." Tibertin looked off into the distance. "What worked once might not work a second time or a third. Each time is different. Each time has the memory of all other times to consider. Think on that."
 
All will go as planned, Allutia. I can do no other thing. Tibertin's mind flew far from the battlefield. Dreams and realities fought for a foothold in his visions. Dreams are powerful things, but realities arrive with a thick and dark oil that obscures them. Futility does not silence the heart. It only causes it to ache. Tibertin sensed victory, but it brought him no joy.

 
~~~~~~~Former Persian slaves marching to aid Artabanus
 

Artellian looked as though he had never left his mount as he rode in front of the force of former Persian slaves. Indeed, they were simply an arm of the Persian army now. They were fully armed and experienced in battle. They would not hesitate to engage their former oppressors. A sense of grim glee permeated the determined ranks that marched with a vengeance.
 
Tibertin, why do I think of you, even as my father plots your demise? Allutia rode among the troops, a general's daughter much revered by her people. Her mind drifted far away to an oasis that held a mirage. She approached the mirage and inquired of its occupant, "How is this possible?" A smiling Tibertin turned and said, "It is possible here, where the desires of the heart escape to."
 
Martius ran noisily up to her horse. "Won't they be surprised to see us?" He looked up to Allutia with wide innocent eyes that broke the spell of her daydream.
 
"Yes, brave warrior, surprised indeed." She reached down and lifted him up to ride with her. They enjoyed the wind as it wove freely through their hair.
 




 


Recognized


Four separate forces converge on one spot at different times. Victory and defeat will change hands more than once. Great input and amazing ideas. I am listening, believe me. Thank you so much. At my neighbors again. Rachel is her name. I didn't even know it yesterday!!
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