ASAMAI The Desert’s Empowerment

LEN WEATHERLY Hyrcurian Illustration

South of The Enkan, Asamai

The heat ripples did little to hamper his vision.  A barely audible purr of approval escaped his lips as the hated foe’s leader came into view.

The force behind him did not seem to see as far as he could.  Looking down, he considered the gauntlets adorning his wrists.  Everything had changed once he came into possession of them.  It was like they had led him here.

A warm breeze blew off the desert and towards the Enkan, rippling the striped fur of his torso and arms, and ruffling the pieces of cloth at his waist and his loose-fitting pants.  The gust of wind indicated that it would be yet another scalding day on the desert sands of Serengi, but the Tigrisians had had a handful of generations to grow accustomed to them.

“What can you see, Hyrcurian?”

He turned back to consider one of his team leaders as they approached and stood beside him.  Forty in total had made the arduous journey towards the promised land, all determined to reclaim what had once belonged to them.  Three teams of thirteen fighters, each with its own leader, unanimously backed him as the one to lead them to their destiny.

“I can see the one that leads them.  I can still remember his face from the last incursion we made.”  The visage had haunted him all these years, as had the honourless slaughter of his father at the Leothite leader’s hands.

“Nemeses still leads?  He should have been overthrown and fed to his people by now.”

Hyrcurian slowly shook his head, seeing the Leothite in an animated discussion with one of his own supporting army.  “Father had spoken of how their race works.  There is no such thing as honour; there is only survival.  And Nemeses has the least honour of them all.”

“You think our force is enough to defeat them?”

“One can never be certain; all one can do is prepare for all possibilities as best they can.  We have done so, and those savages will feel the suffering of our people.”

“But forty of us?  It is all that we could support in Serengi, but the Enkan has to have allowed them to flourish to at least five times our numbers.  That includes our tigresses and cubs.”

The Tigrisian leader nodded.  “Exactly right.  They know they have strength of numbers, and with that knowledge comes complacency.  It is why the focus of our combats have been fighting superior numbers.  All of you can hold your own against three or four of your own, and that counts for equal or better against the Leothites.”

Hyrcurian saw Nemeses make a strong point to his supporter before storming out of view.  The target of his rage now hidden, he turned to his small army.

“All the Leothites will soon know we are here.  Redemption is at hand; prepare yourselves accordingly.”

They gave a cheer before settling themselves into the sands, removing their backpacks and searching through them for their allocated rations.

– T –



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