Monday, March 2, 2015

Chapter 20

How do I sum up all of my fears of that place? I can't. The sum isn't calculable. The fear of it is over but the memories of the fear will last the rest of my lifetime. And those memories keep haunting me. It has been days now and they still haven't stopped visiting me in the middle of the night.

I get up. Walk around checking everyone and it is only then I can crawl back in bed and sleep. But I don't really rest. I can't. I feel like if I really stop, finally stop, to take everything in I'll fall apart. And I can't do that right now. Too many of us got hurt, too many of us need me. And if it isn't for physical ouches it is for mental ones, to calm their fears, to help combat their meltdowns. To let them know that though things have changed almost to be unrecognizable that we are still together and that won't change. Ever.

The rest of us only partly understand what we found. I've tried to explain it to Roland but not even he completely understands. They're all sad, they all understand the loss, but not the rest of it, not the dark reality of it. Some of the soldiers wanted ... but no, I stopped them, told them it all had to end. That there had been enough death and that there was probably a lot of dying still going on.

So it has become a prison. It was already a prison, just not one the prisoners inside it understood. The monsters will get their consequences but not at my hand. I can't deal anymore consequences out, not right now. There's already enough blood on my hands for me to deal with, has been for years, blood I can never tell about. But this, this I think I'm strong enough to leave to God. If it is to be death or something like it for those prisoners, let God send the Angel of Death to deal it out. I'm too sick of it all.

And there are so many more immediate problems we need to figure out. And an unexpected future we have to get ready for.


**********

The soldiers had given Georgie a few moments to get positioned for her part of the plan and then they caught the Outsiders in a vicious surprise attack, caught them between their guns and the guns of the Director's people. There was no friendly fire to worry about. It was three forces and only one could be victorious.

Georgie watched both sides of the barricaded door from her vantage point which wasn't very secure and she was almost shot several times. However as soon as she saw the last Outsider fall in the hallway she dropped the grenade into the room where the Director's men remained. Two had fallen in the battle but that left enough for the explosion to shred.

Georgie herself had underestimated the force she'd be up against and she was knocked down along with most of the ceiling, stunned but not really unconscious. The men ran through covering each other, proving through their actions and training that while they may have been turned away by the politicians and military they were still soldiers - the children's soldiers. Georgie watched them through bleary eyes and every time she tried to follow them, she was pushed back down and told to stay out of the line of fire.

The soldiers broke down the door only to find another battle taking place. To keep ricochets from causing more damage than they already had the butt of rifles, fists, and muscles were used to finish subduing what remained of the Director's staff. In a last ditch effort the Director himself grabbed one of the children as a bargaining chip. It was a tense standoff and when the Director realized that there was no way for him to win he put the gun to the head of child named Ralph and nearly pulled the trigger. Would have pulled the trigger except for Tracey.

She gave her life - after all the derogatory and mean words and actions she still gave her life rather than watch one of the soldier's charges be harmed. Who knows why? But when it was realized what she had given for them the children cried for her as if they had lost one of their own. In a way they had. She had been tempted. Would have given into the temptation had the opportunity ever presented itself. But in the end, in the end she chose the children over the fulfillment of her own selfish desires; even knowing they were within reach in a way they never had been before. In the end she chose to be the better person even when it cost her her life.

The soldiers didn't stop despite the loss of a comrade in arms affecting them. They were still on the clock, still had a duty to fulfill. They made sure that all of the adults were disarmed and secured. They got the children out and escorted them to the safe location so they could be reunited with the other children and left in Roland's care. And they counted and moved the dead.

"Georgie ... yo Kid. Dammit, where is she? Did anyone see ...?"

A battle weary Waverly pointed to another open door. "You better get in there with her. She's about to ..."

Georgie let out a moan and then wailed.

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