Kam pointed towards the sky and the contrails of descending craft.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Expected visitors,” commented Cornelius, squinting as he tried to concentrate on the roiling mass of battle below him, “you know, Kam, I don’t think that everyone will be happy with the new arrivals.”
“Are we happy?” queried Kam, doubt tinging his voice.
“Oh, we’re always happy, Kam,” replied Cornelius, “life is full of surprises for those who welcome them.”
“But who are these new people?” Kam sounded troubled, as though it was beyond him how this could be good news.
“Taartuns,” replied Cornelius, sitting back down and stretching out his legs.
“Our people then,” said Kam, “good, we could do with some help.”
“Hmm,” agreed Cornelius absently, “although I am not so sure how much of our people there are amongst them.”
“The Taartuns are our people,” insisted Kam.
“Allegedly,” said Cornelius, smiling as he felt the ground beneath him begin to tremble, “but as usual, they aren’t the only ones rushing to join the party.”
Kam turned as he too felt the approaching thunder. Behind him, the sun glinted off metal and a murmur of noise reached his ears.
“That was quick,” he commented, “they must have landed further away and are hurrying to join us.”
“Oh,” said Cornelius, “those aren’t the Taartuns, but I would at least classify them as friends.”
“What?” queried Kam, now even more confused.
“Sir Frederic approaches,” said Cornelius, “and it seems as though he has found some friends.”
“There,” called Sir Frederic, above the noise of drumming hooves, “I can see Cornelius.”
“Yeah,” grunted Burns, clinging on for dear life, “and it seems as though Kam stayed with him. That must be a good sign.”
Sir Frederic signalled his troops to aim for the two small figures and they wheeled to obey him. He was happy with the disciplined force which had joined him. His cousin had protested, as usual, but Sir Frederic’s call for volunteers had been readily answered. Their reaction to Cornelius would need managing, but the greater threat of the demons and their followers would concentrate them on their true mission. The evidence of the village’s destruction and the atrocities committed there left little for dispute as to who they should be fighting. Now, if only Cornelius could restrain himself from displays of magic, they just might stand a chance.
“Watch out!” shouted Burns, as the first of the descending craft roared overhead, startling some of the mounts.
Even though he knew they were not about to attack, Sir Frederic ducked as the snub-winged craft rocketed overhead. Bolts of energy flew upwards from beyond the ridge and answering auto-cannons began to fire. He spurred his recalcitrant mount onwards, the quicker they joined the fight, the less time his men had to contemplate demons and magic.
Burns shout and pointing finger drew his attention to the two lone figures and the craft which began to descend directly over them.
“To Battle!” he roared, his men following readily behind. He just hoped they would arrive in time.