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Hi All!

Many of you remember how successful I was at working on Steel Praetorian back during NaNoWriMo 2015 last November. In fact, I essentially wrote half the novel. Then it languished for several months.

Well now I encourage you to follow me on your own!

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/blockade23/novels/steel-praetorian/stats

Now you, too, can follow me and watch the bar go up, up, up!. (and make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do).

Also, if you’re interested in becoming a beta reader for Steel Praetorian, let me know asap. I’ll be sending out some emails to people to ask, but it’d be a quicker turnaround than I expected (like within the month).

Oops!

Here’s some sneak peeks from today’s writing.

“Prepare to advance!” Centurions and tribunes around him repeated the line. Crisp lines of shields rose. The XIII Germania was finally prepared, their long lines of infantry stretching across the road, only broken by the remnants of wrecked and abandoned autotrolleys and refuse haulers.

“Advance at pace!” The legion advanced, Julius leading from the front, the rhythmic footsteps of the men’s nova calligae beating on the cobblestones behind him. He felt his heart swell as his men advanced, balanced by the rushing adrenaline in his veins. The gatehouse was perhaps half a mile away down the road. They would need to close the distance quickly to avoid too many casualties.

The hum of the skimmer engines became louder as the skimmers came back around for another pass. The mongol defense was in disarray, but not unprepared this time. Cannon blasted upward this time, catching both fliers in a hail of metal. One skimmer exploded into shrapnel. A deadly rain of splinters and metal pellets rained down over the defensive works. Julius would have cheered the result, even at the loss of a skimmer and the pilot, but for the other aircraft.

The second scout flier took the blast to the wing, and it spiraled left, back towards the roman advance. The fuselage came apart, parts peeling away as it disintegrated before their eyes. By the time it impacted the ground roughly a hundred feet ahead, there was little that remained of the flier. Flaming bits of skimmer pelted the advancing romans. A few seconds after the crash, a massive white and yellow explosion engulfed the crash site.

Julius cursed under his breath. Damn, there was no way anyone could have escaped that alive, even with help. Grimly he signaled the comitern. The man placed his instrument to his lips and blew.

“Advance! Double speed!” The legionnaires broke out into a trot now, advancing on the smoldering Mongol lines, less than a quarter mile distant now. They wove around the flaming debris, Julius feeling the heat of the blaze through his armor. Arrows began to flick out from the Mongol lines now, the deadly bolts skewing the running Romans. “Shields up!” Arrows pinged into the shields, a deadly rain that swept men from formation. Where in Mars’ name is our cavalry? He wondered as he scurried back to join his men.

“Repeater files halt and loose at will!” He heard another tribune yell.

The last line of the legion’s advance paused. Every other man slung his own scutum and loaded his repeater while his partner kept him covered with his shield. They aimed the weapons up and over the Roman advance. Repeater fire began to arc back at the mongols. From under his shield, Julius could see those arrows falling around the Mongol defenders. See how they like the feel of arrows – maybe they’ll keep those damn cannons from shredding this advance.

Suddenly a galloping line of cataphracts came racing up his right flank. Yes! John Athenias’ cataphracts were finally in position. They swung around the Roman line at a gallop, then flew down the avenue at full speed.

The Mongols were prepared.