Though we wouldn't admit it at the time, many of us were jealous of the Spearmen. They were just a bunch of new recruits yet they still got the better weapons, as if Lord Bismarck found us obsolete. Of course this sounds ridiculous now, but we wouldn't realize that for a long time.
January 11, 3999 BC, Wheat Fields just outside Barbarian encampment, Mid-Afternoon
"Alright," George said to the crowd in a hushed tone, "My Warriors and I will hit them from the south." He turned to the Spearmen's leader. "Derrick, you and your Spearmen swing around from the north and attack once we've gotten their attention. Any questions?"
There were none.
"Very well. Let's move out."
With that, we Warriors moved southeast until we arrived at the edge of the wheat field.
"No other units in sight," Carl, who had the best eyes of us all, reported. "Just the Brutes in the camp."
"Good," said George, "No reason for delay. For Germany!"
"FOR GERMANY!" we shouted, before charging straight toward a group of very stunned-looking Barbarians.
The Barbarians didn't come to meet us in the plains, meaning we were going to have to enter their fortifications. Luckily, they were so focused on us, they hadn't noticed the Spearmen silently running around to the back of the camp. Just before we reached their battlements, the Spearmen let out a shout, causing many of the Barbarians to spin around. By the time they realized their mistake, we were already upon them.
I bashed one distracted Barbarian in the head, causing another near me to turn. Before he had time to register what was going on, my club was already swinging.
With two barbarians already down and no others near me, I shifted my attention to my surroundings. Almost instantly I noticed two barbarians ganging up on Peter. I lunged at one of them, tackling him to the ground while Peter and the other danced around each other, each trying to land a hit on the other.
The Barbarian I had tackled was about my size and double my smell. Each with a death grip on the other, we rolled around on the ground as we both tried to get on top. I was finally able to get the upper hand. Risking releasing my grasp on his fur pelt, I drove my fist into his cheek, not hard enough to send him sprawling, but at least he was off of me and away from Peter, who was still sparring with his own opponent.
Looking around for a weapon, I saw one of the Barbarians' spiked clubs. Lifting it, and turned to my own opponent, who had hoisted himself up. Our eyes locked, and with a shout that truly granted him the title "Barbarian," he charged me.
I winded up my club, sweat practically pouring down my face. Finally, when he got close, enough, I swung.
The club impaled itself in the Barbarian's head. Blood sprayed out, splashing me I my face. It was warm.
He had undoubtedly died instantly on impact. I let his corpse down on the ground, and with a grunt, managed to dislodge the club from his head.
With the immediate danger gone, I allowed myself to take a few breaths while I looked around. Most of the Barbarians had been dispatched by this point, and the ones left were already surrounded by multiple Warriors, Spearmen, or a mixture of both. Realizing the battle was all but over, the fire within me seemed to go out. (Quick note for you boys– we later learned that this "fire within" is what you and I now know as adrenaline) With one last deep breath, I collapsed to the ground.
January 25, 3999 BC, Berlin, German Palace, Medical Wing
I awoke to see Lucas' face hovering over mine.
"Well, well, well, look who finally looks to be awake for good."
Lucas explained what happened. Apparently I had been so invested in the battle I hadn't noticed the gash in my leg. We weren't sure when it had happened, but I had lost a lot of blood. When the battle was over the others had noticed my limp form on the ground. At first they feared I had died, but a quick check over by Otto confirmed I was alive, but dying. He stabilized me best he could, and Lucas and Ralph (who had had the foresight to bring the cloth-and-stick carrying device), brought me back to Berlin. I had been unconscious most of the time, but they had managed to force-feed me similar to how we had done with Ralph.
"Anyone else injured?" I asked.
"Yes," Lucas said, "But you were by far the worst. Otto said he could handled everyone else there, but you needed to return to Berlin."
Lucas shook his head, 'George's plan worked perfectly. The Barbarians were so disorganized, the whole battle probably took no more than a half an hour."
Ralph walked in. When he saw I was awake, he smiled.
"Hey buddy. How's the blood loss?"
"Like I have to tell you."
We all laughed. Ralph came over and sat with Lucas at my bedside.
"You're lucky your case was so similar to mine. We knew exactly what to do."
"Yeah, I sure am glad you got injured, Ralph."
"Hey, I'm just glad I'm not the only who's been severely injured anymore."
With a chuckle a question popped into my head. "Just where is everybody, anyway?"
"They should be here in a few days," Lucas answered, "They stayed and scavenged for a while after the battle. We on the other hand had to leave lugging your injured ass as soon as possible."
"Lord Bismarck visited you while you wee unconscious," Ralph interjected, "He'll wanted to know you're awake. And you had one other visitor."
Another visitor? 'Who?" I asked.
"A girl," said Lucas, grinning ear to ear.
I felt like I had just lost another leg of blood. "Hannah?"
"So you DO know her," said Ralph, who now also had a huge smile spread across his face.
I hesitated. "We've… met."
Lucas, who already knew how I felt, was content to simply stand there with his stupid grin, while Ralph, who Lucas had obviously not filled in, was a bit more inquisitive.
"She seemed very worried about you, Eric," he went on, "Insisted on seeing you, but you know the policy. No one is admitted to see you without proper permission. So, now that you're awake, would you like to grant her permission?"
"Yes," I said a bit too quickly.
Ralph laughed. "I'll go send the message." He departed from the room, leaving Lucas and I alone.
"So," I started, hoping to change the subject, "What's next for us?"
Lucas leaned up against the wall. "I had a chat with Lord Bismarck. As far as we know there are no other Barbarian camps around, scouting will be handled by the Scouts and Spearmen, leaving us with-"
"Guard Duty," I finished for him.
He nodded. "Most action we'll probably see for a while is watching workers."
There was a knock at the door. Lucas walked over to open it. Behind it stood Lord Bismarck.
Lucas and I both immediately straightened our postures and saluted. Before we could say anything though, Lord Bismarck waved us down.
"At ease, at ease," he said, "Especially you, Erik. Heard you had a nasty run-in with some Barbarians."
"Still alive and kicking, sir," I replied, "Can't complain."
He chuckled, "That's what I like to hear. I am glad that, for the most part, the mission was a success. I take it that Lucas here has informed you of the future of the 1st Warrior Division."
My smile faded a little. "Yes sir. Sorry to hear we won't be seeing much action for a while."
Bismarck maintained his smile. "You have no idea of how proud I am of you all and your willingness to serve Germany. Frankly, if I were in your shoes I'd be glad for some relaxation." He chuckled again. "I know I'd like some. Still we have very different jobs, you all and I." He glanced from Lucas to me. "And I am confident that, as long as we have men like you all around to defend Germany, our nation will never fall."
A door was heard slamming in the background, followed by frantic-sounding footsteps. Lucas instinctively began to move in front of Lord Bismarck.
The door to the medical wing burst open. Hannah ran straight in and, before any of us could say a word, kissed me right on the lips.