Excerpt from Chapter Four
“We’ve got company,” Apache said into her mic.
It was not yet dawn, but the eastern horizon was tinting pink and lavender over a calm blue sea.
“Where?” Sarge asked.
“Southeast, twenty kilometers.”
“Looks like our little fishing boat is back,” Sarge said.
“And he brought all his fishing buddies,” Cowboy said.
“Holy Fort Jesus!” Sarge exclaimed. “I count fifteen, sixteen...no, shit, twenty-five!”
The line of ships was just emerging from the murky pre-dawn.
“Yeah,” Apache said. “And four of them are bigger than our Fives.”
“Battle stations, people,” Sarge said. “I don’t think they’re planning a fishing contest.”
“I hope they’re inviting us to a combat contest.” Kady came forward to stand beside Sarge.
“You may get your wish, Hotshot.” Sarge scanned the decks of the ships. “Looks like they’re suiting up for battle.”
“Weapons?” Kady asked.
“Swords and spears for sure. Maybe some archers, too.” He lowered his glasses. “Karina.”
“Yeah, Sarge,” Karina answered on the comm.
“Anything about armament in your history books?”
“Greek fire might be of interest,” Karina said.
“What’s that?” Kady asked.
“Sort of like a flamethrower.”
“Range?” Sarge asked.
“Not more than ten to twelve meters.”
“What is it?” Kady asked.
“Probably naphtha or quicklime, pressurized by heat, then ignited at the nozzle with some combustible material."
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The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry
In book one; the Seventh Cavalry fought several historic battles with Hannibal as he took his army and elephants over the Alps to attack the Romans.
It is 215 BCE and now the Seventh has made contact with a Soyuz escape capsule from the International Space Station that has crashed on a mountain above Sarajevo. The two men and one woman crew are trapped on a glacier.
Sergeant Alexander and his twelve soldiers, along with three thousand warriors and boat crews, sails from Rome aboard 14 captured Roman ships. Aboard one of the large ships is the elephant Obolus.
They encounter a force of 25 Greek warships. The Greeks attack with arrows and Greek fire, then their Hoplite soldiers board the Seventh’s ships.
Using a trebuchet built by one of Seventh’s soldiers for use in Hannibal’s land battles, he sinks four of the Greek ships, then when the Seventh’s soldiers superior arms and fighting ability defeat the attacking Hoplites, the Greek fleet surrenders.
With 27 ships, the Seventh lands on the Dalmatian coast. But they must fight their way through two battles to reach the stranded astronauts. The elephant Obolus is instrumental in these victories.
After the rescue, the Seventh Fleet sails from Dalmatian toward North Africa to take Obolus and his handler, Liada, home to Valdacia.
On the Mediterranean Sea, they encounter a fierce storm that scatters the fleet. They land at Malta to repair and resupply, then sail on to Carthage, and then over the Atlas Mountains to Valdacia.