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A black rage washed over Covan at this thought.


Shatara would not fall. Not while he lived to prevent it.

Covan raised his hand in signal. The gunners along the line raised their weapons to their shoulders.

“There isn’t enough light for the gunners to see anything here, sir,” Eagle-eye mentioned.

“They won’t need it.” Covan said. The size of the mass of Gazzin bodies nearly guaranteed that every bullet would find a mark.

Covan dropped his arm and a ripple of gunfire ran down the wall.

The staccato crack of gunfire jolted Fawad from his frozen shock. He looked around at the additional gunners and his face turned red.

“Captain Korish!” Fawad began.

“Reload!” he shouted, ignoring the general. The gunners lowered their guns and began the reload process. A stream of gunpowder down the gullet of the weapon followed by the lead bullet. The process was time consuming as every gunner was trained not to spill a drop of powder, lest the Gazzin recover it and find a deadly use for it.

“What is the meaning of this?” Fawad screamed over the gunfire and shouting Gazzin.

“Faster!” Covan felt his hands shake in anticipation of what was to come. His breath was coming in quick bursts, though he had done nothing but shout at his men. He turned suddenly to Fawad and bent slightly to look the shorter man in the eye. Fawad took a terrified step back before Covan even began speaking.

“This is war, sir,” he growled. “Either you begin to act like a war commander, or give over to someone with more experience.”

Finally the gunners were done and the Gazzin line was fifty yards closer. The sun had vanished over the sky and the world was falling into shadow. Another volley of shots rang out as the gunners completed the reload.

Fawad and Covan stared each other down as the Gazzin gained ground and another volley from the riflemen culled the Gazzin front line even more. Neither the Gazzin nor the two Rajalin commanders gave an inch.

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