Rebellion on Aquore, Chapter 3: Meetings and Confrontations Part 1

The bell above the door jingled when Tarren entered the cafe. Tarren’s eyes scanned the room until his gaze rested upon a man sitting at a table in the corner of the cafe, and a smile filled his face. The man had short cut brown hair, and once he pulled his sunglasses off they revealed his tired looking silver eyes. He stood up and straightened his black suit, the tip of a red handkerchief hanging out of his pocket. Tarren walked over to the man’s table, reached out, and shook his hand in greeting. “Troy! It’s good to see you! Thank you for agreeing to meet with me here.”

Troy laughed. “Oh come on, Tarren. You’re not fooling anyone. You just wanted to meet me here because you knew I’d buy you a cup of coffee.” Troy indicated the steaming cup of coffee on the table across from him.”

Tarren smiled and sat down. “You know me well, Troy. I did have something important that I wanted to talk to you about though.”

Troy’s face turned serious and he sat down as well. “Is it about the orphanage?”

Tarren nodded. “We have more kids than we ever have before, and the government just reduced the amount of aid that they’re giving us. They want us to send the kids to the mines to help cover our expenses.”

Troy sighed. “I’m aware of all this. It doesn’t matter how much I argue with those bureaucrats, nothing I say ever seems to get through to them! I’m doing everything I can for you, Tarren, but it seems like one voice just isn’t enough. The politicians have distanced themselves from people so much that they can’t even sympathize with them anymore. Sometimes I think I would have been better off being like you and staying with the orphanage.”

Tarren frowned. “You know that Eugene wanted better for you. Heck, he wants better for all of his children, but I was just too stubborn to leave. Don’t give up, Troy, I’m sure you are making more of a difference that you know.”

Troy gave Tarren a wry smile. “Why, Tarren, that sounded downright optimistic! Are you feeling okay? Usually all I ever hear from you is how the only solution is the rebellion.”

Tarren quickly looked around the room to see if anyone was listening in on their conversation. “You mind keeping it a little more quiet? You know we don’t like drawing attention to ourselves like that.”

Troy lifted his hands up defensively. “Calm down. I made sure to check the place out before you even got here. We don’t have to worry about anyone hearing us that shouldn’t.”

Tarren laughed. “Wow, you really have become a politician, haven’t you? Always trying to cover your ass.” Tarren lowered his voice. “But since you brought the rebellion up, I do have a question for you. A member of the rebellion was recently captured on one of our missions. Do you know what’s going to happen to him?”

Troy sighed. “If they can prove his connection to the rebellion, he will most likely be executed, but not before they torture him to try and get as much information out of him as they can. You should leave the rebellion, Tarren. All they are doing is angering the government and they’re the reason things have been getting worse. One day you are going to be caught, and then they will make you wish you hadn’t been born.”

Tarren slammed his fist down on the table. “I already wish I hadn’t been born! Not in this time anyway!” People in the cafe turned and looked at Tarren and Tarren blushed. He continued on in a quieter tone. “I don’t want to live in a world where the government is so corrupt and distanced from the people, where their edicts and laws make things worse for everyone rather than improving anything. I am a part of the rebellion because they are the only ones trying to make things better for everyone.”

Troy smiled and shook his head at Tarren. “Sometimes I think that you should have been the one to go into politics. Your temperament certainly would have shaken things up by now.”

Tarran chuckled. “Don’t say things like that. If I had gone to join the government I’d be rotting in a jail cell by now and they would have thrown away the key.”

Troy started laughing. “You may have a point.” Troy looked at his watch and frowned. “It’s been great seeing you again, Tarren, but I have to get going. Parliament has a meeting regarding a new mining bill, and someone has to be there to argue for the good of the people.” He laid a stack of money down on the table. “Make sure to get yourself a sandwich or something. I know that you and Eugene skimp on your meals to give more to the kids, but you need your strength too.”

Tarren stood up and gave Troy a hug. “Thanks, Troy. It was great to see you again.”

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Tarren pushed the door to the kitchen open and placed the sack of bread on the counter in front of Eugene. Eugene looked up from stack of papers he was working on and gave Tarren a smile. “How did your meeting with Troy go? Is he making any headway with the government?”

Tarren shook his head. “Troy says that the other parliament members mostly ignore him, but he’s not going to give up yet. He still thinks that his way is the best solution to solve this planet’s problems.”

Eugene nodded his head. “I agree with him, but we need to get more members of parliament to sympathize with the people. And it would certainly help things if this rebellion I’ve been hearing about wouldn’t go about upsetting the government.”

Tarren cringed. “Yeah, that’s all that the people in the marketplace were talking about today. Some member of the rebellion got caught and everyone says that he’s going to be killed.”

Eugene nodded his head and pointed to the newspaper sitting on the counter, the Aquore News Bulletin. “It made the front page of the paper. It is believed that he is a member of the rebellion, but they haven’t proven it yet. I feel sorry for his family once they do though. Kyle was a hard worker and an excellent provider for his family. I feel terrible for Tanya, she never did fully recover after the complications with Sid’s birth. If she has to go to the mines for work, I fear we may end up with two more orphans.”

Tarren frowned. “I hope it won’t come to that, and perhaps they’ll discover that they were mistaken and Kyle won’t be executed.”

Eugene shook his head. “Even if that does happen he was trespassing on government property, and he’ll at least face time in prison.”

“I’ll stop by their place tomorrow when I go to get bread, and see if there is anything I can do to help out.”

Eugene smiled. “Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea.” Eugene’s smile faded. “I think I’ve put this off long enough, but I have to tell you.”

Tarren face lit up with curiosity. “Tell me what, Eugene?”

Eugene frowned. “When I went to get our loan from Frederick, I had to make a deal with him. I had to promise him that you would report to him twice a week, and go out to collect some of his other loans for him.”

Tarren smiled. “That’s what you were so worried about telling me? You found me a job? When do I start?”

“I’m not happy about this, Tarren! I wanted you to find a job, but I don’t want you to get into anymore fights!”
Tarren gave Eugene a confused look. “I don’t understand how the two are connected.”

Eugene sighed. “The people that Frederick will be sending you to collect from are the people who aren’t able to pay him back! He’s going to expect you to rough the people up and take their possessions as collateral.”

Tarren took a deep breath. “I’m going to have to steal from these people?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so. It’s the risk that you take when you enter into a business agreement with Frederick.”

Tarren quivered with rage but spoke softly. “You’ve borrowed money from Frederick numerous times. If you knew that could happen to you, how could you put the children in danger like that?”

Eugene chuckled a soft, sad laugh. “People like Frederick only exist because desperate people do desperate things. Thank God I was able to come up with the money before Frederick had to send his collectors after us so far, and this time there won’t be any danger of that at all. You might even be able to make some money doing it as well.”

Tarren crossed his arms. “I’ll do it for the good of the orphanage, but I’m not going to do it any longer than I have to. How much did you borrow from him?”

“Thirty thousand quillions.”

Tarren’s eyes opened wide. “Thirty thousand quill? Do you have any idea how long it will take me to work off that much money? Why did you take so much?”

Eugen looked down at the counter. “When he offered the deal it seemed like a good idea to get as much as I could. We will be able to keep the orphanage running for years, even if the government completely cuts off our funding!”

Tarren shook his head and walked over to the door that led from the kitchen to the entry hall, and he paused. “You should have tried having a little more of that faith that God will provide for us like you are always telling me I need.” Tarren pushed the door open and walked out.

Tears formed in Eugene’s eyes and he whispered, “I thought this was God providing for us.”

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Wednesday when I will publish part two, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.Also, if you enjoy reading my stories, and you enjoy drawing, I’m looking for pictures of my characters. If you want to send me your fan art, I promise to include it with some of my posts! I look forward to seeing that art!

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