Avalon 8.0 Confrontations, part 5 of 6

“We all set?” Lockhart interrupted.  “Everybody clear on their assignments?”

People nodded, and Elder Stow touched the spot on his belt that made everyone invisible.  They could still see each other, but no one else would be able see them.  They all stood back and waited while Sukki went to the gate that had them locked in.  The gate got tied on the outside with a rope around a nail.  A simple but effective barrier.

Sukki stepped up and thought a minute.  She put her palms out to face the gate, and flat-handed the right and left sides.  The rope on her right puled the nail from the rock with it.  The hinge on the left busted completely, and the gate fell flat to the ground.  People silently indicated what a good job she did and how proud they were of her as they exited the cave.  The guards came in, wondering what happened, but they saw no one.

Elder Stow, Alexis, and Nanette walked to the horses, just outside the cave.  Boston, Sukki, and Tony ran ahead of them.  The horses stood in a small fenced off area, still saddled and ready to ride, with the bags and equipment still tied up.  Next to that area, a larger fenced in field easily held a hundred horses.  Twenty more horses, still ready to ride, got tied to the outside of the big fence, up near the hut.  Elder Stow figured they probably belonged to the men who rode into the camp with Chief Bobo—the servant of the Masters.

Boston, Sukki, and Tony found their own horses, and only startled them a little by being invisible.  Fortunately, the horses responded to the familiar voices, and did not mind the riders, as the three got right up and got ready to ride.

Elder Stow offered a thought when the other three got to the gate.  “The horses look untouched.  The locals probably got instructed not to touch anything until the chief showed up.”

“Either that, or they were afraid,” Nanette said.  “Who knows what they were told.”

“Or maybe the horses would not cooperate,” Alexis suggested.  “I imagine Chestnut would be wary of being touched by strangers.”

When the three at the gate opened up, Boston, Sukki, and Tony slipped an invisibility disc under the front of the saddle, and the horses disappeared.  Fortunately, the horses stayed calm, now being able to see their riders, who rode them through the gate, which Elder Stow and Nanette quickly closed.

Men ran around the camp.  They shouted and made an atmosphere of near panic.  Most looked for the travelers, but a group of five men came up to the fenced in area, and seeing horses still there, they relaxed.  They did not count the horses, and that made the travelers relax.  Elder Stow got the gate closed in time, before the five locals came to make sure it was still secure.

“Decker said, when they don’t find us in the camp, they will organize searches in the wilderness,” Nanette worried.  “They will especially search the road.”

“I am sure they will,” Alexis whispered back.  Elder Stow busied himself with his weapon.

Tony, Sukki, and Boston found the wagon off to the side of the fence.  Like the horses, it looked untouched, though Ghost had been taken from the harness.  The mule stayed by the wagon, a familiar anchor in a sea of strange men.  It quietly chewed on the grass and tried to ignore everyone.  Tony gave the wagon the once-over and checked the saddles and equipment in the back to be sure everything was there before he hitched up Ghost.  Ghost moved to the sound of Tony’s voice, who talked softly to him the whole time as he put him back in the harness.  Once secure, he attached a disc to the leather by Ghost’s shoulders.  Ghost went invisible.  The other two discs he carried got attached to the front and back end of the wagon to make it invisible as well.

Boston took the reins of Tony’s horse and started carefully down the hill.  Sukki pulled up alongside Ghost to help guide the animal, while Tony got up on the buckboard.  They wanted to get as far as they could before the locals discovered the wagon was missing.  They wanted to get off the direct line to the road in case some men grabbed the waiting horses and rushed to the road, searching for them.  Being invisible was a good thing, but it would not do to have horses slam into the back end of the invisible wagon.  Besides, they could still be heard.  The wagon was not exactly silent moving across the rough ground.

Boston led the way but stopped a second when she heard gunfire come from above.  They all looked.

Lockhart, Katie, Lincoln, and Decker went to find their weapons.  They rightly guessed the weapons got stored in the hut, away from the wind and rain.  They fully expected to find the chief of the Masters and his local leaders there, and imagined him to be examining the weapons and maybe describing the basics to his lieutenants.

The hut appeared quiet, even as the men in the camp began to run around and shout, but they did not burst in the front door.  They did not want to give themselves away, even being invisible.  They walked once around the hut to check for windows.  They found one window open out back by the cooking fires where women had a cow quartered and roasting.  Some of the women stirred cauldrons and others made flatbread.

“Okay,” Decker whispered.  “Now I’m hungry.”

The others looked inside.  The chief sat with four other men, examining the weapons that they laid out on a big table.  None of them touched the weapons except the chief, who turned a few over and mumbled.  The Travelers understood that the servant of the Masters had another lifetime in the far future, where the masters lived and instructed him.  There was no telling, however, how far in the future that lifetime might be.  He might not be familiar with something as primitive as guns—projectile weapons from the early twenty-first century.  He might have to examine them closely first, to understand how they worked and what they were capable of.

Lockhart spoke softly.  “Katie and Lincoln.  See if you can get inside by the window.  Decker and I will go back around to the front door.  I can see from here; the door has a simple rope latch.  It should not be too difficult to kick in.  Give me a peep on the watch when you are inside.”

They paused as the Chief spoke up.  “Go and see what all that noise is about,” he said, and sent one of the men out of the hut.

Katie nodded, and hurried, when Lincoln pointed, as if to say, ladies first.  Decker and Lockhart also hurried by the far side of the house, where the local horses were tied off.  They saw Alexis and Nanette walk up to start untying one horse after another.  They opted not to stop and ask what they had in mind.  Alexis waved.

“When I bust the door,” Decker said, quickly, volunteering to do the deed.  “You go right, and I’ll go left.”

Lockhart shrugged.  “Okay.”  He did this kind of thing plenty of times back when he served as military police, and then after he joined that Michigan police force.

Lincoln’s voice came through the watch communicator.  “Peep.”  He sounded like an electronic timer just went off.  Lockhart breathed not aware he had been holding his breath.  He worried they might make too much noise climbing through the window and be found out.  Lockhart saw men coming to the hut, but he did not have to say, hurry.  Decker did not give himself much of a running start.  The door gave little resistance.

Everyone inside the hut shouted at once.  Katie grabbed one man’s knife and stabbed him right in the middle.  Lincoln grabbed another man’s knife, but the man turned into the touch, so Lincoln stabbed the man’s arm.  The man fell but might survive.  The third man in the room jumped up.  Decker did not have time to look for weapons.  He grabbed the man from behind, slipped his arm around the man’s neck, and used his other hand to grab the man’s chin.  He snapped the man’s neck.

Lockhart went straight to the table.  He grabbed the closest handgun which went invisible as soon as he picked it up.  The Chief man grabbed a different handgun and began to look around.  He saw no assailants as he fired three random shots around the room.  Lockhart put three bullets in the man’s chest.

“Everyone okay?”  Lockhart asked.

“My shoulder,” Lincoln said.  “Just a scratch, but I think the man beside me is dead.”

“Should-a ducked,” Decker said, as he put on his gun belt and picked up his rifle.  He turned to the door while the others grabbed their things.  Men started running toward the hut.  Decker flipped his rifle to automatic and sprayed the crowd with bullets.  He put five on the ground, and the others scattered.

Lincoln grabbed Tony’s gun belt and Sukki’s belt that had only a knife, and they exited the hut as quickly as they could.  They caught up with Alexis and Nanette, who finished untying the local horses.  Elder Stow, floating about ten feet in the air, let his sonic device squeal.  The travelers tried not to object.  The local horses, already skittish because of the wild activity in the camp, scattered.  Elder Stow floated closer and got them into a good run.

When the others reached the pen that their horses were in, they found five men by the gate.  The men all lay on the ground, probably unconscious.  No one saw any burn holes in the men, so they assumed Elder Stow turned his weapon to the stun setting.

“Take Mudd.  I’ll catch up.”  Elder Stow spoke through his communication device.

Nanette, Alexis, and Katie used the last three invisibility discs on their horses. Lockhart’s, Lincoln’s, Decker’s, and Eder Stow’s horses would have to remain visible.  They did not wait, as Nanette took Mudd’s reins so the others could have their hands free for their weapons, and Alexis could pull her wand if needed.

The travelers stopped when they got down to the road.  There were men on the road, but they were all on foot.  The wagon had not been moved much further along.  Lockhart imagined the wagon being half-way to the exit of the pass, but Tony opted to pull the wagon off the road and a short way across the grass where it would not be heard moving, and not be seen as long as it remained invisible.

Katie looked back at the red and orange of the sunset.  The day was done.  It would be dark soon enough.  She thought, if they could get past the men walking the road, they might get away completely.  Decker spoiled that as he pulled up his rifle and single-shot one of the men.  Katie almost yelled, but they saw a sudden opening in the side of the hill, and some twenty dwarfs came pouring from the hill, axes swinging.  Men screamed.  About half of them got chopped up, but half ran right past the travelers, and did not look like they would stop running any time soon.

Avalon 8.0 Confrontations, part 4 of 6

Lockhart studied the two armies as the travelers hurried to get out from between them.  “I can’t see any difference between the two groups,” he admitted.  “How do they know who to fight?”

“There are subtle differences,” Katie said.  “But they are both Huns.”  After a minute, she added, “I think the one on Elder Stow’s side is the bigger army.  Of course, that may not matter.  I haven’t seen this kind of battle, and the scholars describe how they think it worked but they really don’t know how it worked.  I can only guess.  The scholars mostly just report the winners and losers.”

After another minute, Boston said a bit too loud.  “What are they waiting for?”

“I don’t know,” Lockhart said, “But we better hurry and get out of the way.”  He hardly had to urge people to hurry.  Even Ghost, the mule, moved as quick as he could, the tension in the air being as thick as it was.

Finally, the travelers squirted out from between the two armies.  Still the armies waited, until the travelers were beyond harm’s way.  Then, all at once, with no discernable sign given, both armies charged each other across the road.  The travelers paused to watch.  It soon looked like a killing free-for-all.

“How do they decide who wins?” Lockhart asked the rhetorical question.

Decker shrugged.  “They will fight for a while, but they can’t keep it up at that level of intensity for long.  Shortly, one side will signal a withdraw, and the other side will also pull back.  They will rest for an hour, or maybe several hours before they form up and go at it again.  They will do this until sundown.  No one fights after dark.  Then one might sneak away in the dark, if they have lost too many men, or feel they are losing the battle.  If both still feel they can win, they will be right back at it at sunrise.”

“The thing is,” Katie said.  “If one side starts to withdraw, because maybe they are losing too many men and they need to regroup, if the other side is not ready to break, or maybe feel they are winning, the withdraw can become a full retreat, and in these days, retreat risks becoming a route, where it’s every man for himself.  In that case, the winning side will give chase, and they usually end up slaughtering the retreating army.”

Decker grunted.  “Unless the losing side escapes in the night under the cover of darkness, they will end up being slaughtered, retreat or no retreat.  Some commanders don’t know when to quit.  That can be a good thing, or really stupid, depending.”

“We need to move on,” Lockhart said.  They rode a little up into the pass before Lockhart called for them to get down and walk the horses.  That was when Katie shared a thought.

“I bet the two armies waited for us to get out of the way because the three witches on one side, and Elder Stow and Sukki on the other side put a real fear of God into them.  They waited until we were far enough away so we would not be caught up in the battle.”

Lockhart looked back at his group.  “I suppose that is very possible.”

###

In the afternoon, the travelers came to a narrow way in the pass.  Shale mountain cliffs pushed in, and the road narrowed.  They discussed stopping and building a camp before entering that strip.  Elder Stow had put away his scanner, but Lincoln had the relevant information in the database.

“The narrow spot is not that long.  It should open up again on the other side and we should be able to find a place to stop where we can watch, but not block the road.”

People went with Lincoln’s suggestion.  Ghost appeared to make it up to the high point without too much trouble, and as the saying suggested, it was all downhill from there.  The rest got down from their horses and planned to walk through, in case they came to a spot that got exceptionally narrow.

They got about half-way into the narrow place before men stood up and came out from behind the rocks.  The travelers found men in front and behind.  They became surrounded with spears.

“Don’t resist,” Lockhart ordered.

“Do they want us to pay the toll?” Lincoln asked. He read about that and may have mentioned it to the others a day ago.  He picked up a leather pouch in one of the villages they passed through and filled it with what he imagined was a generous number of coins.

The men said nothing.  They immediately began to strip the travelers of their weapons, including their gun belts. Decker was reluctant to let go of his rife, but he honestly had no choice.  When the men tried to grab the reigns of the horses, Alexis’ horse, Chestnut, and Boston’s horse, Strawberry, balked.  It took a minute to get them settled down.  Ghost refused to move at all.  Tony had to lead the mule by the nose, and he explained to the mule.

“We have to cooperate, or these men might make you into mule stew.”

They went to the end of the narrow place and got taken to a hut on the hillside near a shallow cave.  The travelers got pushed into the cave and a simple door got closed across the entrance.  Clearly, the cave had been used for sheep.  Katie pointed to the dry water trough, but the general smell of the place gave it away.

“I hope they take care of Cocoa,” Sukki said of her horse.

“I still have my things,” Elder Stow said.  “But what to do is the question.  There are about eight guards outside the door.”

“I have my wand and stuff in my slip,” Boston said.  “I haven’t done it much, but I could try going insubstantial enough to slip through the door and maybe check on the horses.”

“No,” Alexis said, firmly.

“Sukki could use some of her strength and break the door open,” Nanette was thinking.

“But then what?” Decker asked, and people quieted to think.

Katie finally asked, “Elder Stow, how many of those discs do you have where you can make us all invisible?”

“I have a whole pocket full of multi-purpose discs,” he answered.  “I just have to tune them to the invisible spectrum.”

“Do you have enough for all of us, our horses, Ghost and the wagon?” Alexis asked.

After a moment to calculate, Elder Stow shook his head, “No.”

“Maybe we should see what they want first,” Lockhart said, and people sat down to wait.  They waited for an hour while the sun started toward the horizon.

At last, they peered out between the gate railings and saw a small troop of something like soldiers arrive.  One man got down right away and marched with a swagger to the door.  The guards opened up, and he came inside with two rough looking men with swords drawn flanking him.

“So, these are the travelers,” he said.

“Are you charging a toll to let us move on?” Lincoln asked, and the man laughed in his face.

“Do you use money on Avalon?” he said.  “I never would have imagined that.”  He laughed again at his own thoughts.  “Besides, I have all your money, and everything else already, including all of your guns.”  He shook a finger at them.

“The Masters,” Katie said to identify the man.

“You have been noticed and interfered once too often.  I decided, instead of making more guns and powder for you to come along and blow up, I would just steal your guns.  After using you for target practice, we will make our guns, and model them after the ones you so graciously provided.”

“What do you hope to gain?” Katie asked.

The man paused to look over the travelers.  He did not seem to care if he told them or not.  “We sit at the center of the world between east and west.  The Alchon Huna already did me a favor by tearing down the Gupta in what you call India.  Now, after the Alchon Huna and the Nezak Huna beat themselves to exhaustion. we will move in.  I have men working on the Turks further north.  I expect they will join us for the riches they can gain.  We will invade Sassanid lands to break the back of the New Persians and reestablish the Kushan Empire.  Then we will cross the so-called Persian Gulf to Yemen and drive up the Hejaz to burn Mecca.  After that, only Constantinople far in the west and the Sui Dynasty far in the east will remain to pose a threat.”  He stopped talking and smiled.  “You get the idea.”

“Lord Bobo,” someone called from outside.

The swaggering man and his two guards left, and the gate got tied shut again.  Lockhart frowned and stuck his hand out.

“Elder Stow get out your discs,” he said.

“Boston.  You need to go invisible using one of Elder Stow’s discs, like the rest of us,” Alexis insisted.  “If you go elf invisible, we won’t be able to see you, and we will all need to keep in touch without having to talk.”

“That’s okay,” Boston said.  “Being elf invisible, as you call it, is still very draining.”

Alexis smiled for the girl.  “You’ll get used to it.  You know, being invisible and insubstantial at the same time is how the little spirits of the earth get around and do most of their work in the world.  You will get the hang of it.  Soon enough, it will become the most natural way to be.  Manifesting into a visible, physical form will feel awkward.”

“Not awkward,” Boston said.  “But like a second choice.  That’s what Roland told me.”  She flipped her emotions, as fairies and young elves do, from happy to sad in a blink.  “Roland said being physical still feels natural, and takes no effort, even if it is second choice.”  Boston let a tear fall.  “I miss Roland.”

Alexis gave her a hug.  “I miss my brother, too.”

Avalon 8.0 Confrontations, part 3 of 6

The next day, Lincoln made everyone gather around.  He said they would have to go by Kabul and Hadda to reach the Khyber Pass, the only viable way through to India.  “The thing is, after further reading, I think the capital of the Alchon Huns is north of the line, and the capital of the Nezak Huns is south of the line, and those two Huna groups at some point fight for dominance.  We need to squeeze between the two to reach the pass.”

“In other words,” Lockhart summarized.  “We are probably entering a war zone, so we need to keep our eyes and ears wide open.”

“Kind of like World War One,” Decker interjected.  “We need to sneak down no-man’s land between the German and allied trenches.”

People looked at Decker and turned their eyes to Tony.  They had been careful not to talk about what Tony might face when he got home.  Lincoln calculated that Tony left the future in 1905, but given his time living in the past, and now counting the expected travel time, he would probably get home in 1914, just in time for the war.  And they certainly did not want to name the war as number one.  But Tony just waved off their concerns.

“That’s okay,” he said.  “The Kairos told me.  I already have my Colt M1911, and a good trench knife.  I already figured the time gate will be near enough to the Kairos to be in the middle of something.  A world war is no surprise, and the fact that it is number one is honestly no surprise, either.  I used to read the newspapers back in 1905.  Europe is a mess.”  He shrugged.

The travelers breathed, and headed out, thinking, there were still plenty of things Tony and Nanette did not need to know about their future.

###

Shortly after they gave Kabul a wide berth, they returned to the road in time for Decker to come racing in from the wing.  “Boston.  Sukki.  Report.” Decker spoke into his wristwatch communicator as he reigned to a stop.  Elder Stow saw and pulled in close to hear.  The others had already stopped to wait.

“There is a whole army in a valley a half mile out,” he pointed.  “About two thousand horsemen.  No way they will chase us, but they might send a company, a hundred, or at least have scouts out watching the road.  They may have already seen us.”

“No,” Elder Stow said, as he joined the group from the other wing.  “I have the scanner set for our immediate area.  No one has been near to see us.  I did not pick up the army, however.  I can see I will have to expand the scan radius to at least half a mile.”  He looked at his scanner and turned his head in surprise.  Boston and Sukki came racing back from the point.  They looked like something was following them.  Suddenly, Boston stopped and leapt off her horse.  She pulled her wand and laid down a line of fire across the road.  The flames reached as high as her head, and the travelers saw a troop of Huns come screeching to a halt behind the fire.

Lockhart and Katie moved forward before they got down and walked ahead of the others.  Lincoln and Alexis moved up enough to hold the horses, but Sukki stopped right there, so she held Katie’s horse.  Boston came back and stopped at the front group, next to Alexis, while Nanette marched forward from the rear.  That left Decker and Elder Stow to guard Tony and the wagon.

One of the Huns stepped forward from his group.  He looked like a shaman.  He raised his hands, and while Boston’s fire already began to burn itself out, he appeared to lower his hands, and the fire quickly went out.  That got the attention of Alexis and Boston who stepped up behind Lockhart and Katie.  Nanette squeezed between the two women and whispered.

“If I had my power, I could remove them from the road.”  Nanette seemed unhappy about something and seemed to want to take it out on the Huns.

Lockhart quickly spoke over top.  “We are simple travelers.  We are headed for distant lands and have no interest in your troubles.  We will not interfere.  We will respect your land, and we will be gone, shortly.”

“I think you are not such simple travelers,” one big man spoke from horseback.

“You have a witch…” the shaman added.

“No,” Katie interrupted, and stepped to the side as she spoke, pointing behind herself.  “She is an elf.  These other two are witches.” Katie smiled.  The Huns did not smile, and the shaman began to move his hands like he got ready to employ a spell.

“Here,” Alexis said to Nanette, as she touched Nanette’s shoulder.  Boston touched the other shoulder but said nothing.  Nanette felt filled with power, more than she ever imagined.  She had the ability, but when the other earth was out of phase, and thus not leaking magic energy into our universe, she could do nothing.  She never imagined borrowing the power of others, and between Alexis and Boston, she had twice what she needed.

Nanette pulled her wand, and before the shaman could finish his incantation, he, and all of his Huns, got caught up in a whirlwind.  The wind became merciless.  It picked them up, horses and all, and flew them a quarter mile away, where it deposited them in an open field. Some got down quickly.  Some got thrown when their horses bucked.  Some got stepped on when the horses panicked.  The Huns also panicked.  The shaman, and a number of others felt so dizzy, they threw up.  None of them were in any condition to follow the travelers, or even report back to the army.

The travelers knew none of this.  All they saw was Nanette’s smile and all they heard was Lockhart’s words.

“Let’s move on while we can.”

###

The next day, near the same time, just shy of Hadda, Elder Stow reported an army on a hillside.  “About two thousand horsemen,” he said into his communicator, so everyone heard.

“Move in close,” Lockhart ordered.  “Decker.  Move in but keep your eyes open.  Boston, stay within sight.”  The road appeared flanked by meadows.  The only trees were up ahead, to the right of the road.  Elder Stow said the Huns were in the trees, so no one looked surprised when several men rode out of the trees and stopped near the road.  No one doubted there were many more still hidden among the trees.  Lockhart and Katie nudged their horses forward, but this time, they did not dismount.

“We are simple travelers.”  Lockhart spoke up.  “We are headed for a distant land.  We have no quarrel with you.  We will respect your land and soon be gone.”  He tried to smile.

One of the Huns answered.  “You do not look like simple travelers.  Give us your gold and silver.  We will search your wagon and take your horses.  Then you can leave.”

Katie imagined Elder Stow got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.  Without asking permission, which felt very uncharacteristic, he floated out of his saddle.  Sukki floated up beside him and would not let him do whatever stupid thing he had in mind alone.

Elder Stow pulled out his sonic device and plugged it into his communication device.  It amplified his voice and added a nice echoing touch.  “You were asked nicely.  Now, you get one warning shot.  Leave the road and leave us alone or suffer the consequences.”  He pulled out his weapon.  Sukki noticed and raised her hands.  Elder Stow fired, and Sukki let her power flow from her hands.  They sliced off the tops of the nearest trees and set the trees on fire.  First Elder Stow, and then Sukki, fired into the ground in front of the trees and the ground exploded.

“That is your warning.  Leave us alone or next time we will aim at you.”  Elder Stow returned to his horse and Sukki returned to hers.  The Huns turned away without a word, and tried to walk their horses, but in fact trotted, and nearly galloped back to the trees, to disappear in the woods.

Elder Stow apologized to Lockhart and Katie when he rejoined the group.  “My mother and father, please forgive me if I overstepped my bounds.  I take full responsibility for my actions and those of my adopted daughter.  I overreacted and humbly apologize.”

“Try not to let it happen again,” Katie said, smiled, and let Lockhart speak.

“But in this instance, don’t worry about it.  No harm done.”  He turned to ride down the road and said no more about it.

###

The following morning, the caravan road they followed appeared to be in good shape.  Lincoln took a turn driving the wagon.  Alexis rode with him.  They crossed a plain that appeared wide open and plenty dusty, but in the distance up ahead, the travelers could see the mountains closing in.  They figured the famous Khyber Pass would be something like a gorge between two of those mountains, where the mountains did not quite meet.

The sun beat down, hot, but the travelers relaxed, believing if they got well into the pass on that day, they might find the Kairos around noon the next day.  Boston called it late spring, or early summer.  Alexis pointed out the flowers she saw.  When Lockhart called for everyone to get down and walk the horses, Sukki and Nanette paused to pick some flowers.  Tony paused with them to watch over them.  Those three first saw the dust stirred up in the distance.  Decker reported as much just moments later.

It looked like one of those armies they passed might be heading right toward them.  Lockhart did not panic, even when Elder Stow noted the dust storm on the other side of the road.  Lockhart told everyone to mount up.  He said they could walk and rest the horses once they got fully into the pass.  He felt a little afraid that these armies decided to fight over control of the pass, and they might follow them into the pass.

“We need to hurry,” Kate said, as the leading elements of the armies came within visual range.

“I don’t think Ghost can pull the wagon much faster in this sun, especially when we start heading up into the pass itself.”

Lockhart talked into his communicator, though he might have simply yelled back.  “Try to hurry Ghost along as well as you can.”

Decker and Elder Stow pulled in to flank the travelers in close order, while Boston dropped back to lead the procession.  The leading elements of the armies stopped a hundred feet back from the road on either side.

“Are they waiting for the rest of the army to catch up?” Nanette asked.

Decker shook his head.  “I don’t know what they are doing.”

As the travelers pushed forward along the road, right between the two enemies, the rest of those armies slowly caught up.  But still they waited.

************************

MONDAY

Two Hun armies will meet on the road to the Khyber pass, right where the travelers are desperately trying to get out of the way.  Until Monday, Happy Reading.

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