tagNovels and NovellasTribe Clandestiny Ch. 12

Tribe Clandestiny Ch. 12

byIslandCove©

Jimmy Blake.

* * *

Maja and I both heard it. The rumble of a big diesel engine, coming down the lane. I slipped into the kitchen, pulling on a harness before putting my jacket over it. I stepped back out as an old army truck pulled to a halt.

A big, muscular man climbed out of the driver's seat and walked to the front of the truck. A smallish, tubby man got out of the passenger side, followed by a younger man that could only be his son.

"Can I help you?" Maja said, addressing the driver.

"You talk to me!" shouted the tubby man. "The name's King, Martyn King. King of the coast!" he crowed, flinging his arms wide.

"Never heard of you," said Maja.

"Shut the fuck up and get me the boss of this place," he shouted.

"I'm one of the leading council," she said.

"Oh for fuck's sake," he laughed, "A fucking democracy!"

Liz came out of the back door to see what the noise was about. She saw the bulky driver and gasped, holding her hands to her thin belly.

"What do you want, 'Mister' King?" Maja asked.

"Food. Enough for a couple of dozen people for a week," he said.

"And you'll pay for this, how?"

"The King pays for nothing!" he seethed, turning red. "You give me what I want, or we'll fucking take it over your dead bodies!"

"No deal," smiled Maja.

King turned to the bruiser beside him. "Teach this little slut a lesson she won't forget," he said. He turned to the younger version of himself. "Watch this, Alan. This is how you do business with these toy farmers."

Maja turned to the large man approaching her. "This piece of lard is going to teach me a lesson?" she sneered.

I caught her eye, reaching behind my back. She gave a barely noticeable shake of her head.

"What did you call me?" said the thug.

"A piece of lard. Why, are you deaf too?" Maja grinned.

There was a roar from the throat of the driver, and a satisfied smile on King's face, as the big man charged at the five-foot-two figure of Maja standing unwavering in the driveway.

I twitched nervously. I knew Maja's reputation, but I'd never seen her in action. She waited until the huge man was almost upon her, then stepped deftly to the side, putting out her foot to trip him. He sprawled, face first, in the gravel.

"You fucking little bitch!" he screamed as he regained his feet, blood seeping from the torn skin on his chin and hands. He reached behind him, pulling a knife from his belt, waving it back and forth in front of him.

"What's that for?" asked Maja, grinning.

He charged at her. "To fucking stick you with you slut."

As the knife plunged towards her belly, Maja leapt back, as if on springs, grabbing the wrist of his knife hand. She rolled forward as the man's momentum carried him in the other direction. I flinched as I saw his arm go back, then round, Maja clutching it as she turned. There was a sickening crunch and the man screamed like a child, his arm dangling uselessly at an horrific angle behind him, his shoulder obviously dislocated.

Maja scooped up the knife and was on the man before he'd even stopped crying out. Her arm encircled his neck as the blade pressed to his jaw. I saw her arm tense, not strangling, but constricting the arteries in his neck. He flailed uselessly at her as the knife nicked his skin, then the blood stopped reaching his brain and he slumped, unconscious.

King's face went pale and he reached for his jacket. I pulled the sawn-off shotgun from the harness on my back and glared at him. He held his hands out in surrender as I walked towards him.

"I believe you were leaving, 'Mister' King," I said, quietly.

"Lenny," he said, pointing to the unconscious thug on the ground at Maja's feet.

"No," she said, "He's mine, you leave him here. We have a doctor to fix his arm... if we decide to let him live."

"Leave," I said, raising the gun to point straight at his head.

"Drive!" he shouted to his son, clambering into the truck. The engine roared to life and the younger man ground the gears into reverse and shot back the way they'd come. King leant out of the widow as they left.

"You look out!" he screamed, "I'll be back with a fucking army for you, Blondie!"

Maja smiled and raised a single, second finger to him, then grabbed the collar of the huge man and dragged him towards the house.

* * *

Charlie Blake.

I pulled the black Ford Fiesta to a halt beside the huge commercial poly-tunnels and switched off the engine. I'd chosen the car as it was the most popular model and there would be spare parts to scavenge for years to come. I'd become the finder/fixer of the Tribe, learning how to make-do-and-mend almost anything, or find an alternative that worked.

"Which one are we working on?" asked Tia, climbing out of the front passenger seat.

"This one," I said, pointing to the nearest structure. We planned to take the plastic cover off, as carefully as possible, then dismantle the frame and take it to Fowie Mill to re-build.

I gave Tia and Tilda hammers and took one myself, then showed them how to pull out the nails holding the battens to the frame.

"What can I do?" asked Damini. I'd wondered if it was a good idea to bring my new, seven-year-old daughter along, but she was so persuasive.

I found her a small hammer and a block of wood. "You collect all the nails. Straighten them out on this block, then put them all in a bag for me," I said.

"OK, Daddy," she grinned. Damini's smile would melt anyone's heart.

* * *

We worked a couple of hours, almost getting one side finished, but I was getting hungry.

"Let's have our lunch," I said. "Tia, do you want to go to the car and get it ready? We'll be up in a minute."

"I'll go with her," said Damini.

The two dark skinned girls wandered off, hand in hand, and Tilda and I carried on working.

* * *

Maja Allen.

Daddy stopped me from dragging the unconscious body of the thug and fetched a wheelbarrow. We laid him in it and daddy pushed it to the hospital. Liz ran alongside me, obviously needed to help Mandeep.

"It's him," she said as we walked.

"Him?" I asked.

She lifted her shirt, showing the scars... white lines now, that spelled out 'WHORE' on her belly.

"This piece of shit?" I said.

"I said he could have me... in exchange for a meal. He fucked me over a bale of straw in a shed, then he gave us some scraps, barely enough for Aaron. They let us sleep in an old car near the house."

"He..." her voice broke. "He came back... they dragged me out and fucked my ass..."

I stopped, holding her as she sobbed.

"They?"

"There were six of them. After, he carved this into my skin," she said, holding her belly. "Aaron helped me crawl away when they'd finished. We hid in a shed a few miles away until I could walk again. That's when I came here," she sobbed.

"I'm going to kill him!" I said.

Liz grabbed my arm. "No! No, Maja, let me do this my way."

I looked at her, calmer now. "OK," I said, turning to catch up with daddy.

* * *

"How the hell...?" said Mandeep, once we'd finally got the thug's shirt off.

"He tried to attack Maja," said daddy.

"You did this?" he said, turning to me.

"Yeah."

"Remind me never to fall out with you," he said. "Jimmy, I'll need your help."

Mandeep worked quickly, while the man was still unconscious. Daddy held him while Mandeep manipulated the arm. There was a satisfying crunch as the bone went back into place, then Mandeep strapped the arm up.

"Get him on the bed," I said, "then strap him down."

"You can't restrain the patient," said Mandeep.

"I can."

"It's not right Maja, it's unethical," Mandeep complained.

"Show him, Liz," I said. She lifted her shirt, showing the white letters on her skin. I whispered into Mandeep's ear. "This bastard did that with a knife after he, and five of his mates, anally raped Liz."

I saw Mandeep swallow and draw a breath. "I wish I'd waited until he was conscious to put the shoulder back in," he said. "Strap him down."

I tuned in to Tommy with my Gift. "Bring the tattoo machine and some black ink to the hospital," I asked.

* * *

Charlie Blake.

Tilda and I worked for another ten minutes, then made for the car.

"I need a pee," said Tilda, turning to the back of the poly-tunnel.

"Catch me up, then," I said, walking off to give her privacy.

I'd only gone a short way when I heard the engine. It sounded like a lorry, and neither of our lorries was in use. I ran towards the road.

I just made the front of the plastic structure when I heard the voices.

"Who's left two little slave girls without chains on? Well, if your master can't keep control of you, I'll just have to take you off him."

The short, fat man had Tia by the arm as another, younger, man picked up Damini. Tia struggled and he slapped her face. I screamed at him as I ran towards them.

"Leave them alone! Get away from them!"

"Oh! These are your slaves, are they?" he sneered.

"They're not slaves! We don't have slaves. Put them down!" I shouted.

"All blacks are slaves now," he snapped. I went for him, determined to take Tia and Damini off him. I was too close when I saw the pistol in his hand, too close for him to get a shot, too. The hard lump of steel hit the side of my face and I fell back. My head hit something hard and I saw stars...then nothing.

* * *

Liz Sheldon.

I was ready for him when he woke, a groan of pain coming from his mouth as he tried to sit up.

"Keep still, Lenny, you're strapped down," I said.

"Why?" he croaked.

"There was something I had to do, and I didn't want you to mess it up."

"I know you. Where do I know you from?" he said, recognition slowly showing in his eyes.

"Maybe this will help you to remember where we met," I said lifting my shirt.

He focussed, then quickly looked away. "Fuck!" he said. "What do you want?"

"Oh, I've done what I wanted to do already. Do you want to see?" I moved the tray with the tattoo machine on it. His eyes bulged; he'd had tattoos; he knew what it was.

"What have you done?"

I picked up a mirror and tilted it so he could see his belly... see the reddened skin and the messy black ink that spelled out the word 'RAPIST'.

"No!" he gasped.

"Don't you like it?" I asked, smiling a sickly grin at him. "You marked me for life with what you thought of me; I've done the same."

"No, I'll never be able to find a place to take me with this! This is a death sentence. You've condemned me to never find a community... a place to live. I'll be alone forever..."

"Didn't you think that when you and five of your mates fucked my ass? When you carved the word 'whore' into my skin?" I said.

"I'm... I'm sorry. I... I... I want to take it all back," he whined.

"But you can't," said Maja.

His eyes focussed on the petite blonde and he shrank back. "Keep her away from me. She's not human. No one could beat me like that!"

"I'm just sorry I let you live, scum," said Maja, poking his shoulder. He screamed.

"We're gonna let you go, Lenny," Maja said, "and see what the world makes of you now... with your new tattoo."

He was sweating now. "No! No! I'd rather die... kill me... don't send we out there like this, kill me... please!"

I lifted the syringe and needle, then a small bottle of clear liquid. "You want to die?" I said, grinning.

"Yes! Yes! You do it, for what I did to you," he gabbled.

I pierced the cap of the bottle and drew up a syringe-full of the liquid. "Sure?" I asked.

He closed his eyes and nodded.

I sprayed the alcohol from the syringe onto his belly, stinging the skin I'd reddened with sandpaper, wiping away the temporary tattoo drawn on his skin.

"What?" he cried.

I held up the mirror, showing him the cleaned skin, no ink left now.

"It was fake?" he gasped. "But why?"

"Because I'm not quite the fucking scum that you are, Lenny. Because I wanted to give you one more chance," I said.

Maja leaned in so her face was inches from his. Spittle flew from her lips, wetting his face as she told him in barely controlled rage, "I would have done it for real, across your fucking forehead!"

"Your shoulder is fixed. You can walk. We'll let you go now with two bottles of water," I said.

"Know this," said Maja, "If I ever see your face again, I'm going to put a bullet through your sick fucking brain, so you'd better go a long way away. Got it?"

"Yes." He turned to me. "Thank you. I don't know why you've done this, but thank you!"

Maja turned from the trolley and began to walk away. She stopped, suddenly, gasping.

"Tia! Damini!"

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Someone's trying to take Tia and Damini away," her head flew back, as if she'd been struck, and her hand went to her right cheek. "Charlie!" she screamed.

* * *

Tia Blake.

Damini and I were getting the food out of the car and setting it on a blanket on the grass, when we heard the lorry.

"Is that granddad?" asked Damini.

"I hope so," I said, putting down the plate of cold meat and peering around the car. There, pulling to a halt, was an old army lorry. A small fat man jumped out of the passenger side. He saw me and walked around the car.

"Who's left two little slave girls without chains on?" he said. "Well, if your master can't keep control of you, I'll just have to take you off him."

"Get away from us!" I shouted, "Run, Damini! Run!"

The fat man grabbed me and I struggled to get away. His hand hit my face, knocking me sideways, then I heard Charlie shouting. There was a struggle and Charlie was knocked down. I saw his head hit a rock, and he stopped moving.

"Let us go!" I shouted.

"Get the chloroform," said the fat man, pushing Damini to the ground and putting his foot on her chest to hold her down.

The next thing I knew, a damp cloth was held over my mouth and nose, the smell sickening me as my eyelids fluttered and closed.

* * *

Maja Allen.

I felt the punch that Charlie took, something hard striking his face. I felt him falling, then I couldn't feel him any more.

"It's that bastard King!" I shouted, running for the bike.

I rolled the engine over until I felt the compression pass, then kicked sharply with my full weight. The big twin roared to life. In my head I felt Tia panic, something over her mouth, then she and Damini disappeared from my thoughts.

I kicked the old Triumph into gear and raced off towards the tunnels.

* * *

Tilda Blake.

I heard the shouting and quickly pulled up my panties and jeans, running towards the car. The car bonnet was open and Charlie was lying on the ground, not moving. I ran to him, kneeling at his side. I cradled his head, pressing my lips to his, tasting his blood, uncaring.

"Please be OK, Charlie! Please!"

"What happened?" he muttered, reaching for his head.

I held him in my arms, talking to him quietly.

"Tell me what happened, Charlie. Tell me where Tia and Damini are. How did you get hurt?"

He looked confused. Blood was pouring from a gash in his right cheek. He saw the blood on my lips.

"You're hurt!" he said, trying to sit up.

"It's your blood, Charlie. Your face is cut," I explained.

He shook his head, as if trying to clear his thoughts. "Little fat bloke," he said. "He tried to take Tia and Damini away. He hit me with his pistol and I must have banged my head."

"Tia and Damini aren't here, Charlie," I said.

"Can you help me up?" he asked.

I took his hands, pulling him to his feet. He wobbled alarmingly, then held on to the car.

"We need to go after them," he said, making for the driver's door.

"No, Charlie! You can barely stand." I peered under the open bonnet of the car, spotting a handful of black wires lying on the ground nearby. Charlie appeared at my side.

"Bastard's ripped out the plug leads," he said, grasping for my hand to steady himself. I looked at the wires; one was short and would only reach from one hole in the black cap to the closest spark plug. I fitted it into place.

"What's the order?" I asked Charlie.

"Umm."

"Think Charlie!"

"OK, count from that end," he said, pointing. "The first plug is one, then two, three, and four. The firing order is 1,3,4,2."

I quickly worked out which wires fitted where and pushed them into place. I propped Charlie up on the car and ran to the driver's seat, sitting in the car. I turned the key, and the engine spluttered to life. It wasn't perfect, but it was running.

There was the roar of a motorbike engine, and Maja skidded to a halt next to us. She dropped the bike onto the stand and ran to Charlie.

"Charlie, are you OK?" she cried, wrapping her arms around him. I came to stand beside her as she inspected the gash on his face. "We need to get him to Mandeep," she said.

"Someone took Tia and Damini, Maja," I said.

"Yes, that bastard King. I'll make him pay for this," she growled. "We need to get Charlie back first though."

"Take him on the bike," I said.

"What about you, Tilda?"

"I can drive... sorta," I said.

Maja looked at Charlie and he gave a lopsided grin. "Yeah, she can drive...sorta," he said.

OK, just follow along behind us," Maja said, kicking the Triumph to life. She straddled the bike, settling Charlie behind her, then roared off.

I climbed into the car, pulling the seat forward so I could reach the pedals, then pressed the clutch and put it in first gear. Charlie had only given me one lesson, to be honest, and I'm sure it showed as I kangarooed off up the road behind Maja.

* * *

I sat at the side of Charlie's bed, holding his hand. He smiled at me, still lopsided as his face was stitched and one side covered with a dressing.

"I'm sorry, Tilda," he said.

"What for?"

"Letting them take your girlfriend and Damini. I should have stopped them."

"Charlie, he had a gun! You're lucky he only hit you with it, you could have been shot or killed!"

"They must be so frightened," he said squeezing my hand. I reached over and pressed my lips to his. I felt his mouth open and his tongue pressed between my lips. I welcomed his warm tongue into my mouth, kissing a boy, properly, for the first time. His mouth was firmer than Tia's and his tongue more insistent, but I liked it.

Charlie drew back, blushing. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that," he said, "you belong to Tia."

"I believe she plans to share me with you, Charlie," I grinned.

"Really? What, I'd be your boyfriend and she'd be your girlfriend?"

"Sort of, but we have to figure out how Maja fits into this too."

"Maja? Do you think she'll... want me?" he asked.

"Mmm Hmm, use the Gift, will you! She's your life partner, but I certainly want a piece of you too, Charlie Blake!"

"We're not old enough," he whispered.

"I can wait," I giggled, "Now, kiss me again."

* * *

Jimmy Blake.

I sat in bed, reading. Crystal had gone to sleep with Diane, needing some girlie sex. Normally I'd spend a night like this with Corrine and Milla, but with Tia being missing, it didn't seem right. I was just reaching for the switch on the lamp when there was a soft tap at the door.

"Come in!" I called. The door opened and Maja stood silhouetted in the doorway, shivering in a tiny pair of panties and a tank top.

"What's wrong, Princess?" I asked.

"I'm frightened, Daddy. Charlie's hurt; my daughter and my sister are missing, and I can't even feel them," she whispered.

I threw back the covers. "Come and sit with me, you look cold." She closed the door and slid in beside me, my arm going around her, taking me back to when she was small. She rested her head on my chest, her arms going around my waist.

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