“And we’ve suffered long enough under their tyrannical rule! Fight back against your oppressors, who keep you laboring in the fields and factories day and night, barely scraping by! Fight back against the people who take your work for granted! Fight back against the people that don’t appreciate you! ” The crowd roared in a deafening display of anger. “Who are they to take your things as theirs, to call themselves righteous men yet thieve, kill, and lie? They are no superior to us than a flea is to a lion!
We are the brave ones, risking our lives for the good of the country, while they stay in their homely palaces! ” Waving torches and firing their arms into the night, the mob grew even more hysterical as the speaker continued. “Now my brothers and sisters, we will finally receive the fruit of our labor, the years of poverty and scarcity will be at an end! Tonight, we strike at the heart of this regime! Killing the head of the Snake will make the body wither and die, and only then may we be FREE! All you have to lose are your bonds!
So in the name of the people, the land, and all that is good, ATTACK! ” After this final command, the mob started to run for the palace down the street. Only about two hundred meters away, the group covered the space quickly, all the while screaming and firing in the general direction that they were headed. Some being drunk and most being in a crazed state, the bullets hit street lamps, bricks, and the line of soldiers guarding the entrance to the palace. A sergeant’s lips moved as he commanded the line of soldiers.
A volley of bullets hit the mob’s front line, killing some and wounding most. Yet the group was not to be deterred, and were hardly shaken in their lust for blood. They came closer and closer, and the mob fired back into the line of soldiers, killing one and injuring three or so, it was hard to tell. The two groups exchanged fire as the mob inched forward, until the mob was upon the soldiers. All was chaos as the two walls, one of crazed factory workers, carpenters, farmers, and war veterans and the other with grim faced soldiers, both willing to kill their fellow man.
The two sides fought viciously, but the momentum of the mob carried them through the line, and onto the steps leading up the palace. A normally beautiful place, the marble that constituted the steps was painted in scarlet and the palace’s exterior was marred by bullets and various other signs of fighting between the two forces. The mob broke down the two grand sets of polished oak doors, crushing some of the people on the other side. The tide swept up through the palace, up stairs, through hallways, and into assorted rooms as the rebels pillaged, killed, and burnt.
A contingent of rebels ran up towards the roof of the palace carrying the rebel flag, a red flag emblazoned with two crossed sabres mounted on a pole, between them. They broke down the door and raced to the edge of the roof where the flag of the kingship flew. Throwing the flag down from its position, one rebel proceeded to light it while the others replaced the king’s flag with their own. The one rebel took the king’s flag and dropped it off the roof, burning as it fell down three stories to the bloodied marble steps. “Come on,” one of them said, “There is still much to finish. The group’s members nodded collectively, and loaded their weapons with fresh ammunition before wading back into the sea of noise, blood, and death. The mob continued to kill the remaining guards until they were so few in number, they tried to flee in any way possible. A large portion of the original group stood in front of the door to the King’s offices. They broke the hinges of the door and kicked it open. As they rushed inside they were met with a thick cloud of smoke and a volley of bullets whistling through the stuffy air of the room.
The rebels hesitated for a brief moment, until their lust for blood put their doubt to rest. “FOR THE PEOPLE! ” they screamed into the night above all the horrid sounds of battle. The king now lay at the feet of the revolutionary leader, Joseph Maxfield, on the marble steps before a mob of angry peasants. “You have committed many an atrocity against the people of this nation, having sentenced innocents to lives of labor and death under your reign,” proclaimed Joseph to the crowd. The mob grew ever louder with every passing second. At least no one could accuse me of being a traitor,” the king retorted, receiving a number of jeers from the crowd. The revolutionary punched the King in the jaw, bruising his own knuckles, and leaving the king lying prone on the cold stone of the steps. “You call me a traitor? Is there any greater betrayal than a king turning his back on his subjects? The very people he swore to protect? ” Joseph answered, more to the crowd than the king. He promptly turned to the king, and leaned over until they were face to face with only a few inches between.
Ready for the big day? ” he said in a sweet voice, but unlike when he was talking to the crowd, there was no passion in his eyes, just a cold rationality and a devilish eagerness. “Go to the depths of Hell. ” the king spit in Joseph’s face, although he sounded less bold than intentioned. Joseph picked up the sprawled over king, and, grabbing him roughly, held him up by his coat. The normally calm and well kept king was not looking himself today, his clothes were in rags from the battle the previous day and he was bleeding from three or so wounds.
His blue eyes were filled with fear while his generally well groomed mustache hung at an awkward angle, possibly proving the theory that it was fake. “Please no no no, I’ll give you anything, money, wine, you name it. ” The king pleaded with Joseph peering into his brown eyes. “The thing I want is power… ” “I can give you that, ANYTHING… ” Joseph calmly pulled his pistol from the folds of his leather jacket. “You didn’t let me finish foolish king… The thing I want is power… specifically, yours. ” “BU… ”
The crack of the pistol silenced the crowd and echoed across the steps and down the street. After a few seconds, the crowd erupted with screams and shouts, with many of them again firing their guns with reckless abandon into the sky. CHAPTER 2 It was an unusually chilly day, even for the newly christened city of Verrat. Ah yes the rebels, thought Carter. So much had changed since the day that Carter had participated in the final surge that usurped the royal family, ending their cruel reign. They city had been in shambles the weeks following the storming of the palace, but they had begun to rebuild.
Already, a walk down the main street was greeted by the sight of men working together to erect buildings and clear rubble from the streets. It was a heartening sight to see the people working together for the benefit of the nation, and not for their own selfish pursuits. It was late autumn, as one could tell by the cold wind blowing through the city, and the bright colors of the trees resembled a crazed artist’s work when presented with too many colors. As Carter walked down the main street, he glanced up at the palace.
The revolutionaries had resolved to keep the Palace’s exterior in its marred state as a monument to the battle that had taken place there not too long ago. However, the interior had been refurbished and was now used as the headquarters of the new government. Somewhere in there was Joseph Maxfield, the man that had delivered a speech to an angry mob of workers, galvanizing them into storming the palace. He was also the man who had executed the cowardly king who had hid behind a line of soldiers armed with rifles. Then again, if Carter was being totally honest, he could not remember seeing Joseph among the front lines.
Carter scolded himself for such a stupid thought, for he could see Joseph on the front lines in his mind’s eye. Maxfield was a courageous and passionate man, one who only wanted the best for the people who had been so trodden upon. Yeah, that was right, Joseph was a good man, one who can be trusted, Carter thought. A worker almost barreled into him carrying a bag of cement, waking Carter from his own thoughts, and sending him into the real world once again. “Sorry sir, didn’t see ya there,” the man mumbled as he passed by.
Carter could not take offence by the man’s behavior, since he had been working for the good of the community, and as such deserved the utmost respect. After all, the man probably just saw a young and tall man with blonde hair cut close to the scalp, the sort that one did not want to mess around with. Because of this, and his intense grey eyes, Carter was intimidating figure. Carter thought of his own contribution to the cause he so believed in. Having been trained in the special forces, he had an adept knowledge of firearms and was a capable leader, because of these skills he had immediately opted to join the police.
Every weekday he patrolled his section of the city, keeping an eye out for any delinquents, especially anyone who seemingly was attempting to escape the leadership of Maxfield. Carter saw it as a gift to them to keep them within the country, and within the warmth of the revolutionary’s rule. No, thought Carter, rule is too harsh a word, his guidance is more appropriate. So far, in the year since the revolution, Carter was proud to have brought back eleven families, or thirty-eight individuals, to the country. All those families would have suffered outside of the country.
After all, the communist state of _____, had problems, but none so terrible as the outside world. He had heard that other countries were wracked with death, famine, and disease. But here in the city Carter felt safe, under the watching eye of the government. Those foolish escapees did not know much if they thought it was a good idea to escape. They did not know enough, and as such required a strong, but steady hand to guide them back to where they would be better off. After all, most people were untrustworthy, too quick minded, and usually up to no good.
The government knew best, and had the welfare of the people foremost in its priority. A lone police car rolled down a neighbourhood street in one of the three city districts. A married couple briskly walked down the sidewalk, keeping their faces turned to the bright headlights of the car, leaving their backs well lit and their faces in shadow. The man was walking on the left of his wife, and was wearing an old and raggedy winter coat that had been patched up so many times it looked like it had twenty different colors, ranging from black to light brown.
His wife was wearing a similar outfit with a slightly less ragged jacket, this one made of wool rather than cotton. Both were likely under 30 and showed signs that they had walked down this street before. “Hmm look like a POS to you? ” Carter inquired to his partner as he handled the steering wheel of his police car. “Person of suspicion? Nah, just a guy taking a stroll with his wife,” his partner, Henrik Ludger, answered as he peered down the vacant and dim street. “Yeah… after curfew,” Carter objected. “Man, this guy’s just taking some time out for him and his lady.
We should get him back to his house before he gets in serious trouble though. ” Henrik added in a low voice. “Henrik, you know the punishmen…. ” “Yeah yeah, the revolution has been hard on everyone, what with all the changes, and this guy doesn’t seem to be packing heat or somethin…. Wait… Christ, he’s running,” Henrik announced as he reached for the pistol he kept on the dashboard of the car. “Speed up… Faster,” Henrik commanded. They sped down the neighbourhood road, pursuing the fleeing couple. “And I thought this was going to be a normal Tuesday night. ” Carter whispered.