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The Final Battle

An Indigenous Peoples Fight for their Lands

By JBazPublished 3 years ago 10 min read
17
courtesy of Softonic

The Mast pierced the horizon, a shadowed blur slowly formed before the rising sun. Another large ship, bringing death and destruction to his people.

Standing atop the cliff overlooking the endless water and the bay below, Chogan’s Knuckles whitened as he gripped his great spear, his other hand rested upon the war axe tucked in his belt. For generations, these foreigners tried to claim their lands. First came the tall ones with their longboats. Many years later, large wooden ships began arriving on their shores. Bringing a different form of evil.

At first, they welcomed the pale-skinned people, showing them how to survive, sharing what they had. In-kind the newcomers gave them sturdy tools, knives, and cooking utensils. But they also gave them diseases and illnesses that decimated whole tribes.

No more, it ends now.

So,’ He thought ‘Today they will arrive, and here they will die.'

Hearing a rustle behind him he turned to see his son, running up to him.

“The others are prepared, and ready Father.”

Chogan, eyed the youth, envying his energy and strength, he had the body of a warrior. At eighteen summers, Achak already showed signs of becoming a great leader. The plan was Chogan’s, but it was Achak who added an integral part. It would be that plan which would decide their fate.

Observing the warriors gathered below, near the tree line along the shore, Chogan could not help but feel a sense of pride. They were a blend of four different tribes, this had never been done before. He managed to convince the other leaders they could only win if they became one. This was his idea; this would be his legacy.

It was not easy creating one army from mixed clans. He succeeded by placing every tribes’ warriors into smaller mixed units. They trained in the spring rains, through the heat of summer. There was animosity within the groups at first, but as they continued to practice, they learned to trust one another.

The first test came seven nights past, when they fought the white people who rooted themselves on their land, it was a decisive battle. They stormed the wooden walls and laid waste to the settlement, killing all within the fortress. Everyone but the children, Chogan never could bring himself to kill the young. Against the wishes of the other leaders, the children were scattered amongst the people to be accepted as part of the family and tribe.

After that battle, they bonded as only warriors can. Once they were enemies, now they were brothers.

They walked down the cliff path to stand in front of his fighting force. Anticipation and excitement were visible, the air vibrated like a thousand bees, eyes focused, they were ready.

Chogan addressed them. “They are coming, remember your training and the plan.” He looked to the leaders of the units “Hassun, Askook, take your men and prepare.”

They broke into their respective units and blended into the forest. Soft moccasins making no sounds as they walked upon the new-fallen leaves.

There were twenty-five men who remained behind, thirteen would go with Achak, the rest would stay on the beach with him.

They were the bait.

Achak approached his father, interlocking forearms he said, “Be careful father, you face the most danger.”

Chogan chuckled “You remind me of Tunnok, my old teacher.”

“Oh, was he brilliant, brave, and always correct?”

Chogan smiled, nodded his head, and said “Go, take your position. Wait for your time to act, you will know it when it comes.”

“I will not fail you.” With that, Achak walked off with his group.

“You never have, son.” Whispered Chogan as he watched him march away. Pride filled his soul. In truth, his son’s unit had the most dangerous part to play. For them, once they committed, there would be no place to retreat, no escape.

The day dragged on, they were warriors, patience was a requirement. No words were spoken, everything that needed saying had been said.

The sun was still high above them as the ship pulled into the bay, coming as close to shore as it could before anchoring.

Chogan watched as two smaller boats, filled with men, approached the beach. An odd floating thing. Unlike their canoes, this boat had only two oars pulled by two men with their backs to him. As it touched the shore, Chogan and his group of eleven warriors emerged from the forest and onto the sands. Raising their spears and giving out a war cry, which echoed throughout the bay.

The sailors were pulling the boats up onto the shore when one of them nodded his head towards the forest, “Cap’n Constance, we have company.”

Constance was not the ship’s captain; he was Captain of the soldiers. Looking up with his one good eye he saw a group of buckskin-clad men materializing out of the forest. Running calloused fingers through greasy salt and pepper hair he snorted in disgust. “It appears that the savages have come to welcome us.”

Suddenly the air vibrated with a chilling scream, the likes that few men from the ship had ever heard before.

Calmly Captain Constance turned to his soldiers, “Ready your muskets men.”

So, it begins.

Chogan smiled, they were so predictable, they put too much trust in their fire sticks. Sure, they were powerful, but they took too long to re-use. He raised his spear and from behind, human forms shadowed the tree line.

Chogan and the warriors with him ran forward, screaming. Timing would be everything.

The soldiers raised their guns and fired at the figures running towards them. Smoke filled the air.

As one, the running warriors dove into prepared holes dug in the sand, placed behind logs that had washed up on the shore. Pellets, whizzing like wasps, blew past them. Kolok was struck in the head and fell without ever knowing he was dead. Raven felt a burning sensation in his shoulder and felt warm blood flow down his arm, he managed to crawl behind a rock.

Chogan began to fold down his fingers of both hands one at a time into a fist, he did this twice. That was the time it took to reload. He heard the second volley. The count was accurate.

Chogan yelled out an order, within seconds the air was filled with arrows. Two soldiers were struck down.

Constance rallied his men to position behind the boats, and began to wave a red flag, within moments puffs of smoke could be seen from the ship and the forest exploded, branches shattered, sending shards of splinters everywhere. The shot was accurate, the forms in the tree line fell in heaps. Constance smiled; the ship's cannons would do the main work for him.

Chogan smiled, his ruse had worked, the forms in the tress were pieces of clothing stuffed with grass. His men were disciplined. They would not move till ordered.

Chogan cried out once more and his warriors on the beach jumped up and raced to the boats.

Once again, they dove down just as a third volley was fired. Chogan jumped up and pointed to his left and then his right, warriors stormed out from either side, closing in on the soldiers as they were reloading.

Once again, they saw the smoke billow from the ship before the cannonballs landed. The beach and the forest once more exploded with debris, men fell, Ahanu’s leg was ripped from his body. Others were hit with shrapnel and flying rocks from the beach, as the ground around them was torn open.

Chogan looked out to the water and saw Achak and his men, who had hidden out of sight around the edge of the bay. They had already canoed out to the ship and were now climbing aboard. He also saw two more of the small watercrafts full of soldiers heading to the beach. He called out another order, this time a unit of men who were placed on the cliffs began to hail arrows down on the men in the tiny boats. They were defenseless and soon the boats were drifting aimlessly. A few soldiers managed to get a couple of shots off before they were struck down, Chogan saw one young brave fall into the water.

Constance realized he was surrounded, there must be over a hundred enemies here. They never encountered that many at one time before. He ordered his men to push the boats into the water and retreat to the ship. Then he saw it, and his heart sunk. The ship was on fire, flames reached up licking the canvas sails, engulfing them in seconds, the ship erupted like a volcano. He could hear the screams of men as they dove overboard. Constance watched as two canoes, with warriors, paddle around the bay. Shooting at men in the water with arrows or pulling alongside and clubbing the drowning sailors as they struggled to stay above water.

“Load and fire at will men,” Constance shouted as he drew out his sword.

Nostrils and lungs were assaulted with acidic smoke from gunpowder and burnt skin that filled the air. Chaos was an understatement, hand to hand combat was all around him. They were being massacred. But he would kill many of the heathen bastards before he died. Giving a rallying cry to his men, he raised his sword, turned to charge, and came face to face with Chogan. Constance never felt the war axe crush his brain.

Chogan stood above the fallen leader, no emotions came to him as he surveyed the scene. Fallen men on both sides littered the beach, foam from the waves frothed red from the blood. Sounds of the dying blended with the cries of the seagull above.

“Stop.” He cried out. “Take the rest prisoners.” He needed some of them alive to show them how to use the fire sticks. “Gather up all their weapons.”

Chogan, watched in relief, as his son paddled the canoe ashore. Achek jumped out before it fully came to rest, beaming as only a young warrior could after a victory, he ran up to his father.

“We did it father, we won.”

Chogan embraced his son, “You did well my son.” Looking at the canoes he made a quick count, “You lost men?”

Achek nodded, his smile fading.

He gave his son an understanding look “We will honor them and all who have fallen today.”

Walking over to a group of warriors, he saw only two enemies on their knees, tied up, heads down. Blood flowed freely from the head of one, he was swaying back and forth. ‘This one will not survive the night’ thought Chogan. Turning to the lone survivor Chogan was about to speak when the wretched man spit on him.

The soldier looked up; he smiled wide, showing rotting teeth. “Don’t bother speaking savage, I can't understand your babble, but I know what you are thinking.” He spit again, this time to clean the blood out of his mouth, “You are thinking you won. Your people are ignorant to the fact that we will never stop coming. This was but a small force, we are as plentiful as the pebbles on the beach. Your fight has only just begun.”

The man stared out on the water and began to laugh. His body convulsed as he gasped for air, he was laughing so hard. The warriors stared at this strange man, his manic laughter was un-nerving, they paced nervously and began looking around. His cackling was cut short when Achak thrust a knife into his throat.

Approaching his father, they gave each other a knowing look. The soldier didn’t know it, but Chogan and Achak understood his language. His words put fear into their hearts. As one, the warriors turned to face the ocean, which sparkled and glistening blood red from the setting sun.

They stood motionless, as silhouettes of three large ships crested the horizon.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. If you enjoyed it, please leave a heart, and help yourself to view a few of my other stories. As always, I will never say no to a tip.

Cheers, Jason

Cost of Freedom - Best Date I Never Had - Two Steps

-Oh, What a Lucky Man

https://vocal.media/authors/j-p-basaraba

fact or fiction
17

About the Creator

JBaz

I have enjoyed writing for most of my life, never professionally.

I wish to now share my stories with others, lets see where it goes.

Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, I currently reside on the West Coast. I call both places home.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (3)

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  • Brin J.4 months ago

    Chogan is quite the strategist. Here’s to hoping he can win every battle he’s ever faced. Was this a submission story for the Next Great [American] Novel?

  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    Jason, this is definitely one of your classics! It was compelling, thrilling and super engaging! I love the shifting narrative you used so seamlessly and the way you so vividly described the scenery/ details of the story! Such a great story!

  • Mark Gagnon4 months ago

    Jason, your writing hasn't improved over time because it's always been awesome!

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