EY10 -New DC – Southwest quadrant
It’s late afternoon the man and woman are in a one bedroom cozy apartment that they share together. She lays on the couch with her hands on her stomach visibly pregnant and watching the world news. He’s boiling some water in the kitchen when he overhears the news anchor on the television set. He walks over towards the living room, “Turn that up babe”.
“We now have comment from the office of the Lord Emperor congratulating Russia on their victory over the remaining allied terrorist NATO forces and uniting all of Europe under one pure government for the people. This comes on the three-year anniversary of the Superior Senate declaring NATO to be a corrupt organization unwilling to pay fair and necessary protection tariffs to the Great Americas. After this victory, it’s expected that China is the only country left as a military obstacle…”
The man sits down next to her, she sits up and curls up next to him resting her head against his chest. He tells her, “The tea is almost ready”. Worried she asks,
“Can you believe this? How can we seriously be thinking about bringing children into this world?”
“I don’t know, others have done it under worse conditions. We still have a few weeks before having to report your pregnancy to the Agency. There are alternatives…” His voice trails off
“I just can’t imagine giving our child over to the state. You’ve heard about the side effects of those implants, haven’t you? Don’t even get me started on the Citadels, they might as well be youth brainwashing programs.
“Well I’ve heard about a doctor in the blue electric district giving birth off the record. No registration, no class system. There’s a group of them”
“You mean the Nationalist Terrorist group?”
“We’ll they call themselves The Alliance. I’m just saying it’s one option out of three and whatever you decide you know I’ll support you”
EY22 – back of the armored vehicle heading towards New DC
Commander Felix stands in the front of the cabin flanked on both sides by Alliance fighters. The man and woman sit together on the right row towards the end. Fighters are applying camouflage make up paint to their faces and making last minute adjustments to their weapons. Some have head phones in, most are in their own world, silently preparing for what’s to come. The Commander has a thinning grey buzzcut and is roughly sixty years old with severe burn scars on the right side of his face and down his neck. He clears his throat and the fighters look up ready to receive their instructions. In a low hoarse voice, Commander Felix addresses the group.
“In the beginning mankind was set in paradise. Still that was not good enough and he craved more power to be free to have knowledge. For that he was cast out. If he left Heaven and defied a God for truth and knowledge it is only fitting for us to escape this hell by defying an Emperor and taking the same thing! I know many of you are asking why our target isn’t the National Weapons Arsenal or The National Food Bank. Bullets and food run out but command feels that this strike will give us something that will last a generation. We have printing presses set up at different locations across the world. Command was able to hijack an old Chinese satellites and are standing by waiting to code, translate and decipher the information we’re able to obtain from tonight’s strike. We’re about ten klicks from the strike point. As you know we will be the first hit, a distraction. The chances of any of us surviving are less than 1%. If you are taken hostage the State does have ways to make you talk that you do not want to know about. Because of this I’m passing around Dream Pills. By now most of you should be familiar with how they work but just in case you’re not let me refresh your memory. These pills are pituitary disinhibitor and testosterone boosters. Once taken your body’s only function will be to produce five times the normal level of adrenalin. Within seven to ten minutes your major organs will stop functioning. You will feel no pain, you brain will enter a dream state of consciousness and permanently loop on your favorite memories. This will continue until your heart explodes in your chest. This will give you just enough time needed to draw as much enemy fire power as possible. Get ready fighters and good luck, remember to write your notes. Until that time!
“Until that time!!” The group responds in unison
A quiet calm comes over the group as the words of Commander Felix settle in. The two sit holding hands. He has ear plugs in listening to music, her head resting on his shoulder as she drifts off thinking of the children. She raises her head to ask him,
“What are you listening to?”
“The Partisan, Leonard Cohen’s version”
“How appropriate, you’re so old school” she chuckles
“What are you thinking about?”
“I’m thinking about what kind of mother lives her babies to go on a suicide mission? What kind of parents are we?”
“The kind who are doing what must be done to make the world a better place for them, to give them a fighting chance.”
“I know, I believe in this cause. I just wish I had more time with them, there’ s so much I haven’t taught them so much that hasn’t happened yet”
“They speak three different languages, know close to a thousand years of history, can hunt and live off the land. They can shoot, they can read and write. They are prepared for this world now.”
“Yes, but was that enough”
“It’ll have to be. Shoot, I remember when I was around Cassius’s age. All my spare time was spent with a tube sock and dirty stolen magazines.”
She lets out a light chuckle, “Ewwww, that’s so disgusting”
“I know right, tube socks went out of style in the 80’s. No wonder I was such a late bloomer”
She laughs louder. A red light comes on indicating five minutes to their destination. They both look at each other and nod slowly. They each take a green pill in hand and gently place it in the others mouth and wait a few seconds before swallowing. A tear falls down her cheek. He wipes it off while leaning in to kiss her. They close their eyes and hold each other forever. As the squad gets closer to the action the earth beneath their feet trembles. The red light is blinking now as the vehicle comes to stop. Fighters begin to drop their night vision goggles. Commander Felix barks, “All right, it’s time. Remember to hold the line no matter what!”
As the two pull apart and stand up a small stream of blood drips from his left nostril. The effects of the dream pills have started. She wipes It away for him as she pulls her keffiyeh towards her mouth and whispers,
“I will find you”
“Unless I find you first” He nods.
The vehicle has stopped. The red light is completely off again. The door opens and the fighters empty out single file in formation. As their feet hit the pavement the sounds of machine gun fire can be heard whizzing by. A large explosion can be seen overhead illuminating a large golden gate and an enormous building behind it. Second bigger explosion quickly follows revealing the full size of the structure with a golden roof and the words Trump National Library on top. She heads left towards her assigned zone to lay down suppression fire. Once there She looks over at the guard tower on the right to see it suddenly explode in a magnificent blaze. Her mind drifts backwards in time between the present and the past. She sees herself laughing and rolling around in bed with all her children before putting them to sleep by telling them stories. She remembers each of them crawling and learning to talk. The memories become stronger. The memory of each of their births become stronger and stronger until finally she settles on one memory.
She lays resting in a large bed wearing a hospital gown, sweaty and tired. A nurse comes in carrying a newborn baby that’s asleep with its eyes barely open. The baby is handed to her. The doctor follows with the man and tells her,
“It appears you have a perfectly healthy baby boy. Only time will tell if any internal abnormalities manifest later. Now you two have a choice. It’s not too late, you have thirty days to report the birth of your son to the Agency. Of course, this means a class assignment which would determine citadel placement and based on both of your backgrounds the child would rise no higher than a citizen class three. You’d also only be allowed to reproduce one more female offspring before both of you would have to submit to sterilization. On the other hand, I do have contacts in The Alliance. If you decide to join they’ll make sure to set your family up with shelter. They’ll teach you how to live off the grid, how to survive. They’re growing in numbers and I’ve heard they’re working on a major strike. I’ll give you some time to think about it.” He gets up to leave the new parents. As he reaches the door he turns back to ask, “By the way do you have a name picked out for the boy”
She looks up at him and they both smile. She looks at the doctor and tells him, “Cassius”
She looks down at Cassius who’s starting to wake up and yawn and whispers to him,
“We will always be with you. There’s a light in you. If you lose us we will find you”
His feet hit the dirt out of the vehicle. The last he saw of her she headed towards the left. He heads right towards the guard tower. He carried the backpack full of C4 while firing his weapon into the night. He feels a small prick on the left side of his stomach. Suddenly it feels like someone has poured warm milk down the left side of his leg. He keeps firing and running forward. The tower is within sight, he doesn’t see it but hears a shot come from the top. His right shoulder goes numb. Only twenty yards more yards to go. He grabs the detonation switch with his left hand. With each step his mind starts to glitch like an old television between now and then. Ten more yards. The image is fuzzy but comes clearer. Five yards he’s transported backwards.
With each step towards the tower it becomes him walking through a crowded bar. He’s wearing a blue three-piece well-tailored suit. The crowd parts and there she is wearing a red dress fixing her purse underneath a hook. He walks up next to her for a second drinking her in before she notices. He bends over and whispers in her ear,
“I found you. I remember when I was a little boy, I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts”
She lets out a little chuckle, “You found me? I’m not sure who you think you are but you’re either really brave or really stupid to use a line like that”
Three weeks later.
Back in the mansion Cassius is boiling water and making food in the kitchen. Themis is at the giant dining room table with a chalk board going over the multiplication tables to Rahab and Hannibal. Cassius interrupts from the kitchen,
“Alright finish up your number lessons Lunch is almost ready! After that we’ll go over hand to hand combat and knife fighting. Then pre-event stories. We’ll be talking about General Patton and Operation Neptune!”
Suddenly there’s a loud bang at the door. Cassius quickly grabs his M16 by the stove and walks towards the dining room. Themis already has a Jericho 941 pistol in hand. The knock comes again. “Pick up your sleepy tea canisters wait for my signal” he whispers. He walks towards the door and shouts,
“Who is it!”
“I’m with the alliance, I have word from your parents”, a voice answers back.
“What’s the code verse?” Cassius shouts
Cassius opens the bolts on the door one by one. A young woman with blonde hair camouflage pants and a field jack holds a duffel bag. She smiles at him, “You must be Cassius”
“I am. If you’re with the alliance what’s your name, rank and unit number” he answers defiantly
“I’m first star officer Daniels. Level one and my unit number is bravo delta 516” she answers impressed with his knowledge of command.
Satisfied Cassius lets her in and leads her to the living room.
She looks at each of them and addresses them one by one.
“You must be Themis, Rahab and Hannibal”
Rahab questions, “Was the mission successful, did mother and father make it”
“Yes, it was. I’m here because your parents made a great sacrifice. They wanted to make sure you guys got this.” She bends down and opens the duffel bag. “Now, I’m going to come by when I can with new ones and to check in on you guys when it’s safe”. She says as she begins pulling books out of from the bag and handing out to each child.
“Cassius, you got The Republic by Plato and The Art of Virtue by Benjamin Franklin”
“Themis, we have for you The Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter, MD”
“For you young Rahab we have The Bible King James version”
“And finally, for you little Hannibal we have The Iliad by Homer”
The children are softly crying. Cassius is trying his hardest not to show any emotion but doesn’t make eye contact with anyone of them. He whispers aloud to her, “Was there anything else”
“Oh yes of course sorry, they left you a note. Everyone on the mission wrote something down to tell their loved ones. Here it is” She hands an envelope over to Cassius. He reads and immediately starts crying.
“Let me see” ask Themis.
He hands the letter over. Her eyes tear up as she reads three simple words.
“We found you”