The pursuit of the brother and sister began. In 14 hours, Stephan and Elena were tired of all the running around like dogs for their lives. They had nowhere to turn to. They were hunted down and captured. It was finally over. The rebels lost the war. It was never a war, to begin with, The Chancellor thought.
Elena was burned at the stake like they used to do in the old times. Her brother was made to watch her whine. He himself was in tremendous amount of pain. He lost a lot of blood after being dragged at the back of the personal vehicle of The Chancellor.
“The chained brat and the ungrateful little witch. Traitors!” The Chancellor declared. “Amongst us…Do I not take care of you, each and every one of you? Answer me this if I have misled you into believing otherwise. I prefer to be judged. But this is outrageous. No talk, only fight. I was not given a chance to prove my innocence. Am I a dictator? Answer me this if you believe otherwise.”
It was quiet all over. People were scared to death. They were shivering in terror of what they witnessed. This was the first prosecution in a barbaric manner in public. People were used to tiny bots shooting down deflectors one by one. It was just a shot to the chest or to the head. It was clean. And this was messy. This was brutal. This was the end of the only uprising.
“I have eyes in the sky. You think you are invisible,” The Chancellor said.
“Not anymore. I control them now. No more your pets, it seems,” Elena said.
It is the day of the calling. All the brothers and sisters in arms are given a go-ahead by Randy. It’s a do or die situation for them. Randy leads them from the front.
“You seem to be daydreaming. They are connected to me. It’s the age of artificial intelligence. I see you are mistaken,” The Chancellor said.
The Chancellor is right. The rebels found it soon enough. The first line of attack is reduced to ashes. A handful who got inside The Citadel remain alive. Randy lost his life. But his followers carried on. They withered one after another. It was a pain to experience the devastation of lives. The other section of the society knew what was going on. But they followed the status quo.
Stephan and Elena somehow got out of the mess. Elena knew her way out and she took her brother with her. They ran for their lives. There was nothing left to do. It was over. They knew it.
“It was all for nothing…All this training. All the hardship we went through. What was it about?” Elena said.
“Calm down. We need to be quieter. We have to lay low for a while and possibly find a refuge somewhere,” Stephan said.
Who will allow traitors to be amongst them? Who will share a roof with them? Who will become traitors in the process? Stephan thought.
Jimmy gets hold of half a dozen self-help books on parenting. He is a single father and needs backup. Other successful fathers maybe of some help, he thought.
One tip says to remain calm in challenging circumstances. This is a great one. Perhaps, the most difficult for Jimmy. He sees a cockroach and he shrieks. Remain calm, the book said.
Another tip is to ask for help. His neighbors are mean and self-centered. Once, he knocked on a door to ask for some juice for the baby. The reply made him never ask for help from that neighbor. Another neighbor told him to give away the baby. Yet another neighbor told him to get married. All they had to do was help, Jimmy thought.
A tip says to not criticize your ex-wife. This is something Jimmy does every day. Every time he lays his eyes upon the baby, he thinks of his ex-wife. He mumbles and swears. And the baby senses it all, the book said.
Be prepared for failure is a ridiculous tip, Jimmy thought. “How can I prepare for something that I don’t know? How do I know beforehand about my failures?” Jimmy said. The baby stares at him in wonder.
Befriending an adult female is difficult. All the mess and the blessing of a good-for-nothing man is not doing Jimmy any favor even though he has money, lots of it. A woman once came by. She is a friend of his cousin. He knew It was a setup. Jimmy tried to be nice and homely. But his whereabouts spoke immensely about his personality. He never heard again from the woman.
Two months later…
Elena has joined the rebels. She is now one of them. She is respected by each and every one for her bravado and camaraderie. She has proven her mettle in the art of war. She is the best spy the rebels have ever seen. Her name is known to one and all. Stephan is proud of her. He couldn’t have expected more. He himself is not far behind. He is proven himself to be the best at shooting, archery, and self-defense. Together, they form a lethal force for the rebels.
Randy is fortunate to have his nephew and niece with him. They have been a great help. Their parents would be proud of them, he thought.
Everything is in place. The rebels wait for the siege. Elena is placed as a help inside The Citadel. She knows the ins and outs. She also figured out the secret passage to The Citadel. It is only a matter of time. People will be rid of a brute assault machine referred to as The Chancellor. There are good people out there who will replace him. Randy wants to have a democratic society where people will vote and chose the ones to represent them as their leaders. It is a cause worth fighting for, Randy thought.
The chances of the rebels winning were slim keeping in mind the destructive force of robots guarding The Citadel. The tiny bots stand in their way. Elena has a plan. Randy is not sure of it.
Elena doesn’t like being treated as a child. Her present situation coupled with womanhood is taking a toll on her emotional health. She is facing the heat. Her brother is involved in something. And she is not involved in it. This is making her go crazy. What happened to the ‘Always in unison’? She wondered.
Stephan is trying hard to stay alive and get to the bottom of the situation. He knows he’s with the rebels now. The massive destruction, he saw a few days ago, makes him become a rebel in the process. He was against it. Now it seems to be the only option left.
People are scared. Randy is helping to raise an army to take down the Chancellor. Everything is in stealth mode. No one knows he’s alive other than his followers. He lost his family. Now he will make sure there won’t be any more irrational losses.
“We are doing as best as we can. Can’t you see? What more do you want?” Randy said.
“I want in,” Elena said.
In or out. It doesn’t matter. Everybody is going through the same ordeal. Everyone outside The Citadel where the Chancellor resides with his ministers. They call it the paradise on earth. Life is always a treat, each moment of it. One must have earned real good favor with the Chancellor to be invited to stay there. Stephan’s parents were one of the invited ones. But they refused. Their children are yet to know what happened to them. For a place full of sparks, The Citadel keeps a lot of dark secrets.
Jack and company got easily into the headquarter. Now they rule. But the other offices throughout the world have a different story to tell. It wasn’t easy for the other rebels to take down the offices on time. An alarm was sent racing through the world: The headquarter is under attack. This made some other offices, mostly in Asia and the Middle East, hold ground and ward off the rebels. It was not over yet.
The headquarter is shredded to pieces. All the documentation is destroyed. The invention plan burst into flames. There is fire all over the place. People are made to run outside the premises to avoid any physical harm. Those who resist are taken down one by one. “Show no mercy if one stands in our way,” Jack said. Others always agreed with him.
Jack heard about the thousands of lives lost on both sides in this siege. But he was glad that finally, they destroyed everything that would lead to the creation of new artificial semen. This unholy act of women was put to an end. Will men rule again? Their number tells otherwise. The sex ratio is skewed at an unprecedented level. It is one man for every 50 women.
A day after the hues and cries subsided, it was decided that people will go back to their old ways. No more killing innocent men. Pious men and women celebrated to their heart’s content. Now, people talk of men empowerment.
“That’s Jen. Let her in. And who’s the plaything with her?” Luke said.
Jennifer comes seeking a solution along with Stacey. “This is my friend, Stacey. She is here to help.”
Jack and the crew have decided to help Jennifer in her quest for redemption. They are glad she realized her mistake. It is not too late to go back on the mass purge campaign. All of them agree on one thing. This is ungodly. And it needs to stop.
“Educating the masses can be tried but it is a long shot. It will work or not. That’s uncertain,” Stacey said.
“No, this won’t work. It never has. Brainwashing works better. But we need radical reforms. We need to make it stop with a coup. Otherwise, we may just keep on resisting,” Jack said.
“I agree. A soft approach won’t help. A hardball tactic is required. You have us at your disposal. Tell us whatever you need,” Jennifer said.
Having access to The Kill Switch headquarter will be a gift. But the solution cannot be to run over it and expect the other offices to stop whatever they are doing. Their reach is far and wide. Jack decided to get in touch with other resistance brothers from all over the world. They use cryptic messages to plan the attack. All the offices will be attacked at a single global time. They have to make it successful at one go. If they fail, the future of men won’t be a matter of discussion anymore.