ZION: THE REBELLION Chapter 13

THE PEAK

Hannah settled down in the seat next to Charles and buckled up. Charles leaned forward and tapped the mute driver on the shoulder with a baton. The driver, a female, turned to him with a questioning look. “Court of Scarlet,” Charles instructed. She nodded and began reversing out of Hannah’s driveway.

Hannah glanced at Charles, who was looking tightly wound and was staring straight ahead. “Nervous, are we?” Hannah teased. She was able to get away with it as they were closely related.

Charles smiled and chuckled. “A little,” he admitted.

“This is a historic day for us,” Hannah commented. Brring! Brring! Hannah watched as Charles lifted his arm and spoke into a communicator embedded in his cuff link.

“Hello?” Charles answered.

“Sir, we have hacked into Zion’s system,” Petrus Romanus reported over the communicator.

Hannah shifted slightly away from Charles as guilt pricked at her conscience. Shut up!!! They won’t recognize me if they see me, she wrestled with her conscience. She became aware that Charles was speaking again. “Will I be able to contact the bastards now?” Charles asked

“Hang on…Just connecting you’re phone…” there was the sound of Petrus typing on a keyboard. “You are now connected.”

“Thank you, Romanus,” and Charles turned off the communicator. “Henderson, I would suggest making yourself as inconspicuous as possible.”

ZION

Zipporah shook Alexei. “Alex! Alexei, wake up!” She sighed. Trying to wake him was next to impossible. He was extremely worn out from the extensive search for his mother, so was in a deep sleep. Zipporah put her hands on her hips and prayed. “Father, please show me how to wake him up,” she prayed. Something urgent was happening, and Alexei could not be woken up. The pitcher of water by his bedside caught her eye. She picked it up and upended it on his head.

Alexei sat up with a jerk. He looked at the empty pitcher in Zipporah’s hands and opened his mouth to retort. “I am sorry, Alexei,” Zipporah apologised, cutting him off. “But it’s urgent! The League of Nations somehow hacked into our system, called in and now wants to talk with all of us about something to do with Anne!” She put the pitcher back on the drawer and hurried out after Alexei, and they walked into the Control Core. David, W.J. Einstein, John, Fergus and Veronica were already in there, gathered around a big screen. On the screen showed an older, ugly man, who was wearing a suit and an unimpressive white wig.

“Who is he?” Alexei whispered to Zipporah.

“He says he is Charles E. Ville, head of the Court of Scarlet and wants to tell us something about Anne,” Zipporah whispered back. Alexei’s face paled and he looked back at the screen. Zipporah noted that Charles seemed to be riding in a car.

“Ah. The Geheimnis has arrived,” Charles said with a smile that suggested he knew a big secret. “How are you, Alexei?”

How did he know Alexei’s name and that he was the Geheimnis? Zipporah wondered, a terrible feeling growing in her gut.

“I’m fine,” Alexei replied in a guarded tone. “You’re not wearing your scarlet robe like we see on TV.”

“Well, being such a momentous occasion, I decided it would be more becoming to wear a suit,” Charles replied.

“Why didn’t you wear that scaly outfit? It matches your personality,” Alexei snubbed. Everyone stifled a smile as Charles’ face turned bright red. Zipporah was surprised that this imbecile was able to calm himself down. “Now, what about Anne?”

Your mother is going to be tried at 11:00 a.m.

“Hang on…it’s 11:05 a.m. where you are,” David corrected.

“Yes, well,” Charles fumbled. “I slept in this morning. Anyway, I have a simple proposition for you Zionists. Very, very simple.”

“Hmm. We wouldn’t want you to strain your brain,” John quipped sarcastically.

Charles’ face turned slightly purple. “Watch your tongue, you little brat! We had Alexei’s father killed and at a snap of my fingers, we can do the same to his mother!”

“But you won’t as you want her as a bargaining chip,” David noted.

“Here’s what will happen to Anne: She will be tried and convicted of founding Zion, aiding our enemies and working to destroy us, then, as punishment, we will gruesomely torture her UNLESS Zion admits that I am the undefeatable and glorious world ruler, surrenders to the League it’s weapons and technology and help us keep control of the masses,” Charles offered.

“And if we don’t?” David enquired.

“Then, Anne will be horrendously tortured and then executed. I’ll call you back when the session begins.” Charles severed the link.

“He can’t be doing something as low as this, can he?” Fergus commented.

“Unless he’s becoming desperate,” Veronica replied.

“Why? He obviously knows where we live, so why isn’t he just directly fighting us,” Zipporah pointed out.

“Maybe because he thinks they can’t beat us in a battle,” Veronica countered.

“Not likely,” Zipporah said. “Never underestimate your enemy. There must be some bigger play that we don’t know about.”

COURT OF SCARLET

Charles, Hannah and Petrus entered the Chamber. While Charles and Hannah went to their respective places, Petrus went over to the TV crew and began talking to the cameraman. “Octavius, the session is about to start. Sorry we’re late. Now, when Charles nods at you, I want you to start filming,” Petrus ordered.

“Yo, that’s cool, Romanus, but, um…who’s gonna’ see the footage?” Octavius questioned.

“Don’t worry about that,” Petrus told him, “I have linked your camera to Zion, so once you start filming, it’ll automatically live-stream it to the receiver.”

“Oh, good,” Petrus nodded in response and turned to head to the Bench. He happened to glanced to his left and then froze. It couldn’t have been! He quickly looked more closely around but did not see anything, so walked to his seat on the Bench. Did I just see Ivanka?

~

Ivanka was thinking. Who sent me the e-mail talking about this? She was wondering. It’s not Petrus. Who could it be? Just then, she saw Petrus glance her way, before stopping in his tracks. So, she quickly ducked her head. Don’t notice me! This is too dangerous! She carefully looked after a few minutes. Ivanka breathed a sigh of relief. He was sitting at the Bench and did not look her way again. What does the mysterious sender want me to find out about Hannah Henderson? Hang on. I only thought about the name Hannah Henderson, so it couldn’t be to find out something to do with Henderson. What else could it be about? Why would it be important for me to see the founder of Zion on trial?

Her thoughts were interrupted just then as Anne was half-led, half-dragged into the Chamber.

ZION

They all looked at the screen as it suddenly turned on again. It showed a big room full of people and the doors to the room opened. Alexei and David both gasped when they saw Anne being led/dragged into the Chamber by two rather large and mechanical looking men. Cyborgs, Alexei realized. “Mum,” he whispered. They watched, helpless, as Anne was forced into a chair in the middle of the room and her hands and legs were chained to the chair.

THE CHAMBER

Charles leaned sideways. “What’s your name?” he asked the super soldier next to him. The super soldier glanced at Charles.

“K-9,” he answered, his voice a deep rumble.

“K-9, have they been giving Anne food or water? Or a bed?” Charles enquired.

“No, sir. The Super Cyborgs have placed her in the most filthy prison, with no bed and have not given her any sustenance, as you ordered,” K-9 informed Charles.

“But, that can’t be right. She looks healthy, happy. Like she just spent some time in the Plaza Hotel or the Taj Mahal,” Charles pointed out. K-9 shrugged. Neither of them had any clue as to why Anne looked so radiant and healthy. Charles grabbed his gavel and banged it on the Bench to grab everyone’s attention. “Order. This Chamber will come to order,” Charles ordered. He pointed the gravel at Anne. “Anything you say and do will be used against you. Silence will definitely be used against you. Now, are you Anne Goodwin, widow of the late King Edward Ivanov X of Biovea, and are you the founder of Zion?”

They know, so why should I answer? Anne reasoned. Plus, my surname is Smith, Dave’s surname.

“ANSWER ME!!!” Charles shouted.

“You all know who I am,” Anne replied. “And you know what I’ve done, so why should I answer you?”

“It is merely a requirement for you to admit your identity,” Charles explained. “To continue, you created Zion, a sanctuary in Africa. You chose the off-limits zone for your hide-out,” Charles said, reading out a list of charges he was holding in his hands. “People – enemies of the League – have escaped from their Regions and have taken refuge in Zion. Your son, Alexei Ivanov, who is also the Geheimnis, has striked again and again at the League – rescuing people from execution and he and his friends are also guilty of compromising crucial buildings and places.”

“I thought I was on trial,” Anne said cheekily.

“But, you helped co-ordinate those strikes, didn’t you?” Charles pointed out.

Well, not just me, Anne thought but she was not about to mention that. “What proof do you have that my son is the Geheimnis?” Anne challenged.

ZION

They all waited, holding their breath as Charles just eyed Anne. John looked at David, then Alexei. They both met his eyes. They were all praying. “Please don’t have any proof,” John was desperately praying.

“Bring Julius Caesar to the Stand!” Charles ordered.

“Oh,” Alexei said. John turned to Alexei with a confused expression. “I know him. Remember? Region 64?”

“I remember,” Zipporah said quietly, shifting position slightly at the mention of Region 64. John understood her reaction. He hated the memory of that terrible day. But, he knew Zipporah had more reasons for shiding away from that memory.

“But, how is Julius Caesar able to prove anything?” he heard Alexei mutter.

THE CHAMBER

Ivanka tapped her fingers on her backpack. She tuned out Caesar as she already knew what he was going to say. She had heard his story before. I wonder what other proof they have? she wondered. She kept looking at Anne. She had never seen her before, yet this Zionist seemed familiar. I’ve seen her before, but where? It was itching at the back of her mind, but she could not make it come out. Where have I seen her before!?!

#BEGINNING OF FLASHBACK#

Ivanka lay in a cot, giggling. A hand appeared and began stroking her head. “You are so cute,” cooed a voice. Ivanka looked up and smiled at the woman stroking her. Ivanka began sucking on her thumb.

#END OF FLASHBACK#

That was ME!!! Ivanka realised. And that’s where I’ve seen Anne before, Ivanka also realised. But where was my mother? She was jerked back to the trial when a deep voice echoed through the Chamber. Ivanka saw that someone in the Light Force, who was next to Charles, was speaking. “This is a picture that a Petrus Romanus drew based on Caesar’s description,” and the super soldier pressed a button on the Bench and, from a projector on the Bench infront of Charles, a holographic photograph of the drawing came up. Ivanka raised her eyebrows. I didn’t realise that Petrus was such a good artist, she thought. It was also coloured in based on what Julius remembered.

“This is the Geheimnis,” the super soldier announced. “Now, here is a still from a video of Zion,” and the still was projected from the projector. It was of Alexei and Anne on a porch. The super soldier zoomed in on Alexei’s face. It was slightly distorted, but Ivanka could still see the resemblance between Alexei and the drawing. “Is this your son?” he asked Anne.

Ivanka looked at Anne. She seemed to be debating whether or not to answer. After a few minutes, she still had not answered, but Ivanka noted that Anne’s face gave it away. “There’s your answer,” the super soldier said. Then he produced the holo-pics of Alexei and the drawing of the Geheimnis and projected them side-by-side. The still of Alexei was slightly distorted, so the soldier typed in some instructions on a virtual keyboard infront of him and the still became crystal clear. “As you can see, they match exactly.”

Ivanka was stumped. Alexei Ivanov – the Geheimnis and a rebel – looked exactly like her.

 

 

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ZION: THE REBELLION Chapter 12

REGION 76

Amanda Foxx hated it. She looked back at New York City as she travelled on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. She was only twenty years old and had only known hardship and what was basically slavery. Amanda, as a child, had soaked up the stories her parents had whispered to her at night about life before May 13th, 2036. The freedom and happiness. After that date, things went downhill. New York, her hometown, took a severe turn for the worse. More and more people were homeless, people were starving, ill, and were not receiving any medical attention. The forced daily vaccines only made things worse because of all the toxins that were pumped into them.

All day, ferries would travel back and forth between New York and Liberty Island, bringing people to the island as the League had explicitly stated that everyday, people had to visit it as it had been turned into a museum where the League of Nations taught their revised history. Amanda worked as a janitor, cleaning some of the floors in the statue after the final visit of the day, which was at 6:30 p.m. After that, the teachers would gather for a conference to discuss what to teach or reinforce the next day. The conference would be called off at 10 p.m. Then Amanda and nineteen other janitors would come and take the half an hour long ride on the ferry to clean up. It would take five hours to clean the whole thing – starting at 11 p.m. and finishing at 4 a.m. And Amanda was getting tired of everything.

ZION

“No trace of Anne has been found, David,” Fergus, a member of the Stingrays, reported. Alexei, John, Fergus, Veronica, and Zipporah had been searching for Anne for a while, but could not find her. David, sitting down at his desk, sighed and ran a hand through his graying hair. He had not slept, eaten or rested since Eileen, Zipporah, Sarah and Josephine had returned and reported everything that had happened at the river. David, after sending the Stingrays out to search for her, had fasted and prayed non-stop for his beloved. Now, he felt worn out in body and spirit.

Don’t lose faith, a small voice whispered in his heart.

“Help me not to lose faith, YAH,” he whispered.

“Dave,” Veronica said tentatively. “You look like you’re about to have a heart attack. Why don’t you rest?”

“Sir, V’s right,” Fergus asserted. “You won’t be of any help to anyone in the state you are in.”

Rest, the voice instructed. David nodded and stood up. “I’ll get some rest.” He walked over to his and Anne’s bedroom. Opening the door, he paused and turned around. “Wake me if there’s anything urgent or you find anything, anything at all, to do with Anne,” he ordered the two. Alexei, Zipporah, and John were catching up on sleep.

Veronica looked at him and felt tears beginning to fill her eyes. She could see the worry there for Anne and the fear he had of losing her. “Promise,” she promised. She gave him a smile and he attempted to return the smile before retiring to bed.

REGION 76

Sitting in a parked car, the men inside it were facing away from the Statue of Liberty, awaiting their moment. They kept the lights off and deliberately had parked the car in the shadows to avoid being noticed. “Karl, how much longer?” asked one of the men, who was in the front passenger seat. His name was Channing Foxx. The driver, Karl Johnson, a black man, gripped the steering wheel in nervous excitement.

“It’s almost time,” Karl replied, mentally counting down. “Let’s hope nothing goes wrong.”

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Amanda disembarked from the ferry, wheeling her trolley full of cleaning supplies up the path to the entrance into the statue. She was the last in line, being behind all the other nineteen cleaners. Robots cleaned the lower areas while the humans cleaned the higher areas. Law Enforcers at the entrance scanned each person and then made them go through a biometric scanners to confirm their identity. After that, the trolleys were scanned for any explosives or unauthorised devices. While waiting in line, Amanda checked her watch. 10:30 p.m. Thirty minutes left. And it took a while to go through all twenty of the janitors. We may not make it in time, Foxx thought.

OUTSIDE THE COURT OF SCARLET

Ivanka kept her head down and avoided eye contact with anyone. Her heart was racing and she was scared. She was mingling in the crowd of Peak agents and the TV crew, hoping no-one would notice her. They were waiting outside of the Court of Scarlet, which was on the outskirts of the Peak. One of the super soldiers in the Light Force punched in a code in a keypad. The big metal door was electronically raised up and they walked through. Four super soldiers escorted them to the Chamber where the trials were held. Inside, they all sat down and some of the Light Force guarded the Chamber. Ivanka noted that all the members of what had previously been the Shamrock Council and the Court of Scarlet were inside the Chamber. Please don’t recognise me. She quickly slipped on dark sunglasses. She pulled out a bottle of water from a backpack she had brought along and took a swig to calm down. Killing an Emperor’s Eyes agent, disobeying orders and teleporting herself to the Peak without permission…yeah. Not her idea of fun.

UNDERGROUND PRISON

Two Super Cyborgs marched down the aisles, prisoners scuttling away in their cells, frightened of the Cyborgs. They did not pay them any attention, just briskly marched down to Cell 33. One stepped forward and unlocked the door. They walked into the cell and found the prisoner fast asleep on the floor, looking surprisingly happy. They shook her until she woke up, then one of them slung Anne over his shoulder and they walked out.

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Amanda sighed in relief as she walked inside the statue. They had all made it through the checkpoint in time. She discreetly checked her watch. Seven minutes.

CHARLES’ HOUSE, THE PEAK

Charles straightened his bow tie. Then he stood back and surveyed his outfit and wig. Stern, but still handsome, he thought, smiling smugly to himself. His phone rang and he answered it, putting it on speaker. “Yes?” Coughing on the other end was the answer. “Hannah?”

“Y-yes. It’s me,” she confirmed, taking deep breaths to steady herself. “It’s getting worse. The doctor says I only have a very short-” she began coughing again. It was worse than before. Charles heard her gulping down what was probably water. “Short time left,” Hannah Henderson finished.

“How long?”

“Twenty hours. At most.”

Not even a day. “Will you be able to make it to the Court, Hannah?” Charles enquired.

“Yes. I’ll be there,” Hannah confirmed.

“Do you remember what you need to do?” Charles enquired.

“Impeccably,” Hannah assured him. “But, what I called you about was that I need a ride there.”

“I’ll come and pick you up.”

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Merv Mustyan quickly unlocked a locker hidden in the wall which was out of camera range. He handed out the light sabers and silenced guns to everyone. Five minutes. “Let’s go,” he said and two of them ran out in camera view and shot all the cameras. They waved the rest of the group forward. Merv did not go immediately to the stairs, but instead, pulled out his phone and, scrambling the signal, called the Law Enforcers on the top level. “This is General Hutchi,” he said when someone answered. “I am coming to the top for an inspection. I am coming up in the elevator and I expect you guys to be at the doors to greet me.” The Law Enforcer assured him they would be there and Merv ended the call.

Merv then went over to the elevator, leaned in and hit the button marked ‘7th’. He then quickly ran up the stairs after the others.

REGION 76

Karl counted down to four minutes and forty seconds. He then turned on the engine and slammed his foot on the accelerator. “Channing,” Karl ordered, driving along the route they had planned. “Set the explosives in the back to explode at precisely 11:00 p.m.” Channing grabbed a remote from the centre console and punched in the detonation time.

“Done,” Channing reported.

“Everybody, get your weapons ready!” Karl ordered.

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Amanda and Merv arrived at the top of the stairs. The Law Enforcers had their backs to them, facing the elevator as they waited for their General Hutchi to arrive. The elevator then arrived, opening with a ding! “Huh?” all the Law Enforcers said as soon as they saw the elevator was empty. Merv and Amanda shot the Enforcers in the heart and then everybody ran into the top floor. Some had stayed on lower levels to plant charges.

“Spread out and plant the bombs,” Merv ordered. I hope this will get everybody’s attention, he thought. And that people will start to stand up for freedom. Once everybody was gone, he and Amanda ran to the other end of the top level where they climbed up the arm to the Torch. It was closed off to the public because of German bombings on July 30th, 1916, but the League of Nations allowed the staff to go inside after renovating it again. The torch was the radio room. They burst in and found it empty. “Of course!” Merv commented as he went around planting explosives. “It’s empty because of the ‘machines-should-do-everything’ policy the League has been testing lately.”

Amanda sat down at one of the computers. “How much time do I have?”

“Three minutes and thirty-seven seconds,” Merv answered. Amanda nodded and began hacking into the robot janitors down below.

~

The robots on the ground floor and on the second and third level were cleaning the inside to make it spotless for the first tour ‘class’ at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Suddenly, they all stopped as new commands came into their ‘brains’.

DETONATE IN TWO MINUTES.

The robots instantaneously stopped and stayed exactly where they were. They had been built with installed explosives so they could be destroyed at a moments notice to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. The timer began counting down. 120 seconds. 119 seconds.

REGION 76

The Law Enforcers base was in his sights. Directly ahead. And, nothing in the way. “Channing, Bobby, Harold, are you all ready?” Karl asked.

“Born ready,” they chorused.

Karl then switched the car into auto driver mode and grabbed his weapon. “Jump!” he cried. They opened the doors and jumped out. As soon as they had landed and rolled, they fired at the Law Enforcers on guard duty, killing them all. In the process, Harold shot the searchlight that was on, plunging them in darkness. Karl heard the car smash into the building, then stop, like he had programmed it to. He began counting down. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One…

BOOM!!!!! They were thrown back by the huge explosion. Suddenly, night became like day when the second explosion came, completely obliterating the Statue of Liberty.