BRAVE NEW WORLD SERIES
Charles W. Bird
Paul Cormier: For the idea of such an adventure Dr. Robert Vallier, Ph.D.: His input on the construction of this story made it possible.
This story is dedicated to the memory of Colonel Richard Dagget O’Donnel, United States Marine Corps 1937 – 2009 A wonderful friend from my own childhood
© 2014 This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any manner without my express, written permission
AFTER CRASH PROLOGUE It was becoming apparent that things were coming to a head. The government entered into a massive welfare and social reengineering program and, at our urging, our neighbor to the North, The Dominion of Canada, embarked upon the same program. In order to support such an endeavor, both countries began borrowing massive amounts of money, from China principally. The staggering magnitude of the borrowing dried up credit worldwide, creating bankruptcy for many smaller nations. Those nations were unable to repay their debts and their governments collapsed. In order that they might bring stability out of the chaos, The Chinese Government demanded payment on our country’s debt, which they were unable to pay. Likewise, Canada was unable to repay any of their loans. When this became known, a run on the banks in both countries dried up all available cash and payrolls, bills and operating funds disappeared, there simply was no money to be had. At one point, just before the collapse, gasoline was going for $65.00 a gallon, any grade! Within a week, nothing was moving in all of North America, food stores were being looted and anarchy prevailed. Both governments were paralyzed, electric power had gone off and the only organizations that were mobile were the military and they began to operate without governmental oversight in whatever manner they thought best. Freedom was lost!
MEET IN COUNCIL
The next morning, excitement was running rampant. The girls has selected their elder spokesgirl, Sally and another, June, to be their delegates. The adults selected James Ammon and John Brayton to be their spokesmen. The boys selected Jacob and Fish to be their representatives.
I was a little concerned about the selection of Jacob, because it was well known that he and Fox were a couple, but I suppose that was considered when the boys chose him. The two were not flashy about their relationship, but all one had to do was see them together.
At the appointed time, Ricardo and Rodrigo started the drum rolls calling To Council. As people gathered, Ricardo called out, “ONLY MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL MAY SPEAK, UNLESS COUNCIL ASKS OF YOU, YOU MAY NOT PARTCIPATE, HOWEVER ALL ARE INVITED TO LISTEN”
As soon as the selected delegates were seated, Fox rose and held his hand for silence, “I, FOX-ATA CALL UPON THE GREAT SPIRIT TO GUIDE OUR DELIBERATIONS. I, FOX-ATA WILL ACT AS MODERATOR BUT, LIKE OUR CHIEFS, I CANNOT VOTE. LET US BEGIN, WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE GIRLS?”
I speak for the Girls, I am Sally, with me is June, we both shall vote.
Fox replied, “WELCOME, SALLY AND JUNE, WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE BOYS?”
I speak for the Boys, I am Jacob, Fish is with me, we both will vote. Again, Fox replied, “WELCOME JACOB AND FISH, WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE ADULTS?”
I speak for the Adults, I am James, John is with me, we both shall vote.” Fox continued, “WELCOME JAMES AND JOHN.”
He continued, “JOHN AND MARIA BRAYTON HAVE ASKED TO ADOPT TWO GIRLS INTO THEIR FAMILY. JOHN, YOU MAY NOT VOTE ON THIS MATTER. ARE THERE ANY WHO WOULD OPPOSE THIS ADOPTION, RAISE YOUR HAND.” There were no hands raised. He continued, “WHO THEN SHALL CHOOSE?”
Sally spoke, “WE PROPOSE A LOTTERY AMONG THE GIRLS THAT FOUR GIRLS BE SELECTED AND JOHN AND MARIA SELECT FROM THOSE FOUR GIRLS.”
Fox asked, JOHN AND MARIA ARE HERE, IS THAT ACCEPTIBLE WITH YOU?” John looked at Maria and she nodded, yes so John relied in the affirmative.
Fox continued, “IS THIS ACCEPTABLE TO THE COUNCIL, ALL SHOW A HAND OF THOSE WHO MAY VOTE?” All hands were raised in the affirmative, that motion was carried.
Fox again spoke, “ARE THERE ANY FURTHER MATTER TO COME BEFORE THE COUNCIL”
Jacob stood and said, “BEAR WISHES TO BE CONFIRMED AS THE HEAD OF SECURITY AND HE WISHES TO SELECT HIS CREW.”
Fox replied with, “ALL THOSE WHO OPPOSE THIS, RAISE YOUR HAND.” There were none in opposition so Fox stated, “THIS MOTION HAS BEEN APPROVED. IS THERE ANOTHER MATTER FOR THE COUNCIL?”
Sally spoke with, “THERE ARE TWO MATTERS THE GIRLS WISH PRESENTED, THE FIRST IS SEVERAL OTHER ADULTS WISHED TO ADOPT GIRLS, WE WOULD LIKE TO HANDLE THIS AMONG OURSELVES. THE SECOND MATTER IS THE GIRLS WOULD LIKE TO MINGLE WITH THE BOYS AND PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOLING AND PLAY.” Before Fox could reply, I stood and said, “I AM CHIEF PETER, THIS IS A MATTER OF COMMON SENSE AND NEED NOT BE VOTED BY COUNCIL.” Before Fox could respond, all council members shouted, “WE AGREE”
Fox looked a little sheepish and said, “I GUESS THAT IS A YES? WHAT FURTHER BUSINESS IS BEFORE THIS COUNCIL?” Nobody spoke up so he closed the meeting. Henry and I felt that for a first effort, everything went very well. We were coming together as a people, the future boded well.
WINTER CLOSES IN
The day after the Council meeting, a fierce winter storm blew in, bringing bitter cold and snow. As we had plentiful food and firewood, we were not immediately concerned, but as the weeks passed and there was no let up in the storm, Henry and I were becoming worried about snow loads on the buildings and ventilation. The observation deck was particularly concerning, so we had the boys get shovels and clear it off.
As they were working up there, one boy spotted a column of smoke rising into the air just south of us, towards the old main highway. This was troubling, who could be there? I called for Bear and showed him the smoke, he said that he would take a couple of his warriors and go down to observe what was going on. Henry and I waited in the great room, watching out the window. It seemed to be a long time and we were getting a little concerned when what appeared to be a wagon pulled by two horses, with another horse tied behind the wagon slowly made its way through the deep snow towards the house.
Bear and his warriors were walking beside the wagon. They didn’t seem confrontational, so we hoped all was friendly. When the wagon finally pulled up in the yard, Bear escorted a man and a woman to our door. Bear was very formal, he stood at attention as spoke, “Father Chief Peter, Father Chief Henry, I present to you Mr. Carter Rollins and his wife Sarah Rollins. They have three sons in the wagon, Jeffery, Soloman and Carter, Jr. I, BEAR-ATA VOUCH FOR THEM, THEY ARE GOOD PEOPLE! Fathers, let us bring them in the house where they may warm themselves, the boys are very young.”
Ricardo and Rodrigo wiggled out between us and headed to the wagon.
While we were all standing there, the twins brought three boys out of the wagon, one was not even walking yet and the other two were, indeed, very young. The twins brought them up the steps to the door and said, “Daddies, they are hungry, there is no food in the wagon” That broke the situation; we were NOT going to let children go hungry!
We brought them all into the warm house and the chef crew started heating some milk and sticky-buns for the children. While the children were eating their treats, the parents explained, “We are school teachers and we were hired to start a school at the internment camp. When we got there the conditions were so horrible we just couldn’t stay there. They told us to go on then, and they refused us food or help. We continued on until we finally found this open field where we could camp without those terrible people being able to sneak up on us. We traveled three days before we felt is safe to stop, there is where your warriors found us. They looked very fierce, but they were so kind to us and promised that we could come here, we felt we should at least meet you.
Fox jumped up at that and held Mr. Rollin’s hands between his and looked deeply into his face. While holding the man’s hands, he spoke, “I AM FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE COLONY. OUR PEOPLE ARE ATAWONKA. WILL YOU ABIDE OUR LAWS IF YOU JOIN US?” Mr. Rollins looked at Fox and then at me, he returned his gaze to Fox and said, “Will you allow us to join you? Will I be able to feed and care for my Family here?”
Fox replied, “I AM FOX-ATA, SHAMAM AND MODERATOR OF THE COUNCIL. THESE ARE OUR CHIEFS AND THEY SAY TO ME THAT YOU ARE WELCOME. YOU MAY STAY A WHILE OR YOU MAY STAY FOREVER, THE CHIEFS HAVE SPOKEN, SO IT SHALL BE.”
Ricardo whispered to me, “It’s OK Daddy, I told him what you were thinking!” Oh, where do I get lead helmets? More Ricardo giggles!
Mr. Rollins formally took Fox’s hand and said, “Sir, on behalf of my wife and children, may we stay here and be part of your community?” Fox looked proud to be called sir, but he told them that they were welcome to stay and, “LET’S EAT! Fox darted into the kitchen, grabbed a sticky-bun and was seated beside the boys before any of us could get in the room. He grinned and us and asked if we wanted a sticky-bun. He was still a little boy under the skin!
After talking with the Rollins’ we discovered they were professional school teachers and had teaching experience up through high school level! What a boon they could be for our children! While we were all talking, their oldest son, Carter, Jr. walked up to his Father and asked, “Ricardo and Rodrigo say this is a good place, can we stay here, Daddy. We are tired of travelling, we want to live here. PLEASE?” Mr. Rollins, he asked us to call him Carter, said, “Would this be possible, we have nothing to contribute?”
Henry then asked him if they could help school our children and Carter asked, “How many children are here?” I laughed and told him, “About 100!” His immediate reply was, “Well, let’s get started”
So that is how we came by a School Principal, Teacher and yet another Teacher! Over the next several days we got the Rollins’ settled in the basement apartment until we could build some more houses. Henry was going to have to take a crew up to the timber land and sawmill next summer and do some serious lumber making!
Within two days, school classes were started and Nel was asked to continue as a teacher, also.
We were becoming a real community. It was troubling that the Internment Center was so close, but Carter told us that they had more trouble than fleas, there would be no visits from them any time soon.
We continued to have electricity, George had serviced the water-turbine generator last fall and had found some frayed wiring, so he replaced it all and lubricated all the working parts. The generator was not overloaded, so it should last a very long time with proper maintenance.
The winter weather again closed in on us, some of the snow drifts were almost as high as the house. There would be no more travel until spring.
Bear made sure the observation deck was kept clear and that someone checked as lookout several times each day. It is true, we were isolated by the snow now, but it is always best to be alert.
I shared with Carter my suspicions about the mind-talkers. He told me that it was becoming known in education circles that this ability was growing among today’s children. Besides Ricardo and Rodrigo, I told him that I thought Sparrow and Owl had the ability, as well as the trio, Fish Horse and Tree and probably Fox and Bear. And more, that some of us were receiving thoughts from several of these boys, myself included.
He theorized that some of the boys were more powerful transmitters than others and that those boys might well be able to send to people who had the latent ability. Those with the latent ability might develop further with practice. It didn’t matter how close or far they were, distance does not seem to affect the ability to send or receive.
I thought that was very interesting and it did seem to coincide with what we have been experiencing. This might develop into a very useful ability! He also told me that it did not seem necessary to be in families but just in specific individuals. We shall have to see what develops!
I knew Ricardo and Rodrigo were in the kitchen helping prepare supper, so I walked up stairs and looked out the window for few moments and then tried to think of them. Finally I thought, “Ricardo, can you hear me?” I immediately heard, “Are you testing us, Daddy?”
The next thing I knew was an armful of giggling twins. Well, it’s NOT a theory, that’s for sure. Now all I had to do is find out if I could transmit over long distances. Ricardo giggled and said, “You can, Daddy, we always know where you are and what you are thinking!”
I thought, “Hoo boy, there goes any privacy I ever had” I heard back, “Daddy, we don’t listen unless you call us. We can hear Daddy Henry, too!” So I thought back to him, “Who else can you mind-speak with?”
He got a thoughtful look on his face and then I heard back, “We can talk with Fox, Bear, Fish, Horse, Tree, Calvin, Jacob, Oscar and Mr. Rollins. Most everyone else, if they are close by we can hear them but they don’t hear us – Oh, we can talk with Whistle and Raven”
I thought, yee Gods, Raven is a DOG! Ricardo thought back, “Yah but he thinks real good!” He then jumped down and yelled, “Bye, Bye” giggling all the way down the stairs! That was a startling revelation to me, but it had some interesting possibilities. We need to make sure that every group that goes out has a mind-speaker and we need to explore how many of the girls can mind-speak.
I thought to Ricardo, “Can you speak to any of the new girls?” He came back, “We haven’t tried, we didn’t want to frighten them.” I sent back, “Meet me in the great room where the girls are staying” and I headed there myself.
Ricardo was already there when I entered the room. I waited until I had their attention and said, “Girls, we have discovered something important and we wish to see if you might be part of it, also.”
Sally spoke and asked what it was and I told her we would tell everyone after we tried an experiment. They were a little uneasy, but agreed. So, I tried first to broadcast to them as a group and only Sally looked up at me. I sent just to her to stay quiet for a few minutes.
She nodded her head, ok. I then told Ricardo to do the same thing and at that about a dozen girls perked up their heads and stared at Ricardo. I sent to him to ask those girls to step to the other side of the room, which they did willingly. Then I tried again to reach just the girls that Ricardo had contacted and was successful with all of them.
We told the girls we were experimenting with mind-speaking and one of the girls said, “Telepathy?” I told her that I was not sure but that probably was another word for what we were doing and that we would experiment more another time. I was very pleased at this first attempt and also that I could send mind-speak.
As I walked back to the kitchen, I, somewhat absentmindedly, thought that I wished Henry could be part of this. I suddenly got a strong mental blast, “Part of WHAT?”
Henry was in the kitchen, standing at the table scratching his head, with a puzzled look on his face” When I walked into the room, he asked, “Was that you?” I replied mentally, “Sure was, love”.
Certain boys in the room started giggling and Rodrigo sent back at the two of us, “About time, Dads!” and ran off giggling, looking for Ricardo.
This was going to need some solid thinking and we will have to lay down some rules about eves dropping. The thought came to me from several sources, “We already have those, Daddy.”
About that time, our chef crew announce that supper was ready and for everyone to get washed up. A smart aleck mind-speaker sent, “no washy – no eaty!” My reply was ......., then I thought better of it and sent nothing.
Tonight’s supper was like a banquet, chunks of elk venison, we have taken to calling it elkison, had been soaked in wild plum juice, sprinkled with Fox’s special herbs and then grilled over our homemade charcoal. With that, there were baked potatoes, a medley of carrots, wild peas and tiny onions. A salad was already at each place consisting of hunter’s lettuce, sliced fresh pear sprinkled with grated cheese.
“CHEESE, where did we get cheese?” I heard a mind-giggle and then Calvin sent, “It’s an experiment, Dad, let me know how it is!” Hoo boy, now the mind leeches are experimenting too!
The meal was incredible and the girls ate every bit as much as their boy counterparts. Just in the few days they have been with us, they have started to lose that gaunt haunted look and are become pretty girl children again.
Sticky-buns were served for dessert; the crew had gathered wild black walnuts and cracked them to get the meats, then drizzled honey on the buns to stick the sprinkled nut meats to the top. Most of the buns disappeared in a single gulp!
Everyone picked up their own plates and utensils and returned them to the kitchen for washing. I grabbed a cup of tea and stood looking out the window. The moon had broken through the clouds and the new fallen snow looked like a Christmas card! As I stood there enjoying the scene, a set of arms went around me and Henry pulled me into a hug. He said, I need to talk to you” I raised my eyebrows in question and he continued, “Peter, will you marry me?”
I was so stunned, I dropped my tea, cup and all just fell out of my fingers. Peter again said, “Well, will you marry me?” I started to cry and managed to mumble, “Yes!” At that, pandemonium broke out throughout the house, someone with mind-speak was screaming, “HE SAID YES” I looked up through my tears and saw the entire Colony crowded into the great room, everyone was cheering.
Jacob, Henry’s son, ran up to me and threw his arms around me saying, “Now you REALLY will be my Dad!” Fox stood in front of the two of us and said, “Only SHAMAN may join two chiefs in marriage!”, the he grinned and continued, “I, FOX ATA AM SHAMAN!” He hugged us both and said quietly, “We have been waiting for this moment and now it is here!”
How can two men possibly have a better Family than we have? Henry and I were sitting in the couch near the wood stove and the Twins and Fox carried each and armload of firewood and dumped it in the wood box.
The three of them came and sat with us, Fox started to speak, “Daddies, we meant no disrespect downstairs, but we have known for some time how you each felt about the other. We want you both to be happy, you have given us all so much of yourselves, every day you remind us of your love and care for us, it is only right that you find happiness also.”
With that, the three of them stood, kissed us and headed out the door. As he walked through the door, Ricardo giggled and said, “No lead helmet are allowed” and ran off. Henry looked at me in question and I told him about my earlier thought on blanking out mind-speak. He said, “Would that work?” and we both heard, “NOPE”
Christmas was nearly upon us again and Henry and I were at our wit’s ends trying to come up with ideas on how to celebrate the season. It is true, a lot of our kids were approaching adult stage, but we also had a large number of both boys and girls who were quite young still. While we were struggling with the problem, the solution came walking up to us. BEAR!
“Fathers”, he started, “We have a number of deer and elk hides that my Warriors have tanned. They are stored in a secret place, where we have made leggings and vests for all the little boys. We are left with enough hides to make ceremonial aprons for all the girls.” He concluded, “Would that be an appropriate thing to do?” We both were taken aback, not only the generosity of these young men, but also their foresight!
I told him, “Bear, you, yourself are a gift of remarkable magnitude. Henry and I were struggling with what to give the younger children for this season and you just solved it for us.” Bear grinned and chuckled to himself saying, “I was kinda eavesdropping” Henry replied, “Whatever, but both of us are so pleased with your offer, do you think your Warriors can have that many aprons completed by Christmas?” His reply was a jaunty, “Done and DONE” as he headed down the stairs. I looked and Henry and thought to him, “We are truly blessed!”
The weather closed in again and became very cold. The boys brought all the livestock into the garage-barns and the Rollins’ brought over their three horses so they could keep warm with the cattle.
Christmas In Colony
As Christmas approached, the little boys’ excitement rose to fever pitch, but the girls were becoming sad and withdrawn. We tried to be festive with dinners and games after school but with only limited success. Finally, on the eve of Christmas, the girls were so sad, some of them did not even come down for supper. Henry and I were pretty sure what the problem was, but we were NOT going to ruin the Warrior’s Surprise.
It was a long night and bitter cold outside. After most everyone had gone to bed, Bear and his Warriors brought in a beautiful fir tree and we set it up in the downstairs play room. We had saved bright pieces of paper, tin cans and packaging, those things became our decorations.
Then they started bringing the gifts they had made. Both of us were stunned at the workmanship and beauty of the leather pieces. The boy’s leggings were finely crafted with needlework and beads. The aprons, also, were works of art! Each piece was neatly folded and tied with a colored string. Each gift had a neatly lettered tag on it with the child’s name, this, indeed, was going to be an event to be long remembered!
The next morning, Ricardo and Rodrigo marched throughout the house beating the drum slowly in a “CALL TO MEETING” Bear and his Warriors stood in the doorway of the playroom, blocking the view as we waited for all the children to assemble. In addition to those that lived in the house, Jeff and Carter Rollins had spent the night here as well as Rachel Brayton, it was a big assembly of unhappy faces.
Suddenly, the Twins started beating the drum with a crashing, thunderous beat and the Warriors stepped aside from the door. The gasps and wide eyes of the children made our morning!
Bear was standing before the tree and, as the children rushed in, he began calling out names, starting with the girls. The girls were shell-shocked, some sat and cried, while others tied their aprons around their waists and danced around the room.
The boys put on their leggings and danced with them, we had gone from a somber and sad Christmas to one of joy and laughter. Then, the drum began to thunder again, in “CALL TO MEETING.”
All the children gathered before the tree and the adults from across the lake filed in. Between them, they were carrying a large object; they stood along one wall, in a row, and turned the object they were carrying around so we all could see it. It was a large sign painted green with white letters, “COLONY”! It was a town sign!
Jon stepped forward and said, “We, the adults of the Houses felt that our community should be recognized and named as we have called ourselves – COLONY” He continued, “The day will come when we can shout to the world that WE SURVIVED – WE ARE COLONY!”
The day continued with joy and festivity. I took Bear aside to thank him for what he and his Warriors had accomplished, I noticed that he was crying, tears were streaking down his face. I hugged him and he said, “Daddy, it was only scrap leather”
I had to reply to that, I said, “Bear, it was NOT scrap leather, it was thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity. It was a gift from your hearts to children who had no hope, no future, no life until YOU and YOUR WARRIORS gave all that to them!” I continued, “Bear, you and your WARRIORS are heroes, not only to those boys in there, but those girls have you all on a pedestal for love and worship. Your gifts have helped make this a HOME rather than merely a house. Be proud, son, you are like a light shining in a sea of darkness and we love you and your Warriors beyond measure.”
Later that afternoon, again the Twins sounded, “CALL TO MEETING” and, as we all gathered, Calvin and his chef crew opened the door to the dining room. There, on the table amid all the greenery and decorations were two huge roasted turkeys! Hoo boy, where in the world did THOSE come from, a couple of gigglers sent back, “The Grain Field!” I need those lead helmets! “more giggles!”
The entire Colony sat at the trestle tables as Bear started to carve the turkeys. There was also roasted “Elkison”, potatoes, mixed vegetables, hard rolls and, of course stuffing and gravy!
When everyone thought they could hold no more, out rolled a cart loaded wild plum pudding and REAL WHIPPED CREAM that had been sweetened with honey! Those boys are not cooks, they are WIZARDS!
After that meal, those living in the houses departed, before it got dark, however Rachel, Carter, Jr. and Jeff stayed the night with us. We sat in the great room enjoying the warmth from the wood stove, trying to digest that extraordinary meal.
Jacob came over and sat beside me. After a few moments, he started telling us about a project he had in mind, “Dads, we are nearly out of space for people to sleep and all the houses are occupied. If we get any more people, there is no place for them to live. I propose that we build an addition to this house and some more houses across the lake.”
At that, he pulled out several pages on which he had carefully drawn a two story addition to the house and three cottages to be built across the lake. The drawings were works of art and I began to wonder if maybe it was possible to build something like that. After all, we had stacks of seasoned lumber stored in one of the garages and we could man the saw mill for more. So, I told him, “Why not make a proposal to the Council?” He agreed, with a happy grin on his face and ran off to play video games with his buddies.
I turned to Henry and told him that our boys were growing up! He grinned and said, “YUP!”
Later that night, a winter storm moved in and icy blasts of wind and snow shook the house. The storm lasted for over a week and we were buried in snow drifts. It was fortunate that all the buildings in this side of the lake were connected by tunnels, as were the houses connected by tunnels. The poor livestock would not have survived if we couldn’t have gotten through the tunnels to feed and care for them.
We had given one of the handheld radios to Ronnie and we were able to keep in touch with the folks in the houses until we could get through the piled up snow.
It was a long winter, cold and hard. By March we were all suffering from “cabin fever”, so Bear and his Warriors beat a trail through the snow to the houses and we could again be together. Rachel and two of the Rollins’ boys had been trapped with us since Christmas, it was a joyous reunion between parents and children!
Colony Gets Bigger
Jacob and Henry spent many hours drawing and redrawing plans for a “standard” house as well as the addition to the big house or, as we have come to call it, “Colony House”. Henry says that he will need to re-sharpen and align the veneer lathe up at the saw mill so that he can make the siding needed for both the houses and Colony House. He thinks he can nearly match the siding that is already in place at both locations. It won’t be metal, in the case of Colony house, but it will look nearly the same.
Henry gathered most of the older boys and with Ronnie, John and George they headed to the Sawmill as soon as enough snow had melted that they could get the trucks up the old road. Henry drove my F-150 and John wrestled the flat bed truck.
They left on a Monday and planned to spend at least week working before they would be ready to fell timber. Bear left three of his Warriors with us in case we had trouble and he and the rest of the Warriors went with the timber crew.
Bear has become an adept mind-speaker and Henry is pretty good at it also. There was no problem in letting us know what was going on up there and that everyone was OK. They found that the veneer lathe needed only minor adjustment and as soon as the knife was sharpened, they started making the siding from logs already in storage.
In less than a week, they started felling trees and, as soon as they could be dragged to the feed chain, lumber began dropping out on the green chain. There was enough wood scrap around to fuel the dry kiln so, instead of air drying the lumber, they fed it directly to the kiln. This would make it possible to start construction almost immediately.
In less than 10 days after the first trees were felled, the flatbed truck arrived, loaded to the axels with construction lumber and veneer siding. George and Ronnie came back with the flat bed and Bear had already warned those Warriors that remained at Colony to be ready with hammers and saws to begin house construction.
The first house went up fast, it was a two bedroom bungalow and almost as soon as lumber was delivered, it got nailed in place. In less than two weeks, the first house was completed and they started on the second. Lumber production had to slow down a bit when they started cutting heavier timbers for the framing of the addition to Colony House, but still, in a month’s time all three bungalows were completed and framing had begun on the addition to Colony House.
By the end of the second month, enough lumber had been cut to finish Colony House and put some in storage for future need, so, it was a jubilant reunion when Henry and the sawmill crew showed up late one afternoon. They had been careful not to let any of us know they were coming, Fred and Lester were on observation duty when the first truck showed up on the camera screen.
Lester punched the alarm button and then ran upstairs to tell the Twins to sound “CALL TO GATHER” The Twins put a little extra roll on the drum and the entire population of Colony turned out to welcome our sons home. I gave Henry an extra special welcome home hug and he whispered in my ear, “It’s Time!”
I turned and looked at Fox and he nodded his head, meaning “yes.”
We declared a HOLIDAY” and the Chef Crew threw together an impromptu picnic supper for everyone. After everyone had eaten, Fox nodded at the Twins and they beat out “CALL TO MEETING” on the drum. Everyone was curious as to why a MEETING was called, so in very short order, all of Colony had gathered at MEETING PLACE. That is what we had named the bonfire area in from of Colony House.
The Twins rolled the drum thunder as Fox slowly marched into the Meeting Circle. He stood on his upended log and motion for silence. He began, “I, FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE ATAWONKA, I AM COMMANDED BY THE GREAT SPIRIT TO ANNOUNCE THAT TOMORROW, AT EXACTLY NOON, CHIEF HENRY AND CHIEF PETER SHALL BE JOINED BY THE LAWS OF THE GREAT SPIRIT. IT IS COMMANDED THAT CHIEF HENRY SHALL SPEND THIS NIGHT IN COLONY HOUSE AND CHIEF PETER SHALL SPEND THIS NIGHT IN THE HOME OF JOHN BRAYTON. SO THE GREAT SPIRIT HAS COMMANDED, SO IT SHALL BE.” I looked in desperation at Henry and he smiled before turning toward Colony House. I had no choice but to follow John to his home. Hoo boy, not what I had planned for tonight! “STOP THAT GIGGLING!” It was a long and sleepless night, finally at dawn I could lay in the bed that was not my own no longer.
I stumbled into the kitchen to find Fox sitting there with two cups of tea steaming on the table. He was silently crying and, when I put my arms around him, he said, “Daddy, I need help.” This Fox was not my strong, confident SHAMAN, he was a struggling teen boy who felt threatened.
I held him securely as told him to let his troubles out. He started, “The Great Spirit requires that we have heirs before we may proceed to the next level of our lives. Your heir is Chris and Daddy Henry’s is Jacob. I have an heir in Whistle but Jacob and I love each other, how can Jacob obey the Great Spirit without an heir? I will have to let him go so that he may find a woman to produce his heir.” I thought for moment and then started talking with him, “Fox, in the eyes of the Great Spirit, are you my son?” He replied, “Of course you adopted me.” I continued, “Is Bear the son of Chief Henry?” He started to get impatient and replied, “Yes, just like....OOOOOOOOOOH! Daddy, you make so simple that which we feared would end our love!”
Next I heard a mind screech, “JACOB.....” and I shut off listening as it would be intruding on their emotions. Our so mature SHAMAN was, after all, still a 16 year old boy struggling to gain his maturity! Fox jumped up and hugged me, yelling as he went out the door, “NOON TIME, don’t be late!”
Chiefs Joined Forever
John’s kitchen began to get busy, Maria started breakfast for all of us while John dressed Rachel. As soon as breakfast was on the stove, John took over cooking and Maria woke the Baby and proceeded to dress him. Rachel came out into the kitchen, looking at me with big round eyes. I held out my arms to her and she snuggled happily into my lap. It was a good feeling and I was content, the Twins sent an intruding thought...... “Daddy, we are bringing your WEDDING CLOTHES, you need to get dressed!”
Wedding Clothes......? All I heard was giggles!
There was a knock on the door, John opened the door, I learned later that he was part of this exercise; there stood Bear and two of his Warriors. In their arms were ceremonial leggings, shirt and vest. I was amazed; the clothing was beautiful, even a headdress was included! Bear said, “Chief Peter, it is time for you to get ready, Panther is attending Chief Henry” I had barely gotten into my new finery when the drum began to toll, “CALL TO MEETING”. Bear stood to attention and in a formal voice, said, “CHIEF PETER, YOU ARE CALLED!”
He took my arm, while Lion and Hawk flanked us and we walked, in steps measured by the beating drum, to the canoe. Bear stood in the front of the canoe while the other two took up paddles and we slowly made our way across the lake to the opposite shore.
I could see Henry standing in the Meeting Place and I started to go to him when Bear stopped me. He said simply, “Wait” Fox was standing on his upended log and he raised his hand for silence. The drum stopped beating and he called out, “WHO APPROACHES THE MEETING CIRCLE?” Bear replied, “I, BEAR-ATA, WARRIOR, COME WITH CHIEF PETER THAT HE BE JOINED WITH CHIEF HENRY!” The drum began to pound louder and louder until it could be heard vibrating against the surrounding forest, then it suddenly stopped. Fox again called out, “BRING CHIEF PETER TO THE CIRCLE THAT HE MAY BE JOINED WITH CHIEF HENRY. THE GREAT SPIRIT COMMANDS THIS, SO IT SHALL BE!”
The drum again took up a slow, measured beat and we proceeded to the MEETING CIRCLE, stepping in time with the drum beat. Bear guided me into the Circle beside Henry, putting my hand in Henry’s. Fox again signaled for silence and began to speak, “THE GREAT SPIRIT COMMANDS THAT NO ONE SHOULD LIVE ALONE, THAT THEY SHOULD BE JOINED WITH ANOTHER OF THEIR CHOICE, IN HONOR AND LOVE FOR SO LONG AS THEY SHALL LIVE. WHEN A CHIEF CHOOSES A PARTNER, IT IS A TIME OF REJOICING FOR THE ATAWONKA. WHEN TWO CHIEFS CHOOSE EACH OTHER, IT IS A TIME OF REJOICING FOR THE GREAT SPIRIT. TODAY, WE REJOICE AT THE CHOOSING OF CHIEF HENRY AND CHIEF PETER.”
At that, Bear left me standing next to Henry and stood at the head of all 20 of his WARRIORS. They were all dressed in ceremonial clothing, each had two eagle feathers in their hair and all carried spears upright! He brought them around until they were all directly behind Henry and myself, they stood at attention, with their spears grounded, butt down.
Fox continued, “CHIEF HENRY, CHIEF PETER, THE GREAT SPIRIT REJOICES WITH YOUR COMMITMENT, THE ATAWONKA REJOICE AT YOUR COMMITMENT, COLONY REJOICES AT YOUR COMMITMENT. WHAT YOU BEGIN HERE CANNOT BE BROKEN AS LONG AS YOU EACH SHALL LIVE. THE GREAT SPIRIT HAS BLESSED THIS COMMITMENT, SO IT SHALL BE, FOREVER”
The instant he stopped speaking, the drum began to roll a wild beat, I looked over and saw the Twins working up a sweat hammering the drum with huge grins on their faces. Henry grabbed my shoulders and spun me around so I was nose to nose with him. He said simply, “PARTNER”!
It was done, we would be together forever. He grabbed my hand and we ran towards the main house, everyone was cheering and waving at us. We got as far as the stairs and we were met with a big sign reading “CHIEFS ONLY” pointing up the stairs!
Hoo boy, those Twins. Giggle-giggle. We didn’t see anybody until the next morning.
The next morning, as I came down for my ritual tea, giggles were heard in every room! I tried to ignore them, but I guess a red face is a dead giveaway!
The weather was slowly turning into summer. The “little boys”, who are not so little anymore – Steve, Oscar, Bill and Bobby, had gotten together and planted an enormous vegetable garden this year. The first of the crop was beginning to “come in”, so breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs with fresh green onions, milk, and corn meal mush. As usual. Henry staggered in, grabbed my tea cup and downed it in one gulp before he could even say, “Good Morning!” It was to be the last calm and peaceful morning for a while!
An Amazing Summer
We decided that Henry would lead a group up to the saw mill to cut some timber and store it under the shed so that lumber could be cut in a hurry if we needed it. He left the next morning, taking Chris, Todd, Roger, Feather and Hawk to cut trees and Panther in charge of security with Trout, Jerry, Terry and Knife as Warriors. We never expect trouble but it is best to be prepared.
While they were away, the rest of us repaired the houses that had sustained some damage during the winter. Our supply of nails and hardware was holding up fairly well, but any further construction projects would deplete our supply seriously.
We noticed that Raven was not in camp, so we all thought that he had tagged along with the timber crew and we didn’t worry about him. A few days later, we heard barking at the door as we were eating breakfast. We thought it unusual that Raven would have come back alone, so Rodrigo opened the door. Next we heard a mind-screech, “DADDY, come quick!”
We all jumped up from the table and ran to the door, there was Raven, along with another dog we had never seen before and three little puppies wiggling around their feet! I guess we were not the ONLY ONES who acquired a mate!
The twins immediately scooped up the puppies and brought them into the kitchen, with two anxious puppy parents trotting behind them. Ricardo looked at the new dog for a moment and said, “Her name is Swallow and she is worried about her babies, so be very gentle” It wasn’t very long before Swallow accepted all of us as part of HER FAMLY. We got a wooden box for the puppies and put them in a warm corner of the kitchen with some old rags for padding. Nobody could walk by them without stooping and scratching their little heads. They soon became accustomed to being petted and were a great joy to us.
At last, the Timber Crew came back home, I was happy to have my mate back where he belonged. Everything was going smoothly, the first planting of corn was nearing harvest time and we had a bumper crop of early root vegetables to gather. We were all out in the garden, hoeing, weeding and picking off bugs when Bobby, who was watching the camera screens, sounded the alarm. “INTRUDERS!”
Henry and I rushed down to the basement, where the screens were located, and looked for ourselves as Bear and the twins sounded “ASSEMBLY” on the drum. What we saw puzzled us, it was an elderly man driving an open wagon with an even older horse. The back was covered with a tarp and two young boys walked alongside the wagon. They were definitely headed up our road!
Bear strode out with both Warrior Squads, one he left at the entrance to COLONY under the command of Panther, the other squad he led down the road to intercept the wagon and people.
We watched on the screen until they were out of range of the camera, then we had to wait until we would get a mind-message. It wasn’t long before Rodrigo cocked his head, then he reported, “Bear says the man is a trader and wished to trade with our people. What are your orders, Chiefs?” I looked at Henry and he shrugged, so I told Rodrigo to have Bear bring the traders to the Meeting Circle and have all his Warriors attend.
I told the Twins to sound “CALL TO MEETING” and we all head to the Meeting Circle. By the time Bear and his Warriors escorted the wagon and its people to the Meeting Circle, where all our people were gathered. Henry and I stood and Bear escorted and elderly, seeming fragile man to us.
Bear bowed and said, “Father Chiefs, I present Mr. Howard Jenkins and his grandsons, Allen and Robert. They are traders and wish to trade with us” He then backed off and Trader Jenkins began speaking, “Chiefs, I had originally intended on traveling to an old saw mill that I knew of further up this road, I did not know this village existed.”
Henry replied, I am Chief Henry Ammons and my Father owned the saw mill, which is not running at this time.” Trader Jenkins replied, “Are any of your people interested in trading, I have many items which they might be interested.”
We gave him permission to trade and he uncovered his wagon The first thing that Maria spotted was a treadle operated Singer Sewing Machine. She turned to John, “WE must have that sewing machine, let us talk with the other Families and try to trade for it” After several hours of negotiation, the several Families jointly purchased the sewing machine and separately they traded for pots and pans, eating utensils, a lantern and several canisters of kerosene. He also had a supply of baking powder that we traded a blanket for.
Calvin and Oscar grabbed the baking powder and marched it off to the kitchen before anyone could change their minds!
After all the trading was completed, Trader Jenkins asked to speak with us, “I worry that my Grandsons, Allen and Robert, need an education that I cannot give them. I would trade with you regular service if you would agree to keep my Grandsons and give them an education.”
There was no question that we would agree to this and it was obvious that he loved his Grandsons very much. So we reached an agreement that he would come around at least twice a year to trade and in return we would board his Grandsons and educate them. It was an agreement that brought much to our community over the next several years and, eventually, Allen and Robert became citizens of COLONY.
Trader Jenkins left us, leaving his Grandsons and life at COLONY returned to normal. Our garden produced much in the way of extra food and Bear’s Warriors again filled our meat freezers with elk, moose and deer meat.
Towards the end of summer, we again harvested a bumper crop of grains from the field near the old main highway. The area where the plane had crashed and burned the grasses yielded a large crop of grain also. We had to make several trips to bring it all home and when we had finished threshing the grain, we found that we almost had insufficient space to store it!
After the harvest was completed and all the vegetables were dried and stored, someone suggested we hold a Fall Picnic and Celebration. It sounded like a good idea to Henry and myself, so we agreed that we would also include a dance! Suddenly, all the women at the houses had boy visitors all wanting to learn to dance!
Finally, the day of the Festival arrived and excitement was running at a fever pitch! From somewhere, George had found a violin and John had traded for a flute. The twins had made two new small drums to go along with the big drum. All together, they practiced that morning.
Henry remarked that he hoped there were no wildcats living nearby! At noon, the Twins rolled out “CALL TO MEETING” and we all started for the Meeting Circle, carrying containers of food, loaves of bread, salads and even deserts! The Chef Crew had experimented with honey, cream and flour to concoct a kind of taffy!
The music started up, John playing his flute, George on the fiddle and the twins beating the bongos and big drum. Everyone just stood and then Bear walked over and shyly asked Sally if she would dance with him. I was sure they were going to fall, but pretty soon they developed a kind of rhythm and they were soon enjoying themselves.
Others joined them until most of Colony was dancing. When the band was finally winded and stopped, everyone was laughing and having a wonderful time. I noticed that Bear and Sally continued to hold hands and talk with each other.
By the time it became dark, everyone was worn out, so we gathered up all the left-over food and the containers and everyone returned to their home for the night.
As Fall came upon us, it was time to check all the furnaces and stove, the roofs and doors for weather tightness. George serviced the water turbine generator and we put all the trucks in the garages for protection. We spent two days moving the hay into the barn and making sure it would stay dry.
We now had 4 cows and a bull, a full dozen goats and 15 sheep plus about 40 chickens that had to be cared for over the winter, along with the several horses belonging to the Rollins’.
Winter was about to descend upon us when Jake, who was monitoring the camera screens, pushed the “panic button” sounding the alarms. Henry and I rushed to the basement to see what he had alarmed about. There, on the screen for the end of our road were a group of 3 boys being led by an older boy. They looked pretty worn and ragged and one boy was limping badly. I mind-sent to the Twins to send Bear and his Warriors out fast, that there were hurt boys down on the old main highway!
Bear led his Warriors out at a dead run, it was about 10 miles to the old main road, but it seemed that they nearly flew, it was only a short time when Bear and the Warriors came onto our screen and met the group of boys. Bear mind-sent back that all the boys were suffering and one was hurt badly. We could see the 3 small boys being picked up and the older boy had two Warriors supporting him, one on each side as they quick marched for home. We grabbed blankets and ran to meet them.
When we got to them and wrapped the small boys in the blankets, all 3 of them were bleeding, they had no shoes and their feet were shredded! The older boy was in no better condition and was passing in and out of consciousness between Lion and Jerry. We rushed them as fast as we could back to the Big House while Fox and Adelle made up bandages and salves for their feet. They were brought into the Great Room and Adelle started cleaning the little boys wounded feet while Fox attended the older boy’s feet.
The older boy regained consciousness and said, “Take care of the others first, please take care of them. I am not important.” Fox took his hand and said, so all could hear, “I AM FOX-ATA SHAMAN. WE ARE THE ATAWONKA AND WE BELIEVE ALL CHILDREN ARE IMPORTANT. YOUR FRIENDS ARE BEING CARED FOR JUST AS YOU ARE, DO NOT BE CONCERNED.”
The boy started to cry and said, “We are brothers, we are brothers and I must care for my brothers” At that he passed out again. Fox himself was now crying as he held the boy’s hand. He said, gently, “We are all brothers.” It was a humbling sight and we were all greatly troubled, what had happened to these boys?
Henry and I sat with Fox all night as he cared for and soothed the 4 boys. It was nearly morning when the older boy awoke. He started to scream in fear as Fox held his and spoke soothingly to him, “You are safe here and we have treated both you and your brothers. We will care for you and you are welcome to live among us if you wish”
The boy sat up a bit straighter and said, “Who, who are you and where are we?”
Fox replied, “I am Fox and we are the ATAWONKA, you are safe in our village. These are our Chiefs, Chief Peter and Chief Henry, we pledge ourselves to your safety for so long as you wish to stay with us. I will get you food and drink” At that, Fox left to go to the kitchen where the Chef Crew was preparing hot food and glasses of milk for the boys.
Henry and I sat beside the boy and just held him in our arms. He looked at us and said, “Oh my God, we made it, we made it. Kyle, Gab, Lonnie, we made it, the stories are true, we made it!”
He then turned back to us and started speaking, “My name is Wilson Bennett, these are my brothers Kyle, Gabriel and Lonnie Bennett. We just couldn’t take any more at the Internment Center, it would have been better to die than to remain in that place! There is a legend among the children that there is a sanctuary that will take us in if we escape. We went over the fence three nights ago and they chased us until we lost them by hiding in the tall grass. Is this really SANCTUARY, the place the stories tell about?”
He was shaking, he was very frightened. I told him, “We call this place COLONY, but for you, yes it is a SANCTUARY. We will care for you and make you well, if you wish to stay with us, all you have to do is ask.” Without hesitation, he replied, “May we stay?” What else could say except, “YES”!
The more I thought about Wilson’s story, the more concerned I became, not because I was afraid of the children but because I was afraid FOR the children. What if they escaped and could not find us? What if they were hurt and we didn’t know they were there?
I guess my thoughts showed on my face because Henry steered me to the couch and he sat beside me. He looked at me and said, “We will do all we can but we cannot do more than that” At that, he turned and called for Bear, who must have been close by because he was there almost immediately. “Bear”, he began, “We must set up a patrol on a regular basis to look for escaped children from the Internment Center. We must not allow escapees like Wilson and his brothers to be lost”
Bear thought for a while and then replied, “Father Chiefs, I will set up a two Warrior patrol, they will sweep the area every other day. Tomorrow I will lead half my Warriors to show them and the next day Panther shall lead the other half.” Henry told him that was the best we could do, so let’s do it, for a while and see how it goes.
Wilson listened as we made those plans and, despite his damaged feet, struggled up and stood before Bear, “Sir, may I serve on your patrols, may I help escaped children?” Bear smiled and replied, “First, I am not SIR, just Bear. When you are healed and can walk without pain, yes you may become a COLONY WARRIOR”.
Wilson gathered his brothers and came over to us, “Do I address you as Chiefs?” I nodded and he continued “Sir Chiefs, I and my brothers wish to stay here, we left many friends behind at the Internment Center and I believe we were found in order that we might bring help to those we left behind!”
Fox was standing behind us and he put his arms over Wilson’s shoulders and said, “FATHER CHIEFS, THE GREAT SPIRIT MOVES US ALL AND THIS WARRIOR HAS SHOWN US THE WAY!” From that moment on, the camera screen was observed during daylight hours.
On the second day, Panther led his Warrior Patrol to sweep the fields between the old main highway and as near as was safe to the Internment Center. We were watching the camera screen when we heard Panther’s mind-call, “We have injured boys, send help!”
Before I could say anything, the drums started rolling out “EMERGENCY” in thunderous rolls, Warriors came running from all directions. The next we heard from Panther was his mind-call, “WE NEED FOX!” Fox ran out the front door with the rest of us at his heels. It was like an Olympiad, Fox in the lead and the rest of us trailing him through the snow.
We finally found Panther and his Warriors, they had fashioned a litter upon which was a boy covered in blood, two other boys were being carried by Warriors. We covered the boys in blankets and when we got to the trees Fox had us all stop so he could examine the injured boy.
He uncovered him and peeled his shirt back, anger flashed in his eyes and he stood with his fists clenched, “GREAT SPIRIT, THIS BOY HAS BEEN BEATEN, I, FOX-ATA, SHAMAN, DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS TO SAVE HIM. YOU, ALONE, GREAT SPIRIT, HAVE THE POWER, NOT I”
At that, Fox fell to the ground in his own agony, the boy was dead!
Fox’s agony was such, all those remaining at COLONY knew immediately what had happened and the drum began a slow funeral beat that was to sound for the remainder of the night. It was a somber and sorrowful group of us who returned. Between tears and flashes of anger the Warriors formed two columns and escorted our group back home.
We placed the dead boy in a PLACE OF HONOR within the MEETING CIRCLE and the Warriors stood guard over his body throughout the night. The other two boys were cared for by Fox and Adelle, we converted one of the bedrooms to a hospital and placed them there with Wilson and his brothers.
The drum continued its awful beat all through the night. The next morning, nobody was much interested in eating, the Twins looked at us and Henry and I nodded, the drum began beating, “CALL TO MEETING”
When all had gathered, I stood before the boy’s litter and said, “PEOPLE OF COLONY, we have a great sadness upon us, a boy has died. A boy has died of wounds inflicted at the Internment Center. A boy has died because we could not get to him fast enough. A boy has died.” I continued, “We must honor this boy and bury him, then we must plan to prevent such a thing from happening again.” Fox immediately stood, staring at the litter then he let out the most awful cry and started speaking, “THE GREAT SPIRIT HAS CALLED US. THOSE THAT DID THIS TERRIBLE THING MUST BE PUNISHED. THAT TERRIBLE PLACE WHERE THIS HAPPENED MUST BE DESTROYED. THAT IS OUR PURPOSE, THIS IS OUR DUTY. THIS IS OUR LAND NOT THEIR LAND. THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE!”
Bear was supporting Panther, who was in emotional agony, tears were streaming down both men’s faces and if either had let go of the other, they both would have fallen to the ground, such was their grief.
I told the Warriors to place the litter across two logs in the front of The Meeting Place. They then stood guard over the fallen boy for the remainder of the night, refusing to leave him.
It was a somber group that returned to our homes, there would be no sleep, no rest that night. Henry and I sat in our room, just staring at the walls. Henry said, “We need information, we must contact Trader Jenkins and have him spy on the Internment Center.
As it began to get light near morning, I mind-called Bear asking him to come speak with us. He came immediately, his face drawn and tear streaked.
I said to him, “Send out your Warriors that they might find Trader Jenkins and ask him to come to Colony as soon as possible.” Bear was still for a moment and then replied, “They are leaving now.”
He then reached out and hugged the two of us as if he were a drowning man.
I then mind-sent to the Twins, “PREPARE FOR CEREMONY!”
Immediately, the drum changed beat, alerting all Colony we were about to bury the murdered boy. By the end of that day we were all emotionally and physically exhausted. We buried the boy, his name was Walter Prentiss and the two other boys were his cousins James and Edward Prentiss. In later years, an impressive monument would be built at Walter’s grave, but this day, it was marked by boulders, carefully stacked by each Warrior.
Bear’s Warriors fanned out in all directions looking for Trader Jenkins, in less than a week, he was found and was headed up the road to Colony.
The End of The Internment Center
Trader Jenkins arrived and was escorted directly to the great room, where Henry and I were waiting for him. After he had rested and had a meal, he said to us, “I know what it is you need and I am prepared to gather all the information on that dreadful place as I can.” Continuing, he said, “It is nothing but a slave center run by gangsters. I advise you to train your Warriors, train them hard because that terrible place will not go down easy!”
He rose, without another word and walked out. Bear said, “I shall send our Warriors to all the other tribes, we shall call CONCLAVE” Within a few minutes, all of Colony’s Warriors were headed for the countryside where resided all those tribes related to the ATAWONKA. Conclave had been called!
Slowly, mind-messages returned to us from the Warriors searching for our relations, the Twins faithfully recorded everything; they took turns as messages came in day and night. Fox was slowly recovering from his despair; it was being replaced by anger!
He and Bear took the information that was being collected by the Twins and created a map showing the size, location and number of Warriors that each related tribe had. There was the ATAWILLS, the ATACALIS, the ATAGONS, the ATAFALS, the ATABASIS, the ATABRIS, and the ATALIS. Along with our own ATAWONKA the combined tribes pledged over 400 WARIORS!
Two weeks later, a tired and haggard Trader Jenkins returned to COLONY. After a short rest, he laid before us drawings and layout plans of the Internment Center, generating station, water supply and fortifications. He told us that the center has lost almost half of its guard force and that they have not received a food delivery in over a month!
Fox, Bear, Henry and I sat down with Trader Jenkins and questioned him about what he observed. He told us that the guard morale was low, they had not been paid in months, food was running low and fuel for generating station was nearly gone. Fuel for most of the vehicle had run out, most vehicles were no longer operational and ammunition for their firearms was severely limited.
Over the next few days, we gradually developed a plan to disable the Internment Center guard force and release the prisoners being held there. Trader Jenkins told us that almost all the prisoners now were young boys with a few older teens. We decided to act! There was only one reason that only boy children were being held in that awful place, a reason none of us wanted to even think about!
Bear’s Warriors were dispatched to each tribe asking that they send all the Warriors they could spare to destroy this terrible shame on humanity. The seven tribes dispatched nearly 400 Warriors, all arriving in less than a week. Bear had been training our own people day and night, we contributed another 75 Warriors! The ATAWONKA, once the greatest of the tribes was now the smallest!
At Henry’s signal, the CALL TO CONCLAVE was sounded, the drum beat for two days as Warriors began to arrive, each group headed by a Warrior Chieftain. When all had assembled, Bear was elected to overall Command. It was a position he would retain for the remainder of his life, although now retired, he remains General Commanding, Canadian National Guard!
On the third day, at Bear’s signal, the Twins took over the drums and beat, WAR CALL! Nearly 500 Warriors assembled at COLONY, with Bear at their head! He laid out his plans to the assembled Warrior Chieftains, starting with the destruction of the Internment Center Power Station, cutting the water supply and destroying the fence and gate. He told them there would be no negotiation and no guards would be spared! There would be no surrender!
The Warriors moved off in small groups to reassemble out of sight near the Internment Center. Events moved rapidly after that, the next night they captured the power station and switched the breakers off, plunging the Internment Center into darkness. Next, the water supply was shut off.
Not wanting those who were interned there to suffer, at daylight the front gates were forced open and the Warriors poured to the center. By midday, no guards remained and the Warriors proceeded to smash open all the cells releasing those who were being held there. Many were sick, more were injured and a few were already dead, left in their cells by the guards.
When we received the mind-call that the center was taken, we started all the vehicles and hitched all the wagons to either horses or trucks, loaded them with every blanket, bandage and medicine we had, filled barrels with drinking water and loaded boxes of food. We then headed to the Internment Center, Fox urging us to go faster, GO FASTER!
It took us nearly until dark to reach the Internment Center, Bear had ordered the power station and water supply returned to service, so there was lights and water available. His Warriors had treated as many of the most severely injured boys as they could, but many more needed help desperately! The people of Colony worked through the night treating injured boys, we had rescued 165 boys. The youngest was 5 years old and the oldest was 16!
After we had treated the most severely injured boys and fed them, we proceeded to bury another 20 boys who had been left dead in their cells! Anger was running high among the Warriors as well as ourselves, never again would we allow such a thing to happen!
Colony Emerges From Hiding
The long procession of Warriors and injured boys finally arrived back in Colony. Every home, in fact every building was turned over to care for the boys.
We returned to the house to find a group of obviously Chiefs waiting for us. One Chief in particular stood out, besides being very old, he was surrounded in regal dignity. He leaned heavily on his staff and Fox was listening to him intently.
When we approached, Fox turned to us and said, “Father Chief Henry, Father Chief Peter I present to you Chief Great Bear-ATA, Chief of the Atawali. Chief Great Bear is the Senior Chief of our people, he wishes to speak, I will speak his words. The Chief spoke in his native language and then Fox spoke, “It is time we, the ATA PEOPLE take our place among the peoples of this land. I propose we form the ATA NATION and that we elect Chief Henry and Chief Peter to lead the ATA COUNCIL.” He then again spoke to Fox, his eyes growing wider at every word the old Chief said. Fox again continued, “I propose that we establish a force of Warriors and that BEAR-ATA of the ATAWONKA be named CHIEF WARRIOR”
He yet again spoke to Fox, who shook his head “NO” and the old Chief slammed his walking stick into the ground and shouted something at Fox, who bowed his head in submission. Fox began to speak, “Chief Great Bear commands me to say – I propose that we establish FOX-ATA of the ATAWONKA as SHAMAN of the ATA PEOPLE”!
At that, the old chief turned to the crowd and shouted in their own language with Fox translating, “HOW SAY YOU PEOPLE OF THE ATA, SHALL WE UNITE? SHALL WE BE A FORCE IN THIS LAND? SHALL WE STOP THE EVIL PEOPLE WHO HARM OUR YOUNG, HARM OUR LAND – HOW SAY YOU, MY PEOPLE?”
I looked around and every Warrior, Every Chief, every member of the ATA PEOPLE raised their clenched fist in agreement! Henry and I had to sit down, we were both overwhelmed, could we do this? Could we lead these people and make us a nation?
Poor Bear could only sit and stare, Fox hung onto Jacob for dear life and Henry wound his arms around me and said, “I guess, in for a penny, in for a pound” So it came about, in that one night we became a force in our land, our names became known and COLONY was put on the map!
Bear, visibly upset, ran into the crowd. Shortly, he returned, with a young woman holding his hand. It was Sally, one of the girls rescued from the downed airplane. The two of them, hand in hand, stood before us and Bear said, “Father Chiefs, I cannot do this task alone. Might I have Sally Bascome as my wife and helpmate?” I turned to Sally and asked her, “Sally, is this your wish also?” She replied, “With all my heart and soul, it is!”
I then said, very formally, “BEAR-ATA, SALLY BASCOME, YOU WISH TO BE JOINED AS HUSBAND AND WIFE, WE WILL MAKE IT SO!” Bear jumped with joy shouting, “SHE IS MINE, SHE IS MINE!”
The assembled chiefs smiled and raised their clenched fist in salute to the young couple. Fox, still clinging to Jacob, was approached by Chief Great Bear. They spoke for a few moments and then Fox, with Jacob in tow, came to us and said, “Chief Great Bear would speak with you, let us go sit on the Council Log” Chief Great Bear, smiling, motioned us all to follow him.
We walked around the Council Fire and the five of us sat on the log. Fox said nothing, except to produce a wide grin on his face. Chief Great Bear turned to Henry and myself and said, “Exciting times, is it not?” I nearly fell off the log in surprise, saying, “uuuuuuuuughaaa, you do not speak English!”He replied, “Why not, I have a degree in History from the University of Ottawa! More to the point, I am honored that you have supported and cared for Fox and accepted his union with Jacob. Fox’s Grandfather, Elk, was my brother, Fox is my Grand Nephew and I love him dearly.”
Henry asked, “Why did you have Fox translate your speech during the meeting?” He replied, “Two voices mind-spoke with me suggesting that I make my proposals in our Native Language.” Hmmm, I’m gonna get those Twins! I heard mind-speak giggles! The six visiting tribes had established camps around the lake and, as it was getting late, our guests retired to their own camps to spend the night. We returned to the big house and, as we were walking, I saw Trader Jenkins standing there. I sent everyone into the house and I spoke privately with him. He nodded his head and said that he would leave in the morning.
I joined Henry in our room, he was shaking his head and asked, “Can we do this? Can you and I direct a nation? Where do we start?” I smiled at him and said, “We have a plan”. He responded, “We do?” I then told him that first we had a wedding to plan, just hang on and all will unfold. He shook his head in doubt, but hugged me and we both collapsed in sleep for the night.
The next morning, after we had all stumbled down to the kitchen for our morning tea fix, I saw the Twins standing in the doorway. I nodded to them and they beat feet to the outside. Shortly, the drum began to beat, CALL TO MEETING.
Bear came running into the room, wild-eyed, expecting trouble. I grabbed him and whispered into his ear, he shouted, with his fist in the air, “YES!” and ran off.
It took a while for that many people to arrive, and there was hardly standing room in the Meeting Place for all the tribes. Fox had no idea what I had in mind, but he knew that, as SHAMAN, he was the Speaker.
I whispered to Henry and his smile nearly split his face! When all had arrived, Fox stepped to his upturned log, “This is a meeting of the ATA PEOPLE, it will be presided by Chief Henry and Chief Peter.”
I announced, “COME FORTH BEAR-ATA AND SALLY BASCOME!” At that, Bear came to stand before Henry and myself, with a shaking Sally.
I began, “BEAR-ATA, SALLY BASCOME, we meet this morning to see you wedded.” Poor Sally was near fainting at that.
I continued, “WHO SPEAKS FOR BEAR-ATA?” Fox stood and said, “I SPEAK FOR BEAR-ATA”
Again, I continued, “WHO SPEAKS FOR SALLY BASCOME?” Henry moved to Sally’s side and said, “I SPEAK FOR SALLY BASCOME”
I began, “IS BEAR-ATA FULLY PREPARED TO BE WED TO THIS WOMAN?”
Fox replied, “BEAR-ATA IS READY TO WED IN ALL RESPECTS!”
Again, I asked, “IS SALLY BASCOME READY TO WED THIS MAN?”
Henry replied, “SALLY BASCOME IS READY TO WED IN ALL RESPECTS!”
I began, “BEAR-ATA AND SALLY BASCOME, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE BONDS OF MARRIAGE THAT WILL BIND THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER FOR ALL TIME?”
They replied together, “WE DO!”
Continuing, I said, “IS THERE ANYONE HERE PRESENT WHO WOULD DENY THESE TWO THE BONDS OF MARRIAGE?”
There was no response, I continued, “AS CO-CHIEF OF THE ATAWONKA, I PROCLAIM YOU BEAR-ATA AND YOU SALLY-ATA TO BE HUSBAND AND WIFE. LET NO ONE COME BETWEEN THESE TWO PEOPLE OF THE ATAWONKA. I HAVE SAID IT, IT SHALL BE SO!”
Bear and Sally hugged both Henry and myself, then they ran off amid the good wishes of all present. We did not see them again for two days! That is enough mind-giggling, you two!
Before the Meeting could break up, Henry announced, “THE ATA NATION COUNCIL WILL MEET AFTER LUNCH. ALL MAY WITNESS BUT ONLY CHIEFS MAY VOTE.” Chief Great Bear walked up to us and said, “You guys sure know how to put on a great show!” Laughing, he walked off.
Henry and I returned home to rest and get some lunch. It looked like it was going to be a LONG afternoon. As we were eating, Fox and Jacob came up to us, “Father Peter, Father Henry, we would like to build a house for the two of us and then adopt two of the boys we rescued from the prison, Joel and Bastian.”
At that, two small boys came to stand beside them. I looked closely at the two little boys, they were battered and had old scars on them. They looked to be no more than 7 years old!
Henry asked them, “Do you boys have a last name?”
They replied, “Not that we remember, but we think we are brothers!”
Good Grief! They both looked like they COULD be brothers, so I told them, “Yes, you shall be brothers!”
Henry looked at Fox and Jacob, “Keep them with you, love them and make them happy. Yes, to both questions, you may build a house for you all and, yes, adoption will be announced at the next Meeting of the ATAWONKA!”
There was a lot of happy crying and hugging. Those two little boys would have a happy home!
Henry and I sat at the table for lunch and some more tea while we talked. I told him that I had asked Trader Jenkins to see if he could find us a doctor as I wanted to build a hospital. His face lit up and said, “Wonderful and, while we are at it, let us also build a school for all the ATA people!” He continued, “I know it will mean that we are no longer hidden, but the needs of our people must be met. While it is still summer, I will lead a work party to the lumber mill and start cutting the lumber for both. We have enough lumber already here to build a house for Bear and Sally, as well as for Fox and Jacob!”
Thinking to himself, “Trader Jenkins will need to find a supply of hardware, nails, plumbing, all the things needed for a good house. A bigger generator will also be needed soon!”
Before long, it was time for COUNCIL, so I mind-sent to the Twins, “Sound the Drum.” They must have been waiting for my call as the drum immediately started sounding CALL TO COUNCIL!
It took quite some time for all the Tribal Chiefs to assemble as some encampments were a long ways away around the lake. A large number of tribe members also gathered to witness this historic event, a first ever Grand Council of the ATA NATION!
Henry and I stood as Henry began to speak, “I CALL UPON THE ATA SHAMAN, FOX-ATA, TO MODERATE THIS COUNCIL.” Fox stood and entered the Council Circle saying, “I, FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE ATA NATION SHALL MODERATE THIS SESSION OF THE ATA COUNCIL. ONLY TRIBAL CHIEFS MAY SPEAK OR VOTE, I CANNOT VOTE. HOW SAY YOU, CHIEFS OF THE ATA NATION?” All the members voted yes by raising their closed fist. He continued, “COUNCIL CO-CHIEF PETER WISHES TO SPEAK FIRST.” I rose and stood before the Council, “CHIEFS OF THE ATA, WE FORM A NATION HERE, NOW WE MUST PROVIDE FOR IT. I PROPOSE WE BUILD A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND ALSO A SCHOOL WHERE OUR CHILDREN MAY LEARN. SOME MAY BOARD AT THE SCHOOL BUT ALL SHALL BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND AT NO COST TO THEM OR THEIR FAMILIES. HOW SAY YOU?”
Chief Great Bear stood, we were learning that he was our closest ally in building our dream. He began, “WHERE WILL THE DOCTORS COME FROM AND WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS FOR OUR CHILDREN?”
Henry stood and waited to be recognized by the Moderator. When Fox recognized him, he began, “SO SURE WERE WE THAT THIS COUNCIL WOULD REALIZE THE GREAT NEED, WE COMMISSIONED TRADER JENKINS TO RECRUIT MEDICAL STAFF AND TEACHERS TO MEET OUR NEEDS. I HAVE STARTED PRODUCING THE NECESSARY LUMBER FOR THE BUILDINGS AS WELL AS FOR ADDITIONAL HOMES NEAR HERE.”
Fox looked around and then said, “HOW SAY YOU, CHIEFS OF THE ATA NATION. SHALL WE BUILD A HOSPITAL AND A SCHOOL?” There was not a single dissenting vote. Chief Great Bear again stood, “MY PEOPLE WILL SUPPLY LABOR TO BUILD THESE THINGS” Three other chiefs also contributed labor, the others would supply food, tools and help with the hauling of the lumber from the mill to Colony. Thus began a program that led to restoration of the nation as well as establishing the ATA NATION as the forward leaders for generations to come.