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Rebellion of 2018 (chapters 11 and 12)

Chapter 11: The Truth Comes Out

“Cody, can you please stop being mad at me? It was a horrible mistake, but you can’t blame me. So much has happened to me, I couldn’t even focus!” I yell as he walks away. I have to run to catch up to him I grab his arm in order to stop him. He turns towards me and I see the pain in his eyes.

“God Kat! It was an entire week. You weren’t the only one going through s***. What do you think I was doing?” He asks in a harsh voice. I back up and think about it. Of course, he wouldn’t have just vanished. I look at him closely and notice the scratches and blood all over him. His clothes are ripped and his hair is stuck to his face from his sweat.

“Cody, what happened?” I finally ask. I am beyond scared to know the story.

“When you left to see Leo, about a week ago, I left to the woods to hunt. That’s when I got ambushed. About ten Imperium soldiers came out of nowhere and attacked me. I tried to fight them off but they over powered me. They gagged me, tied me up, and threw me in the back seat of a van. I acted as though I was unconscious. I planned on attacking them, but one of the soldiers noticed I was awake and hit me with the end of his baton. It took a few hits until I started bleeding and finally slipped into unconsciousness.” He moves his hair and I see the gash in his head. It is still crusted with blood and looks pretty bad.

“When I woke up I was still in the backseat, but the driver and the passenger were preoccupied arguing. They were the only two in the car, so it wasn’t that bad. I took the opportunity to wiggle out of the rope around my wrists. Once my hands were free I attacked the soldiers and caused the car to swerve and hit a ditch, flip over, and hit a tree.” He says as he lightly touches a few of his scares. “I was somewhere near the old Colorado state border. I walked most of the way back, hitching rides with some people.”
I am silent for a moment as I stare at my dear friend. “I’m sorry Cody. I didn’t realize something was wrong, and I should have. I should have saved you, instead I was here playing leader with that damn soldier.” There is an unintentional edge in my voice that makes things worse. Cody watches me as I try to calm myself.

“Kat, I’m sorry. I don’t want to blame you; I would have fallen for it too. Let’s just go home and focus on the rebellion. What exactly did I miss?” I wait until we are home to tell him about the plans. The moment we enter the house I walk into the kitchen and start making tea.

“Well, the rebels are all working hard and well in their teams. You have a meeting with the fighters tonight. Oh, and the spies are entering Imperium within the next two months.” I inform him with a half smile. I am kind of hoping that he doesn’t hear the last part of my statement. But he does.

“What do you mean ‘two months’?” He asks with a perplexed look. “Why are you going in so soon? Did something happen while I was gone?”

“No, nothing bad; I just think that the spies will be ready for it and the faster we go in, the faster we can take them down.” I say with a sigh as I pour us some tea. I hand Cody his cup and remember the fire. “My old house burned down.”
Cody is silent, but he looks up at me with a concerned look. I flash him a nonchalant smile. “Did you manage to get anything?” He asks quietly. He kind of surveys the room, looking for any of my old belonging.

“I grabbed a picture of my family, my aunt’s medicine books, my dad’s cook books, and Bobby’s old blanket, also the clay soldier.”

“Did you give it to Marie?”

“No, I dropped it in the fire and it turned into dust. That’s how I found out that fire is the only thing that can kill the mutants.” Cody is silent and simply stares at me. I can tell that my indifferent attitude it making him a bit worried, but I don’t really have enough strength and stability to show that I’m truly freaking out. I slowly move closer to him and hug him tightly. “Please Cody stop thinking about all the crap we had to go through in the past month. Our minds must be focused on the hardships to come.”

“I know, but I can’t help but feel bad. I was the one that thought about starting a rebellion and now all this s*** is happening to you.” He says with a sigh as he takes a step back. We take another sip of our tea. “That damn Cilark is going to pay.”
In a distant voice I say, “I agree, that is why I’m okay with being a spy. I want to get close to him, fool him into trusting me, and then destroy everything he worked for and kill him.” I notice Cody pick up a notebook from the table. ‘That’s the soldier’s notebook. The one he kept writing in.’ I realize as I take it from Cody. “Let me see that.” I flip it open and start reading out loud.

The leader, Katherine Renner, appears to be a weak leader. She shows indecisiveness and a lack in confidence. I do not understand why the rebels follow her. She is odd and does not like to talk during the rebellion meetings.

The rebels are more organized than expected. There are many of them and they are all determined to win the rebellion. There is some chance of their victory, but not enough to truly fear. We must raise defenses though, and let no new comers into Imperium.

There is approximately 500 members in only one team, it is still unknown how many rebels there are all together. Ms. Renner is quiet, but she knows more than she is letting on.
I flip the next few pages that talk about the plans we have made. I continue reading; Ms. Renner is more powerful than predicted. The rebels respond to her attitude and determined voice. She is very interesting though. The way her mind works and what drives her. Her family and friends are her weakness.
There is a break in the page before it continues. I am almost shocked by the next thing I read. The fire was a success. The destruction of her house showed the true limitations that her emotions have on her. She collapsed from stressed, showing her breaking point. It will be easy to take her down.

I close the notebook and place it on the table. There is more to read, but I hate learning I am seen as weak. ‘Is this really how people see me? Am I really so weak?’ I ask myself with a frown. I know Cody is about to say something sympathetic, but I don’t want to hear it. All that will do is make me feel weaker.

“I think we should send this to Imperium.” I say quickly as I stare down at the table.

“What are you talking about?” He asks in disbelief. I look up at him and smile. A moment passes before he finally catches on. “You want to change it.”

“Not completely changed. I want to keep the parts about me being weak and some stuff about the rebellion’s organization. All I really want to change is our size and some of the plans.” We both smile at each other as we think of my plan. Imperium will be expecting a small, organized group that is lead by someone pathetic and weak. It will be a shock when we attack them.

“Or, instead we can write that you are debating to leave the rebellion all together because you’re tired of losing everything you love. Then Cilark won’t worry about you.” He says with a grin as he smacks the table from excitement. I chuckle a little and take the notebook. I study his hand writing and realize that it is almost exactly like Cody’s.

“Cody, you can totally forge this and make the changes.” I hand him the notebook and hand him a pen. I watch as he starts to work and then I hear the knock at the door. I walk over and open the door cautiously. In front of me is Gio with his dog. “Hey Gio, what’s up?”

“Tonight you have to find a TV. My team has finally figured out a way to hack into the system. We are going to be putting up flashes of the past rebellion and the rebels now. So do you think you guys could come and take some pictures with us?” He asks as he looks past me at Cody. We both follow him out into town and go straight to the woods. “I was thinking we could take some shots with us holding the weapons and just posing like a normal group picture.”
We all stand together in a giant group picture, holding knives, bows and arrows, spears, swords, and some other weapons. It seems kind of childish, but I think it was one of the best ideas. Instead of doing a cliché picture of us in front of fire or something, we are appearing as a normal group, the kind that will do anything to help each other. We let Gio take a few pictures before leaving back to our homes and turn on our TVs for the first time in years. Cody and I decide to go to Marie’s house to watch it with her and Leo.
* * *

“Oh, be quiet! Gio said that it would be during Cilark’s interview.” I shush Leo and Cody. We all move a little closer to the TV and watch closely for any of our pictures.

“So you are planning on going to actually visit Asia this winter?” The interviewer asks Cilark with a smile. She is a short, zealous, blond woman. She looks middle aged and a bit too over excited to be near the president. Her face is even a little . . . stretched out; like she had plastic surgery recently.

“Yes, that is true. I am excited to make a truce with Asia. We might even-” The president gets cut off by some static that is followed by a flash of the word Rebellion in bright purple. We all start cheering at the first sign of success.

“Oh, I’m so sorry about that. It looks like we are having some technical difficulties.” The woman says with a nervous laugh.

“Well, like I was saying. We might be able to get Asia to fight with us against Europe. Once we win we can easily take down Asia.” Cilark says with a grin. I feel disgusted hearing this plan. He seems like he is about to say something again, but is interrupted by one of our media attacks. A picture of our group flashes on to the screen, followed quickly by a picture of Imperium.
The interviewer looks like she might be going crazy trying to figure out what is happening. Cilark is talking to one of his security officers and seems to be pissed. I know that they saw the pictures on their screen. I smile and I can hear the cheers coming from Marie’s neighbors. “I think that is all for this interview.” Cilark finally announces as he stands up. The interviewer is just signing off when the last disruption happens. The last is a picture of the old rebels hanging in the middle of our town. I spot my father quickly and try to hold in my tears.

“That was great!” Cody says as he switches off the TV. I smile at his bright face. Now we are one step closer to the rebellion actually starting. “I can’t believe they really managed that.”

“I know. That was perfect. I can’t wait to talk about it tomorrow at the meeting.” I say with a huge grin. I stand up and stare at the blank screen one last time before leaving Marie’s house.
Chapter 12: Whose Side Are You On?
The rebels are all buzzing with excitement from yesterday’s disruption of Cilark’s interview. I wait until everyone is settled. Everyone is smiling and laughing. This is a meeting for the twenty-seven team leaders. “Now, I understand that everyone heard about the hackers’ success with taking over the Imperium media system.” Everyone lets out a quiet cheer. A few minutes pass until I can talk again. “Besides that my team has made a lot of plans. The spies will be entering Imperium within the next two months, the researchers are already plotting ways for us to get in, and the fighters and crafters have already made over two hundred weapons.”

“What about the mutant soldiers? Cody mentioned them before the meeting.” Lori, leader of team 8, asks from the crowd. Everyone else starts to nod and whisper to one another.

“The mutant soldiers are hard to explain. In the past few weeks we have been in a few fights with two soldiers.” A look of shock crosses some faces, but there is mostly just confusion. Cody walks up and asks if he can speak.

“The soldiers are called mutants because they can shift forms. We believe that the scientist combined animal cells, plant cells, human cells, and an unknown cell to create them. They take on any form, but they have a weakness. So far, all we could find was fire.” Cody says in a serious and professional tone.

“So are you trying to tell us that we have to fight the perfect soldier? How do we tell them apart from everyone else?” Drew, leader of team 12, asks with a frown. He is standing and staring at us doubtfully.

“That is true. It will be hard trusting anyone, but that’s what happens in a rebellion.” He says calmly. I smile at his rational attitude. “Katherine and I have thought of a way to prevent this. A rebellion symbol,” I step forward to talk about the symbol. I repeat everything I told my team and the reaction is the same. Everyone claps and gives me reassuring smiles.
The rest of the meeting is just the team leaders coming up to talk about their plans. Apparently, team 4 is planning on getting their hackers to start a radio station that will be heard all over Novus Terra. This station will be us telling everyone to rebel against Imperium, but it will not start till about a week before the attack. It’s a risky idea, but I like it.

“Thanks everyone. We will meet again next month, but after that I will not be here for the meetings.” I say with a frown. I am about to say more about the rebellion, but out of nowhere Gio comes running into the hall.

“Kat, I need you to see something.” He says with a grimace as he stares at me with worried eyes. I look at everyone and see my confusion reflected in their faces.

“Sorry,” I say and then race across the hall and leave with Gio. “What’s wrong?” I ask with concern. ‘Did Imperium attack or something? Is someone hurt?’

“We managed to decipher that disk you gave us. I skimmed it and I really think you will be interested by what I found on it.” We get to his house and he guides me to a hidden room in the hall. The room is small and filled with gadgets and electronics. There are three computers and some old screens that are showing only static. He sits me in front of a screen and I stare hesitantly at it. The look on his face makes me nervous.

“Just read it.” He says and takes a step back to sit in another seat. I turn back to the screen at start to read it.
Data#9








June 14th, 2018

The specimen is showing improvement. It appears to be reacting to the treatments. His transformation speed is increasing and his dedication to Imperium is improving. I still do not trust him with a weapon, but he is able to kill without one.

Today we took four more rebels and extracted their required DNA. The soldier count is now at eighty-six and counting. We should reach one hundred in a few weeks. I believe they will be ready in a few months for Cilark’s plan.
~ Dr. Trista Brighten

‘Brighten was my mother’s maiden name. Trista is my aunt’s first name. Dr. Trista Brighten is my aunt’s full name.’ I say to myself. I am still staring blankly at the screen. ‘The date is from a month ago. That’s when my aunt left.’

“There is more.” Gio says as he comes up to me and clicks the left arrow key on the keyboard. I numbly continue to read.
Data#10








June 17th, 2018

The soldier is almost ready. It is talking in complete sentences and learning how to copy sounds and voices, almost perfectly. It recognizes danger and acts upon it; extermination. The soldiers will be ready in a week.

As for the rebels, we have broken them completely. No one fights us anymore, talks back, and they now follow the routine everyday without any sort of attitude. The Imperium soldiers intimidate them like they are meant to.
~Dr. Trista Brighten
I turn from the computer and look away. “Gio, I can’t read the rest. I will send Cody here to look at it.” I say in a monotone. Gio says something that I don’t hear. I pass him as I leave the house and the walk home is a blur. Half way there I hear my name being whispered, but I don’t bother to even look up. I keep walking until I feel a hand take my arm and yank me back. I look up and I spot Alec behind me.

Alec is the head guard in our town. He is a hard looking man, square chin, bushy eyebrows, bald head, and a huge muscular body. I pull away from him and try to keep my eyes from looking like I’m ready to attack. He looks as though he has been waiting for me to turn up, just so he can catch me outside after hours. I look up at him with worried eyes and try to make him believe that I am up to nothing.

“What do you think you are doing out here at one in the morning?” He asks with a glower. I take a step back and try to think of a proper excuse.

“I was just going to see my friend Gio Giron. I fell asleep and when I woke up I had to get home. I’m on my way there right now.” I tell him with a half smile. I attempt to keep my voice calm and convincing. “Did I do anything wrong Alec?”

“That’s Officer Alec.” He snaps. “No one is allowed to be out in the town after midnight, unless there is a festival.” I have to bite my tongue to keep from snapping at him. “This is your first warning Ms. Renner. If I catch you out here so late again, then you will get punished.”

“Yes sir,” I say as I turn away and start to hurry back home. I can still feel Alec’s gaze on my back. Once I am sure I am out of his view, I start to run the rest of the way. When I get home I find Cody sitting in the kitchen with a glass of water. He looks up and sees the stress in my eyes and walks up to me with a comforting smile.

“Y-you need to see Gio in the mor-morning.” I say breathlessly. I am panting and having a hard time getting my heart rate back to normal.

“What happened to you? Why did Gio come to get you?” He asks as he takes a step towards me. It takes a few more minutes before I can speak clearly.

“Gio and the hackers got the disk decoded and it was some data log from a scientist, but it wasn’t just any scientist. It was my aunt who wrote that log.” My voice gets deep when I say this and I can hear the anger and disappointment in it. “As I left his house I ran into Alec. He stopped me and started questioning me so that he could get me in trouble. It was scary, but I convinced him that I was innocent”

“That’s why you are a spy.” He says with a grin. Then everything starts to set in and his expression changes within seconds. “Are you sure it was your aunt’s name?” He asks with a frown. I let out a sigh and lean against the counter and take a moment to focus.

“Yea, I’m sure. It said Trista Brighten.” I tell him. “I don’t really know what the hell is going on, but I need you to check out the rest of it. I couldn’t read the log without going insane on the inside.” I let out a yawn and head for the stairs. “I think I’ve had enough for one day. Can you tell me about the rest of the meeting tomorrow?”

“Yea, of course I will. Good night Kat.” He says as he follows me up to our rooms. I enter mine and don’t even bother to change before I slip into my bed and fall into nothingness.

It has been a week already and I know that the time is dwindling down until I have to go to Imperium. Apparently, the rest of the data log said nothing but a few more updates about the mutant soldiers. The meeting was also boring. Cody closed it with a simple statement about fighting, and now we will be getting ready for the next team meeting.

“Hey Kat, I’m here to pick up the speech. You and Cody are going to be saying it, right?” Gio asked as he came to the door. He is planning another media interruption for next week. I smile at him and step aside so he can slip into the house.

“Yea, we are coming over tonight to record it. Here is the written version, in case you want to check it and make changes.” I tell him as I hand him a sheet of paper from the table.

“Ok, that sounds great.” There is still something on his mind and he can tell that I know. He takes a deep breath and finally says, “I’m sorry about the disk. If I knew that that’s how you would have reacted, I would have warned you first.”

“No, it’s fine. I understand why you didn’t tell me.” I say with a half smile as Cody walks down to the living room. “Hey Cody, Gio came here to pick up the speech.”

“Hey Gio, it’s good to see you.” He says with a smile as he shakes Gio’s hand. I smile at him and there is a long pause between us all as Gio skims the speech. “Katherine wrote most of that, just so you know.”

“Well it looks good, I can’t wait to hear you two read it. Tomorrow night there will be another nationwide broadcast with Cilark. We are going to play the recording then.” He says before he heads out of the house.
* * *
Cody and I are sitting in Marie’s living room with her and Leo again. Gio told us that the broadcast is on at nine; that is only in a few more minutes. Cody and I spent most of last night sitting in Gio’s hidden room; recording the speech over and over again until it sounded perfect.

“It’s on, here we go.” Marie says with a smile as she turns up the TV and we all move up close. We see Cilark appear on the screen with a huge smile on his face. He is holding a blue sheet of paper in the air and talking to one of his guards. The lights make him look almost dead. His black suit makes his skin look extremely pale.

“Good evening everyone.” He says with a grin. “In my hand I hold a sheet of paper with names on it. These are the names of the rebels who dared to define Imperium. Tonight we are meeting here to remind everyone in Novus Terra of where there place is in this world.” I can’t help but feel total hatred for him. Every year since the first rebellion, Cilark chooses a night to read off most of the names of the rebels who fought against him.

“First, we will start with the leaders. There is Jacob Evertin, Amelia Lockhart, Bethany Fryer, John Priling, Zack Renner, Ashley F-” He is cut off by the hackers’ interruption. It is only a flash of our picture again, but it is only there for a second before Imperium regains power. “Ashley Foster, Valentine Tyler, Christian Lopez, Patrick R-”
There is sudden static and the screen flashes the word ‘Rebellion’ on it. The recording of me and Cody starts playing loudly on the TV. “Why do we listen to Imperium still? What’s the point of listening to all their s***? Nothing but war has ever come from Dictator Cilark’s leadership.” I say with power in my voice. I feel a little embarrassed when I hear myself speak. “This is it, we need to end this. Our friends and family have died fighting for our future. A future where we don’t start useless wars with every country.”

Cody’s voice follows mine with the same strength, “We need to fight! Join the rebellion and show that together, we can end this!” It is somewhat cheesy, but we are sure that no matter what, we are getting the message across. “Forget Imperium, stand up for Novus Terra!”There is more for us to say, but Imperium has seized the control again. We are quiet for a moment, but I know that everyone is proud. We all quietly cheer and high five each other.
Another step closer to the beginning of this war.





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