We were moving slowly, from one safe point to another. I tried to do recon on the astral planes as much as I could, but being in the heart of Militaries’ territory it wasn’t easy, there were watchmen in the astral planes, protecting the territory from people like me.
“How much time do we have?” Molpadia asked.
“Polemusa should start her attack soon, once her army starts advancing the Militaries will take notice, and they will prepare their own offensive.” Alkaia said.
“If everything works as in previous attacks, Ace will take his army and go to confront Polemusa’s army, expecting his men to get out of hiding and attack Polemusa from the rear, surrounding her and leaving her trap.” I said.
“That’s exactly what he will do, Ace is a creature of habit, and so far his strategy has worked, he has no reason to change his modus operandi this late in the game.” Kimball added.
“What he’s not expecting is the Amazons to be ready to ambush the groups hiding in their territory. Now that we have control over Ace’s sons we have the advantage in our side.” I knew that not all of the ambushes were going to be successful, even using Ace’s sons as bait and with the knowledge of where and how they were moving, there was a change of losing, each group was responsible for their own success. Many would die during the next few days, but we were at war and some sacrifices were necessary, what was important was for Polemusa’s army to reach Ace’s army intact. “We have many advantages in this battle, we know which Clans were planning on betraying us and were able to feed them false information. Ace thinks we are counting on those betrayers to win the battle, he must think that he can win the war in this battle by taking all of his force against us. He will be surprised when he finds out he played into our hands.”
“I trust you Pitonisa, I expect your plan to work.” Alkaia wasn’t able to hide the anxiety in her voice.
“Are you sure we are safe here?” Areto asked, I could feel her power looking for the truth in my words, she was aware of the risks we were taking, and I couldn’t blame her for being afraid.
“We are safe, we are staying as close as we can without being in danger of being found out by Ace’s scouts.” The group I was with was small compared to the other groups involved in the war, but it was too large for a mission like the one we were on. Almost a hundred Amazons, Alkaia and her daughter included were part of my group. With the help of a couple of Clans that were coming to our aid, our group was just large enough to take over the Militaries’ capital. I was sure that those Clans were loyal to the Amazons, I was betting our lives on that.
We didn’t bother with a camp, we needed to stay hidden or we would become easy targets for the Militaries, so we divided into even smaller groups and hid in the woods. It rained during the night, we were drenched in a short time, the lightning was making people restless and I made sure to use my powers to keep the lightning away from us, there was so much electricity in the air that it was easy for me to use my powers.
By morning the rain had turned to a soft drizzle, there was no sun, the clouds in the sky hid the sun painting everything in grey shades. We saw Ace’s army leaving the fortress, as soon as we saw the size we knew we were right, he was taking everything he had with him, leaving just enough men behind to take care of the fortress.
The capital of the Militaries territory was similar to the Imperial capital, the Palace. It was surrounded by a thick, tall wall, protecting the few buildings where they lived. It wasn’t as protected as the Palace that had three walls protecting the different parts of the city, but it was very different from the Amazon’s capital that was hidden behind the ruins of the old civilizations, depending on miles of skeleton buildings to protect them. Compared to that, the Militaries’ fortress was almost impossible to conquer. Almost.
“Ace and his army are out of sight,” Alkaia informed me a couple of hours later, “I think is time to move.”
“You’re right, we need to get ready, the other Clans will be here soon and we have to be prepared.” The time was getting closer, I was tempted to get into the fog and see if there were any changes in our future, but it was a risk, I couldn’t risk getting lost, besides, the decisions were made and we needed to keep to the plan.
“My people is ready, we can start the first part of the plan any moment.”
“Then give the order Alkaia, by nightfall will be in control of the Militaries fortress.”
She went looking for Colt, he was our secret weapon, the key to open the door of the fortress. I turned to see Kimball, he was another key element in the plan, the part that I didn’t like. He was going to be taking a risk, and I didn’t like that I wouldn’t be by his side to help him.
Colt was the last of Ace’s sons that we have captured. When Ace finally realized that his sons were being targeted he had sent for Colt, the last of his sons to be on the battlefield, but before he could reach the Militaries territory we had captured him. Now we were going to use him to infiltrate the fortress, Colt was going to walk in, saying that he had been ambushed and that he had escaped with one Amazon as prisoner. Kimball was going with him, he was going to be carrying an apparently unconscious Amazon, who in reality was one of Derinoe’s special warriors, a specialist in mind control that was going to control Colt so he would do everything we told him to do, including opening the doors to his enemies.
“I don’t want you to go.” I told Kimball. I knew the plan was good, safe. The probability of success was high, but still I was afraid for his safety.
“You need someone you can trust in there, you need me.” Kimball wasn’t afraid, I could feel his confidence. “We won’t be separated for long, once Colt talks to his people we will open the door for you and we will be together again.”
“Be careful, I don’t want anything happening to you.”
“Nothing will happen to me. Your visions told us that we will be ok, and even if you haven’t seen our victory, I know what I’m doing. I have infiltrated the Amazons twice without problems.”
“The last time you did that I almost lost you.”
“No, that was never a risk. There’s nothing that will keep me away from you now that I have you. Don’t worry, I will always come back to you.”
I said my goodbye and went to Alkaia and Molpadia. Together we saw them go to the Militaries fortress and go inside. The doors closed behind them and there was nothing else we could do but wait.
“How long before we can go inside?” Molpadia asked.
“Not long, Ace took most of his people with him, right now Colt is the higher ranked official in there, whatever he says will be done, he is in charge right now, well, we are. Even if someone suspects him, there nothing they can do but follow the chain of command, until Ace is back no one will question Colt.”
“I can see the Ice Men coming.” Molpadia pointed to a group approaching the fortress.
“Just in time, and the Nomads are with them.” I felt Alkaia’s relief, she was starting to doubt her allies, but seeing them helped to ease her doubts.
“We have to move now, we need to blend with them before reaching the fortress so no they don’t realize it’s us until is too late.”
The Militaries were drunk on power, and their confidence was going to be their downfall. Thinking they were above all other Clans they had pushed them away, losing their loyalty by trying to control them with fear. What happened to Bremusa’s daughter was just an example of how out of control they were becoming, they didn’t care about alliances or rules, they thought they were above them and could do whatever they wanted. Ace had thought that by demanding the Nomads to give him their princess to be part of his harem he was cementing his power and control, he didn’t realize that he was making them his enemies. The old leader was too afraid and didn’t even question the order, he gave Ace his daughter without a fight, but his son, the new leader wasn’t going to let the Militaries treat them that way, he was determined to get his sister back.
Ace had been in control for so long that he thought himself invincible, he was convinced that he could just keep pushing the Clans around and they would listen. Most Clans were too afraid to fight back, but the war with the Amazons was giving most of them an opportunity to defend themselves. They had thought they could make an example out of the Amazons, but they had made a mistake by fighting them.
The Amazons hid among the two Clans, no one questioned them and they moved undetected with their allies, that the Militaries thought were on their side.
The doors opened as soon as we reached the fortress, no questions asked, thanks to Colt. No one suspected anything, not only Colt was vouching for the group entering the fortress, but no one could imagine they were enemies and not allies. Once inside the Ice Men and the Nomads started moving into position, the Amazons still hiding among them. Moving as one they started to take the Militaries out, by the time they realized what was happening we were in control of the fortress, the Militaries our prisoners.
“Take me to the harem,” Jondal the leader of the Nomads ordered Colt once everything was under control.
“No, Colt is needed here until we are sure there are no nasty surprises hidden here.” Alkaia said. “I will take you there, I know the way. I promised your sister freedom and I will make sure you get it, I will personally see to that, so you can see that, unlike the Militaries, the Amazons keep our promises.”
“Alkaia, I will take a look around to make sure we are not missing anything, I will see you later in the dining room.” Alkaia nodded and left with Jondal that was desperate to find his sister. I went looking for Kimball who I haven’t seen.
“See? There was nothing to worry about, it was easy, no blood was spilled.” Kimball found me first and put his arm around my shoulders, holding me close to him.
“Everything went according to plan, is so perfect that I’m worried we are missing something. We have control of the capital, but we don’t know how the other groups are doing, we don’t know how many we lost in the other battles and ambushes or how Polemusa is doing against Ace.”
“Polemusa’s battle is the most important and dangerous right now.”
“That’s right, that battle represents the greatest risk, that’s why I sent her there, if we lost her I won’t mourn her. If we are lucky that battle will be a success but we will also lose her.”
Kimball and I walked around, securing the place and making sure no one had escaped. We made sure the Militaries were locked up and that any prisoner was released. Once I was sure there was nothing else to take care of, we went to the dining room. Alkaia and Molpadia were already there, as were the leaders of the Ice Men and the Nomads. Jondal was sitting next to a young pregnant girl that had to be his sister. She had been with the Militaries for less than a year, and by her appearance Ace had wasted no time getting her pregnant.
“What’s next?” Qanik, the leader of the Ice Men asked.
“Now we have fun.” I said.
“Next we take the Militaries’ uniforms and put them on our people, and make them take over the Militaries positions. Once my sister defeats Ace he will run back to hide, he will walk right inside not knowing that he is no longer in control of the place. Then we take him and the rest of his men out.” Alkaia explained the plan.
“Tonight we will sleep in their beds and rest, while Ace fights for his life. Tomorrow we will open our doors for him, he will walk here thinking he is safe, and then we will show him once and for all who is really in charge.”