Journal Entry 149
We have all been awake for more than 24 hours. I have a horrible headache and I am sure my Adrenalin level is probably off the scale. Sneaking up to the warehouse at 3 in the morning and capturing the Black Cobras was actually quite simple. It was too simple when I think about it now. We stormed the warehouse and disarmed the guards with almost no effort at all. I remember thinking “That was so easy. I don’t know what we were worried about.” We all started jumping up and down and praising ourselves for our accomplishment. The prisoners were all glad to see us. They had been in the warehouse for almost two days without food and water. I hugged and kissed Yates and thanked him for all of his help. I was starting to feel better about getting our community back to the way it was before Bliss and the Black Cobras ruined everything. It didn’t hit me that something was wrong until I heard the doors slam shut. Everyone let out a gasp and then the room went quiet. We were caught off guard. We had walked into a trap.
I heard clapping and someone from the loft say “Well done.”
Journal Entry 148
I have some incredible friends. We held a tribe meeting and everyone agreed handing over Bear Country to the Black Cobras isn’t an option. We will not give up our home without a fight. Without General Yates and his soldiers none of what we are about to do would have been possible.
We have only a short amount of time to prepare. The sooner we make our move the better. We are trying to catch the Black Cobras off guard and unprepared. I am certain the Cobras will be expecting a fight. I wish we had more time. Victor has been a great help. I think he is trying to make amends. Sheriff Pete, a couple of his deputies and a couple of Yates’s soldiers went to gather information about the warehouse where Victor is certain the prisoners are being held. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Victor knows what he is talking about. As soon as Pete returns we will be able to make our final plans.
Journal Entry 147
I remember my mom and dad saying that using vulgarity was a waste of time. It served no useful purpose except to prove to others that you have not learned the skills necessary to communicate properly. That maybe so but…as I was standing on the curb reading the demands of the Black Cobras and staring at that poor girl those were the only words that came to mind. I seem to use a lot of dirty words lately.
General Yates sent several of his soldiers into Bear Country to get the Black Cobras and Hess. I objected. I wanted to think things thru. Pete and Yates both looked at me as if I was crazy. Pete pointed out the highlights of the note. Time was a critical issue and we didn’t have any. One hour, release Cobras and turn over Hess or girl goes boom! Yates asked one of his soldiers to check out the explosives to make sure they were probably real. They looked real enough and they didn’t look as if we could remove them safely. At that point in time none of use was willing to take the chance they weren’t real. The girl was hysterical; she didn’t want to blow up. Time was ticking.
We watched the Black Cobras, Hess and the girl with the explosives walk back down the street. The girl needed help walking. Her legs were so wobbly. I didn’t even ask her name. Hess wasn’t happy about going. She put up a fuss. The Cobras insisted she stay tied. I have a feeling I have sent her to her death.
The countdown begins. Only 23 hours left until we are expected to hand over Bear Country to the Black Cobras.
Journal Entry 146
The Black Cobras thru a glitch in my plans. I hate when that happens.
When I was in the fourth grade before the virus I tried to cheat on a test. I didn’t need to cheat I was just trying to guarantee that the plaque I worked for all year long ended up as mine. The desks in my school were all old they had been written on probably by three or four generations of students. I decided I would scratch the answers to Friday’s test on my desk. The person with the highest score on this test would win the plaque my teacher had displayed on the wall all year long. All week I carefully placed the answers on my desk so that it didn’t look too suspicious. The day of the test my teacher in all of her wisdom decided to have all of us switch seats. She had never done that before. All of my hard work and preparations to cheat were ruined in a moment. I ended up on the far side of the room.
I had no idea who she was. I didn’t recognize any of her tribe markings. Sheriff Pete and a couple of his deputies stepped out into the street to retrieve the message written on the bright yellow flag. Yates’s soldiers kept cover and made sure no one else snuck up on Bear Country. I didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation until Pete and his deputies suddenly stepped backwards. This girl had explosives attached to her waist. She dropped to her knees and started to plead for our help. We had an hour to release the Black Cobras and turn Hess over or the explosives would detonate. The Black Cobras were holding a dozen prisoners in a local warehouse. If Bear Country didn’t submit to Cobra Rule and turn over all assets within 24 hours all the prisoners would die.
Journal Entry 145
By noon we had a reply from the Black Cobras. It wasn’t the reply we had hoped for. Yates and I had sent a message demanding the Black Cobras stop making Bliss available to the community and that they leave the local area. If our demands were not met and agreed upon General Yates and his soldiers would attack the Black Cobras tribe building. A deadline of one day was given for a reply. We were confident that the Cobras wouldn’t want to tangle with General Yates and his soldiers. We were ready and prepared for retaliation. Yates put his soldiers on high alert and we spread the word that no one from Bear Country was to leave campus unless absolutely necessary. Sheriff Pete sent a couple of deputies out to the Spurs Fort. The deputies were instructed to take the long way around and to avoid Black Cobras at all cost. I wanted Joshua and his tribe to know what was happening. So that he could take the necessary precautions. The Cobras might decide to attack friends of Bear Country.
The Black Cobras got our attention in an unexpected way. I was a little surprised by their creativity and wit. General Yates mumbled something about the Black Cobras having a formidable leader. This time the Cobras didn’t risk sending one of their own. They had learned from their previous mistake. One of Yates’s soldiers spotted her walking up the center of the street about three blocks away.