1. a number of individuals, especially persons united for a common purpose.
  2. (in ancient Greece) a group of heavily armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping.
  3. any body of troops in close array.


The wind was picking up again. Another hour of this and all their reconnaissance would be shot. The shifting sands were the worst terrain for warfare. But this was their station, their battlefield to win.

Andrew surveyed the wounded individuals that made up the phalanx, his heart sinking at the sight of them. Untrained, weary, unmotivated to return to battle.

He shook his head and rubbed the back of his neck. Sending them out to the battlefield would mean certain death.

There had been points in the war when he thought they might lose. But this was worse than he’d ever expected or seen. With only a tenth of his men left, most of whom were untrained, he estimated that they would be able to hold off the enemy for maybe an hour at best under a heavy onslaught.

“General Metten, we’re detecting movement… approximately two thousand are moving toward us with heavy artillery…”

What order could he give in this hour? Anything would be a slaughter. With 25 years of military training, only one idea came to him.

“Tell everyone to pack up and get ready to move.”






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