"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory."
- Douglas MacArthur
Gilneas, Northgate Rebel Occupied Emberstone, 22 ADP.
The loud whistle of another cannonball passing over their heads resonated. Sniffling, Colonel June Duncan Richards of the 54th Royal Keel Infantry assessed what he could amidst dirt mounds, laying brothers in arms and huge bolts of light and flashes of gunpowder. After the Navy had broken through the Rebel blockade within Gilneas City's harbor, the Royal Fleet had gone ahead and begun a bombardment campaign throughout occupied Emberstone. A 'slim' Province within the Gilnean Kingdom, its coast had a Fort, which had the same name as the Province- Fort Emberstone. Simplistic, a large sand castle, some might say, although it made good work, as it could be rebuilt easily and quickly from the very hard dirt it stood upon. The Browns* had really done it this time. The way to outflank Pyrewood was here, and the King needed this Fort taken down.
The only problem with this assault was that Colonel June could take his men through a slim pass of flat land, able to put a single regiment through one by one, unlike the large craters and uneven, dangerous ground next to the flat road. An artificial choke point, which had now taken around 82 men from his 700 men strong Regiment. Colonel June sighed, looking to his second in command, Major Mulkey McCarthy, a strapping young lad of Kul Tiran descent. They both crawled to each other, over laying men of the regiment, who were ordered to hide and shield themselves in the artificial boroughs and craters of artillery rounds. They reached each other, their men grunting as they gave them room.
"June, the Navy hardly scratched the basta'd!" the thick accent of the Northerner-born Major cursed, with June, with tired, brown eyes and disheveled, black locks of uncombed raven hair, filled with dirt and some blood, trying to calm him. "I can see that, Major." the Colonel said, looking around. The shrapnel shells flew dangerously over their heads, their white streaks, like fireworks, cutting across the sky of Dusk. The Colonel reached into his coat pocket and grunted, fishing his pocket watch out. He opened the silver family heirloom, the picture of his sweet Mother in it. He sighed, looking to the Major, after checking the time. "But it's time... Gather the men- on my command."
The Major, with a hesitant bow of his head, retreated, patting the sergeants and lieutenants, whispering into their ears. The message passed through the remaining 600 or so men. June readied himself, pulling out his pistol and cutlass, looking across the line. He sniffed, now in a crouched position, his young legs slightly wobbly. The twenty-five-year-old Noble's son rose up to his full legs, and with blade raised and flag carrier rising with him, screamed:
"COME OOON, KEEEEL!"
A mighty cry of hundreds of voices resounded through the battlefield, as the cannons that had aimed at them haphazardly struggled to aim once more at the swarming mass of Greys*. They screamed for victory, for glory, for their wives, for their daughters, for their mothers, for their fatherland. But all June thought of was not tripping over debris, as he had seen some running beside him fall flat upon their faces. Soon enough, more fell, as the pop and shock of an enemy volley from the ramparts of the dirt fort came at them in full force. Jaune released a breath he did not think he held, as he heard the Major scream out an order to keep going. After some more running, the line had reached a moat, and June was the first to fall in, but with feet deep into it. He waved his comrades forward. "Come on! Give them Hell! For Gilneas!"
One of the Captains came in with him, already wounded and valiantly leading his men forward, as the enemy formed another line atop the ramparts, and readied another volley. He could hear their northern accent screaming out: "Fer Light's sake, shoot 'em!" June growled as he mucked through the hip-high moat. Men soon were felled, no doubt dozens more falling to the enemy as the volley came right at them, almost at point-blank range. The six-meter-high wall was in contact, as June hugged the wall and waved his soldiers forward, who soon crashed into it with their bodies, squeezing against it to not be hit by volleys. June looked up, and with a horrified face, stared at a cannon aiming down at a huddled up group of his men. June tried to yell for them, but the Cannon sounded, and soon they were just dead meat, slowly sliding into the moat.
June growled, breathing heavily, his heart racing like a shooting star. This was it. One more push and they were in. He would make his Father proud! June looked to his men and yelled to the Major, who had a slight head wound, his officer's hat shot off of him, revealing his blonde, swayed hair. "Mulkey! Prepare charge!" but as he yelled for his longtime friend, he didn't seem to hear him. For a long moment, hope seemed to be lost, as screaming and crying men hugged a wall of death. June cursed and held the flag-carrier's shoulder. "Follow me!" he yelled into his ear, before rising up and crawling up the wall, before standing up.
"Come on, 54th!" A final warcry, as Mulkey saw what June didn't. A volley aimed right at the colonel.
Mulkey screamed: "JUUUUNE!" but it was too late.
Five shots connected into his chest, two more shots shot the flag-carrier. A scared soldier stared at his Colonel die, and this wimp from Keel felt anger. He felt sadness. He felt despair... But most of all, he felt anger. The battlefield seemed to freeze, as all stared at the Colonel's lifeless body flop down against the slope of the dirt wall. Balling his fists, the young soldier bellowed a voice-cracked warcry: "Come on!" he cried, as he threw his weapon away and knelt by his Colonel, picking up the flag. Soon, he also died.
But seeing the boy die at these bastard Brown's hands was enough for the Keelmen. Mulkey rose up, and so did they, crawling like rabid dogs up the dirt slope. The rebels, shocked and disoriented, retreated quickly, some staying behind and being stabbed and bludgeoned with rifles, some being shot straight into their faces by blank fire. Cannons were turned inward into the Fort, as the walls were slowly being swarmed. A sergeant lined up a desperate and motley line of sharpshooters and fired upon the rebels, and amidst the chaos, men fought with pans, axes, fists, and even shivs.
Cannons and shrapnel shells were fired blindly into rebel lines and into the fort, as Mulkey screamed in anger and rage as he slashed apart another man and shot the next in absolute rage. The rebels shall pay! Mulkey organized the bulk of the forces and charged forth, charging in a jog and slashing whoever came in his way, a hundred men behind his back, and a hundred more swarming over the wall. As they neared the center, they screamed in victory, but soon, they halted and stopped, staring down at a sight that would be their last.
Four precise cannons fired, and all they could see was smoke. And then nothing...
In the break of Dawn, the flag of Pyrewood, of House Crowley, was raised once more over Fort Emberstone. Further down the eastern coast, safe from a hopeless Royal navy, the garrison gathered the dead and buried them. Amidst them, they piled the young June, and over him, they dumped the kid that was willing to charge for his dead commander. Hundred lay dead. But they fought and died in glory.
The Fort Emberstone was never taken during the Northgate Rebellion.
The 54th men of Keel lost more than half of its men in their charge against it, as well as many of their Officers, and was disbanded for the remainder of the War that continued for two more years.
Colonel June died at age Twenty Five. He had joined the Military Academy at 14 and graduated before the War, and had fought and died on the battlefield.
When his father, a General, heard of his death and mass burial, he rejoiced, saying that 'There was no better bodyguard than the men that died with him, for him to march into Heaven, and to the Light.'
This is an entry to beast's writer thing. Hope you all enjoyed.