The true soldiers of the Nexus force leapt forth with a mighty roar. The Colonel paused for a moment, one boot deep in the snowbank, and the other upon the river’s treacherous surface. Inaudible shouts and the sound of a raging river filled his memory. Shaking his head to free himself of these thoughts, he returned to the battle at hand. Scanning the advancing line, he saw that it was slowing, the soldiers who hadn’t jet packs were slipping and sliding on the ice. “A sure foot and a swift stride buckoes! For Imagination!”
Four thousand throats echoed the battle cry. The Nexus line tore into the enemy ranks, steel to steel. The Colonel sent the Lieutenant colonel to support their own flank and bestrode the contested bank, sabre in his left hand, and his imagination pistol in his right. He scanned the battle, ready to rally the men should the Stromling line prove too fierce at any one point. A throaty scream came from the enemy trench below him as a Stromling empathizer thrust his blade upward, aiming for the Colonel’s exposed chest. The Colonel made a jumping swing, dashing the sword from the stromling’s hand. A moment later he lay upon his smashed opponent, half his sabre in the stromling. He withdrew his blade, but noticed a shadow had fallen on the smashed stromling’s face- it was more than the pallor of death, something was blocking the light. Like lightning the Colonel rolled on his back in time to parry a stromling’s downward thrust. Desperately, he put up his right arm and fired his imagination pistol at point blank range into the stromling’s bending body. The stromling burst in a flash of imagination.
Although it had only been a few minutes, the fighting had already receded from the bank. Nearly half of the enemy force engaged was either smashed or fleeing in smaller groups. The colonel gathered all his soldiers near the riverbank and lead them toward the enemy’s right. “We must turn their flank,” he said half to himself, and half to Emarcee, who was running by his side. Death had been close today, but no closer than a myriad times before. “If we can bunch them into their own centre, it will give us a chance to cross the river. Then the day is ours, excepting a miracle from God.”
“It’d definitely be an unasked for miracle, if it were to happen.” Emarcee grimaced.
“Aye, I do not ask for it friend, but look! TwoEdge is already upon them!”
“By thunder!” Emarcee exclaimed, “You’re right! He won’t take all the glory if I have something to say about it!” The capricious Sentinel sped off in pursuit of his comrade, outrunning even his colonel in his frantic haste.
The second Nexus force wave struck the Stromling empathizer’s left with overwhelming force, scattering the demoralized stromlings like leaves blown in the wind. The colonel ordered the recall to be sounded, his job was done; the Nexus Forces banner waved once more on the field of battle. Whereas the banner waved, the colonel knew that it was only a battle, and that the war had just begun.