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XIII: The lost chapter of the Book 'Anthem'
I wake up the following day with anxiety on my mind. For this feeling has been unknown. Day and night I think of my brothers, and the Councils of my brothers. The day has come to break the chains from those who are incarcerated by the ones who call for "peace" and "brotherhood".
Here beyond this mountain is a world far beyond any living thing that breathes this day and the next. And I will explore not only alone but with my family which includes my bothers.
Years have passed and Gaea has given birth to seven glorious children. For all their names start with A's because they are the first in the alphabet as they are the first to be raised on this new world. The oldest who has 21 years is Anastagio for he is the beginning of mankind reborn. Adelphos who is 20 means brother to all man. The next one is 19 years of age named Abledan because he was born without the ability to see. After that a blessing was sent to us. Gaea gave us twins both 18 years of age. Their names are Agatone, the brother of kindness and love and the other is Alessandro for he is the defender of mankind. Next is Alekos who is 17 years old which means helper to all. Gaea had a difficult time raising boys. We tried from the very beginning and ended with a boy. Soon our prayers were answered from this God I have later read on who is mentioned in a great yet ancient book called The Bible. He blessed us with a beautiful girl. She is now 16 and her name is Aurelia which means Golden for her looks where just like Gaea whose nickname was The Golden One.
Someone may ask why I have waited so long in order to save my brothers. I have been busy thorough the years building homes somewhat like the one our family lives in. I couldn't do this by my hand alone and have the delicate body of my wife carrying more than what she could handle. I built tools and appliances that were made by the most remembered inventors. Soon as our kids began to get older, I ventured out with all my sons leaving Aurelia to help and accompany her mother.
It seems as though the houses which we built were useless. There were far more house beyond the mountain. There were tall buildings that touched the clouds. I thought the Unmentionable times were destroyed. If so, then why are these buildings still standing? In one wide building were these long walkways sectioned off by number. It was like a library except it had products which I read about called processed food which was put in a metal can for protection for as long as possible. Some products looked familiar because they were in the same house in which we live in. Some of these products were familiar because I read of them. There were shavers, shampoo, liquid like soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste etc. My sons and I collected as much of these products as possible to bring back.
The next store over was titled Izhevsk Morin Firearms. I read about these stores such as Izhevsk's. It contained guns of all shapes and sizes which were used for protection and war.
I appreciated the men who fought for their freedom and justice in war. They died on their soil as well as created a new world and made history. I didn't understand why my brothers never fought back for their independence. Yet I did. I just didn't want to believe it. They were petrified and greedy for their own lives rather than saving the next generation to come. They were weak yet confused. People who fought back were killed and marked as evil because they wanted and knew how to take charge of their own lives. Others who saw their deaths were timorous to see their selves put to death and shame like them. They believed the ones who fought for mankind were killed easily. But they didn't understand that there were so little who fought against and spoke up. But I feel that it is my job to help. I was put here for a reason and I won't let it go unaccomplished.
I raised my children to venerate themselves. To understand the "I" in which we speak of, to not let anyone take away their spirit, walk on their feet or think outside of the norm. The ones that do this are irresolute and jealous. They know they can't do something the other one can the same or better and believe they should take it away and make them appear weak as they feel strong on the inside. No two people are the same. There are similar likes and dislikes upon man but not the exact same characteristics.
If someone were to see my children, they would know they belonged to me and Gaea, for their features was like ours. But not one had the same characteristics. Anastagio gives ideas but doesn't know how to perform or make idea true. Adelphos isn't book smart but he is clever and full of common sense. Abledan may be blind but he is much like me. He can invent an idea that Anastagio came up with and read emotion in anyone's speech or silence. Agatone is quiet and more to himself. He speaks when spoken to but is gifted when it comes to solving a problem that no one can answer. Alessandro is the opposite of Agatone. He is talkative and has a mouth that probably got hit more than the amount a wave hits the shore. He stands up for what he believes in and doesn't let anyone change his mind. Alekos lives up to his name. He is strongest of his brothers. He will help when no one asks and comes when one needs help the most on a task. And Aurelia, I know it is not fair to have a favourite but she is my most precious gem. She is a thinker and daydreamer. She is strong for a young woman, but she has a pack full of brothers who helped raise her. She looks just as Gaea did when I first met her. But as one can see, not one of my children is the same and no one is going to change that.
"Father, come look." Alessandro said.
I follow his gaze. As I look below it appears that we have come yet to another mountain. We have ventured out into the world for about 50 days. Below us was a town. Or what used to be a town. It had homes that appeared to have fallen apart from age. I felt sadness and hope in the pit of my stomach. We walked on the streets of this town. All we can hear is the sound of our breath and footsteps against the pavement. No bird traced the sky with its long wings. It seemed as though there wasn't a cloud in sight. There was a brightness coming from somewhere but the sun wasn't in sight. For this town carried a depression which has never left. How could man leave behind something so beautiful, so different.
Each house did not look the same. Some were tall, short, wide and narrow. Homes made from glass, wood, metal and bricks. But I understand why such a place was taken from man. It showed difference in creativity and lifestyle.
"Why are the windows of that house open rather than closed like all the others?" Adelphos asked, known for paying attention to the details. He was right. This one house which looked the most up kept had a few windows open. "Someone must be living in that house and windows don't open by themselves. Mildew would have grown over them if they stayed open for too long." Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Why is everyone standing around? I'm going to take a look and solve this mystery by myself." Alessandro said. No one could stop him in time. Before he made it to the door a loud sharp echo pierced my ears. I cupped my ears and closed my eyes. When I open them, Alessandro was on the ground with blood seeping from his body.
It was good to know that Alessandro was breathing and still alive. He was knocked unconscious mostly from shock. Agatone took an extra shirt from the bag rapping it around Alessandro's punctured shoulder. I looked up above and saw a slight twitch in the window.
"Who's there?" I said. All I heard was silence.
"Who's there?" I repeat with more anger.
I see tears fall from Abledan's blind eyes. It hurt to see my children in pain because another is/
"We all came here for shelter and we all know you are up there. Please show your face for my brother's sake." I hear these words come from Alastair who rarely speaks.
I see a small face peak through the curtains. It was a child holding a gun! I look at my children's eyes and see their face in astonishment. Is this another human looking at me from the outside world? How long have they been here? The brotherhood said they destroyed every trace of mankind that didn't agree with them. What's really going on?
"Are you The Clones?" The child said.
"What are you-"Ansatagio was interrupted by the child.
"Answer me! Are you or are you not The Clones?" The child asked with annoyance.
"No. We are not. But what are you? You nearly killed my brother." Alekos responded. But the child was no longer in sight. Then the door opens slowly. The kid peeks through then gestures us to come into the house.
"Sit!" The boy ordered with the gun pointed towards us. The house looked like ours except it had a pungent smell of raw flesh. "Why are you here? What do want? Who brought you here?"
"We are here because we ventured out from our home in hopes of finding materials that would be needed to help my brothers escape from enslavement." I said.
"We want nothing." Anastagio said.
"And no one brought us here." Abledan said.
"Who are these clones you speak of?" I ask.
"How could you not know of The Clones? They were the people who were taken away to a faraway slave camp. They were used to make a new economy, a new government. But who are you? " The child responded. We all said our names but the child gave us a funny look and laughed. "What kind of names are those? Anyways, I'm Mikhail."
"How are you still here by yourself when you are only just a child?" I asked.
"You think I'm the only one. There's more." This was too much information to take in. "But did you say you were trying to free your 'brothers from enslavement'?" The child asked.
"Yes, for I have friends who have yet to stand forth for themselves." I said
"Excuse me but what century do you come from? People that talked like you have died ages ago or were taken to the slave camp." He went quiet for a minute. "Are you saying you escaped from the slave camp?"
"If by slave camp you mean The Council, then yes. And I'm proud to say it." I said.
But for some odd reason, the child ran off. My children and I looked at one another in confusion. For this world was really confusing. Alessandro began to wake up mumbling and groaning under his breath.
"What did you do to my arm? Ow, it hurts so much." Alessandro said.
"If you didn't run to the door like stupid and brainless --,"I hushed Anastagio because I didn't want to hear them arguing. I needed time to think.
Before I had the chance to think, I heard a flood of footsteps come in our direction. Following behind the child was about a 100 or more people of all ages and sizes that filled the whole first floor of the house. An older man from the crowd walked up to me with a questioning glare.
"So you have escaped from the council?" The man asked.
"Yes." I responded.
"If these are your children, then did they escape with you?"
"No. They were born on the same free land as you." I said.
"I must honour you for your brave doings." The man bowed to me as well as the rest of the crowd. This was happening way to fast. I appreciated their respect towards me but I had so many questions to ask and I couldn't think straight.
"Please take us with you." One said.
"How did you do it?" Another said.
"Are you the last one?" And another.
Then all of them began asking questions.
"Are you telling us the truth?" The older man asked. Everyone went silent.
The question made me mad, yet I tried to stay calm, "Why would I need to lie?"
"Then tell us everything. From how you escaped, to how you got here." He said.
And I did.
"We would like to help you escape." The older man said. "If we had close friends held hostage, we would try to help them to escape."
"Yes. But now that I have finished with my share of the story what about yours." I said.
The older man was named Damian. He was the oldest of them all, about 93 years old. For I have never seen a man live for so long. His family knew that the Council was trying to take over and give everyone "equal rights". But they knew better. They built a secret bookcase that lead to a basement and stored enough food for years to come. His parents tried to take as many youthful people into the basement to carry on the next generation and books to keep up the knowledge and history of the world. But, his parents were killed for fighting back. He had a younger brother named Jack who disappeared. Life wasn't easy, but he was born to lead. Throughout the years he was trying to raise another generation, but his children were too weak and required medical help which they couldn't get, but to me, he accomplished these goals well.
"Will you take us with you?" He asked.
And I did.
We all traveled back to my home in 3 months. We took as much food as our body could handle or ate as much wild fruits as we could find. I was happy that I had a larger group of people to come along with me, to venture with me, and to fight with me.
Gaea and Aurelia were happy to see us again but stopped in their tracks when they saw the herd of people behind us. We explained as much as possible. They gathered as many of them as they could find and nursed them with their hospitality. That same night we left to set my brothers free.
I remembered this trail from year's back which held such wonderful yet dreadful memories. But adrenaline took over.
The next morning we made it into the town. It may be dark outside, but I couldn't forget these streets, I never could. The roads that we walked on were the same ones that had me cleaning them. I shook my head in order to let the thoughts slide away.
I knew the first place that we were going; The Council of Scholars.
Nobody was up to see the crowd which planned on setting history straight. We waited until about 8 o' clock and opened the doors. The Scholars looked astonished and timid.
"For who are you to come and-"But the Scholar stopped what he was saying and stared. The other scholars were trying to figure out what was wrong with him. I knew he hasn't seen me in many years, nor with a crowd so big. I was waiting for this to happen since I took my fist step into the world. Why couldn't he speak? Never thought to see me alive? I laughed softly under my breath, a laugh that I've never laughed before. But I was wrong. He wasn't looking at me.
"Damian?" The Scholar asked.
"Jack?" Damian responded. Neither one moved. Neither one breathed. Neither one blinked.
The pieces just didn't seem to fit anymore.