In the future where freedom is illegal, rebellion begins.
December 23rd, 2054
Eighteen years later….
Anne, now ex-Queen consort, the soldiers, Alexei and the people who had decided to escape with them traveled as far away as possible until they found a large area of land that was covered in a forest and settled there. They never found Hannah and Anastasia. They had not been amongst the people who escaped, so their fate was unknown.
The League of Nations – it was immediately revived – immediately rebuilt the palace and set one of their own on the Eden throne who joined Eden to the League of Nations. Once they took over, every nation became known as a ‘region’. Eden was called Region 7. No-one was allowed to leave their region, not even to visit any family or friends in another region. The world leader, Emperor Noland, was a fierce dictator, who was worse than Adolf Hitler. In his first week, he had executed five hundred people who had opposed the League of Nations to demonstrate what would happen to all who disobeyed. People hated it, but most feared him and buckled under his control while some managed to escape.
Now, Anne had set up – with a team effort – set up a city of refuge in the forest with her as head. They were safe there as the League of Nations, which claimed to have purged the globe of anything harmful to humanity, left that area of Africa alone as it was where they dumped unsuccessful animal-human experiments like Sasquatch, genetically modified dinosaurs, et cetera. The sanctuary was called Zion and the people were called Zionists. The League of Nations caught wind of Zion and had been searching for Zion for years to try and destroy it.
Alexei – eighteen, tall and handsome – was an excellent gunman, archer, swordsman, and boxer. The government called him ‘the Geheimnis’ (which was German for mystery). They did not know his real identity. His ability to move about unseen, unheard, and being able to blend into the population by either making himself look like anyone and everyone or employing the Gray Man Syndrome and being such a nuisance to the government caused the title ‘the Geheimnis’ to be whispered in fearful and angry whispers.
As he chopped wood for the stockpile, a girl of about seventeen with honey-coloured hair and blue eyes, was sitting down nearby, creating a wreath of flowers. Her name was Zipporah. She was a Jewess. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Zipporah finish her wreath, stand up and brush her trousers and begin to go back to the sanctuary.
Alexei desperately hoped and pleaded with YAH to keep Zipporah away from him. Even though he would love to engage in conversation with her, he had one problem. Despite being excellent in a lot of things, he was terrible at other things, such as talking with Zipporah. Whenever he was around her, he was distracted by her and tripped over his words.
He discreetly glanced her way to check if his pleading worked. Nope. She was coming towards him with the wreath and a smile. Alexei kept chopping wood. He began to perspire even though it was a cool day. “Alexei?” That beautiful voice called his name so close to him. Clearing his throat, he faced her while leaning against the axe.
“Hey, Zipporah. Are you fine? A-are you ok? I-I m…mean. Umm…” Alexei fumbled. Darn! Why did he embarrass himself whenever she was around? Mental note: Talk to David.
“I love that, Alexei,” she giggled adorably.
“Love what?” Alexei ventured. This is going to be so awkward, he inwardly winced.
“Oh, you know. You tripping over your words like that. I like it. You’ve been doing that ever since I can remember,” she smiled. Yep, that was awkward. “Anyway, I made you this flower wreath. Late birthday present. Hope you like it,” Zipporah said, holding up the wreath.
Alexei put it around his neck and looked it over. Zipporah had been careful to pick only the best flowers, he noted. “Thank you, Zipporah. But my birthday was yesterday,” Alexei thanked her, looking back at her.
“I know. And I’m so sorry. But we were so busy with celebrations and missions lately, that I forgot to make one beforehand. So I made one now,” Zipporah explained.
The missions Zipporah was referring to were the rescue or offensive missions that he and three other people went on every so often. There was a total of one hundred and seventy regions, and in each one there were two spies for Zion. One would keep an eye/ear open for anything that would prove useful for Zion like an arrest of an ‘undesirable’ or an upcoming execution of ‘undesirables’ or a suggestion of a critical place to destroy to cripple the government a little further. That particular mole would then write a letter in a special code that they had invented and the letter would be posted in the mail plane which would deliver mail to all the regions. The pilot would be a Zion agent. While flying of certain areas that they used as Drop Zones, the pilot would drop – while flying – a bag or box which contained the information in it. Other Zionists at the Drop Zion (there would be agents at all the Drop Zones 24/7 – taken in shifts) would then retrieve it and bring it to Zion where Anne, Alexei and Alexei’s stepfather, David, would look at it. They would study the information, pray about it, and if YEHOVAH said ‘yes’, then they would look at a map of the district and a plan or photo of the place that they would go to and formulate a plan of attack, or if it was a rescue, a rescue plan. Alexei led the rescues with his team. Zipporah’s father was currently posted in one of the Drop Zone #1. Sometimes, the Drop Zone would be in severe conditions for better concealment. It was a very tense and planned drop and retrieval plan. Sometimes, the weather conditions would be against the drop and the pilot could not hand the information over in time. Both Alexei and Zipporah knew that there was a danger of being caught. Zipporah sincerely hoped and prayed that her father and the two other men with him would return safe and sound.
Then, some people arrived in the sanctuary. There were three new people and Donald and Ferraday, the two men that had accompanied Zipporah’s father, Aaron. But there was no sign of Aaron himself. They would always come back together and then the next shift would go to take their place. Alexei was concerned. Of course! It was Aaron’s turn to cover their tracks from the creatures inhabiting the place. That’s probably why he was a bit behind. Making sure there was no sign they were there at Drop Zone #1.
The five people went to the Hall, the building where they did the planning for the missions. Alexei side-glanced at Zipporah, who was watching for any sign of her father.
“I’m sure he’s fine,” Alexei sounded more confident than he was.
Before she could respond, two older men starting beating drums rhythmically, a call for everyone to come and gather at the front of the Hall. Alexei pushed through the throng of people, up the front steps, onto the porch and through the front door, where Donald was placing the contents of a box onto a table while David was talking quietly with Ferraday and Anne was serving food and water to the three new people and comforting them. So they must have escaped from one of the regions, Alexei theorised. There was two men and a woman. The young woman resembled one of the men, the one who was just staring at his broth. Alexei noticed the woman was rubbing her left arm as if it was sore.
Anne saw Alexei and nodded in the direction of David and Ferraday. Alexei went up to them. They stopped talking when they saw him. “Alright,” Alexei said, “what do I need to know?”
David looked at Ferraday then back at his stepson. “We are very worried that one or two of our agents are compromised,” David said.
That was startling. Alexei wondered in what way the agent or agents let slip that they worked for Zion. “What do you mean? Why do you think that?” he asked.
“When Aaron, Ferraday, and Donald were at Drop Zone #1, they saw two boxes dropped,” David began. Alexei noted that there was only one here in the room. Where is the other one? “Aaron went to retrieve one of the boxes as they landed about twenty feet apart. He reached the closest one and was just bending over to pick it up when it suddenly blew up, killing him. After waiting half an hour just in case the second box would blow up, they went over to the second box and found in perfectly intact. They did a scan and there were no explosives or other devices on or in it, so they brought it back. On the way back, they came across those three,” and David nodded towards the two men and the woman.
“Also, Donald’s scanning the information to check on it’s authenticity,” Ferraday continued.
“How could they have found out about the information being sent out?” Alexei wondered.
“Not sure yet. Maybe it was discovered while the plane was being loaded and security decided to plant a bomb to hopefully destroy us, forcing the pilot to drop both. Or the Law Enforcers discovered our other agent writing the information down in invisible ink underneath whatever cover was chosen while on their check-up rounds. None of us know,” Ferraday theorised.
“Why would the agent have written it on the day of the Law Enforcer’s check-up rounds?” Alexei asked.
“Remember, Alexei, that the Law Enforcers choose the date of their rounds randomly, to catch people by surprise. They don’t do it in patterns, they just randomly pick a day,” David reminded his stepson.
“Why didn’t they just get rid of the material?”
“We don’t know. Maybe they thought it prudent to send it with a bomb, hoping it that it would kill whomever came for it,” Ferraday speculated.
Then Donald came over. “Sir? It came up as 100% authentic. It was written by our agent in Region 64.”
Region 64…64…Oh! Karen Wright! We’ll look at it afterwards. We have some people waiting outside. Anne,” David now spoke to his wife. “Get Amos to take them to the Clinic so that Jeremiah can have a look at them. Then come and join us outside.”
“Yes, David,” Anne obeyed.
David and Alexei went out onto the front porch where the crowd were murmuring amongst themselves as to why there was an announcement. The crowds all fell silent once David and Alexei came out. Alexei saw Zipporah had an arm around a worried looking woman who was her mother. Zipporah’s mother, Eileen, had suffered a lot and he suddenly wished that he could go back in time and reverse what had happened.
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