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By Craig Clark All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy


Mesopotamia: Before Recorded Time

Konran stood on the hilltop and listened to the screams from the village. Every scream from every defender made him die a little inside, this was not how soldiers were meant to be. Villagers against the trained Imperial Guard. It was almost a farce

“They held back my tithe, Konran. I want the defenders slaughtered and buried face down, salt sown on their crops and every woman and child killed as a warning to others.”

He hated hearing the order, but he was a soldier, first and last.

Leird, his junior, ran up the hill, breathless. Konran made a mental note to drill the men more often.

“Sir, all resistance has been put down, what are your orders?”

This was the part he didn’t like.

“Kill them all Leird. The prisoners, the innocents, I want them all dead before the sun sets. Shallow graves and face down.

“But sir…they were no trouble, all the resistance has been put down, there is nothing left for us, we have sown salt, we have killed all their able bodied menfolk, they are no threat to us.”


Leird bowed his head in shame.

“Yes sir. Your orders will be followed.”

Leird walked away at a slighter slower pace than he had run towards. Konran’s gaze followed Leird as he evaluated his junior.

“Why? Why are you a soldier Leird? You have no stomach for killing or defending your property. You have the soul of a poet and the mind of a scholar. Why Leird? Why are you here?”

No answer was forthcoming as Konran closed his eyes and the screams and the begging started.

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