Monday, January 2, 2023

EMPIRE OF WRATH CHAPTER 6: PROCESSION

  

A GENERAL PETTYGREE BATTLE STORY

EMPIRE OF WRATH

Chapter 6

PROCESSION

Ragnar Khan's Horde is assembled for review and imminent march to engage the Imperials.

Red Sash Horsemen fanatically salute him with flourishing swords and rejoicing.

Count Colonel Villainovich's contingent remained respectful.

Each band cheered approval as Khan processed. 

Suddenly his Great Guns added explosive praise as well.

"See Khan The Magnificent within his elite Household Horse, Jezzail and Swords men!,"  shouted the Red Sash Commander to his men.

"Yes, it is I. Are your Red Sashes ready to do my will?"

"We are ready my Khan!" 

Soon the Green, Orange and Grey Sashes would cast their eyes in turn on their leader showering him with obedient cheers, praise and jezzail fire. Then all marched ....

INTO THE PASS

For a fortnight.

"Your Excellency. Omens portend success!"

"As witnessed by the Blood Red Moon sign at midnight."

"I knew of its coming and so I'm counting on you Utman of Khel to speedily deliver the foe into my hands...."

"In an explosion of violence." 

"Behold. I can and will. We will deliver them unto you."

"Good. --- Very gooood."

DAYS LATER
AT FORT ALBERT'S PICQUET LINE

"Another day wait'n for the indolent Ragnar Khan, eh Sgt. Davies?"

"Corey, was you in the Zulu War back in 79?"

"No Sergeant."

"Well, had you been there, you'd know motivated tribesmen can be...."

"Look Sergeant Sab! Gupta see the enemy!"

"Aye. Here they come and straight at us!, said Ham."

"Those are Khan's Green Sashes," said the Sergeant.

"With 'is Orange Sash blokes behind 'em," continued Davies.

"Swords and jezzails but no horsemen so far," said Ham.

"Is that Ragnar Khan leading the foe?," asked Corey.

"I dunno, said Davies. "I've never seen him though I hear he rides a jumbo mostly."

"Oh that tears it. They've seen us," shouted Corey.

"Time to go troopers. C'mon Gupta. Hurry, no dawdling now," shouted Sergeant Davies.

"Coming Sab," said Gupta.

"We've got to warn the Colonel!," bellowed Davies.


CLOSING REMARKS
1. Previous chapters in sequence:
    
Chapter 1: At The Gallop

Chapter 2: Half A League to the Fort

Chapter 3: Fort Albert

Chapter 4: Ragnar Khan 

Chapter 5: General Pettygree

2. The General's next chapter is planned for early February 2023. What will be the fate of Fort Albert? Come back and see.

3. Meanwhile he welcomes your remarks and sentiments at Comments below.

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Friday, December 23, 2022

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE 

Joseph and Mary Welcome Jesus Into Our World
He is the reason for Christmas

Sunday, December 4, 2022

EMPIRE OF WRATH CHAPTER 5: PETTYGREE


 A GENERAL PETTYGREE BATTLE STORY

EMPIRE OF WRATH

Chapter 5

GENERAL PETTYGREE

“There they go Davey."

"Aye Mate, the 66th Foot, on their next campaign.”


“Colonel Blackeny, Sir! Welcome to Bombay.”

“Much obliged Governor Catherwood. Delighted to be here.”

“Good luck to you and confusion to that madman up the Khyber. We are counting on you and General Pettygree to safeguard my new posting in Delhi.”

“That we plan to do Governor."

“Your old friends, General Pettygree, the Berkshires.”

"You have the right of it Lieutenant Grandmaison. They represent our final and vital reinforcement for the campaign ahead of us in The Punjab, Fort Albert and The Pass.”

TWO MONTHS LATER --- DELHI, PUNJAB

“Idleness, indolence and infernal waiting is our fate. At least we have this unfinished Officer’s Mess Hall for relief.”

"Findlay is vexed by inaction, as we all are, General Pettygree.” 

“That’s what I like to hear from my cavalry officers, Major Hart. Keep’s them sharp and eager for the time to ride. I admit to being a bit disappointed the enemy has remained ensconced in his mountains to the northwest this long. Finishing the job once and for all to remove our nemesis is paramount. However, it requires patience and cunning if our plan of campaign is to succeed.”

“General, Captain Pritchard just walked in. By his dusty appearance he looks to have ridden in from the piquet line. Possibly he brings the news we all desire,” said Hart hopefully.

“Captain Pritchard. What news do you have? Report.”

“The best General. Ragnar Khan is approaching The Pass in force. Our piquets and spies estimate his horde at 25,000 to 30,000 warriors. The baggage train of camels, carts, donkeys and handlers is considerable as well.”

“25,000 or so you say? That is prodigious for a mountain Khan. He must have secured an alliance of disparate tribes for two hundred miles in all directions. Anything else, Captain?”

“Two things. The first is, the piquet line and garrisons are falling back providing the intentional spectacle of disorder and haste into Fort Albert as you ordered.”

“The second?” inquired Pettygree.

“One of our observers caught sight of a curious force clad in white.”

“Surely that is Ragnar Khan’s malevolent Household Guard consisting of infantry, horsemen and ancient artillery,” said the General.

"Aye General, that's what we believe."

“Up to 30,000 fiery warriors,” remarked Governor Catherwood.

“Yes that's what Pritchard said. Our plan to hold the Frontier weakly falling back when pressed has enticed Ragnar Khan out of his lair and protective mountains. Let’s gather around and talk,” ordered Pettygree.

“Our leger de main appears to be working. Ragnar Khan is on the march. He will soon be in open country where he can not use the mountains for devilish hit and run tactics and secretive cover. Fort Albert blocks his march and must be attacked first before he moves farther south. Your orders are unchanged for the time being,” said Pettygree.  

“Colonel Sinclair, are the Seaforths ready to entrain for Rawalpindi?"

"Aye General, my laddies have been ready awaiting your orders. May I respectfully say they have been cross and intemperate being the last to leave Delhi for The Frontier. They did nah like it much when Blakeney's 66th Foot headed north before 'em." 

"The same may be said about the half of the 10th Hussars still on station here," remarked Major Hart.

“Gentlemen as you knew, we had to give an impression of weakness and dithering before dealing the knock-out punch. It is vital to remember what is at stake. I believe you wish to say what that is, Governor Catherwood.”

“Our sources say Ragnar Khan means to exterminate us and afterwards subjugate the entire Indian sub-continent and beyond. He may also have nefarious powerful allies we have yet to identify,” warned Catherwood."

"Gentlemen. God's speed and confusion to the enemy!"

CLOSING REMARKS
1. Previous chapters in sequence:
    
Chapter 1: At The Gallop

Chapter 2: Half A League to the Fort

Chapter 3: Fort Albert

Chapter 4: Ragnar Khan 

3. The General's next chapter is planned for early January 2023. Meanwhile he welcomes your remarks and sentiments at Comments below.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

EMPIRE OF WRATH Chapter 4

 

A GENERAL PETTYGREE BATTLE STORY

EMPIRE OF WRATH

Chapter 4
Ragnar Khan


Ragnar Khan

"Silence! --- SILENCE!," demanded The Guru. "His Supreme Excellency, The Ragnar Khan will speak wisdom to you."

"Household Guardsmen! The time we have waited for is imminent. General Pettygree’s Imperialist Army plans to visit us. His advance units are even now at Fort Albert while more regiments have disembarked in Bombay Harbour. However, we will not wait for them here in our mountain stronghold. Instead, we will move south through the Pass vanishing within the ancient Secret Cavern exiting onto the plain below to destroy them all forever." 

A tumultuous roar of approbation arose.

"Our Army is assembling as I speak. Indeed, an ally approaches whom I must now greet. So for a brief time I must leave you. Meanwhile, you my Guards, must prepare spiritually, physically and materially to repel the vile trespassers. Be my extreme example of bravery and skill. Our cause is righteous. When I call upon you to crush them, be ready!”

Loud affirmations, praise, oaths and bloodthirsty epithets arose from the multitude.

Later

"Take me to my Fortress Tower."

Silently to himself Ragnar Khan said, "My allies approach."

Continuing interiorly, "Now the third player, 
Villainovich, arrives for The Great Game between Pettygree and I. His contingent is smaller than agreed upon though. Is this minimalism or duplicity? Disappointment ignites within my heart. However, we shall see.”

"Husband, I sense malevolence."

“Steady my dear. For the moment we are all cherished friends.”

“Da, Antonovich but he exudes a….”

“Distinguished yet frightful bearing," whispered the Countess.

“Not now dear one. Not now.”

“Count Colonel Villainovich and Countess Vanya Elizaveta! Welcome to Vandahar Palace. I beg you to accept my humble hospitality. Please enter for a poor if hopefully tolerable refreshment and rest. Tomorrow evening a banquet with entertainments will be held in your honour.”

“We are grateful for your infinite kindness Ragnar Khan,” said Count Villainovich.


Ragnar Khan's Entertainment The Next Day

“Ragnar Khan, we gratefully thank you for that prodigious feast,” said the Count.

"You honoured me indeed. I am unable to offer more than simple fare in these mountains. Yet the mature buzzard eggs and goat's eyes are unique delicacies we proudly offer on special occasions such as this one."

"The vodka accompaniment made them ed...., ah, especially tasteful."

"Thank you. Next, would you please accompany me to the promised entertainment?”


“Welcome to my arena." 

"It's poor resemblance to those of ancient Rome is pitiable, but they did not have Valsun.”

“Valsun, your Excellency?,” asked Countess Vanya Elizaveta.”

“Yes, a very rare creature acquired from the Chinese Emperor. You will see her in a few minutes. An amazing acquisition, I assure you. We call her Val.”

 “Husband look.”


“What is the meaning of this? Is that woman Val?”

“Not at all Countess. She is a criminal found guilty of the high crime of betrayal; treason, if you will. She is therefore an unpardonable unbeliever in my just and holy cause.”

"What is her crime, if I may inquire?"

"Nonconformity of thought leading to forbidden speech opposing our beliefs. Our code of laws demand that intolerant speech traitors be executed by being torn asunder. Unity of thought, belief and behavior is our strength. Conformity is essential."

"May I present, the Chinese dragon, Valsun? Lovely and remarkable isn’t she?”

"Countess?"

“Your Excellency. Would you be so kind as to excuse me from this sport? The high mountain air is suppressing my breath. The only remedy is to take to my bed. Please accept my sincere and distressed apology.”

“Yes of course Countess. I am to blame for not suggesting more rest to acclimate you to our thin high mountain air. By all means retire. Tomorrow will surely see you restored."


Piteous screams and shrieks soon came from the arena as the dragon approached, tore the prisoner apart and then ate the red-haired young woman piece by piece. Finally only the spectator's barbaric tumultuous roaring, laughter and cheering were heard as the woman's intolerable thoughts were forever silenced.


CLOSING REMARKS
1. Previous chapters in sequence:
    
Chapter 1: At The Gallop

Chapter 2: Half A League to the Fort

Chapter 3: Fort Albert

2. Chapter 5: The Blood Moon is in production. The anticipated release date is early December 2022. 

3. Meanwhile the General welcomes your remarks and sentiments at Comments below.

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