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Another Look at My Past

Chapter 33
Frank's unit was traveling at a gallop. There had been sudden orders, and then they were off and running.
Frank was curious as to where they were going in such a hurry.
“Where are we going anyway?” It is not easy to talk from the back of a galloping horse, but Frank managed.
“That way!!” Shouted Smythe, pointing straight ahead of them. “You didn't know that, did you!! Ha ha!!”
Frank realized that he needed to accept that he was 'right here, right now', and that was all he was going to be
able to find out about it. In this thought, Frank did not add 'in the late heroic era'. It was beginning to feel
normal to be this situation, eating miserable food and fighting creatures that were completely alien to him.
“Hswwwx!! Left!!”
Frank looked to the left and there was a huge mass of hssswwx. They stopped and turned to face the
hssswwx and got organized and before the y were done with all that the hssswwx were on them.
Each battle brought fresh terror, as much as the very first time. This was because this might be the time that
you bought the farm, cashed in your chips, went down for the last time, got killed.
The humans were fighting with no organization or plan. Frank used his pike on whatever hssswwx was
closest. He used the pointy part on the very end of the p ike, the little ax below that, and he used the butt end
as a club. O nce he punched a hssswwx with his fist. It felt kind of rubbery, kind of creepy.
Frank saw Nelson a few feet away. It seemed further than a few feet because of the huge clouds of dust
billowing everywhere. They positioned their horses beside each other, Frank and his horse facing one way
and Nelson and his horse the other. But it was hard to stay like that because there were big groups of
hssswwx and mounted men stampeding back and forth. A big country boy was trying to pin a hssswwx to the
ground with his pike, but the thing was quick on its feet and kept skidding just far enough away to keep from
being pinned. This unlikely pair crashed into Frank and Nelson, driving them apart.
Frank shouted for Nelson, but he could not see him. Now a hssswwx was coming at him from behind. His
horse shifted its weight to its front feet and kicked the hssswwx with both rear legs. A mule could not have
done it better. The hssswwx rolled away and d id not return. “Good job, boy.” said Frank gratefully, as he
patted the horse's neck. It turned its head and tried to bite his hand.
With General Armstrong
“General, all the scouts report there is a mass of hssswwx a mile or two across. And there are not any others,
General Armstrong took this news with a straight face. Never let them see you grimace. Much of their
success to date had depended on fielding a unit bigger than a typical hssswwx war party. That, and their
pikes were longer than a hssswwx spear.
General Armstrong pondered - How long would it take to gather all human forces into one mass? It would
take... Long enough for the Assembly to relieve him of command. Then he had an idea. He motioned to his
Commander of Trombones.
“I want all the trombones to pass this message to all units. This message is to be repeated at every
“Calvary is to form units of six to eight men. Infantry is to form into units of 12 to 15. All these small units
are to hit the edges of the mass of hssswwx, then retreat before the hssswwx can mount a significant