tagNovels and NovellasTribe Clandestiny Ch. 09

Tribe Clandestiny Ch. 09

byIslandCove©

Tia Blake.

The warm body in my bed turned, and I smiled as Tilda's eyes opened and she kissed my forehead.

"Morning!" she grinned.

"Good morning, sweetheart. Sleep well?"

"Always, next to you," she said sitting up. I slid up to sit beside her, my arm going around her thin waist. Neither of us had much to show for our, almost, fourteen years, and the restricted diet here had made us both thinner still.

I glanced around; all the Tribe kids were still sleeping. "Did you say anything to Charlie yet?" I asked.

"What about?" Tilda said.

"About you fancying him, silly. He's a bloke, he's not gonna guess unless you spell it out for him."

Tilda looked at me, unsure suddenly. "But what about us," she whispered, "I thought you and me... you know, when we're older... we'd be lovers."

Her pale skin blushed crimson as she lowered her eyes.

"How many people do you know in our Clan with more than one lover," I said.

"You want to share him?" asked Tilda.

"No, he and I can share you. I like girls, Tilda, I love Charlie, but I don't fancy him, or any other guy. In fact, there's this one girl," I said, laying my head on her shoulder.

"Oh, do you really like her?" asked Tilda.

"I love her," I whispered.

"She loves you too," she said.

We both heard the key in the lock, and Tilda scurried back to her own bed as one of the Goons opened the door. He banged his hand on the table, "Come on! Up and dressed! Physical exercise class outside in fifteen minutes," he shouted, turning to leave.

"Can we have water for washing?" asked Lana.

"No, not today, there's only enough for drinking just now," he said, over his shoulder.

"Bastard," muttered Lana, "I feel filthy."

"Maybe tomorrow, eh?" said Charlie.

"Is your Gift stronger now?" asked Tommy.

"Yes, it feels like it's nearly back to full strength." Charlie pulled his belt a notch tighter, "Unlike me," he grinned.

* * *

Bex Blake.

The two lorries and the minibus made there way steadily north from Perth. The roads were almost clear here. The way we understood it, a virulent form of Ebola had somehow been released in the very north of Scotland, and had swept down through the country. It was quick, taking only a day or so to kill, and over ninety-nine per cent lethal. There were a few abandoned vehicles to avoid, but we saw almost no one. We did pass one farm that looked occupied, but drove on, wanting to find a good camp before darkness fell.

Roz pulled to a halt on the outskirts of Inverness, looking at the road signs.

"Turn right?" she asked.

"Yeah, and I think we'll avoid the city for now, too," I said.

We signalled to Crystal, in the box truck, and Corinne in the minibus, then set off along the Aberdeen road.

"Are you OK with taking control of the Clan?" Roz asked, glancing at me as she drove.

"Daddy's had enough," I said, "The news about Mandy, getting wounded, losing Norman and Alice, it's all bearing down on him."

"Clan chief," she grinned.

"Chiefs," I said, "I'm not doing this alone, we're a team you and me."

"Oh, ummm, OK," said Roz, "I wasn't sure... you know."

"As long as we both draw breath, Sweetie, we'll be together."

Roz looked towards the fields either side of the road. "It's nearby," she said, "I can almost smell it, Bex; our new home!"

I tuned in my senses, seeking... something. Even after all these years, all our lives really, we still didn't fully understand the Gift, but it was leading us somewhere.

"Here?" asked Roz, indicating a small farmyard beside the road.

"Yeah, let's stop here for the night. We'll send out scouting parties in the morning," I said.

* * *

Cubbie Jones.

Maja sat astride my face, her little pink peach of a pussy riding my mouth as she squealed to her climax. I released her reddened clit and she shuddered to a halt above me.

"Fuck! You're good at that," she said, slipping off my face and cuddling up to me.

"You're pretty good at blowjobs now too," I said, grinning at her, remembering the way she'd woken me, sucking me to an orgasm before demanding I lick her kitty.

She pulled on her panties and a tee shirt as I slipped into my jeans and sweater.

"Hello!" called a voice.

Maja grabbed the pistol and rolled out of the back of the Land Rover. I snatched the rifle from beside me and slid off the tailgate to lie beside her in the grass.

"Who is it?" whispered Olive from her small tent beside us.

"Don't know, keep down," Maja said.

"Hello! We're friendly, if you are. We want to talk," said a man's voice.

"Step out where we can see you," I shouted.

"You won't shoot? I'm unarmed."

"I won't shoot," I said.

A man of about forty stepped into view, then a woman, probably the same age. "I'm John, this is Sally. We've been trying to get our three kids out of this place," he said, indicating the camp.

Maja stood up and pushed the pistol into her panties, then reached for her jeans in the back of our vehicle. "We've got family in there too," she said, "You got a plan to get them out?"

"No," said John, watching Maja's slim muscular legs disappear into her jeans.

"There are about forty guards," I said, "Plus the teachers."

"There are more of us," John said, "but we're not trained or anything."

"More?" asked Maja.

"When we found out where they were, we moved here, set up smallholdings, thinking they'd let the kids out once we had a home for them," said John.

"They won't let them out," said Sally, "Won't even let us see them. There are thirty families or more within a few miles of here, but none of us had any idea how to get our children back."

"Call a meeting," said Maja, pulling on her bike boots, "We need to see what we can do. We're not leaving without our kids."

"You're sort of...young to have kids in there," said Sally.

"They're family," I said. "We were an intentional community, before the bombs. They're not all related, but they all belong together."

John nodded. "Getting them out is all that matters," he said, "I'll get everyone I can to meet at the sports centre at six this evening. Will that do?"

"Perfect," I said.

* * *

Maja Allen.

The meeting was pretty chaotic, everyone wanting to talk at once. I stood on a chair and yelled.

"Quiet! Just shut up!" The noise abated and heads turned.

"Look, we don't have enough trained people to fight our way in," I said, "and we don't know very much about the layout yet. We need to try to reason our way in, at first, then force their hand."

"How?" said John, "They've got the kids."

"We outnumber them two to one, we could take them, but we'd lose too many people," I said, "But if we can convince them that we're prepared to do just that, sacrifice ourselves for the kids, maybe they'll think again."

A skinny man at the back spoke up. "I was a guard in there, I deserted once I was sure they wouldn't hurt my son. I know the layout. If you can get us in, I'll point you in the right direction."

"Speak to Cubbie afterwards," I said. "Now, find any weapons you can, guns, knives, axes, we need to scare them, hopefully not fight them. We meet here in the morning, OK?"

There was general agreement, but one man turned to me.

"You're just a kid yourself, how can we trust you to get us in there?"

"Maja is a martial arts expert, as am I," said Cubbie. "We also have extensive arms training, and some weapons."

"Show me," said the man, walking up to me.

I took a 'ready' stance as the man approached. I could see that he had some martial arts training, possibly Judo.

"I don't want to hurt you," he said, "But those are our kids in there."

He punched for me, obviously holding back. I caught the fist as I dodged it, rolling with the man's arm, forcing him down and drawing his arm up his back. My arm circled his throat as the knife from my boot appeared in my right hand.

"Enough?" I asked.

"Yeah, enough," he coughed. I let him up, sheathing the knife in my boot.

"I don't even know how you did that," he said, rubbing his neck, "What discipline is that?"

"Many," I said, "anything that works. Now, anyone else?"

There was some shuffling of feet and a few people muttered, "No."

"Nine o'clock, here," I said.

The people broke into small groups, obviously excited about the prospect of getting their kids back, Cubbie and I headed for the Land Rover.

"How are we going to do this?" Cubbie asked.

"Just walk up to the gate and ask them to let us in," I said.

"No, seriously."

"I am serious, Cubbie."

* * *

Cubbie Jones.

Nine o'clock the next morning saw a motley crew leaving the sports centre. A few, those at the front, had rifles and shotguns. Others carried axes, knives and even sticks. Maja stood for a moment with her eyes closed, then nodded and led off towards the gate of the camp.

"Halt! Halt or we fire!" shouted one of the two guards on the gate.

Maja and I kept walking; the rest followed us.

"Stop or we'll shoot!" shouted the other guard, looking uncertainly at his mate.

"All of us?" asked Maja, not breaking her stride. "How many will you get before we kill you? Six, ten, twenty? Then you'll die. Tell me, do you really believe in this place, in imprisoning children?"

"The government has ordered it, Margaret Brasier, the President..." he began.

"Is dead," said Maja, finally stopping ten feet from the terrified soldier. "I killed her."

There were gasps from those close enough to hear Maja's statement. The guards glanced at each other.

"So who's in charge now?" one asked.

Maja shrugged.

"Let us in," I said, "We want our children back, and this place needs to be run by people who will try to get the kids back to their parents. You can help, or you can die. Which is it?"

"We are here because our wives are captives as well as our children," said the older guard.

"Let us in and we'll free everyone," said Maja.

The older guard bent and laid his rifle on the tarmac. His mate did the same, holding up his hands.

"You're not prisoners," said Maja, "Take off any badges of rank and join us. Find your wives and kids."

The men both removed their caps and tunics, then joined the other parents. I picked up the rifles and handed them to others in the crowd.

"What's that noise?" asked John, the parent who'd first approached us.

"A little diversion," said Maja, as the shouting of children got steadily louder. "Come on."

* * *

Charlie Blake.

I felt Maja in my head just after lessons started that morning. I'd primed the older ones in our class to play along. They'd talked to others in their dormitories the previous night.

"We want out!" I shouted.

"Charles Blake! Silence!" shouted the elderly maths teacher.

"We want out!" the chant started, everyone in the classroom taking it up, then we heard it echoed from the class next door, then more voices joined in. We stamped out feet and banged the tables.

Soon, the Goons came running, waving guns at us. We didn't stop. They tried to shout us down, but couldn't be heard. We kept chanting. "We want out!"

I looked towards the door a few minutes later. There were adults, people I didn't recognise, taking the guns from the guards, turning them around and marching them out. We cheered, following them outside.

Children of all ages were streaming from every building, assembling to watch as our captors were lined up in front of a hut.

* * *

Maja Allen.

Cubbie led us to the main building and we soon found the principal's office, 'Ms S Hebditch' printed on the doorplate. I opened the door and we walked in. A secretary jumped up from her desk.

"Who are you? You can't come in here! Ms Hebditch is busy, you don't have an appointment."

I pushed past her, opening the inner door. A tired looking woman in a worn tweed suit stood from the messy desk.

"What is the meaning of this? You can't just walk in here unannounced!" she said.

"We just did," I said, "Sit!"

"But..."

I pointed the pistol at her head. "Sit! I won't ask again." She sat.

"You can't just walk in here, where are the guards?"

I smiled. "A group of concerned parents have taken over control of this camp. They, and the children, will be deciding your fate in a few minutes." Her face dropped, then she smiled a little.

"Forces from the headquarters at Carlton Barracks will come and reinstate proper control here, when they don't get my weekly message," she said.

"When we left Carlton, we released the last surviving guard of the seven men defending the place," I said.

"President Brasier?" she whispered.

"Dead."

"How?" she asked.

I waved the pistol at her. "I executed her, for the murder of sixty-five million people."

She sank her head into her hands, sighing heavily. "Get it over with then," she said, standing, "Kill me."

"I told you, the kids and parents will decide your fate. Outside, now."

She walked out of her office ahead of Cubbie and me. I motioned her secretary to join her.

Outside, we found about thirty men and women lined up against a hut, the parents holding them at gunpoint. I was about to speak, when ten skinny children ran towards Cubbie and me.

"Maja! Cubbie!" they shouted, hugging and kissing us. Finally they parted and Charlie stood in front of me.

"Hello, Maja, thanks for coming for us. I knew you would," he said.

I pulled him into a hug, my lips pressing to his, crushing his slim body to me.

"Thank you for getting them through this Charlie. I've missed you so much!"

He hugged me back, his own voice breaking as he whispered, "I love you, Maja."

"Love you too Charlie." I released him reluctantly, looking into his gaunt face. Though he was just over fifteen years old, the boy I knew had gone, replaced by a man. "How many kids here, Charlie?" I asked.

"Just short of a thousand. They've been struggling to feed us all."

"We offered them food, at the gate, they refused it!" said one of the parents. Kids were slowly drifting towards the adults. The occasional shout of recognition followed by hugs could be seen all around us.

"Do they know you Charlie?" I asked him.

"Most, yeah. Why?"

"Talk to them. Ask them what to do with this lot, but don't let it get out of hand. OK?"

He nodded, then jumped onto a bench. I fired a couple of shots into the air and there was quiet.

"Right. Most of you know me. My name's Charlie. My friends Maja and Cubbie are the ones that have freed us." There was a small cheer.

"We have not been mistreated here, mostly. Some, like us, have been drugged, all have been denied access to our families, but we're alive. Maja has asked us to decide what to do with these people lined up here. Teachers, the Principal, our guards."

There were shouts of 'shoot them'. "Really? Will you do it?" asked Charlie. "No? I thought not. We will need teachers, but we need to be given the chance to find out if we still have families too. Those with families will want to be with them, but some of you already know that you don't have families, others need to find out."

I jumped up onto the bench beside Charlie. "Some kind of a school needs to exist, but it needs to support the community here, and be supported by it too. You can have these teachers work for you."

I turned to the parents, largely behind me. "Give each teacher the chance to join you. Give them a home, food and security. Work out some kind of balance between working and learning for these children. Send out messengers to say the children are free. Hopefully parents will come for many of them."

There were shouts of consent. I turned to the Principal, pulling her up onto the bench beside me.

"Do you actually care about children, Ms Hebditch?" I asked.

"Of course."

"Will you work with these parents, to run this school with them, not in spite of them?"

"Do I have a choice?" she asked.

"Yes," I said, "Get your stuff, and walk out of that gate."

She looked around her at the angry faces of the parents and children. "Is my safety assured?"

"I can't assure you of anything, but there has been enough killing. I'll guarantee that I'll protect you until you meet with the parents and make a decision to stay or go," I said.

She nodded and offered me her hand. I shook it, then turned to John, the parents' unofficial leader.

"Will you look after Ms Hebditch, get some sort of parents committee together?"

"Yes, and thank you, Maja. You've turned something that could have become a bloodbath into something positive."

"The same goes for all the teachers?" I asked, "The choice to stay and work here, or walk away?"

John nodded.

"Come on Cubbie," I said, taking his hand, "We've got a lot of catching up to do with the Tribe."

* * *

Waya Collins.

Inola, my sister, and I stumbled into a ruined gas station as the heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents. We'd been walking, now, for over a week and were desperate to find some food. We'd long ago agreed to drink water from streams and brooks away from the roads; nothing else was available.

"I'm so hungry," said Inola, cuddling up to me as we watched the downpour through the shattered windows of the gas station. I looked around, but the place had been stripped bare.

"We need to hunt," I said.

"Hunt what?" she asked.

"Anything," I said. "We could take down a sheep; cook some; dry a little for travelling. We can't rely on scavenging any more, too many people have travelled these roads now." I slung my old Model 70 rifle off my back and wiped it down with a rag from my pocket. Inola righted an upturned chair and sat down with a sigh.

"Maybe it's as well that Tony never lived to see this," she said, indicating the destruction. Tony, Inola's husband, had died of cancer two weeks before the bombs came. We'd buried him, and were heading back to our childhood home in Oklahoma, when the strikes happened.

"Yeah, I guess it's a kind of blessing," I said.

"I'm sorry you got caught up in this," she said, taking my hand, "I know you'd rather be with your Clan in England."

"I've no idea if they're even still alive," I said. The news in the days following the strikes had been almost exclusively domestic, or concentrated on America's strikes in North Korea, China and Russia. We'd heard little or nothing about the UK.

"Maybe they didn't get bombed," she said, "Maybe they don't have this mutated Ebola virus either."

"Maybe," I said. I thought for a minute. "Inola, would you be up for an adventure?" I asked.

She smiled, a sweet smile that I'd seen too seldom of late. "Tell me," she said.

"We could try to get to the UK, travel up to Canada, cross to Greenland, then Iceland, then to Scotland."

"Is that even possible?" she asked.

"What else do we have?" I asked. "All we know here is gone. The East coast is wiped out, California too. The population is probably only a couple of million now, that's like, the population of a small city in every state!"

"If you think we can do it, big brother, I'll follow you," she said, pulling me into a hug. "Come on, the rain has stopped."

* * *

Maja Allen.

I settled on the bunk next to Cubbie, his arm around my shoulders. "So, what's been decided?" I asked.

"They've formed a committee, to run the camp. They're calling it Northern College, and Sylvia Hebditch is staying to take care of the day to day running," said Charlie. "All but two of the teachers have stayed, and they've worked out a schedule that gives three days school a week and three days working; Sundays off."

"Sounds good," I said. Cubbie and I had stayed out of the planning process; we'd no intention of staying here. "Do any of you want to stay on here?" I asked.

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