All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Rebellion of 2018 (chapters 9 and 10)
Chapter 9: Cody’s New Attitude
“I have nothing to say. You always lead the meetings. I just tell you my ideas.” I tell Cody as we watch the rebels pile into the town hall. I can feel my hands getting sweaty and my knees are shaking. Cody is sitting beside me and is staring out into the crowd. He places his hand on my knee to help me stop fidgeting.
“You’ll do fine. You know what we are planning and you know how to talk. All you have to do is look strong.” I can’t help but smile at him. Once everyone is sitting, I stand up and approach the podium.
“Hello everyone, we have all come here tonight to talk more about our plans. We will have each group leader come up and report any new progress. After that Cody and I will tell you what we have decided the team symbol will be.” I say in an official voice. I step back from the microphone and watch as each leader comes up to talk. I sit back down next to Cody and notice that he is taking notes. I don’t comment, but I watch him closely.
The first to come up is Elisabeth. “Hi, I’m the leader of the suppliers. I am happy to inform everyone that we have made great progress. The baker, another supplier, has promised to bake as much bread as we need. Also the clothing stores and metal shop will be helping us with anything.” She smiles; proud of her accomplishments, and walks back down to her seat.
Gio walks up right after and goes straight into his report. “Every hacker has passed the test that I gave them; showing that we are all ready to face anything Imperium has. Sometime next week, we’ll actually try to hack into the television system.” Imperium has a television program that plays 24/7. Most people don’t turn their TVs on, or don’t even have one; like Cody and I.
Everyone cheers for Gio’s idea, even I do. I can’t wait to see the hackers accomplish this. Gio seems pleased by the reaction and gladly goes back to his seat, receiving high fives from everyone around him. It is a few minutes before Marie finally comes up to the podium. I am worried about her standing in front of everyone, but she insisted that she is fine. I look into the crowd and lock eyes with Leo.
“The researchers have gotten an outline of Imperium. We are going though it right now and are finding a way for the fighters and spies to get in.” This is all she says before returning to her seat. I watch her carefully and try to remember that she has a breaking point like everyone else. It is silent and it takes me a moment to realize that it is my turn to go up. I slowly stand and try to push my nerves away.
“I am now leader of the spies as you all know. Well, we have planned a meeting for Friday night, two days from today. We will practice our background stories and start talking to the researchers about our way into Imperium and to the hackers about the identities they are creating for us.” I start and I am surprised by the strength in my voice. “The spies will all go into Imperium at different times in the next two months and begin finding out whatever we can.” I notice the surprise on some of the rebels’ faces when they hear that we are going in so soon. I slowly look around at everyone before I go back to my seat.
Cody is still scribbling down notes and finally looks up. “Oh, it’s my turn.” He stands up and stares at the microphone for a long moment. “We will train, and then fight.” Everyone is quiet when he sits back down. I can’t believe that is all he says. The rebels reflect my confusion. There are conversations going all around. All of them are questioning Cody’s new enthusiastic attitude.
“Cody, are you okay?” I ask in a hushed voice. He simply smiles at me and nods. ‘There is nothing wrong with him. You’re over reacting.’ I think to myself as I stand up and go to the podium for the last time tonight. Thoughts are running through my mind, but I need to focus. Now I realize I had forgotten something. I didn’t choose the symbol yet. Everyone is staring at me, waiting for me to speak.
I take a deep breath and focus myself. “The last thing I have to tell you all is what the team symbol is.” I say with a smile. I am trying to figure something out while I stall. ‘I know what it should be, just say it.’ I encourage myself. “The symbol is something simple, and it was used in the first rebellion. It is a cat’s eye with a dagger in the center. The cat’s eye represents our cunning sight when it comes to the truth,” I recite what my father wrote on my note. I am also clutching my necklace tightly in my hand. “And the dagger represents our strength and determination to fight for our future. When Imperium sees our symbol, they will realize we are no damn joke.” My voice echoes throughout the room and everyone is silent.
I finally let go of my necklace and look around at the room. There are a few seconds of silence before the entire room breaks out in applauds. No one is bothering to stay quiet; all we can think about is the power in the words I spoke and in my voice. I smile to myself and give a silent thank you to my father. The room slowly settles down and we hear the ringing of the bell.
* * *
“I’m sorry if I worried you today. I know I’ve been acting different, but so much has happened lately and I’m just starting to realize that there is no point in being so negative.” Cody says with a frown as we enter the house. “Please stop looking at me as if I am a stranger.” The pain in his eyes is so clear that it almost hurts.
“Cody, it’s just been a long two days and it’s just hard for me to not look at everyone suspiciously.” I explain to him with a sigh. He takes my hand and pulls me into a tight hug. I hold him close and wait a few minutes before I speak again. “I’m worried about Leo. There are so many problems with him and I’m scared of trusting him alone with anyone.”
“I think you’re right to be scared. Leo isn’t to be trusted. Leo Casing knows too much for his own good.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him as I take a small step back.
“Nothing, I just mean that it’s odd that he got away from Imperium and is now trying to kill Marie.” He says convincingly. “Anyways, I’m going to bed. Wake me up in the morning so that we can go hunting.” I watch as he leaves, silently judging each move he makes. There is a voice screaming in the back of my mind; warning me that something is wrong, but at the moment it’s just too quiet.
March 28th, 2012
There is no way that I am following the new laws. The new president is ruining everything; starting plans for wars and he is trying to use threats to get what he wants. People dare to call him a president, but he is nothing but a dictator, a tyrant. How did this happen? Something bad is going to come and I’m not going to let it affect my family. I’m going to protect them no matter what, even if kills me.
I close my father’s journal and stare at it for a moment. After a few minutes I finally reach under my pillow and pull out my own journal.
July 8th, 2018
Today we had a meeting for the rebellion. Cody is acting odd, but not as odd as Leo. Leo has magically escaped Imperium and is now having flashes and trying to kill Marie. I am worried about everyone, especially Ms. Priling and Bobby. What is Imperium doing to them? What if I can’t save them? These questions haunt my every waking moments and at night I am visited by only nightmares.
I have also made the decision that the spies will be infiltrating Imperium within the next two months. I hope we are ready for this, but I can’t wait anymore. Like my father, I need to protect my family no matter what.
Besides that, I need to focus on what’s at hand. The spies will be looking at me for leadership, but I am completely stuck. The only time I had ever lied was when my mom first asked me about my job. She had no knowledge of my work, so I lied to her; telling her I was out gathering with Cody. Now I will have to lie to Imperium, and maybe even Cilark himself. I guess we’ll see how this turns out.
I close my journal and somewhat smile to myself. I feel a lot less stressed now that I have my feeling out. I switch off my lamp and lay my head down on my pillow and slowly fall asleep. Once again, I enter the realm of dark dreams.
I am standing in a dim room with nothing but a chair in it. There are no windows, doors, or lights. So why is it not pitch black? I look around the room, but I only see the chair. I cautiously approach it and notice that every time I take a step, the chair moves back.
“Don’t take another step.” I hear a voice echo from somewhere behind me. I spin around and find no one there. I turn back to the chair and take a step forward again. This time the chair does not move back. I am in front of it in seconds and I hesitantly sit on it.
“You stupid girl!” The voice yells. I look up at the ceiling and see something that looks like liquid coming down. Before I can even look back down the liquid comes gushing down. I am drenched in something warm. The smell of blood fills my nostrils and I coil in fear and disgust. I stare down at myself and all I can see is dark crimson blood; covering me, the ceiling, and all the walls. As I look around I notice a door is now in front of me and I try to stand to get to it.
I can’t move. I am frozen in my seat; staring at the door. I look around the room for some sort of escape or help. As I stare at one of the walls I notice something reaching out from the blood. It is a pale hand that is soon followed by an arm and then a head. The face is pale and distorted. I let out a scream when I realize that this person is dead. I notice more bodies coming from all around the room. All of them are dead and crawling towards me. There are hands grabbing at me and pulling me this way and that.
“Kat . . .” Someone is calling me from the crowd. Soon all of the corpses are calling my name. I close my eyes and try to block out all the voices. That’s when I hear it. All the voices start calling for help. I open my eyes and actually look at the faces.
“Oh my god,” I whisper now that I realize who these people are. They are the rebels, and they are calling for me to help them. I start to relax, but now I can hear the screaming. Everyone is looking up and screaming into the darkness. My head snaps up and I fail to see anything.
“Kat . . .” The first voice comes again. I look down and I see my father in front of me. He looks alive again and is smiling at me. “Stay calm.”
“Daddy” I whisper to him as I struggle to stand. I am using all my power, moving the chair and swearing a little as I try to force my body to move. He starts to back up and I try to reach out to him. “Dad, don’t leave me!” I scream. All the bodies are gone, except my father.
“Good bye,” He says as he walks through the door in front of me and abandons me in the darkness once again. I look up again and now I see what was so scary. There is a tornado of fire spiraling down towards me.
I am sitting up in bed once again, panting and sweating. The sun has not even risen yet and the house is as silent and dark as a graveyard. I take a deep breath and wipe my forehead with the end of my shirt. The sound of the dead calling my name still echoes through the room. I lie back down and stare at the ceiling. Flashes of the blood pouring down enter my mind and force me to sit up once again.
The kitchen is dark when I enter. I switch on the light and just stare at the comforting light. I know it is almost dawn, and I know I have to wake up Cody, but I hesitate to leave the light. ‘Stay calm.’ My father’s voice repeats in my head. I take another deep breath and then go to wake Cody.
Chapter 10: Finally Getting a Break, Oh, Wait. Never mind
Cody smiles at me from the crowd as I speak. All the spies are gathered around in the town hall and staring quietly at me. “So for example, I am Willow Brighten. I am a 15 year old who has just moved in with my aunt, who works in the flower shop in Imperium. I have no siblings, my parents died in a car accident, and I am just trying to start over.” I say with a half smile. “Be sure to keep your background stories simple, but not too vague.”
“Yes ma’am.” Everyone says in unison. It’s a little scary standing in front of all these people alone. The spies are jotting down everything I say.
“Now each of you will take the rest of the time to come up with your stories and then write them down and give them to me before you leave.” I sit back down and watch as everyone takes their time to think about their stories.
Once everyone turns in the paper, I smile and walk back up to the podium. “Thank you all for coming to the meeting. There will be another one in two more days.” I say with a grin. I look at everyone again before I continue. “Listen, I know you are all nervous and shocked at the fact that we are going into Imperium so soon. It was a drastic decision, but I really do think that we will be ready. The sooner we go in, the sooner we can end this whole thing.”
A few seconds later the bell rings and everyone makes their way out. I watch as the last spy leaves, leaving just me and Cody. I walk up to him and give him a light hug. “I think you are a great leader.” He says with a smile.
“Thank you Cody. I just hope I don’t mess everything up.” I admit with a bashful smile. We start to make our way back home. Halfway there I notice a giant crowd standing outside of town, near my old house. We are a still a few blocks away, but it is easy to see the blazing fire from where we are. I stare at it for only a second before I dash towards it.
The entire house is on fire, but I don’t give a care. I kick down the door and run right into it. I grab only a few things; a picture of my family, another box filled with my aunt’s medicine books and my father’s cooking books, I also grab Bobby’s favorite blanket from his bed. I am chocking on the smoke and coughing so badly. My eyes are beginning to burn and I try to get out of the house. I am in the living room when I remember about the mutant soldier in the closet. It might come in handy in finding out more about Imperium. I run to the closet and remember about the lock on the door.
‘Shit’ I think to myself as I hurry back to my room and look for the key. I find it in my desk draw, under my favorite book. I go back down to the closet and unlock it. I open the box and grab the bag. Inside the bag is a small little frog. I stare at it for a moment before the smoke becomes too heavy for me to see clearly. I make my way back out of the house when the roof starts to cave in. I try to speed up, but my foot manages to find a crack in the floor and I collapse to my knees. The bag soars out of my hand and right into the flames. The whole thing burst into a blaze and I scurry over to it. There is nothing but dust on the floor. I scope up a handful and then continue to make my way out of the burning house, with my family’s belongings in one hand and the dust in the other.
The moment I get out of the house I collapse to my knees and start asking everyone for water. It only takes a few minutes before I am handed a cup from one of my neighbors. I look up at my old house and see the fire quickly eating away at it. I can’t help but cry as I watch the home that I grew up in crumble to the ground. The tears make my eyes sting even more and my breathing is becoming heavier.
“Come on Kat, we should go.” Cody says as he places his hands on my shoulders and starts helping me up off the ground. I give him a thankful smile and let him lead me towards our house. I look back one last time at my house and see the roof cave in and the walls give way, making the house look like just a pile of rubbish. This is the last thing that breaks me. I stare up at the sky and see the entire world spinning and crumbling beneath me. My knees give way and I collapse to the ground. Everything goes completely black, but I can hear Cody calling my name.
I lost my dad when I was twelve, my mom when I was fifteen, my brother to Imperium, and now my childhood home. There is no way I can keep going like this. Now I am unconscious and lost once again in a dream world.
“Kat, you can’t give up.” My father tells me with a smile as he holds me close. I look up at him and my throat closes up. “Katherine, I raised you to be a strong young lady, not a quieter. Your brother needs your help right now. All of Novus Terra needs you to be a rebellion leader, like you promised.”
“But I can’t do it dad. This is just too much.” I whisper, trying to hold back a sob. “I lost everything. I don’t want to lose anymore. All I have left is Cody and my new home.”
“You can keep fighting. You are like me, a fighter. You are determined, strong, and brave. You just have to remind yourself that.” He says with a grin as he lets me go. He back up and I notice everyone standing behind him. There is Bobby, Ms. Priling, the rebels, and Cody. “These are the people you are fighting for. You can’t let them down.”
“I already have daddy. I let everyone down the moment I gave them hope.” I finally admit. I hadn’t even realized it until it was out of my mouth. Now I know that it is true. I gave everyone false hope, I told everyone to trust me, when I couldn’t even trust myself.
“Then don’t do it for them. Do it for yourself, and for all the rebels who died in the first rebellion. Do as you promised, finish what we started.” I smile at my father’s optimism. He gives me one last hug and then starts to back away, along with the others. “I will be here for you, whenever you need my help.”
“Wait, dad, please stop leaving me. I hate having to face this alone, I’m tired of it. For three years I have been providing for the family alone, fighting alone, and I am sick of it. You can’t leave me!” I scream at him as he vanishes. The tears are building up, and it takes all my power to keep myself from crying.
“You’re not alone though.” Cody says from behind me. I turn and see him smiling at me. “You never were. I helped you with providing food, I helped you at school and work, and I’m going to help you with the rebellion. But I need you to help me.” I look at him in confusion, but he doesn’t explain.
“Cody, what do you need my help doing?” I ask as I take a step closer to him. He takes a step closer as well and soon we are only inches apart.
“I need you to save me.”
I wake up in my bed, calling Cody’s name quietly. He comes running into the room within seconds. The look on his face suggests that he was really worried about me. “What do you need?”
“Nothing, um, I was just wondering what happened.” I say as I shake my head a little to clear it. All that does is cause me to get a splitting headache. I place my fingers on my temples and rub them a little.
“Do you need some medicine?”
“Oh, no, I think I’ll be fine.” I say quickly when I see the somewhat frantic look in his eyes. “So, what exactly happened to me?”
“You passed out. Marie said it was from all the stress that you have gone through in the past few days, but I think it was just the smoke.” I think about both of these diagnoses. I finally settle on the most likely one; stress. “Do you feel any better? You have been out for almost an entire day.”
“Really?” I look out the window and see that it is evening. Last time I was awake it was almost one A.M. “I feel fine, just a little hungry I guess.” Cody goes to the kitchen and comes back in a few seconds with a readied plate of deer meat and radish. I quickly scarf it all down as Cody talks about the day. He really didn’t do anything except hunt and see Marie about the dust I found. Apparently she wants me to come and see her.
I drag myself out of bed and head for the bathroom. My clothes and hair all smell like smoke, making me choke a little. I quickly change, wash my hair in the sink, and tie it in a loose bun. “I’m going to Marie’s house to talk to her about the dust.” I inform Cody as I make my way out. He doesn’t object, but there is a look in his eyes that suggest that he is not keen on the idea of me going out. I pause at the door and give him a reassuring smile.
“I’m so happy you’re doing better.” Marie says the moment she opens the door. She steps aside and lets me come in. I smile at her and slip inside her cozy home. The entire house looks brighter and at first I thought it was just the sun, but now I notice all the lamps around the house.
“What’s with the lamps?” I ask as I gesture to one with my chin.
“Oh, I’m working on that sand Leo gave me. I think you should see it.” I follow her to the living room and find that everything is pushed against the wall. In the center of the room is a metal table with a lot of papers and science stuff scattered around it. There is a microscope in the middle with another desk lamp next to it. Marie starts limping towards it and now I notice that cast on her leg. I try not to stare, but she notices and shrugs. “The sand appears to be made of the same thing as the clay. The only difference is that a few of the cells are missing.”
“What do you mean ‘missing’?” I ask as she sits me in front of the microscope. I look into it and see a whole bunch of cells moving around. All of them look different and clustered together. “Is this the sand?”
“No, that’s the clay. Watch carefully as it changes.” I do, and I see all the cells simultaneously change into the same cells. I move away and look at the slide. On it is now a flat butterfly. “Now, this is the sand.” She switches the slide and I examine it again. This time the cells are not as active and are more spread out. They are still different, but are moving away from each other.
“What’s going on with them?” I ask as I continue to watch. All of them start to shake and switch back and forth between cell forms.
“They can’t work together to shift. They are all trying to change forms, but there aren’t enough of them to change the entire form.” She lets out a small sigh and then smiles at me. “This is the cool part.” She switches off the lamp and I look back down at the cells. All of them are dead. “They die when they aren’t in direct light. I don’t know why yet, but it’s pretty cool.”
“Thanks for showing this to me. Tell me if you find out why they react to light.” I tell her as I leave. I turn back to her and there is one thing that is still bothering me. “So now that we know this, do you think we will actually win the rebellion?” I know that Marie won’t lie to me. She is my best girl friend and I’ve known her for almost five years now. The entire time I’ve known her, she has never fled from the truth.
She gives me a thoughtful look and takes a deep breath. “To be honest, I don’t think this will do that much of a difference. Yes, Imperium will not be able to use their secret weapon, but they still have an army that is trained to kill rebels. Even if we take down every mutant soldier, they still have the upper hand.” She says in a quiet voice. There is complete seriousness in her eyes and I know that she has weighed the outcome many times before. “We may stand a sliver of a chance, but that’s it.”
I am silent as I think this over. It’s hard for me to accept this, but if Marie thinks this, then it is most likely true. “Thanks for being honest Marie.”
“No problem, I don’t want to lie and give you a sense of false hope.”
* * *
“Kat, do you think you can really do this?” Cody asks as we sit near our usual pond. He has probably asked this over twenty times. “Can you go into Imperium in only two months?” I hesitate for a moment as I think about my plan. My feet are dangling in the water, making small circles. Cody is sitting beside me with his feet also in the water. It has been a week already and every spy has been working on their stories.
“Yea I’m sure about this. There is nothing to worry about anyways. I’m leaving last, so that I can keep training the remaining spies.” I say with a smile as I look at him. The sun is shining almost directly at him, making him look like an angel. His hair looks golden, his eyes are as green as the spring grass, and his skin is radiant. He turns and stares at me, flashing a brilliant smile.
“I just want to make sure that you’re not making rash decisions.”
“I’m not making a rash decision. We need to go in as soon as possible.” When I see the doubt on his face I feel the need to add, “Please just trust me.”
“I do trust you. It’s just that . . . you intrigue me.” He says in a confused voice. A look crosses his face, something questioning. “Tell me what you plan to do if we win the rebellion.”
“Well, I would first free the rebels and innocent people. Then I would call a truce with everyone we fought. Lastly, I would give the country back to the people.” I say with a smile.
“Ok and what if we lose?” I take a few minutes to think about this. Of course the thought has crossed my mind, but I never really thought long and hard about it.
“I think I would try to be like my father. I want to face them with a proud smile and let the people know that I am dying with my dignity and the joy of having fought for what I believe in.”
“What if they don’t kill you? What if they do to you what they did to Leo?” He asks with a frown. I look down at the water as he continues. “I would kill myself. I’m not letting them turn me into a soldier.”
“I wouldn’t kill myself. I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of watching me kill myself. I will fight them all the way until the end.”
“You are really determined.” He comments with a grin as he looks up at the sky. I think about my father when he says this. There is a long moment of silence as we just sit there. I think of all the spies and silently hope that I will never actually have to worry about being taken by the Imperium soldiers.
As the silence drags out I start to get a little worried that something is wrong with Cody. I look over at him and I notice that he is staring into the distance. I follow his gaze and am shocked by what I see. I swear, my entire world is about to disintegrate beneath me. I jump to my feet but keep my eyes locked on the person in front of me. Cody is staring at me from across the pond. I look at the Cody sitting next to me and see him staring back at me with confused eyes.
“Co-Cody?” I stutter as I stare at my friend across the pond. I can hear the franticness in my voice. There is no way this can be happening, I must be dreaming. “What’s going on?” Neither Cody responds. The one that is across from me stays silent and just raises his hands which are holding a bow and arrows.
“Katherine, that isn’t me.” He says in a stern voice as he walks around the pond towards me. I look back at Cody and I can feel my heart pounding and my breathing becoming shallower. “How can you believe that this . . . thing is me? You believed it for an entire week!”
I step back and I can see the anger in his eyes. I bump into the Cody who I was with for the past week and he grabs my shoulders and pulls me behind him. “Kat, I need you to stay behind me. I can handle this mutant soldier.” He pulls out a knife and holds it in front of himself.
“Don’t believe this total fake. He’s the mutant soldier.” The second Cody yells as he shoots the first arrow, barely missing the first Cody’s right shoulder. The first Cody lunges himself at him, but he kicks him almost two feet away. I stare between them and try to decide who to believe. ‘Fire!’ The word pops into my mind. I reach into my hunting bag and take out a box of matches that I always carry with me. My hand is shaking so badly that I end up breaking the first two matches. I take a deep breath and try to calm myself. I finally get the match to light and stare at the flame. Without the first Cody knowing, I carefully place the flame near his left elbow and watch as his arm bursts into flames. I fly backwards and fall on my back with a scream.
“You b****!” He yells as he turns to me and starts to make his way towards me. I crawl back as I notice his arm melt into dust. I watch his entire left side start to slowly crumble into dust on the ground. Once he is completely gone, I finally look up at my real friend.
“Cody, I’m so sorry.” I whisper as I finally stand up and walk towards him. I take out another match when I am a few inches away from him and I light it. I place the flame near his elbow like I did with the first and hear him wince in pain as I burn him. The look on his face hurts me and I can tell that he is pissed at me. “I should have known . . .”
“Yes, you should have.”