We quickly assembled ourselves, in effect blocking the only entrance into the area that made our camp. There was no speech between the two sides until we had come out. Martin spoke first. “We’d thought you’d come out slower, and that we would’ve been able to make a surprise attack. Seems like you were ready. We’re giving you one last chance to accept our terms, and that chance will be gone in ten seconds.”
No one said anything in reply.
“It’s on then,” Luke growled.
The group slowly advanced towards us. I quickly reevaluated them. Now that Luke’s anger was up, the battle didn’t seem so fair after all.
I looked at Toby. He glanced at me, and we shared mutual understanding: we probably didn’t stand much of a chance against these raiders.
Luke launched himself upon us and swung a stick with a stone attached to the end around madly. I nearly swore. A stone on a stick.
Swinging that at face level. He must be crazy!
The others advanced towards us in a line, after Luke had led the way. I finally understood the way that they wanted to raid us. It wasn’t a crazy raid like what we had anticipated, it was an organized mini-army that was coming towards us.
Luke tried to hit my face, but I ducked just soon enough. Toby then quickly tried to knock Luke at his head, but Luke was faster. “Hold the line,” Toby shouted to us, “don’t let these people past.”
Don’t worry, commander. This camp we defend with our lives.
Luke, probably realizing that a one man show on his part, no matter how much anger he had, was not going to break our line, joined the others. They tried to push their way through, swinging their stick-stone clubs around. The entrance, however, was only large enough for about two people to push through, and with me and Toby holding it, with the rest at the back, it was easy to block the way.
The attackers tried to push through as hard as they could, but we found a new system. Anne, Sophie and Isaac at the back would be the people who tried to hit the attackers away, while Toby and I continued to position ourselves at the entrance.
After a while, the attack collapsed and the group fled back into the forests.
“That wasn’t very hard, was it?” I said, wiping my forehead.
“Let’s not expect this to be the last attack,” Anne said, “because it’s probably not. In fact, I think they’re gonna try again pretty soon. We need to be ready and take a rest. Same tactics next time. Who’s on sentry duty?”
* * * * *
We repulsed two more attacks in the next two days. In the second time they attacked, they used exactly the same tactics, which fared just like the first attempt; in the third time they tried to rush the entrance as quickly as they could, but we managed to block it quickly enough.
The fourth attack would prove to be different.
The attackers had switched their weapons from their heavy stick-rock clubs to using bamboo javelins. They were longer than our own bamboo spears, and they quickly came into the entrance, and we could not block it, because the javelins had already came to the inside.
Anne looked at me. “What are we going to do now?” she quickly said. “We’re trapped in our own wall.”
The attackers were rushing in. We hurried to try to block their way, but without success. Sweat dripped all over my forehead. What were we going to do?
Isaac was the first to flee. He simply broke out the bamboo, grabbed his bike and ran out. Toby, seeing Isaac, shouted that everyone must run, and copied Isaac’s example. One of the attackers had taken out a knife, and the situation was getting extremely dangerous. Toby and Anne fled, and Luke jumped after Sophie and I.
Without thinking, I quickly opened my bag and handed Sophie my knife. My intention was that she would threaten Luke with it.
Luke, however, seemed to be possessed and pushed Sophie to the ground. I watched, paralyzed by the scene, as he grabbed his javelin and seemed to be about to plunge it into Sophie. Sophie fearfully grabbed the knife from the ground and waved it around, screaming, to threaten Luke, but Luke did not see it. He lowered his body and Sophie, still waving, thrusted the knife right into hist chest.
Luke’s face started to drain of color as he realized what was happening. Blood started to drip out of his mouth, and he simply sat there, dumb-struck. Within a few seconds, Luke’s body flopped down, lifeless. It was a horrifying scene.
The other group cried in anger, and I quickly grabbed Sophie’s bike, basically threw it right to her, jumped on my own and rode away. Sophie quickly followed.
By the time that we reached the others, we were breathless.
“What took you so long?” snapped Toby. “Were you trying to rescue the supplies or something?”
I looked uncomfortably at Sophie, who was still shocked at what she just did. “It’s an accident,” I whispered to her, although I didn’t really think it would be much help. Anne noticed Sophie’s shocked face and asked for what had happened.
At this point, Sophie fainted.
“What happened?” Toby hissed. “What were you two doing?” I had no choice but to explain, and so I quickly told what had happened, and made it as undramatic as I could.
When I finished telling the tale, everyone was silent.
“Well…” Isaac started. He didn’t bother finishing his sentence.
Sophie awoke and slowly rose. She started sobbing.
“It’s OK, Sophie…” Toby said, “it’s OK.”
Sophie’s eyes were shot-red. “No it’s not!” she cried. “I just…” she fell silent. I was useless, standing there. My own sense of morality was becoming confused. I didn’t know what to do.
Anne said quietly, “It wasn’t wrong for you to do that. You did it in self defense. The law doesn’t punish people who did…things like that to defend themselves.”
“Still…” Sophie sobbed.
“Go to sleep.” Toby said. He turned to us. “Now, this is what we must decide. What in the world are we going to do now?”
“We’ve lost most of our supplies.” I said. “We need to get to town to gather new supplies.”
“Isn’t it going to be too dangerous around here?” Isaac said. I rolled my eyes. I think he was implying that we should just let ourselves be captured.
We were lost in an argument for a few minutes, before finally, Anne came up with an idea.
“Do you remember the conversation the two soldiers had, when we just found out a revolution had happened?” We all nodded. Anne continued. “They said something about the city of Greyville.”
I remembered. “Yes, they did! They said Greyville still resisted the Great Leader’s troops. The time when a patrol came and I was locked inside the bathroom, I also heard something about how Division Eight of the army is still trying to make Greyville capitulate.” I paused, letting this sink in. “It’s a ray of..”
“It’s been a long time since then.” Isaac interjected. “I don’t think they’re still free. Are you implying that we should go to Greyville?”
“Yes, indeed.” I said. Anne nodded.
“What if they’re already captured? What if we go just to find ourselves in the middle of a country with no place to hide? What if we can’t get there?”
“What if we don’t decide anything at all?” Toby said bluntly. “We need to make a decision, right now. Either we go to Greyville, or we try to cope here. I vote for Greyville.”
“I vote for staying here.” Isaac said confidently.
“It’s too dangerous to go outside the national park. Besides, it’s going to be a tiring travel.”
“It’s dangerous here too.” I pointed out. “The robbers will probably crush us to pieces if they find us again. We don’t have any more supplies, and we need to go to town. If we can get to Greyville, which isn’t too far away from here, and they’re still free, we’ll be taken care of.”
“Why would they take care of us?”
“We’ll try our luck.” Toby said. “Listen, Isaac. We don’t have much of a choice. Here in this national park, patrols are crawling around everywhere. We have enemies. Our supplies are gone. It’s pretty hopeless. In Greyville, at least, we’ll be supported by other people.”
Isaac bit his lips. Finally, after a long silence, he nodded.
“It’s decided then.” Anne said. “We’ll go to Greyville. Wake up Sophie. We haven’t got time. Jump on the bikes. Let’s go.”