Henjak felt panic grab at him again. He was shaking slightly, his blue eyes were wide and staring, his breath coming in ragged gasps. Beads of sweat were running down his face and into his eyes. This was the moment he had been waiting for, for as long as he could remember. His first battle. The first time fighting with real weapons, instead of fists or carved sticks. Soon, he could be dead. He might kill someone - or worse, find out that he couldn't kill anyone, that he would just freeze, scared out of his wits. Henjak wiped the sweat of his brow, and realised he was struggling to breath. He had to calm down.
The battle had yet to begin. At the moment, he and the other warriors were sneaking through the night towards the town. The full moon shone a lot of light, so it was difficult to stay hidden and they made slow progress. But finally, Henjak crept up to the back of a large stone building. He couldn't hear any of the other Vikings, nor any of the townpeople. He wondered were Gunnar was. Then he wondered how he was going to get into the town. It seemed too risky to sneak through the streets. Noticing a window high above him, Henjak decided to try and climb the rough stone wall. Climbing swiftly to the window, he cautiously peered in. It was a barn, with a wooden gantry running around the edge. There was a lit lamp sitting on a desk in the middle of the barn. Henjak crept through the window onto the gantry and looked down. The barn was full of piles of hay, and Henjak lightly dropped down into one. He clambered out and strode towards a small door in the far wall. Just before he reached the door, it swung open towards him. Startled, Henjak jumped back and bumped heavily into the desk. He dimly heard something crash, but he ignored it. Framed in the doorway was a man, looking startled. The man turned and drew in a breath to call out. Henjak drew his seax and lashed out at the man. The man dropped to the floor with a thump. Henjak stood there, chest pumping. He looked at the blood on his seax, then at the pool of blood seeping out from the dead man. Suddenly, Henjaks guts heaved and he bent over to throw up. As he stood back upright, he felt a heat at his back. Turning, he realised what had made that crashing sound. When he had stumbled into the desk, he had knocked over the lamp. The lamp had shattered, and the burning oil had leaked out over a pile of hay. Which was now an inferno. Henjak swore, sheathed his seax, and ran out the door.
The hay had caught fire fast, and already the street outside was full of smoke. Henjak ran through the streets, ignoring the townspeople. He wasn't wearing any armour, and didn't look much like a big Viking warrior. He didn't feel much like one either. He hoped the others wouldn't be mad at him for accidentally setting the town on fire. As he ran, he noticed other columns of smoke rising, besides the one behind him. The fire couldn't have spread that fast. Other Vikings must have been lighting fires as well. This had a reinvigorating effect on Henjak. He laughed and started walking. As he slowed, he heard a horse whinnying. The town stables must have been close by. Henjak ducked down a side street, and saw the stables. He jumped through a window. Noone else in the stables, other than a bunch of horses. Henjak remembered Loker, after they had landed but before starting the raid, telling everyone the battle plan. Part of it was to capture the stable, to stop anyone raising the alarm. Henjak ran over to the door and shut it, propping a chair against it to stop it from being opened. Then he sat down on another chair, and waited for some other Vikings to show up.