The Last Stand
>The men were restless, they knew something was coming
>The battlements of the city had held admirably, but they could not hold on forever.
>I espied the battlefield for any sign of movement, any hint that the enemy was on the move.
>Most likely this would be my final battle.
>A subaltern jogs to take his place beside me.
>"The men are at the ready, General. They are waiting for you to address them."
>I pulled on one end of my mustache pensively, how would I address my men.
>To tell them the truth risked tanking morale, yet feeding them a comforting lie may mean that it breaks morale during the fighting itself
>When they realize how outmatched we actually are.
>I turn smartly on my heel and face the men arrayed before me.
>A strong line of scarlet, the flower of England.
>Led to the slaughter like lambs in the field.
>I steel myself, they need some final word.
"Men of the garrison of Khartoum, you have done your duty admirably."
"I will not lie, our situation is this. Outnumbered, surrounded on all sides, and little hope of relief or reinforcement."
>The men shift a little, the words sinking in, yet not a one breaks ranks.
"Gentlemen, today we make our mark in the pages of history. A black mark for Britain to be sure, but we may still serve a purpose, a rallying cry for he who comes after us."
"For every one of us that falls may Her Majesty's army fell a dozen or more of the Mohammedan scum! Let Khartoum serve as the blackest curse for the Sudanese, the spot where they sowed the wind and lived to reap the whirlwind."
>The men still look disheartened, but more and more rising to the challenge of my words.
>Turning my back to them I look out over the field of battle.
"Gentlemen, let us show the Mahdi how good, Christian Englishmen die."
>A cry rises up from the ranks.
>"Yeah, you tell 'em, Limey."
>That gets my attention
>Turning back around I see that my perfectly aligned redcoats have now gotten some decidedly... blue additions to their ranks.
>And in the center, sporting a distinct red ascot and flat brimmed hat, is the man responsible for that flippant statement.
"Ah, General Custer I presume? This truly is a surprise considering you and your men died TEN YEARS AGO."
>The man jumps, his glue on mustache nearly falling off.
>Couldn't even be bothered to grow a proper one.
>"Look, I'm sorry Charlie. We got lost on the way to our battlefield."
"I told you it was the 6th green."
>"Oh, the Corporal said you told him it was the 9th."
>I contain my rage, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
"Look, this is what happens when no one takes re-enacting seriously."
>"What do you mean?"
"Don't be coy, George. This isn't a re-enactors society anymore, its a once a month excuse for men to engage in historical roleplay sex!"
>"We have more members than we ever did before."
"Yes, monsters who care less about the actual history and more about using it as a pretext for snagging single men."
>"Hey, we still take it seriously. We at least bother to dress up."
"Yes, with no sense of standardization, not coherent theme. We have redcoats and cavalrymen, and out there are Afrika Korps and Rikkusentai clashing with Vietnam era US Marines. It's a clusterfu-"
>The subaltern grabs my attention once more
>"General, enemy sighted."
>I turn with some haste
"Field glasses, now!"
>The binoculars are handed off and in a moment I am staring down the field.
>I hear them first, whooping and hollering in a feminine version of some native war cry.
>They break the treeline and of course she is leading them.
>Large, well muscled and dark skinned, her only clothing being a grass skirt and a simple necklace of horns (thank God for pasties)
>carrying a shield of faux cowhide and a Zulu spear.
>Even across the field, her flame tinged red eyes lock onto me as a large smile grows on her face.
>Some part of me shrinks back as she points directly at me and mouths the word "You", followed quickly by a thumb jerked at herself and a mouthed "Me"
>Then followed by a rather crude gesture of her index finger being inserted into a hole formed by her thumb and opposite forefinger
>"That's a, that's a big Hellhound, Chuck. Yours?"
>"She knows the Zulu weren't the ones to get General Gordon, right?"
"You think a Hellhound is going to care enough to learn what a "Mahdist" is? This is just prolonged foreplay for her."
>Taking to the glasses yet again, I see yet more wans breaking the treeline to join my wife.
>But something else breaks cover as well
>A troop of centaur wearing ornate feathered headdresses, being led by a particularly stocky lass wearing a buckskin shirt and a beaded necklace
>Staring directly at Custer while loading her Winchester.
"I take it that's Crazy Horse?"
>"Hey, how'd you know my pet name for her?"
>The men, Tommy and Yank, gaze across at the Zuluhound-Siouxtaur alliance now opposing us.
>Martinis and Trapdoor Springfields against spears, bows, and lever actions.
"So, this is it."
"Men, affix bayonets."
>"You heard the Tea-drinker, fix bayonets!"
>With the speed of any well drilled troop, the order is carried out.
>At the end, a mixed firing line of garrison troops and cavalrymen is formed.
>Standing tall behind them is me, sabre drawn (An English officer going into battle without his sword is improperly dressed) and Custer with his six guns.
>The scene is tense, neither side is moving a muscle.
>Of course, it's Custer who breaks the silence
>"What are they waiting for?"
"Something dramatic, no doubt."
"Piper, give the men some last stand music."
>"Men of Harlech" then sir?"
>I look over to my comically overdressed comrade.
"No, let's give our Yankee guests something familiar, play "Garryowen"."
>The piper strikes up the tune and almost immediately I see a stirring across the golf course.
>"Here they come..."
"Let's make this memorable, shall we?"
>With a smile, Custer and I face the enemy and I begin
Let Baccus' sons be not dismayed, but join with me, each jovial blade
Come, drink and sing and lend your aid, to help me with the chorus.
>By the chorus, the whole line has joined in
Away with spa, we'll drink brown ale and pay the reckoning on the nail
No man for debt shall go to jail. From Garryowen in glory!
>Some of the men try to start up the second verse, but by then the enemy is close enough their war whoops overpower our singing.
>"Fire at will!"
>The line explodes in a cloud of smoke as several centaur and hellhounds drop, writhing in pleasure from the demon silver rounds.
>Less then lethal but I knew that even if these men escaped the hound rape and horse pussy, they'd likely be gotten by a cursed Martini or Springfield.
>Not a bad way to go, all things considered.
>Still, too many are making it through and worse,
>The Centaurs are putting those Winchesters to work.
>My subaltern catches a round in the chest, putting him down instantly with a painful erection
>George has started blasting away with his pistols, and I see at least one Horsewoman fall from his frenzied fire.
>But now they are almost here.
>The men hold their rifles like a pike wall, intent on tripping up the "cavalry"
>A few centaur who do not slow down do get speared, but mostly it is the Wan Impi who charge in.
>A spear barely misses me, I look across to see my wife, her grin shining the pristine white of her teeth like a lighthouse.
>The men hold on admirably, but it is ultimately for naught.
>"Bugler, sound the retreat, we'll regroup on the hill near the green!"
>A good deal of the enemy do not pursue, busy "tending" to the fallen.
>We reach the hill and I give the infamous order
>Here we sit, the last stand of Gordon and Custer.
>My friend shoots me one last smile
>"Are you at least having fun?"
>I say nothing, but smile back.
>In an instant the enemy charges up the hill, a few weak vollies are attempted, but ultimately are futile.
>Our lines break, and the men either run or are cut down
>George fires the last of his pistol rounds and accepts his fate, taking a round to the chest and falling gracelessly.
>It isn't long before "Crazy Horse" is there to heft him on her back and ride off with him into the woods for some privacy
>The last I see of him he gives me a weak thumbs up before being carried off.
>I take down a few hounds with my Webley, stepping over their quivering forms as I stride onward like a man possessed.
>The crowd of hounds part to let my wife come through
>At last it is just me and her, sword versus spear.
>She stares down at me with hunger in her eyes and a predatory smile on her face.
<"It isn't too late to surrender, "General". I promise I'll be gentle if you be a good boy and come willingly."
>I glare back, though a grin of my own forms.
"I'd rather die, it would be more historically accurate."
<"Damn, you need to get laid,"
>She hefts her spear and shield
<"Allow me to help you with that."
>I dodge a few quick jabs, retaliating with swings from my sabre.
>She puts her shield to good work, I'll have to compliment her after this is over.
>Eventually, I see an opening, a chance to slash at her vulnerable neck.
>It is a trap
>I feel the spear enter my gut, robbing my legs of all strength.
>I fall forward into her arms as she lifts me up for a forced kiss before dropping me flat on my back
>With a look of final triumph, she yells her victory cry
>I try to raise a complaint about historical accuracy, but my voice dies in my throat.
>The last thing I see is my wife waving off the remaining wans and centaurs
<"Clear off, you damned peepers, ain't nothing for you to see."
>She turns towards me once again, mischief in her eyes.
>Slowly she advances
<"Heh heh heh, "Take up the white man's burden, send forth the best ye breed.""
>She slowly lowers herself to my level and busies herself with my trousers
<""Go bind your sons to exile,""
>She positions herself over me and with an air of finality whispers in my ear
<""to serve your captive's needs.""
>I close my eyes and think of England.
Small bonus story
>Across the field, a man clad in a tan field marshal's uniform and cradling a kitsune dressed in a rather rough approximation of an Imperial Japanese officer's uniform gazes at the carnage through some binoculars.
<"Ah, those poor men, should we not have helped them, Erwin-kun?"
>"I don't waste men on British and Americans. Besides, it wouldn't be historically accurate."
<"Ara ara, truly a decision worthy of "Sabaku no Inari" himself."
>Staring back through the binoculars, the pretend Rommel spies something barreling through the forest.
>It's the blonde one, the one LARPing General Custer.
>Demon silver must have worn off halfway through whatever that centaur was doing to him since he's only wearing his hat, boots,and scarf.
>"Ach, verdammt, he's coming this way, cover your eyes, Kimi."
>The kitsune obliges just as the nearly nude man reaches the cart.
>"German, pistol, now!"
>Not wanting to be traumatized further, he hands the P38 over.
>"Haha, she thought she could just drag me off to be raped, eh?"
>"Well, I'll show her, it's time for Custer's Revenge!"
<"Oh, I get it."