Monday, July 1, 2013

Rabbo Tales II - Chapter 16

Battle plans

Rabbo lay asleep on Athena’s window sill as the sun came up over the mountains and started to shine in his eyes waking him up. He looked around sleepily and saw Athena and Helena snuggled together. Over in the corner was a fur pile of his mother mischief and Cat.
Rabbo slipped quietly off the window sill and hopped softly down to the bathroom where he brushed his teeth and took care of his morning business. Once he was happy and finished he hopped down into the kitchen to make breakfast for everyone.
Rabbo hopped into the cool storage room and looked around for butter to cook with but he was unable to see any.
On an off chance that Merwyn was awake in Athens Rabbo hailed him.
“Merwyn are you awake” Rabbo hailed quietly.
“Ahh good morning Mr. Rabbo” said Merwyn. “I was hoping you would awake soon. I need your intelligence skills again”.
“Can I ask a couple of question first” asked Rabbo.
“No” said Merwyn flatly.
“Then I won’t help you” said Rabbo with the same tone in his voice.
“Very well ask your two questions” said Merwyn.
“First question is why are you addressing me as Mr. Rabbo. And the second question is where is the butter”?
“The butter is in the dairy. And I am address you as an officer and using a tone of respect as I do respect you Rabbo my dear friend. It helps me to address you that way as it keeps my mind focused on what we have to do. Plus old habits die hard” answered Merwyn with a softer tone in his voice.
“Oh thank you. Now what do you need from me”.
“I need you to locate the camp of the three spies and tell me where they are. I have not been able to locate them as I am doing something I don’t want to do and that very thing repulsive to me. But sadly to save the city I have to do that very thing and act as Zeus and be a god.” said Merwyn.
“Ok let me make breakfast and then I will look for them” said Rabbo.
“It would be better if you looked for them first. I need up to the moment data so that I can make my plans” answered Merwyn briskly.
“Ok Ill do that right now” answered Rabbo.
Rabbo dropped contact with Merwyn and stepped out of his body going into stealth mode straight away. He traveled south to where he had last seen the ship with Horus on it then he came back in land to the coast and followed the coast until he came to a small camp where the three spies where sleeping. He circled their camp to make sure that there was no one to close and that no one was watching them in astral form. He then headed up over a small hill just to the west of the three sleeping spies and there right in front of him maybe no less than two miles was the city walls.
Rabbo moved over the walls into the city to locate Merwyn but after twenty minutes of looking he was unable to find Merwyn.
Rabbo opened his eyes and listened for sounds in the house but all he heard was the gentle snoring of the twins and Diana.
Once again Rabbo hailed Merwyn.
“I located them about two miles east of the city walls just on the coast. I did not see any aura’s around so they are not being watched over. Unless who ever is watching them was also in stealth mode” said Rabbo.
“Very good” said Merwyn before he dropped out of Rabbo’s mind.
Rabbo hopped out to the dairy and got a package of butter. He then returned to the house and started to cook breakfast for everyone. He made sure that he had his gloves on so that none of his fur would end up in the breakfast.
Rabbo chopped fresh green onions, garlic and added them to the eggs that he had beaten to make omelets for breakfast.
As he was finishing the first omelet he heard footstep come down the stairs. As he turned he saw Athena walk into the kitchen wearing a short robe that she had not even bothered to tire.
“You know what Merwyn would say with you dressed like that” said Rabbo smiling.
“And you know what I would tell him” answered Athena slipping her robe off. “Talking of my father have you spoken to him this morning”?
“I spoke to him a while ago” replied Rabbo as he poured the next mix of beaten eggs, garlic and green onions into the frying pan.
“And” said Athena.
“The spies have been located and he is making plans” said Rabbo. “That’s all I know at this time”.
As Rabbo cooked the second omelet Athena went into the cool storage room and came out with slice salami and bread that Helena had baked the day before and a jar of milk.
Together they set the table and finished cooking breakfast just in time as the twins, Diana and Helena came down stairs together.
Helena was wearing just a smile as she sat down next to Athena to eat breakfast while Diana and the twins were wearing matching short togas.
Rabbo suddenly started to feel a building feeling in him.
Just then Cat, Rabbo’s mother, and mischief came running down the stairs at a high rate of speed and bolted out side to get away from the house.
“I feel a building feeling in me” said Rabbo as he slipped down from the table and headed towards the door.
Athena turned grabbed Merryn and Wenna while Helena looked confused.
“Darling Rabbo means that there is an earthquake about to happen” said Athena as she walked towards the kitchen door.
Once outside everyone including Rabbo’s mother sat together on the grass away from the buildings.
Then the ground stated to shake and roll as the earthquake happened.
The earthquake seemed to last only a few second before the ground stopped rocking and rolling.
“Is that it” asked Athena looking at Cat and Rabbo.
“More to come I feel” said Cat.
Then the ground started to shake again a little more violently and a little longer than the earthquake that had happened a few moments before.
Rabbo, Mischief, soft eyes, and Cat let out a moan all at the same time as the earthquake finished as the pressure inside them lessened.
“No more” hissed Cat.
“It hurt” said Mischief.
“Glad that’s over” said Rabbo.
Everyone got up and went back into the house and returned to eating the last of the breakfast.
“I am glad that Rabbo warned us” said Helena.
“It’s handy having a talking cat and rabbit as they can warn us of things that we don’t normally feel” replied Athena.
Merwyn stood invisible on the harbor wall looking out to sea.
The fog had retreated to just off the coast in a huge fog bank that stretched along the coast for miles.
As Merwyn scanned the fog he spotted a single ship drifting down the coast in the fog bank.
With his mind in astral mode Merwyn moved out to look at the ship.
On board he could make out two bright auras and one not so bright aura. So he moved in closer until he was on the ship. At once he saw that the bright auras were those of Angus and Bastet so he turned to his body and hailed them.
“Angus and Bastet” Merwyn said on a group private telepathic mode. “What brings you here so early”?
“Athena told us last night that Ra is sending a large force to attack Athens so we come to help” said Bastet.
“Good we will need all the help that we can get” said Merwyn.
The ship drifted out of the fog bank silently as if it was a ghost ship. It drifted into the harbor and soon the gangplank was lowered. <
P> Merwyn made himself visible and walked up the gangplank and looked around at the crowded deck. Merwyn could see about sixty heavily armed men dressed in mail and leather armor. Each man held a long stiff bow that was taller than them.
“Good to see you Angus” said Merwyn. “Just like old times. But what’s with metal armor you have on”.
“That’s my idea” said Solee who was dressed in the same manner.
Bastet came walking over wearing a form fitting chest plate and a metal pleated skirt.
“Athena is all packed and she and Rabbo will soon be on their way” said Bastet.
Merwyn turned and looked at Bastet with a look of dismay.
“What! The last thing I want is my daughter here. I want her where she is safe and away from this” said Merwyn trying to keep a level tone in his voice.
“General” said Angus “we are going to need all the help we can get. I hailed Yhva last night and he won’t come. We will need first rate battle medics, Athena can help”.
“I know but I don’t want my own daughter involved in this mess. I will have enough on my mind without worrying about her” said Merwyn regaining the control of his voice.
“I agree with Angus” said Bastet “beside if Ra is planning on making a move against her it would be better that she is here with us. Plus we can use Rabbo to find Ra and the others and see what they are up to”.
“Beside I don’t think we could talk Athena out of coming” said Angus.
“Very well” said Merwyn. “Bastet I will use your ward room as my command center until I speak with the elders of Athens. Once I have spoken to them I will move my command center to the temple”.
With that Merwyn turned and walked off up the deck towards Bastet's ward room.
“That went better than I thought” said Bastet to Angus.
“You took the right tone. It’s good to see him back as a general. I was starting to think my old friend had changed” laughed Angus.
“Oh he’s always been there. Just that losing Isis like he did hurt him deeply. But Athena is helping heal him. As Solee is helping to heal you” said Bastet smiling.
Solee snuggled into Angus and reached out for Bastet's hand. She took a hold of Bastet's hand and kissed each finger tip gentle before letting go.
Together the three headed towards Bastet's ward room that Merwyn was going to use as his command center.
As they entered the room they saw Merwyn sitting by the porthole with his eyes closed looking towards the south.
Merwyn watched the large fleet of sixty ships as they slipped anchor and set sail to head towards Thira.
As Merwyn watched Ma’at came up on deck from the lead ship. She walked across the deck and turned to face the south.
Merwyn turned and headed northward towards the island of Thira and saw an even huger fleet of ships sitting at anchor in the great harbor.
On the shore were a great many tents and warriors training with their weapons. Off to one side watch the warriors he saw Anubis.
Merwyn laughed to himself as he watched the training of the warriors.
“Of all the people to lead the main force it would have to be Anubis” Merwyn thought to himself.
Merwyn turned back glad that he was able to confirm all the information that Rabbo had gathered the night before and even more delighted that it was Ma’at and Anubis he would be facing.
Merwyn opened his eyes and looked at Bastet, Angus and Solee.
“Ok we have good news. Anubis has not started to load his troops so that means we will have an extra day as it will take about a day to a day and half for all his troops to load onto their ships. That means that they can’t make it here for about three days. That give us time to set up a nice welcome for them” said Merwyn smiling. “What we will do is dig a trench just in front of the wall like a mote. We fill it was water and then pour oil on top and cover it with sand. The sand should float on top of the oil and water and give the look of dry land. Once they start their assault we let them get to the trench. They will have to go though the trench to get to the walls. Once they are all at the walls we use fire arrows and that will set those that have been though the trench on fire. That should sow fear in the ranks of their troops. We will have the citizen’s heat sand in huge pans so that those that do make it to the wall will have to face hot sand pouring down on them. The hot sand will get under their armor and burn and make them want to get out of their armor”
“I will help set up a field hospital near the temple” said Bastet “Athena and I will treat the wounded”.
“Now about the spies” said Merwyn. “I think we will let them enter the city so that everything seems normal for them. But we will keep an eye on them and even help them settle in. But once its time we will scoop them up so fast that they won’t know what has hit them” said Merwyn as he projected an image of what the spies looked like into the minds of Bastet and Angus.
“I will set up the troops of this city in companies. I will hold two companies in reserve as far as possible away from the main walls but close enough that they can react fast if the walls get breached” said Angus.
“Ok now some bad news” said Merwyn looking grimly at everyone. “They have explosives and oil to burn. I think what they will do is use battering rams and catapults to break into the city. So we will need to keep those catapults out of range and watch out for the battering rams”.
Merwyn stood up and walked out of the ward room. As he left he turned invisible again.
The village elders were gathering in the senate building just behind the city square for their weekly gathering.
It was almost mid afternoon as they seated themselves in a huge semicircle so that each could voice what was on their minds.
As the first elder stood up and was about to speak Merwyn appeared as Zeus out of nothing.
“Greetings citizens of Athens, city of my most beloved daughter Pallas Athena I bring news of a great fleet sailing from Crete. Arm yourselves for battle”.
Suddenly there was a great flash and a huge cloud of smoke. Out of the cloud of smoke stepped Athena wearing her battle armor.
“My father speaks true my beloved people. My father, Bastet, Angus and I will help defend this my most beloved city” said Athena as she walked up next to Merwyn.
The leader of the elders stood up and faced both Athena and Merwyn.
“Oh great gods of our people what must we do” asked the elder.
“Arm my people. Ever able body male over 16 summers must be armed with spear sword and bow. We have three to four days to be ready” said Athena.
“Where is Rabbo” asked Merwyn on Athena’s private telepathic mode.
“He is at my feet invisible with Mischief. She would not stay behind so I brought her too” answered Athena.
“She should have been left behind with Helena and the children. I hope you did not bring them too” said Merwyn.
“Dad I am not stupid. I would not risk my children here” answered Athena. “They are my children too” said Merwyn. “Then acknowledge them as such to their faces” Athena said in a harsh telepathic tone.
Merwyn turned and looked at the elders who were talking among themselves in quick hurried and hushed voices.
“My lord we will arm the people and make ready to defend this city against whoever comes to defile us” said the head elder.
“Good” said Merwyn. “My daughter and I will set up in the temple and we will help you defend this city”.
“I will need this building as place to heal the wounded of this fight that is to come” said Athena.
Merwyn turned both he and Athena invisible. Together with Rabbo and Mischief they walked from the room and headed to the temple.
There at the temple they walked into an empty back and became visible again.
“Ok Mr. Rabbo you have a mission. Find and locate Ra and as many of the others as you can. Go in full stealth mode and stay in stealth mode until you get back here” Merwyn then turned to Athena “Stay invisible and return to Bastet's ship and have them come here. I am going to see what Anubis is up to on Thira and see how fast Ma’at is going”.
Athena turned and left the room. Merwyn walked over locked the door and sat down next to Rabbo.
“Ok lets about it them Mr. Rabbo” and with that Merwyn closed his eyes.
Rabbo hopped up on a box made himself comfortable and slipped out of his body and headed south as fast as he could go.
After a while Rabbo arrived over the great delta and headed down the main channel until he located the great river.
Once Rabbo had located the great river he followed it until he came to the palace and temples of Ra.
Rabbo climbed up high and started looking for auras and after a few minutes he had located three auras close together so he descended low and towards them.
As Rabbo entered the room he was very surprised to see two Hathor’s. One Hathor was laying full length on a table and the other was sitting looking at her thoughtfully. Rabbo knew that one Hathor was not the real Hathor as the two auras were close but not the same. However the third aura was clearly Ra. So Rabbo sunk lower into the room and hid in a corner behind and below a dresser so that he could listen.
“Hera, Hathor sleeps in a dream world that I made. She thinks it is the real world and it is mostly. All that is happening here is happening in her world” said Ra “what I am going to do is link you into her world so that you can think like she does and act like she does and your aura will match hers. That way we won’t be found out until I am ready to bring her back”.
“Ok. Now how soon do we have to be at the council meeting” asked Hera in Hathor form.
“Thoth, Seth, Nut, Seshat and Ares will be here in about two hours. They are coming up from the south where they have been working on training my other assault force that we will use in the next phase of our plan against Merwyn and Athena. Plus by the time the hybrids are ready we should be ready to start the second phase” said Ra thoughtfully.
“You think it will work. I mean the hybrids. You said that they will have only weak abilities” said Hera looking worried.
“They will be enough. And enough is all we need” said Ra. “ok now lets fix you up so that you can pass for Hathor without me having to prop you up like I did in the last meeting”.
Ra moved over to Hera and placed his hand on the top of Hera’s head and closed his eyes.
Rabbo slipped out of the room and traveled down the great river until he saw the ship that was bringing the others to Ra’s palace and temple.
“I better return too Merwyn and report of what I have seen and heard” Rabbo thought to himself.
Rabbo opened his eyes and was surprised to see that he was totally alone in the darkened storage room at the back of the temple.
He slipped off the box and made himself invisible and hopped out into the short hallway before he headed into the main part of the temple.
Sitting off to one side at a table Rabbo saw Merwyn and Angus talking. So he hopped over to the table hopped up on the table and made himself visible.
Rabbo felt his body tingle and he looked at his front legs and paws that had turned into wings.
“I think its best that you appear as Athena’s owl for the time being” said Merwyn.
“Yuck I hate the taste it leaves in my mouth when you turn me into an owl” said Rabbo spitting a little.
“Ok Mr. Rabbo make your report” said Merwyn.
For the next twenty minutes Rabbo explained in detail what he had heard seen and felt when he was at the palace of Ra.
“Rabbo makes a good spy” said Angus clearly very impressed by Rabbo’s clear and concise report.
Merwyn smiled “it’s not over yet as I have questions”
For the next thirty minutes Merwyn and Angus questioned Rabbo in greater detail going over again and again some of the key points that Merwyn wanted more information on.
“Ok Rabbo go and relax and I will send you out again to sniff around those ten ships that are low in the water in Ma’at’s fleet” said Merwyn thoughtfully.
Rabbo hopped down from the table on to a chair that had a padded seat. He then sat down on to the padded seat and closed his eyes to nap.
Rabbo awoke about forty five minutes later to hear a number of different voices talking to Athena and Merwyn.
“My lord Zeus I don’t see how we can dig the trench you want in just a day” said one voice.
“I will make it appear for you” said Merwyn’s voice.
“But why do we need so much water in the senate building” said a female voice.
“Because we will need it to treat the wounded” answered Athena’s voice.
Rabbo kept his eyes closed as he did not want the others to know that he was awake. Plus seeing his body covered with feathers instead of fur was a little unsettling to him anyway.
Suddenly there was a hush that fell over the temple and then the sound of many feet entering marching in, in step.
Rabbo opened his eyes and saw the sixty warriors that Bastet had brought with her. At their head stood Bastet wearing her armor and a long black cloak with a hood that covered her face. She walked up to Merwyn saluted him before she turned to the elders in the room.
“These warriors are my people. They are like you and they have promised to help you. Now do you have good strong men that could handle the longbows that these men have? I have brought a hundred of these bows and I have plenty of arrows” said Bastet her voice filling the temple.
A young man pushed his way though the crowd of elders and walked up to Bastet. He bowed low and smiled.
“I think I could draw one of those bows. They don’t look like much nothing more than a twig” and with that he reached out and grabbed a bow.
Bastet watched from under her hood as the young man started to draw the bow back. He had got about a quarter of the way when he had to stop and let go of the draw string.
He looked at Bastet with wonder and wide eyes.
“What manner of bow is that that such a twig of wood could be so hard to draw” said the young man.
Another older man walked forward and took the bow from the young man and slowly he drew it back until the draw string was at his cheek. Then gentle he returned the string back to its normal position.
“Tis a bow with great power. As a lad I once had a bow made of wood, horn and sinew. This bow has that same great power and more. Tis a bow with great reach I would bet” said the older man softly. “I know some that might be able to handle these bows. But not many I warrant”.
“Find me those that can and bring them here” said Bastet. “Take the bow with you so that you can test those that you think are worthy”
Rabbo stood up in his chair and walked over on his hind legs in owl form and spoke to Bastet in a soft voice so that she was the only one that could hear him.
“What’s the draw weight on that bow”?
“About one hundred and seventy pounds” answered Bastet leaning down so that only Rabbo could hear her.
Just then two men walked in wearing bronze chest armor. “Our lord Zeus we captured the three spies you told us of. We have them chained outside as we did not wish to defile this most holy of places with their filth. What would you wish we do with them”?
“They should be beheaded and their bodies hung from the walls and their heads spitted on spears so that when the raiders come they will know what awaits them” said one of the elders.
“I wish no such thing” said Athena stepping towards the elder who had said that the spies should be beheaded.
“But they would bring harm on us” answered the same elder.
“I come with love for my people and I will protect and help them. But these men were forced to do what they did. It is not by their wish that they would be spies. I am love and kindness. I wish that the raiders were not coming. But they are. They plan such harm to my city and sadly they will be harmed. But I wish that it were not so. But I am not a goddess over them as they follow another god. But I will show that I and we are better then they by sparing these poor men” said Athena softly yet in away that all in the temple could hear her voice.
“My daughter wishes it so. And I wish it so” said Merwyn.
Athena turned to Merwyn smiled and turned back to all that were gathered in the temple. She smiled sweetly and then spoke softly. “I wish to talk with Zeus and the other gods that are here with us privately”.
The temple emptied quickly and soon just Athena, Rabbo, Merwyn, Angus, Mischief and Bastet were all that was left in the temple.
“Thank you my dear daughter” said Merwyn. “I could not have put it better on how to deal with the spies”.
“I honestly do not wish them harm” said Athena. “I honestly feel that if we were to have them killed it would make us no better than Ra”.
“I agree with you my dear daughter” answered Merwyn.
“I don’t” said Bastet. “I think that the village elder that suggested that has a good point. Show them that we mean business and that we mean to make it costly to attack this city”.
“Merwyn is right” said Angus. “Having the spies killed might make the warriors fight harder if they believe that they will be killed by us if they are captured”.
“Look we don’t have time to stand here and debate what should or should not happen to the spies. We need to get the trench dug and dug fast” said Merwyn.
“I have a question” said Rabbo.
“Yes’ said Merwyn levitating Rabbo up onto the table so that he could talk face to face with Rabbo.
“Are we sure that they will attack from the beach to the east of the walls” said Rabbo slowly.
“Yes it’s the only level open area that a large force of warriors can gather and catapults can be used. To the south is the walled harbor, to the west are high cliffs that they would have to climb first and to the north is a wide open area that dips down and would be a killing field for then if they were there. They would lose to many warriors in that area. The eastern beach area is the only place that they can use to attack us with easy. I am counting on that fact as it will mean that they cannot lay a full siege on us. Sure they can try and encircle the city but they would need far more warriors than they currently have. Maybe twice or three times the number they have with the tools that they have” said Merwyn in his command voice.
“How deep and wide will the trench have to be” asked Athena.
“I want it twenty feet wide and ten feet deep and the whole length of the wall. We can flood it with sea water and then top it off with all the oil that we can get our hands on. The oil will sit on top and with sand over the top it will look just like solid ground. Ok let’s get busy. Oh Rabbo can you go out again and see what is happening at Ra’s palace. Listen like you did before. And remember go in stealth mode and stay in stealth mode I don’t want any slips like the time before. Oh and Rabbo please be careful” said Merwyn kindly.
Rabbo hopped back to the back storage room locked the door and looked at his body and was happy to see that he was back to his normal rabbit body.
“I hate looking like a dam owl. And the feathers itch and hurt. I wonder how the dam things feel covered in feathers all the time” Rabbo muttered to himself.
Rabbo hopped up on his box and closed his eyes. Right before him was huge blindingly bright aura.
Rabbo opened his eyes and was about to hail Merwyn with all his force when he heard Yhva speak.
“I am just watching. I am not here to interfere or tell General Merwyn what to do. I am just here to watch” said Yhva on Rabbo’s private telepathic mode.
“Why won’t you help us” asked Rabbo on the same mode.
“I can’t” said Yhva. “I made a promise. Rabbo I can’t explain the promise as that too would be breaking a promise. Just know that I wish Merwyn well and I will help only by telling him what I see much as you are going to do. But also tell him if Ra asks me to tell him what I see I will do so. Reluctantly but I will tell him”. “I will” said Rabbo.
Yhva’s aura faded away leaving Rabbo alone in the storage room.
Rabbo closed his eyes and headed towards Ra’s palace.

Click on Mark Crocker for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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