We’re dead. Gods of all the stars, I’ll never see my home again
Adan TirMao, infantryman of the Southern Alliance, ducked behind a barricade just in time to avoid an enemy arrow. He covered his head with his arms, in a futile attempt to block out the relentless bludgeoning of the enemy catapults against the city walls. All around him, his brothers in arms lay dead or dying, his sword broken, the buildings in ruins.
I shouldn’t be here. I’m just a farmer boy
He missed his home. He missed his wife and his fields, his hens and his whimsical mule. Huddling behind the barricade, he prayed that the captain’s message reached the palace in time. Without reinforcements, the city would fall within days.
Under a pine tree in the royal gardens, the Lord Chancellor’s black tomcat lay purring on the grass. With his amber eyes half-closed, he licked the blood from his whiskers.
That was the plumpest messenger pigeon he had ever caught.