Beast Blades, Chapter 11: Aldrick’ Plan Part 2

They walked a short distance away into another tent with six chairs set up around a table, and Barnabas and the others sat down. Barnabas looked into the faces of the other leaders and he said, “Do you think we can trust any of them?”

Thomas nodded his head. “I was in the command tent with Aldrick, and the changes he was suggesting did seem like they would be the best tactics for the situation we have found ourselves in.”

Another of the leaders snorted. “You want to give him control over the camp just because he was talking sense?”

Thomas shook his head. “I wasn’t suggesting that at all. I just think that Tara was right; he is a valuable resource, and we should use him until he proves otherwise. We could have him watched every moment of the day, then we’d know for sure if he was betraying us to anyone.”

Barnabas nodded his head. “Yes, I agree that we could use him, but we need to have guards on all three of them at all times.”

Another of the leaders gasped. “You think that Tara needs to be watched too?”

Barnabas sighed. “I believe that it would be best. She opening admitted to lying to us. Who knows how much she has changed since we’ve last seen her? I feel that we need to watch her, at least until we’re certain that she is still trustworthy. Are there any objections?” The tent was silent and after a few moments Barnabas said, “Very good, let’s go let them know our decision.” The men filed out of the tent after Barnabas.

Barnabas led the way to the tent where Apollos, Aldrick, and Tara were being held, and threw back the flap and entered the tent. He looked all three of them in the eye one at a time, and they flinched back from his gaze. “We talked it over and we decided that the three of you will be allowed to continue to aid us.” Relief filled the faces of the three. “However, you are to have guards with you at all times until we have decided that we can trust you. Cut their bonds and let them go.”

Aldrick stood up after his bonds had been sliced and rubbed his wrists. “I’m glad that you made such a wise decision. We have much to do to prepare for Elymas’ attack. Do you have time to speak with me and discuss my plans?”

Barnabas nodded his head. “What sort of preparations did you have in mind?”

“The most important thing for us to do right now is to send out scouts to give us warning of Elymas’ approach. Thomas said that you only had three scouts in the entirety of your force?”

“For the most part we only use them to gather news. Will three be enough for what you are planning?”

Aldrick shook his head. “No, we are going to need many more than that. Does the rebellion have many hunters in their ranks?”

Thomas spoke up. “Many of the men in the rebellion are skilled hunters. What do hunters have to do with scouts?”

Apollos replied, “Hunters are skilled at moving quietly through the woods and noticing the signs of the passage of their prey. You won’t find many that make better scouts than hunters.”

Aldrick smiled, “Thank you, Apollos. I think it would be best if we had sixty men to use as scouts. We’ll break them up into three groups of twenty and send a different group out every three days. After five days, the scouts will return and report what they have seen. They should give us ample warning if Elymas gets close.”

Barnabas nodded his head. “We’ll pick out the sixty we feel are most capable and send them out.”

Aldrick smiled. “Excellent, next I want you to allow Apollos to pick out and train as many of your men to fight with a sword as he deems worthy. Having skilled swordsmen can make a huge difference in the outcome of a battle.”

Thomas stepped forward. “I would like to receive this training if it is as useful as you make it sound.” Barnabas turned at looked at Thomas. Thomas shrugged. “If we’re going to make sure that these two aren’t up to any funny business, one of us should take part in any training they want to give our troops. I’ll also be able to keep a close eye on him.”

Barnabas nodded his head. “Very well, I’ll allow Apollos to inspect our forces and pick out his trainees, under Thomas’ supervision of course. What of the rest of our forces, what would you have them doing?”

Aldrick’s hand formed into a fist. “If we are going to have any chance of beating Elymas, we’re going to have to become a mobile fighting force. I want to break down camp and move to another site. In fact, I want to do this once a day until Elymas shows up so that our forces will be used to the task and be prepared for when we need to do it. We will leave some of our forces behind to build up our defenses here. I hope it never comes to it, but if we end up needing someplace to make a last stand, I would like to have some fortifications set up.”

Barnabas shook his head. “I don’t know about leaving men behind like that. It feels like we would be abandoning them. What if General Elymas were to attack them here? They would be slaughtered if we left them alone.”

Aldrick shook his head. “I wouldn’t leave them completely alone. Scouts will report here daily to check up on the men and pass on any news. If Elymas got anywhere near our base, he would find it empty two days before he arrived. I don’t intent to just leave our people exposed.”

Barbabas held his hand up to his chin. “I don’t think our people will like the idea of doing so much traveling. Especially not the pregnant women.”

“I would like to leave the women and children here in the base, so that wouldn’t be a problem.”

Tara’s eyes opened wide. “What! You want to leave me behind? I have just as much right to fight for my freedom as any man! I’m sure I’m not the only one that will feel that way.”

A smile crossed Aldrick’s face. “I know you are a fierce fighter, Tara. We need to keep the children safe, and I would leave only the most capable of fighters to protect them. Not only that, but we’ll have an entire force that we can use to throw Elymas of balance. Think of the damage you women could do to his forces if you took him by surprise?”

Tara crossed her arms. “The rest of the women might be okay with this, but I’m coming with you to join in the actual fighting.”

Apollos stepped forward. “If I may interject, I believe that Tara has great potential as a swordswoman, and I would like to recruit her as one of my trainees.”

Barnabas nodded his head. “Yes, I think that would be fine. I’ve heard a lot of ideas about how you would like our camp to run, but I haven’t heard anything about your plans to attack.”

Aldrick bowed his head. “If you will have some of your men see to the preparations for the changes I’ve suggested, I will show you my thoughts for how this war will be fought, and the first attack I have planned. If you would follow me to your command tent?”


Thomas escorted Apollos through the camp. Apollos looked appraisingly at the men and women that he walked past. His eyes rested on a young man pushing a barrel through the camp and he smiled. “He will be joining us for the training.”

Thomas scratched his head. “Henry? After all the men you have looked at, you chose that young pup? Just what are you looking for?”

Apollos looked at Thomas. “Young men will learn more quickly than an old man, but it’s more than that. The way that he moved spoke of a grace that is essential to swordsmanship.”

“Very well.” Thomas turned his gaze onto Henry. Henry, will you come here for a moment?”

Henry stopped the barrel he was pushing and walked over with a concerned look on his face. “Whatever it is, I swear I had no part of it this time!”

Thomas frowned. “We’ll talk about whatever it is that you are trying to hide later, but that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Apollos smiled. “Henry, I have chosen you to come and train in the art of swordsmanship with me.”

Henry shook his head. “That sounds like a waste of time. Why would I want to do that when summoning a beast blade leaves me out of the battle completely?”

Apollos winked at him. “Come and give my training a chance before you pass judgement on it. It might just keep you out of trouble as well. Come along, we have many more recruits to find, and much training to do.”


Aldrick strode through the camp with Barnabas at his side. Everywhere he looked people were working on taking down tents and packing boxes onto wagons. The people that noticed Aldrick walking past glared at him. Barnabas frowned and looked around uneasily. “Do we need move around so much? I’m afraid of what our people might do if we continue to push them like this.”

Aldrick nodded his head. “Yes, we have to get used to being able to pick up everything and move at a moment’s notice. Once I feel that we can do it quickly enough, we can stop doing it so frequently. This could save our lives someday.”

A young man made his way through the camp and hurried to Barbabas’ side. “I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to find you, Barnabas. It seems like more than just the camp moves about.”

Barnabas nodded his head. “Yes, I am trying to keep an eye on Aldrick here, and he is keeping an eye on everything else, so I’m seldom in one spot very long. What sort of a report do you have for me, Douglas?”

“Everything is happening just the way he said it would.” Douglas pointed at Aldrick. “Elymas and a group of about fifty men were heading down the Grimmer Road. They should make it to the crossing at the James river in about two days time.”

Excitement filled Aldrick’s face. “This is what we’ve been waiting for. Spread the word, stop breaking down the camp and be ready to move immediately! We need to get to the crossing at the James River at once!”


Aldrick looked over the troops gathered in front of the bridge and nodded his head. He wished that he had more time to get them ready, but they needed to send a message to Elymas right away, something that would throw him off long enough for them to get ready to meet him head on. “The scouts have told us that Elymas should be reaching this crossing in just a couple of hours. Those of you with earth beast blades will wait in those holes next to the path, and those with water beast blades will wait under the bridge. Scouts will be sitting in the trees waiting to give the signal when Elymas is in position.

“Once you hear the call of an eagle, summon your beast blades to collapse the path and attack Geraldo’s forces with everything you have. When you hear the second eagle’s call, pull back and run into the woods, down the trail we showed you. Make sure to watch your step; we don’t need any of our people falling into any of the traps that we have set up for Elymas’ troops. We will be waiting with the second ambush once you reach the end of the traps. If everything goes according to plan, we should do a great deal of damage to his forces, and buy ourselves more time to prepare. You all know your parts in this plan, now get into place and wait for the signal.”

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read, and don’t forget to check out my new book! You can buy a copy of it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case.


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