Sunday, February 10, 2008

What did I learn - 10 tips for writing

Spending a total of 45 days writing a novel, taught me quite a few things. First, let me give you a little background. I started this project with a co-worker asking if I’d like to get involved. I said yes and he replied “Oh yeah, it starts tomorrow.” So I sat down on that Saturday morning (Dec 22) with no idea of what to write about. What I knew was I had no story and had to write 50,000 words in approx. 30 days. The only other thing I had was a picture I found on the internet. I liked this picture and it stirred something in my mind, gave me images and thoughts. With this, I began to write.

I took the image of this picture and began to think of what I could write about. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to come up with a story without putting much thought into it. It wasn’t long before one event would lead to another and the story would at ties write itself, to a point. One of the more interesting things which happened for me was, when I was writing a scene where my main character was going into town to cause some mischief. As she was leaving, I get the thought to have her pick up a couple of water buckets. At first I was asking questions like ‘What is she going to do with these?’ and I kept asking ‘Where can I use these?’ as I was writing, it was shown to me where to write them in. This was done in a way where it felt natural.

As time went on and the holidays interrupted my writing time, also when it was hard to push out the required amount of words, I found it was too easy to not write. I learned down the road that it is easier to write a few hundred or a thousand words every day than it is to write several thousand in one day towards the end. If you are struggling, change the point of view or the scene and see where it takes you. I found for me, if I can get someone telling a story, I can write all day long. I was also instructed, ‘If stuck, jazz it up or gloss it over’. Throwing in a ninja pirate always helps.

I discovered that a schedule helps to keep you on track for what you wish to accomplish. Yes I started this project out with the intentions of completing it in 31 days, I ended up using 45. I figured that had I begun with an idea of what I wanted to write about and the 31 days didn’t fall around the holidays, I may have completed it in the required time. Although knowing me, I would have probably procrastinated until the last minute and then scrambled to finish. The point is I would finish.

I was asked by the co-worker who invited me to participate in this project if I liked my story. I looked at him and answered.


Actually, that is not completely true. I do like the story or at least the idea of it. I keep thinking to myself that it is only a first draft and as such, it is do for a re-write (or several). I know there are a lot of things in the novel that I want to improve upon or change. Right now, my novel is sitting on my shelf festering, waiting for the re-write. It is my hope that when I do the re-write, it becomes more of the novel I would like it to be. So, do I like my novel, Yes I do.

So now I can say that I have written a novel. Funny, I never heard the trumpets. But if you are interested in doing the same, I encourage you to do so. Just start writing. If you are interested in writing a novel in 30 days, check out and get busy writing (You don’t even have to wait until November).

My writing tips:

1. You can start from nothing and write a story.

2. 50,000 words are A LOT of words.

3. Trust your instincts. If an idea pops into your head to write something in, put it in and see where it takes you.

4. Writing a novel is hard work.

5. Having a daily schedule and discipline is key. Support groups help also.

6. Just get it on paper.

7. Re-writes are a blessing.

8. If stuck, jazz it up or gloss it over

9. You are only doing this for yourself and nobody else.

10. Enjoy writing. Have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be perfect.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Novel - Day 45 - 1,115 / 50,192

“This is your living quarters whenever you are in Capital City. There are two entrances, the one we came through which opens into the city and the other which leads into the government building. That is where your meetings will be held and any work that needs done while you are here.” Creance said.

“I don’t understand, are you saying that I am now some kind of governor or queen over Capital City?” Kiri asked.

“No, no well, at least not quite. The actual term is Deacon. The Deacon of Capital City is the one who controls the city but is also the one who is the leader of the country. Traditionally it has been the leader of The Network but it doesn’t need to be. That is your choice to make and will be one you will have to make this evening.”

“Why this evening? What’s this evening?” Kiri asked.

“This evening is the installation ceremony. It is when you officially take control of The Network. It is a big celebration and an even bigger feast following.” Creance said with a smile.

“Will you be there? To lead me through everything I mean, I don’t know what to do or what to say or how to act or…” Kiri stammered, obviously overwhelmed.

“I will be there, as will several other friendly faces. Speaking of friendly faces, Marcia, I mean, your mother has asked if she may be allowed to join you and help you prepare for this evening. I know it would make her quite happy, she said she would like the opportunity to be a mother and help her daughter prepare for a big event.” Creance said.

Kiri paused for a second and obviously a little nervous said, “I, I would like that.”

“Then if you will excuse me, I will show her in.” Creance said leaving as Marcia entered.

Kiri spent the next hour with her mother preparing for the installation ceremony. it was a little while later when a messenger knocked on their door and announced that it was time. Marcia led Kiri out the secondary exit and through the government building. They arrived at the entrance of the government building on the top of the steps where they held The Envahir at bay. But everything looked different, the building and steps were decorated in bright beautiful colors and adorned with flowers. The streets were filled with the villagers who had come to watch the celebration.

Kiri and Marcia stepped out onto the platform and the crowd erupted in cheers. They looked out over the people, not knowing what else to do, Kiri waved and smiled. They let the crowd cheer for a short while until Sallan stepped forward and raised his arms to quiet the crowd.

Crenace stepped forward, “It has been many years since we have had a true leader of The Network. Today, Kiri steps forward to take that position.”

The crowd broke into shouts and cheers. Creance raised his hand to silence the crowd.

As the crowd quieted down, one voice rang out, “’bout time it was a woman!”

This caused a few more cheers and laughs from the crowd. Kiri smiled.

“She has been taught and that training has been tested in battle and she has arrived stronger.” Creance continued, “She has accepted to become leader of the Network.”

Creance stepped back.

Marcia stepped forward, “Kiri approach and kneel before me.”

Kiri did as instructed.

A messenger approached and carried a sword upon a pillow; Kiri noticed that it was her sword. Marcia took the sword.

Touching the sword to each shoulder and then to Kiri’s head Marcia said, “By the powers entrusted to me from the committee and the former leaders of The Network; I bestow upon you the duties and privileges of The Leader of The Network. It is your destiny to uphold the strength and faith of this organization and this country. May you have the strength to fight, the compassion to love and the wisdom to lead.

Rise and accept your position; Kiri, Leader of The Network.”

Marcia held the sword out and Kiri took the sword. As soon as she did, Marcia and everyone in Capital City kneeled before her.

Kiri raised the sword above her head and said, “Rise”.

Everyone stood and the crowd once again broke into shouts and cheers. Gongs sounded throughout the city.

Kiri placed her sword in its scabbard and approached the crowd. “People of Capital City we have all undergone some difficult times these last few days. While we have come out of the fight victorious, it is not without losses of our own. As we begin to celebrate this evening with a feast, I ask you kind people if you can find it in your hearts to help those who had a part in protecting your beautiful city. I ask that if you have anything to give to help the townspeople to the south rebuild their town, it would be graciously appreciated.”

Kiri thought it couldn’t hurt to ask for help to rebuild the town. She had decided that she herself would carry back the few goods they gathered. Kiri was amazed as she watched parts of the crowds break away and gather wagons and pile them with belongings.

Marcia approached and said to Kiri, “You must announce your acceptance as Deacon of Capital City. The celebration is then over and then we can proclaim the festivities to begin”

Kiri looked at Marcia and glanced at Creance then approached the crowd once again.

“It has been brought to my attention that the leader of The Network traditionally becomes The Deacon of Capital City. I have decided that this will not be my intention.”

The crowd gasped, Marcia and Crenace looked at her with concern.

“At this point in my education and abilities, I am not prepared well enough to do what I believe would be an adequate job of ruling over your city. Instead I have decided to extend the offer to someone much more capable at this time to be Deacon.

Creance, would you accept the position?” Kiri asked.

“I would be honored to accept the position of Deacon on your behalf.” Creance said.

“Then as Deacon, I suggest you make your first official proclamation.” Kiri suggested.

Creance turned to the crowd, “Let the celebration begin!”

Kiri stayed for a couple of days in Capital City before returning to her town. The supplies from Capital City had allowed the town to rebuild and recover. Including a brand new rebuilt bar and inn where Kiri took up residence. Kiri, along with her mother spent their time between the bar in town and Capital City.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Novel - Day 44 - 3,839 / 49,077

“You do not need friendship and commitment when you have power. With power, you can order your followers to do anything you wish and they will follow your commands. With power, you have fear and discipline.” Voler said.

“As for our new leader, her abilities and wisdom are stronger than that of her father. I have complete faith in her to lead The Network and abolish the country of The Envahir and any other invaders who try to take over. And, if she wishes for me to take charge of more than just being her protector, then I will do as she asks because, I believe in her and I choose to follow her.” Crenace said.

Humbled by Creance’s remarks, Kiri bowed her head.

“Then it will be in death that you will follow her.” Voler said, “Soldiers of the Envahir regroup!”

“Network, fall in.” Creance commanded.

Soldiers from both groups moved behind their leaders, they took this time to care for wounds and retrieve weapons; preparing for what they felt would be the final push to take the Government building.

“Your blood will adorn the steps of my capital.” Voler threatened. “It is not too late, lay down your swords and I promise you, I will be gracious and spare the lives of you and your soldiers.”

“My blood may be on these steps but, it will be your body which they will drag from these steps and I will be the one who puts it there.” Creance said, “My soldiers and I will live because of your defeat and if they fall in battle, it will be with honor”

As Voler reached for his sword, a commotion began from the one side of the gathering of soldiers.

“Make a hole, clear the way!” a voice could be heard ordering soldiers to move.

As the soldiers cleared a path, Epier emerged through the crowd. Epier was carrying his sword but the jacket of his uniform was removed. He had several wounds on his arms and legs. He appeared to be in good health but had fought his way to get to this area.

Voler and Creance both looked at Epier.

Voler laughed, “Ha looks like the old gang is all here. Now that the scales have been tipped a little farther in our favor, would you like to reconsider where you want to stand?”

Creance said, “My stand and The Network’s remains the same as it has always been.”

“Order Epier to kill him.” Lexa said, “We can see who has the real power.”

“Power? This is about power?” Epier yelled, “We will see who has real power.”

Epier walked towards Voler, stopped and stared at Lexa. Epier grabbed Lexa by the face and shoved her backwards. Surprised, Lexa stumbled backwards and landed on her butt. Embarrassed and angered, Lexa scrambled to get up quickly; Epier pulled his sword and pointed it at Lexa. Voler chuckled to himself. Lexa pulled her sword and started towards Epier, Voler raised his hand and she stopped.

Epier backed up and stood beside Creance.

“True power rests with those who believe in what they are fighting for and it is with them I choose to fight with.” Epier said.

Voler’s face turned red with anger, “You! You of all people have chosen to leave me and join them? When I have taken this City and become ruler of this country, I will spare your life. You will be put on public display and you will be tortured endlessly and yet death will never come for you!”

Epier stepped backwards and stood a couple of steps higher than Creance and Kiri.

“Soldiers of The Envahir! Soldiers of the Envahir, listen to me. I, Epier was once your Lieutenant. I commanded you and issued orders to you. I have one more order to issue. That is for you to choose the side you wish to stand with.

Voler has held his power of fear over you long enough. I for one know too well the effects of that power and what it can do to your spirit. Voler can only use that power of fear if you allow him to. There are strength in numbers and the greater the numbers are that stand against Voler, the less powerful his fear becomes.

I encourage you to take a stand as I have, follow my lead and join the Network. Face your fear and stand up to Voler.

I assure you that if you choose to stand with the Network, you will be safe. You will not be held accountable for your actions as an Envahir soldier and you will be given your freedom to do as you wish.

Who will stand with me?”

Everything was silent, nobody moved.

Epier began to wonder if anyone had heard or understood what he was trying to say. There was some whispering among the soldiers.

“Those who stay and fight with me will be promoted and their wages doubled.” Voler countered.

The murmuring among the soldiers grew louder. Heads began to turn and remarks became louder as one young man came up the side, carrying his sword. The young man approached the line between the two armies, cautiously he walked into no man’s land between the two groups.

“Kill him!” ordered Voler.

The young man took a step backwards.

Without an order, all of the members of The Network pulled their swords and surged forward, stopping just behind Creance and Kiri. Epier approached the young man, put his sword in its sheath and held his hands out towards the young man. The young man crossed the line and climbed the step towards Epier.

Epier clapped the young man on the back, “Welcome. But you may want to lose this.” Epier said motioning to the soldier’s jacket.

The young man sheathed his sword, removed his jacket and threw it at Voler’s feet. Voler’s faced turned red as he stabbed the soldier’s jacket with his sword. Any words he may have said were lost amid the cheers of the Network.

Epier looked to the Envahir and raised his arms. A surge of Envahir soldiers came towards the Network. The soldiers had put away their swords and were removing their jackets, throwing them towards Voler. They climbed the steps and were greeted by the members of The Network. The size of The Network grew tremendously.

Voler stood unmoving with Lexa beside him. Behind them were a few Envahir soldiers. Some remained firm, other were glancing around nervously obviously unsure of what to do, they turned and ran. Voler’s army was clearly weakened and all but defeated.

“Now where do you stand?” Creance asked, “The balance has obviously shifted. You and your now very small army are all but defeated. Surrender now and I will see to it that you are given a fair trial.”

“I will never surrender.” Voler said.

Lexa looked around nervously and then ran leaving Voler standing there alone.

“Mine!” Kiri called and ran after Lexa.

Creance motioned for two members of The Network to follow her, they ran after her.

Kiri ran and followed Lexa down the alleys. At every turn, Kiri expected Lexa to be swinging a sword at her. As Kiri began to gain on her, Lexa pulled the junk which had made the barricades into the path. Kiri was only slowed a little bit but continued to gain on her. Lexa would grab a rock or a small item when she could and through it at Kiri but that only served to slow her a bit.

Lexa turned a corner and ran into a dead end. She turned, took a fight stance and faced Kiri. As Kiri turned the corner and saw Lexa there ready to fight, she stopped.

“It doesn’t have to end this way.” Kiri said, “You can still join us.”

“I can’t. I have no choice. I must win or die.” Lexa said.

“As you wish.” Kiri said as she ran towards Lexa.

Kiri ran at Lexa and their swords clashed with such force that Lexa stumbled backwards but quickly regained her balance. Lexa returned blows with Kiri and they fought back and forth for a while, neither gaining ground on the other. Kiri remembered back to their first fight and began to use some of the moves on Lexa to gain an upper hand. Kiri was able to knock Lexa to the ground. Lexa’s sword was angled between a brick and the ground; Kiri brought her boot down upon the sword and snapped the sword in half. With Lexa on her knees, Kiri grabbed her head and pulled Lexa’s head back and put her sword to Lexa’s throat.

“Please…please kill me. Forgive me for what I have done.” Lexa said, “Have mercy on me and please kill me. I can’t go back to him. He will torture me for running away and he will never let me die. He will torture me, worse than he ever did before. He will torture me until my body can’t take anymore. He will never spare me. I beg of you, please kill me.”

Kiri was silent for a moment. The network members who were following Kiri had rounded the corner and stopped.

“I couldn’t make life that easy on you.” Kiri said and pushed Lexa forward, “Bind her up and bring her with us.”

“Noooo!” Lexa cried.

“I will never surrender”, Voler said, “And I will never quit until I have killed you.”

“Then this is a good day, for we have finally found something we agree on. For I will never surrender and I shall never quit until I have killed you.” Creance said.

Voler pulled his sword. The members of The Network including those who had just defected, surged forward Creance raised his hand.

“This is my fight. Nobody is to interfere we will settle this with one fight. You are to only hold what is left of his army at bay.” Creance commanded.

Creance pulled his sword and walked down the steps of the government building. As he approached Voler, everyone else backed away giving them room. Creance and Voler began to fight, their swords crashing against each other. Throughout the many blows they traded, Creance had his side cut open and Voler had injuries on his arms. They were well matched against one another. Voler powered his way into Creance. As Creance blocked Voler’s sword, they came face to face.

“It’s not too late to surrender.” Voler said.

“As The Protector, it is my duty to avenge the death of my friend and that is what I will do.” Creance said as he pushed Voler away.

Voler stumbled backwards and tripped over the body of a fallen soldier. Creance moved forward and stood over Voler. Voler grabbed a handful of dirt and threw it into Creance’s face. Instinctively, Creance dropped his sword and reached for his eyes. Too late, Creance realized his mistake; Voler charged him, kicked away his sword and knocked Creance to the ground.

Epier and the other members of The Network moved forward.

“Hold it!” Voler said, pointing his sword onto Creance’s chest. “You wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for killing the old man would you?”

“Kill him!” Creance yelled.

Voler pushed the sword a little firmer into Creance’s chest. Creance winced and tightened.

“It would’ve been so easy to kill you as soon as you dropped your sword but, I wanted you to watch as I took your life.” Voler said.

“Hold it!” someone called out.

Voler looked up and saw Kiri dragging an obviously bound Lexa behind her.

Kiri forced Lexa into a kneeling position and yanked her head back. Kiri put her sword to Lexa’s neck.

“Let go of the sword or she dies.” Kiri said.

“Please kill me.” Lexa whimpered.

“What do I care about her? Kill her.” Voler said as he turned his attention back towards Creance.

“Damn it!” Kiri said, pushing Lexa away, smacking her head off of the ground.

Kiri whistled, Creance turned his head to look at her. Kiri slid the sword as hard as she could towards Creance. Creance grabbed the sword and in one upward motion, shoved it upward into Voler, pushing him to the side. Voler gasped and fell to the ground next to Creance. Epier and the others converged around Voler’s dying body and Creance.

“Contain the remaining soldiers.” Epier commanded.

Members of The Network quickly surrounded the remaining members of The Envahir. The few, who tried to escape, were quickly killed. The others dropped their swords and fell to their knees in surrender.

Creance stumbled towards Kiri, holding out her sword he said, “Thank you for use of your sword.” Kiri took the sword and hugged the older man.

Above Capital City, the flag lowered. A few seconds later, the flag rose again with the flag of Capital City flying and directly beneath it, the flag of The Network. Cheers went up from the members of The Network and throughout the city; those cheers were joined by that of the villagers. People poured out of their homes and onto the rooftops and cheered.

The young man, who Sam and Ted sent outside of the city, approached the main entrance to the City along with some of the villagers; he was dressed in the uniform of an Envahir soldier.

“Halt!” the guard at the gate called.

Sergeant Gamin approached as the guard began to question them.

“I was ordered to bring them here.” the young man said.

“My orders said nothing about any soldiers escorting prisoners here.” Sergeant Gamin said.

“What’s your name sir?”

“Gamin, Sergeant Gamin.”

“Very well, I’ll take them back; I just wanted to know whose name to give when Captain Voler asks why these prisoners are coming back. Turn it around, looks like we’re heading back to Capital City.” the young man said.


The young man stopped.

“It is a prison. I was simply saying that my orders didn’t say anything about them being escorted. Bring them in.” Sergeant Gamin said.

As the young man and the villagers approached Sergeant Gamin, they pulled swords and contained the guards.

“Guards!” Sergeant Gamin called.

The three men guarding the houses came rushing towards the main gate. They reached the gate, with their swords drawn.

“Now if you will kindly drop to your knees Sergeant, we will bind your hands and no one will be hurt.” the young man said.

“Ha! If you haven’t noticed, with my guards here, you are outnumbered. It is you who will be bound.” Sergeant Gamin said.

One of the men who had been guarding the houses approached Sergeant Gamin and said, “Hello there. It would be best if you did what the boy asked of you.”

Sergeant Gamin glanced around and saw all of the guards had taken off their caps and was not his soldiers. Without a word, Sergeant Gamin dropped to his knees and placed his hands behind his back. All of the Envahir soldiers were placed in makeshift prisons and guarded.

One of the men who had been acting as a guard over the houses went and opened the doors. All of the townspeople came rushing out of the houses. Cheering and shouting. George grabbed a sword, walked to the center of town and chopped the rope that held Scott suspended upon the pole. Scott dropped to the ground and landed on George knocking him to the ground, breaking Scott’s fall.

“Damn this is BS.” Scott said.

“I know Scott, I know. You’ll be alright now; we’ll get you fixed up.” George said as he carried Scott to one of the houses. Several of the women followed to care for him.

Sam watched as George carried Scott away. Several of the townspeople were leading Sergeant Gamin away to a jail.

“Hold on.” Sam called, “I’ve got a better place for him. String him up. If it’s good enough for them to prove a point to out townspeople, maybe it will prove a point to the Envahir.”

“No. Wait, please don’t do this.” Gamin pleaded.

The men dragged Sergeant Gamin towards the center of town where the pole stood and raised him up the pole. Sergeant Gamin cried out for some time until he realized that it was of no use.

Sam turned over a rain barrel and climbed up on it.

“Listen up!” Sam called, “I need everyone who is able to gather here.”

Slowly, the townspeople began to gather around Sam.

Everyone started asking, “What’s the matter? What’s going on? What are we doing?”

When everybody appeared to be assembled, Sam began, “This is not over yet. We may have control of our town back at the moment but, that is not the end. We do not know what the status of the fight at Capital City is. If the fight has not gone in our favor, The Envahir may very well return here. If they do, we must be prepared. If they are too strong for us to defeat, we must be able to stall them long enough to give us time to escape with our lives. Be prepared to escape this town with nothing more than your lives. If you take belongings with you, it will slow you down and The Envahir will capture or kill you.

We must be ready for them if they return. We will try to hold them and secure our town but, if they appear to strong for us, we will do what we can to give us as much time as possible to escape. We need everyone to pitch in to prepare the town and gather every weapon they can find or anything they can use as a weapon.”

Sam organized the people and had them set about preparing the town. It wasn’t long before the town was putting the last pieces in place. A boy came running through the main gate shouting, “Someone’s coming! Someone’s coming!”

“Everyone man your positions.” Sam yelled.

The town was deadly silent. The wait was agonizing. Ted saw the mother of the boy questioning him and starting to yell at him, obviously thinking the same thing everyone else had begun to think; that the boy had cried wolf.

Sam saw figures break the crest of the hill on the road leading to town. He looked hard and willed his eyes to focus. He saw someone carrying a banner with The Network’s flag and saw Kiri leading the group. Sam saw Kiri with her sword drawn, ready for battle and the old hermit was next to her, looking a little worse for wear but also, with his sword drawn.

“It’s them! The Network. We won!” Sam screamed.

Everyone filled the streets the town cheered.

Sam ran towards them shouting, “Kiri, we did it, we have control of the town. He threw his arms around Kiri.

Kiri, Creance and the other members of The Network entered the town amid shouts and cheers.

“It’s all finished. Now it will be nice to just have a good meal, good drink and a long rest. Could I bother you to find that for each of my men?” Kiri asked Sam.

“Bother to find you that? Ha!” Sam said as he jumped up on a rain barrel.

“Fellow townspeople, I urge you to prepare a feast; today we celebrate our victory and we honor those who have fought in battle to protect our home and our country! I also ask that if you have room to spare to house one of these brave fighters, I ask that you step forward and present your offer.” Sam called.

Sam was not able to climb down from his rain barrel; the entire town had surged forward and surrounded him. They were shouting out to him, offering housing for the fighters.

“It appears as though you will have room enough to spare.” Sam said to Kiri, turning to the town he said, “Go prepare for the celebration feast.”

Kiri looked at Sam, “Thank you and I have something for you which may be added to the feast. It is my offering and it is what I promised to you.”

Kiri whispered to a couple of young men who left and returned a few minutes later carrying a cask of beer.

The celebration lasted most of the day. It wasn’t until later in the day that Kiri had walked through the town and came across the burned site where her bar had stood. This was the first time she actually was able to look through the remains. The only things that survived the fire were the fireplace and the bell which she had always rung for last call.

“We are going to rebuild it.” Sam said as he approached Kiri, “I’ve already heard people talking about it. They’ve been talking about rebuilding the town and people keep bringing up the bar. They want to rebuild it because you have done so much for us.”

“I don’t know. It’s just that I have so much responsibility now, I don’t know if I could go back to running a bar.” Kiri said.

“Come on! Where else can I go to convince Ted of my hair brained schemes?” Sam said.

“I suppose I might be able to but, I’d probably have to get someone to run the place for me. It would have to be someone I could trust.” Kiri said.

“Would the position come with all you can drink?” Sam asked.

Kiri and her group stayed in town for a few days until Creance came to her with a horse laden with all of his belongings.

“We must get back to the Capital, there are things there which we need to take care of. Besides, you don’t expect Epier and your mother to keep things under control forever do you. Those two together can be a bad mix.” Creance said.

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Kiri asked.

“The mark of a truly great leader is learning from their mistakes.” Creannce said.

Kiri left and returned a little while later with a horse of her own which was carrying the few belongings which she had to her name. Creance and Kiri left for Capital City.

Kiri entered Capital City very differently than she did the first time she came. This time it was surrounded by quiet and peacefulness. She looked upon the city with the wide eyed astonishment of a child. Everywhere she looked; the city had been cleaned and repaired. The shops were opened and had beautiful colors adorning their storefronts. Everyone she passed smiled, waved, or said thank you. A few younger children, especially girls, saluted her. Surprised and humbled by their reactions, Kiri saluted the children.

Creance led Kiri to a large beautifully ordained building and showed her in. Kiri realized that this was to be her living quarters while she was here in Capital City. The rooms were decorated beautifully with bright colors and wonderful furnishings, the likes of which she had never experienced before.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Novel - Day 43 - 538 / 45,238

Creance and Kiri squeezed in between a pile of junk in the alleyway which was put there, like in the other parts of town, as a barricade to separate The Envahir. As they made their way through the barricade, Kiri saw they came out in front of a large building with a lot of steps leading up to it’s doorway. Envahir soldiers and members of the Network were fighting on the steps. The streets leading to the building were covered with the wounded and dead of both armies.

“Where are we? What is this place?” Kiri asked.

“This is the government building; we need to protect it at all costs. If Voler captures this, the fight is lost; he controls everything, the city and the country.” Creance said, “This is why we took the path we did, so we could get here as fast as possible. We can’t let him win.”

The Envahir had driven part way up the steps, The Network was trying to hold their own but, they were weakening. Members of The Network were being struck down. The Envahir appeared to be winning.

“Attack!” Creance yelled.

Creance, Kiri and their group attacked the Envahir from the side. As they reached the Envahir soldiers, the unsuspected attack allowed Kiri’s group to kill a few of the soldiers before they realized what was happening. The added support for The Network allowed them to drive the Envahir back to the street. Kiri looked about her and saw the bodies and wounded of both The Envahir and The Network and yet, it seemed as though there were many more to take their place. It appeared as though finally, The Network may have a chance to beat The Envahir. As tired as she was, Kiri was trying to use all of the skills she had learned recently; which helped her to defeat her enemies.

As The Network drove The Envahir backwards, trying to contain them, the blockade at the end of the street opened up and Envahir soldiers poured through. As they made their way through, the fighting didn’t increase but rather stopped. The lines of fighters separated and a few, both Envahir and Network members, who did not separate were thrown to the side. Many of the soldiers scrambled to get out of the way. The last few soldiers moved out of the way and in front of Creance stood Voler. Kiri moved next to Creance, gripping her sword, she stared at Lexa who stood behind Voler.

“I should have known you were behind all of this, Creance.” Voler said, “You always were one to get in the way and cause problems.”

“Perhaps you may be right Voler but, the way I see it is you were always the one who created the problems in the first place.” Creance said.

“And now I see you have a little puppet to order around.” Voler said, pointing his sword at Kiri, “Or are you going to let the little girl make decisions for you the way her daddy always did?”

“You see Voler that is where you misunderstand things; there are two concepts you have never been able to understand, friendship and commitment.”

“Those things matter little to me.” Voler replied.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Novel - Day 41 - 536 / 44,700

Sam and Ted squeezed there way through the small, un-boarded window in the back of the house. About eighteen other men and boys joined them.

“Come along, come along, follow Sam and be quiet.” Ted whispered.

Sam led the men into an alleyway and waited quietly.

The villagers from Capital City made their way through the woods and quietly camped out near the groups of soldiers. The larger groups of villagers were near the entrances to the town with the largest being near the main road. When everyone appeared to be ready, the young man gave out a howl, like a wolf.

At hearing the howl, Sam motioned to one of the boys in his group. The boy made his way behind the houses and up the alley between the houses. Laughing and yelling, the boy ran out of the alley and past the guard.

“Betcha can’t catch me, you goon.” the boy yelled, knocking off the guards hat as he ran by.

“Hey! Get back here. You ain’t supposed to be out, I’ll lock ya up!” the guard yelled, pulling his sword and chasing after the boy down the alley.

The last words of the guard were caught in his throat as he made it half way down the alley. He was faced with about twenty men who were now surrounding him and brandishing everything from sticks and stones to coat racks and pans which were obviously from the house they were supposed to be locked up in.

The guard stood there panic stricken. “Please don’t kill me!” he said as he dropped to his knees. A few minutes later, the guard was stripped and bound. One of the townsmen put on the guard’s clothes and walked to the front of the house and assumed his post. The townsman stood there at his ‘post’ for awhile, relieved that nobody approached him or questioned him. He heard a faint tap on the door, he turned and opened the door and walked in. He waited a second or two then stepped out and called to the guards who were watching the other buildings.

“Hey come here, check this out!” the townsman called, motioning for the two guards to come over.

As the guards opened the door, the townsman stepped behind them and gave them a slight push while the men inside grabbed their arms and pulled them inside. They shut the door and quickly subdued the guards, stripping and binding them. Within a couple of minutes, three ‘guards’ were standing at their posts in front of the building. A howl came from somewhere behind the building, the guards took no notice.

On opposite sides of the town, the villagers flung a stone towards the soldiers who were watching the minor roads out of town. One of the guards stepped into the woods to investigate. As soon as he was out of sight of the other soldiers, he stepped in a snare and was hoisted in the air. The soldier on the other side of town was immediately surrounded and tackled by villagers. When they didn’t come out, other soldiers went in the woods looking for them. It wasn’t long before all of the soldiers had been captured.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Novel - Day 40 - 503 / 44,164

The young man who had escaped the town dressed as an Envahir soldier, hid in the woods until he was sure the Envahir had all left the town. Then he waited. He began to get discouraged and he started to feel as though he had risked his life for nothing when he saw groups of people coming down the road. He noticed that it wasn’t soldiers but villagers from Capital City. Many who had looks of worry on their faces and appeared to have nothing more than what they had on.

“Stop, stop!” The young man yelled.

“Out of our way, boy.” One older man ordered.

The young man stood his ground, “No!”

Capital City has just been invaded by The Envahir. We need to get to the town to find shelter until we can make it back home.”

“The only shelter you will find there is in an Envahir prison.” the young man said.

The older man stopped and stared at him, “What are you talking about?”

“The Envahir came through here before they marched on Capital City. They took over our town and turned it into a prison. The only entrance into or out of Capital City is by the road you are on. You are walking right into their prison and when you arrive they will escort you to one of the overcrowded buildings which used to be someone’s home.”

“What do you suggest we do? Sit right down here in the middle of the road and sit for them to come back and carry us away?” the older man asked.

“No, what we are going to do is exactly what I was asked to do. I was sent here to warn you about the prison and ask for your help in freeing those who are still in there. There is a limited amount of guards in the city. We believe they can easily be overwhelmed.

The townspeople will put pressure on them from the inside and we will do the same from out here. Everyone coming from Capital City will surround the town the best we can and we will draw the guards away from their posts and weaken their defenses. They will be doing the same from the inside and when we are able; we will overpower them and take back the town.” the young man explained.

“What’s in it for us?” several people asked.

“Well let’s see, you get to stay out of prison for starters. You have a comfortable and safe place to stay until you can make it back home.”

“What happens if Capital City falls and The Envahir take it over and then come back here?” someone asked.

“Then we can either stand and fight and hope they are wounded enough we could defeat them. Or we at least have the option to escape from them and flee elsewhere.”

It didn’t take much convincing before the people from Capital City agreed to help. The people were quietly put in place and given their orders.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Novel - Day 39 - 1,043 / 43,661

Kiri made her way through the city gates and was crushed by the sights and sounds around her. What was once a beautiful city had quickly become a field of battle. Kiri stopped dead and stared at the activity happening all around her.

“Keep moving!” Creance yelled, “If you stop, you become a target.”

“Where do you begin?” Kiri asked

Creance motioned to the members of The Network, ordering them into different areas.

“That choice is usually decided for you, by someone attacking. That is where you start. By protecting yourself. Then you divide and conquer.” Creance said, “Follow me.”

Creance turned left and started running down a side street, motioning for others to follow.

Kiri followed Creance with others of The Network behind them, staying to side streets and alleyways, the group made their way through the town. A stray Envahir soldier turned the corner and saw the group running towards him. With a look of shock, he turned and ran. He misjudged, reached a dead end, turned and tried to back track but the group was too close, he ran and attacked the group of The Network. With one swift move, Creance swung his sword and the lone soldier collapsed to the ground as the group ran past.

Everywhere Kiri looked, there were small groups of people fighting.

“Why so many small fights, I thought there would just be one big fight?” Kiri asked as they stopped for a moment.

“If we can block off different streets to separate the Envahir, then we will be able to stop them from overtaking the city and we can defeat them much easier.” Creance said, “We need to get across here and over to the main street. We must keep The Envahir from reaching the government building.”

Creance began to climb the makeshift barricade that had cut off the street. Kiri followed and as she climbed over the top and dropped to the ground, a sword landed inches away from her head. She saw the red of an Envahir soldier’s uniform and lunged forward, sliding her sword into his gut.

Kiri gave a quick glance around which showed her that Creance was already quite involved in a fight with another soldier but, holding his own quite well. She saw a soldier charge towards her as other members of The Network came over the wall. She blocked the soldier’s sword and moved to position herself to attack. She continued to fight the soldier and was maintaining her own but wasn’t getting the upper hand. She was beginning to tire and even wondered if she could last when the soldier stumbled on a body. Kiri saw her opportunity and took it, the soldier crumpled to the ground. All of the fights she had blurred into one. Some of the fights, she killed her opponent almost immediately, others she struggled with. One wounded Envahir soldier stumbled towards her, struggling to keep his balance. As he reached Kiri, he teetered forward, throwing himself off balance even more; Kiri stepped to the side, kicked him in the rear and sent him stumbling into the wall of a building with a sickening thud.

As The Network began to clear this small section of street, the remaining Envahir soldiers took the opportunity to run away into other areas to give themselves the chance to regroup. Some of the soldiers fell as they tried to scramble over the walls.

As the last of the soldiers either dropped or disappeared over the wall, Kiri stopped to catch her breath. She looked around and noticed that several of The Network had fallen but, many more Envahir had. She saw Creance bleeding from a cut on his arm.

“My arm looks like your leg.” Creance said, pointing ot Kiri’s leg.

Kiri looked down and noticed that her leg was indeed bleeding. She tore a piece of clothing from a body that lay on the ground and tied it around her leg.

“It’s a shame that so many must die because I led them into battle.” Kiri said.

“Now is not the time for pity and that is not how you should look at it. You must see it as; they gave their life to fight for good and to save us from the likes of Voler.” Creance said, “How many more will die if we do not stop him?”

Once they regrouped and had repaired any minor injuries, Creance led them again through some side streets and onto a street which appeared to have a few homes. The end of the street had earlier been blocked off but the blockade was pushed aside. On this street, there were three members of The Network who were simply trying to stay alive, they were grossly outnumbered.

“ATTACK!” Creance yelled.

Creance, Kiri and the others came through the alleyway just as it looked as though the three men were about to lose the fight. The three men collapsed in a safe corner of the alleyway to catch their breath and quickly repair any wounds they had. The members of The Network began to drive back The Envahir soldiers. Just as it appeared that they may defeat these Envahir, others came to join in the fight. The Network was pushed back in the surge of Envahir which came through the broken blockade. The Envahir looked as though they may have the upper hand until they began to get pummeled with rocks and dishes and chairs from above. Kiri looked up and saw the villagers throwing anything they had at The Envahir. Shouts of cheers went up from The Network as the soldiers began to weaken under the onslaught of the villagers.

Kiri was fighting with one of The Envahir soldier’s. The soldier was distracted and she ran him through with her sword; when from the rooftop, a very large armoire came crashing down upon a number of The Envahir.

“Take that. That was me missus dresser, I never liked the thing anyway.” yelled a voice from above.

Kiri thought she heard a woman’s voice scream out, “What the hell you do that for?”

They quickly overpowered the group of Envahir, with the help of the villagers. Creance led the members of his group through a couple of side streets.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Novel - Day 37 - 3,773 / 42,618

“Sergeant Gamin!” Voler ordered, “You will be in charge of the town while we march on Capital City. Your orders are to use your men to secure this town and prepare it for use as a prison. There will be people who escape Capital City or those who we capture as prisoners. They will arrive here and you will take them in and house them as prisoners. As you will for any who are currently here. Is this understood?”

“Yes sir” Sergeant Gamin said, looking rather disappointed.

“Is there a problem Sergeant?” Voler said, seeing his disappointment.

“No sir, it’s just that I was hoping to be included in the group that marched on Capital City. I wanted to be involved in the battle.” Gamin said.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, Sergeant, so I’ll give you a choice. You can either stay here and run the prison or you can become one of its prisoners. You don’t get the choice or a say in what you want to do. Is that understood? And Gamin, if you fail, you WILL become a resident here yourself. That is, if I let you live.” Voler said.

“Yes sir.” Gamin said as he turned and left.

Sergeant Gamin stepped outside, he jogged across the street with a limp; seeing three of his men and called them together.

“Organize the townspeople immediately, I want you to take the men and make sure every window in town is boarded up. Move all of the townspeople into three of the larger buildings. The people are only allowed to take what clothes they have on and a pillow and a blanket for sleeping, nothing else. If anyone refuses, lock them up in the jail, without their pillow and blanket. When you have completed that, you are each to stand guard at each of the buildings. No one is allowed to leave without permission. When they ask, give nobody permission.” Gamin ordered. The men ran off to see to their duties.

Sergeant Gamin made his way to the end of the road where the entrance of the town was. Here two guards stood watch, only allowing those to pass who they deemed fit.

“Secure this entrance.” Sergeant Gamin ordered, “From here on out, no one enters or leaves via this road. I want anything that you are able to retrieve to block this exit. Use whatever you have available to do the job. Make sure that no one is able to get through, whether they are on foot or horse. You will then guard this post to make sure of that.”

“Yes sir.” the guards said.

“Rest assured, if anyone does get through, you will pay for it.”

Sergeant Gamin made his rounds to each of the entrances to the town; he ordered the same thing, except for the road which led towards Capital City.

When Sergeant Gamin approached the guards at this entrance, he called them over, “I want you to leave this entrance open. The Envahir will be leaving by this exit and they will be sending back prisoners for us. This exit is to remain open at all times, unless ordered to do so otherwise. I want you to find what you need to secure this exit as quickly as possible in the case of an emergency. You will leave the equipment to the side and will only secure the exit on my order or that of a superior officer. I don’t care what you use to secure the exit whether it is wagons or trees or whatever, just make sure you can secure it quickly.

Only members of The Envahir are allowed to leave through this exit. Any civilians who come through here are to be considered prisoners. They are to be stripped of any belongings and taken immediately to designated buildings.

The men of the town were finished boarding up windows. They were ushered, under guard back to the three buildings.

“What’s going on here? I want to know.” One of the men asked. Others joined in demanding to know what was happening and why.

“Shut up!” one of the guards yelled at the man who asked the question, whacking him in the back with a club. The man collapsed to the ground.

“Hey! What the hell are you doing?” the other men yelled and started towards the guard.

The other guards watching everything unfold, pulled their swords.

“Stop!” one of the guards ordered.

Unarmed, the men stopped short and dropped to help the injured man up.

“You didn’t need to hurt him; he was only wanted to know what is happening as do we all.” One of the men said.

“Careful or you’ll be next.” The soldier replied.

The men helped him up and they were ushered towards the three buildings.

“It’s like a prison around here.” one of the men said.

“Prison … prison …prison” The word began to spread like wildfire through the townspeople. It took only a few seconds until the townspeople were yelling and screaming, “Let us out … This is our town; we shouldn’t be put in prison in our own town. Let us go.” the townspeople yelled. The guards pushed the people back. One unlucky soldier had his arm grabbed by the townspeople and he was the unwilling participant of a game of tug of war.

“Let me go. Ow, let go.” The soldier screamed. This went on for a few seconds with the poor soldier continuing to scream to be let go, until one of the soldiers pulled his sword and put it to the throat of one of the townspeople.

“Stop or he dies.” the soldier with the sword threatened.

The other townspeople saw this and began to quiet down and let go of the soldier’s arm. Realizing that without weapons, they were outmatched, the townspeople quit putting up a fight. The soldiers were able to push the townspeople back far enough to shut the door and barricade it. The guards then stood watch over the buildings.

Inside the buildings, the townspeople struggled to see with limited light. Everyone was talking, trying to understand why they were put in here. Everyone was trying to find their spot in the crowded rooms.

“They can’t leave us in here forever; they have to let us out at some point.” One of the townspeople was saying. Others were agreeing with him.

Someone else spoke up, “What makes you think they will let us out? Look around, we’re in a prison and there is no way out. I would guess if they tire of us, what would stop them from killing us?”

This caused an argument to break out.

“EVERYONE SHUT UP!” Sam yelled above the crowd, standing on a chair he had been using to sit on. “Yes, we are prisoners, in our own town. But if we work together, we may be able to take back our town. I have a plan.”

The next morning, all of The Envahir, except for Sergeant Gamin’s squad, left the town for Capital City.

“Lieutenant Epier.” Voler called.

“Yes sir?” Epier asked, moving to the front of the line.

“I want to pick up some speed. Have the men march double time. I want to arrive at Capital City and be in position by nightfall. We begin the attack at daybreak.”

“Yes sir, Captain Voler.” Epier said.

Epier issued the command and the soldiers marched double time towards Capital City.

After they had been traveling for sometime, Epier approached Voler.

“Sir the men need a rest, they have been keeping up this pace since we left. If we take a rest and then continued on at a normal pace, we will still make our positions by nightfall. The men will be no good to us if they are worn out or injured before we arrive.” Epier suggested.

Voler looked as though he was going to cut Epier open with his sword. He paused and looked at Epier, “Very well, you are right, give the order, we’ll take a break and then we’ll continue on at normal march.”

Epier ordered the army to stop and take a break. He heard many sighs of relief; he too breathed an inward sigh of relief, keeping his comment to himself. After a short period, Epier called for other officers, “We divide up here. Squad one, you will skirt the city and move to the north entrance. Squad two, you will place your men at the East entrance. And squad three will continue on with us towards the southern entrance. Remember, you will keep your men out of site until daybreak. On my signal, after daybreak, you will secure the entrance to Capital City. You are to let no one enter or leave unless by my order.

On my second signal, you are to open the gate and your men are to take the city. Remember to leave enough guards to secure the gate. If there are any changes, I will inform you directly or send a runner. Once the battle begins and your men have entered the gates, they are to do what they can to take the city and force a surrender.

Any questions? Seeing none, take your squads and move out.”

“Squad one, move out!”

“Squad two, form up on me and move out.”

Each of the squads arrived at Capital City before nightfall and made camp, keeping out of sight. At daybreak Voler, Lexa and a young man entered Capital City and made their way through the city towards the government building. Voler looked through the city, observing the layout and formulizing plans.

As they entered the government building, Voler didn’t stop at the secretary’s desk.

“Where are the council members?” Voler asked as he walked down the hallway.

“Wait, wait, you can’t go in there.” the secretary called, running after him.

Voler reached the first room and opened the door to the small office. The small man behind the desk was startled as he opened the door.

“I presume you are one of the council members?” Voler asked.

“I’m sorry sir, I couldn’t stop him.” the secretary said.

The council member waved a hand at her. “Yes, yes I am but what is the meaning of this?” he asked. “If you wish to meet with me, you must make an appointment.”

“Sir, I do not have the time nor the patience for meetings and appointments.” Voler said, “I have come here for a purpose and I would encourage your help. There are any things which I know about you and your city and how it is run. Things which you would not want your public to know. Now, we can make this very simple or it can become very difficult. You can work with me and do what I ask or you can choose to go against me. If you go against me, I can guarantee that your life, family and career would be over. Yes, you may still be alive but, you will wish you were dead; when you come to me and beg for relief, you will find that there is none.”

The councilman studied Voler for a short period, “How do I know what you are saying is the truth? How do I know it’s not some kind of joke?”

Voler motioned to the young man who came with them. The young man stepped forward and gave Voler a parchment. Voler opened the parchment and showed it to the councilman. The councilman’s jaw fell open and his face turned white.

“How, how could you know this? How could anyone know this? It’s not possible. that’s just not possible.” the councilman said.

“Now, I assume you will work with me and do what I ask?” Voler asked.

“No, no I can’t. I just can’t.” the councilman said, “I’ll buy this information from you. I’ll make it worth your while. You don’t have to do anything, just forget.”

“You don’t seem to understand sir,” Voler said, “This is not negotiable. Besides it is not your money I want. It is something else.”

The councilman got up from his seat and started towards the door. Lexa blocked the door, pulled her sword and pointed it at his throat.

“You would do well to sit and finish listening.” Lexa said.

The councilman slowly moved back to his seat.

“You must forgive her, she is a bit protective.” Voler said, “As I was saying, your choice is to join us or we will begin destroying your life, career and everything you care about. We will begin by sharing this information with your wife and then your city. You won’t be able to leave the town alive.

If you join with us and do what I ask, this information stays nicely packed away and nobody will ever find out.

Now how does that fit you for negotiations?”

The councilman paused for a bit and pulled at his hair. He stood up and paced behind his desk, not moving too far away for fear of Lexa’s sword.

“Very well, I will do what you ask. I can’t have this information out there and I can’t afford to lose my family. What is it that you want me to do?” the councilman asked.

“It is quite simple, an easy task for you. You are to lower the flag of Capital City and raise a flag of surrender. In one hour, you will lower that flag and raise the flag of The Envahir. You will then turn over complete control of the city to me.” Voler said.

“I .. I can’t do that.”

Voler motioned for the young man, “Find his wife and show this to her and then make the announcement across the city.”

“No wait, don’t do that!” the councilman said.

The boy started out the door.

“OK, OK I’ll do what you ask, I’ll hand control of the city over to you.” the councilman said.

Satisfied, Voler stood and left the room.

As Voler was walking towards the south gate, he glanced back and saw the flag for Capital City lower, in its place was raised a white flag of surrender. Voler smiled.

Voler motioned for the young man, “Inform Lieutenant Epier that he is to have his squads in place and the entrances to the city sealed off in one hour. Have him send in a small entourage of men from each entrance to join me as I take control of Capital City.” The young man saluted and ran off.

Kiri was watching as the flag of Capital City was lowered and a white flag of surrender was raised in its place.

“It has begun!” Creance announced.

Creance signaled for the Network to move into position near Capital City. From their position in the woods, Kiri could see The Envahir.

“Why don’t we just take them here, before they make it into Capital City?” Kiri whispered.

“Creance explained, “Out here, they would be able to surround and defeat us. They would have the upper hand, and they are only limited by the distance they can send their men. Once we have them within the city, we can separate and weaken them. We can block their defenses. We would be able to contain them and deal with The Envahir in smaller fights rather than one large battle.

We have the upper hand within the city and besides, they are not expecting an ambush once inside the city.”

“What if we can’t contain them or defeat them?” Kiri asked.

“Then there will be nothing left of Capital City to be saved nor will there be any need.” Creance said.

“I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can lead the Network and as my first act, I am leading them into battle. How do I know this is the right thing?” Kiri questioned.

“Well, it’s a little late for these kinds of questions now. But I will tell you a secret about having the right decisions when you are a leader. You don’t know, you never know if the decisions you make are the correct ones. But you have to make them and you make the decisions that are best for all and that will accomplish that which you are trying to achieve.

You are young in your leadership and your training has just begun, but already, I see the traits of your father in you. He was a very good leader but if what I have seen is any indication, you will become a Great leader.

You did not choose this battle. This battle was developing long before you accepted your position. Even if you had declined the position and chose to go on your own way, this battle would still have taken place. The only difference is now that The Network has its leader, they have hope. With the work you have already done, it has helped The Network, your Network in its battle against The Envahir.”

It wasn’t long after The Envahir began to leave to march on Capital City that Sam and Ted started to put their plan into action. They were able to steal peeks out the windows between boards. They noticed that there was only one guard watching the building they were in. They rummaged around in the closets and were able to find enough clothes that resembled something like an Envahir soldier’s outfit. They asked for someone to try to get outside of the town. A boy stepped forward who wasn’t much more than a teen.

“What we need you to do once you’re outside of the town is to keep anyone from entering. Meet them further up the road and stop them. Once you have enough, we want you to surround the town or at least find someway to weaken the guards and put pressure on them. We will be doing the same from here and if all works well, we will be able to get our town back.” Sam said, “And whatever you do, don’t get caught.”

They went to the back window and as quietly as possible, removed the boards. They lifted the boy through the window. He hid behind the house until he saw a couple of soldiers running by and he joined in behind them. His heart was racing and he thought that the decorations which were so hastily sewn on would fall off at any moment. He ran behind the other soldiers, past the guards and out the town gate. Once he was out of site of the gate, he slipped into the woods and hid until The Envahir were gone.

Many of the people of Capital City had begun their day and looked up at the government building and noticed that the flag had been removed and a white flag replaced it. Rumors abounded as to why a white flag was flying above the government building. It wasn’t long before one story began to prevail about The Envahir taking control of the city. The rumors turned to facts as the news spread and people were ordered to remain indoors and secure their households.

It was an hour after Voler had his meeting with the council leader. Voler, Lexa and a small group of soldiers from each of the entrances entered the City. The soldiers gathered behind Voler and they walked down the main street towards the government building. Voler stopped and watched with pride as the white flag lowered, as if on cue.

Voler watched as he saw rise up the flagpole, not the red flag of he Envahir but instead the blue flag of The Network. Anger shot through Voler.

“Someone will die for this joke.” Voler said marching towards the government building.

All of a sudden, the road in front of him was cut off. He spun and looked behind him as the exit that direction was also cut off.

“Ambush!” Voler yelled.

A volley of arrows whizzed past them from the rooftops. The soldiers instinctively raised their shields and backed against the buildings to find protection.

“Return fire.” Voler ordered the soldiers who were carrying bows. He motioned for some of the soldiers to get to the rooftops. Voler yelled out to have Epier send in more troops, the noise of the city and the walls drowned out Voler’s cry for help.

The arrows from above had stopped and it wasn’t long before Voler and Lexa were engaged in a sword fight.

It appeared to the small number of The Network who was there, that they were beginning to overpower the small band of soldiers. Then they saw The Envahir’s leader pull out a small horn and blow a signal. At this point, the men watched as a wave of the Envahir’s soldiers came rushing through the city entrances. The soldiers came so fast that The Network’s men almost didn’t have time to raise the blockades which separated the soldiers, breaking them into small groups.

Kiri watched and listened as The Envahir entered the city and the sounds of battle broke out. She was ready to follow them in.

“Wait. Wait for it.” Creance said, “If we go to early, we will just be stopped at the doors.”

“Why don’t we just kill the ones at the doors and force our way in?” Kiri asked.

“That will bring the fight outside. We will not be able to get the help inside which we need. If we bring the fight outside, we have the same problem we would have had we attacked earlier. Be patient and let Epier do his job. You must have faith in your people and in the plan.” Creance said.

It was at about this time that Epier rode his horse up to his men at the gate.

“Get in there, they need your help.” Epier said to his men.

“But sir, the gate.” One of the men objected.

“Look at them son, they need your help, they’re losing in there. Captain Voler is in there. Do you want to be the one to tell him he was wounded and had a difficult time in the battle because you had to watch the gate?”

“No sir.”

“Besides, who is going to leave? Everyone is too busy fighting. Now get in there. That’s an order.”

The soldiers saluted and ran into the battle, leaving the gates wide open.

“That’s it. Give the signal.” Crenace said as a horn sounded behind them.

Kiri began to run alongside Creance, leading The Network into battle with The Envahir. Creance slowed near Epier.

“Close the gates behind us.” Creance yelled and rushed through the gates towards the battle.