Friday, April 15, 2011
A | Z - Miklos
On the shores of a sleepy island in the Mediterranean
Miklos hunkered down in the trench just in front of the tree line. The crashing waves were in front of him and his fellow Crispans - and riding in on them were the landing boats from the Spanish naval ships sitting off the coast.
'Yes, come you dogs,' he thought. 'Our land forces will give you one hell of a fight!'
He knew that the coastal defense ships had been beaten back by the incoming fleet - he only hoped the navy had given as well as it got.
He glimpsed to his right and he could see the single precious Gatling gun that the Crispan government had bought from the Confederate States of America. That, along with a few boxes of rifles and a few old cannons was all that stood between the freedom of his home island and the domination of the Spanish conquistadors.
As the boats made the breakers, the cannons behind his position and the Gatling gun opened up, and he could see the Spaniards making for the beach. The hellfire of the Gatling cut down many of the attackers before they could even get out of the water.
For a moment, Miklos allowed himself a glimmer of hope that if they could push back strongly enough the Spaniards would be forced to reconsider their desire to make the island one of their territories.
With a loud blast that glimmer was gone as suddenly the bunker where the Gatling gun was became an inferno. Loud whistles, followed cannon blasts behind him, suggested that the cannons were also under a barrage of fire.
It was now, as the fight become more fierce, that Miklos noticed a ship which had come in closer than the others. The thought of it broken on the shallows almost made him smile.
Until - ever so slowly - the ship began to rise up out of the water on enormous metal wheels affixed to the hull below the water line. The ungainly and clumsy craft raised itself up above the water and began to advance onto the beach itself. The landship rained down a hellfire of artillery from its heavier guns, as well as sheets of lead from troopers inside the beast firing from the side portholes.
All around him, Miklos could see his compatriots. The fear was evident on their faces as many dropped their rifles and ran away from the mechanical monstrosity. Elsewhere, the dead lay with the same fearful expression permanently affixed.
In his heart, Miklos wanted to take up his rifle and fight for his freedom, for his nation’s very existence.
His head knew better and he took to flight with the others.
The battle, like the Island of Crispo's sovereignty, was at an end.
A new Era among the superpowers had begun.