As the day progressed, the stench from bodies lying in the hot sun grew steadily worse, and the air was becoming thicker by the moment with all the insects that so much dead flesh attracted. By the end of the second watch, there was an underlying hum in the air, even when men weren't talking, created by the rapid flapping of the millions and millions of tiny wings. Men were still in the process of dragging the dead bodies ...<< MORE >>
In much the same way that Scribonius couldn't fathom why the Wa didn't come finish what they had started, down in the Wa camps the survivors of their army were huddled together wondering when the grubworms would stride down the ridge and exact vengeance. However, unlike the Romans, the Wa were even more severely crippled in the area of leadership. Whereas Caesar lived, and even if he hadn't survived, the Centurions in his army had been trained and encouraged ...<< MORE >>
Entering Caesar's camp, Asinius Pollio's mouth hung open as he gazed about. Only when he looked to the right side of the forum did he see anything resembling a Roman camp, except that the usually neatly ordered streets were now crammed full of men lying in row upon row. Other men, both uniformed and noncombatant, were moving about, crouching next to a man to offer a drink of water, ladling it out of a bucket in one spot, while in others a pair ...<< MORE >>
"How are you still alive?" Scribonius blurted this out without thinking, so amazed at the sight of his friend, still breathing. Pullus, back on the ground and lying in his original position, managed a wan smile.
"I've been wondering the same thing," he muttered, sure that he had broken at least one tooth from clenching them so tightly.
The sword was still embedded in his body, the giant Roman refusing to allow the medici to remove it, ...<< MORE >>
It was only because of the shouted warning of one of his men that Felix turned in time to see one of the barbarians, this one wearing a helmet mounted with the wings of some white bird, come lunging at him with a screaming shout and upraised sword. Barely able to get his shield up in time, Felix just managed to block the massive blow that shook Felix all the way down to the soles of his caligae. Before he could answer, the barbarian had ...<< MORE >>
Outside the walls, Centurion Felix was startled by what he recognized as Roman voices, shouting in a manner that told his experienced ears that something good had happened. He was too busy to pay it more than passing attention, since at that moment he was thrusting his sword into the gut of a barbarian with a spear who had overstepped and left himself open. His sword was wet the entire length, and there was enemy blood splashed almost up to his elbow, but Felix was ...<< MORE >>
Looking back, Gaius Porcinus would never be able to accurately determine how much time actually elapsed from the moment the first ladders of the surprise attack had hit the wall and the point where he had his first inkling that the reserve Cohorts were holding the eastern wall. It was all a haze of pain, fear, and an agony that can only come from watching men under your care, men that you trained to the standards befitting a Legionary of Rome, fall to the flashing ...<< MORE >>
Hardly believing their luck, Felix and the men of the two leading Cohorts managed to close to within a hundred paces at a fast trot before they were noticed by some of the men at the rear of the Wa formation. Keeping the same pace for a handful of heartbeats more, Felix then called a halt when they were just a matter of thirty paces away.
Arms along ...<< MORE >>
Gasping for breath, Felix tried to ignore the steadily growing pain in his side, knowing that if he felt it so did his men. But he wouldn't let that stop him, the example of Artaxades, whose name he would never know, clear in his mind and spurring him on. Behind him the sound of hobnail boots hitting the rocky road surface, clanking bits of metal hitting each other, and the panting of almost an entire Legion of men filled Felix's ears. They were ...<< MORE >>
It seemed to take forever for Titus Pullus to make his way across the small remaining space behind the Legionaries still fighting, littered as it was with the detritus of the battle, including several bodies. Normally Pullus would have taken the time to say a brief prayer for his men who had fallen but at that moment all of his attention and concentration was on meeting the barbarian that he implicitly understood was the Wa general. Whether he was the overall commander and ...<< MORE >>