Chapter Thirteen: Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
Knowing that time was short the council came up with a defensive strategy as quickly as they could. They decided to put each legion on the perimeter of the Seminary each covering a different section without much gap in between. Anthony’s area was to defend the Northwest section of the grounds. They held no Knights back as reserves because of how few their numbers were. This fight would be decided on the front lines with every available Knight that they had.
Anthony was pacing back and forth in front of his Legion with an uneasy feeling growing inside of him. He had never been in a position of leadership and being so young he did not have the benefit of leadership training. He could only ask himself if he were not the leader, what would he expect his leader to say at a time like this. On the front line of his legion, as it is with the others, there is a squire carrying a crucifix. Anthony stopped and stared at the Crucifix when inspiration struck him.
When he spoke it was as if his voice belonged to someone else. “My brothers, today marks our first open battle against our enemy. I know some of you are nervous and may not be prepared to die. Jesus himself begged His Father to have the chalice taken away from him. I say to you on this day, give your will to God and he will take care of you!” He pointed to the Crucifix and continued speaking, “The knights of old would carry their king’s standard into battle, and this is our battle standard. Our King is Jesus and I would gladly lie down my life for him.” He walked over to the squire, politely took the crucifix from him and raised it up high. “If this squire should fall and this Crucifix hit the ground, who would pick it up?” He asked and one by one all of the Knights in turn responded, “I will.”
Anthony then instructed them to bow their heads and led them in the prayer to St. Michael. Father Dunn arrived and made a gesture to Anthony as if to say well done my boy. Father Dunn instructed the knights to lower their heads and prepare for a general absolution. It was a simple matter to some but the general absolution provided comfort to any man of Faith. Between Anthony’s speech and the general absolution the 7th Legion was prepared for what was about to come. Anthony, himself, felt like he could conquer the world at that very moment.
Anthony thought back to the history of the Order that he learned in class. The Order spent a thousand years preparing for this and finally the time was here. Anthony looked up to see the sun was high in the sky exactly as it had been in his dream. The time was now for the attack to begin. Anthony raised his hand and said, “Steady men, the enemy soon is about to come forth.” Anthony looked around in amazement as the Death Knights appeared to come from all directions. They used boats to cross the river making landing about a hundred yards from Anthony’s Legion. They came through the forested area to the west marching in perfect unison.
Anthony could not help but notice that their movements were so well orchestrated that they reminded him of the way ants would move together. Anthony watched as all the Death Knights formed columns just a stone’s throw away from him. The slow steady march forward came next. Anthony looked past the Death Knights to see something that he felt to be quite odd. There was a lone Death Knight sitting across the river in a rather odd looking chair. He couldn’t help but think it was an odd time for anyone to be lounging around.
Anthony knew the time for talking was over. If his Knights needed any more inspiration he would have to provide it through action. Anthony tightened his grip on his sword then yelled out “Follow me” and started the charge towards the enemy. Anthony ran out in front of his men and quickly dispatched the first Death Knight that crossed his path. Jonathan was right behind him to his right and quickly took his place at Anthony’s side. The Knights maintained their Phalanx formation and never allowed a single Death Knight to break their line.
The Death Knights attacked in three separate waves and each wave was larger than the one that came before it. Anthony’s Legion held their position clearing their front of all enemies. Anthony could not help but feel a bit exhausted from fighting this fiercly. This was the first time he fought in full battle armor which clearly affected his stamina. He ordered his Knights to go back to the starting position near the Seminary building. He stayed where he was so he could view both the adjacent fronts.
He saw Sir Shawn’s legion to the adjacent front north of him and he saw they were holding their own. He looked to see the adjacent front to the south and saw Sir Alexander’s legion fighting bravely but close to being overwhelmed. Anthony could the desperation in their fighting because it seemed that Alexander was getting the worst of the attack. He knew he shouldn’t leave his front unless the order came down that he should wait for order to break formation to assist another front. Anthony quickly made a note that the section of the Seminary that Sir Alexander was defending was where Sister Ann Marie set up her clinic.
He hated the idea of standing here and doing nothing. Anthony could tell that it was only a matter of time before Alexander’s lines broke because they were being driven backwards. Anthony started pacing back feeling desperate to aid his brothers. The numbers of Death Knights fighting Sir Alexander seemed to be far more than what Anthony had encountered. He continued to pace as he contemplated the best approach for an attack. He didn’t have time to decide anything though.
The order came for them to help Sir Alexander and Anthony rushed forward with reckless abandon. He was able to flank the enemy with the advance of his legion. Anthony’s legion was able turn the tide on that front and they were soon beating the enemy back. He met Sir Alexander in the middle where they nodded at each before turning towards the west. They advanced on the Death Knights together and soon the enemy was turning to flee the battle. Anthony stopped pursuit because the tree line would be a good place for a trap. Alexander was standing near Anthony when they stopped their advance. He turned to Anthony and extended his hand which Anthony shook solemnly. The battle was over soon thereafter. The other fronts had successfully repelled all attacks.
The battle was a victory for them however they did take their fair share of casualities. The final counts for their causalities were 137 wounded and 57 dead Knights. They estimated they killed well over 300 Death Knights but were able to wound a great deal more than that. Anthony’s Legion lost seven Knights and had 19 that were wounded. Anthony aided in the clinic with not just his own wounded but with anyone else that he could. Having been a CNA for quite a while he knew how to assist with certain things.
Disposing of the enemy bodies turned into a different problem altogether. They decided not to pollute the river or to foul the ground with their evil presence. They brought every dead enemy to one spot and doused them with gasoline. The pyre could be seen for miles as the bodies burned. It took the rest of the day for the fire to finally go out and all that was left on the ground was a pile of ashes. The smell of the burning bodies could be smelled from miles around.
Sister Ann Marie was happy to have both Anthony and Amanda’s help as she was overwhelmed with the wounded. Anthony would hug Amanda every chance he got before he too had to finally go sit down for awhile. The battle was a victory but Anthony took his losses personally. He was sitting in the corner of the clinic when the note came for him to report to the conference room for a meeting with the Council. Anthony gave Amanda quick kiss before he departed to go to the Conference room.
“Ahh, Sir Anthony good of you to join us. How are things in the clinic?” Sir Kelly asked.
Anthony shrugged and didn’t give any other response.
Sir Kelly then said, “Well my brother today was a victory and its all thanks to Sir Anthony getting the warning to us in time. Thank you brother.”
Anthony shrugged off the praise.
Sir Gabe then spoke saying, “Yes thank you Sir Anthony. Today we saw the enemy first hand and no matter how many times we read up about the Nephilim or were told about them from others nothing compares to firsthand knowledge. So that being said, what did we learn today about the enemy?”
“They move in perfect unison, they don’t respond to pain like we do and there was a lack of leadership on their side.” Sir Shawn replied.
Anthony went to the white board and grabbed a dry erase marker. “I don’t know about that. I saw one across the river who just stared at the battle.”
“Any idea of who it was? Remus maybe?” asked Shawn.
Anthony shrugged again and made a motion that showed that the Death Knight had a face mask.
“We also know they directed their attention was towards our clinic and my legion took the heaviest losses as a result. This could show their battle tactics in future battles.” Sir Alexander said.
Anthony nodded in agreement.
“Anything else? Anyone?” Sir Kelly asked and scanned the room with his eyes.
Anthony started writing on the board. He took him a while to finish writing, everyone was following along but no one could answer his questions.
“How did they get here without being noticed by the U.S. military? There were civilians who attacked me this morning and they were wearing arm badges that resembled the ones I saw on the People’s Army in the paper.” Anthony took out a folded piece of paper. It was a clipping from the article he read. Standing in the crowd was Leif Cuir. Anthony looked at it and noticed Leif had really blonde hair. He passed it around for everyone else to look at. “Why are they here? Where could they house this many Death Knights and not be seen?”
“These are good questions Sir Anthony and we must find out the answer to all of them. The war has now officially started and knowing details like these will make all the difference.” Sir Kelly said after some contemplation.
“How do we find out these answers?” Sir Ryan asked.
Sir Gabe then asked, “Well, where do we know they have been?”
“Here and in Jamestown.” Sir Andrew replied.
Anthony erased what he already wrote and started writing again. “Jamestown. Remus has been there for sure. Good place to start.”
Anthony volunteered to take a few of his Knights there because he knew the town. They agreed to do it on the condition that Anthony took two days to recover a bit from his injuries. He may be able to speak more in a couple of days after his wound had time to heal. Anthony was eager to go right away but ceded that point that he did need to heal a bit. They finished up and took the rest of the day attending to the injured. Anthony met up with Amanda in the clinic and after some deliberation convinced her to come to bed with him.
That night he was lying in bed next to Amanda but couldn’t sleep. They were both mentally and physically exhausted but Anthony was the only one not able to sleep. His mind was going so fast that he couldn’t process everything. The People’s Army and the Death Knights were working together but why? Where was the U.S. military? The streets of Fargo have been completely deserted by the Federal Government. He couldn’t help but wonder if Fargo was the only town or not. He got out of bed and got a drink of water from his sink. He knew he would not be able to sleep with all these questions burning through his head.
He scribbled a quick note for Amanda in case she woke up before he got back. He went out back to his favorite spot by the river. He thought to himself as he sat down that he should have brought his sword but figured he would be pretty safe. He sat down and felt every muscle ache as he did so. He hadn’t had a workout like the one he had today ever. Wearing armor in battle caused him to use every muscle in whole body in ways he never had before.
He just looked at the water and how it flowed by him. It did not take him long to finally relax. He played everything around in his head again and again. It was driving him a little insane not being able to figure it out. What was the connection to everything that was going on between the soldiers, People’s Army and the Death Knights. He decided the best way for him to figure everything out was to start with one part and leave the rest on the side for now.
He knew the People’s Army was controlled by a man named Leif Cuir. He knew nothing of the man’s background but now was in charge of most of Europe. He speculated that it could be possible that the President went to him for aid and gave him power in America. If that happened that would explain the connection to the U.S. military but not to the Death Knights. This was the real mystery here. Could Remus be connected with Leif Cuir somehow? He knew Remus spent time in Europe, the Middle East and here. There was no connection that could be made on any of this, just speculation on his part.
Something hit him then that he did not expect. Leif Cuir had bleached blonde hair the same as Remus. Their faces didn’t look that dissimilar either. Could they be brothers? They looked to be about the same age if his memory serves him right then remembered Remus looked younger than what he was. Anthony admitted to himself that he tried to forget exactly what Remus looked like but to his dismay that memory was seared into his mind. His eyes were moving side to side as they always do when he is deep in thought. A little light bulb lit up in head. “That’s it!”
He ran back inside the dormitory and went to Kelly’s room. He stood outside Kelly’s door for a minute and reassured himself that he was onto something. He pounded on the door for what seemed like forever. Kelly finally opened the door with a very annoyed look on his face. Anthony noticed and said, “You would think being a military man you would be used to losing sleep.”
Kelly’s face showed annoyance as replied, “Not funny. What do you want?”
Grimacing through the pain in his cheek Anthony replied, “I couldn’t sleep. Too many questions were burning in my head. I think I may be onto something. Can you get the council together again and meet me in the conference room?”
Kelly yawned before saying, “Sure but this better be good. “
Anthony went back to his room and entered as quietly as possible. He retrieved the newspaper clipping he showed them before. He noticed Amanda was still sleeping soundly so he did not wake her. In his excitement however he did not think to leave her a different note. He closed the door as quietly as possible and despite his attempts at stealth she stirred in the bed. He did not notice this however and headed straight down to the conference room. He felt kind of like a jerk because the rest of the Council was already there.
“Sorry I had to get something from my room. Thank you all for coming. If I didn’t get this out of my head I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I was able to do so.” He could feel the twinge in his cheek as he spoke. Anthony's cheek did hurt quite a bit but the pain medication supplied by Sister Ann Marie helped quite a bit.
“I am going to speak as little as possible. I couldn’t stop thinking about the People’s Army, the Death Knights and why the U.S. military is now gone. I don’t have any proof but I believe I am pretty close to the truth. Leif Cuir as you all know is the Leader of the People’s Army and was recently given a lot of political power in Europe. I think it is quite possible that our President has ceded control of the U.S. to him as well. It was bound to happen considering what it is going on in this country. That would be why the U.S. military has pulled out of this area and the People’s Army has moved in.” Anthony stopped there and held his cheek. The pain was getting to be almost too much to bear.
Sir Kelly decided to speak then, “That does make sense and if that’s the case our worst fears have been realized. The New World Order is here. The next thing we will be seeing is that man will be proclaimed the second coming. What else do you have Sir Anthony?”
“It took me a while to figure this one out. Check out this picture again.” He gave them the clipping again. “That’s a picture of Leif Cuir. He bears a striking resemblance to Remus. I believe they could be brothers. Which means the world is under the control of a Nephilim. The anti-Christ.”
There was a silence that fell upon the room as everyone let this information absorb into their minds. The world seemed to slow down and even the clock seemed to tick a little slower. They all realized that he was indeed speaking the truth but there was no way for them to prove it. The facts were what the facts were and even though they were all religious men the reality of the moment was a bit too much to bear. They all deep down hoped this was just another chapter in the long history of mankind, however, if this is true the end times are surely here. Everything from continent shattered earthquakes, hurricanes of mass destruction and even the new plague are things that have been happening all along so those alone do not provide proof of the end times.
Kelly spoke then, “If this is the case and what you say if the truth. We need to also expand our forces. We are too small and too insignificant to take on the world. Sir Alexander, I think you would be a good candidate to recruit people. While Sir Anthony is running his fact finding mission in Jamestown you need to start right away. I don’t expect miracles from you but we need to get a start on it.”
They all agreed with Sir Kelly’s recommendation. Alexander was blessed with the gift of the golden tongue and was naturally charismatic. Anthony remembered that Sir Alexander is the son of a Priest from the Eastern Orthodoxies. He was brought up listening to his Father’s sermons and had the unique perspective of being raise by such a man.
Sir Ryan spoke up then, “We also need to find proof of who Leif Cuir is. I suggest we send someone in undercover into his organization. Someone not in this room obviously.”
“We could be sending this man to his death.” Sir Gabe responded.
“In that case we should send three. We won’t tell them who the others are and send them to different places to infiltrate the People’s Army.” Sir Andrew said and gauged their responses before continuing. “I will handle this personally if you want. If we have some success with the first three I could develop the network more as time goes on.”
“Are we all in agreement then? Anthony will go to Jamestown. Alexander will start recruiting new Knights and Andrew will search out volunteers to spy on the enemy.”
They all agreed and concluded the meeting for the second time that day. Anthony felt like he could definitely sleep now. He was walking towards the dormitory when he heard what he thought was a scream. It was really faint and in his tired mind he figured it might have been just the wind blowing. He walked up the stairs to the dorm he shared with Amanda. He was feeling pretty proud of himself being able to figure this all out.
He got to the door to his room and noticed it was ajar and as he opened it he noticed Amanda was no longer in bed. His first thought was that Amanda was in the bathroom. He sat down on the bed and noticed that his note he wrote earlier was gone. A chill went up his spine. He ran out to the bathroom and checked inside. The light was off. He ran outside to his spot on the river and could hear splashing and yelling on the far side of the river. In the dark he could not tell where the yelling was coming from but knew that it belonged to Amanda. The screaming suddenly went silent and Anthony stood there with his hands balled into fists.
Anthony screamed at the top of his lungs and tore a few stitches, “AMAAAAAAAANDA!! WHERE ARE YOU?”
As he yelled he opened his jaw all the way causing his stitching to tear and he could feel blood trickling down his cheek. His hand flew to his cheek and he held it there. He stood there for a long time trying to listen for any sign of where she could be. He heard a noise behind him and flung himself around. Jonathan was standing there looking at him. Jonathan walked up to him and moved Anthony’s hand. He saw that there weren’t many stitches left in place. “I heard you yelling man. What’s going on out here?”
Anthony clenched his jaw as she spoke. “They took her.”
Jonathan's eyes went wide as he said, “Amanda? Are you sure this time?”
Anthony nodded and spoke, “I heard her across the river yelling for me. I don’t know where though. Too dark to see.”
Jonathan could hide his concern as he said, “What are you going to do?”
Anthony did not respond at first but slowly the words came out of his mouth. “I know I will see her again. I am going to find her someday but this is not the time for rash action.”
Jonathan was a little amazed at how calm Anthony looked on the surface. Anthony was screaming to himself on the inside. He was very far from calm. They were barely married for more than day and she was gone. He vowed to himself that he would find her as quickly as possible but would do what he had to do for the Order at the same time. There was an anger building inside of himself that he was not sure he could not contain. He looked out at the water one last time and suddenly felt terrified. This certainly complicates things.