"2112: a new tomorrow" (a work in progress) beast

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by beast, May 27, 2011.


  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ch 1, the aftermath
    The once proud and bustling cities of earth are desolate and mainly deserted. The large iron and concrete buildings are still standing but mostly empty and decaying. A few survivors, the
    strongest and most resourceful, live in the very inner and lower portions where its warmer. The upper floors, where the windows are mostly gone, are used for gathering birds and keeping watch. The rooftops shelter and protect small container gardens, very carefully guarded
    and tended so that there is some food for the resident gang.
    The exposed skeletons of what used to be steel buildings are everywhere, stripped of the
    sheet steel that used to make up their roofs and sides. Sheet steel, several layers thick, slows and
    sometimes stops bullets. Most of this steel went into building fortifications, some for small
    shacks, that usually wound up holding only new casualties. Eventually to be torn down and reused somewhere else.
    The majority of the wooden buildings have been stripped down and burnt for heat or extra
    fortifications. Dead, useless vehicles, abandoned wherever they died when the fuel ran
    out, sit in random places, slowly rusting away. Packs of feral dogs and the surviving remnants of
    inner city gangs roam what's left, competing with coyotes and other wildlife, all constantly
    foraging for food and anything useable.
    here and there are compounds where a few survivalist minded groups have managed to
    hold their own. Their own hard-earned and learned, self-sufficiency letting them remain. Totally
    enclosed in barricades of wire, stone, brick or piled iron scraps. Protected by constantly vigilant
    marksmen, who's job is keeping the hordes on the outside.
    the occasional attacks used to be repelled with gunfire early on, now, that the ammo has
    run out, they use crossbows and compound bows, slings and slingshots, throwing rocks and the
    occasional homemade grenade, even spears are used. in other places we see the remains of
    compounds that didn't survive that one last assault, barricades torn down, inner buildings
    stripped or burned. No signs of life remaining other than nature reclaiming the space as her own.
    greenery has taken over large parts of the old concrete jungle, trees, grass and weeds have
    busted up much of the roads and sidewalks, once manicured lawns are now small jungles, deer,
    rabbits and other creatures of the wild roam the routes of yesterdays commuters.
    no longer is this mans world, nature has retaken it, man has returned to being just another
    small piece of the never ending cycle of natural life.
     
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  2. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Ch 2, the end of the world
    in the early two thousands, the rich and powerful were so busy making sure they got
    richer, so cocksure that the poor and working class were well under their control, they let things
    go as they were, still pushing so that they had more wealth, uncaring about the 'lower' classes.
    when people get hungry they forget the rules, when they see their children suffer from cold and
    starvation they open their eyes and close their fists.
    The world economy sagged, then nearly collapsed. first crime started escalating in the
    private sectors, then stores were robbed, then people were being killed just for the food they may
    have had on hand. the inner cities quickly became battle zones, the 'have-nots' against the
    'haves'. Children that were raised always getting what they wanted, never having been told no,
    grew into adults that just 'took' what they wanted. It was their right to do so. big cities like
    Detroit, NYC and Chicago had always been rotten in the innermost core so people ignored it, it
    was just something that happened, these areas were well known seats of crime, it wasn't their
    concern. As always, the people left all responsibility to the govt, they would fix it someday, or at
    least keep it contained.
    A new group of people began growing and making themselves known, 'Survivalists'.
    They did their best to learn old world skills and crafts, to pass and share info with others of their
    kind. Their group had been around for years but they were usually considered extremists and
    flakes. Some people started to pay attention to them. Their numbers grew. There were even TV
    shows dedicated to survivalism.
    The govt watched. Quietly.
    In the USA, the gap between the rich and the poor grew. the working class was losing their jobs to cheap overseas labor. They started losing their homes and waved good bye to their ways of life.
    the rich and the politicians kept on getting more isolated, sheltering behind pretty new fortresses
    paid for with tax dollars. the working class got poorer, more inner cities became war zones.
    politicians seeing a threat to their way of life, made new laws, slowly stripping away the
    rights of the working class, calling for martial law, putting the workers in virtual thralldom.
    life marched on. The inner city war zones grew and multiplied.
    Around the world, terrorism and religious driven wars were on the rise. Without income, the Americans bought less and less, soon every other county was feeling the crunch too.
    the weather had become completely unstable due to pollution from the constant growth of
    civilization, and the disposable lifestyle of the last 70 years. hurricanes were more and more
    frequent and violent, tornadoes were coming in multiples, once dormant volcanoes were
    regurgitating ash and lava all over the world, earthquakes shook and rattled every part of the
    globe. food crops were poor and prices for them climbed. The govt ceased all programs assisting
    the victims of natural disaster, it took too much of the precious wealth away from where they
    wanted to spend it.
    pirates popped up everywhere, on land as well as at sea. the more they stole, the higher
    went the prices. oil prices climbed to world record highs, driving energy, delivery and production
    costs up, wages were cut with govt help, supposedly to keep prices down but really just so the
    rich could get a bigger percentage. insurance and utility rates reached an all time high. Once well
    off families were now becoming poor.
    Still feeling they were above the people and should keep them in control, politicians
    made more laws, taking away more rights and freedoms. It became illegal to speak your mind at
    all. many American freedoms were lost during those years.
    by 2015 the gangs of Detroit had had enough, they were cold, hungry, tired of living in
    poverty, while others near by in the suburbs, were sitting comfortably in warmth and safety with
    never empty bellies. the inner city warfare erupted through whole city then out into the
    surrounding suburbs.
    the homes of the well to do in Detroit suburbs were ravaged first, all occupants killed. it was on
    the news for everyone to see, the govt proclaiming it was just a case of random terrorist violence.
    politicians, looking for a scapegoat, blamed the survivalist groups for making people
    scared and declared them a new type of terrorist. they offered rewards for any info on them and a
    few were turned in by their supposed friends and neighbors. the survivalist groups quickly
    vanished, gone to ground in their prearranged retreats. all activity on their part seeming to cease.
    The populace, thinking the govt had taken care of things as always, went about with their
    blinders back in place and settled down and let themselves be herded along a while longer.
    Not long after Detroit erupted, Chicago gangs did the same, followed shortly by NYC,
    then London, Paris, Moscow and Hongkong. Like dominoes set to tumble, one after another,
    every large city in the world became a war zone, the poor killing the rich.
    the soldiers of the world began leaving their posts to rejoin and help their families to
    survive. Soon it was a mass exodus. Without a military for strength as back up, The major governments
    soon collapsed, the smaller ones just ceased to exist. money became worthless, world wide, the
    entire economic system took a dump. The only recognized borders were those held by stronger
    groups banding together for survival.
    the city gangs were starving, the fighting amongst themselves slowly turned to a mutual
    need for food, they joined forces and the fighting moved outward, into the countryside. The first
    few farms succumbed easily, the rest, forewarned, fought fiercely. it soon became an all out war,
    farmers and rural land owners joined together, fighting the gangs, groups of farmers and land
    owners would band together, working like the old minutemen, ready to come fight when called.
    The survivalist groups came out of hiding, some worked with the local farmers and
    helped organize these small militia type groups, some kept to themselves inside their own little
    fortresses and were left alone to fight the gangs on their own.
    The battles were brutal, no prisoners taken. The farmers, more at home in country surroundings,
    with the help of military trained survivalists, managed to hold their own. The gangs from the city
    were driven back into the cities.
    The gangs, severely defeated and starving, resorted to cannibalism in desperation. from
    that point on there was no hope of civilization, as it was, resurfacing anytime soon. At least not
    as far as the cities were concerned.
    The farm groups, farmers, land owners and all who worked with them, started little
    communities of their own, semi-feudal in nature, the area was divided into districts that the
    members of that district had to patrol and farm so that they could trade and share with other
    districts. One elected leader oversaw each district and was the judge in any disputes. All able-
    bodied adults in each district were on call for defense of the district and, if needed, the
    neighboring ones.
    Small, somewhat friendly and interactive, tribes were now formed. The city gangs rarely
    came out in force, just the occasional raiding party that was easily defeated so the tribes never
    joined as one again. Without electricity, TVs, radios or means of quick or mass communication,
    each tribe became isolated and drifted apart. The original tribe members having died off, replaced
    by younger members that weren't always taught, why the world was as it now is. Each tribe
    protected its own boundaries and eventually, each grew to the point they needed more land.
    Tribe began fighting tribe.
     
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  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Ch 3, kalah
    it's a cool, clear, bright, spring morning, the snow is finally all gone, along with the bitter
    winter cold, and everything is greening up nicely. A few of the early wild flowers are in bloom,
    crocus and hyacinth add bright splashes of color to the green. Everything is calm and serene, a
    deer walks slowly through the glade, sniffing the air, a rabbit hops out into the little clearing and
    nibbles some clover, birds dance in the early morning rays warming themselves happily while
    they sing and gather twigs for nest building. Nature is alive and well.
    Hidden by the fresh green leaves, Kalah lays stretched along a tree branch, eyes barely
    open as she comes awake, listening to all the sounds around her. Carefully she sorts them out and
    identifies each one, wanting to be sure there is nothing or no one she has to fear near by.
    Once done she takes a slow deep breath through her nose, checking the air also for signs
    of danger or hidden enemies. Now she opens her eyes and does a visual check, focusing on every
    branch, twig or blade of grass that moves. Seeing her actions and how she starts her day, one
    would think she was being hunted.
    Finished with her scrutiny and feeling secure that she is safe, for the moment, she lightly
    drops down from her nights perch to the ground, where she ducks down low and repeats the
    entire scan of her surroundings one more time.
    Finally, fully convinced that she is indeed alone, she stands and relaxes just a tiny bit, still
    always paying attention to her surroundings in a semi-conscious automatic instinctual way.
    We see a beautiful young girl, firm, strong, healthy, fairly well muscled that moves with
    the grace and ease of someone used to physical activity, she appears to be around 17-21, her
    exposed breasts are fully developed and her hips have that bit of wideness that comes with
    having had a child, she is dressed in a plain leather skirt of sorts, one squarish flap in front and
    one slightly longer one in back hung from her hips on a leather thong that is tied around her. Also
    on this thong is a sheath carrying a knife and a pouch with a closed top flap. Her hair, braided
    into a long tail, is a deep dark brown and hangs down to just above her ass. the only jewelry she
    has on is a necklace of teeth and claws. Her skin is a nicely tanned brown with no tan lines
    showing, even as her skirt flaps shift to the sides.
    She digs into a clump of brush nearby and extracts a long handmade wooden bow which
    she quickly strings and sets crossways over her chest by simply shoving her head and right arm
    and shoulder through between bow and string. She digs a little more and brings out a quiver
    filled with long handmade arrows, each one fletched with a different color feather. the quiver is
    soon hung over her shoulder in the opposite direction of the bow. One last time she searches in
    the weeds and brings out an iron tipped spear.
    This spear is unique, different from any other she has seen, it was the last one her father
    had made before the village she had lived in was attacked and destroyed. The whole spear is
    longer than the tallest man in the tribe, almost half again his height. just the head is longer than
    her lower arm and hand together. Near the open end of the socket that the wooden shaft mounts
    in, there is a separate piece mounted on a swivel, it can be turned so that it disappears along the
    main shaft or set crossways on the shaft. To throw this spear takes a very strong arm and she is
    glad of the time her father spent teaching her to do this, but this spear has so many other uses.
    With the 'bar' set crossways it can be safely used for hunting wild boar or even with the butt
    planted in the ground you can very easily dehorse a mounted warrior. If you are on horseback its
    design lets you use it like a lance, the balance for that was something her father worked long and
    hard on.
    She stands quietly for moment, looks of pain traveling over her face as she remembers
    the attack. People screaming, huts and houses burning, children and women being bound together
    and lead off. Men being killed even if they surrendered. Her father died fighting, eighteen dead
    attackers lay at his feet when the arrows finally took him down. She stayed long enough to see
    the great war hammer he loved to fight with slip from his nerveless fingers. She quickly and
    quietly slipped out the tunnel under the house and ran with the things she had with her.
    She cried and ran silently for two days before exhaustion claimed her. She hid in a hollow
    tree, lived there for a week before she decided it was safe to hunt and look around. Everything
    she had right now, she had carried through the tunnel and kept with her, this was all she had left
    of her family.
    Her father had been the village smith, loved and respected, both for his craft and his
    fighting ability, a large strong man, he had made her learn to fight and how to make her own
    weapons. He had even taught her a few other skills for surviving in the wild, many and often
    were the times he'd take her out into the wild to hunt, camp and forage. She also learned to track
    and trail and to dress out her own kill and tan the hides. She was glad her father had taught her so
    much even though it made her miss him more.
    .she extends her spear easily up into the tree and slips the point through the strap on a bag
    hanging in the branches. Lifting easily the strap comes off the branch and slides down the shaft to
    her waiting hands. This is her food bag. She reaches up the tree once more and retrieves her
    water bottle the same way. Smiling and happy to be free, she sits with her back to the tree she
    spent the night in and enjoys a quiet meal of dried bread, hard cheese and jerked meat washed
    down with warm water.
    Two weeks had passed since the massacre, two very lonely fearful weeks. How she
    missed her dad and wished he had just escaped with her. It was bad enough her mother and
    brother had died when she was small of some nasty fever, but dad had always been there, her
    strength and security. Without him she had no one.
    Her meager breakfast finished she stands, slings her food bag and ware bottle over her
    shoulders, picks up her spear and walks off in the direction the sun is going. hopefully she will
    find a tribe that will take her in. Preferably as a warrior and blacksmith, not just a possible baby
    factory.
    She was a long ways from being the smith her father was, but growing up alone with just
    him as a parent she had spent most of her time acting as his apprentice. She knew more than most
    of the journeyman smiths she'd seen come visit and work with her father for training. She had
    every confidence that she could and would, someday, be a master smith like her father. She just
    needed time and practice
    The sun felt so good in the little clearing, she really hated walking into the shade of the
    surrounding forest, but she needed a new tribe and not one that just came and took her forcibly. It
    was definitely cooler in the shade, the spring sun had yet to heat the soil completely. Her feet
    were feeling the chill and, not for the first time, she wished she had grabbed her boots on her way
    out. her feet would toughen up soon and she would be fine.
    The twigs, leaves and brush were no big deal but the cold and the occasional thorn
    irritated and could cause problems. Maybe she could make her own boots or moccasins, she had
    seen it done before, her father had made tools for the shoemaker, who once showed dad how they
    worked. But wooden soled shoes would be cumbersome in the woods. Moccasins are what she
    needed. She just needed to kill an animal big enough to get the good hide from.
    A deer would be nice! She had let one pass beneath her totally unmolested this morning.
    Pure foolishness on her part. That won't happen again.
    "Its not just paying attention that keeps you alive, its thinking ahead". She could hear her
    fathers voice in her memory, lecturing her on survival. At least she will always carry her
    memories of him and his lessons. "Someday I will teach my own children the same," she says to
    herself.
    Following a game trail quietly through the woods, she comes to one that crosses it. This
    new trail has fresh deer spoor, a nice big buck by the look of the prints. She follows the new trail
    without hesitation, maybe she can have a 'big' lunch and some new boots! Possibly even a
    jacket, it really wasn't any too warm out yet for going about or sleeping half naked.
    She moves forward silently but quickly, watching closely where each foot lands, careful
    to make no noise at all. She comes to a bend in the path and peers around the corner cautiously.
    There, not more than thirty feet away, the huge buck stands drinking from a small rill.
    She doesn't take time to think or get her bow and an arrow, she reverses her grip on the
    spear, shifts her weight as she cocks her arm and launches the spear all in one smooth seamless
    motion. The spear flies straight and true, penetrating the deers left shoulder just behind the neck.
    The deer jumps and turns in mid air then lands and crumples to the ground, dead.
    Kalah rushes in pulling her knife out of its sheath as she goes. She rolls the big buck over
    and very quickly castrates it then proceeds with opening up its belly to remove the internal
    organs. she cuts the heart and liver free, removing the gal bladder and slices off a bite of the still
    warm liver before setting it aside. She pulls out the intestines and squeezes out their contents,
    these she will save for holding preserved meat.
    She quickly and deftly uses her knife to peel the hide off of the steaming carcass, trying
    not to leave any scraps or fat on the hide and not to put any holes or make weak spots in it. She
    removes all the hide except for the lower legs, the tail and the head.
    She has another big bite of the still steaming liver then lays the hide out flat on the
    ground. She carefully cuts around the shoulder cutting it free and tosses it on the hide. Then she
    carefully cuts the entire left hindquarter free and adds it to the pile, she slices along the spine
    from two angles and lifts the tenderloin cut and tosses it too onto her pile. Now she rolls the
    carcass over and does the same on the other side, she adds the heart and liver to this pile of
    steaming meat then bundles the hide up around it. She pulls a leather thong out of one of her
    pouches and ties the hide bundle shut. She grunts as she lifts the bag of meat and lays it over her
    shoulder. She resembles a primitive Santa Claus, carrying a fur covered, leather toy sack, as she
    grabs the severed deer head by an antler and wades upstream barely managing her very heavy
    burden. Its been less than 20 minutes since she made the kill but the denizens of the wild won't
    wait for a chance at what she left behind.
    She moves upstream a few hundred feet to a small clearing she finds. She drops her heavy
    load and starts gathering wood for a fire. She also cuts off several long straight saplings and
    drags them to the center of the clearing. She uses her bow and an untipped arrow from her quiver
    to start her fire. Then with some vines she'd collected and occasionally bits of grass twisted into
    a rope, she ties the saplings together into a drying frame for jerking her meat.
    She keeps the fire low and as smokeless as she can, not wanting to draw anyone's
    attention. She opens the bundled hide and starts cutting the meat for drying, once in a while still
    biting off chunks of the fresh liver and eating it. She knows it wont keep so she will enjoy it now
    and save the keep able stuff for later.
    Her little camp is close to the small creek she followed in and she washes each chunk of
    meat good before hanging it to dry. She wishes she had brought a bag of salt along when she ran.
    Nothing cures and preserves meat like salt.
    She spends the next few hours cutting, washing and hanging the meat to dry while slowly
    consuming the now cool liver. She notices it is getting towards evening and stops to collect more
    wood for the fire. She cuts and collects a bunch more saplings and vines too, seeing as she is only
    about half done cutting up her meat, she figures she will make a decent and safe camp here for a
    few days.
    Once she is satisfied with her wood pile she starts building a stick-picket fence around
    her camp. She pokes saplings into the ground a foot apart in a circle about twenty feet across.
    Then starting at the bottom she weaves in smaller saplings until she has a solid fence over 5 feet
    tall all the way around her camp with the uprights continuing up another 2 to 3 feet. On the side
    facing the water she left a small opening that she closed off with a matt of woven branches and
    tied in place with vines.
    Now it is nearly totally dark out but she goes back to work cutting up her venison. When
    she has several pounds cut and ready she slips out her gate and washes it then returns to hang it
    and cut more. Even the heart was cut into thin slices and dried. By sunup she was done cutting
    but the meat was far from done, she tasted the liver and noticed it was already starting to smell.
    She tossed it out into the woods and had some of her previously dried meat and cheese.
    She picked up a rock she found near the stream and used it to crush the dead deers skull.
    She quickly inspects the hide and makes sure it is clean of any meat or fat then rubs it down good
    with handfuls of clean dry sand. She shakes the dirt off then begins rubbing the deers brains into
    the exposed backside of the hide. Working patiently to be sure every square inch is treated.
    She makes a new large, open frame and, using strips of hide cut carefully from the edges,
    she stretches the hide on this frame to dry without shrinking. She uses an awl from her pouch to
    poke holes along the edges and laces the raw strips of hide around the frame then through the
    holes. Round and round she runs the lacing, keeping it as tight as she can.
    Soon she is done and goes outside of her camp for more wood. She refills her water bottle
    and takes a few minutes to empty her bladder and bowels then decides she would like a bath
    while she has a few minutes to rest.
    She ties her gate shut and carries her spear to the water with her, everything else is inside
    her little camp. She lays the spear in some weeds at the edge of the water where she can reach it
    and not be seen by others, and wades in for a short swim.
     
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  4. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Ch 4, captured
    she dives into the water where she can see it's a lil deeper, the water is like ice yet,
    making her skin tingle with the coldness. She scrubs at her head and hair a little until she runs
    short of air. Then she comes up for air to find she is not alone. Squatting on the shore, her spear
    in his hand, is a strange man. Long dark hair frames a nice looking face that is staring back at her
    smiling. He is dressed in leather leggings with a skirt like hers over top and a leather vest with
    the fur still on it.
    "Hello, who are you?" he said.
    "Where did you come from?" she asked.
    "You answer first." he stated.
    "My name is kalah, my village was destroyed by raiders and im looking for a new home."
    she replied angrily, "your turn, who are you?"
    "Im tom from the village of Crim, I smelled your camp and came to see who was in our
    woodlands." he said. "How long have you been here?"
    "I wandered in here yesterday after I killed the deer and set up this camp so I could dry the
    meat," she answers while looking things over and thinking. "Am I a prisoner?" she asks.
    He looks at her with his head tipped to one side, measuring her up. He can feel the weight
    of her spear and knows no one in his village could throw it, though obviously she can. "What sort
    of woman are you? This is an awful heavy spear for a man to carry." he says.
    "My father was the village smith, a master at his trade. He was also a warrior and as I was
    his only child I learned both skills from him." she stated calmly, hoping his village needed a
    smith.
    "What was the name of your village?" he asks.
    "Ham's Hollow." she said proudly. Knowing the name would be recognized.
    His eyes showed he knew the place but he said aloud, "Never heard of it."
    "Just give me my spear and let me gather my belongings and ill be on my way." she said
    to him.
    "Sorry, can't do that," he replied, "thats my village's deer you killed, you'll have to be
    punished for stealing it." he looks around then continues, "finish your bath then you can clean up
    your camp and I will escort you to my village."
    "Im done."she says and starts wading to shore. She feels a decent sized rock with her foot
    and pretends to stumble. She lands face down in the water and takes a few moments to grab the
    rock while splashing a lot to look like she is in trouble. He jumps into the water quickly
    intending to help and she hits him in the head with the rock.
    She dragged him to shore and tied him with some thongs from his own pouch. she carried
    him inside her little camp and dumped him next to the outer wall, Then retrieved her spear and
    started collecting her things.
    He regained consciousness as she was packing her dried met in her pouches. "What are
    you gonna do with me?" he asked.
    "Leave you here for someone from your village to find. Since I obviously cant go to your
    village I have to move fast and leave this area." she said.
    'I was lying bout punishing you." he told her," just wanted to see what you'd do."
    "Yeah, sure," she said sarcastically "and why should I believe you now?"
    "JOE!" he bellered good and loud.
    "Im here watching." a voice answered from the woods, "I hope that knot on your head
    was worth the 'fun' you wanted." the voice finished, laughing.
    "Come on in Joe, slowly, I think she wants to kill me." he said as kalah shoved her spear
    point into his chest just enough to hurt.
    "Step out where I can see you and drop your weapons or he dies!" kalah ordered.
    Joe stepped out from behind a tree and laid his weapons carefully on the ground. Then
    waited.
    "How do I know I can trust either of you?" kalah demanded.
    "Well." joe said, "I could have shot you with an arrow anytime, specially after you cracked
    his skull with that rock."
    "Why didn't you?" she asked.
    "You saved him from drowning. If you were some thief or murderer you'd have let him
    drown." joe stated, "which he kind of deserves for acting like he has."
    "What would you have done if id left him here?" kalah wanted to know.
    "Ley him set and stew a while so you could get far enough away." he answered laughing.
    "Go pick up your weapons but I still don't totally trust either of you." she said grimly.
    "Ummm, is it too soon to ask you to stop stabbin me with that damned spear?" tom
    asked.
    "Yes, it is." she said while glaring at him, "so you thought I might be a fun plaything did
    you?" she asked angrily.
    "Im sorry," he replied apologetically, "it was all in fun."
    "Ill show you fun." she said as joe walked into her little camp, "im gonna trust you for
    now not to attack me but I am going to kick tom's fun loving ass before I do anything else."she
    told joe.
    "By all means dear lady," joe smiled and said, "I would dearly love to see that."
    She set her spear and other weapons aside while joe untied tom then stepped outside her
    fence to wait. Tom walked out laughing, thinking this to be just a big joke. There was no woman
    anywhere that was ever going to kick his ass and he knew it. He walked into range still smiling.
    The smile disappeared as his lip started swelling from her first punch. Mannnnn, this girl could
    hit!
    He immediately went into normal fighting crouch. still not sure about hitting her back
    with his fist, he reached out to slap her face. His slap was blocked and his belly caught a good
    right jab, straight into the solar plexus. "Ok," he thought, "she does know what she's doing, lets
    see if she can take what she deals out?"
    He faked a right to her jaw, she sidestepped, he landed a left in the pit of her stomach.
    She oomphed just a little and gave him a right cross into the jaw. "Ouch!" he barked. This 'girl'
    was teaching him women aren't all soft and weak. He tried another fake towards her jaw, saw her
    belly tighten as she moved. He carried the feint through to find thin air and her fist bouncing off
    his temple. The stars came out early that day. Tom was out cold.
    "Ya didn't kill him did ya girl?" joe asked seriously.
    "Nah, he's just unconscious, I thought he was tougher than that or I wouldn't have swung
    so hard." she told him.
    "So the bit about being a smith is true I take it?" joe asked as he checked out tom to be
    sure he was still alive.
    "Very true, im happy to say." she replied. "Does your village need a smith?" she finished.
    "We do have one but he is getting awful old." joe told her, "he could die anytime and he
    has no apprentices."
    "Am I going to be welcomed in your village or chased out?" she quizzed.
    "After I tell them all about you n tom fighting, im honestly not sure what they'll say." he
    replied honestly.
    "Why is that?"
    "Ohh. Cuz he's kinda the village's best and strongest fighter." joe said smiling ear to ear.
    Kalah emptied her water bottle over tom's head, he woke up snorting and jumping back
    into a fighting stance. Ready to deliver a fresh blow to kalah. He even began the swing.
    "Drop it fool!!" joe yelled, "before she lays you out again."
    "She what!!" tom demanded.
    "You've been unconscious for over 5 minutes buddy."joe told him with a big smile, "she
    kicked your wimpy li'l ass for you." he laughs.
    "You're kidding, right?" tom asked incredulously.
    "Cross my heart and hope to die. You got beat my friend, and by a girl to boot." joe is
    loving this very much.
    "Wanna have some more fun tom?" kalah asked from where she was packing up her
    things. "I didn't get much of a workout yet and I sure could use one." she smiled as she said this
    and both men were totally taken by how beautiful she looked when she smiled.
    "No thanks, I'll pass for now." tom replied.
    "Im gonna go get our horses tom, why don't you help her pack up so we can all go to the
    village?" joe told tom.
    "Ok, hurry back, we'll be waiting." tom said. Joe walked out the little gate then vanished
    into the woods. "So are you coming to our village then?" he asked kalah.
    "Joe says I might be welcomed there, even though I kicked their best defenders ass." she
    chided with a smile.
    Tom laughs and shakes his head, "probably more so since you did it. Never been anyone
    kick my ass before, they may wanna see a replay." he thinks a moment then continues, "but I
    hope not."
    They get all the meat packed into kalah's pouches and are rolling up the hide when joe
    rides into the clearing leading three other horses.
    "Are you two ready?" joe asked, "there's someone heading this way, a lot of someones by
    the sounds of it, could be a raiding party."
    "From which direction?" tom inquired.
    "Southwest, they are makin an awful racket, you'll hear em real soon."
    "Yeah, I do already," tom confirmed.
    "I hear them too." kalah said, "thats the direction the murderers that took my village came
    from."
    "Well then I guess we had better run then." said tom as he mounted one of the horses,"
    take a pick girl, I do hope you can ride cuz we have to be in a hurry."
    "Lead the way boys, and please try to stay in the lead." she smiled as she mounted and
    replied.
    The three of them headed into the trees and pushed the horses as much as they could thru
    the underbrush. Kalah had no trouble keeping up which further impressed the two men. After
    close to an hour they rode clear of the trees and then they spurred the horses on in a race for
    home. Kalah kept even with them right in and through the village gates.
     
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  5. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Ch 5, a new home
    The open fields and pastures made a clearing about 2 miles across. There were a few scattered trees, mostly for fruits, nuts or shade. Everything well kept, tidy and looking productive. Cattle, hogs, goats, sheep and horses could be seen idly grazing here and there. In the center of this large clearing stood the village of Crim, looking like a small fortress.
    The village was basically a small walled, semi-fortified, city. The outer walls were around 8 feet high and 8 feet thick, all made of stone laid dry. The upper 4 feet only around 4 feet thick and used as a breastworks. Behind the breastworks was a catwalk barely wide enough to stand on, only about 2 feet wide.
    As the trio rode through the gates, Tom, in a very serious voice, ordered one of the gate keepers to send word for all to come inside quickly and then shut and bar the gates behind them
    They didn't stop again until they entered the village square where tom grabbed a large club and
    started banging it on a very large triangular bell. People came running from every direction and
    tom started issuing orders in a voice that demanded immediate and expected obedience.
    An older man approached the trio, he stood there watching tom in action and smiling to
    himself. When tom was finished issuing orders the older man finally spoke. "Very good son, you
    seem to have everything well in hand."
    "Thank you father." tom, bowed his head slightly, "did I miss anything?"
    "Not that I can think of unless you count introducing me to your lovely new friend."
    tom's father remarked.
    "Father, I am very pleased to introduce to you, kalah. A very fine warrior and a
    blacksmith." tom said with pride, "kalah, please allow me to introduce unto you, my father, the
    highly esteemed leader of the village of Crim. Mr. Edward Crim"
    Kalah reaches out her right hand to shake tom's father's hand, instead he takes her hand
    gently and kisses the back of it, "the pleasure of this meeting is most definitely mine fair
    maiden."
    "The feeling is mutual lord mayor." she replied bowing her head.
    "Oh im no ones lord dear, I may own the land and have a title but im just a poor farmer
    like everyone else here." he chuckles," only ones that bow before me are the animals dipping
    their heads in the feed trough."
    She laughed with him then asked, "where can I be of use, I can help defend your village
    or help the smith in the smithy."
    "You are a blacksmith?" the elder Crim asked.
    "Yes sir, I am. My father was the smith of ham's hollow, I served as his other apprentice
    for my whole life."
    "The ham's hollow smith is your father?" he asked. "Why are you here instead of there?"
    "Ham's hollow was attacked a few weeks ago, I was the only one to escape." she said
    sadly.
    "Oh my word, that is distressing news. I was going to send your father a young apprentice
    to train." the old man sounded lost. "Now I wont be able too."
    "Sir, if you give me a chance I'm quite sure you wont regret it." she stated confidently.
    "Dad, believe me, she has the strength of a smith and fights like a seasoned warrior." tom
    told his dad.
    "And she licked tom's ass in a fair fist fight to prove it." joe added happily.
    "She what?" the older man ejaculated.
    "Yes dad, she laid me out cold." tom answered. "And you don't have to spread that
    around." he finished with a smile.
    "Yeah cuz im gonna." joe said as he ducked and turned his horse as if to leave.
    "Oh you'd better run you coward, I know I can still kick your ass." tom said good
    naturedly. "Follow me kalah, you can fight with me and joe, we go where they need help the
    most." and the three rode together, over to the great house, tom's home.
    They had just gotten the horses tied up in the stables when a new alarm sounded. "They
    see the attackers." tom said, "fighting will begin soon. Do you need any other weapons kalah?"
    "No," she replied, "unless you have a sword or a war hammer im good."
    Tom thought for a moment then said, "I will be right back, head back to the village
    square." and he took off on a run.
    "Well Kalah," joe said, "how do you like our village so far?"
    She replied chuckling, " it looks like a battle zone, ask me later when I've had a chance to
    actually see it. Okay?"
    "Deal." he smiled in answer. "I wonder what that fool tom is up to now."
    "I honestly have no idea, haven't known either of you long enough to even chance guess."
    she stated.
    "It'll be something either insane or genius," joe commented, "thats how our happy hero
    does things." He laughs.
    The two new friends had returned to the village square and were watching Tom's father assign people to positions on the outer wall and tasks in preparation for the coming battle. He was planning on a possible long term siege and was having all edibles moved into his manor house as a place of final defense. Men were boarding up the structures windows and piling sandbags against the garden walls while others piled more bags along the edges of the roof for the defenders to hide behind.
    Tom finally showed up carrying something in an old sack, his face covered in a **** eating grin. He walks up to Kalah and Joe and starts to open the sack. "This was worn by my other when she was around your age." He stated as he pulled a golden colored breastplate out of the old sack. "I do believe it will fit you nicely. Don't want you gettin hurt now do we?." He smiled.
    She laughed and grabbed the breastplate to look it over. It wasn't real heavy plate but heavy enough to do the job, it would protect her well enough. It obviously wasn't gold, brass maybe, or some other alloy? She really missed her dad and his skills.
    "Well don't just stand there looking like a fool," She told Tom, "help me get it on." She said as she dropped her spear and other belongings.
    "Don't you need some sort of padding between it and you?" Joe asked.
    "No I should be fine without that," she replied, "besides I don't think it would fit with padding."
    "Yeah she's right," Tom said, "she's a lil bigger in the chest than mom was." He lifts the plate and holds it to her chest while Joe buckles it up from behind."Hows the fit?" He asked her.
    "Buckles and straps don't need any adjusting, thats for sure." Joe replied.
    "I was asking her, dolt!" Tom said.
    "Oh." Joe said smiling.
    "It feels nice," Kalah answered, 'Not too heavy, fits snug, no place where its chaffing. How does it look?"
    "Like part of your skin turned to gold." he grinned at her.
    "I know this isn't gold though," she told him, "but what metal is it?"
    "Its what they call 'fools gold'," he answered, "dad found a mess of it in his youth and thought it would make strong armor that looked like gold."
    "Aha!" she said, "He was right."
    Just then Tom's dad joined them saying, "You know Tom there's a skirt that goes with that and would help protect her even more?" He turned to face Kalah and continued as Tom went to fetch the aforementioned skirt, "You, my dear, Look incredible in that, better than my wife ever could," he smiled, "but then she was no warrior, just a simple housewife."
    "Thank you sir." she replied, blushing, "I will wear this today with pride and make you proud to let me wear it." She bowed as she said this.
    "So what is happening outside Sir?"Joe asked.
    "They are forming ranks surrounding the village, just into the clearing, preparing for battle." the older man replied, "I'm sure we will be hearing from them shortly."
    "How many are there?"Kalah asked him. "Do we have any hope?"
    "I'd say there are over a thousand men out there," he replied, "more than enough to take our village. If they bring in siege engines we wont last a day." He said resignedly.
    "If you clear all burnables away from the manor and pile those sandbags six layers thick right up past the roof," she said thoughtfully, "they would take most of the impact out of any rocks thrown in and would reduce fire problems." She stares at the manor a moment and continued," Is there a well in the manor? Do you have another water source? If not do you have lots of water stored inside?'
    "No, no and no." he answered smiling. "But I will have shortly, thank you dear." He turned and called to some people near by and started issuing orders, leaving them as he did so. Soon several people could be seen drawing water from the well while others ran in and out of the manor carrying buckets, the ones going in, filled with water, the ones coming out, empty. Another group was busy dismantling every wooden structure within 50 feet of the manor and piling the lumber along the outer walls of the village and yet another group was filling sandbags and piling them against the manor walls.
    In the midst of all this, Tom returned once more carrying the skirt that went with the breastplate and a small helmet that looked close enough to be a part of the outfit along with a golden shield bearing a war hammer as its crest. The helmet was made for a woman or someone with long hair, there was a hole in the back to tuck a ponytail through, it wasn't a full face helmet, it. sat on top of the head and ran down over the back of the head. More of show piece than real armor, but it would do.
    Kalah put the metal skirt on over her loincloth first, but it didn't look right, so she took both off, to the embarrassment of the two young men with her, and put just the armored skirt back on. The helmet just barely fit, even with her hair pulled out through the ponytail hole. Maybe it wouldn't fall off that way.
    She turned in front of them slowly, "So boys, how do I look?" she asked.
    "Awesome girl, like a warrior queen." Joe said while Tom just stood there mouth agape.
    A horn sounded a challenge from in front of the village and a man came running to Tom. "Young Tom, Sir. There's a man on a horse, all in armor, settin afore the gate and holdin a white kerchief over his head." the man reported breathlessly.
    Tom was just about to go look for his father when the elder Crim rejoined the trio. "Whats goin on son?" he asked.
    "Someone is at the front gate waving a flag of truce." Tom told his father. "Want me to talk to him dad, or will you?"
    "I'll go son," the older man said, "but you and your friends are coming with me." With that said the four of them walked swiftly to the front gate.
    All the flammables the villagers had collected were piled up against the onside of the wall, Kalah was sure they covered the full length of it, "Sir, is there any particular reason all the flammables are by the wall?" She asked the elder Crim.
    "Yes dear, a very good reason, an idea I got after you suggested moving them." he told her, "If they get close enough to the wall we can throw all that over it and light it. A fire like that would surely slow them down some."
    "Hmm, good idea dad." Tom said, "shall I have some oil poured on it?"
    "No wait TIL we need it," his dad replied, "no sense burning good lumber if we don't have to."
    The foursome climbed the wall next to the front gate and looked out over it. There was an armored man on horseback sitting there holding the white handkerchief as they had been told.
    "What can I do for you good sir?" the elder Crim said loudly.
    "I am Denver Jones of the city of Jonesburrough in the growing kingdom of Jonesland and I am here to ask you to join my kingdom, either willingly or by force."the mounted man stated loudly and angrily. "So what is your decision peasant?"
     
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  6. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Chap 6, the challenge
    Kalah recognized his voice, she had heard it many times in her nightmares, "Come on you lazy oafs, cut that bastard down already, we need to be moving, put a bolt in his back and be done with it" she could hear him saying as she worked her way into the secret tunnel. She spoke without thinking, her mind and heart filled with hatred for the man that had her father killed, wanting only a chance at vengeance.
    "So the big bad bully brings a thousand man army to take a tiny village?" She taunted loudly in a sarcastic tone, "I bet you don't have enough balls to settle this one on one, even against a woman!!!" She added acidly, "I bey of o came down there to fight you fair and square you'd just have ne shot in the back!!! You're nothing but a cowardly bully and even your men will know it if we fight!"
    "Enough woman!!" he screamed at her, "If you dare to put your sword where your mouth is ill prove im no coward and take your damned city as slaves to boot!"
    "Tell your men that you and I settle this, here and now, the winner takes all. I dare your cowardly ass!!" she screamed right back at him.
    He turned in his saddle and motioned to those behind him. Several warriors came riding up quickly. When they arrived he spoke in a loud voice so all could hear, "I Denver Jones, reigning monarch of Jonesland, do hereby state that the outcome of this battle will be decided between myself and yon golden maiden. The winner of our battle will rule not only this village but also my entire kingdom." he paused to let it sink in. "Do you all abide by my wishes in this?" he asked.
    "But sire it is foolish for you to do single combat."
    "Your highness may become injured!"
    "Let another do combat with her!"
    "Silence buffoons!" he yelled loudly cutting them off, "This woman has challenged my bravery and my manhood, she must answer for it on the field of battle with her blood." he glowered at them fiercely, "Will you obey my wishes?"
    "Yes milord" all three replied bowing
    "Go and spread the word amongst my men. Let every one of them know my wishes and prepare to see me slaughter this arrogant witch." he told them. "And you, witch, have one hour to prepare for your death because that is what you are coming down here to do, die at my hands."
    "Neigh foul worm, I am coming down to behead the murderer of my one and only father," she told him levelly, "Prepare yourself to meet your creator for you will not leave this field alive!"
    He saluted her rather unpleasantly and rode back towards his waiting army. She turned to see her new friends, white faced in fear and anger, staring at her stupefied.
    "What in hells names were you thinking girlie?" Tom asked loudly, "He will eat you up like breakfast and **** you out for lunch!"
    "Perhaps your lady friend has a plan. I hope." Mayor Crim spoke up.
    "No, she's just gone ****ing insane she has." Joe added. "Ain't ya dearie."
    "None of the above," she responded coldly, "That man killed my father, I have seen him fight. I don't know how he ever got to be king of his kingdom because he is useless as a fighter. His arrogance and pride will be his downfall and I'm gonna see to it!"
    "But you've taken away our right to defend ourselves child." Master Crim admonished her.
    "I am truly sorry for that lord Crim but your people have no chance against that army out there." she said to him, "you know that as well as I do, at least this way we all have a fighting chance."
    "Has he ever seen you fight Kalah?" Joe asked excitedly.
    "No he hasn't." she replied smiling.
    "Oh lord is he in for a shock then." Joe laughs."Lets get our champion ready guys."he pats her on the back happily, "I personally think yon loud mouth is in trouble and doesn't have clue."
    Tom started to smile, remembering how easily Kalah took him down. Twice! "OK Kalah, what do you want or need, anything we have is yours."
    "Do you boys think she can actually win?" Tom's father asked.
    "If there's anyone in this village that can, she's it!" Joe stated confidently while Tom nodded agreement.
    "Okay young lady," Master Crim was into it now too, "What can we get you?"
    "A horse, it has to be strong fast and nimble and have somewhat of a brain. A real warhorse would be perfect!" She stated.
    "Tom." elder Crim speaks, "go get him and dress him up proper would you please?"
    "Yes Sir!" Tom said as he smiled and took off on a run.
    Joe chuckles, a smile spreading all crossed his face. "Yup, thats what she needs. But I wouldn't dress him fully. Let mister king out there think she's just a farm girl dressed up."
    "What are you two talking about?" Kalah asks inquisitively.
    "My prize stallion my dear," Crim replied smiling, "he was one of the greatest war horses ever. He was put out to sire a new line of horses and I won him in a poker game." the old man states proudly, "he may be a lil old but he is still the best horse we have and I'm sure he will give his all for you."
    "Is there anything else you want Kalah?" Joe asked, "Name it and its yours."
    "I think all I need is a sword or war hammer." she replied thinking, "Just in case I have to fight on foot."
    "In my chambers Joe, hanging on the wall above the hearth, you will find a sword that I think our champion will appreciate." the older man stated.
    "Yes sir!" Joe said and ran off to get it.
    "Bring the sheath too Joe!" the old man yelled at his retreating back.
    "A sword eh?" she looked at him quizzically.
    "Yes my dear, a very special one. I am quite sure you will recognize it too."
    "Why is that sir?"
    "Your father made it."
     
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  7. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+

    This is a good read. Hope you can post more soon.
     
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    soon as i write more.....lol
    thanks
     
  9. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ch 7, arming
    Tom and Joe returned at the same time, Tom leading the most beautiful warhorse Kalah had ever seen, Joe carrying a sheathed sword that Kalah recognized immediately.
    The horse was a jet black stallion, arching neck and deep of chest. His legs were thick and strong, balanced on top of four shining black iron shod hooves. His color was so black it was like a piece of night walking in the daylight. She could see the intelligence in his face and eyes and he nuzzled up to her and nickered softly. The warhorse was in minor barding, not a full set, just enough to look like someone tried. The armor was unsurprisingly a golden color like hers.
    The sword, she could still see in her minds eye, as her father, stripped down to nothing but his chaps, hammering away at the special order sword. It was made of a special alloy, hammered very thin, rolled tightly, hammered flat then dipped in molten iron. It was one strong piece of metal, that was for sure. After it had been finished her father baked it inside a metal tube packed with carbon dust and bone, the entire sword was black, a beautiful shiny black that never dimmed. The guard was gold inlay, cast in two lions heads facing out. The haft was black dyed leather wrapped in bright red copper wire for a near slipless grip and the pommel a ball of lapis lazuli bound in gold. It was one of her fathers greatest works and she felt honored at the chance to wield it.
    The sheath was hardened and colored the same way, then trimmed with gold, a perfect matching set. She could ask for no better weapon with which to avenge her fathers death.
    "How can I ever repay you for these treasures?" she asked with tears in her eyes.
    "Win." the old man replied gently. She reached out and gave him a crushing hug and he realized the strength his son had spoken of was real. Maybe she did have a chance.
    She buckled the sword belt around her waist and adjusted its position then drew the sword to admire its beauty. Afer a few swings to get the feel of its weight and balance she returned it to its sheath The shield was hung on the horse's saddle and she mounted the prancing charger. She danced it around the village square for a few minutes learning that this truly was an awesome creature, bright and willing, eager to please.
    "How is our time?" she asked.
    "Your hour is nearly up my dear." the old man responded gently, "Is there anything else you require?"
    "A glass of wine and a pennant to hang on my spear." she replied, "Something that shows your crest. After all I am fighting for you." she chuckled.
    "I'll go get her one dad."Tom said as he took off again, towards the manor house.
    "And I will get her some wine." Joe said and did likewise. Within five minutes both young men returned each bearing what he'd gone after, Tom attached his father's pennant to her spear, just below the head, while joe handed her the wine to drink.
    Someone shouted that the warrior was returning and the four headed to the gate once more, Kalah on the warhorse, the others on foot. When Kalah reached the gate Tom and Joe personally opened it for her and then walked with her out onto the field of imminent combat.
    The mounted warrior was there waiting impatiently with two seconds, all three heavily armored. Tom is seriously wishing he had put on some armor too. "How does she think she can beat a man like him?' he thought to himself, not for the first or last time.
     
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  10. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ch 8, the duel
    Kalah and her escort walked onto the field together and stopped twenty yards from the knight and his escort. The knights "Second", a general by the looks of his gold and finery, rode to half way between the pair and Tom rode out to meet him.

    "My master wishes to know if there are any rules or limitations placed upon this duel?" the general asked.
    "Just one," Tom replied, "no one is allowed to interfere, from either side. Any side that does, forfiets."
    "Agreed!" exclaimed the general, "You and I shall watch from near midway to besure the rules are kept." he finished.
    "Do we need someone to signal the beginning and end?" Tom asked.
    "I will summon a herald from his lordships troops." from the general, which he promptly did.
    A herald was summoned from the knights ranks to signal the start and ending of the duel while Tom and the general sat together near midway to monitor the duel and crowd. The herald, with his shiny brass horn, soon joined them there at the midway point.
    "Are both combatants prepared and ready?" the general asked loudly.
    "The lady is eager and waiting General." Joe replied.
    "His lordship is also eager and ready General Sir!" said the knights other lacky.
    "Be it known to all who witness this single combat," the general spoke loudly for all to hear, "this is a duel unto death between his lordship king Jones and the lady Kalah, to determine the ownership and rule, of not only this village before us, but also all of King Jones current empire. Let no one interfere as doing so voids the contest and makes the opposing side the victor. be it also known that any whointerfere will be put to immediate death by members from both interested parties."
    Tom didnt really like that part but agreed, it would keep others from interfering. So he said nothing as the general continued.
    "Combatants will begin on horseback with lances, if either is unhorsed the fight will continue uninterupted, unless both parties agree on a respite."
    the general paused momentarily as this sank into everyones thoughts, "Herald, you may signal the start of the battle."
    the trumpet blasted out loudly. Kalah lowered and cradled her spear to use as a lance, her shield was on herleft arm ready to take the blow of her enemies lance. the knight cradled his lance and they charged each other at full speed. Joe couldn't take it and covered his eyes with his hands, Tom's face turned pale white as he watched but he never shut his eyes, deep inside somehow he knew thaty Kalah would win. The general was smiling ear to ear, sure that his master would be victorious in this first charge, the girl would crumble under his lance and it would all be over.
    Kalah knew her spear would not take the impact like a lance, knew it would shatter in her hand, so she wasnt going to use it that way. her plan was to stab into an opening in his armor and withdraw the tip quickly as he rode by. All she had to do was stay horsed when his lance struck her and keep her wits to do so.
    Time seemed to slow as her horse pounded toward her enemy, she could count minutes between each loudly banging beat of her own heart. She watched as he rode toward her, noticed how he sat and rode, the way his lance wobbled at the tip. she adjusted her shield to take the blow she knew was coming, changed her grip on her spear so she could jab into the gap at his left armpit. she knew she would only have one chance and thatwas to get him off his horse. her best bet was fighting him on the ground. she made an instant decision, she gripped her spear a bit differently, in a way she could jab then spin it quickly to use as a club.
    suddenly time came back to normal just as they met and his lance shattered on her shield. she lunged with her spear and stabbed into his left armpit. not deeply, but enough to hurt and draw blood. she quickly pulled back and spun her spear over her head, letting the heavily weighted butt strike him on the back of the head as they passed. it wasnt a hard strike, she hadnt put a lot of force behind it but the weight and momentum seemed to work in her favor. the knight slumped in his saddle and seemed to fall off his hors3e in slow motion. Kalah spun her horse about and stopped,waiting to see if he was conscious, she would not consider it fair to attack and kill an unconscious man, no matter whohe was. besides she wanted him to know he was defeated before he died.
    As she turned she had heard the crash of her enemies armored body landing on the ground, it was a sound she relished and would remember forever. Tom cheered loudly, she could hear him well. Joe opened his eyes upon hearing Tom's voice and cheered also, believing the fight was over. then the knight lifted his head and looked around.
    "Why do you just sit there woman? Come finish me!" the knight was heard screaming.
    "Because i do not take unfair advantage sir knight," Kalah said back loud enough for him to hear, "And i want to be sure you know who defeated you this day." Kalah then dismounted and dropped her reins. "We will continue this on foot sir knight, so i can look into your eyes as you die on my blade. I will wait 'TIL you're on your feet to continue."
    "foul offspring of a whore witch and her demon dog, i will see your blood running out on this grass today!" the knight screamed as he got to his feet and drew his sword. "Have at it bitch, this day you die!"
    Kalah drew the beautiful black blade her father had made. it gleemed its blackness in thesunlight. several of the onlookers sucked in their breaths at its beauty and many comments could be heard from the knights army: "thats a show blade, it wont hold up in a real fight,", "isn't that one from Hamm, the smith there was a real master."
    Kalah smiled, she knew the strength and value of this sword. she advanced slowly toward the knight, circling him as he circled her, each looking the other over, looking for a weakness to make use of.
    the knight was too angry to think clearly, the throbbing knob on the back of his head wasn't helping a bit. under normal circumstances he wouldn't have rushed in as he did, he would usually play with his opponent and get a good feel of their skills, but now he was angry, more angry than he had ever been, this lowly peasant female had unhorsed him infront of his army. he knew who she was, just a common blacksmiths daughter, was taunting him into a frenzy. she had no right to wear armor, let alone fight against the likes of him. It was time to end this, once and for all.
    King Jones started a fulloverhand swing of his mighty sword, aiming to split this obnoxious twit from crown to groin. he put everything he had behind that swing, sure in his strength, positive that even if she did raise her sword her wrist and arm would buckle and let his blade pass right through her. sure as his men that the sword she held was made for show and would shatter under impact. he stepped forward, towards her, his sword making a shiny, sunglittering arc as it whirled to bisect its prey, whistling through the air with its speed.
    just as it finished its arc, ready to cleave this beligerant womans skull and end this joke of a battle, Kalah swung the beautiful black blade up over her head to meet his silver one. the impact sounded in a horrific crash, metal on metal, sparks erupted from both blades as his slid the length of hers as she spun out from under his attack, the shock of his stroke absorbed in her arm and the tipping of her blade. his eyes went wide as he lost his balance and started tumbling forward, facefirst towards the ground. at that moment he knew he had lost, knew he would be dead before he hit the ground.
    he turned as he fell,looking back up at this woman that had already bested him,even though he was not dead or wounded, he knew he was beaten. she followed him as he fell to theground, his turning had caused himtoland on his back. as the impact drove the breath from his lungs he felt the tip of her sword rest against his exposed throat below his helmets face shield, in the opening of his mail where his face was exposed.
     
    Sapper John, jasonl6 and Cephus like this.
  11. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    sorry for the typos folks, im doing this on the fly as the mood hits
    glad you are liking it:)
    thanks
     
  12. squiddley

    squiddley Monkey+

    Great story,waiting for more.
     
  13. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ch 9, to the victor go the spoils?
    Denver Jones, once king of his own growing empire, let his sword slip from his hand and held his hand palm open, toward Kalah, as he gasped trying to regain his breath. Kalah held her sword in place and waited, wondering if this was a trick or just the last request of a beaten man.
    "dear lady," jonas spoke haltingly as he regained his breath, "i have but three requests to make before i die. Yes i know i am beaten and have no right to ask, but i'm going to ask anyway, that is if you will allow me the privelege."
    Kalah nodded and said, "wait a moment, then i'll listen." she then motioned for the general and tom to approach. "would you two gentlemen listen to what he has to say before we finish this?" she asked them. They both motioned in the affirmative and Denver Jones, former king of an empire, started to speak.
    "M'lady i was born in my capital city,as were my father and grandfather. Grandad was the mayor and started building the outer walls and the castle. dad finished the walls and i finished the castle, i know it is all rightly yours now to do with as you please, but i would like the city name left so people can remember my family's contribution to a new civilization."
    "I will consider it sir knight." kalah stated."What else do you want?"
    "My children, all but two are female, the two boys are quite young yet," he told her sadly, "the boys will never get a chance to know me. Could you possibly raise them to be your trusted supporters, give them a good life and teach them that i died an honorable man?" he pleaded.
    "Again, i will consider this request." she said flatly. "What is your last request?"
    "That i be allowed to pledge fealty to you as the new empress so that my family cannot go against my wishes and try for vengence against you."
    "If i allow you to swear fealty to me, would you sincerely mean it, or would it just be a lie to protect your family?" Kalah asked him.
    "it would be as sincere as my wish to live and raise my own children, dear lady. that i swear before all that is holy to me." he told her.
    Kalah removed her sword from his throat, "rise to your knees but no further, i need a few moments to consider what you ask. the rest of you watch him for trickery just in case. i need a few moments alone." she sheathed her sword and walked off as Denver Jones got to his knees.
    "Thank you dear lady for listening, from now on, no matter what you decide, until the minute i die, i am your indebted servant." he spoke humbly to her back as she walked away.
    "WHat to do? what to do?" she thought to herself, "on one hand his life and empire were hers to do with as she saw fit. On the other, she was not ready to take over an empire and lead its people. Could she trust him to be loyal? what about his children? It was way more than she had considered when she lost control and challenged him. Once again her temper and lack of self-control got her in over her head."
    She let her mind drift and just walked, not seeing anything around her, just memories flashing in her minds eye. thoughts of her dad took over, remembering the time she had spent with him, the lessons learned, the understanding and care he always gave to her. she remembered a bully from her village and how she had finally had enough and beaten him badly. afterwards she had been the bully for a short time, then her father had a little talk with her.
    "you can lead people in several ways," he had said to her, "you can force them to follow you out of fear. then you have to guard your back because just like you took down the other bully, someone will come take you down." she could still hear his voice saying those words, so strong yet gentle, "Or you can lead them with love. when your followers follow because they love you, they will protect your back, guard it from all enemies. they will gladly suffer so that you wont."
    "General," she called back to those waiting, "would you walk with me a bit?" he quickly joined her.
    "yes milady, how can i be of service to you?" he asked.
    "How long have you known mr Jones, general?"
    "All my life lady, we grew up together, went to school together, joined the army together."
    "Is he an honorable man? can i trust him to be loyal if i let him live?"
    "He is totally yours lady," the general stated bluntly, "if you told him to fall on his own sword right now he would do so."
    "can i trust him to keep his kingdom and run it how i tell him to?"
    "I believe so m'lady."
    "Thank you general, lets return to the others." they walked back to where Denver Jones still knelt in the grass. "Mr jones," she said, "if i let you live and return to your kingdom, would you run it the way i will tell you to, or will you continue as you have been?'
    "As i see it milady," he spoke up, "my life and dreams are forfiet, you won this contest fairly and all that i have is now yours to command. If you let me live i will do as you say in everything and only make comment if you ask my council."
    she drew her sword and held it before him, tip down, the flat of the blade facing him, "swear on all that you hold sacred that you will be my loyal servant until your death. following my every command, no matter what."
    he reached out his left hand and placed it on her blade, his right hand he held over his heart, "I, denver jones, ruler of jonesland, swear on the lives of all my children to uphold and honor you as my sovreign ruler, defending you against all others, carrying out any order you see fit to give, no matter the cost to me or my family, TIL the day i die." he leaned forward and kissed her sword on the cross of the guard.
    "i name thee Duke Jones of Jonesland," she said, tapping him on each shoulder with her blade, "arise and serve me Sir Duke."
     
  14. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    sorry i havent been workin on this much
    but im enjoying my free time reading chris' stories....lol
    i promise ill get back to it eventually
     
  15. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Great read beast...I sincerely look forward to more!
     
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