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Introduction:

Marion's expands her control.
CHAPTER XLIX

The next morning, Marion woke up terrified and alone. It had been a long night for her because she had almost constant nightmares. Images of Gabriel on fire and Luke hanging from a tree, gutted; filled her head. Also, images of Pollyanna giving birth and her child split open on a pike while still attached by the umbilical cord; her own child being tossed into a pig pen and being eaten alive also flew around her head. All this while she was tied to a stake so unable to do anything about any of this. Her cries just garnished cheers from the crowd who were being led be Cecilia. Marion had even begged to be killed but nobody would take the couple of seconds to kill her. On more than one occasion during the night; Marion had woken up screaming bloody murder, only to realize that she was safe in her bed and Luke’s strong arms were wrapped around her. Finally, she woke up for the day and she realized that she had been sweating all night for she was very tacky and the sheets were soaked.

Looking out the window, Marion figured that it was almost ten in the morning. ‘Shit’ she thought for she had a lot of work that she had to do today. Marion managed to drag her feet out of bed and sit upright. Her head was pounding and she felt very warm and weak. This was the worst she had felt since she had gotten extremely sick when she was young. It took her almost five minutes to crawl out of bed and make it to where Luke had installed a water faucet. Eventually he claimed that he would have hot and cold water available but for now it was only cold. He got the water there by using the steam engine that he had to power his shop, to pump water up to the roof of the castle, where he had put large tanks in to hold the water. This way the entire castle could have running water and he would only need to pump the water up there once a day, usually in the evening. Luke had even managed to hook these water tanks into a primitive fire suppression system for the castle. He was still working on making enough flushing toilets for everyone, but there was enough in place to manage and nobody had to use chamber pots anymore. As this plumbing was coming online, the seasonal diseases that usually made their yearly appearance were absent this year in locals where the sanitation system had been upgraded.

Marion threw water in her face in an attempt to wake herself up. It took some time but the cold water plus the sunlight started to work their magic on her. After she had washed her face, she went over to the window where she let the warm sunlight drench her nude body. As she slowly moved around, her hair began to flow again and started catching the morning light sending golden rays through the room. The warmth of the sun felt so good on her skin that she almost fell asleep standing up. The warmth also helped to loosen up her stiff muscles. After twenty minutes of standing in the sun she felt good enough to get dressed and to go get some work done.

The first order of business today was to find out everything about the turncoat guard. Marion walked into her office, only to find Gabriel and Luke hard at work. As she came through the door Luke said without looking up:

“You don’t need to worry about that turncoat guard anymore. We had him executed this morning after we pumped him for information. It looks like he was a greedy bastard who also didn’t like the fact that you have such a close relationship to Gabriel or to me for that matter. He still thought that Cecilia should still be the ruler for “she was born first and it was her right”.”

At this Luke scoffed and refocused on the paperwork in front of him. He had already gone through all of his paperwork for that morning. Since the main body of the army was on their way back home, they didn’t make an overwhelming amount of work for Luke. Gabriel in the meantime was going through the intelligence reports from their spies that they had all over England. Right now, the only threat to them was from the area around Sheffield and once the army had got back in a couple of days, that threat would diminish greatly. They knew that nobles in the area had teamed up and were rapidly building a large army to take on Marion.

After Marion had been filled in on everything, she nodded and went off to check on Pollyanna. She was in better spirits this morning for she was actually feeling pretty good for once so she was able to actually get some work of her own done. Marion stayed and talked with Pollyanna until it was lunchtime. After lunch Marion, Gabriel, and Luke toured the town to see what all was going on. This took much longer than it used to because the town was so busy. It seemed like on every street corner someone was trying to sell something. The whole place was now more like one big market. All these sights and sounds made Marion smile. Not only was the town more alive now but with all this commerce going on, her tax coffers were going to swell. Most people barely recognized them for there were so many new people in town that most had only heard de***********ions so vague that Marion could be standing right in front of them and they wouldn’t know it. Before they went back for the evening, they bought stuff for dinner. After dinner, Luke continued to work on Alice’s new tools and the solar water heaters that he had been tinkering with.

Life for Marion continued much in this same way for the next week. At least her nightmares were calming down and she was actually able to get through the night without screaming. Her army made it back safe and sound and she had given most of them a week’s leave so that they could visit with their families or just relax. Many of the soldiers also had a lot of loot from this expedition and they were eager to spend it. Some got drunk, some used it to pay off debts, some used it to buy a piece of land for themselves, and still others were thinking about starting a family of their own. Speaking of family, Marion had also made sure to spend time with her small family. She really enjoyed watching Luke play with their daughter and after some warming up, Marion enjoyed playing as well. Luke had even moved their daughter into their chambers so that they could help take care of her. Marion was confused by this but figured that it was important to Luke so she didn’t complain about it too much.

CHAPTER L

It was the during the first week of May that the noble who had proposed through his brother made it to York and he was amazed at just how much wealth had found its way into the city. In fact, Marion wasn’t even bothering to rebuild the walls for she had decreed that the town would grow in that direction first. This would give her time to have the rest of the walls demolished. First, some of Pollyanna’s engineers would go out and lay out the new section of town. Then crews would start excavating for the sewer and water system. Since there were no such thing as environmental reviews or any of that BS, the crews were able to work fast. After the underground infrastructure had been put in place, the roads would be put in on top and then the buildings could be built. The two nobles and their entourage managed to get themselves lost for the city was changing so rapidly. They also had themselves a run in with Marion’s new city police force. They had been stopped be someone directing traffic away from a construction area and the nobles didn’t like a commoner telling them what to do and they took offense. The commoner fought back against the nobles and this attracted the attention of a pair passing officers. The officers listened to both sides of the story and then gave the nobles two options: apologize to the commoner or spend the night in jail. The nobles attempted to make themselves a third option but this was slammed shut when the officers beat the crap out of the entourage. The nobles then apologized and were on their way with proper directions this time.

At the castle gates, the nobles were forced to disarm. It was here that they learned of the assassination attempt and Marion was done with taking chances. Once in the castle, they were still further amazed since it seemed like every square centimeter of castle was having work done to it. The nobles watched as copper pipes were put in for fresh water and iron pipes to haul away waste. Plate glass windows were also being put in. This was something else that Luke had introduced. Sure, windows had existed before but they were all handmade and inconsistent. That inconsistency offended Luke’s engineering soul so he had started doing stuff about it. One of the results was the windows. Once they had managed to make their way to the great hall where most nobles did business and Marion had spoken with the brother; they learned that Marion conducted her business from an office down the hall. Stepping through the office door, the nobles were almost ran over by workers. Men and women were going in every which direction carrying reports and other papers. Many more people were working from desk filling out reports. They were escorted to the back of the room where they were met by a large door with two very fearsome looking guards on it and never mind that one of the guards was a woman. After the nobles explained just who they were, one of the guards opened the door and stuck their head in. The nobles were just able to hear the guard announce their presence. The guard then told them to go right in but the entourage would have to stay outside. They were directed to a comfortable lounge where they could wait. All through this the nobles were having a hard time containing themselves for most of the women working were showing much more skin than they were used to seeing outside of a whorehouse. The older one’s composer was almost completely undone when he seen Marion and Gabriel for the first time. He had been warned by the younger brother but the older one didn’t quite believe him and now seeing Marion he could see that his younger brother didn’t exaggerate anything and it anything wasn’t kind enough toward the ladies’ beauty. It didn’t help that the way Gabriel was bent over, the men could see right down her blouse that she was wearing and they could watch her breast gently sway back and forth.

Marion in the meantime was busy with some paperwork and hadn’t even looked up yet.

“Why don’t the two of you have a seat” she pointed to a couple of chairs across from her “and I will be with you in a minute”

Marion finished what she was working on and looked up. The older noble had to catch his breath for Marion was breathtaking. Her eyes were shimmering and her hair was reflecting the light with golden rays. She had a very light tan and her lips were bright red. The shirt that she had one hugged her curves nicely and the necklace that she was wearing matched her eyes.

“What can I help you two gentlemen with today?” Marion asked. Gabriel then left the room with a stack of papers and gently closed the door.

“We have come back to discuss my wedding proposal with you.”

“Ah” Marion said as she leaned back in her chair. “And what exactly are you proposing again? Sorry but I have had a very busy week.”

“That is quite alright lass. I am proposing you marrying me. After the wedding your lands will then be under my protection and I assure you they would be quite safe for I have the most powerful army in the midlands at my disposal.”

“So, what will happen to my people if I were to marry you?”

“They would also be under my protection.”

“I see.” The nobles were really quite happy with themselves for they figured that Marion was about to give in. “So, what would happen if I refuse to marry you?”

“My army will invade and lay waste to everyone before it.”

“I see” Marion said without emotion “So you are trying to extort my hand in marriage?”

“No, not at all milady. I just want to see the people of this province under strong leadership so that they are not tempted to stray.” Marion nodded and gave them a warm smile.

“Well milords it seems that you leave me no choice” The two nobles smiled at hearing this. “Let me ask you two idiots something?” The warmth in Marion’s voice vanished “Do either of you know what this ring on my finger means?” With this Marion held her left hand up and showed off her ring that Luke had given her. “Well do you?”

“No, we do not.”

“Well, “gentlemen” this ring means that I am already married and I am very happy.” She then called toward a closed door off to her left “Luke, honey, can you step in here for a minute?”

“Seriously Marion? I’m about to be buried in paperwork.”

“Just for a minute. Pleassse?”

“Fine.” Seconds later the door opened and through it came the biggest man the nobles had ever seen in their lives. Not only that but this big man was in some kind of uniform. “What’s up sweetheart”

“These are the nobles that I was telling you about the other week.” She then turned back to face the nobles. “Gentlemen, meet my husband; General Luke MacDougall.” The nobles were now petrified for this ogre looked like he could pick them up, throw them out, and get them to fly over the city walls.

“So, you want my wife’s hand in marriage? I must say you don’t look like much and I bet that neither of you could possibly keep up with her for she is extremely active in bed and every other flat surface now that I think about it.” Marion snickered at this and earned herself dagger looks from the nobles. The older one went for his sword forgetting that it had been seized when he entered the castle gates. Marion bent over and picked up two swords. She unsheathed them and threw one of them to Luke. He kind of looked at the sword.

“You call this letter opener a sword, sweetheart?” He retreated into his office for a second and came out with a large object. He tossed Marion’s sword back to her and unsheathed his sword. It was almost three feet long, but in his hands was a single-handed sword. The sword itself was beautiful with the wavy lines running through the steel of the blade and the polished brass of the hilt and pommel. “Now this is a sword” he said smiling in his cold way. The nobles were growing more terrified by the second and the younger one was ready to piss his pants for he had never been so scared in his life and he had been in a large number of battles. When he looked at his older brother, the look that greeted him shook him out of his paralysis for his older brother was beyond scared. The younger one’s diplomatic skills then came into play.

“We are deeply sorry if we have offended you in any way Milady Marion, but we didn’t know that you were already married and when I last met you didn’t give any clue that you were.”

“Actually, I did. If you had bothered to look past my tits, I have been wearing this ring ever since I was married to Luke last winter. Now gentlemen if nothing else we really need to get back to work. Oh, one more thing. You two will have a heavy escort on your way out for I want none of the women who work for me attacked. I heard all about your roaming stares during your last visit.”

With that Marion called for her guards. “See these two gentlemen and their entourage out of York if you will please. If they try anything funny; kill them, no questions will be asked.”

The guards snapped to attention “Yes, ma’am.” To the nobles “this way if you please”

The nobles turned and almost fled out of the room. They collected their entourage and high tailed it out of York. They didn’t stop running until they were kilometers away. When they were sure that they were far enough away the older one exploded:

“The fucking cunt treat me like that! I will teach her the meaning of the word respect if I have to whip it into her!”

The younger brother agreed fully with him. “We need to go talk to Duke Vincent for I heard that he recently had one of his plots stopped by Marion and it was one that had cost him dearly.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” exclaimed the older brother.

He and Vincent weren’t exactly friends but in no way were they enemies. If the bothers approached him with an offer of alliance against Marion, they knew that he would agree and this would give the combined army a strength of almost ten thousand men with a number being men-at-arms and knights.

CHAPTER LI

Gabriel came back in the door with more papers to find Marion with her legs wrapped around Luke’s waist.

“Hey! Seriously? You two going to start without me?” Marion looked over her shoulder and smiled at Gabriel

“Of course, not sweetie! I was just thanking Luke” Gabriel was far from convinced.

“So, what was that about? They didn’t look happy when they left.”

“That was the nobles who wanted to marry me.”

Gabriel snickered at hearing this for those two nobles were ugly.

“So, now what?”

This time Luke responded with no humor in his voice:

“Give orders to mobilize the army, Colonel. Those two basically declared total war on us”

Gabriel was stunned but when Marion gave a nod, she went into action. Gabriel was out the door and was sending couriers to gather the army commanders to go over plans. Once Gabriel had left, Marion looked back at Luke

“Well, what do you think?”

“I think those two nobles are about the dumbest people that I have ever met, but we need to be careful here. It has to look like they started this war so we need them to make the first blow. After all the king is scheduled to be up here in about four months and the reports that we have been getting from Norway and Normandy are matching what happened in my timeline. The last thing I want to do is to have the king’s army after us.”

“Ok so what do you suggest?”

“Moralize the army and make sure that they are completely rearmed, properly equipped, and trained. We might have to be a bit creative on how to get those idiots to attack but I don’t think so.”

“How much time do you think we have?”

“Not more than a couple of weeks. At least now we have trains coming from Bard’s steel works to York and the tracks to the lake district are only about a month away from being completed. Once they are done, we will be able to move the army around very rapidly. Even now with all the nice roads that are being built, army can move very fast. Also, we now have almost sixty artillery pieces and some of them are steel breach loaders.”

“Well then we should probably get to work then.”

“Hold on there, sweetheart.” Luke picked Marion back up as she walked by him causing her to squeal in delight. Luke then placed her on her desk and started nibbling on her neck. As always, this got Marion’s juices flowing and they could both smell her pussy. Luke gave her an evil smile as he ran his hand over her crotch; causing her nectar to soak through a bit. Marion returned the favor by rubbing Luke’s cock and causing some of his pre-cum to soak through his pants. Marion had been giggling when Luke picked her up and now, she had started to softly moan. This increased when Luke united her pants and pulled them off in one motion. Marion quickly untied Luke’s pants and they just fell off. Both of them were so horny that they didn’t need any foreplay this time. Luke sunk his cock into Marion in one thrust causing Marion to moan loudly. This was nothing through compared to what was to come. Luke put Marion’s heels on his shoulders so that he had unrestricted access to his wife’s pussy. Within six thrust, Marion was screaming at the top of her lungs as Luke thrust into her. With each thrust she could feel the veins on his cock rubbing her G-spot and his tip kissing her cervix. Not only that but he had one of his hands in a place to where he could flick her clit. This always drove Marion to new heights of ecstasy and it did this time as well. She started moaning in sync with Luke’s thrusting, much to the amusement to everyone in the outer office. As Luke pushed harder into her, her moaning got louder.

By this time Gabriel had got back to the office and joined in the pool the office employees had set up. This time Gabriel had bet that Luke and Marion would climax at the same time. Of course, Gabriel had the advantage here, being that she slept with Luke and Marion every night, but surprises can still happen. The last time this happened, Marion had managed to get Luke to fire first and Gabriel had lost almost a week’s pay.

Soon Marion’s voice got even louder for she was now screaming at the top of her lungs again and was begging Luke the fuck her brains out. Luke had been pounding her senseless and she had quickly reached orgasmic heights. Marion, of course, wasn’t defenseless in theses battles and soon she deployed her ace in the hole. She started flexing her Kegel muscles and this caused Luke to start moaning. Now the battle to make the other cum first was on. Luke used his cock to rub Marion’s g-spot and his strong thumb to rub her clit in circles as his other hand had slipped under her shirt and was working one of her tits. Marion was using her Kegel muscles to rhythmically massage Luke’s member and she had managed to reach around and was rubbing his balls. She was also talking dirty to him. Within five minutes they were both desperately trying to make the other one cum while holding their own off. Neither one of them succeeded and they exploded together. Marion’s eyes were going in different directions and Luke’s had rolled up into his head as his orgasm had been one of those that caused every muscle in his body to contract. Marion also let out a scream that actually shattered a glass that was sitting on nearby table.

As soon as they were done, Luke collapsed on the floor and Marion couldn’t move off her desk. She was also having problems with the light in the room for it was blinding her. Her pussy felt like it had a river flowing out of it for their cum mixture ran out of Marion’s pussy and down the side of her desk. Luke had passed out on the floor and it would take him almost half an hour to get up and even then, he was shaky. Marion would take even longer before she could even think about moving for it would be almost forty minutes before she could function and she would be walking with a slight limp for the rest of the day.

Out in the office, Gabriel cleaned up for she made much more then she had lost the last time. Of course, she had to share the pool with a couple of other employees who had bet the same as she had but she didn’t mind for this was all fun and games. This was one of the reasons that everyone loved working for Marion for you never knew when the mood would strike her or Luke and they would be loudly fucking in their office. Of course, Marion was a very good boss for she was fair and usually easy going. If she fucked up then she would admit it and take full responsibility. Many of the employees loved that they could tease her about her sex life and usually they were able to even get a laugh out of Marion.

Finally, Marion and Luke almost crawled out of their offices and got a standing ovation from the other office workers. Luke and Marion both moaned with pain and covered their ears. Their orgasms had given them killer headaches and Marion’s pussy hurt bad enough that she was limping a bit. This only brought more laughter from her office workers. Her lover Gabriel was the worst of the lot as usual. She came up to Marion and put a hand on each side of Marion’s face.

“Oh Marion. What did that ogre of a husband do to you? You look like shit!” The office erupted into even more laughter as several of the employees fell over and a couple raced to the restrooms.

“Oh, gee thanks Gabriel for that’s just what a woman in pain wants to hear.” Was Marion’s only response. With that Gabriel lost it and fell over as well. Marion and Luke somehow made it back to their chambers and fell asleep in bed without even removing their clothes first. When they woke up it was dinner time. This time they asked for some food to be delivered for neither of them felt like going to get something. They were expecting a servant to bring their food but they ended up with Gabriel. This meant more teasing for neither Luke or Marion had enough energy right now to do much about it. Sure, enough Gabriel let them have it with both barrels. Lots of stuff about wearing each other out and them getting too old to keep up. Gabriel could really rub this one in for Luke was eight years older than Marion and Marion was a couple of years older than Gabriel. After Luke and Marion had got dinner down, they went back to bed and stayed asleep until it was time to wake up the next morning.

CHAPTER LII

When the brothers got to Duke Vincent’s castle, they found it in an uproar. The duke was mobilizing his forces for he was getting ready to strike at Marion. When the brothers offered an alliance with Vincent, he was at first reluctant for he wanted all the land for himself. He agreed though when the brothers told him that they didn’t want land, they wanted Marion and Gabriel for their personal whores. They then told the story of how she embarrassed them and they wanted revenge.

“Can you two have your forces here within a week?”

“Not a problem for we gave mobilization orders before we took off to meet with that bitch. In fact, if one of us can get out of here within the hour we should be able to start getting troops here within a day or two.”

“Good. That bitch cost me over five hundred pounds sterling and my people didn’t even manage to accomplish anything. I learned this morning that the guard that my men had been able to buy off was discovered and executed before he could strike.”

With that, the younger brother took off so that he could ride back to their castle and get the first units of troops on the road. While he did this, the older brother went over their plans with Vincent and the other commanders. So far it was proving impossible to get their hands on whatever devil weapon that Marion’s forces had been using and worse than that, they still hadn’t found anyone who was willing to give them the secret of how they worked. Apparently, they were all either scared to death of Marion’s husband or they were extremely loyal to her. The other brother confirmed that her husband was indeed one extremely scary person. Vincent didn’t really care about the husband for he was more worried about the firearms that Marion used. After hours of debate, they finally came up with what they thought might be a workable plan. They would lure Marion’s army into a trap and catch them off guard. Then the knights would be able to ride down those worthless peasants and the ones not killed would be put back to work on one of Vincent’s or the bother’s estates. It took almost a week to get the army ready and anyway it took that long to gather all their spies’ reports and draw up maps of Marion’s lands. Once they were in her lands, they would be able to use her road network to travel much faster and with the wealth that was rapidly concentrating in the area, they would be fixed for supplies and they might not even have to pay their men. This was a good thing for the nobles because they had just over ten thousand men in total when they had finished combining the armies. Six thousand of them were levy spearmen. The other four thousand were men-at-arms and knights. This was an extremely large army for the time period but they had managed to get extra recruits by promising them large amounts of loot from Marion’s lands.

Marion’s army commanders all met the morning after the brothers were rejected. They all went over their spy reports and came to the conclusion that this was going to be their hardest battle yet. At least this time they had even more advanced weapons. They now had breach loading artillery that were made of steel and fired explosive shells. They also had mortars that were capable of firing out to three hundred meters. The biggest thing they had this time was almost six thousand men and woman in uniform with almost fifteen hundred being cavalry. Dragoons would have been a better term through for their primary weapon was their rifles. They all carried swords but were not really trained all that well in their use. Marion and her commanders waited as Vincent mobilized his troops and the brothers combined their forces with Vincent’s. Fortunately, they had all taken Luke’s advice to heart and didn’t just assume that they would win because they had superior weapons. If they ever needed reminders of this then they would have to face Luke on the training grounds with him playing the OPFOR commander. He would win about half the time and he wasn’t using firearms. He won with ambushes and by forcing Marion’s commander to engage him only under conditions that favored him. Through these wargames Marion’s commanders were learning fast and if they couldn’t learn they were relieved of command.

The plan that they came up with was to use their dragoons to run circles around the enemy troops and raid constantly. The orders were to hit and run. Under no circumstances were they to let themselves get bogged down. After all it was far better at this stage to run away and be able to fight again then it was to stand and fight and die. The commanders developed plans for all kind of situations including ambush. This was how Luke guessed that the enemy would try to neutralize their firearms and he had done the same thing on the training grounds. By now through Marion’s commanders knew how to defend against ambushes.

After almost a week the spies reported that the combined army was on the move. Their supply lines were much thinner than what they should have been and it didn’t take an expert to figure out why. The enemy was planning on raiding and living off the land. Marion immediately sent word to all villages in the path of the enemy to be ready to evacuate. Anything that couldn’t be taken with them was to be destroyed. Nothing of value was to be left for the invaders.

Marion’s army marched out the following day. She gave orders that they were to march right through the city on their way to the front. As the army marched through the city, every citizen came out to cheer on their army. They all knew of the invasion and they knew what would happen should the enemy troops get to York. The person that was leading the parade was none other than Luke and the cheers that he got were deafening. He and Marion were now very popular, the citizens had even forgiven Marion for having an interest in woman for Gabriel was increasing in popularity as well.

Two people however would definitely not be going on this expedition. Pollyanna had been confined to quarters until after she gave birth and Alice was her attending physician. By this time Pollyanna was almost ready to give birth and everyone was guessing that it would be within the next week or so. Thankfully she had recovered fully from her beating and most days she was able to get at least some work done. Alice had already warned her that she could hear two fetal heartbeats so they were expecting twins. Gabriel had made two cribs, one for each kid. Marion had given Pollyanna two sets of clothes for the kids, and Luke had given her a side-by-side stroller so that they wouldn’t have to carry the babies everywhere.

By now Alice was finally engaged and her fiancé was proving himself very competent in the medical field. Normally he didn’t hang around with the rest of the group because he found it uncomfortable being around someone as open as Marion or Gabriel. It wasn’t their sexuality that made him uncomfortable, it was their willingness to discuss sexual topics that made him uncomfortable. Plus, Luke had scared the shit out of him early in his romance with Alice and he still hadn’t recovered. Alice of course took it in stride for she knew Luke well so she wasn’t scared by him.

Marion’s army first rode the railroad to the Bard’s steel mill. This saved them two days of marching for with the railroad it only took them an hour or so the get there. From there Luke’s scouts kept a constant eye on the invading forces. With Luke commanding the army, Marion and Gabriel had stayed behind in York to continue their work there. Every village in the enemy’s path had been abandoned and burnt so the invaders were suffering within days of crossing into Marion’s territory. To make matters worse, Luke’s dragoons were constantly harassing the foraging parties and made life very difficult for them. This slowed down the invaders even more. What should have been only a couple days march turned into a week’s march and by the end of the week the men were starving so bad that they started killing the extra horses.

Luke had been waiting for this. He knew that with the enemy army hungry and desperate for supplies that he could force them into combat where it would be best for him. He chose a wide-open area, one in which he could use his artillery to their full effect. His new artillery could fire a round well over a mile and he wanted to use that fact to pound the enemy army to pieces before they were able to close with him. He would also deploy another secret weapon in this battle. It was a tethered hot air balloon with telegraph wires attached to one of the ropes so the observer could tell the commander on the ground just what was happening. With this, Luke’s artillery was even capable of accurate indirect fire. Something that was unheard of. Since he had been extremely careful on when and where he ran trials on this new weapon, he was sure that the enemy didn’t know about it.

Luke kept his troops in hiding until the enemy had entered the open field. Only then did Luke lead his troops out of cover. The enemy had taken a road that went through the trees so his artillery couldn’t pound them as well as it could have if they had been in the open. Since Luke also had troops in those forest as well, he didn’t fire his artillery at all. It was at this time as well that he deployed his balloon. Before the battle he had taken the time to walk the field with his commanders and they all memorized it. The artillery was positioned on the edge of the woods and was covered with brush to hide them until the right moment. As the tail of the enemy army came into view, Luke gave the order and the artillery was uncovered.

CHAPTER LIII

This expedition was turning into a nightmare for Vincent and the two brothers. As soon as they entered Marion’s lands every village that had been overflowing with wealth just a couple of weeks before were now abandoned and burned to the ground. Every head of livestock was gone or dead while every kernel of grain was gone as well. Some of the building that the army came across were still burning, meaning that they had been abandoned only hours before. Worse yet was the fate of the foraging parties. They would go out in the morning and by noon they would be all dead. Once in a while their bodies would be found and they would always be stripped of everything of value. Many had strange wounds that some of the men that were from the lake district identified as gunshot wounds. Others had been cut down with a sword. Every bridge that the army came to had to be rebuilt and they would always lose a few men to skirmishing fire. When the knights would try and catch the shooters, they would disappear only to start shooting from a different direction. Trees had been cut down over the road. When the army stopped to clear the way, a few of them would be killed either by gunfire or booby traps in the forest. By far the worst was at night. Sentries would be killed by having their throats slit and the camp would usually be subjected to nightly cavalry raids. These raids never lasted for more than five minutes but they were noisy and usually ran off some of the horses or other livestock. Tents would be set on fire and a few dozen men would be killed. Within a week the noble’s army was getting desperate. Extra horses were killed just so the soldiers would have something to eat. Vincent and the brothers finally had to admit to themselves that they were just foolish to have even tried attacking Marion’s lands and they were planning on turning around and getting the hell out of Marion’s lands.

Then one day the attacks stopped. There was still enemy cavalry in the distance but all they did was watch the noble’s army stumble on. This went on for a day or so until the army came to a wide-open clearing. The army had been marching since yesterday morning and they were all exhausted. They hadn’t even stopped for the night. It wouldn’t have done them any good anyway for they had no food left and almost all the horses had been killed. This field looked like a good spot to set up camp for the day. At least they wouldn’t be ambushed when they were out in the open like this for the nearest forest was at least five hundred paces away. After the army had rested, they would return to their own territory.

It wasn’t long before the army knew that it was in serious trouble. It started when a strange object was seen rising over the trees. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. It slowly rose above the trees and then Vincent seen a flash of light from below the object. This was the flash of light being reflected off a shiny object. Then movement along the tree line caught his attention. Whatever was going on, they were in very serious trouble.

“FORM UP!” he yelled as he rode his horse through the army. “FORM UP FOR MARION’S BASTARDS ARE UPON US!”

Every soldier in the army started rushing around. Some were fighting to get their equipment on, but most of them were looking for their officers. The night march had really caused confusion in the ranks and they hadn’t had time to straighten themselves out yet. Things turned really chaotic when the enemy artillery opened up. Worse still the fire was deadly accurate and they were firing some kind of exploding shell. Within minutes the army was reduced to a mob. At least Vincent and the older brother had managed to get it going the right direction. Right toward the enemy. The plan if one could call it that was to simply rush the enemy and then let the soldier’s anger finish things up. At first things seemed to be working for the heavy guns stopped firing and Vincent could see them being hooked up to horses and withdrawn. This only caused the soldiers to rush forward faster for they all thought rightly so that the enemy was retreating and they wanted to repay some of their causalities that they had been suffering for the last week.

Luke watched calmly as the enemy formation had been shredded by his guns. The gunner’s accuracy was now such that they would only miss once in a while. The other gunners in fact would constantly harass the any crew that missed twice in a row. They had been firing as fast as they could and they truly loved their new guns. Before they could only fire many once every two minutes, now they could fire once every thirty seconds or so. Their fire was much more accurate as well. When the enemy had closed half the distance, Luke ordered the artillery back. They would retreat back into the woods, set back up, and load with canister shot in case things went really bad. As the artillery got out of the way, the infantry came into position. Unlike the enemy soldiers, Luke’s troops were well rested and well fed. They had even managed to get a hardy breakfast in their bellies that morning. The lookout in the balloon reported that no other enemy troops were in sight and indeed there was no signs of enemy cavalry trying to get behind them. Luke still kept his best dragoons in reserve, just in case. He watched as his soldiers got into formation and they stood quietly as they waited.

Vincent and his army were now closing rapidly on the enemy’s position. The older noble brother was proving to be a very good commander and he was in the thick of things as he worked on getting the army organized. The younger one had been killed when an artillery round exploded right next to him. The older brother would make sure that the enemy paid dearly for that if it was the last thing he ever did. By the time they had closed to within only three hundred paces of the enemy position, the army was becoming increasingly organized as the officers got the men under control. Vincent rode up to the older brother:

“Everything going well?”

“Aye. As well as can be expected. By the way younger brother was killed in that; whatever that was.”

“I am truly sorry for he was an honorable man and quite intelligent. I think that it is about time to make these bastards pay.”

“Aye”

Vincent rode in front of the army waving his sword and encouraging his men forward. As the army crossed the three hundred pace mark, new smoke appeared from the woods. This smoke went in a more upwardly direction and everyone was puzzled by this. With seconds through they had their answer when exploding shells came raining down from heaven. When the smoke started, Vincent looked ahead and his blood ran cold for he was staring at a large army that was in very good formation. Strange thing was that they appeared to be only two ranks deep. Then flags appeared up and down the enemy line. White flags with a red cross through the center of them. The flag of St. George as Luke was heard to call it. Vincent ordered a full charge for they had to close faster than those blasted things could drop more death on them. His army responded and charged.

As the enemy crossed the three hundred meter mark, Luke ordered the motors to start firing and to take their firing directions from the balloon observer. He knew that in a minute or two nobody on the ground was going to be able to see a damn thing. As the mortars started firing, Luke ordered Marion’s colors uncased. Soon her flags were waving gently in the morning breeze. The enemy army actually began to pick up the pace which surprised Luke a bit, but as he thought about it, the enemy commander really didn’t have any other choice. For them it was either die slowly from ambushes and starvation or death on the battlefield. At least on the field, they had a slim chance of victory. Luke gave his mortars a few minutes to soften up the enemy some more. Finally, he turned to his bugler:

“Send the order to the infantry that they are to open fire.” The bugler sounded the signal and within seconds the infantry started firing. The battlefield was covered in a thick blanket of smoke as the troops were firing as fast as they could. Luke still knew what was going on due to the observer in the balloon. Within a minute all organization had broken down in the enemy ranks and they returned to being a mob. Problems arose when the lead elements got into the smoke cloud. Now the observer was blinded as well. At least there was no other enemy troops in the area through. Luke was now relying on his sense of hearing and his previous battlefield experience to gage how the battle was going. At places along his line the sound suddenly dropped off. This meant that enemy troops had made it through and his troops had to resort to hand-to-hand combat. Luke rode up and down the lines encouraging his troops as he went. Luke then ordered his dragoons to make a fast ride around the end of the line and hit the enemy from behind while the infantry made a bayonet charge. He gave his dragoons a couple of minutes to get into position and when he heard their signal, he called for a charge all across the line. He also ordered the mortars to cease firing for he didn’t want causalities from friendly fire. All up and down the line, Luke’s infantry advanced into the smoke with bayonets at the ready. His dragoons were riding in behind with sabers drawn. What came next was a blood bath.

Vincent’s army had now been mauled badly. The older brother had been killed as had many of his officers. Most of Vincent’s officers were also dead for that matter. But through all this smelly smoke a ray of light appeared for some of his infantry and men-at-arms were now coming into contact with Marion’s troops. Marion’s troops were proving to be extremely tough but at least they were now taking casualties as well. Suddenly he heard a trumpet sound from somewhere behind him. In front of him all the shooting stopped and another trumpet sounded. Vincent then realized that they were now dead for the enemy now had men in front and behind them. To prove his point, he soon heard the unmistakable sounds of calvary charging them in the rear and soon he seen troops emerge in front of him all dressed in green and charging forward with some kind of short spear. He then realized that he was actually looking at these so-called firearms. This was his last thought as one of Luke’s female soldiers appeared in front of him and before he could react, she drove her bayonet through Vincent’s throat and bashed him in his face with her gun butt as she went by. The bayonet thrust had severed his cardioid artery and his blood was spraying out everywhere. The gun butt to the face had broken his nose and shattered his teeth. Within minutes, Vincent Duke of Sheffield was dead.

CHAPTER LIV

Luke walked the battlefield as soon as the smoke had cleared. All of his soldiers were ranging over the battlefield, looking for survivors. Luke had always been amazed at how many came through truly murderous battles without a scratch. This one however wasn’t going to be one of them. Every enemy soldier he found was dead or almost dead. The ground was so covered with bodies that one couldn’t take a single step without stepping on at least one body. Once in a while Luke found one of his own, if they were alive, he rendered aid and stayed with them until a stretcher could get there. Usually though they were also dead. In those cases, Luke would say a short prayer for them and if their eyes were still open, he would close them and move on. Fortunately, one of the things that he had always insisted on was an efficient casualty evac system. It was truly making itself felt on this battlefield for there was casualties everywhere. After going over the battlefield for over an hour, all the still living had been evacuated back to the field hospital. Now it was time to bury the dead. The enemy troops were simply stripped of anything useful and thrown into a mass grave. All of their dead were given a full military funeral and messages were sent out to the next of kin to inform them of their loss. Along with the message was the departed personal effects and the loot that they were entitled to from the battle. Luke had given orders that all his loot was to be divided up and sent to the families of the dead. After all he didn’t need it for, he was extremely wealthy already. All things considered through; Luke’s casualties were very light. He had suffered only eighty dead or wounded while his opponents had been annulated. Luke’s dragoons had captured the remains of the baggage train and they spent a couple of days rounding up the small fragments of enemy army that had escaped.

Luke spent three days resting his army and resupplying them. He was also waiting on his medical staff to finish up before he continued his advance. Also, his dragoons had to finish clearing the area so he was in no real hurry. When he was finally ready, he started the march to Sheffield. As they went, they rebuilt destroyed bridges and repaired other infrastructure. It took Luke a solid week of rebuilding until they came to the limits of Marion’s land. By this time the villagers here coming back to rebuild as well. The villagers had all been paid by Marion’s agents for most of their losses. This was something that she had put into place when she was still on the run to help get the villagers to cooperate. After she had gained power, she kept the policy in place. After Luke had crossed the border, he stopped rebuilding and only improved the infrastructure enough to keep the supplies coming. This allowed him to speed up drastically. He did leave detachments behind to continue to improve the infrastructure. Along the way several dumb nobles tried to make an issue of Luke’s army crossing their lands and they soon learned that Luke and his army were not people that you wanted to cross for every noble who did, had his castle destroyed and his lands seized. If the noble didn’t try to cross Luke then they would be left alone. Most of them even seen a massive jump in business for Luke’s army paid for everything. If one of his soldiers tried to steal, they would be flogged. Rape and murder both carried death sentences. Just the method of execution was different.

It only took Luke four days to reach Sheffield and when he got there all the possessions of the nobles who had attacked Marion’s lands were seized and their families thrown out. Luke would usually let them keep one place of dwelling but it was never one of their nicer ones. Usually, it was just a simpler home that he let them keep. The land was sold to the peasants and town folk in the same way that the land in the lake district had been divided up. When church officials crossed him, they got the same treatment for he had no sympathy for a bunch of corrupt religious officials. They would always be dealt with in the same way. All of their commercial interest would be seized and they were forbidden to acquire more. At one small church Luke was met by an old padre. Luke jumped off his horse to talk:

“Well good afternoon padre.”

“Good afternoon, sir.”

“Please, there is no need to be formal. Luke will do fine.”

“Well, are you going steal my church too?”

“I do not steal churches. Those churches that were seized were led by corrupt people that had no right to be called “Men of God” and you know that. Plus, those men attacked me not the other way around.”

“It is still a sin to destroy sacred land.”

“Father. I am only going to tell you this one time. I care not what you consider a sin. I sleep with two women and one for those is Marion of York. The other is her chief bodyguard and lover Gabriel. As for destroying sacred land goes, I have never done any such thing. I have never destroyed a church or cemetery for that is the practice of barbarians while I believe that every man and woman have the God given right to believe what they want and therefore are free to interpret the word of god how they want. If this offends you; too bad.”

The pastor was taken back by everything that Luke had said. The pastor was going to protest when he looked at the faces of the troops surrounding Luke. Almost a third of them were woman and some of them wore officer markings and they were all watching him like a cat watching a mouse. He quickly came to the conclusion that it might be best for him not to argue with the new law in town and retreated back into his church. As promised Luke didn’t harm the church. He had been impressed enough with the father to step into the church and looked around for a while. He even apologized for him losing his temper a bit earlier. At first the father was cautious but as some time passed in Luke’s company, the he grew to actually like Luke the person. This was after Luke had explained that Luke the person and Luke the general were two different people. After sending a couple of hours with the father, Luke had to go back to war.

Luke spent almost a month in the Sheffield area while his army worked to pacify the area and to improve the infrastructure. The improvements were paid for using the loot from nobles and churches that tried to interfere with Luke’s army. Stone bridges were built over rivers and streams. Paved roads were built to link the towns of the area together. Luke also built schools for the area’s people to learn how to read and write. Some hospitals would be built, but Luke held off on that for what good was it to build hospitals when there wasn’t enough doctors and nurses to staff them. The labor for all this building was provided by the locals and they were paid well for it. Within weeks of arriving in the area, Luke had to put down a noble’s rebellion because he rejected Luke’s freeing of his serfs. It goes without saying that he didn’t survive his attempts to get rid of Luke’s army. By July the area had calmed down and Luke started to send the army back home.

CHAPTER LV

Marion had sent the rest of the day after Luke left feeling sorry for herself. It was partially her fault that her husband was off to war again. She knew that Luke still had nightmares from his time in the marine corps and even he said that he would probably be having them for the rest of his life. These nightmares were always at their worst just after battles and on these nights, it was everything Marion could do to keep him calm and help him get any sleep at all. Now she wasn’t with him and this weighed on her.

As she and Gabriel were settling down that night, they were just beginning to talk about Marion’s feelings when they got an urgent message. Alice wanted to see them on the double. This could only mean one thing; Pollyanna was going into labor. Both ladies rushed putting their clothes back on and rushed to infirmary. This was where Alice’s message said to find them. When they got there, they found Pollyanna on an examination table and she was already in a gown. Matt wasn’t there because he was off with Luke. Marion and Gabriel would be Pollyanna’s emotional support. Every once in a while, Alice would step in and check on Pollyanna. Pollyanna wanted to try to have a regular birth for getting cut open made her nervous even though Alice had already done a large number of C-sections and had never ran into complications. Alice had the tools set up nearby; just in case. Through the night, either Marion or Gabriel would be up with Pollyanna and would help her by getting her cool water or changing out the damp rags that they were using to keep Pollyanna as comfortable as possible.

The sun was just coming up the next morning when things started to pick up of Pollyanna and within a couple of hours, she had given birth to twin girls that weighed about three and a half kilograms apiece and were as beautiful as their mother. Pollyanna was so exhausted that she soon fell asleep. This told Gabriel and Marion that it was time to go. They were both happy, tired, sore, and had piles of work to do. That day drug by as it seemed to Marion that every form was getting longer. Finally, it was time for dinner and the end of the workday. After dinner they stopped by to check on Pollyanna and learned that she would be released in the morning. She was excited to be able to get back to work for she had some ideas regarding the hot water system that Luke had been tinkering with. During her extended stay in the infirmary, Pollyanna had seen how hard of a time the staff was having with heating water over a fire whenever they needed hot water and they needed a lot of hot water. Her first goal was to fix this for them and get hot water for everyone in the building.

It would take her almost a solid week of going over all of Luke’s designs to make her first prototype. Building this, she learned a lot which she incorporated into the next prototype. This one was capable of heating almost a thousand litters to almost boiling after only two hours in the sun. The first area to get hot water from the heater was the infirmary where it was a godsend for them. Now they suddenly had a lot of extra time that could be spent on taking care of patients instead of warming up water. The rest of the building followed over the next week with Marion and Gabriel the last ones to get running hot water.

Their first evening with running hot water turned out to be a very memorable one indeed. Usually, the ladies would bath together; but at first, they were going to take their showers separate for they didn’t know if they would have enough room. Gabriel got in first and took some time to shave. This was something that they did every couple of days so that they would stay smooth. Marion sat on their bed and watched. She could see that there would be enough room for both of them but Marion wanted to wait until after Gabriel had finished shaving. When she had finished shaving, she turned her back to Marion and that was the chance that Marion was waiting for. She quickly stripped off her clothes and silently entered the shower behind Gabriel. Gabriel yipped when Marion slid her hands over Gabriel’s solid ass. As Gabriel turned her head, Marion’s lips were right there and they quickly started kissing. It took them all of five seconds to figure out that taking showers together was so much more fun than bathing. Gabriel had the soap so she ran it over Marion’s toned body making sure to get everything a couple of times. One of the things that Gabriel noticed was that the soap was really slippery and that gave her an idea. When she got her fingers in between Marion’s ass checks; Gabriel went for it. She slipped one of her fingers into Marion’s puckered star. The look in Marion’s eyes simply could not be duplicated so Gabriel started sawing her finger in and out. After getting over her shock, Marion started pushing back into Gabriel’s hand and groaning softly. Those groans got louder when Gabriel inserted a second finger; and louder still with the third. By that time Gabriel had one hand working Marion’s ass hole and the other one working her clit and vagina. This way it didn’t matter what way Marion went; she was fucking herself. Gabriel working Marion to heights never before seen for if Marion got too close then Gabriel would stop and wait for Marion to calm down a bit before continuing. Finally, Marion hit her limit and her eyes rolled back into her head as she squirted all over and fainted. The only thing that kept Marion from crashing into the floor was Gabriel still had her fingers in Marion’s ass and cunt. She gently laid Marion on the floor and made sure that Marion was clean. As Gabriel was finishing up, the water started to turn cold. Gabriel stepped out and dried herself off before she turned her attention to Marion who was still passed out. Gabriel smiled to herself as she gently picked Marion up and took her to the bed. She dried Marion off before she pulled the covers up over her. Gabriel read for a while before she too climbed into bed and cradled her lover before falling to sleep.

The next day was a busy one for Marion and Gabriel for the city was bustling with all the refugees flooding into town. One of the city ordinances was that no livestock other than horses were allowed in town, so Marion had a corral set up just beyond the city limits on some land that she owned. The peasants would keep their livestock there and for a very small fee they would be taken care of so that the peasants could spend some time in town. She was also on the lookout for merchants trying to take advantage of the rural folks. Any merchant caught price gouging would be fined heavily. After a couple had been caught, the rest decided that making a little bit of extra money off the peasants just wasn’t worth the risk of Marion’s wrath.

At least everyone in the castle had running hot water and they were taking full advantage of it. Everyone was showered and the kitchen personal were finding that having hot water made cleaning dishes much easier. In the hospital through it was a life saver for the running hot water made cleaning the medical gear so much easier. All the peasants had a hard time learning about the sanitary practices of York because they were so different from anywhere else in the world.

That evening both Marion and Gabriel were exhausted when they drug themselves into their chambers. This time Marion went to take a shower first. She had her own private water heater so that she would have hot water. Just as she had finished shaving and Gabriel was about to get in with her, someone knocked at the door. At this time of evening, this had to be important news. Gabriel answered the door without even bothering to put anything on after all almost all the staff had seen her naked at some point and if someone did try and touch her, she was known to break the bastard’s hands. The messenger gave Gabriel the message, saluted, and left. Gabriel shut the door and read the message.

“Marion, honey, you might want to read this for yourself.” Marion shut the water off and got out. After she dried herself off Marion took the message from Gabriel and seen that it was from Luke.

“Vincent Duke of Sheffield and both brothers KIA. Duke’s army crushed. Casualties eighty killed and wounded. Will be spending a week in current positions to allow army to rest and refit before proceeding on to Sheffield.

Luke MacDougall; Commanding General”

After Marion read the message, she just spent some time looking at it. She missed Luke terribly and if it hadn’t been for Gabriel then she would have gone crazy by now. Speaking of Gabriel; she had climbed into the shower. Marion went over and climbed back into the shower. They began to soap each other down. When Gabriel was going to put her fingers in Marion’s ass, she slapped Gabriel’s hands away. This time it was Marion’s turn to finger Gabriel’s ass. She made sure that her fingers were really soapy and she pinned Gabriel against the wall for Gabriel was being funny and fighting back. Both girls were giggling as Marion’s fingers found their target. She slipped one of her fingers into Gabriel’s ass and she moaned. As Marion started sawing her finger in and out, Gabriel closed her eyes and was enjoying the feeling. Marion then turned up the heat as she slipped another finger into Gabriel’s super tight ass. Gabriel started to thrust back into Marion’s hand. She was practically begging Marion to put the third finger in and Marion certainly wasn’t going to deny her lover, Marion pushed the third finger in and used her other hand to finger Gabriel’s clit and finger bang her at the same time. Marion could actually feel her fingers that she had in Gabriel’s ass with the fingers that she had in Gabriel’s cunt. Gabriel sawed back and forth, and going in circles fucking herself with Marion’s fingers. Marion timed her finger movements to push in as Gabriel was moving toward that hand and in this way, Gabriel would get maximum penetration. It only took a couple of minutes for Gabriel to start yelling at the top of her lungs. By this time, she was having continuous orgasms. Her pussy and ass muscles were squeezing Marion’s fingers so hard that she wondered if Gabriel might actually break her fingers off. Finally, Gabriel cam so hard that she fainted. Marion’s ears were ringing from Gabriel’s yelling so she was distracted enough to allow Gabriel to fall to the floor. The floor hitting Gabriel in the face woke her up a bit. Marion still had to rinse her off then dry both of them off. Marion half carried Gabriel to the bed where she laid Gabriel down and covered her up. Marion cleaned up the bathroom a bit and then went to bed as well.

The next month went much of the same way except the refugees started filtering back home to rebuild their homes. At least much of their crops hadn’t been damaged because it wasn’t even close to maturity. Over the month more and more homes got solar hot water heaters and Marion made sure that they had the water to heat up. She ordered the construction of several giant water towers near the town to keep the water pressure even. They would use steam engines to pump the water up and then gravity would make the water flow through the town. For water pipes they used re-enforced cast concrete. This made for very strong pipes that wouldn’t be toxic like the lead pipes of ancient Rome. Marion had even had fire hydrants put in to help the new fire department fight any fires that happened to start. The fire department used a steam powered water pump to boost the pressure to useable firefighting levels. Luke insisted on separate sewer and storm drains when he designed to sewer system. When Marion had asked him about this, he told her that by doing it this way the untreated sewage wouldn’t get into the environment. After all many people and animals relied on the river for their water. He was always careful about pollution and after he explained it to Marion, she was as well. After all God might have given humans the Earth to rule as they seen fit but why would you want to destroy God’s handy work. He also went on about making sure that his children had clean air to breath and clean water to drink. She could definitely see the merits of his arguments and as long as their survival wasn’t in jeopardy, she was in full support of Luke’s environmental goals. He of course understood that if they didn’t win then his goals didn’t matter one bit so that’s why he took shortcuts that made him cringe.

It was the end of June when Marion got another message from Luke saying that the Sheffield area had been pacified and that he and most of the army was on their way back home.
3 comments

D'on TherianthropReport

2021-03-31 19:42:05
Good job keep writing
I enjoyed it very much

troggyReport

2021-03-30 22:59:02
as i stated in my comment on you previous chapter, u are using the wrong word: 'his opponents had been annulated'. annulated means ring shaped. what should have been written was 'his opponents had been annihilated'. so please use the right words & make sure they are spelt correctly as it reduces the natural flow of the story when u have to stop & think about what was meant. still it is a great story

rastus15Report

2021-03-30 17:29:13
Excellent as always

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