For a wonder, the reaction squad had gotten to the farmstead before the raiders started burning everything. Barely. The bastards were just starting to get themselves powered up for the usual arson with a side of larceny and rapine, probably with more murder for dessert.
Lieutenant Morgan Barod, Coastal Alliance Militia counted heads. It looked like about twenty raiders against him and his squad; two-to-one odds, and that was just fine. Which was good, because he’d be going in anyway. This shit absolutely had to stop.
He took a quick look. He had five troops with him, including Sergeant Brown (his erstwhile keeper). Brown was just now getting over being surprised that his lieutenant had guessed right about the next farm on the raider’s list; the sergeant was now contemplating the sight of a bandit pack ready and waiting (although probably not eager) to be ambushed, and his smile would be serene if it wasn’t also so bloodthirsty. The rest of the troops were steady enough. Should be steady enough. Hopefully were steady enough. They didn’t have much choice, at this point.
Well, no sense in wasting time, thought Morgan as he raised his first crossbow and aimed. A quick look both ways showed that the others had followed suit; he muttered “Just the way we practiced, folks,” and shouted “FIRE!”