BRAVE NEW WORLD SERIES A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure in the Canadian Forest
Charles W. Bird email@example.com
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 may not be copied by any means without my express written permission. Acknowledgements 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. Dedication 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
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!
BRAVE NEW WORLD SERIES
A Nation Reborn
As soon as the visiting Chiefs departed, I told the Twins to Call Meeting. The drum began immediately and the ATAWONKA soon arrived at the Meeting Place. Henry and I were standing there and I announced, "We have ATAWONKA business to attend, all may participate."
Henry then said, "FOX-ATA, JACOB-ATA, COME FORTH."
They soon stood before us, hand in hand but not having a clue about what was to happen.
I continued, "WHO WILL SPEAK FOR FOX-ATA?"
Bear stood and said, "I, BEAR-ATA CHIEF WARRIOR OF THE ATA NATION, WILL SPEAK FOR FOX-ATA."
I then said, "WHO WILL SPEAK FOR JACOB-ATA?"
Henry moved beside Jacob and said, "I, CHIEF HENRY, BLOOD FATHER TO JACOB-ATA WILL SPEAK FOR HIM" Both knew then what was to happen and they could hardly contain their grins.
I began, "IS FOX-ATA PREPARED IN ALL RESPECTS TO BECOME PARTNER TO JACOB-ATA?"
Bear replied, "FOX-ATA IS PREPARED TO BECOME PARTNER TO JACOB-ATA IN ALL RESPECTS"
I then continued, "IS JACOB-ATA PREPARED IN ALL RESPECTS TO BECOME PARTNER TO FOX-ATA?"
Henry replied, "JACOB-ATA IS PREPARED TO BECOME PARTNER TO FOX-ATA IN ALL RESPECTS"
I announced, "DO YOU, FOX-ATA AND YOU, JACOB-ATA ACCEPT THE GREAT SPIRIT'S BOND UPON YOU AND TO ALLOW NONE TO COME BETWEEN YOU BOTH FOR ALL TIME?"
They answered, "WE DO"
Continuing, I said, "JOEL AND BASTION, COME FORTH"
When they did, I began, "ARE YOU FOX-ATA AND YOU, JACOB-ATA PREPARED IN ALL RESPECTS TO BECOME THE PARENTS OF JOEL AND BASTION?"
They replied, "WE ARE PREPARED IN ALL RESPECTS"
I then asked, "JOEL AND BASTION DO YOU ACCEPT FOX-ATA AND JACOB-ATA AS YOUR PARENTS FOR ALL TIME?"
Their answer was immediate, "WE DO"
I Turned to Bear and Henry, "DO YOU, WARRIOR CHIEF AND YOU, CO-CHIEF ACCEPT THIS ADOPTION?"
They answered, "WE DO"
I announced to the tribe, "PEOPLE OF THE ATAWONKA, I PRESENT TO YOU FOX-ATA, HIS PARTNER JACOB-ATA AND THEIR CHILDREN JOEL-ATA AND BASTIAN-ATA. I, CHIEF PETER HAVE SAID THIS, SO IT SHALL BE."
At that, the entire tribe rushed forward to congratulate the new family.
The remainder of the summer was consumed by work at the lumber mill, hauling lumber and readying the building sites for the hospital and the school. Bear and Sally were first in their new house and a week later, Fox and Jacob led Joel and Bastion in the front door of their new house!
Joel and Bastion brought a humbling moment to us when they exclaimed, "A real house and it has doors in it that close! A bedroom just for us alone! Running water and a shower, just for us and we don't got to share it with nobodies else!"
We wondered what had happened to them before they came to live with Fox and Jacob!
Trader Jenkins had procured materials we needed for further construction, the foundation was poured for the hospital. Our own boys supplied the talent to create drawings and specifications for both the hospital and the school. Work was progressing to get as much done as possible before winter set in. Four additional houses were started in hopes that Trader Jenkins' efforts to send us teachers and medical help were successful.
On an early fall afternoon, Jake was watching the camera monitors when we all heard a mind-shriek! It was Jake, "Trader Jenkins' wagon with 6 people on horses and another 2 riding in the wagon are headed up our road to Colony!" I gotta teach Jake to tone it down a bit. More Twin giggles.
We all dropped what we were doing and assembled at the Meeting Circle to meet our guests. Trader Jenkins jumped down from his wagon and motioned for the people who had come with him to meet us. He started with an older couple, when suddenly the Rollins Family ran up to them hugging and laughing! Uncle Garth, Aunt Sophi, however did you find us?
Garth Rollins laughed and said Our Friend, Athol Jenkins found us and here we are. Are you ready for some help teaching school?
The next group were parents with two small boys, obviously twins. Oh, no, not MORE twins! Giggle-giggle was heard.
Trader Jenkins introduced them as Roger and Martha Barrett and their two sons Aiden and Edan. Roger told us that he was a Pediatrician and his wife was a Registered Pharmacist.
The next to be introduced was Trask Findley and his son Arthur. Trask was a Surgeon and his son Arthur was a Male Registered Nurse! I asked Trader Jenkins, "Wherever did you find these treasures?" He coughed and said, "In prison."
I responded, ‘IN PRISON?"
He replied, "Oh yes, the military locked up almost everyone who could read or write!"
Henry and I approached the group of new people and I said, "Welcome to Colony. Have you any questions?"
Trask said, "Speaking for myself and my son, we are relieved to be free and to be here. We lost Arthur's Mother, my wife, in that horrible prison. To be free and clean again is like a dream! There is NOTHING you could ask us to do that would make us not want to stay here!"
Garth spoke up and said, "We are home here already with relatives. No way are we going to not want to stay!"
Martha Barrett agreed with him, saying, "This is heaven on Earth compared to where we have been!"
Henry said, "Well, since you all agree to stay, we are still under construction, but we should have your homes ready soon. Until then, you all may stay in the big house over by the lake with us."
Martha replied, "I'd soon as sleep under a tree rather than go back to that horrible place where we came from!"
The rest agreed, so the school was not yet built nor was the hospital, but we had the beginnings of staff for both!
The next several weeks flew by, a total of five new houses were constructed. The help contributed by the other tribes of the ATA People made the work go very quickly. Poor Henry was running the saw mill 24 hours a day, non-stop to supply sufficient lumber. Trader Jenkins was making a trip for building supplies twice a week and everyone was becoming exhausted.
At last, the foundations for the school and the hospital were completed and I decided that a break was necessary for our people. I sent the Twins, Ricardo and Rodrigo scampering through the community announcing that the next day was a holiday and that there would be a Bar-B-Q supper that evening at the lake shore.
I mind - sent to Henry to bring all the lumber crews down for the day so they could also celebrate. Besides, I missed Henry and wanted my partner, too!
The next day dawned clear and warm, the Twins marched through the community beating a small drum and announcing there would be swimming and relay races for the young people, starting after lunch. They soon had a swarm of boys and girls following them like the "Pied Piper"! Bear assigned some of his Warriors to act as life guards for the swimming and also as judges for the Relay Races.
A holiday atmosphere prevailed throughout Colony! The lumber crews arrived shortly before lunch and I ran to hug my partner, he was a sight for my sore eyes! The trucks and trailers were loaded with cut lumber, everyone lent a hand and they were soon unloaded and the lumber stacked at the construction site.
The Twins had already organized the Relay Races and we could hear the shouts of encouragement to the runners! Bear announced that swimming was open for all at the lake and, before he could say more, the shore was mobbed with boys and girls. Most had no swim suits, so they just went without! Nobody cared or even commented upon the fact that there were boys AND girls swimming nude together!
The Chef Crew made pots of both hot tea and iced tea and well as heaping platters of sandwiches. They carried it all out to the lake shore and everyone just helped themselves.
The adult mostly sat in the shade of the trees and the construction crews relaxed in the sun on the sandy shore. By mid-afternoon, the Warriors started fire pits burning and, when they had burned down to coals, the Chef Crew brought out Bar-B-Q grates and started meat and vegetables to roasting. The delightful smell brought the few people not already out, on the run. Within an hour, hunger brought all the swimmers and racers to the cooking area with drooling mouths and plates in hand!
Fox raised his hand for silence and spoke, "PEOPLE OF THE ATA NATION, LET US GIVE THANKS TO THE GREAT SPIRIT".
He continued, "GREAT SPIRT, WE THANK YOU FOR OUR BLESSINGS, THE BLESSING OF NEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOINED OUR NATION, THE BLESSING OF THE CHILDEN WE HAVE SAVED, THE BLESSING OF OUR NEW HOMES, OUR NEW SCHOOL AND OUR NEW HOSPITAL. LET THESE BLESSINGS BE A BEACON OF LIGHT IN THESE TROUBLED TIMES. THE ATA PEOPLE ARE LEADING THE WAY OUT OF DARKNESS INTO A NEW LIGHT, A NEW LAND, A NEW PEOPLE! FOR THESE BLESSING, GREAT SPIRIT, WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE TO LEAD NOW AND FOREVER!"
As soon as Fox finished, the Chef Crew started carving meat from moose and deer roasts, dishing up vegetables and baked potatoes onto plates. There was tea for everyone and fresh milk for the children. As soon as everyone had finished, they carried out THE SURPRISE – ICE CREAM! The Crew had been saving the cream from the daily milk and made an ice cream treat for everyone! Needless to say, there were NO leftovers!
Several of the adults had violins, there was one flute and a clarinet, as an impromptu concert began and they played old favorites until dark. When it became too dark to see properly we all hugged each other and said, "GOOD NIGHT".
Henry was with me and I slept the complete night in peace. Our life was hard still, but it was getting better and much safer. Morning brought a return to our labors, with sufficient lumber on hand. The floor and walls were soon erected for the school and the hospital. It was decided to also build a small clinic near the hospital and it was completed first.
We had to invent methods to keep the doors shut because we did not have much in the way building hardware. There certainly was no need for locks, but we solved the problem of keeping the shut with a simple wooden lever and a leather strap.
As soon as the last nail was driven in the clinic building, the Barrett Family and the Findley Family had collected enough paint to paint the treatment room and the waiting room. We had asked Trader Athol Jenkins to locate additional paint for us, but so far none was available.
In less than a week COLONY CLINIC was open for patients. We sent runners and mind-messages to all the tribes of the ATA that we now had health care available. Within a few days, the clinic had a steady stream of patients. Martha Barrett and Fox worked daily to find substitute medicines for those that were no longer available to us. Fox's knowledge of medicinal plants was proving invaluable.
We ran electric wiring to the clinic so that the hours could be extended beyond daylight. It would soon be winter and lighting would be required. Work continued on the hospital and school buildings, but the winter snows caught us before a roof could be put on either building.
Trader Athol Jenkins did locate us a small wood-burning stove that could be used to heat the Clinic. He also said he had found us a larger water turbine generator, but would not be able to move it until spring.
We had one last emergency before the hard winter snows blocked us in. The Twins received a weak mind-call asking for help. The call was so weak, they were barely able to understand it. They finally determined it was someone out on the old main highway, so Bear and his Warriors hitched up the horses to a wagon, just in case, and headed to the highway looking for those in need.
About an hour later, we received a mind-scream from Bear, "WE NEED THE DOCTORS, NOW!"
Trask and Roger jumped on the two remaining horses, Bear had already saddled them before he left, just in case. The two rode off as fast as they could in the snow. They were gone for a very long time and we did not attempt mind-send as it could have interfered with something they were doing. It was almost dark when one of Bear's Warriors struggled through the snow to the house.
He announced, "We have a young family and a newborn baby, they need a place to rest and warm food!" Henry and I were out the door in a flash, carrying blankets and a jug of hot tea. We finally got them all to the house safely and warmed up; Jeff and Rina Kellet, and their new baby, Keith.
Jeff and Rina told us there was no food in the city, they had met Trader Athol Jenkins earlier and he had told them about Colony. Fearing that their baby would not survive in the city, they started out to find sanctuary at Colony. Jeff stood before us and said, "I am an electrician, I will work for you in return for a place for my wife and baby."
Before Henry or I could say a word, Fox stood with his eyes blazing, "I AM FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE ATA NATION. YOU AND YOUR WIFE AND YOUR CHILD ARE WELCOME HERE. WE DO NOT CHARGE FOR SANCTUARY, WE DO NOT TURN CHILDREN AWAY AND WE DO NOT TURN AWAY THOSE WHO WOULD JOIN US! BE AT EASE, YOU ARE WELCOME AMONG US!"
At that statement, we had to grab the young man before he collapsed to the floor. He turned to his wife, who was holding their newborn baby, "Rina, we are home; we are among the friends Uncle Athol told us about!" He collapsed into sobs, not of fear but those of relief.
In a few days, winter closed in upon us, cutting off all but the most urgent travel. We placed the Kellet Family in one of the new houses, after we had supplied them with blankets, cooking items, filled the wood box with firewood and the cold box with food. Jeff Kellet kept insisting that he do some labor to pay for their keep, we finally allowed him to wire the new clinic for lights.
He told us that we were nearly at full load on the water turbine generator but his Uncle Athol had a brand new, much bigger unit they would bring in as soon as spring allowed travel again.
Another Christmas at Colony
Christmas was almost upon us and all our gifts for the children were safely wrapped and hidden in the basement storeroom. We had some special gifts however that were presenting a problem, how to get them upstairs without the recipients noticing? Henry solved that problem by organizing a Christmas Carol Singing, complete with a horse drawn sleigh, in front of every residence in Colony.
So, on Christmas Eve, while the carolers were busy singing and the Warriors walking on either side of the sleigh, Henry and I hauled up the special gifts to be given that night. Since NOTHING could be hidden from the Twins, we employed them as "Elves" to distribute the special gifts after supper.
We closed the doors to the great room and hung a sign, "KEEP OUT" When everyone had trooped back from caroling, they noticed the sign, but said not a word! After supper, the Twins began drumming, "CALL TO MEETING." As everyone from the surrounding homes arrived, we handed them a warm drink and let them work the chill out of their bones.
With a flourish, the Twins rolled out an approximation of "Silent Night" on the drum and ended it in total silence. Dressed in stocking caps, like the elves they were playing at, they bowed to the crowd and slowly opened the door to the Great Room, without saying a word. When all had entered and found places to sit, the Twins began distributing the Special Gifts first.
To Bear, they brought an Officer's Sword and rank insignia of a Brigadier General. Poor Bear was totally flummoxed!
To Fox, they brought a complete set of Pharmacopeia Books.
The Doctors received each a complete boxed set of Army Field Surgery instruments.
Each School Teacher received 10 dictionaries, a world atlas and a white board complete with felt markers.
The Pharmacist received the same books Fox did plus a manual on native plants and their properties.
Just as we were to start the general gift distribution, we heard a faint knock on the door. In fact, we weren't sure that it really was a knock! I went to the door and opened it, two bundles of rags rolled in the house.
I mind-screamed for Fox, he appeared almost instantly. We each picked up a bundle and, after closing the door, began to open the bundles, two little faces appeared, with blue lips and no movement. Fox screamed, "NOT AGAIN" and the Twins had both Doctors in tow as they raced into the entry hall.
The Doctors and Fox began to resuscitate the two children, who we now recognized as little Indian Boys. Bear sent his Warriors out to search for any others, but they came back empty handed. The little boys were near death and Fox began his plea, "GREAT SPIRIT, WE ASK YOUR HELP THAT THESE BOYS DO NOT PASS FROM US. YOU SENT THEM TO US FOR A REASON, LET THEM STAY WITH US. WE ASK THIS GREAT SPIRIT THAT WE MAY DO YOUR WORK"
Tears were pouring from his eyes as remembered another small boy whom he was unable to save. The Chef Crew warmed towels on the stove for the Doctors and we moved a bed into the kitchen, the warmest room in the house. After working on the boys for more than an hour, they both began to moan and toss their heads.
Fox and Jacob sat on the bed, each holding a small boy close to their chest. As they warmed up, they began to cough and shiver, Roger told us that was a good sign. Fox asked me to bring his herb bag to him, as soon as he had it, he reached and pulled out some dried leaves, telling Martha Barrett, our new Pharmacist to crush the leaves in a little butter and bring the paste to him.
When she returned, he placed a little of the paste under the upper lip of each boy, explaining that the leaves were foxglove that contained natural digitalis to strengthen their hearts.
As the paste melted and was absorbed, each boy showed immediate improvement.
Soon they were trying to talk, one said, "Help us, please, we are looking for a place called Sanctuary Colony" Fox rubbed the boy's brow and said, "You are in Colony now, you are safe. I will hold you until you feel better" At that, the boy in Jacob's arms called, "Wolf, Wolf are we there yet?"
Jacob soothed him and told him, "Yes my son, you are here safe. Sleep now, I will hold you" The boy mumbled, "Daddy, Daddy" and feel into a peaceful sleep.
Fox stood, holding the boy and said, "GREAT SPIRIT, YOU HAVE GIVEN THESE CHILDREN UNTO JACOB AND MYSELF ON THIS CHRISTMAS DAY. WE CLAIM THEM AS OUR OWN, THIS IS MY SON, AND THAT IS JACOB'S SON. UNTO NO OTHER MAY THEY BE GIVEN. I, FOX-ATA SHAMAN OF THE ATA NATION SAY THIS, IT SHALL BE SO."
At that, Fox and Jacob stood and walked to the guest room with their new sons. Joel and Bastion stood, Bastion said, "THESE ARE OUR BROTHERS, THEY SHALL LIVE WITH NONE OTHER. OUR FATHERS HAVE SAID THIS, SO IT SHALL BE" They then followed their Family into the guest room and they all laid on the bed holding the shivering boys.
After all that excitement, we decided to postpone further gift giving until Christmas Morning and everyone returned to their own homes and much needed sleep.
The next morning, Jacob was in the kitchen attempting to fix some hot breakfast for the two new boys when the Chef Crew chased him out, waving frying pans and cooking pots at him, saying, "WE WILL FIX HOT FOOD FOR OUR NEW BROTHERS, WE WILL CALL YOU WHEN IT IS READY!"
Soon, Jacob was seen peeking around the door saying, "I'm sorry, I was just trying to help. Our sons are crying that they are hungry!" Calvin laughed and said, "OK take this warm milk and toast to them. The rest will be ready in a few minutes"
The two boys ate like they were starved, perhaps they were! After they has eaten their fill and had gotten a warm bath with clean clothes, Fox and Jacob brought them out to the Great Room so that they could tell their story.
Fox introduced them, the older boy was Wolf and the younger was Fox, I guess we will call him Junior? Fox had a head splitting grin on his face! Wolf began his story, "We were living in an orphanage and one day the adults left. We ate what food there was in the house, then there was nothing and we tried to find someone, but nobody was around; they were all gone. Some older boys had told us this story about a wonderful sanctuary called Colony. We were so hungry, Fox, my baby brother, and I started out to find this Colony. We became lost in the snow and something kept telling me, just a little further, just a little further. I had lost all hope when we stumbled on your stairs. That is all I remember until this morning when I woke up in Daddy Fox's arms."
Bear knelt down and gently asked Wolf, "Are there any more boys in that orphanage?" The boy replied, "Yes, but they may no longer be alive, there is no food or heat"
Bear stood immediately and told the Twins to sound Emergency! The drums started their roll, booming out across the snow. Henry and I ran to start the trucks and two squads of Warriors and Trask jumped on board as we started out.
After what seemed like hours, we began to see landmarks that Wolf had told us to look for. We, at last, rolled up to a dilapidated building that the sign said "CHILDREN'S ORPHANAGE – KEEP OUT" We pulled up in the front and Bear was out of the truck before it was fully stopped. He ran headlong for the door and hardly slowed as he kicked it in, his Warriors and Trask were at his heels.
Shortly we heard a mind-call, "COME QUICK, WE NEED ASSISTANCE" Henry and I gathered all the blankets from the truck and ran for the door, immediately inside were children, piled up like cordwood. Bear was breaking up furniture and doors, feeding a woodstove as fast as it would accept the wood. As soon as the room began to warm, Trask began examining each boy.
Henry and I returned to the truck and began carrying the containers of soup, milk and honey water into the building. The soup we put on the woodstove, along with the container of milk and honey water. Trask and Bear screamed together, "We got here in time!" "They are all alive!!!"
The Twins, who were still back home, must have been "tuned in" on us, because we heard them mind-call everyone at Colony, "THEY ARE ALIVE"
We spent the night at that old orphanage. Nobody ever showed up to ask what we were doing there or to inquire if the children were safe! The next morning, as we were loading up the 17 boys and 3 girls, two teenaged boys, dressed in rags tied to their arms and legs came up to us and asked, "Are you Sanctuary?" Henry replied, "We are from Colony and, yes, we are Sanctuary."
At that, both boys hugged us, crying and weeping. They said, through their tears, "Would you save us too and the guys hiding in that shed over there?" They were pointing to what looked like a woodshed behind the orphanage building. Henry told them, "We will NEVER turn a child away needing sanctuary!"
The first boy yelled, "It's THEM, It's THEM" and six more boys streamed out of the shed saying, "Please Mister, Please take us too. We're sorry, there just was no more food to give the little guys. We tried everything, but we just couldn't do it" Henry and I hugged the boys and told them that it was ok and that they ALL were safe now. There was a place for everyone at Colony.
Bear was our most powerful mind-speaker, he sent to Colony, "We have 20 children and 8 young MEN, make ready for them!" One of the older boys looked at Bear with a startled look, "Will not the Elders beat you for mind-speaking?"
Bear looked at the boy and drew up to his full height as he said, "I AM BEAR-ATA, CHIEF WARRIOR OF THE ATA NATION. MIND-SPEAKING IS A GIFT OF THE GREAT SPIRIT, WOULD YOU THROW AWAY SUCH A GIFT? YOU EIGHT ARE MEN IN OUR EYES, LOOK ABOUT YOU, MY WARRIORS ARE THE SAME AS YOU! WE WELCOME YOU AMONG US, WE ARE THE ATA NATION. I HAVE SAID THIS, IT SHALL BE SO."
He turned to Henry and myself and continued, "THESE ARE OUR FATHER CHIEFS, CHIEF HENRY AND CHIEF PETER. HOW SAY YOU FATHER CHIEFS?"
Henry replied, "WARRIORS, WELCOME THESE MEN AND BOYS, THEY ARE AMONG US TO STAY FOR HOWEVER LONG THEY WISH. WE HAVE SAID IT, SO IT SHALL BE!"
At that, all eight of the young men hugged us and soaking our shirts with their tears. Their spokesman, John Alford, told us that they had prayed nightly for rescue and we appeared. Willingly, they will come with us and do whatever needs to be done to be allowed to stay among us. I figured I would let Fox handle that one!
We finished loading all the boys and young men. There was nothing in the buildings worth retrieving, so we started for Colony with 28 new residents. The Twins mind-sent to me, "Daddy, food is being prepared, new clothing has been laid out and there are enough beds for all the new people. We wait for you and them at Colony!"
The older boy, who had recognized mind-speak, looked at me and said, "Sir, Father Chief, may I speak?" I hugged him and said, "Son, you may speak at any time and I am not sir, you may call me Chief or Chief Peter or Daddy or just Peter!"
He held my hand like it was a lifeline, then he said, "I am Basil Jones, I am the oldest and I tried to care for all these boys, I TRIED, I really did, but I just couldn't do it, I failed!" I held him and said, "No, son, you did NOT fail. You saved every child! That alone proves you are a LEADER OF MEN! Come with us, we will give you shelter, food, clothing and an education. We want you with us." He replied, "But I hear other minds, the Elders told us that was evil and that I was of the devil" I looked him straight in the eyes, "You are NOT evil! We all mind-speak to one degree or the other. That you can hear the Twins speaking all the way from Colony proves you have talent beyond ordinary men. You are a TREASURE to us!"
He collapsed in my arms in a flood of tears and I carried him to the truck as we departed for Colony. It was a long and slow trip home, it was getting dark as we arrived, but the Twins had organized a celebration for our new people. They walked up to Basil and each one took one of his hands and told him, "WELCOME HOME BROTHER" and they led him off to get cleaned up, warmed up and filled up!
The Chef Crew had put together a feast of roasted meats, vegetables, and warm bread and butter. They had concocted a custard pudding for dessert and milk for everyone. The children and young men were astounded at the plentiful food and asked, "Is it permitted to have seconds?" Fox laughed and replied, "And thirds, if you want!"
Basil stood and said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have tried my best to protect you and keep you safe. I tried my best to feed you and keep you warm. My best had run out, there was nothing more I could do for you. These SAVIOURS, THESE ANGELS FROM SANCTUARY have saved us all"
At that, Wolf and Junior ran up to Basil and hugged him. "Welcome home, BROTHER!" The remainder of that winter passed, thankfully, with no further excitement. Basil remained close to Fox and Jacob but he approached Bear and requested training to be a Warrior. Two other of his companions, Joseph and Gary also requested to be Warriors. Bear later told me that those three were destined to be Warrior Chiefs!
As spring began to burst through the snow and ice, our land and people also burst with new life. Sally went to the Clinic and was told she was pregnant with TWINS! It took several days for Bear to come back down to earth!
Just as we were sitting down to breakfast, Teddy, who was manning the camera screen, called up, "Horsemen, Braves are coming up our road" We immediately jumped up, but the Twins sent, "They are messengers sent by Chief Great Bear, make them welcome as they have ridden fast and hard hard and are hungry!" I told the chef Crew to prepare more food as guests were coming.
Henry and I went to the front porch as three riders wearily got off their horses and approached us, saying, "Chief Great Bear sends his greeting, we have important news." I invited them inside to warm up and have a meal before they gave us their message. They ate ravenously as they had not stopped to eat from the time Chief Great Bear had sent them.
Finally, they had their fill and could relax a bit, their leader, Warrior Eagle began speaking, "Chief Great Bear sends his greetings. He has a delegation of people from OTTAWA, they report many deaths and famine haunts them. They have come to ask our help. Great Bear requests COUNCIL!"
Fox jumped up and said, "Father Chiefs, we cannot let people starve, we cannot let children suffer. AS WARRIORS, WE MUST HELP!"
Henry and I agreed with him, I called for Bear, "Bear, send a Warrior Messenger immediately to all the Tribes, WE CALL COUNCIL FOR FIVE DAYS FROM NOW!" I continued, "Twins, sound MEETING immediately!" The drums began calling The Atawonka to MEETING!
Bear dispatched his Warrior Messengers immediately and The Atawonka gathered at The Meeting Place. Fox stood on his upturned log and said, "I, FOX-ATA, SHAMAN, CALL YOU TO ATTEND. OUR FATHER CHIEFS WILL SPEAK."
Henry and I rose and Henry held his hand for silence, "Atawonka People, we have an emergency. The people still living in Ottawa are starving and there is no food there. We have called our Nation to Council, but the need is now! What say you?" The gathered Atawonka responded with just two words, "FEED THEM!"
Henry and I started up the trucks and connected the trailers to them as Warriors began carrying food supplies out and loading them on the vehicles. Barrels of flour, frozen meats, fresh water, containers of milk, dried vegetables, loaves of bread and boxes of Fox's tea leaves.
It was still early morning, so we started out, accompanied by Bear and ALL his Warriors, including Basil, Joseph and Gary who knew many of the people in Ottawa. It was nearly dark when we arrived. The Twins rode the front bumper as we made our way slowly through the slush that remained from winter. They beat the drum loudly to attract attention as they called, "WE BRING YOU FOOD"
Basil, having gained confidence in his own self from our trust and love, mind-sent to all who would hear him, "COME TO US, WE BRING FOOD AND SAFETY TO ALL IN NEED. COME, EVERYONE COME!"
We set up our kitchen in the main square of the city, gathering firewood from broken houses. We had brought along a stove and the Warriors began warming milk. They set out the loaves of bread and a tub of fresh butter on the back of one of the trucks.
A large cauldron was placed over the fire and a stew was started. The smells of food cooking brought people as the Twins continued to beat the drum. Basil stood on the back of the truck and shouted, "I AM BASIL JONES OF YOUR CITY. NOW I AM ATAWONKA, WE ARE HERE TO FEED YOU, COME AND BRING YOUR CHILDREN. THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR US, WE BRING FOOD AND SAFETY TO YOU ALL"
People began to gather, Basil went through the crowd gathering the hungry children around him. He brought them to the fire and handed them cups of warm milk and buttered bread.
About a hundred adults and that many children had gathered around us. An older man stepped forward and said, "We are about all that are left, the Elders left us yesterday and took all the remaining food. Many of us can hear your mind-speech, but we were told mind-speech was evil and of the devil!"
Basil shouted out, "THAT IS NOT TRUE, MIND SPEECH IS A GIFT OF THE GREAT SPIRIT. WE ARE NOT EVIL, WOULD THE DEVIL BRING YOU FOOD? STEP CLOSER TO THE FIRE THAT YOU MAY WARM YOURSELVES. FOOD WILL BE READY SHORTLY"
He walked among the gathered people, telling them of us and how we had saved him and ALL the children from the orphanage. Joseph and Gary gathered all the children from the crowd and held them, hugged them and offered them warmed, milk and bread until the stew would be done.
Bear hugged me and said, "THIS is our purpose, THIS is what the GREAT SPIRIT has called us to do!" As soon as the stew had cooked, the Warriors began passing out cups of stew and pieces of buttered bread, promising hot tea as soon as they had finished their meal.
A teen aged boy approached and asked, "Please sirs, might I have some more? I have not eaten in nearly a week" Bear grabbed a ladle and filled his cup again, then said, "There is plenty of food here, all may have as much as they need. Bring all your children forward that they may eat their fill and be warmed by the fire!"
Basil jumped back up on the truck and began speaking, "This is my brother, BEAR, Chief Warrior of the ATA NATION!" as he pointed to Bear, then he continued, "Bring all the children who have no family here to me. We WILL care for them. Families with small children, we WILL care for, also. Boys and Girls, if you have no home or your parents are willing, come to me and we WILL care for you. The rest of you, we WILL care for you. The Council of the ATA NATION meets in five days from today, elect a leader who can meet with our NATION'S COUNCIL in Colony! We WILL NOT abandon you as your elders did."
Basil continued, "These are our Tribe's Father Chiefs, they will speak to you now." He pointed to Henry and myself and offered us a hand up to the bed of the truck.
Henry began, "Chief Peter and I are Fathers and Chiefs of the ATAWONKA TRIBE and also Co-Chiefs of the ATA NATION COUNCIL. I tell you that you WILL NOT be abandoned by us."
He then nodded at me, "I am Chief Peter, as Chief Henry told you, you are not abandoned by us. We will leave this food with you" I pointed to food still on the truck, "Warrior Basil" I began as Basil's chest swelled, "And Warriors Joseph and Gary are from your city also. They will stay with you and will guide your representative to meet our Nation's Council in five days. They are our Representatives to you and our guarantee of our help." All three boys were beaming with pride.
They gathered the children who had no families and brought them to us. They then brought several young families who asked to come back to Colony with us, then they gathered 10 more teen boys and their parents, who asked if their sons could go with us and be Warriors like Basil and his friends had become.
Bear looked at the boys and asked, "Will you be obedient to those Warriors placed over you, will you protect those who are in need, will you make war on those who abuse children?" The boys all stood straight and answered, "WE WILL"
Bear then looked at the parents of the boys and said, "These boys wish to become ATA NATION WARRIORS, do you allow this?" All replied that they did.
Bear mind-called Fox, who then faced the boys, "I AM FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE ATAWONKA AND ASLO TO THE ATA NATION. I CALL TO YOU TO BE LOYAL WARRIORS OF THE ATA NATION, TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE AND ITS CHILDREN. I CALL YOU TO PROTECT ALL CHILDREN, TO RIGHT WRONGS AGAINST ALL PEOPLE, TO OBEY THOSE WARRIORS WHO ARE PLACED IN CHARGE. DO YOU AGREE TO THESE THINGS?" All they boys responded with a yes.
Fox continued, "THEN WE ACCEPT YOU INTO OUR WARRIORS TO BE TRAINED. YOU ARE WELCOME AMONG US" They all hugged each other and their parents.
There were many tears shed that day, there were also many proud mothers and fathers. As the day closed, our Warriors opened bedrolls for themselves and our new Warriors, who were also given hot water and towels that they might clean themselves.
The Warriors also bathed the children and gave the young parents hot water and clean towels so that they could clean themselves and their children. Soon, everyone was bedded down, clean and fed.
The adults and families who were going to stay, were led by Basil and his two Warriors, Joseph and Gary to a nearby school, where a fire had been built and water was heating. Darkness closed over a newly happy and fed people! The next morning, the Warriors again heated food, milk and tea for everyone.
We left food supplies and bread, along with a barrel of flour and frozen meat for those staying behind. Basil was left in charge of the remaining Warriors, Joseph and Gary. They would escort the community's Representative when he came to Council.
This was the beginning of a new era that would gain momentum to create a new world out of the old.
Old Becomes New
Our return to Colony was met with Joy and Celebration; the new children were whisked away by the families who had volunteered to nurture them. The new Warriors were led away by Bear and Panther to begin their training and Henry and I collapsed in the living room, both of us thinking how much had taken place in the last years! We had been refugees ourselves and now we were reclaiming a nation!
The days flew by and suddenly it was the day of COUNCIL! Chiefs and Shamans of each tribe assembled as the Twins rolled out CALL TO COUNCIL on the drum.
When all had assembled, Fox stood at his usual place and called, "I AM FOX-ATA, SHAMAN TO THE ATA NATION. I CALL ALL HERE ASSEMBLED TO BE GUIDED BY THE GREAT SPIRIT. ONLY CHIEFS MAY VOTE BUT ALL MAY SPEAK"
Chief Great Bear rose and said, "I WILL SPEAK!"
He then bowed to Henry and me and then he began to speak, "THE GREAT SPIRIT GUIDED MY DREAMS, I REACHED OUT WITH MY MIND AND FOUND ONLY HURT, TERROR AND FEAR, I FOUND HUNGER, COLD AND FILTH, I FOUND ANGER, HATE AND WANT, I FOUND THIS NOT IN A PEOPLE FOREIGN TO US, I FOUND IT IN OUR OWN LAND!"
He paused and looked each chief in his eyes, the he continued, "HOW THEN MAY WE PLEASE THE GREAT SPIRIT IF WE ALLOW THESE THINGS TO EXIST IN OUR OWN LAND, OUR OWN FOLK, OUR OWN CHILDREN? WE CANNOT, WE MUST NOT, WE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE!"
He paused, turned slowly looking at each of us in challenge and said, "WHAT SAY YOU, CHIEFS OF THE ATA NATION? SHALL WE COWER IN OUR HOMES? SHALL WE HIDE IN FEAR? SHALL WE ALLOW OTHERS TO PERISH? I SAY NOT, WE MUST ACT, WE MUST HELP, WE MUST DESTROY HURT, FEAR, HUNGER AND WE MUST DO THESE THINGS NOW!"
At that, Bear walked calmly into the Circle and held Fox's hand, they turned together, slowly, facing each chief in turn, then Bear began to speak, "I, BEAR-ATA, CHIEF WARRIOR OF THE ATA NATION REQUEST TO SPEAK"
He nodded at me and I said, "CHIEF WARRIOR BEAR-ATA, YOU MAY ALWAYS SPEAK AT THIS COUNCIL AS YOU ARE CHIEF WARRIOR. PLEASE SPEAK YOUR MIND"
Bear looked at Fox and a look passed between the two, then Bear spoke, "ATA NATION, WE MUST ACT NOW OR FOREVER HIDE IN SHAME. LET US GATHER OUR WARRIORS AND OUR SHAMANS TO GO FORTH AND BRING PEACE TO OUR TORTURED LAND, FEED THE HUNGRY, CLOTHE THOSE WHO HAVE NO CLOTHES, TEACH THOSE WHO HAVE NO LEARNING, NURTURE THOSE WHO HAVE NO FAMILIES AND BRING PEACE TO THOSE WHO KNOW IT NOT! ONLY THEN MAY WE CALL OURSELVES MEN!
There was a stunned silence that hung over us for long minutes. Henry stood and held his hand for silence.
Slowly, he began to speak, "WARRIOR CHIEF BEAR-ATA, YOU SPEAK THE GREAT SPIRIT'S TRUTH. CHIEFS OF THE ATA NATION HOW MANY WARRIORS WILL YOU SEND FOR THIS EFFORT, HOW MUCH FOOD WILL YOU SEND TO FEED THOSE IN WANT, WHO WILL TEND THEIR HURTS, TEACH THEIR CHILDREN, MEND THEIR HOMES AND START THEM ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM. IF YOU WILL DO ALL THESE THINGS, STEP FORWARD NOW."
Every Chief, every Shaman stepped forward saying, "WE WILL DO THESE THINGS!"
So began the great effort to free our nation. Within days, Warriors from each tribe began to arrive. Bear appointed Basil to be Chief of Training, Panther to be Chief of the First Warrior Corps and Trout to be Chief of the Second Warrior Corps. The first Warrior Corps was ready in two weeks, they began to sweep to the east destroying the hideouts of bandits, criminals and the hated Elders. In each place they helped form farming cooperatives, community governments and regulations to live by.
In another week, the second Warrior Corps was ready to depart to the west and in three more weeks, the Third Warrior Corps under the leadership of Lion departed to assist in the west.
More Warriors arrived at Colony for Warrior Chief of Training Basil to turn into Fighting Warriors. Soon a Fourth Warrior Corps was ready and sent to the East under the command of Warrior Chief Feather and yet another, the Fifth Warrior Corps led by Warrior Chief Knife!
Warriors were still coming in for training. We already had over 4,000 Warriors working their way east and west, so it was decided to form a Home Warrior Corps, under the Leadership of Warrior Chief Basil. These Warriors would be the fleet of messengers and security for the Nation's Council.
All the Warriors Chiefs were exceptionally strong mind-speakers and were in constant communication with each other and also with Warrior Chief Bear. Under Bear's guidance, each Warrior Corps progressed through their assigned areas with few casualties. It took 4 years before we were a full nation again.
The population would not equal what it had been for many years, but we had a full record of the mistakes of the past that, hopefully, would never again be repeated.
We set up National Government Zones, each with its own local leaders. Over all, we retained the National Council and elected a National President and Vice-President. Henry was elected President and I, Vice-President for six year terms.
Gradually, things settled down and the Nation began to prosper. With peace, farming and light industry began as did fishing, fur trapping and some mineral production. Our principal transportation remained horses, however, after a couple of years we did get some rail lines back into operation and a few sailing ships on the lakes. Henry and I served our terms in office, but refused to consider standing for re-election. Shortly before we left office, my beloved Henry suffered a massive heart attack, which he did not survive. I returned to our home in Colony, a tired and heartbroken old man. Day after day, I sat at the window, watching our lake and dreaming of my lost love.
Fox and Jacob were beside themselves, first in sorrow and then in worry about me. It was Bear's and Salley's second set of twin boys, Gabe and Kelly that saved me. They were 10 years old and cute as two little minks that they were. One summer afternoon they both climbed into my lap and mind-spoke to me, "Grandpapa, tell us about the old days when you and Grandpa Henry started Colony." So, they want me to be a storyteller? "Well, boys it all started when ......................." TBC