System sacrifice

The harsh wind blew across the street scattering old New System pamphlets as Lilly walked home from school. As she walked, she was watching the sky, seeing the great storm clouds above. She was already in a bad mood from school, but now she was going to get rained on and she still didn’t have a raincoat. If her parents would just send her stupid brother to one of the ugly little private schools he wanted to go to, they could have enough money for a lousy raincoat. Lilly’s parents were always complaining about the cost of sending her and John to the New System School, even though John didn’t want to go there.

When her parents got home from work, she would have to talk to them about getting a new rain jacket. Her required daily walking distance was ten miles now, and now to get home from school, she would have to walk through the free districts. All the crazy homeless people lived there and were always trying to tell the people walking through that they were slaves and would end up being killed. Every day, there was a shooting in these districts where the Exterminators would gather three of the most outspoken Drifters and execute them.

Lilly was just hoping that she would miss the execution today. As she was walking through the Free Districts, one of the Drifters walked over to her and grabbed her arm. He started saying crazy things to her and scaring her.

“They’re coming for you, everybody will be killed! As soon as you learn what they do, they will find you and kill you and your whole family. It is the next step to their Perfect World! WE HAVE TO STOP THEM!”, the man screamed at her. Lilly ran away trying to get away from there as fast as she could. When she finally got back to the house, she would have to find a new way home without going through the free districts. If John still walked with her home from school every day, he would protect her. Nobody messed with John, he was huge and could beat up anybody. He had long scraggly hair that just made him look even tougher, and on top of that, he was insanely fast. She on the other hand was short, skinny, and looked too girlish for anybody to be afraid of her.

She was almost home now and she could see her parents and John standing in the yard looking worried. As soon as she got to them, her parents hurried everyone inside and started talking very fast about even crazier things than the Drifter had.

“They are coming to get us right now! We have done things that have made us targets for New System and they can’t risk leaving us alive now. There have already been hundreds of executions of all the Old Rebels. It has been mostly the people from Old Britain, but they kill anyone who has challenged them before. We have to leave now! If you two can get to a bomb shelter you should be safe, there are–”

Their mother never got to finish because at that moment the sound of wood breaking and men yelling drowned out everything else. The door was broken down and a retinue of ten men in body armor and automatic rifles rushed in. Two of them stayed at the door apparently shooting at someone outside. The others grabbed her parents and one started talking,

“You are a threat to the people of New System, as this is the only country in the world, you will have to make the ultimate sacrifice for

the good of all of New system.”

“John, Lilly run!” Their mother shouted.

Then she started fighting with the Exterminators holding them off while John and Lilly ran out the door.

Lilly and John raced through the trash cluttered streets, terrified. Lilly was running out of breath, and the Exterminators were catching up. John choked out,

“Over there, look! An old bomb shelter beside that abandoned house.”

Lilly didn’t need any more encouragement. They dashed for the bomb shelter. John got there first, and he yanked the door up, letting the old smell of dust and mildew waft out into the air. Lilly looked at him, her eyes narrowed.

“It’s either this, or them,” he said, jerking his head in the general direction of where the Exterminators were coming from.

She glanced back over her shoulder, as if scared to look that way. Then she jumped down into the bomb shelter, John hopping down beside her.

Lilly landed with a loud thump, and the breath was knocked out of her for a second. John fell beside her, gracefully landing spread-eagled on the bomb shelter floor.

“Ow..” He muttered, his voice sounding muffled.

He sat up slowly, and looked around the shelter.

“Not bad for a room designed to stand up to bombs, eh sis?” he said.

Lilly nodded her head in agreement,

“Better than being outside with them.”

She sat down beside John, her breathing returning to normal.

“Who’s there?,” came a scared sounding male voice. Lilly and John both leaped

up in surprise, and shock that they weren’t the only ones hiding here.

“Who’s there?” The voice questioned again. John sat up, and pointed into the shadows in the corner of the room. Lilly looked to where he was pointing, and she saw the shadow of a guy. He was about their age, if not a little older. He was bigger than John, and John knew it.

“Just two people who have done nothing wrong but trying to save ourselves,” he replied to the guy. “Our parents have already been taken by the….” his voice dropped off quietly at the thought of his parents. Lilly whispered the name, her voice full of sadness and hatred.

“The Exterminators.” The guy stepped out from the shadows, and he sat down, worry fading from his face.

“I thought you two were the Exterminators,” he said, relief in his voice. He walked over to them and sat down beside John.

“What’s your name?” John questioned the stranger, “And why are you here?” The guy sighed and said,

“It’s a long story…” Lilly spoke up and proclaimed,

“Well, we don’t have any errands to run, no places to be.” She sat down across from the two boys after saying this, so now they were in a triangle. The guy said,

“I guess the first thing you should know about me is that my name is Chase. Chase Smith.” John commented, “I knew a guy named Chase, he was good at math, he had an aptitude for it.” Lilly shook her head, and John grinned. Chase continued. “My parents and best friends were taken by the Exterminators…” He looked down, not wanting these strangers to see his emotions. Lilly felt sorry for him, she knew what he was going through.

“I know exactly how you feel,” she said. “We’re going through the same thing with our parents.” John nodded his head in agreement. There was a long silence, each one of them thinking about their missing loved ones.

Then John forced himself to think about what was happening now, not what had happened in the past.

“How long have you been down here, Chase?” Chase seemed to snap back to the present with John’s question.

“Um…not long, only a few days.” He said. Lilly said,

“I hope they don’t find us, were they tracking you very closely?” Chase considered it for a moment, then commented,

“No, not really, they weren’t really trying to though, I guess they thought I wasn’t worth their time or something.” John said,

“Good, then maybe they won’t investigate over in this area very much.” Lilly sighed and tried to fix her hair, but it was in vain.

“I wish I could get a hot shower, and maybe some pizza.” She said mournfully. John glared at her, and said,

“One more word about food, young lady, and I’ll–” His threat was interrupted by his stomach growling loudly. Lilly burst out laughing. “Do you have anything to eat in here?” John questioned Chase, after giving his sister a glare. Chase stood up, flashlight in hand, and went over to one of the cabinets that were in the room.

“Let’s see…there’s some water in here….and……some kind of bread or crackers or something…” He stuck his head up out of the cabinets.

“That should sustain us for a while.” John said happily.

John and Lilly started looking around in the cabinets too, finding million year old Twinkies and Spam. Most all the cabinets had some sort of food in them. They were all concentrating on finding food and when Lilly pushed some food back,and something fell, it sounded like a bomb had gone off. Lilly called John and Chase

over and they pulled all the food out of that cabinet, finding a huge empty space in the back.

“Chase, do you know what this is?” John asked.

“No idea dude,” Chase replied. Lilly, getting impatient, started reaching into the open space farther until her hand touched a rope in the back. While John and Chase were speculating about what it could be, Lilly pulled on the rope and the shelf slowly slid down making a small doorway. She walked through and found herself in a big underground room. By now John and Chase had seen what she had done and followed her in. Lilly started walking and soon found a hallway leading to a bunch of rooms. She started going into some of them and when John and Chase found her, she had figured out where they were.

“We’re in one of the secret rebel hideouts from the War.” Lilly said to John when he walked in. “Remember when Mom and Dad would tell us about how they fought with the rebels in the war and how these places were all over the city? It was how they did so well in the war, they held off the military for like four years. When they lost the war, they realized how wrong they were and started working for the New System Government. I thought they were in charge of destroying these places though, I wonder why this one is still here?”

“Maybe Mom and Dad weren’t as good of New System citizens as they pretended to be. Maybe they were really building more of them,” John said. “Well lets see what we can find down here and we need to cover up the entrance through the cabinet.” An hour later, they had walked what felt like fifty miles when they got to a ladder with a metal hatch at the top. “Hey there’s a note up here,” John said after climbing up the ladder. He climbed back down and they opened up the letter. Lilly read it over John’s shoulder, she recognized her mother’s handwriting. Kids, hopefully we will

live to stop the senseless killing that will undoubtedly be happening, but if we don’t, then you two can do it for us. We have been working on a plan with a lot of the old rebels. The Smiths are in charge of all the plans, so they will probably be the first killed. After that happens, we want you two to find their son, Chase. You can help each other. You all will have to stay hidden, but we have been adding on to the tunnels under the city. They go all over North America and have exits into a lot of important New System buildings. You can get anywhere through them and can wreak havoc on New System. Do whatever you have to to bring down the System. We love you both, Mom and Dad.

Lilly looked back up with tears in her eyes.

“We have to protect their legacy, and finish their work,” she muttered.

“Well we already found Chase, so I guess we need to go and fight against New System, but I wonder where this door goes to.” John said.

“Well there’s only one way to find out.” Chase replied, wanting to actually do something. With that he started climbing the ladder. When he got to the top, he opened the hatch and looked out. Then he climbed all the way out and motioned for Lilly and John to follow him up. When Lilly climbed up into the room, she could tell it was a storage room somewhere. When her eyes adjusted to the darkness in the room, Lilly could see Exterminator uniforms, body armor, rifles, pistols, and knives on shelves all around the room.

“We must be in one of the Exterminator bases,” Chase said.

“Well what should we do?” Lilly asked.

“Let’s see what is in here and if we can use any of it to wreak havoc on New System.” John said. They started looking through the supplies and found smoke grenades and many different guns. They all grabbed a weapon and

walked out of the room. Chase threw a smoke grenade out into the room ahead of them and John threw a pulse grenade at a wall, blowing it up. Then they all spread out shooting at anyone they saw as they walked through the building mostly they shot at people’s legs, making them fall and unable to come after them. They met back up at the other end of the building and found another hatch into the tunnels under a fake floor in a closet. They leaped back in and closed the hatch.

“That was insane!” Chase said once they had all caught their breath.

“I hope we didn’t kill anybody,” Lilly said. “Look they are Exterminators Lilly, we can’t worry about what happens to them because they are killing innocent people for no reason. If we want to save ourselves and all the other innocent people, we have to fight. We can’t just let them kill people for no reason and get away with it!” John shouted. Then he started walking down the tunnel. Chase and Lilly followed and they found a small room to sleep in that night.

The next morning, they got up and explored the tunnels some more. By the end of the day, they had found bunches of rooms filled with weapons and battle suits and military uniforms. There had to be millions of dollars worth of technology down in the tunnels. Again they found a room to sleep in and the next morning, they set out to find another hatch. They found one and went up with some of the new weapons and armor. They did the same thing that they had done the day before and shot at and confused the Exterminators as much as possible. They continued their raids of

Exterminator bases over the next month going into one every day. By the end of the month, they had been into over 30 bases and shot at hundreds of exterminators. Every time they had gone out into public, they had heard people talking about an evil ex-exterminator special forces group that were traitors to New System and wanted to murder every New System citizen. They said there were hundreds of the traitors working all the time to dismantle all form of control in the people’s lives and hold back the entire country from ever doing well. They wanted every law abiding citizen to be dead. It was funny to the kids to hear that since it was just three kids, whose parents had been killed, who were doing all this. After going for all the small targets all this time, Chase, John, and Lilly had decided to try going into the main New System office and “wreaking havoc on them”, so they made a plan and found the right door. Their plan had worked perfectly and Chase and John were already almost to the closet with the exit and celebrating having made it all the way through, when Lilly came running up and pushed them into the tunnel and jumping down herself, screaming

“John! Chase!” Lilly shouted. “They sent reinforcements to stop us, we have to move. NOW.” The boys looked at her, their faces were question marks. “Are you sure it’s not a figment of your imagination?” Chase asked. “I’m sure!” Lillly told

them. “They are COMING, we have to MOVE.” They ran down the tunnels, dust from years past went flying into the air. Lilly was in the lead, the boys right on her tail. Suddenly shots rang out behind them. They ran even faster, their flight fueled by terror. John ducked as he ran, a bullet flew into the wall beside him. Chase shot around a corner, almost skidding into a wall. Lilly suddenly stumbled and fell to the ground. John ran past her, almost stepping on her, then he noticed she’d falled and he charged back. He grabbed her arm and hauled her up, getting her back on her feet. Chase had stopped too, and he looked with wide, scared eyes into the shadows back along the the tunnel. Lights were coming down the tunnel, small laser-like lights. Chase gasped out,

“They’re getting closer!” They all started running again, slipping and sliding along the dark damp tunnels. Lilly was the first to make it to a small room with thick, heavy, yet well hidden, metal doors. She tried to pull them open, but she couldn’t get them. John and Chase ran up, and they helped get it open. When they finally got it open, they all ran inside and shut the door tightly. They all shrunk back to the far wall of the small room, the boys standing in front of Lilly. They were all quiet for a few seconds, then they heard the faint voices outside the door. They all seemed to hold their breath, and then the voices faded.

“Well that was close.” Lilly said as soon as she thought the Exterminators were far enough away.

“Yeah I thought they would ca–” all of a sudden the door banged open and the Exterminators rushed in.

“You have been working to destroy our great Nation for too long, Now you all must make the ultimate sacrifice for New System.” With that, three men fired their weapons at the kids, shooting them in their hearts.

Their bodies slumped to the floor and the Exterminators marched out of the room in a line leaving the bodies to rot away in the old room they had run into.The blood was still streaming out of the gun wounds of the three kids and their bodies laid on the hard tunnel floor. The exterminators had left the door wide open so anyone or anything could come and do what they wanted to the traitorous little children’s bodies. Five hours later, a teenage boy came walking into the cell, he walked up to John and rolled his body over. He pushed a button on the military suit John was wearing and then went over to Chase and Lilly pressing the buttons on their suits. The cell filled with groans and all three kids stood up.

“Thanks George, the plan worked perfectly,” Chase said to the boy and the four teenagers walked out of the room and into the world to continue their fight to bring down New System.

“We have to find a new place to stay” John said that night as they all huddled in the street.

“Well we are four kids all with dead parents and we have been declared dead by New System, it can’t be too hard to find a place to stay right? Lilly said sarcastically.

“Well maybe if you were not such a little brat…”

By this time Chase and George had just about had enough of the siblings arguing. “SHUT UP you fools” George finally screamed. ” I just met you two and all I have seen you do is bicker. So just shut up and let’s find somewhere to sleep and continue our work.” Everyone just stared at him and then they all started trying to figure out a place to stay.

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