The rebels kept running until they had made their way to Obediah’s house. John pounded on the door until a very sleepy looking Obediah answered the door. “What’s going on, John?”
John forced his way into the house past Obediah and said, “I’ll explain everything once we’re all inside.”
Obediah moved aside and allowed the rebels in, though he eyed the firearms that they carried with interest. Once the last rebel had made it down to the basement, Obediah gave John a stern look. “I believe you promised me an explanation. Why do those men have guns, John? Did something go wrong with the attack at the mining site?”
John shook his head. “No, We decided to put off attacking the mining site until tomorrow night. The Masked Man wanted to attack Frederick’s office in town instead because he had a hidden cache of firearms.” John gestured toward Tarren. “Things went wrong when one of Frederick’s men came to the office for some reason, and a fire broke out. Long story short, we need someplace to hide until the Enforcers get done dealing with the fire.”
Gary dropped the sack onto the floor, cards filled with quillions scattered across the floor as he shoved Tarren to the ground. He grabbed the pistol that hung from his waist and pointed it at Tarren’s face. “You make everything worse! Things were bad before you came along, but at least the government wasn’t bleeding everyone dry of every quill they had and the rebellion hadn’t killed anyone! Craters! Now we killed one of Frederick’s bullies and who knows if the Stark family who rented the floor down below will make it out alive or not! At the very least they’re going to be homeless, and it’s all your fault!”
Tarren held up his hands in defense. “This isn’t my fault! We went to that building expecting to have to fight Frederick and his men! It was always the plan to destroy Frederick’s office when we were done, so don’t go acting like you hadn’t agreed to do all of this before we went in there tonight! Things may have gotten out of hand, but I wasn’t the one that shot Daniel Start tonight or started that fire!”
Gary pulled back the hammer on the pistol and swallowed hard. John pulled the gun out of his hands and pushed Gary back. “Scott and I decided that supporting the Masked Man was the only way we were ever going to make things better on this planet. No matter how bad things get, we have to keep moving forward and accept whatever comes until we get to a place that is best for everyone. We asked the Masked Man to work with us. You don’t want to work with him? Fine, you volunteered to help us, I’m not going to force you to work with him.”
Gary glared up at John. “I’m going to see this through, but once this is all done, he’s going to have a lot to answer for.” He pointed at Tarren and stalked over to a corner of the basement to fume.
Tarren stood up and watched him go. “I will accept whatever punishment the people see fit to bestow upon me should we make it to that day. For now, I must suffer with the consequences of my actions, and try to justify that the ends are worth the means we are using. Me coming with you was a mistake, John. I’ll see you tomorrow night at Aquore’s Crater.” The rebels watched Tarren slowly make his way up the stairs.
The guard that had arrested Charlie stood behind the Pedestal with his head drooped. A senator stood and faced the Enforcer. “Do you realize how big of fools you made us look like? We had sent our entire force to that mining site to apprehend the Masked Man and the rebels working with him, but they never showed! Meanwhile we lost half a block in Hope’s Landing to a fire because there weren’t any Enforcers available to fight the fire! If the people think that we aren’t taking care of them anymore on top of everything else going on, they’re going to move against us!”
The Enforcer looked up at the senator defensively. “It’s not my fault! I only reported to you the information that the citizen gave to me! You were the ones that decided to throw everything you had at the problem!”
The senator glared at the Enforcer and pointed at him. “You should have confirmed that what you were told was true! You certainly sounded certain of it when you first reported it to us. At the very least you should have had the common sense to allow the man to speak with us! We might have been able to get more information out of him. Perhaps he was followed by someone from the rebellion and because you interviewed him outside of the gates they overheard his confession! They could have changed their plans as a result and burned down the buildings instead!”
The Enforcer frowned. “He’s sitting in the dungeon right now if you want to interview him! Maybe he’ll talk to you more freely than he did to me!”
Another senator stood up. “I’ve heard enough. Until we have the Masked Man in custody you will continue to be on double duty without any pay.”
The Enforcer glared at the senator. “You can’t do that!”
The senator smirked. “Yes, we can. We are the law on this planet, and you work for us. You will do what we say or suffer the consequences. Now unless you have anything new to bring to our attention, you are dismissed.” The guard stared at the senator, his mouth opening and closing wordlessly, as if he wanted to argue with them but knew that it wouldn’t do any good. He finally turned made his way out of the senate’s chamber.
The Enforcer stalked down the stairs into the dungeon and over to the cell that Charlie was huddling in with his son. The guard walked up the cell and threw the door open. Charlie pulled his son close and looked hopefully at the Enforcer. “Are my son and I free to go?”
A wicked grin filled the Enforcer’s face and he grabbed Charlie by the arm. “You gave me bad information, and until you give me something that will put me back in the Pedestals good graces, you are going to share in my misery. Do you have something you want to tell me before we get started?”
Charlie’s eyes opened wide in fear. “I already told you everything I know! I don’t know why they didn’t attack last night!”
The Enforcer shook his head and said, “We can do this the fun way if you really want to. Thomson, get over here and help me get this prisoner up on the table!” Another Enforcer walked over and grabbed Charlie by his other arm.
Charlie struggled struggled to get free of the Enforcers’ grasp. “No! Please, I already told you everything!”
The Enforcer chuckled as he threw Charlie up on the table and strapped him down. “Maybe you told me everything you know, maybe you haven’t. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough though.” He walked over to wall and pulled down two knives. He approached the table once more and he held the knives over Charlie’s left arm. “Last chance, anything you want to tell me, like who’s in charge of the rebellion, or where and when they meet?”
Tears streaked down Charlie’s face. “Please, you don’t have to do this, I don’t know anything else!”
The knives bit down into Charlie’s forearm and Charlie screamed out in pain. Blood trickled down from the wound and started to pool on the table beneath him. “This can stop once you tell me something useful. This will only go on for as long as you want it to.” Charlie just continued to scream in pain.
The Enforcer grunted in disgust. He hadn’t expected Charlie to last this long. He hadn’t expected to actually have to get the knives in him! He didn’t know how to effectively torture anyone, he was just as likely to kill Charlie as we was to get information out of him. Suddenly a smile filled his face. “Thomson, help me get this guy back into his cell. It’s obvious that torturing him isn’t going to do anything for us. Torturing his son though, that might get us the results we were looking for!”
Charlie’s eyes opened wide in terror. “No! Stay away from my son! He doesn’t have anything to do with the rebellion!”
The Enforcer nodded his head sympathetically. “I know that he doesn’t, but I’m afraid that you do. If you would just tell me what I want to know, I wouldn’t have to do this.”
Tears streamed down Charlie’s face and he gasped out. “Don’t hurt my boy, I’ll tell you what I know.”
The guard set the knives down on the table. “I’m listening. Just remember, if it’s not what I want to hear then we start in on your son.”
Charlie lifted his head up and glared at the Enforcer. “The rebellion gets their orders from Scott Daley, he’s the one that you really want.”
The Enforcer lightly tapped Charlie on his cheek. “Was that so hard? Now why don’t you just wait inside of your cell with your son until the Pedestal calls for you? Thomson, help me to get this rebel back into his cell.”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more like it, come back on Monday when I will publish part one of chapter 13 of The Super Morpher, come back tomorrow when I will have all of chapter 9 for you, and Sunday for another Time Bubble Interview with a character from The Rebellion on Aquore. Check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page 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 newly published book, The Kids on the Case: Our First Case. You can buy a copy of your own here:The Kids on the Case: Our First Case.