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    The Sesimite

    There lives a terrible creature in the jungle. It travels by night and lives under waterfalls. The locals say that it has feet that point backwards and it can walk down cliffs. It wanders by crossroads and it kills for food. It has the name of Sesimite to the people who share its land. It is called the Basilisk by outsiders.

    A Sesimite causes lonely travelers to disappear. It can appear as an old man or a young boy. It offers to share food by its fire or asks for food at a camp. Its form is deceptive however. It is a huge and powerful creature and it can make people believe that it is something small and weak.

    The tale is that it can take the form of the small basilisk lizard – the one that is rock colored but for a red stripe on its head. A young boy was lost in the jungle and came across an old man by a fire. The man offered to share his food and the boy was hungry. As the boy ate he accidentally knocked over his plate and it broke. When he reached down for the pieces he saw the old man’s feet. They pointed backwards and the boy knew that he was trapped by the Sesimite. Tales said that the Sesimite would spare young children but the boy did not want to take the chance. He seized a potsherd and flung it at the man and it struck him in the head. As the monster fell backwards with a red wound in its head, the boy fled. That is why the basilisk has a red head.

    Sesimite is a hungry cold blooded killer in the jungle. He travels by night.

    Van Houwen was a tall man with a broad chest and long arms. He had a ruddy face that seemed always to be red and he wore his red haircut short and spiked upwards. He lived by the mercenaries creed and he lived for the money he gained from that profession. Van Houwen had come from the neutral Netherlands to make money from the war between the Americans and their neighbors. His government had paid him to recruit a band of warriors and had sent them in a closed train across Byzantium to the jungles on the border between America and Germany.

    Their job was to be insurgents. They fought a war with no objective for victory. They fought to fight. They took money from any side and they traveled where they would. The locals feared them and would leave if they had any warning. Unfortunately, Van Houwen’s warriors were good. The could travel all night and appear without a sound at early morning. They were mercenaries and they did their jobs well. His enemies feared him and his friends feared him more.

    Colonel Wittenberg sat at Staff and listening impatiently to officers offering standard solutions to new problems. Germans trained their officers in every detail. There were case books for every situation. Soldiers were drilled and drilled until everything became second nature. Wittenberg had come up through a different path. His peers assumed that he was a “Von” Wittenberg because he was an officer. In reality he had started as an NCO in a position his middle class family had purchased for him. His skills in the border wars that were epidemic had earned him promotion. His skillful defenses during the near breakdown of the military during the American invasion had won him a commission.

    Wittenberg knew the western frontier. He had lived in the jungle and fought over the mountains. As he listened to one officer after another propose variations of larger and slower armies to fight the guerillas, he felt his frustration welling up.

    He interrupted, “Yes, yes, large slow columns may work against a civilized opponent but they have no chance of catching small armies that melt away faster than troops can advance. This enemy needs no base of supplies – they live off what they capture from us. They have no barracks and home that they need to defend. They can fight when they want and flee when they need. Lessons from the past do not prepare us well for dealing with the changing times we live in.”

    Snorts of disgust and derision rose up in protest from down the long table where the generals sat with their helmets neatly set in front of them. A noise from an upstart unlanded colonel was not well received. General Munchen, at the head of the table, pounded down with the heel of his hand. “Gentlemen, this is the first opposing opinion that we have heard today. Even if it is incorrect it could still guide us to a solution. Let us give young Wittenberg a chance to express himself and then discuss the shortcomings.”

    Munchen looked down the table. “Please continue. We will be interested to hear your solution.”

    Wittenberg gulped quietly. He thought to himself, “Now see where your temper has gotten you!” With a brief pause, during which he pretended to be reading notes, he pressed on.

    “We don’t know where these forces came from and more importantly, who is paying them. We need to decide on our advantages and push forward on several fronts. First, espionage branch needs to infiltrate or otherwise discover which nation is actually paying for this revolt. Second, we need to stem the onslaught while we are working on the diplomatic side. If we can cause a bloody repulse or two, we should buy time. Mercenaries don’t take money to die. They don’t want to fight. They want profit and terror.”

    “But how do we achieve the necessary battle if not with trained troops in formations?” interrupted Munchen.

    “By deciding on our real advantages. We have supply and weapons. We have trained soldiers that fight for a cause rather than money. That means that we have a trust that they do not. We can plan more thoroughly. But for this to work, we need different formations. We need small and flexible teams that can travel light and more for days without contact. We need leaders that know the ground and who can plan an entire campaign, not just the reaction to sporadic attacks.”
    Wittenberg stopped because he had lost his energy. “There, I have said what needed to be said.” And he sat down.

    A general stood up. “This formation could not succeed. We could not keep the necessary discipline. It is discipline that has always given us the edge to win our wars. We have always been a poor country and we have made up for our deficiencies with our will. A scattered weak force would drain the force from the mailed fist that is our army!”

    “And that mailed fist was blunted by the Americans,” stated Munchen. The other general flushed and sat down. “Our will does not make up for the cavalry that our enemies have but we don’t. It does not make up for their massed artillery.”

    “I think…. that the young colonel’s plan could be tried out.” He waved his arms palm down in a placating gesture in response to the growls from around the room. “We need somebody close to the action and who can be flexible. Somebody who has already spent time in the region and fighting. Somebody with authority but still junior enough that his failure will not be a great problem.” Munchen again looked down the table.

    Wittenberg had the feeling that all air had been sucked out of the room. His focus became pinhole sized and directed at the mouth of General Munchen. “Young Wittenberg will have the command and responsibility for the ground forces that will control the mercenaries. He will develop a plan for the espionage and diplomatic options that will support the attack.

    “In the meantime, we will have need for our armies again. We know that the Inca have taken up the battle with the Americans. They have deadlocked both armies far in the north and away from Germany. The Kaiser has asked us to regain Cologne and Bremen while the Americans are spread so thin. We will call up the reserves in secret and mass them on the borders. We expect to cross the borders in three weeks. In the meantime young Colonel Wittenberg will carry on his campaign and will help to secure our flanks and to secure the countryside once we have reoccupied it.”

    He smiled a humorless smile. “The people of that captured countryside have been enjoying the soft American life too well it seems. They will remember their duty when German arms visit them again.

    Carlos watched the huddled backs of his two companions as they slopped down a path through the blinding rain. Everything seemed to be in excess in the jungle. Too much sun, too much heat and when it rained, too much rain. The difficulty was to find a time to be dry. Clothes and leather rotted almost while a person watched. Metal rusted unless taken care of continuously and religiously. Thus Mbutu and Klaus up ahead walked with tents of canvas pulled over their heads to keep their guns and kit dry. Once a gun was ruined it had to be thrown away. Things like that became valuable.

    There were jungles and jungles. The dry jungles to the south had vast regions of scrub full of toads and iguanas. This jungle was the rainy kind. Deep ravines and valleys full of concentrated and clinging green greeted visitors with an unwelcome embrace. Just as suddenly, steep and red earthed peaks could thrust themselves upwards from the edge of trees. Streams were flat and curved and glowed with an almost unhealthy turquoise essence. Openings in the canopy were rare and usually won by the descent of some great leafy monster. As soon as a tree toppled however, the neighbors crowded into the opening, looking for their chance to reach up to the burning sun.

    Walking through the rain was never fun. The paths were traces at best. Under the force of a downpour they became rivers. The clay soil became a slippery and clinging morass. However, for Carlos and his friends, they could never afford to stop. Of all the people in the jungle, they had the least desire to be found. At the same time, they had the most friends.

    Carlos had been tracked down at the bedside of Simon some months before. He expected to be found and arrested, but he needed to make the trip. However, things worked out differently than he thought they would.

    The man’s name was Boone, he said. He would ask no questions about Carlos’ past. Only, did he want to help people who needed the special kind of help that a soldier could supply?

    At that moment, in that hospital, Carlos felt he was at a crossroads. For all his command knew, he had died out on the battlefield defending a tank that was now blown up. “I’m tired of fighting mister. I’m tired of watching my friends die and watching people who could have been my friends die. My best friend lies here with his legs crushed and shot apart. I don’t know what this means any more. I’m tired of the fight but that is also all I know how to do it seems.” Carlos spread his hands in frustration.

    “Buddy, I can’t speak for how you feel. But there are people, farmers and cattlemen, small, normal people who are caught in this war and they cannot defend themselves. I’m not looking for people who want to be noble. I’m just looking for people that want to make a tiny difference that means something to some very unimportant people. We need soldiers for a personal war. We especially need people who have fought in the east – maybe people who can speak some German.” He looked hopefully at Carlos.

    “I don’t know. I, I don’t have a plan. I need to find my friends. We’ll all go together or not at all.”

    “’K. Here’s where you can find me for the next two days. You should know, it’s your own country that is asking you to do this. And they’ll help. But they won’t ever admit that they know you. Just gotta be honest.” Boone passed Carlos the address and disappeared into the darkened corridors of the hospital. Carlos heard nurses coming to investigate the noise from their conversation.

    He reached down to Simon and put his hand on his forehead. “Just be safe, pal. Don’t worry about me,” he spoke to his sleeping friend.

    Carlos spent the next day looking for the field aid tents where Klaus and Mbutu had been taken. Again he approached in the night and found the two. It took little convincing to get them to pick up and leave. They sneaked into the dark and talked. Later they found Boone.

    And months later, the three of them were marching through an endless jungled forest in an endless rain. They had their friends and had given up their pasts. Their future was only a grey and rainy path.

  • #2
    thank you for this Golden Bear

    hope to see alot more of you and your works
    Gurka 17, People of the Valley
    I am of the Horde.


    • #3
      Thanks Paddy. I enjoy writing these but they do not seem too well received. I'll try to keep going. The Sesimite, by the way, is an actual creature from Maya mythology... If you visit the jungles of Guatemala, you might believe he does live in there somewhere, even now!


      • #4
        Just read this

        Excellent writing there Golden Bear

        Looking forward to seeing more of this
        A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Golden Bear
          Thanks Paddy. I enjoy writing these but they do not seem too well received. I'll try to keep going. The Sesimite, by the way, is an actual creature from Maya mythology... If you visit the jungles of Guatemala, you might believe he does live in there somewhere, even now!
          Golden Bear

          They are well received but perhaps not with a written response

          many whom post/read/post here also play pbems out the "kazoo" and have limited response time..

          I assure you after reading some of my trash..
          They do Appreciate yours

          Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah


          • #6
            Originally posted by Golden Bear
            Thanks Paddy. I enjoy writing these but they do not seem too well received. I'll try to keep going. The Sesimite, by the way, is an actual creature from Maya mythology... If you visit the jungles of Guatemala, you might believe he does live in there somewhere, even now!
            from what I have read that is a very wild bit of country indeed

            hope you enjoyed your New Year
            Gurka 17, People of the Valley
            I am of the Horde.


            • #7
              Interesting... Almost seems like there's a bit missing at the end though. But I like the style.
              XBox Live: VovanSim
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              • #8
                I am the bump king, let it be known.

                Read this and cry for more.
                Gurka 17, People of the Valley
                I am of the Horde.


                • #9

                  [For Paddy and for Chrisius!!]

                  Carlos watched the string of blue clad riflemen file out of the village. The village was a little smaller than most but typical otherwise. A square with a struggling park marked the center with a whitewashed mud brick church fronting on it. A couple of largish buildings with open front shops and an admin building finished the built up area. Low white buildings, most with palm thatched roofs, straggled away to the fringes, gradually petering out as if the town itself had lost energy. A road came in from the northeast and wound through twisting streets to the square and then exited to the west. Paths led out from all sides through small fields, banana groves and livestock on their way to the homes of the farmers in the hills and jungles that surrounded the town.

                  It was not often that he would find a column of Germans in the open like this anymore. Something had changed over recent weeks. Germans traveled in smaller groups with more scouts and skirmishers. It was getting more and more difficult to stage fast raids and skirmishers without taking losses.

                  On this day Carlos had let his small force deeper in the forests towards Germany. He reasoned that they still needed to bring supplies up somehow – and supplies would come in slow columns with wagons. That is how they came to be here hiding in and around the town dump. Townspeople of course had shut their doors and hid themselves from the German soldiers. Whatever their support might be, they had learned the hard lesson that trouble followed soldiers. So they hid inside and watched through cracks in shutters and around doors.

                  Carlos, Mbutu and Klaus had recruited fighters from the villagers in the jungle. They had recruited them and trained them at first with sticks instead of rifles. Then one day strings of pack mules started to creep in from the west with rifled muskets on their backs. Carlos had been hoping for the new breech loaders but as of now, only he and his two friends carried modern firearms. No matter, if the tactics were good then a musket could kill plenty of enemies.

                  Today Carlos was going to try to separate the Germans from this supply train. He would attack the rear guard with gunfire, not exposing his men. Then when the soldiers at the front turned back to help, he would wait until they were among the wagons and push them hard from the front so that they would run into the rear of the rear guard. With any luck they would all take off running back to the town – he might not even need to shoot the horses of the supply wagons. If the rear guard wouldn’t stop and the wagons kept moving, he had sharpshooters ready to shoot the horses and stop the column. When they had won, they would steal ammunition and food and burn the wagons where they stood… then slip back into the jungle and break up into little groups that could infiltrate back to the west.

                  Not an original plan maybe… like most ambushes it relied on surprise and timing to be successful. If the German troops ever really formed up, then the raiders would have to fall back and leave their prey behind.

                  To accomplish this, Carlos had left Klaus in charge of the men at the rear who would start the fight when the troops were well clear of the town… he wanted them out of the town and in the open, but he wanted the town to be near enough that it could offer invitation for any whose courage wavered. Klaus and about fifteen men hid in the dump on the north side of the road. Mbutu was with the troops at the front, on the south side of the road. They wanted to give the impression of being more than they really were.

                  Being a good commander, Carlos had spread scouts watching up and down the road and even behind them. Whoever the new commander was for the Germans, he had learned quickly to turn the rebels’ own tricks back on them. An ambush on an ambush was not unlikely.

                  The sun was burning hot right now. As quickly as torrential rains came and turned roads into momentary rivers and pits of mud, the sun would come out and dry the dirt back into dust. This road on the west side of town wound a little bit through scrub and rolled up and down with the terrain. Mbutu had taken advantage of the rolling terrain to hide his men in a hollow where they were invisible from only a little further east up the road.

                  And now the Germans were coming through. An officer in a worn but full uniform rode slowly at the front. Troops were dressed in heavy and stained blue jackets and wore comfortable forage hats. Fancy dress uniforms had given way to practical clothes for the jungle. Carlos himself was on the north side of the road about midway between his two parties. He knew that dividing his small force like this was hugely risky. He only risked it because he also knew that he could rely on the initiative of Klaus and Mbutu. Carlos kept five men close to him as runners and as a guard.

                  On came the column. Already the head passed Klaus’ position. Patience was required. Just wait. The smell of rotting fruit and dung rose from the dump and sat like an invisible cloud on the road. Flies buzzed incessantly. Flies you could ignore but the Doctor flies would cut you open and make you bleed. Slapping them without making motions that the soldiers could see – well that was a problem. Dust came up from walking feet. Except for the sound of the supply column the day was very quiet.

                  Carlos heard a tiny movement behind him, he started to turn, knife in hand. But his men had already moved… and then relaxed. One of the scouts crept in and slid down beside Carlos. The small man was barefoot, wearing short and ragged trousers. He had a khaki shirt that had the sleeves cut off. The shirt was soaked through with sweat, as was everybody’s. He carried an old cavalry carbine with a trapdoor breech.

                  “Mister Carlos,” he said in a hushed tone. “Mister Carlos, there’s men behind us. Germans coming through the jungle. They’re trying to be quiet, but they’re the Germans…” He smiled a smile. “Anyway, they can’t see us and we’re staying ahead of them.”

                  Something always went wrong. Gotta roll with it. “Point out where they are.”

                  The man pointed out the trees that he had used as markers.

                  Carlos thought quickly. He called the runners over and told them new orders for Klaus and Mbutu. Two went each direction by different paths in case one got pinned down. Carlos took the fifth man and the scout and they carefully went back to watch the flanking Germans.

                  As they approached, the scout pointed out where the other scouts were. Carlos was not good enough to spot them. They knew the jungle like a friend and could look like a leaf on a bush if they chose to. He held still and watched. The troops began to appear slowly, working in teams. One would advance while the others held guard. Dart forward and drop behind the giant finned root of a ceiba tree and stand watch until it was your turn to move again. They were being as careful as they could while moving quickly. Not a bad tactic to have a mobile reserve out on the flank like this. Carlos and the two men crept back slowly and then Carlos and his messenger crouch walked to Klaus’ position.

                  Following Carlos’ new orders, Klaus had pulled all his men into firing positions within the dump. The smell was bad enough to make a man’s eyes water. But they had disappeared from sight there. Carlos found Klaus. “Everything clear here?.”

                  Klaus responded, “If you like being surrounded by tigers than this isn’t too bad.” His eyes flicked around at the ragged men hiding among the waste. “’Course, they all think that it’s going to just be good fun like always. You’re their good luck charm, you know, nothing bad ever happens around you.”

                  Carlos grunted. “Good thing they weren’t in the tanks with us then, I guess.” He gave a tight and humorless grin at the thought. “Just wait now. I’ll tell you when to start your part.”

                  The end of the column was now past Klaus’ position. Carlos saw the small scout appear out of seemingly nowhere to give him a thumbs up and then disappear. “C’mon now Mbutu, any time now… any time,” Carlos thought.

                  A shot rang out from up near where the head of the column would now be, hidden by a fold in the road. In the hot, still day it was a piercing shock and the sound seemed to carry its own echo with it. That was Mbutu firing the signal. Suddenly, more shots rang out, a loud volley of them. Carlos saw the column stop. Some of the rear guard had turned around to watch their backs. The firing up in the front grew louder and louder, like a string of firecrackers that would not stop detonating. Clouds of powder smoke mushroomed up from the invisible fight.

                  “Make ‘em believe it Mbutu. Sell it, sell it hard,” Carlos urged silently. This was now the trickiest part. The firing continued. It slowed down as rebels and troops both needed to reload. It was sporadic and continuous. One could only guess at the terror up over the rise. But still nobody moved where Carlos could see it. “They’ve got to, they’ve go to…”

                  Then he saw it. There were wounded soldiers coming back. There were men, only too glad to be out of the firing, helping them back. The commander on his horse was no where to be seen – somewhere down in the fold of the land. The men of the rear guard looked nervous but they held their ground. Well-disciplined troops, they.

                  Carlos heard one of Klaus’ men give the funny piping whistle that they could communicate with. The flanking troops were coming down out of the jungle on the north side of the road. Carlos had managed to position Klaus’ force so that it was behind them and to the left. Carlos watched and caught Klaus’ eye. He held his hand up in a stopping motion. Klaus grumbled in a low tone, “get your guns up boys, we get to be the cavalry today.”

                  The soldiers of the flanking unit approached the road, angling to get to the ongoing firefight at the front of the line of troops and wagons. The rebels could see some of them. The rearguard could hear some of them, but couldn’t yet see them through the trees.

                  A sort of muffled shot went off amidst the flanking Germans – the sound of a carbine firing. Carlos dropped his hand forcefully and Klaus’ rebels started firing into the rear guard with their rifled muskets. Carlos unslung his own rifle and looked over the sights at the rear guard who were forming up behind the wagons. He looked for anyone that looked their way. He centered the vee and the sight on the chest of a man and pulled the trigger. The shock and the smoke and dust from the firing made his shot unclear – but he thought that he probably missed or maybe just winged him… not important.

                  Up on the north side of the road, the scouts had worked around north of the flanking group. Now, with their carbines, they fired as fast as they could over the heads of the nearest soldiers and into the rear guard. A small cloud of guns smoke began to appear. A non com in the rear guard started pointing that way and soldiers started volleying by units into the bushes on the north side of the road.

                  Carlos had Klaus and his men stop firing. The German rear guard had now engaged the German flankers, although neither knew it. The flanking troops fell into defensive positions behind trees and rocks and started firing back at the people firing at them. Carlos could hear the firing from the front of the column die down as this new firefight broke out. Klaus and his men crawled east out of the dump and then quickly into the bush for concealment. They were smiling as if this was all just a great game.

                  “All right, now work around behind those guys in the trees and do it fast… this won’t last much longer. Look for the scouts. Indeed the scouts showed up and waved their companions quickly forward. The small body of troops crept around behind the soldiers in the trees and set up. Klaus screamed out as loud as he could, “Let ‘em all have it, give it to ‘em good!” A ripple of fire sprang out of green ferns and gum trees.

                  Pinned down by fire from the direction of the column, the men were shocked by people at close range shooting into their backs. Can’t run forwards, can’t run back, can’t stay here. It was too much. They broke and ran through the trees back to the town. As they did, the rearguard fired volleys at them before realizing who they were. Klaus’ men stopped firing and moved their positions.

                  Quiet broke out when the NCO stopped the rear guard’s firing. There was now a cluster of wounded men on the south side of the wagon’s, huddling there with the teamsters and watching the fighting at the back of the train.

                  This is when Mbutu bought back into the game. His men rose out of the jungle on that same side of the road and delivered a point blank volley into the huddled teamsters and into the rear guard. Then they rose up and fell on the unfortunates with their machetes in hand. The teamsters ran into the rear guard as they tried to form up. The wounded men rolled under wagons. Mbutu’s men screamed like madmen. Men closest to the town admired its safety only a couple hundred yards away. They didn’t know where to turn to fight. Klaus’ men started firing at them while the scouts watched for any appearance by the leading troops. The rear guard decided to leave. The NCO was calling for them to fall back and they did as a disorganized group attempting to show discipline. Carlos’ scouts were striking fire and lighting rags.

                  Quickly, while the enemy was recovering, Klaus’ and Mbutu’s men cracked open boxes and barrels and started them burning. No time for looting they had to get going.

                  Carlos looked down the road towards the town where the rear guard and the flank unit were reorganizing… he looked the direction but the scouts there hadn’t made a sign yet. Drat, time to go with only a few wagons burned.

                  “TIME!!! LEAVE, LEAVE now!!,” Carlos yelled and waved. Men finished throwing lit rags on piled stores and took off running. These were men used to jungle travel and they would run for hours now to put distance between them and the ambush. All the men gathered as a single group and slid into the jungle, leaving burning and anguish behind them. The jungle received them as a friend.

                  After their initial rush into away into the jungle, Carlos regrouped them and counted noses. There were four men missing from Mbutu’s group – not bad considering the duration of the fight they had to put up. They had to be left behind by the road. Casualties of the battle. He had the party double back to the east and then circle around the town until they were south of the road and headed west again. At this point they broke into small groups to infiltrate their way home again.

                  Carlos and Mbutu and Klaus shook hands and laughed, happy to have made it through again. They would divide up with their men. It was a happy force that trickled back.

                  But yellow eyes watched. The Sesimite was hungry but it was patient. The jungle was not all full of friends.


                  • #10
                    A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


                    • #11
                      hehehe thank you Golden Bear

                      Nice work

                      Hope we see some more, soon!!!
                      Gurka 17, People of the Valley
                      I am of the Horde.


                      • #12
                        OK, Chris, no mushy stuff here (yet). There is supposed to be a romantic angle to this story, if I am allowed to tell it... but personality development is tough with 4 page inserts.

                        OK by you?


                        • #13
                          Bring it on
                          Gurka 17, People of the Valley
                          I am of the Horde.