Chapter Twenty One: The Conflict At Semera Part Three

Chapter Twenty One: The Conflict At Semera Part Three

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson
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As the IG-90 makes its advance into Semera along with the vampiric troops, Macalister thinks up a plan. That's a first.

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Chapter Twenty One The Conflict At Semera Part Three:

Saturday July 24th 1690

The fighting went continued in a vicious pattern; the vampires would push the humans back, then the humans would push the vampires back. Each phase earned casualties in varying magnitudes.

Right now we were on the defensive, having just been pushed back again. Somewhere during the fighting Robert and I met up with Walden, who had been out of sight the entire battle, however we could occasionally see burning vampires.

            “How’re things goin’ over here?” Walden asked.

            “Not bad, the casualty rate is fairly high, but we’re managing.” I answered.

Three vampires rushed us, but Walden burned them all to a crisp.

            “That thing is still runnin’, what’s the plan?” He asked.

            “Kill all of the vampires. Maybe the IG-90 will retreat.” I replied.

            “I don’t see any other plan. I mean, my magic can’t do anythin’ against it, and all the cannons were blown sky high!” He exclaimed.

Walden shot a few small fireballs into the mass of vampires ahead of us, igniting several. I still heard musket fire and watched as a few enemies dropped, but they got back up again as if nothing happened.

            “I ran into Don and the witch on the way here, they’re doin’ a great job. They saved a whole buncha guys, even some civilians!” He exclaimed.

            “That’s amazing!” Robert said, staking an oncoming vampire with renewed confidence.

A vampire ran at me, catching me a little off guard. Someone shot it and it fell to the ground a few feet from me. I clambered forward and staked it. I felt my pockets.

            “I’m getting a bit low on stakes.” I announced.

            “As am I. We’ll have to resupply before this battle is over.” Robert agreed.

Walden kept shooting fireballs into the masses, igniting a few vampires each time.

            “These can’t be just the vampires from Stavon!” I exclaimed after staking a few more.

            “I noticed that they’re numbers seemed a little big for that. They must have called for reinforcements from Dunford.” Robert agreed, staking another vampire.

After killing a few more each, the vampires began to fall back a bit. For about thirty seconds, we had them on the run. They retreated back behind the IG-90, and it once again began to crawl forward. We humans took cover behind houses while the vampires easily took back lost ground. Somewhere near me, a house was obliterated by the IG-90’s gun, along with several men. The enemy advance went on for a little longer than it usually did, but then the IG-90 stopped. The vampires attacked.

            “Why does it keep stopping?” Robert asked as he took on an oncoming vampire.

I staked one, two, three more than came at us.

            “I don’t know!” I answered.

Robert looked around while there were no vampires coming at us his eyes fell on one of the carts filled with stakes, now relatively depleted. He looked to me and nodded. We made a break for it. A few vampires tried attacking us, but we dealt with them with relative ease. We fully resupplied and ran back to our spot behind the houses across the road. Down the street a bit, we saw Macalister and a few soldiers struggling against vampires. Robert and I ran to help them. Before we got there, two of the soldiers were ripped off their feet and thrown back towards the other vampires, where they were viciously torn apart.

I shuddered.

With our help, Macalister and the other surviving soldiers fended off the vampires in that area and we began to push forward once again.

We went on the offensive, slaying vampires in considerable numbers as the rest of our forces joined us, forming a lethal line of thrashing stakes.

Shortly after we had begun our assault, the IG-90 began to move forward once more. Thankfully, most of our forces pulled back in time. Others were slaughtered by groups of vampires that emerged from between houses behind their metal ally.

The vampires conquered more territory than they had lost in our push, and they began forcing us backwards at an alarming rate. Thankfully, the IG-90 stopped moving and we were able to gain a foothold.

            “Maybe that’s what Stella meant!” Robert exclaimed.

            “What do you mean?” Macalister asked, slaying two oncoming vampires.

            “One of the design flaws! It can’t drive for extended periods of time!” He explained.

            “It must have stopped a few times between Stavon and Semera.” I said, understanding.

Then, the vampires did something they hadn’t done before; they pushed onwards without the IG-90. Although immobile for the moment, the IG-90 took aim with its gun and destroyed another house that had soldiers behind it. The enemy push came so unexpectedly that they gained a huge advantage from surprise alone, killing countless people on the front lines. Allan ordered that we fall back. Walden shot a ball of flame into the masses, and then another, igniting many enemies. We were able to gain a foothold in few places, but the vampires broke through our lines in some places, causing those in the area to fall back. Robert, Macalister and I were part of one of the groups that had to fall back. Just then, something caught Robert’s eye.

            “Redmond, Macalister, look!” He exclaimed.

He was pointing to a crumbling wall of a house nearby, behind us. Slammed against it and slightly cracked, was a cannon.

            “A cannon!” I shouted.

After looking to our defenses and deeming that the soldiers could handle the vampire advance, he motioned for us to follow him. We ran over to the wall the cannon had been slammed against.

            “This looks like one of the ones from the cannon bunkers.” I said.

            “Do you think…? No, it can’t be! It couldn’t have survived the blast!” Robert said in denial, with a hint of laughter.

            “Are you going to deny what’s right in front of you?” I asked.

            “It has no mount, how will we get it to fire? There’s not a ball in sight.” He said, moving on to solve the problem.

            “Redmond, go find Allan. Macalister and I wil stay here and guard the cannon. We can’t let the vampires destroy it.” He asserted.

            “Right!” I shouted, running to find Allan.

I ran along the road, looking for the captain. It took some time, but I finally spotted him among a few other soldiers crouched behind an overturned cart, using it as cover against oncoming vampires. I ran over and helped them defend it. Once all the vampires were dead, Alan turned to me.

            “Thanks a bunch.” He said.

            “No problem, but listen! We found a cannon!” I shouted.

            “What! Where? How?” He asked in a flurry of confusion.

            “No time to explain, do you know where we can find a cannon ball?” I asked.

He thought for a moment. His fellow soldiers fought off the vampires that came up to the cart.

            “Come to think of it, yes! The museum, we have old cannon balls on display!” He tld me.

            “Where’s the museum?” I asked him.

            “It’s the building with the two pillars in the front, behind us to the left. You can’t miss it.” He said.

With a nod and not another word, I ran backwards, past Robert and Macalister. They shot me confused glances but didn’t stop me. I’m pretty quick on my feet, so I made good time. I got to the museum in a few minutes and burst through the front doors to find the place deserted. I sifted through the many displays. There were old spears, shields, and even cannons! I got excited, but upon closer examination I saw that the barrels had been sealed. Beside the cannons were balls and gunpowder flasks. They were stacked in neat piles. I could only take one cannon ball, they were heavy. It would slow me down considerably. These shots were a little lighter than the ones we handled in the cannon bunkers.

I put the gunpowder in my pocket and made my way back to Macalister and Robert, meeting no resistance on this road, thankfully. If I dropped the ball I had no clue if it would explode or not. I set the ball down next to Robert.

            “Excellent!” His eyes going wide.

            “There’s still the lack of the mount to worry about.” I reminded him.

Macalister cleared his throat.

            “We don’t need a mount. I have a plan.” He said in his deep voice.

Robert and I shot each other a look. We were both thinking the same thing; Macalister has a plan?

            “Okay, what is it?” I asked.

The larger man just shook his head.

            “Follow me.” He ordered.

He took the cannon in his hands. He couldn’t carry it very well and it ended up dragging across the ground. He led us through a series of alleyways. After about ten seconds he stopped, looking very confused. Robert pointed him in the direction of the IG-90 and we were on our way once again. Robert must have known what Macalister was thinking. It wasn’t a far walk. We stopped just inside an alley that led out onto the street behind the IG-90.

            “Okay, there are a few vampires out there. Redmond, can you kill them?” Robert asked.

I nodded, clutching a stake.

            “I think so. I’ll do my best.” I said.

I looked around the corner and counted four of them. The rest were in front of the IG-90.

            “Ready?” Robert asked quietly.

I nodded, Macalister grunted.

            “Go!” Robert said in a whisper.

Put the cannon ball on the ground gently and I rushed out onto the street, taking the vampires by surprise and staking the nearest one. I reached for another stake and managed to kill the second as he charged. The third and forth were on me in an instant. I reached for another stake, but one of them pinned me to a wall. Before his fangs got close to my neck, A gunshot rang out and he fell off of me, blood streaming from his neck. I used the moment of confusion the two had to kill the wounded one, kick the fourth one in the stomach and get a quick draw shot off on him with my flintlock. It hit him in the stomach. He doubled over in pain. I grabbed a stake from my pocket and ran at him, staking him in the heart through the back. I put my flintlock in my pocket, not bothering to reload it.

            “Redmond! Come on!” Robert shouted.

I ran back to the alley and grabbed the cannon ball. The IG-90 didn’t bother acknowledging our existence. It probably didn’t think we were a threat. Or the people inside didn’t know we were there, because the window on the back was closed. Either way.

            “Now’s the time Macalister. Whatever your plan is, do it now!” Robert urged.

Macalister nodded. He stood up straight, cracking his back. He bent down, grabbing onto the cannon with both hands. He groaned with effort. He let out a roar of rage as he powerfully hoisted the cannon up to waist level, at an upward angle.

I understood what he was doing. I set the cannon ball down for a few seconds while I loaded the gunpowder down the barrel. I then grabbed the ball from the ground. Robert helped me lift it into the barrel and we pushed it down. The cannon angled downward a little because of the weight, but returned to normal when we stuffed it down. Thankfully the ball was smaller than the other ones. Macalister’s groans became louder the longer he held the cannon, his knuckled were almost white and his body strained with effort.

            “Pull… the primer!” He shouted through gritted teeth.

I stood next to the cannon and plugged my ears. Robert took hold of the friction primer. Macalister adjusted the angle of the cannon. Robert pulled, and the cannon exploded.



© 2016 Ryan Henderson


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Added on March 5, 2016
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Ryan Henderson
Ryan Henderson

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



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I will review your work if you send me a read request, I like to help writers get off of the ground, I will also suggest ideas for your work if needed. Please note that I don't really like poetry... more..

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