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I Am a Legionnaire of the Ninth Legion (standard:adventure, 894 words)
Author: Shadow ScribeAdded: Sep 20 2007Views/Reads: 3288/3Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
the build up to a battle through the eyes of a front rank legionnaire.

I Am a Legionaire of The Ninth Legion 

I stared longingly at the column of men half a mile in front of me; my
view was unspoilt for I was standing in the front rank of my century. 
The legion was spread out in an extended line that stretched for as far 
as my remaining eye could make out. The legionnaire adjacent to me 
tried to make a joke about the Britons ahead of us, but his humour was 
lost on me, I cared not for such light talk on this grim morning. The 
army of Britons ahead were not as disciplined as my comrades, I could 
see them continuously surge forward several metres then get driven back 
into their crude formation by senior warriors. It reminded me of great 
powerful hunting dogs that the Celts like to breed, the men can't wait 
to be unleashed into the roman lines and inflict carnage in the name of 

After a while my centurion and the optio arrived at a jog and stopped
next to me, the quiet murmuring of voices stopped as many legionnaires 
looked up at the centurion, expecting he would offer some words of 
encouragement, I saw a brief look of annoyance pass across the 
centurions face.  “What the fuck you looking at me for, fall in” he 
barked at his optio, half joking. I heard many hushed voices as the 
century returned to its false and empty chat, which was just a method 
by which they helped themselves be distracted from the terrors of the 
upcoming battle. The optio leaned close to the centurion, and said “I 
Think you should address the men briefly sir, if not at least let me do 
it” The centurion sighed and stepped back “go ahead then lad” The optio 
took several paces forward and turned about so he was facing the 
century, and directly opposite me. He drew his sword, held it in the 
air and yelled “Silence! Let me speak!” The chat subsided and over 
sixty pairs of eyes focused on the young optio. He paused for a few 
seconds to ensure there was silence before continuing. “I am an optio 
of the ninth legion, and you are all my brothers, the barbarians over 
there have murdered our brothers, they have offended our large family! 
We are going to go over to those tattoo clad fuckers and show them why 
they shouldn't fuck with the ninth.” A loud and cheer erupted from the 
ranks, and the optio waited a while to let them finish cheering, he 
pointed his sword at random legionaires as he spoke. “You! Titus 
Reckuis, you will win this battle for me, Marcus Phullo, I am can count 
on you to keep me alive in the heat of battle” The optio waved his 
short sword up in the sky, and the morning sun reflected off the 
polished blade, he opened his mouth and yelled “Who else can I count 
on, to win this fucking battle?” Immediately the century replied with a 
loud roar that would frighten any Briton, and several loud thuds 
sounded as some legionnaires banged their sword and shield together. 
The optio sheathed his sword and stepped back into the front line 
beside me, the centurion laughed and said “good job optio, seemed to 
have worked, just in time too, there's the signal flag” the centurion 
stepped in front of his century, took a deep breath then yelled in full 
parade ground voice “Sheath swords and re dress the ranks” there was a 
brief shuffle as the men tidied up the spacing between each other, then 
the centurion gave the command, “Century, Advance!” 

I put my left foot forward and started marching forwards, thousands of
thuds sounded as the ten cohorts marched forward towards the Britons. 
While keeping in step and holding my shield I fumbled with my helmet 
strap and eventually fastened it. I could see the Britons ahead still 
remained a rabble of disorganised warriors compared to the advancing 
legion. I marched for several seconds, most chat had died, the 
centurion beside me was quietly said something to the standard bearer 
but I couldn't make out the words. 

The enemy army seemed to become a little more organised than before, the
rabble of men turned into smaller groups of men , all facing the 
approaching powerful legion for a change. What apparently was around 
six thousand Britons broke into a jog towards the Roman line. 

When the enemy was approximately one hundred meters away the Centurion
called “century, halt!” and my comrades and I, and the almost the 
entire legion stopped. “First and second ranks prepare javelins” he 
yelled. I aimed my javelin, and waited for the command. “Release!” 
Yelled the centurion. The javelins soared through the air, and landed 
in amongst the charging Britons, the ones with shields sheltered behind 
them, but the wooden or animal hide shields did not stop the javelin in 
many cases. Other Britons tried to sprint forwards and under the arc of 
the falling Javelins, but very few made it. “Draw Swords” Yelled the 
Centurion beside me. There was a metal ringing as the century drew 
their swords. The Centurion gave the command for the shields to be 
raised and the shields of each legionnaire locked with each other to 
form the infamous roman shield wall. The frantic melee had begun! 


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