Tarian and his closet advisors were standing on the wall looking out at the massing horde of alien creatures. Using a telescope, Tarian was able to identify some of the creatures as trolls and goblins. Yet there were new creatures amongst them that looked just as terrifying. As he lowered the scope from his eye, Tarian looked over his shoulder and spoke to Keldon, loudly enough so everyone there could hear his concern. “Kel, there are already more out there than the last time we had to defend this wall.”

Keldon reached out for the scope his friend was offering and looked out over the massing force for himself. “Not only that, but it seems that we have new creatures to deal with.”

“So it does,” Tarian said grimly.

“We were barely able to hold last time,” Sherry said as she buried her head into her hands.

“What about our new friends?” Caleb asked, his voice still managing to cling to some hope.

“The Dwarves might help us,” Tarian said flatly.

“It would be nice to have some help,” Keldon said quickly.

Tarian turned around to look at those gathered around him, “And that’s your job Kel. We will cause a distraction, and while they’re busy with us, you will go find the Elves.”

“I still say that’s a terrible name for them.” Keldon said evenly before adding, “But I’ll do it.”

“And Caleb I want you to go and find the Dwarves and try to secure their assistance.”

Caleb nodded saying, “I’ll go prep my team…”

“No,” Tarian said with a voice as unyielding as steel.

“We’re not going to take or teams?” Keldon despite knowing the answer.

“No, we can’t afford it, every person we can put on the wall will matter.” He looked at Keldon then to Caleb. “Take any gear you can carry, that you might think you’ll need. But you will be going out alone.”

“I don’t like it Tarian,” Keldon said with a groan.

“I don’t either, Kel, but we can’t afford to lose anyone from the wall’s defense,” Tarian said through a sigh.

“Yeah, I know,” Keldon replied as he handed the telescope over to his friend before clapping Caleb on the back. “Looks like we get the don’t screw up mission.”

“At least the Dwarves are friendly towards us,” Caleb said with a subdued grin.

Keldon shrugged his shoulders saying, “I enjoy a challenge.”

“Go, the rest of us will provide you the opening.” When they were gone Tarian lifted his head and finished the thought that was running through his mind. “Maybe whatever we do might thin that horde out enough so we can survive without assistance.”

“You needed…” Sherry began, but she was silenced with a wave of Tarian’s hand.

“I know. Do we have enough explosives left to vaporize the center?” Tarian asked with a slight ember of hope behind his somber eyes.

One of the other men took a step closer to the wall and pulled the telescope from Tarian’s grasp and answered. “I don’t think we have enough to wipe out the center. But we should be able to scrape enough to make them back off a bit.”

“How quickly can we get that pulled together?” Tarian asked Lloyd as he rubbed his temples.

“Give us three hours, and we’ll have the answers,” Lloyd said as he lowered the telescope from his eye.

“And if I gave you an hour?” Tarian asked grimly.

“Then we won’t have the answer,” Lloyd answered with finality.

“You have three hours then, but I have a feeling we’ll need more than a single flash in a pan to survive this.”

Lloyd handed Tarian the telescope, “On it Tarian.” Llyod raced to arrange the distraction for Caleb and Keldon.

Tarian put his hands upon the top of the wall and looked into the maw of the massing army. The silence began to grow exponentially until he spoke without turning around. “Sherry start drawing up defense plans. Take what we learned from the last assault and use it to make sure we can hold the wall.”

“Yes, sir,” Sherry said corralling the rest of the people to help her arrange the wall’s defense. Tarian watched the undulating mass without the help from the telescope with a sense of awe. When they first arrived in orbit there had not been this much life on the surface. There had been some but not anywhere near this much. He stood there trying to figure things out when someone tapped his shoulder.

“Yes,” Tarian said emotionlessly.

“We’re ready to our strike, but the number of missiles will be up to you.”

“We still had missile shells?” Tarian asked with awe cracking into his question.

“No, but we were able to stitch together enough for a few missiles, Tarian.”

“Well, by all means, fire the first missile,” Tarian replied through a fledgling smile.

Lloyd nodded and pulled his radio out issuing the order, “Send Keldon and Caleb out once the missile has detonated.” The confirmation came as soon as the missile launched from behind the wall into the sky. Tarian lifted his telescope and watched as the wriggling mass exploded when the missile struck the center. The resulting explosion ripped a hole in the massive center, but not enough was gone from the battlefield.

Putting the telescope down on the wall Tarian turned to look at Lloyd, “Did they get out?”

Loyd relayed the question and repeated the reply he got, “They made it to the forest.”

“Hopefully that will give Caleb and Kel the space they need to get help.”

“If it doesn’t?” Lloyd asked with a serious expression.

Tarian sighed having thought about it himself, “Then hopefully that strike and the missiles we have in reserve will help us survive the assault.”