Everyone tried to pile out of the town hall at once. They had a traffic jam at the door. Giovanni grabbed the two knights and pulled them aside.
“Don’t strip the men from the walls. If the Wolv see an unguarded wall, they will attack there. Keep men especially around the gates, north, south, and the two little gates in the east. One opening, and they will pour into the city. And get the people that are outside, inside.”
“Right,” Sir Bertulf said, and he ran off toward the north gate where he massed some men for the night.
“Sir Giovanni?” Sir Radbod asked, just to clarify the Italian word, Don. Giovanni nodded, and Sir Radbod returned the nod. He ran off to the south and the Baron’s residence.
Katie grabbed Nanette, with Sukki and Boston standing there beside Madam Figiori. “Nanette, I need you to go back to the inn and let Alexis and Lincoln know what is happening. Maybe you should saddle the horses in case we need to make a quick getaway out of one of the east gates.”
“That won’t be necessary,” Madam Figiori said. “Help is on the way if they get here in time.”
“What kind of help?” Boston asked, not doubting the madam’s word for a second.
“I do not know,” Madam Figiori said. “But it will be substantial.”
Katie turned back to Nanette. “Would you, please?” Nanette only hesitated a few seconds before she ran off toward the inn.
When the women got to the wall, Decker yelled. “Major. You take the far end.” He pointed and flipped his rifle to automatic. Katie ran down the walkway as men came to stand there, shoulder to shoulder. Most had spears, but some had bows as well.
“Boston,” Elder Stow called, knowing Sukki would come with her. He paused in his work on his screen device and handed Boston his weapon. “You know how to use this,” he said. “You and Sukki need to go beyond Decker and Katie. That is about as far as the particle screen wall will stretch. Hopefully, I can make a Decker wall where the Wolv cannot get in, but Decker can shoot out, but it will only be so wide. It probably won’t take long for the Wolv to find the outer edges. You two need to be at the edge. Oh, and daughter,” he spoke to Sukki. “Don’t strain yourself. I know your gift takes a lot out of you.”
“Yes, father,” Sukki said, and with a glance at Boston, she ran in one direction. Boston ran off in the other.
Lockhart said to Tony. “Looks like you and I have the center. We need to give Elder Stow enough time to finish his work on his gadget.”
“It is not a gadget,” Elder Stow mumbled as Tony nodded, pulled his handgun, and stepped up to the wall. Tony and Lockhart had to scrunch down a little in order to not be seen over the wall. Most of the men stood straight up, thinking that they were well beyond the range of arrows.
Sure enough, several streaks of golden light came from the edge of the woods. The lights reached the top of the wall and swept the wall clean of men. Plenty were burned. Plenty died, but plenty also ducked in time, and since the light did not linger in a given place, they stayed safe behind the wall. Lockhart figured a sustained strike in one spot would turn the wooden wall to ashes.
“Here they come,” someone yelled, and a hundred Wolv came rushing out from among the trees. Decker and Katie opened fire almost immediately. Both fired first at the places that produced the golden light beams, but soon enough they began to gun down the oncoming Wolv. The Wolv were fast. It would not take them long to cross the open area and reach the bottom of the wall.
Decker and Katie, military trained and being highly intuitive, both ducked at almost the same time. Two golden light beams zeroed in on their position but did not fire for long. On the first sign of those weapons, Boston adjusted Elder Stow’s weapon to a broad beam, if she did it right, and turned it up to maximum power. When the light weapons turned on Decker and Katie, she fired at that location. The trees in that spot exploded, including a couple of big ones that crashed over into the woods.
“Wow,” Boston said to herself as she patted herself on the back. Then she thought she better move further down the wall.
Almost eighty of the hundred Wolv arrived at the base of the wall, and roughly a third immediately began to climb, using their claws to get a grip on the wooden logs. The defenders had arrows and spears which the men tenaciously clutched in their sweating palms. Many arrows helped, but it took three or four well placed arrows to just slow them down. By far, the stones and bricks the defenders threw were most affective. A good-sized stone could knock a Wolv right off the wall, and even if it was not seriously injured, it would have to start again from the bottom.
The travelers took a slow but steady toll on the Wolv. Katie and Decker especially cleaned out the area beneath their positions and had to start leaning over the wall to shoot others. Lockhart with his police revolver and Tony with his semiautomatic handgun were not nearly as affective. But they killed or wounded the ones in their immediate area.
A much bigger and thicker golden light came from the woods. Tony and Lockhart ducked at first, but Tony noticed the weapon was not directed at them. It fell beneath them and Tony shouted. “Back away from this area. Hurry.”
Lockhart and Tony went in opposite directions, and the defenders near them followed. Lockhart looked briefly at Elder Stow who still sat there cross-legged, concentrating on his screen device. He saw Elder Stow touch something on his belt, and a moment later when a big hole appeared in the wall, and the wall in that place collapsed, Elder Stow continued to float there, unmoved. Of course, the light weapon killed the Wolv in that immediate area, so the Wolv who were still alive were in no position to take advantage of the hole, but they would soon enough if the defenders could not plug the gap.
Then, two hundred more Wolv came roaring out of the woods, making the total used in the attack only half of the Wolv brigade. And the defenders were already beaten and had a great hole in their wall besides. They would have surrendered to any human opponent, but they knew there was no surrendering to these beasts.
Boston and Sukki had babbled with each other through their wristwatch communicators. The people back at the inn might have heard the conversation, but the travelers on the wall could hardly pause long enough to make sense of it. Sukki and Boston, being well down on both ends of the wall, heard well enough. And they both said now at more or less the same time.
Boston fired on the spot where whatever made that big beam of light appeared to be located. Sukki raised her hands and let her power loose, full strength on the same spot from the other side. Neither had to fire for very long, and the weapon, or whatever it was, exploded. It sent up a huge cloud of smoke and shook the ground to where even the sure footed Wolv fell to the dirt. The wall shook, as did the nearby buildings in the town, and some men fell off the wall, while others grabbed the lip of the parapet.
“There,” Elder Stow said and smiled, pleased with himself and oblivious to all that happened around him. But as the two hundred Wolv got up and gathered to restart their charge toward the hole in the wall, they ran into a screen wall they could not breach. They crashed and bounced back, and no amount of clawing or biting with those powerful jaws made a difference.
Decker wanted to test the screens and see if they were indeed a Decker wall he could shoot through. He and Katie moved in toward Tony and Lockhart. There were still thirty or more Wolv on their side of the wall that had to be dealt with, and they would find the hole in the wooden wall soon enough.
Sir Bertulf moved up the men he held in reserve. They readied themselves for the onslaught. The travelers got to where they could shoot toward the hole. Boston and Sukki moved in toward the hole, but they leaned over the top of the wall and fried Wolv on the run. They figured, now that they had taken care of the main weapons of the enemy, they were free to turn on the Wolv. The enemy certainly knew they were there, though they probably imagined two very powerful handheld weapons.
Few Wolv made it inside the hole, and while many men got killed, Sir Bertulf had enough men to prevent the Wolv from breaking into the town. The travelers firing down from overhead had a lot to do with that. Alexis with her wand and Nanette with Lincoln’s handgun showing up also helped. Alexis especially was able to call up a hurricane force wind that blunted any charge the Wolv tried to make.
“Look out,” Elder Stow said, and pointed to the screen wall that rested some fifty yards out from the town wall. The travelers looked, and saw hand weapons, or maybe rifles fired from the other side. The golden light did not penetrate Elder Stow’s screen, but it did show where it touched the screen, and in this way, they appeared to be looking for the edge of the screen, and they found it.
The Wolv gathered by the two edges. Katie and Decker opened fire on the gatherings. Sukki looked tired, and Boston took a moment to turn Elder Stow’s weapon back to a wide angle shot; but she never fired the gun. Everyone, including the Wolv stopped when a large spaceship zoomed in to hover over the field. The Wolv started to run as some ten or so fighter ships came out from beneath the mother ship.
At first, the travelers feared the ship belonged to whoever brought the Wolv to earth, but when the Wolv appeared to turn and run for their lives, they understood this ship, if not on their side, at least was against the Wolv.