Tarren watched the rebels talking softly amongst themselves in the alley below him. John had spread the word that they were changing targets, and from what Tarren could hear, they weren’t too pleased with it. Tarren had been waiting on the rooftop for the last hour, watching for any sign that Frederick was there again and waiting for him to try another sneak attack, but he had jumped out the only window on the upper floor where the office was the night before, and they had boarded that up, making it impossible to tell if there was anyone still inside or not.
Tarren decided that it was time to get started with their plans and he dropped down into the alley behind the rebels, startling them. Once they had determined that it was just the Masked Man and not the Enforcers, they went back to angrily muttering to themselves. John made his way over to Tarren’s side and said, “This had better be worth it; they aren’t best pleased with your decision to switch targets.”
Tarren formed his hand into a fist at his side. “It’ll be worth it. Keep them quiet; we want to keep surprise on our side.” Tarren strode through the middle of the rebels and across the street. After a few seconds, they quietly followed after him. Tarren nodded his head, eased the door open, and snuck up the stairs.
Tarren made sure to keep the glow from his arm hidden beneath the folds of his cloak, paused at the top of the stairs, and looked over the room. It appeared to be empty, as if Frederick had expected another attack. Or possibly the Enforcers had arrested Frederick and seized the firearms. Tarren closed his eyes and quietly prayed that wasn’t what had happened here and made his way deeper into the office. Once the rebels had all made their way into the room, he turned and addressed them. “It looks like no one is here, but that doesn’t mean that Frederick doesn’t have men hidden. Keep your eyes and ears open and spread out to search this place for anything useful, especially hidden firearms.”
One of the rebels sneered at Tarren. “We don’t take orders from you! John allowed you to work with us, you should be listening to him!”
John growled, “Stop bickering and start searching! I don’t like being here any longer than we have to! Jerry, go and stand watch and make sure that we don’t walk into an Enforcer patrol when we leave.”
Jerry, the man that had spoken to Tarren, glared at Tarren before making his way back to the stairs. The other rebel members spread out and started searching the room. Tarren made his way over to John and whispered, “Thank you for standing up for me.”
John shook his head. “I just didn’t want any fights started on this mission, but he’s right. You are working with us and I am in charge. Leave giving the orders tonoe me.” He moved deeper into the room and started searching behind pictures of people and scenes from back on Earth that were hanging on the wall, using a small oil lantern for light.
Tarren watched John walk off sullenly. It was clear that the rebellion was just using him to achieve their own ends, and they hated doing it. It was almost as if they were working with a monster that had destroyed their village, but at least they could make sure that their enemies were destroyed too. If Tarren wasn’t careful one of these hidden firearms could be used to put a bullet into his back. He decided to join in on the search.
Tarren made his way down the hallway that the gunmen had appeared from the night before, and found two doors along the walls. He slowly cracked one open and looked inside, and was surprised to find a room with cabinets and five beds. Apparently Frederick and his men spent the night at the office sometimes, but this wasn’t one of those nights. The room was empty except for the furniture. Tarren made a note to himself to come back and search this room later, but he wanted to make sure that no one was in the other room. He slowly eased the other door open, and held up his mechanical arm, allowing it to bathe the room in its soft blue light. A much nicer four poster bed took up a majority of this room, along with a table and the same chair that Tarren noted had been behind Frederick’s desk the night before. A safe and some cabinets completed the furniture in this room.
Tarren looked down the hall and whistled, attempting to get the attention of some of the rebel members. John came down the hall and looked questioningly at Tarren. Tarren said, “Make sure that these two rooms are searched as well. I already checked and there isn’t anyone inside of either of them.”
John nodded and moved back toward the main room to pass the information along, and Tarren entered into what was obviously Frederick’s bedroom. Tarren made his way over to a table, and started to look through the papers piled on top of it. Tarren frowned as he read a record of how many families had borrowed money from Frederick, how much they owed, and when their loans were coming due. He noticed with some anguish that many entries were from just the past couple of days. his actions were forcing more people to turn to this man for financial security, and they had no guarantee that they would be able to pay him back. Would Frederick eventually stop taking possessions and start forming an army for himself? He was positioned in a way that he could use the financial crisis to take over the planet and set himself up as an emperor.
Tarren decided to take the papers and hope that he could find a way to help these people not end up in that position. Tarren made his way over to the safe in the room and was joined by two other rebel members who began searching the room. Tarren started at the electronic display on the safe, asking for the code to open the door and shook his head. He didn’t know the password, but he did know how to get into the safe. He grabbed onto the handle and pulled as hard as he could with his right arm. The door of the safe was ripped off with a terrible, loud screeching sound.
The other rebel members hurried into the room and glared at Tarren. Tarren shrugged and said, “I’m guessing that none of you knew what Frederick’s password was, and he’s probably keeping the best guns in here.” Tarren turned and looked at was inside of the safe, and frowned when he saw it was filled with plastic cards, most likely just quillions. Tarren pulled out a handful of the cards and looked at them in confusion.
John approached Tarren’s side and looked into the safe and whistled. “That looks like an awful lot of money. That could keep the rebellion funded for years it looks like. I think we’ll just confiscate that. Gary, load this up into a sack.”
Tarren stood up and made room for Gary to get access to the safe. “Have you had any luck with finding any firearms out there?”
John nodded his head. “We’ve found about twenty of them, but they aren’t anything like in the old stories from Earth. These things need to be reloaded after every shot, and I don’t mean just put another bullet in; you have to put gunpowder and everything in there. Still, they should give us an advantage over the Enforcers who don’t have anything. Did you find anything else in here?”
Tarren nodded his head. “Yeah, I found Frederick’s ledgers of who has borrowed how much from him. It’s not very useful, unless we give them some of those quillions to help pay their loans off.”
John turned his head thoughtfully. “That might be a wise use of that money. If the people know that the rebellion is helping to support them through these difficult times, it might make them more loyal to us against the government.” Tarren chuckled and John looked at him in confusion. “What’s so funny?”
Tarren shook his head. “Nothing, I was just thinking that Frederick could use the loans he had against these people to buy their loyalty. Maybe we aren’t so different from Frederick after all.”
John frowned, “No, there is a big difference between our methods; Frederick was going to blackmail and force them to follow him. We are giving the money to the people, and hoping that they will decide to support us for it.”
The door creaked open and one of Frederick’s men stood in the doorway holding a club in his hand. “What do you people think you are doing in here?”
The rebels turned and looked at the man in shock. One of them lifted a pistol that they were carrying and fired it at the man standing in the doorway. The man, Daniel Stark who lived in the home below Frederick’s office, grunted as the bullet passed through his chest, and he dropped to the ground. The force of the blast of the pistol threw the rebel off balance and the lantern that he was carrying flew from his grasp and shattered on the floor. The oil that leaked from the lantern quickly started on fire, and it spread through the room.
John looked at the growing flames and shouted, “Grab what you can and let’s get out of here!” Rebels ran past him clutching pistols and rifles to their chest, and Gary ran past with the bag filled with quillions over his shoulder. Once the other rebels were out of the room, John and Tarren hurried out behind them as the flames took over more of the room.
The rebels hurried down the stairs and out the building; Jerry joined in the chase asked what was going on in confusion. The rebels hurried into the alley across the street they had waited for Tarren in at the beginning of the night. Tarren waved them on, shouting, “Keep going! We can’t be anywhere near here when the Enforcers show up to deal with that fire!”
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 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, and don’t forget to check out my new book! You can buy a copy of it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case.