I unlimbered my spear from its cradle in my arm. The other two sat crossed across my back, molded as always to my armor but ready to be released. I scanned the long line of the top of the wall for targets, three hundred paces out in darkness and lashing rain. The shooting would be miserable.
“Artillery refocus fire!” Marcus bellowed to his thousand disks. “Northeast wall, southern city!”
A line of figures running along the top of the wall, silhouettes brought out by a flash of lightning, the long rods of lightspears in their hands. I swung my lightspear up to rest against my shoulder.
The artillery whined behind me, as their motors turned their disks back toward the southern city.
The figures reached the corner of the wall and stopped, peering outward in the driving rain. They raised their own lightspears, facing in the wrong direction, down the valley toward the bay. I counted three of them. I sighted along the barrel.
The artillery hissed in the background, charging up for their bombardment.
This probably wasn’t going to matter, I thought. I’m going to miss. And the disks will blow them away before they figured out what happened. In the corner of my vision, below the city, I thought I saw the darkness move. Were there more dark forms, hunched against the incline along the ground?
The artillery spat out their suns.
Atop the wall, the three Augers did not all raise their lightspears at the same speed. The furthest out along the wall was fast and uncertain, his aim wavering even to my distant eye. The second was calmer and sure, moving as I moved. The one to the rear moved too slowly and could not seem to see what the others saw. I aimed for the second in the line.
The orbs of light arched over my head, illuminating the wall and the rain and the Augers in noontime glow. I picked my spot: his ear. My eyes traced the individual drops of rain as they fell. The black armor of the Augers glistened. I gently squeezed the barrel.