Jabur rubbed his nose with the back of his hand, then swatted at an insect buzzing in his face. It was the first discernable movement he had made in over 15 minutes. Jabur was a Neve, a small form of mutated human who had long ago migrated from earth. Although small, even for his race, he was exceptionally strong, intelligent, and had a very good memory. This made him an ideal Taker. A Taker was originally a person who took what they wanted, such as a thief or a warrior. In his case he was a paid Taker, akin to the guards or mercenaries of old earth. He was paid by the Talkers, or politicians, to guard the mother tree.
Jabur stood his silent vigil in the east fork of the south branch of the Nevenan Mother Tree, one of the largest and most prestigious Mother Trees on Battlegraud.
Clad in a green hooded cloak to blend in with the foliage, he sat in the woven basket designed just for that purpose. Holding his bow ready, he watched the skies and the ground for any signs of movement.
A Mother Tree was an enormous tree so huge, that each tree could support an entire human colony. Long ago, during colonization, predators had killed many of the planet's new settlers. Out of necessity the population took to the trees. It was soon found that the Mother Trees, the largest of all indigenous trees, was wonderfully suited for this purpose. It's huge strong limbs, some a mile long and 50 yards across, could support an entire community with very little modification. Since the Mother Tree used much of the resources in the area, the Mother Trees had naturally spread out symmetrically, each claiming it's own large territory. This, in turn, spread the human communities across the planet equally. Each Mother Tree provided food and water to the community, through it's sap and rain runoff, and food through nuts and a myriad of fruited hanging parasitical vines. Farmers supplemented this food with crops designed to grow beneath the huge branches. They provided grains and vegetables, while the hunting Takers provided meat and fish.
The tinkle of female laughter drew Jabur's attention to the river. Far off he could see the sparkle of white, female bodies as they took their afternoon bathes. The young adult females were bathing at this time, as usual. And they seemed to be vying for his attention. It had been the same for over a month, since he took over sentry duty on the south branch.
Jabur looked around self-consciously, then picked up the field glasses hanging from the stub of a branch near his elbow. He adjusted the glasses until he had focused in on the naked females. One looked in his direction, even as he watch. She covered her mouth and giggled, while pointing at him. He realized that the flash of the field glasses had given him away. Nevertheless, they continued their lewd and encouraging conduct. Nessay was washing the back of Bandy, one of his fellow Takers. Jabur felt his cock grow hard as Nessay reached around Bandy's back and grabbed each firm cone in one tiny hand. Bandy was exceptionally shapely and beautiful. If Jabur was interested in pairing, at his young age, he would certainly consider Bandy. But on a planet where a pairing could last for more than 800 years, a pairing was not taken lightly. Coupling, on the other hand, could take place at the drop of a hat, especially between people below the normal breeding age of 90. Even as he watched, Bandy turned and gave Nessay a full lipped kiss. Nessay raised Bandy to her feet and placed her mouth on her small tight-lipped pussy. She nuzzled and licked, while Bandy bent over her head and rubbed her wet hair. Bandy's face was twisted with emotion. Nessay broke contact and spoke. Bandy changed her stance, spreading her legs much wider.
Nessay tipped her head back and applied her lips to Bandy's pussy. Bandy jerked and cried out, her face twisted in passion until it was almost unrecognizable. The other girls turned to watch. Some took their cue and moved together, some laughed and looked on, and others simply watched in interest.
Jabur was getting desperately horny. Licking his lips he leaned forward, sharpening his focus on Bandy's tits, and Nessay's bobbing head. Then, to his horror, he watched as they suddenly stood and moved off into the bushes.
"You little tease," he mumbled, cursing himself for being so gullible. His glasses went to the other girls. It was a pool of delicious female flesh now withering and moaning in delight. The Sachans would love to get their hands on them, he realized. Remembering the seriousness of his duties, he put the glasses back and continued his watch. But his thoughts centered on Bandy. What a girl!
The Sachans were rumored to be at war on this side of the Blue Knife mountain range. The Sachans were a violent race consisting of only Takers. Coming from the great yellow desert where there were no Mother Trees, they raised no food, they reaped no harvest, they simply took, living off the hard work of others. Jabur was determined not to let this happen to his tribe. He must keep his mind on his duties.
A movement in the sky, far off toward the blue mountains, caught Jabur's attention. He turned to see a huge Shiny approaching. Luckily, he recognized the Shiny as that of a friend. It flapped it's yellow wings effortlessly, then glided forward, slowly losing altitude as it approached the Mother Tree. It had a red chair strapped to it's back. It was a carrier of great importance.
"Mother Rush returns!" Jabur yelled down to the workers below. In a moment a large group of Talkers poured from the trunk of the Mother Tree and spread to await the arrival of Mother Rush. Rush was important, she was a Talker, like the important men of the tribe below, but she was also a witch. Even the Sachans were afraid to anger her. She was from Neverpool, a famous prosperous tribe who lived just south of Nevenan.
The Shiny descended in a slow spiral. Rush's Shiny was unique, it had a red slash across it's feathered throat as if it had been cut by a knife. This, according to Rush, made it special, magical.
"Make way," Rush yelled, waving for the onlookers to move away from the landing pad. Doers were slow-witted and docile. They would work all day on a bowl of rice and a slab of meat, but they couldn't think for themselves. They did what they were told, but tended to move slowly and do stupid things.
Talkers and Takers were far more intelligent. Jabur was a Taker, a Taker paid to protect the tribe. Talkers governed the tribe and oversaw the work of the Doers. It was possible for Jabur to rise to the rank of Talker, as he grew older and gained more wisdom. But he still had 200 hundreds years of youth before he had to worry about that.
"News, Father Alliace," Rush yelled as the Shiny landed and settled it's wings with a slight shake. Rush was helped down from her chair. She turned and looked at the faces around her. Her gaze lingered on Jabur. He was considered a good looking male, even in his own community, but that was not why she was interested.
"What news, Mother Rush?" Alliace asked, returning her attention to him. Jabur could see the jealousy in his old blood-shot eyes. Rush was not Alliace's mother, Mother was a term used for any female who had given birth, as was the term Father, given to any male who had fathered a child. Jabur was just Jabur, since he had no children. Alliace had high hopes of allying with Rush.
Jabur moved closer so he could hear the news, intentionally standing close to Rush to further infuriate Alliace.
Like the other, Jabur dreaded war, but at the same time he was fascinated by it. War was exciting, and there was little excitement in a farming community like Nevenan. Also, war brought booty, female slaves, wealth, and glory. Jabur was unpaired, he could use an exciting female slave. It was rumored that the Sachans were famous for beautiful, high-spirited women.
"The worst, I'm afraid. The Sachans have invaded south of the Blue Knife range. They have attacked three Neve communities, Neverban, Nevelfar, and Nevemata. They..." she paused, swallowing quickly. "They set fire to the Mother Trees," she finished with a hiss. The resulting uproar caused a pause in the conversation. Even the dull-witted Doers were screaming in outrage. Rush finally lifted a hand so she could speak.
"They are heading in this direction. I am here to organize your Takers, to ally with the other Takers and confront them at the river with the Neve battalion. We believe that a strong show of force can stop them there. I have organized Shinys for transportation," she called, pointing behind her. Jabur's hair bristled at the sight of a hundred chaired Shinys in the air to the east. It looked like an invading army. Jabur raised his bow nervously.
"Remain at ease, Taker," Rush said, seeing Jabur's movements. "They are friends, Jabur," she said with a slight smile. Jabur heard Alliace's hiss of annoyance. Jabur suddenly realized that Rush had used his personal name. He was honored. Was she truly interested in him, or simply trying to annoy Alliace? A pairing with Rush would make him a leader among his own people and many other close Neve tribes. He would rule Alliace, in a sense. He liked that idea. On the other hand, Rush as at least 200 years older than himself. Jabur was almost a child, he had just turned 30. Also, Rush had hinted many times that he had the makings of a witch, at some time in the distant future. It usually took hundreds of years for a witch talent to show. Two witches rarely paired, as their powers often conflicted. Of course Alliace didn't know this.
Jabur gasped as Rush's mind invaded his mind. Tendrils of thought touched different parts of his body. Her thoughts centered on each area associated with a body part and stimulated it briefly, before moving on to another. First his nipples began to tingle and he felt them grow hard, as if he were a girl. Second, he felt his ass being stimulated, or rather invaded. The intense warmth spread throughout his body. Before he could adjust to this embarassment, he felt her mind probe his cock, stiffening it and mentally stroking it until he was on the verge of an orgasm.
To the others, Jabur simply gasped and stiffened. A few noticed his stiffened cock, but did not mention it. In reality only seconds had passed. For Jabur, it seemed as if she had touched him for hours. He felt her gentle mental fingers touching him everywhere, and could do nothing about it.
Finally her mind rested for a moment on his memories and conscience, then disappeared. There was a warm area where Rush's mind had been. Jabur knew why he had been probed. Besides teasing him, for which she was famous, she was testing his courage, physical strength, and honesty. He knew this because it happened frequently. She called it keeping him honest. She smiled knowingly, signifying that he had passed her little test --- and that she had enjoyed it.
"Rush will lead your army," she said with a finality which brooked no argument. Alliace's mouth opened and closed, like a fish out of water. He wanted to scream his outrage, his own son was a Taker. But he knew better. Rush would simply make him look foolish in front of the entire village. Jabur wasted no time.
"Takers, front and center!" Jabur screamed. Several dozen men and women, including Alliace's son, ran forward and formed into a solid line. He counted the number of swords, bows, and spears. He had more than enough for his plan. Jabur had mentally planned for such an event for many years and now he could put his plan into action.
"Three lines," he commanded. "Spears to the fore, swords in the middle and bows in the rear," he yelled, pushing several people into place.
Doers ran screaming as line after line of Shiny landed in the nearby field.
"Find an appropriate Shiny and mobilize in this order," he yelled, waving his small army forward.
"The Sachans have no fliers," Rush whispered from his elbow. "It will be an infantry battle."
"I will keep the bows aloft to fire down upon their army," Jabur said, fearing that she would find this cowardly. She nodded slowly.
"Such a move would demoralize their army and minimize our casualties," she acceded.
"My thinking," Jabur agreed.
"Of course you will need the approval of the General. Do it if you can, and don't misplace my trust."
"Never," Jabur said with a dashing smile. He felt more alive at that moment, than he had at any other time in his life. He might be dead by nightfall, but today he would live.
"Onward to glory!" he yelled the traditional Neve battle cry. The Shinys rose almost simultaneously. The blur of wings and dust was awesome. The Neve felt invincible. Jabur looked down at the awed village and his chest thrust out in pride.
Three days later, exhausted, beaten, and demoralized, Jabur watched the remainder of his army form at the rear of the huge formation of the Neve battalion. Almost 100,000 warriors stood in front of his own small column. He had now lost half of his Takers, and still the Sachans continued to come, continued to attack, continued to win. Jabur had reported to Ladax, the general of the armies and been ordered to the rear. Rush stood next to General Ladax and did her best to defeat the enemy with magic. Jabur's bowmen were ordered down to the ground, and the Shinys were sent off to other duties. Jabur watched in frustrated anger, as wave after wave of Sachan armies rushed forward to attack and slaughter their people.
Again they fought, and again they lost. Seventeen Sachan Takers broke through to his lines, killing five more of his Takers. Trudging back to their area, he looked at the worn faces of the few who remained and shook his head sadly. Ten men carried stretchers with the dead back toward their camp. In a few more engagements the remaining women would have to help. Two women had been killed only minutes before. Twelve men and four women remained. How many more?
"Don't misplace my trust," Rush had said. Well he had no choice, each time he tried to discuss his plan with the General, the General ordered him back to his Company. When would he learn that traditional fighting was not going to work against the Sachans. The Sachans had destroyed half the planet. The Neve would be next. The Sachans were not as polite as two warring Neve tribes might be. They did not observe the rules, they took no prisoners. Ladax would have to change, to meet the new threat. Traditional methods were not working.
"What?" he roared, then softened when he saw the hurt look on Bandy's face. "What?" he asked again, softly. Bandy had looked so young and sweet, while bathing a few days before. Now she looked hardened and weary.
"Make love to me," she begged. "I have a feeling... this may be my last day," she said quietly. Jabur wanted to argue, to object to her fatalistic attitude, but he knew she may be right. It was just a matter of time.
"Gladly," he nodded, looking into her blood spattered face. He shouldered his bow and walked closer to her. His arm went around her waist, pulling her against him.
"War is no place for women," Jabur said sadly.
"Nor men," Bandy agreed.
Jabur relaxed on the furs as Bandy took the canvas bucket to the water wagon and filled it. He checked his body for cuts, but found only the blood of others, and a few bruises. Sachans had an annoying habit of hitting you with a sword hilt, before standing back and plunging a sword through your body. He had learned to take the hit and kill quickly with his dagger, before they could step back. It was a wonderful strategy, but very painful.
Bandy appeared with the water. She tied the tent flap closed and began immediately taking off her clothing until she stood naked before him. His eyes went from her blood- spattered face, to her clean, perfectly-shaped small conned breasts. She was tiny. Jabur knew he could reach around her waist, or either thigh, with his two hands. She looked more like a little sprite, rather than a fierce Taker with many kills behind her.
"If the Sachans had known what you look like naked, they may have gladly given up their lives," Jabur said with a smile.
"Maybe I should try that next time. No, I might attract more Takers than I can fend off alone."
"True," he said as he watched her wash her magnificent body. She had the smallest tuft of light brown hair above her pussy. It was dainty and beautiful. Her pussy lips were small and fragile. Jabur suddenly wondered if she had ever made love to a man.
"Are you a virgin?" he asked quietly.
"Yes, but I'm not dying as one."
She turned and bent over the bucket of water, washing her pussy as she straddled it. For the first time his eyes began picking out the scars on her body. He counted three slashes and two stab wounds on her back alone. Most were small, almost trivial. Then his eyes went to her small, dimpled ass, and all her scars were forgotten. He felt his cock aching to plunge up inside that perfect little ass. It was time to clean up.
"Save the water for me."
"It's dirty," she said with a look of disgust.
"I'm too tired to get more," he said, stripping off his clothing.
"You are our leader, let other's do it," she said, going to the doorway. She pulled the flap aside and tossed out the dirty water.
"Willa, more water," she commanded, holding out the bucket. Willa took the bucket without a word and walked off.
"You are more of a leader than I am," he said sullenly.
"No, I speak for the leader. I must, you refuse to speak for yourself."
"Agreed," he nodded. He stood, finally naked.
As he waited for the water, many thoughts raced through Jabur's head. He suddenly realized that he had not been much of a leader. He simply led them forward to die. He must change. But first, an amazingly beautiful young woman awaited him.
"Let me wash you," she whispered as she retrieved the bucket of water. "Lay down," she commanded, pushing him back. With an odd smile he stumbled back and laid on the pillow.
"The last time I saw you bathe, it was in the river with Nessay. She made love to you. I was so mad when you went off into the bushes to finish."
Bandy paused, holding the rag just above his crotch. "I didn't want an audience, it was personal," she whispered as she rinsed the rag and started his face and neck. He felt his cock hardening at the memory of that river incident.
"I wish she was here now," Jabur said quietly. "I'd love to watch."
"I wish she was too," Bandy said in a tiny voice. "We've been lovers since I was 17."
As she started on Jabur's legs, he sat up to watch. She was so beautiful, so dainty. He grimaced as he saw the water. She followed his glance and nodded.
"Blood," she said quietly. "I've seen enough blood to last a lifetime."
"And I," he agreed. He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her over on top of him. Even before he could move, her mouth sought out his. They kissed passionately, withering on the furs. His hands went to her small, firm ass. Her hands were everywhere on his body, seeking, massaging, stimulating until he felt feverish. With shaking hands he rolled her over so she rested on her back on the furs. He cupped one breast in his hand, while he stimulated the nipple of the other. She was very responsive. She withered beneath his hands, gasping for breath as she looked up at him with an adoring gaze. He leaned down and captured her right nipple in his lips. He sucked and strummed the nipple, enjoying her violent response. She held his head in place and massaged his hair, as he sucked like a babe feasting on it's mother's milk.
"Oh yes," she gasped. Jabur slid his spare hand down to touch her crotch. He first ran his hands through the pelt of hair above her pussy, then slid it down until it cupped her warm, sweetly scented lips.
"Oh, oh, eeee," she squealed, lifting her mound to meet his hand. He soon found himself holding his hand in place, while she lifted and humped his hand with her small, delicate petals. In a moment the smell of sex was strong in the tent. He knew she was ready.
"Roll over," he whispered. She knew what he wanted. She immediately rolled over and rose to her knees. He first kissed each firm ass cheek, then he cupped her breasts in his hands while leaning forward and inserting the tip of his cock between her warm pussy lips. She pushed backward, impaling herself violently on his rigid member. He again found himself remaining still while she rode back against him, violently pummeling his hips with her tight little ass.
A warrior, regardless of sex, could not afford the luxury of fat. And the few who had it, lost it in a prolonged battle as the river battles had been. The longest battle they fought was the first battle, which lasted for over ten hours. That was a lot of exercise.
Their level of fitness certainly enhanced the quality of their sexual lives, if the myriad of cuts and bruises did not interfere.
"Oh yes!" Bandy screamed as she pummeled Jabur with her hard little ass. He was sliding smoothly in and out of her sticky little hole. The sound of wet pussy lips grasping his hard cock was very erotic. The sight of one of the most beautiful women in the village, down on her hands and knees before him, was even more erotic. Jabur knew this first time would not last long. The feeling of her firm little cones in his hands was wonderful. They were so hard and hot. He tried to stimulate her nipples with his thumbs, but it was not easy as she bounced forward and back.
The way the bed swayed helped maintain their tempo. The bed was constructed of sticks and rawhide, covered with furs. The looseness of the rawhide straps allowed the bed to sway easily beneath their weight.
"Yes, fuck me," Bandy howled. Jabur heard some comments, and a little laughter, coming from outside the tent walls. But it was natural. In a community of tents, the sounds of sex routinely filtered into to other tents. The sound alone was usually enough to stimulate other couples into further sexual acts.
Bandy suddenly stopped, frozen into place. Jabur felt his hackles rise. He looked around for a sign of danger, then listened carefully, but heard nothing.
"What's the matter?" he finally asked.
"No... nothing, nothing at all," Bandy said in a strained voice. She again began sliding forward and back, but this time she did so at a more sedate pace. She occasionally slid back against him and wiggled a little to get more penetration, before she slid off him again. Her moans were lower, more controlled. Her tempo was more sedate.
"Are you all right?" he asked again in concern.
"Wonderful," she gasped, allowing her head to hang down. She rocked gently against him. He began ramming his cock savagely into her pussy, as he felt his balls beginning to burn. He knew his time was near. It was only seconds now before...
"Oh yes," he hissed. He redoubled his attack on her sweet little pussy. Mashing her ass cheeks in his hands, he pounded away until the orgasm struck like a dam bursting.
"Ahhheee," he howled, vibrating against her tiny ass, with his cock pressed hard against her ass cheeks for better penetration. It felt wonderful, heavenly. The moist heat of her pussy was fantastic.
She waited patiently as he emptied he contents of his balls into her moist flesh. She looked back and smiled, waiting for him to wilt behind her. Finally he stopped jerking and pulled out reluctantly. He looked at her with shame.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"For what? I will simply have to wait," she said with a smile. "Or???"
"Or?" he asked.
"Have you ever seen two women make love?" she asked with a smile.
"Only you and Nessay."
"Nessay? Oh yes, her," Bandy said as if she just remembered her life long friend and lover. Jabur frowned. He sat up, looking down at Bandy as she spread out on the bed.
"Women lovers have a problem. It occurs every month, if you get my meaning."
"Sure," Jabur nodded.
"Well that can be very inconvenient. Two women spend half their lives waiting for the period to end. One week for one woman, and one week for the other, unless they are lucky enough to have them at the same times."
"Yes, yes, I know this," Jabur said impatiently.
"You do? Oh well, I am just leading up to a request. You see there are ways of having sex, even though the period is upon them. If you will allow me?" she said, climbing back to her hands and knees. She turned Jabur over on his left side. He looked at her quizzically, while she straddled his body and rested her tiny pussy on his right hip. Then, as he rested, she rode gently forward and back on his hip.
"That feel kind of nice," Jabur agreed. He felt her wetness on his hip. It was hot and pleasing.
"It's wonderful," Bandy moaned with her eyes closed. She rode that way for several minutes before she began to increase her pace. Her breathing came rapidly, her efforts more urgent. It took only a moment for Bandy to grab his rib cage and ride herself to her own violent orgasm. She cried out in a restrained voice, moaning and biting her lips, until her orgasm faltered and ended.
"Oh, Jabur, that was wonderful," she sighed, leaning forward and kissing him soundly. "It's the best sex I've had in a hundred years," she gave him a sly smile.
"Right," he said sarcastically. Bandy's face went through several changes, then she fell to the furs in complete exhaustion.
"Are you alright?" he leaped forward to sit her up.
"THAT BITCH, THAT EVIL OLD BITCH!" Bandy screamed.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, concerned over her sanity.
"That old witch shared my body with me while we made love," Bandy said in outrage. "I'll yank every hair out of that old cow's head," she screamed, jumping to her feet. She stormed out of the tent starting an uproar. She jumped back into the tent and picked up her clothing. With a sheepish expression she began dressing.
"That sneaky old witch," Jabur said with a new respect for her powers. "Maybe I should talk to her as well. That gives me an idea."
"GENERAL, GENERAL!" Willa said, running into the tent.
"What is it, Willa?" Willa looked from Bandy, who was still dressing, to Jabur.
"Spies have infiltrated the camp. The water is poisoned," she said, looking at the bloody bucket.
"Don't worry, we didn't drink any," Jabur said shyly. "Empty the wagon and have somebody get more. Send them upstream, I don't want blood in it."
"I... I already have," she said, looking down at Jabur's nakedness. She smiled sheepishly and left. But she left the distinct impression that she would like to be next in line. Jabur would remember that. Willa was a strong, and not overly beautiful, woman, but she was very sexy.
"I need food," Jabur said as he dressed. He left the tent, only to find that the cooked food had been poisoned by the water. It had all been dumped.
"Blast this," Jabur suddenly yelled.
"What?" Willa said from the rock where she had begun sharpening her sword.
"I said blast this. And blast Ladax while you're at it. He couldn't lead a sing-along."
"He is the general of the armies," she pointed out as she continued sharpening her sword.
"Why? Why is he the general of the armies? Who appointed him to that position?"
"His father, and his father before him. The position has been passed down since the dark times."
"What if I don't recognize that authority? What if I promote myself to general of my own army?"
"You can't do that?" she snorted.
"I can and I will," Jabur said, tossing down the branch he was holding. "Get the army ready for action, we are succeeding from the Neve battalion as of now. I'm going to see Rush," he said, stalking off toward the high mound in the center of the battalion.
Jabur was coated with mud from his knees down, as he climbed the hill where the Neve command resided. Jabur saw Rush looking off toward the Sachan army. She suddenly turned and looked at Jabur. Ladax also turned. His face clouded with anger. Her's turned red in embarassment.
"Get back to your place," Ladax said with a haughty look.
"Go to hell, moron. I'm here to see Mother Rush."
"Get out!" Ladax screamed, grabbing the hilt of his knife.
"Pull that knife and I'll kill you," Jabur said between clenched teeth. "Somebody should have done that long ago, it would have saved thousands of Neve lives. Rush, I'm here to discuss that plan, which our moronic General decided to scrap. Can you get me Shinys?"
"Oh course," she nodded.
"No!" Ladax yelled.
"I've had about enough of you," Jabur said, half pulling his sword.
"Go to sleep," Rush said, waving her hand at the back of Ladax's head. He slumped to the ground. They ignored him, allowing him to lay in the mud.
"He serves his purpose," Mother Rush shrugged apologetically.
"On their way," she pointed to several dozen riderless Shinys.
"Oh, I'll need more bowmen," he gasped slipping and sliding as he ran down the hill. "Thanks," he called, waving over his shoulder.
"You are welcome," she whispered. The sound of her voice reverberated in his head. "And you didn't disappoint me," she whispered only to herself.
Sixty-seven golden Shinys filled the skies over the Neve lines with bowmen and women sitting astride their backs. At the suggestion of one female warrior, each carried a full quiver of arrows, and a leather pouch filled with fist-sized rocks. The rocks had been her idea. An arrow can be deflected by a metal shield, a rock would flatten the shield and the warrior beneath it.
The leader of the Sachans showed his fearlessness by hiding at the rear of his lines in a bright glowing red tent. He was daring spies to infiltrate his lines and destroy him, knowing full well that it was impossible, and also knowing that they would try. He had not planned on an aerial assault. The Sachans did not live in Mother Trees, so they had no Shinys. The aerial attack was a complete surprise, and brought about utter chaos, especially when the Shinys hovered over the bright red tent. Jabur smiled through clenched teeth as he saw the people milling below, suddenly intent on protecting their leader. Jabur raised his right arm, then lowered it with a jerk in the motion for attack. Sixty-six screaming arrows rocketed toward the red tent and the milling masses around it. Dozens feel. Even at their great height, they could hear the screams of pain and horror. The glint of hastily raised shields nearly blinded them.
"Rocks," Jabur screamed. He shouldered his own bow and dug three large rocks from his bag. He raised his arm high and dropped it, releasing his rock. He nearly lost his seating as he tried to follow the trajectory of the rock by leaning over the side. With an embarrassed start, he grabbed the saddle and dropped the other two rocks by accident.
More screams of horror and pain filtered up to them. Suddenly the entire encampment began to run. They ran without food, shelter, or weapons. They simply ran in complete horror, not knowing where they ran too, or how they would survive. A wave of movement on the Neve side of the river signaled the attack of the ground forces. The camp was mainly empty, but the Neve warriors took the opportunity to burn and pillage the Sachan encampment. After one more hour, the Sachans were scattered, weaponless, and destitute. Sachan hunting parties began spontaneously in the nearby Neve Mother Trees. Hundreds of Sachans were hunted down and slaughtered, the females placed in bonds.
The Sachan empire was broken. After centuries of war, fear, and loss, the Sachans were no longer a threat.
Jabur led his Shiny down to the mound where Mother Rush and General Ladax stood watching. Smoke poured in black columns from the Sachan encampment on the far side of the river, rising high up into the sky and partially blocking the sun.
"You are missing out on all the treasure," Ladax snarled.
"My own troops will look out for my best interests," Jabur smiled. "I expect a female slave or two out of this engagement," he added as he approached Rush and squeezed her arm.
"It looks like the people have a new General," Rush smiled, looking from Jabur to Ladax.
"Hardly," Ladax growled.
"A General can be elected or reelected after a great winning battle," Rush reminded him. "Shall we hold the election now, or will you step down?" she asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
Ladax cursed under his breath and stalked off.
"The Sachans are beaten, there is no longer a need for a General," Jabur said, although he stood a little taller.
"Oh, but there is. One benefit of being a witch, is the ability to see the future. There will be a need, General Jabur."
"We will see," Jabur said in a patronizing manner.
"Yes we will," she said smugly, "and one of those female slaves is mine," she added, with a sly sideward glance.