Eventually the gates opened. To reveal one single soldier. Standing back, sword out. But insolently gesturing him in. Ignoring the scowl and the rough gesture with his weapon, Maciste stepped forward. Head held high .. indicating to these rough soldiers that he was fearlessly entering the enemy camp. His manner saying the threat of this enemy held no fears for him. After all, he had come here to surrender. One army’s leader surrendering to another. Prince Menander to the enemy’s general.
“Get the fucker!”
Suddenly from behind the open gates, soldiers rushed him. About a dozen it seemed .. no time to count. Armed soldiers all over him. Uncalled-for .. Maciste was without weapons.
Angered, Maciste didn’t give it a second thought. Instinct kicked in. One brave man against a dozen armed thugs. Surprised but quickly recovering. The hardness of the side of his hand cut at a soldier’s shoulder like a sharp blade. Pain sent him toppling. But not before Maciste had grabbed his club. Evening up the odds. Using it like a battle-axe, Maciste whirled it like a hurricane. He jabbed, he stabbed at soldiers, driving them back. Tireless, Maciste battled back. Angry. He had come in peace, THEY had gone into attack.
A pair of them drove at him together, spears jabbing at his gut. Deftly Maciste side-stepped the risk. Dancer-like, he swept out of range. Suddenly he was falling. Stepping back into a fallen soldier. Toppling over. Landing hard on his back. Bashing the back of his head on hard clay.
But recovering fast. Already kicking out to spring to his feet.
A spear jabbed at his throat. Maciste felt the touch, metal digging into flesh. A split second later, a sword. Then a spear. And another touching his gut. Aggressively pointing at him. Backed up by snarling fangs. Pinning him down.
Maciste was on his back, up on one elbow, dirt stuck on his body, glued there by sweat. Barely panting from the effort of the fight but his temper was up. Maciste’s eyes flickered from side-to-side, scouring the soldiers poised over him. Defiant, looking for weakness. Searching out a gap in the attack. Finding none.
“Get the fuckhead up …”
The troops had Maciste surrounded, he was out-numbered, out-armed. Defeated. But, anyway, he had come here to surrender. Make a deal with their general. Ambushed, down on his back in the dirt, pinned down by spears. He had no intention to fight. Captured. But was there any real difference? He’d planned to surrender, anyway. And he’d make sure they’d regret this when General Tiradates heard.
A soldier grabbed roughly at his bicep when Maciste was up on one knee. Maciste shoved him away. When another rushed in, Maciste leapt to his feet. His arm was raised to strike a blow. But he stopped himself. Reminding himself. He was not here looking for a fight. He hadn’t wanted that tussle, they had brought it on.
Dignified but primed for a fight if they persisted, Maciste rose strong to his feet. He could see their anger at him. He showed them his .. but he wasn’t pushing it any further. He was just warning them. Usually his shredded physique and the first moments in a brawl were enough to make his point. This was not a man you mucked about with, his muscled body and a blow from his fist spoke for him.
Instead he gestured he would come freely. But he wasn’t to be manhandled, he would come on his own two feet. But if they did make a move on him .. those powerful shoulders of his bristled out the warning .. they’d regret it. He was not here to be pushed around. He’d come to see their general, he’d come off his own free will. “Prince Menander” had come to surrender.