Sunday, June 28, 2015

Part 1

   Hey guys! Yes I know it's Sunday, not Saturday, but it's been a very busy week.
   Today you get the first part of a story. So fear not, there will be more! And, since I'm terribly uncreative sometimes, I'm going to let you help me come up with ideas for the title! Put your suggestions in the comments, and I'll use those to get some ideas.

They had been recruited when they were young and desperate. They were older now, battle-hardened and strong. But they were still just as desperate.
  “D-d-d-do you see them?” Kale asked calmly.
  “Not yet,” Ria murmured, watching over the broken stone wall, pistol clenched in her hand.
  Mist rolled off the nearby ocean and chilled them both. The smells of wet stone and briny air filled Kale’s lungs, and somewhere in the distance, waves lapped against the shore. There was nothing to do but wait and listen, so he sat in silence and watched Ria.
  His cousin scanned the horizon, eyes flicking back and forth, watching everything. She had sharp eyes and a sharp mouth; he had sharp ears and a sharp intuition. That’s how they had survived so long, after their hometown had been destroyed and their families torn apart. They stayed together, even after joining the League.
  Ria glanced at her watch and hissed “Any time now-”  
  Kale grabbed her arm. “Did you hear that?”
  She shook her head.
  This time she did hear something: an angry rumble from machinery that wasn’t working the way it wanted to.
  Then gunfire.
  Ria and Kale tensed. Now, instead of just watching for the attack party to return, she kept glancing at her watch. Three minutes before you see us, tops, Reuben had said. Kale was holding his gun now, a silly notion since he’d have to put it away to run, but she knew it made him feel safe so she didn’t complain.
  A minute passed. In the distance there was shouting, revving engines, more gunshots.  Screaming.
  They were right. It had been a slave ship. Kale and Ria glanced at each other, their eyes saying what their words could not. Maybe we’ll find some of them.
  It had been six years since  they’d last seen their parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. And in all those six years they’d never stopped searching, never stopped hoping.
  “There!” Ria hissed urgently, pointing. Figures, running over one of the grassy slopes. Kale slung his rifle over his shoulder and got ready to run. Ria grabbed the low stone wall, preparing to vault over it as soon as the others were close enough.
  Two soldiers, Reuben and Clarke. Four would-have-been slaves, three girls and a boy.
  Kale counted down quietly. “!”
  They ran. Energy coursed through Ria like it was her first time on a mission. Kale ran quickly, on a straight course to the smallest rescued girl, ready to carry her so she wouldn’t have to run with bound hands. Both of them hoped to see a face they recognized.
  Ria ran to the back of the group. “Go, go!” She waved the poor, confused souls forward, then glanced back and sent a warning shot to the slave traders trying to follow them.
  Reuben glanced at her, but she didn’t have time to be relieved that he was alive, not yet. Now was the time for running, running, running and looking back, running with the salty wind tangling her hair, running for her life. Running and shoving the first batch of rescued slaves into the waiting truck. Running back to the second approaching group and making sure that no one shot at them. Running and rescuing, over and over.
  A gunshot.
  Pain searing her leg.
  Ria heard two people shout her name over the hum of the pain. She tried to stand but couldn’t; then Reuben was there, picking her up and running with her.
  “Send in another backshot!” He shouted, calling in a replacement for her. Reuben kissed the top of her head, gently dropped her into one of the trucks.
  She moaned in pain, gripping her leg but watching as Reuben ran to finish the rescue mission. The second truck was almost full. Soon they’d be back at base and they’d get a medic for her.
  The truck was full of the sounds of crying and whimpering and fearful conversation. The slaves stared at her with apprehension. She ignored them.
  “What’s happening…” Ria heard someone moan.
  “We’re rescuing you,” she said.
  “Are we going to have to work for you?” A little girl asked fearfully.
  “No,” she scoffed. “We’re rescuing you. You’re free now.”
  Excitement and confusion hummed through the truck. The third truck was almost full, and Ria could see Kale running with the last group. He jumped into the back of the truck and closed the door.
  Kale pulled his medkit out of his backpack as the truck rattled back to base. “Y-y-y-you should have b-been more c-careful,” he said, quietly cursing the fear that made his stutter worse.
  “What do you want me to do?” Ria muttered through gritted teeth, hissing a curse as he tied a bandage around the bullet wound.
  Kale stuttered apologetically for a minute before Ria put her hand on his arm.
  “Sorry. It just hurts.”
  “We’ll g-get you to a medic as soon as we can, ok-kay?”
  She nodded and was silent, then asked the question he knew they’d both been wondering. “Did you see anyone?”
  Kale nodded very slowly. “I think so. There was a girl who looked a little like Aunt Marcy. Maybe it w-was Emily; she was only four last time we saw her.”
  “Wait,” a boy called from the back of the truck. “What did you say about Marcy and Emily?”
  Kale swore his heart stopped beating for a second.
  “Do you know them?” Ria asked, anxious and desperate.
  The boy nodded.
  “A-are they-”
  “Were they in the same shipment as you?” Ria squeezed Kale’s hand so hard it hurt.
  “I think so…” the boy said, looking confused. “Do you know them?”
  They nodded quickly.
  “Danny’s in our shipment, too,” a light-haired girl said. “He’s Emily’s brother, right?”
  Marcy, Emily, and Danny were alive and very very nearby. Kale’s hands shook and Ria’s heart pounded. They sat in nervous anticipation for the ride back to base. Kale carried Ria to the medcenter.

  And everything began to fall apart.

Any name ideas? Do you think I should continue this story? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we- wait what am I even saying? Check back on Tuesday for a new linkup!

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