The Plagued Oasis: Part Three

Nick Martins, Staff Writer

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The men were exhausted from a long day. As they patiently waited for Tabia in the camel drawn wagons on the outskirts of Kade, they sung a common song soldiers sing in Aczen before deployment. They can see through my eyes. They see a beast. It is hungry! An appetite for war! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! An appetite for war! I fight for the unity of the districts. My performance on the battleground will be perfect. Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! An appetite for war! I was crafted in flame like my blade. Us both will raid side by side and our brutality will be displayed! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! An appetite for war!

“Enough of this nonsense!” Tabia yelled repeatedly from her camel approaching the front of the wagon train, “All I ask is that we move quickly and quietly. Do I make myself clear?!” The men nodded and said yes unenthusiastically. “Supreme Sergeant Sudi where are you?!” He stepped off a wagon and approached Tabia.

“General Zahra Ma’am,” He saluted, “How can I assist you?”

“You guide of your men, do you not?” she said.

“Yes ma’am I lead less than half of the total men here.” he said.

“How many men in total?” She asked.

“Six hundred and eighty men, ma’am.” Sudi said.

“We shall share half and half. Fair is it not?” she said.

“Agreed. I suppose we take them by wagon than wasting our time counting the individual soldier,” he looked back at the wagon train and scratched his head, “Men! Are you organized by infantry cell?!” The men said yes once more unenthusiastically. “Men! Does each cell contain eight men?!” The first few wagons nodded whilst the rest seemed impatient and silent.

“Eighty-five wagons? Are my mathematics incorrect?” Tabia asked.

“I suppose you’re right General Zahra.” Sudi said.

“You take forty-two, I’ll take forty-three,” she said, “Alright, I suppose we’ll make our way to the northeastern districts now.”

The farmlands occupied most of the land in the northeastern districts. Golden wheat stood tall, the wagons traveled on cracked sandstone trails almost too narrow for the wagons, the sky didn’t have a cloud in sight, and the bright sun like moon shined their surroundings. Once every hour or so they’d see a cottage with a disportionately large barn out in the middle of the fields. The men began counting them. Then small talk began flourishing amongst the wagon train. Supreme sergeant Sudi and Tabia began as well.

Suddenly cells from the middle of the wagon train spotted two scouts from the Idman empire. One of the scouts began to run and the other drew his bow. An arrow flew at Tabia. It struck her camel’s back right leg. It began running in the opposite direction of the scouts and the train wagon out of fear. Tabia, hesitant go through with her action, slits her horse’s throat. It falls effortlessly like a leaf. Her leg was stuck under the camel in the field of wheat. The cell in the first wagon closest to Tabia ran for her, arriving they lift the camel off of her leg, and escort her back to the front of the wagon train.

“Let me go!” the man said. Tabia and the first cell approach the scout and half of a cell roughhousing him.

“Are you not a little too young to be an Idman scout you dog,” a soldier said. The men that formed a circle around them began chuckling.

“Men! Back to your wagons. Now!” Tabia yelled with fury. The men shuffled through each other and obeyed orders. “Now. Scout is it true you work for emperor Aufaa?”

“Yes ma’am. I do,” he said.

“What is your name?” Tabia asked.

“I have no name. Apologies. But heed my warning before you end my life.” he said.

“Go on scout, speak,” she said.

“The other scout you killed, he is Aufaa’s first born son. You have just started the end of the Oasis ma’am,” he said softly.

“Good heavens above!” Sudi said, “We can not say a word if this spreads throughout the Oasis, Aczen will be at the end of a sword. No one can speak of this.”

“And what of the scout?” A soldier asked in the first wagon.

“End his life,” Sudi said.

“May I have a request?” the scout said, “I am not defying my predestined death yet, I wish to delay it slightly.”

“Delay for how long?” Sudi asked.

“Until dawn at the very least. If I could stay on this plane of existence for a little longer, to witness the sunrise throw its light across this Oasis would be most preferable,” the scout said.

“I see no trouble in going along with your wish young scout,” Tabia said. “Men! Is there a spare camel?” One soldier yelled yes, “Scout you ride with me. If you try at my life you won’t see the sunrise in the next few hours.”

“Thank you mistress,” he said.

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The Plagued Oasis: Part Three