NaNoWriMo: Chapter Two Scene One
So, this chapter features one of my faaaaavorite characters, written by Fabian. Mercer’s a badass and I adore him. Enjoy!
Arik grew ever more confident in his infantry and their battlefield application each day they trained. The formation of one hundred men resembled a tight packed square; ten men wide and ten deep. Each was armed with a sixteen-foot pike, far outreaching the standard legion spear. The pikes were topped with a foot and a half long wicked steel point and each man carried a rounded shield to protect his body.
“Forward ten paces—march!” Ezra’s voice carried from the center of the ranks and the bristling formation eased forward. The tromp of men’s boots on stone filled the courtyard. The area directly before the phalanx was a murder zone with spearheads thrust forward from four ranks deep. Those pikes that couldn’t reach their mark hovered above, creating an intimidating sight, as of some great, spined beast.
“Enough,” Mercer called. The men had drilled since sun up and midday drew near. They broke rank and called their goodbyes as they filed off to the bath house for a much needed soak. Ezra pulled his helmet from his head and cast it aside for his young squire to pick up. The boy helped him peel pieces of armor from his sweat soaked body as he approached.
“They grow more capable each day, my lord. No doubt they’ll be prepared by week’s end, bringing us to a grand total of seven phalanx companies.” Ezra grinned and accepted a glass of iced wine from his squire for a deep drink.