Barlog's Greatest Battle

Warleader Barlog surveyed the scene. His Barbarians were arrayed over the devastated fields of Michigan as far as the eye could see. Greasy black smoke curled on the horizon.

"They come Warleader," his aide screamed.

"Calm down, boy, you're being melodramatic," Winton Barlog chided.

"Uh, sorry, Winton."

"No problem, Cecil. We all get a little carried away our first battle." Winton said quietly so no one else would hear.

Warleader Barlog raised his voice to command his men with rehearsed words, "Behold my legions, the Godless communists approach. Who will drink with me this day in Valhalla? Who will show them whose land this is?"

"We will," the combined voices of ten thousand warriors replied.

At that, Warleader Barlog made a sign and the drum began to beat. His legions began to march toward the smoke on the horizon. Row upon row of armored Barbarians marched forward in lockstep. He fixed is steely gaze on the enemy. His mind held little doubt as to what his enemy was now doing.

Commissar Vilnuk looked through his binoculars across the battlefield. He found his adversary and studied his motioning his men forward across the battlefield at his adversary. This was the greatest assembly of forces like his in the last three decades. This would be the finest battle of his life.

"The enemy, they attack," his aide screamed.

"Not so loudly," Valerie remarked.


"Alexie, you don't want to scare horses. Besides, effect is same whether you shout yourself hoarse or just speak up, no?"

Alexie blushed and looked at his Commissar.

"Artillery, fire."

The battlefield was rocked by a tremendous blast as cannons fired one after another... The first volley went over the American savages' heads. It always did.

The Americans rushed across the fields. Small arms fire joined the artillery. Americans began to fall. More came on. It was a frontal assault with no thought of subtlety or cunning. More Americans fell and more came on. The Communists fell back under the pressure of the attack.

Warleader Barlog reached Commissar Vilnuk's position. Not one in a hundred of his original troops remained standing. He rallied his last handful of men and led the attack himself. Men fell to his left and right and he kept on coming.

Barlog sprang upon Vilnuk, his hands reaching for and then clutching Vilnuk's throat as every young American had seen in his mind's eye from childhood. The two figures went down in a mass of struggling limbs. After a moment's struggle Vilnuk was still.

"Can you move just a little, Winton, your sword hilt is poking me in the side."

"Sorry, Valerie." He rolled a bit to his left.

Women and children started coming from the edges of the battlefield, applauding. Many were in period dress. American and Communist solders started getting up laughing and slapping each other on the back.

Winton helped his friend up.

"How are the kids, Valerie?"

"June is talking about going back to college now that the youngest is in school. I think Marcus is going to be an accountant like his dad."

"Is Julian still running around the house with a sword in his hand?"

"He was in today's battle."

"Like father, like son."

"How about your family?"

Winton sighed heavily. "Oh, the girls think I'm nuts. It was like pulling teeth to get them to come today. They're bugging me to spend next summer at the Sirian Riviera."

"No chance of them getting into reenacting the colonial wars there?"

"Not a chance."

The two generals shared a sigh at a battle that could not be won. They looked out over at the site. Families of reenactors were milling about enjoying a sunny July day.

"Makes you wonder what it was really like after the Collapse, doesn't it?"