"I hate zombies," Nieke muttered, as he felt for his ramrod.
An inhuman roar to his right convinced him to whip his gun in that direction, resulting in a small storm of blood and wood splinters. This time, the creature fell down gratifyingly fast while another man stabbed his Katzbalger into the creature causing it to spasm. Apparently, there were some dredges in the fight too, but it was anyone's guess as to which were which. With a moments respite, Nieke took a quick look around himself, and was pleased with what he saw. That was, until he saw the zombie lunge right at him.
Before the zombie could reach Neike, a halberd came down and chopped its head off. It took a second for Neike to realize that he was not dead, and he gratifyingly looked for the halberd's owner. He was sorely disappointed. Whatever he had expected him to look like, he wasn't expecting a man in his fifties who had shaved or bathed in what seems to have been a year. His outfit was in decent shape, but it was painfully obvious as to how low quality it was; a fading red and disgusting brown.
Still, the fact that he was here meant that others weren't far behind, and sure enough, a unit a halberdiers was chopping up the zombies with gratifying speed. In no time at all, the zombies were all lying on the ground while the dredges were scattering in almost every direction.
"Nice to see those bone suckers run," a voice behind Neike commented.
"I suppose," Neike returned, while turning around. " I would have preferred they were never in Albion in the first place. I assume that you are the Halberdier commander?"
"Yes," said the unkempt savior. "I am Goeld Fermek, commander of the Hilgroto Regular Halberdier Regiment."
"I see," Neike said, while trying to keep a straight face, "it is not everyday I meet a Halberdier Regiment. I am Neike Un Saround, head of the Royal House Guard Caliver Company."
Fermek gave Neike an unconvinced look, before saying, "I've been campaigning for twenty-five years, and I've never encountered a 'caliver' before."
That's because it's a gun used by traditionally attentive Garmarian gun enthusiasts, Neike thought.
Instead, he smiled and said, "It's a very special type of gun."
"I suppose," Fermek shrugged, "but that gun looks like something a Garmarian would make."
"Possible," Neike distracted, "but I do thank you for helping us."
"About that," Fermek said, "we were told to get you Gold-Eaters off your collective backs, and move you to the field."
Neike didn't know what he was more shocked about: the fact that someone as unkept and old as this was telling him what to do, or the the insult to his unit. He decided to comment on the latter.
"Gold-Eaters?" Neike said, among snickers from Farmek's Halberdiers.
"Yeah," Fermek replied, while pointing at Neike's breastplate. "All House Guards have to wear that stupid gold thing. Too good for real armor aren't yeah?"
"How dare you!" Neike shouted, while his Calivers started to gravitate behind him. "We are members of the House Guard! We were hand picked by the Dominque himself to stand guard over Albion and all of the royal buildings of the Dominion. And you-"
"Are the ugly, dirt poor, low down grunt who does all the work," Fermek interrupted, while his Halberdiers did the same. "Us regulars do all the work and die like pigs while you fancy Gold-Eaters show up for the clean up, and take all the glory. Now, you either come with me to where you are supposed to be fighting, or we'll bring you back in wheel barrels."
"Oh really?" Neike said. "You'd go so far as insult a Royal House Guard, and then threaten to force him to do something? On who's authority are you acting anyway?"
"On the authority of Burgomaster-Albion, Benef Un Tylor," Fermek growled.
"And I've been given a mission to defend That building," Neike said, while pointing to a rather large and old building, "by the Dominique himself."
"What's so special about that building?" Fermek demended.
"It's a gunpowder store for naval ships," Neike said, "and there are no carriages available to unload any of it."
At this, the Halberdiers shifted uncomfortably away the building, and Fermek got a gratifying look of shock on his face. He didn't say anything for a short while, but neither did he freak out.
"I see," Fermek commented. "So why aren't you actually in the building?"
Neike motioned to the match on his gun.
"Fair enough," Fermek conceded, "so why aren't you taking the powder out?"
"We were," Neike said, "but those zombies attacked and tried to destroy our carts."
As if on cue, a bolt of purple lighting arched out and destroyed one of the carts. Neike and Fermek immediately turned to the direction it came from, and were not disappointed in what they saw: a horde of zombies, dredges, and skeletons was heading right through the street to their position. At the head of the horde was a man sitting down in a throne made of some sort of quartz and about five feet off the ground. The man himself was incredibly tall and frail, with tattered black robes which looked like it would rather be anywhere else then near him.
"Interesting," Neike understated. "I suggest that we argue the finer points of rank after we kill that man."
"That would be best," Fermek agreed, before yelling his men into line.
Neike had no such problem, as his men automatically formed behind the carts and readied their guns. As he reached for his gun to reload, he remembered that the but was now in some dredges face. Sighing, Neike grabbed his Courtana, and began muttering to himself.
"When I get back to the palace," Neike said, "I'm going to put in an order for one of those Garmarian revolving guns."
Another arc of lightning dance out of the throne, and slammed into a building just in front of the lines.
"Alright," Neike shouted, "When I say so, give them the powder they came for."
Some of the Halberidiers snickered at Nieke's attempted wit, and Fermek just gave him a look of disappointment. On the other hand, his Caliveers simply set their locks, primed their guns, or pointed their guns at the enemy.
"Ready!" Neike ordered, as the Halberdiers fell in at the sides of the Caliveers.
"Level!" Neike yelled, as another bolt of lightning slammed into the ground in front of him.
"On my word-"