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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Last War: Chapter 77, Part 8

Kirghiz Jagatai sighed. He had never liked the cold. He had never liked unpleasant things. He was a decent tactician, a capable leader, and an average leader. He still wasn't certain why Bleda Khan had chosen him as head of the Golden Army.

Yuan Timur had been a glory hog, and his replacement as Golden Navy commander was little better. The commander of the Golden Sky Force was a pompous, self-important former fighter pilot. Jagatai was just a regular, dependable general.

Then again, maybe that's what Bleda had always had in mind for the leader of the army. Not a prima donna who would ruffle at the thought of manual labor, but a hard working, responsible, average commander. The divas would be reserved for the Sky Force and Navy. This perked Jagatai's spirits a little, but not much. He had still betrayed his emperor, and felt terrible about it.

"Onward," he whispered through chapped lips.

What hope did his force have? Dariganga had given them a lease on life, but Hangayn Nuruu could not be held for long. Jagatai intended to go out in a blaze of glory. If every last one of his men died, they wouldn't mind; they would all be perfectly happy to do so.

So here he was, blindly pressing for an attack. What was really required was to defend the position, or prepare a surrender. Jagatai had been keen on those ideas before, but now, for some reason, they both sickened him.

The tanks and troops and, God help him, the cavalry began to move forward. The Allied positions were far ahead. A few moments later an explosion heralded a return to battle. He would do his best to win.

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