The Rebellion on Aquore, Chapter 1: Tarren’s Fight, Part 2

Tarren walked up to the two story building that Eugene had set up as the orphanage for all of Aquore. Children lived there from different colonies all over the planet, and Eugene did the best for them that he could with the modest income the government gave him to use for caring for the children. Tarren was sure that if there wasn’t a law enforced by the high council on Earth, the Aquore government would have just written the orphans off or put them to work in the mines.

A child ran up to Tarren excitedly. “How much did you bring back today, Tarren? Was Obadiah being stingy again?” The child took a look at Tarren’s face. “Did you get into another fight with the Enforcers?”

Tarren reached out and rubbed the child’s head, and winced a little from his beating when he did. “Never you mind if I got into a fight or not, Chance. I managed to get five loaves today, but you better watch what you say about Mr. Obadiah. He’s giving us this food for free, and without it you wouldn’t have much to eat. Do you know where Eugene is?”

“Yeah, Eugene is going over the budget in the kitchen. I think he’s waiting for you.”

Great, I get to give him an explanation sooner than I wanted too. Oh well, time for a lecture. Tarren started walking toward the kitchen, but turned and looked at Chance. “Shouldn’t you be studying, Chance?”

Chance stuck out his tongue. “I hate studying. I’d rather go out and play, or go find some work. I’m old enough that I could be helping out a little bit around here.”

Tarren smiled at Chance. “You’re only ten years old, Chance. No one would hire a ten year old. And if they did, you can bet that you wouldn’t get paid enough to really make a difference. Eugene wants you to study so that you can get a job somewhere other than the mines when you grow up. If you study hard enough you might even be able to get off of this rock.”

Chance shook his head. “Nope, I don’t need to study. I’m going to stay at the orphanage and help you and Eugene.”

Tarren shook his head. “If that’s what you really want to do, then study hard and go make a difference. Become someone who can change the way things are and make it better for everyone.” Tarren turned and continued on into the kitchen.

Eugene sat with his back to Tarren at the counter on a stool. Rarely used pots and pans hung from hooks mounted to the ceiling. A low hum from the mostly empty refrigerator filled the room. The only other furnishing in the kitchen was the stove. Eugene was bent over sheets of paper, his pen scratching out figures as he muttered to himself. Tarren closed the door behind him and without looking up said, “You’re late, Tarren. Get into another fight?”

Tarren cringed and placed the sack of bread on the counter. “I may have gotten into a little bit of a fight, but it wasn’t serious.”

Eugene finally looked up from his papers, pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose and looked at Tarren’s black eye and swollen face. “Looks like it was pretty serious to me. Tarren. I know that you have no love for the government, but if you keep fighting like this, one of these times you aren’t going to get away with just a few bruises. You can’t keep attacking the Aquore Enforcers every time you see one of them. I raised you to use that brain of yours better than that.”

Tarren looked away. “I wasn’t fighting for me this time. They were harassing Herman Jenster. I couldn’t just walk away from that fight Eugene.”

Eugene shook his head. “Yes, yes you could have. You weren’t fighting for Herman, you were fighting your personal fight and just used Herman as an excuse.”

“You don’t understand, Eugene; the Enforcers took my parents away! How can I just pretend like that never happened? I’d dishonor their memory if I stopped fighting.”

Eugene sighed and rubbed his forehead. “Tarren, you have been in my care for over twelve years now, and I think of you as my son. So I believe that I can say with certainty that your parent’s wouldn’t want you risking your life like this, especially since the only thing you could accomplish is getting yourself killed.”

Tarren pointed his finger at Eugene. “You’re wrong, Eugene. My parents were part of the rebellion, and they would want me to fight for the people of this planet, to fight against the government and their Enforcers.”

“Enough of this, Tarren. I’m hoping you have some good news for me. Did you have any luck with finding a job? Another kid got dropped off while you were gone, and I just finished going over the numbers, and if we don’t get some more money soon we might have to close the orphanage down.”

Tarren looked away from Eugene. “I keep asking around the market, but no one is hiring. If we have a new kid, that means that the government should be giving us more funding, right?”

Eugene shook his head. “Your friends, the Enforcers stopped by while you were out, and the government is reducing the amount of funds they are giving us per child. They say we’re wasting time by giving them an education, that since we have so many potential mine workers living here that a portion of our income should come from their labor.”

Tarren frowned. He’d been telling Eugene for the last couple of months that he had been looking for a job, but he had spent most of his time with the rebellion. “Maybe I could try working the mines. We might be able to buy something to eat with the extra income I’d be bringing in.”

“No, Tarren. Money isn’t so tight that I’d ask you to throw your life away.”

“I could go and see if Daley Devices is hiring. They treat their miners better than the government does, and the wages aren’t that much lower.”

Eugene shook his head. “You know as well as I do that they only hire people that can operate their mining robots, and you can’t.” Eugene looked at his watch. “It’s time for supper. I’ll go and meet with Frederick after that. Maybe he’ll give us another loan, something to hold us over just long enough till you can find a job.”

“I can talk to Troy. He might be able to use his influence to get us some more funding from the government.”

Eugene smiled. “Ah, Troy. I haven’t seen him in almost a year. If anyone could help us in this situation, it’s him. I’m sure his time working in the government won’t have made him forget about where he came from. Make sure to tell him I say hello. Now go and tell the boys that it’s time for dinner.”

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page for updates on the stories here: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter for  here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.

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