Tamara trembles nervously as the guru’s fighters surge toward where she stands with Toby. Almost surrounded by the five townspeople who are her guards, ready with staffs. This was just a demonstration?
That is her first gut-driven question, but soon that’s dismissed. She is in charge here and needs to act and think quickly. Too dangerous to signal the archers… and who could they target well enough if I did?
Ken crouches before her with his sword facing out. He shouts now, “Move back to the archers!” She hears him over the increasing clash of fighting at the gate.
He waves to the small rise a few meters back. Tamara stumbles back toward the rise. Ken remains where he is near the front line. “Toby, stay with Tamara.” She hears one more thing from Ken. “Tamara. Stay on that hill!”
Toby trembles as he follows Tamara. His green flag points straight to the crowd of Valmiki’s men, boiling out of the gates, charging toward them. They mustn’t reach the rise where Sally’s few archers launch arrows. The twangs sound soft among the confused noise of battle.
A few more steps and Tamara’s guard leaves her. Ana and the others form a wall of five staffs between her and the advancing attackers.
With more staggered steps Tamara and Toby have reached the archers. Only a small number of arrows lie on the ground near them now. The archers curse their targets as they work.
Tamara grabs Toby’s shoulders, moving him behind her. He’s dropped his green flag. He stares at the approaching threat with the flag at his feet. The guru’s men fight past the blockade made by the townspeople’s staffs and cows. Tamara’s eyes find Sally. Sally grabs a staff, shouts, and charges in front of Tamara.
“No!” Tamara reaches to stop her. Eleana and Rodrigo now stand next to Tamara, loosing what few arrows they still possess rapidly into the enemy who now surround Sally. Tamara sees Sally fall. No!
Tamara tries to think what to do. She touches Toby. His flag is back in his grip, and the boy points it a few meters away. There, killers stand over the spot where Sally fell. She remembers Ken’s words. “Stay.”
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