The Watcher and The Lord
We reached the rebel stronghold. Lord Huston tapped out his pipe as Enzo parked overlooking a beautiful bluff. The salt air hit me and I remembered my childhood. Before all this nonsense. When I was still youthful and worth a chance. Now my body aches from the cold cold north and in my stomach lies a hunger that grows with every passing day. A hunger for life. A hunger for a fresh beginning. A plot of land far from all the troubles. Somewhere warm like here, only not here, because soon this place will be torn asunder by Mertz and his storm troopers.
“Where is Margharite?” I asked as they led me toward the steel trap to their stronghold in the mountain face.
“In due time Watcher…in due time,” Lord Huston replied as they ducked through the doorway into the darkness of the inside of the mountain.
Stronghold of the Rebels
As I stepped in behind Lord Huston, Enzo shut the steel trap behind him and light shot on. Bold and florescent light burned my eyes. I peered around desperately looking for incoming assailants, but none came. The room was however full of a rather tattered group of miscreants that resembled the truth of the rebellion.
Old weapons from the turn of the twenty-first century. No body armor to speak of and most of the fighters were barely fighting age. Dirty and stinking of loss and rough living.
“If you intend to defy Chief Officer Mertz, you are going to need to do a lot better than this,” I made a gesture to the teenage soldiers around me, “You should know better my Lord. These kids are being led to early graves.”
“What would you know about revolution?” Lord Huston replied as he followed my next move intently.
“Well speaking as someone who has been fighting against revolution half my natural life, I can tell you that your utopian hope is what ruins you. This is war, the smartest and strongest will live out. Do you see the smartest and strongest about you? All of their fathers and elders are dead. Snuffed under the boot of the Franco-German Elite. Now you want their lives as well? For what? For the freedom to starve to death? England, your precious home fell, just like all the rest. Because we have a better way. No more desperation, no more nuance, no more struggle for breath. But no, now these poor kids need to be sent to the slaughter too,” I shook my head, “And where will Lord Huston be during all the dying? Seems to me all your people are dead, so why not you?”
“I admit you do have a fairly strong point there Watcher. It is a rather peculiar string of events that would allow me to live on to fight whilst so many of my people are dead and buried under the tracks of Franco-German tanks. And I have pondered this. For weeks I wandered around northern France aimless. Wishing to die. To join my brothers and sisters in that cold embrace,” Lord Huston lit his pipe once more stinking up the basement stronghold, “One night however, I came about a farm house. So quant. Like it had been preserved through time and this crazy war had never come to their home. I was drunk with dehydration and made as much noise as I could in the hopes of one of Mertz’s men finding me. I passed out out when I reached to door to the house and smacked my head on the porch. When I awoke a woman was helping me, just a simple farm girl named Cecile. She patched up my head and fed me and gave me water and within a few days I was healthy again, but still dead inside. The pain of my country falling in front of my very eyes couldn’t be shaken from a few good nights sleep.
“Then one day there was a bang at the door. Cecile went to see who it was and found a tall uniformed Franco-German standing on her porch. He was wounded. And passed out on her porch just as I had. Cecile bandaged him up as well, fed him and got him upright just like she had done me. The whole time never questioning how I felt about the matter of this man being a Franco-German soldier. I slept with one eye open the first couple of nights he was there…Rulf was his name. Strong as an ox. Good poker player. But defiant. He knew what I was and what his people had done, but to him it was all for the betterment of the world. The world he would say. The world needs guidance and a stern hand. It can be painful to watch at times, but in the end, it is always for the better.
“It was when he said those words that I no longer wanted to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to mash it in the face of your beloved Mertz and take back the freedoms of this once great continent,” Lord Huston pulled a flask from his breast pocket and took a pull the youth inside the stronghold licked their lips, “I killed the bastard the next day. Choked him to death. Cecile tried to stop me…so I killed her too.”