“The next day was a blur, packing and walking around the campus for the last day. The next day they graduated but there was a surprise.
“You are all joining the army,” said the general, “your instructions are on your bunks.” He turned around and left the whole grade in complete confusion.”
Oceanus attended a school for training to fight in the Roman army. Oceanus was born in Rome. He was 18 years old, in Rome his father was a bladesmith. The Roman army had drafted because since his father was a bladesmith. Oceanus was good with a sword. He had to join the army. The year was 206 BC and Oceanus was training at the school with his friend, Maximus. He wasn’t sad because he wanted to become a centurion. The general himself was going to graduate them.
Oceanus woke up in the middle of the night because the alarm bell was ringing.
“What is going on?!!” asked Oceanus.
“It’s just a drill, keep your hair on,” said his commanding officer.
“A drill in the middle of the night?” The officer shrugged.
The next morning Oceanus got dressed and went down to the mess.
“Hey! Oceanus over here!” yelled a very excited Maximus.
“Hi,” Oceanus said as he got to his table. “Did you hear the drill last night?”
“I slept right through it!”
Oceanus rolled his eyes. Maximus could sleep through a fire and he gladly would.
“I figured as much,” mumbled Oceanus.
Fifteen minutes later he was practicing on top of the shallow river. He and Maximus were practicing with their swords.
“Aren’t you excited we’re going to graduate in two days! And then we can-” Oceanus stopped the sentence by knocking him with the handle of his sword which knocked him on his back in the mud.
The next class was archery.
“So when we graduate will you join with me?” asked Maximus.
“I just want to go home,” answered Oceanus.
“Excuse me, but will Maximus and Oceanus please shut up!” said the teacher with a glare so cold Oceanus felt like the temperature dropped 10 degrees celsius.
“Sorry, sir we’ll be quiet,” Oceanus said and gave Maximus a dirty look. The next class was advanced weaponry which was where you learned how to fire a large crossbow, at least Maximus wasn’t in this class. During lunch Maximus kept trying to convince him to join. Finally after the twentieth time Oceanus gave in.
“Fine I’ll join!!!” yelled Oceanus.
“Jeez, okay, I’ll stop.”
The next day was a blur, packing and walking around the campus for the last day. The next day they graduated but there was a surprise.
“You are all joining the army,” said the general, “your instructions are on your bunks.” He turned around and left the whole grade in complete confusion.
Then five months later he and his group were scouting the approaching army. They had been sent very close to a very large lake which led to the ocean.
“Are you sure that that’s the army? The other scouts said that there were about one thousand others?” asked one of the other scouts.
“I guess that they were off,” said the leader with a shrug.
“Off by one thousand?” asked another scout.
Their leader just shrugged again. “I don’t know.”
“Hey, I think that I see the general!” said another scout.
“No you don’t, he’s over there,” said the leader pointing to the far side of camp.
When they got back to the camp they filled out a report and wrote how the army was smaller than expected. That night, as Oceanus slept he thought and he felt lonely yet he was in the middle of a heavily guarded fort manned by thousands of soldiers, but they were deep in enemy territory hundreds of miles from the closest border of the Roman empire. Oceanus drifted to sleep.
DONG DONG DONG DONG!!! Oceanus woke with a start as the alarm bell rang.
“We are under attack, this is not a drill!!” His commanding officer’s voice cut threw the words of panic coming from Oceanus’s tent. “Get your gear and get out there you will receive further instructions there!”
Oceanus grabbed his sword and armor and ran towards the nearest exit. He put on his armor and ran towards the gate.
“You there get over to the catapults!” A rough hand grabbed his shoulder “NOW!!”
Oceanus didn’t have time to argue. He left and went to the catapult crew. They told him to release the trigger so he did. The machine fired onto the approaching army but the enemy archeries open fired on them killing all of the crew but sparing Oceanus and one more, six were dead. The camp was burning and the gates were being rammed down, arrows flew and injured soldiers called for medics who they might never see. Just when it looked like they were winning, loud war cries that sounded like a tiger about to pounce on and kill his prey sounded from the hills from the left and right. They were surrounded.
In Front, there was the main body of the army to the left, there were about 500 enemies to the right, there were 500 and behind them was the river. Oceanus was thinking about how quick he could run maybe he could run just fast enough to the lake and get on one of the ships and hide. A loud command cut threw his thoughts.
“You go fire the catapults,” said a centurion who had blood on his uniform.
Oceanus went to the catapults and loaded the large heavy rock on the hull of the catapult with six others. Then the commander aimed the catapult at the gates towards the approaching army but the shot would take some of their own soldiers.
“Wait that will take some of our own men!” said a very concerned Oceanus.
“Some people are made to be sacrificed,” was his reply. And he fired the machine. The sound of the rock hitting the ground followed by the sound of crunching bones was enough to drive someone crazy. Oceanus was running. The Centurion mistook it as an act of desertion so did the other five.
“Hey, you traitor-” His words were cut off and so was his head. Oceanus ran. There were five enemies on his tail and he ran faster.
They chased him, he ducked inside the armory. It was mostly empty because of the battle going on. He grabbed a crossbow off the shelf and aimed it for the door. The door opened and the enemy got a greeting. Three arrows in his chest he collapsed. Oceanus reloaded the crossbow and shot the next enemy. Then an enemy spear came and hit a rack of shields, they came falling down onto Oceanus. Oceanus ducked and protected his head as they came falling down on him. Somehow he wasn’t crushed, he was hiding under the shields and an enemy entered shield raised he lowered his shield and looked around. Oceanus leapt from his hiding place and cut the ropes that held a door. The door shut as the enemy dove for the other side the gate slammed shut. Oceanus was left in the cold dark room. He looked around the room and took the nearest torche off the wall and looked around the room. Where the rack used to be was a hole.
“What was that?” thought Oceanus. He went down the corridor. He took five steps and then he saw two paths left or right.
“It’s a trap don’t go either way go back it’s a trap,” said a voice in his head. He went left. He crept down the hall. He walked down the hall for about 10 minutes before he came to an end. There was dirt completely around him except for behind him. A dead end. Oceanus stood up and smacked his head on the roof.
“OOOOW!!” He suddenly realised that he had hit his head on wood not cold soft mush dirt, hardwood. He pushed upward and a trap door sprung open and a ladder dropped down. Oceanus pulled out the crossbow that was strapped to his back and fired up into the hole that had just opened. No answer. He climbed the ladder and pulled out his sword. Someone attacked him. Oceanus grabbed his attacker’s sword hilt and smashed the sword onto the other person’s face.
“Oceanus?” said his attacker.
“Yeah, follow me.”
Oceanus followed Maximus to a stable. There were seven other soldiers there, the highest rank was a captain which was three ranks below centurion.
“Let’s go,” said one of the soldiers.
They all hopped on a horse and rode away from the battle towards the nearest fort to get reinforcements. The soldiers had told Oceanus that the rider sent reinforcements was captured so they had been sent.
Five months later
Oceanus strolled down the wooden stairs of the fort. He was thinking about what had happened five months ago as they had ridden to the fort. They had been riding when one of the riders grunted and fell off his horse with an arrow in his side. Oceanus pulled the crossbow from his back and steadied it. Twelve enemies had come running through the woods with spears and swords. Oceanus fired his crossbow at one of the enemies.
Dead. The captain had told him and Maximus to go ahead. They had rode ahead and had gotten reinforcements. They had arrived in time and had won the battle but the death toll had been high for their side. The other riders had never been found. Him and Maximus had been promoted to centurion. Oceanus hadn’t been as excited as he thought he would be. He was just regularly happy, not as happy as he had been when he had realised that Maximus was not dead. Seeing a battle can do that to someone.