Chapter Thirteen – The Battle Begins (Lost Rainbows – Serial)
By Connie Cockrell
Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?
This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows
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The Battle Begins
The soldiers rode off, the Captain of the Guard to lead his company to the right and the Commander to lead his company to the left. The last company remained with the King, Shamus and Becca.
Becca leaned over to pat her pony on the neck. She hoped her uncle would retreat, but she didn’t think he would.
The company with the King, in the center front line, broke from their cover and rode down the hill. Shamus and Becca were at the rear. Becca was near enough to use what magic she had but was as safe as being on a battle-ground could be.
As they charged down the hill, an alarm sounded from the ruins. From two directions, men in long robes exited the ruins, flanking the mechanical men on either side of the formation. One man lifted the tent door drape and strode with purpose out of the tent. He marched to the front of the mechanical men and waited. He wore a sword belted to his right hip and in his left hand he carried a staff.
Shamus recognized the staff from his last encounter with the wizard.
“Is that your uncle?” he asked Becca as they rode forward.
“There’s a lot of dust, but yes, that looks like Uncle David.”
“The other wizards, do they look like him?”
Becca shaded her eyes and stood up in the stirrups to get a better look. She sank back into the saddle. “Yes. They look like clones of my uncle.”
“Yes, copies of a living creature.” She sighed. “I don’t know how he did that.”
Shamus nodded. He and the King, with the Commander and the Captain, had been planning for a month. He hoped the–he wrestled with the new word for a moment, clones–didn’t have the power the original wizard possessed.
The King rode to within two hundred yards of the wizard and held up his hand for the company to halt.
“Wizard Bannon,” the King called out across the meadow. “I’m King Mac Shadenan, King of the Leprechauns. Return to your own land.”
The wizard laughed. “I will not. I will claim this land for my own and recover my kidnapped niece!”
“The girl came with my representative willingly, wizard. We do not kidnap children.”
“You’re a thief, King. You stole my gold and rainbows.”
“I recovered what was rightfully mine, wizard. Return to your home.”
Bannon waved his staff, and the mechanical men’s eyes all began to glow red. “No matter, King. Soon, the whole land will be mine.” He pounded the staff on the ground. The mechanical men began to march forward. The wizard hurried back to his tent where the clones surrounded him.
Shamus frowned. “We cannot tell which of them is the true wizard,” he told Becca. “He will be hard to stop.”
“What about the robots?” Becca had to be firm with her pony to stop him from marching forward with the rest of the company.
Shamus stared at her.
“The mechanical men. Another name for them is robot.”
“Ah,” he shook his head. “With luck, the company will be able to knock them down.”
As they watched, two companies of robots marched forward, toward the King. The other four companies of robots turned around, split in half and began to march in opposite directions around the ruin.
“They are preparing to meet our other companies.”
“Uncle studies battles,” Becca told him. “He understands troop movements.”
Shamus sighed. He hoped the King’s plan would work.
The King rode forward, a mounted bodyguard on each side of him. Right behind the King was the standard-bearer. The King’s standard, a triangular pennant, bore a bow crossed over a pot of gold with a rainbow over all on a background of clover green. It snapped in the breeze of the noon day and the ride into battle.
Becca listened to the horses neighing with excitement. The leprechauns were chanting and pounding their swords on their shields. Dust rose from the company and drifted to the east blurring her vision of the mass of wizards behind the robots.
Her mouth grew drier as the two forces marched toward each other, the tension drawn tight as she waited for the groups to clash. What would Uncle do?
It seemed like it took forever for the leprechauns and the robots to meet. At the first clank of sword on metal, the whole thing went too fast to see. Leprechauns and horses screamed. Metal screeched. She could see dust rising from two locations behind the castle ruin. The other companies of leprechauns must have also begun battle.
“Look.” Shamus pointed at the clones. “There’s the staff in the middle.”
Shamus was right. Becca could see her uncle’s staff raised high. She saw a flash at the top of the staff and the robots began to get larger. “Oh no,” she whispered as the robots towered to twice the height of the leprechauns. “Shamus, their chests are out of reach!”
Shamus led her pony with him toward the rear of the leprechaun company. “What other powers did you learn?” he yelled over the sound of the clash in front of them. “What can you do to help?”
Fear of the fight wiped her mind blank. Think, she scolded herself. Do something! “I was able to make a breeze. I could make fire. I did lighting once.” Her eyes were wide as she focused on the fight in front of her. Only a few of the robots were down. She could see many of the leprechauns were on the ground, legs or arms broken and screaming in pain. “Lightning. The robots work on electrical power. Maybe I can overload their circuits.”
Shamus drew his sword. She could see from the look on his face that he didn’t understand what she’d said. He asked, “How close do you need to be?”
“Close! But what about the soldiers?”
Shamus grabbed the pony’s reins. “I don’t know. Do what you can. I’ll control the pony.”
To be continued…
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