11 Revolution Man
- Union Underground
Kerchak was desperate.
That’s what he told himself. There was no other way. He’d tried everything. Everything he could think of. Faith was going to die if he couldn’t find a way. He couldn’t bear to lose her, not her too. She was such a brave girl.
He was running out of options. Nadine’s family, never that fond of him anyway, hated him for ruining the fortune of inheritance they'd grudgingly granted. They didn’t understand. They were never around when his daughter got bad. They never visited at all. She might as well have died already, for all the care they showed. Even Patrick was ignored for the most part, though he did still receive the obligatory holiday cards and letters and small gifts.
Still, he wasn’t quite as stupid as they all thought. There was a little bit set aside. They lived poorly now by Kerchak’s choice. He wouldn’t be there forever, in fact he didn’t really think he would live to see his father’s age. The stress of things since Nadine’s death were wearing at him, and the doctors he brought to see Faith often offered him something as they left, to help him sleep, to relax his nerves. He usually declined. But when he was gone there had to be something left for his children.
Kerchak once again doubted the wisdom of this latest venture. He was nearing the farm where Jarod’s wife had said he could meet the people who might be able to help with Faith. Jarod was still out with the army, so Kerchak wasn’t able to easily speak with him about it. It was all hush-hush, apparently this group also wasn’t too keen on the new tax that had gone into effect. Kerchak didn’t much care for it himself. Stuck up royals and polotics. Still, Kerchak generally believed that the leadership mostly tried to do the right thing by the people. He had more than once been helped by a kind lord or lady who had once done business with his family.
Kerchak looked back through the small window in the tiny carriage behind him. Faith slept undisturbed as usual. Patrick sat looking out the window, his expression bored. He was well accustomed to these long trips to help his sister. Such a good boy. He’d end up helping out a lot this trip, for they’d left Miss Teresa back in Lordaeron to visit with her relatives for a short while.
Up ahead, the farmstead appeared over the hill. He’d learned while he was in the city that it belonged to a fine hardworking family, the deed was to George Dalson, and he maintained a plentiful fruit orchard and wheat field. He felt better about the quiet circumstances which had brought him out here, remembering the paperwork he had been able to look through.
They did indeed come up on a nice traditional farmhouse, with a large sturdy barn nearby and some storage silos to the side of the large field which dominated the property. Off behind the field he could see the trees. He smiled.
He guided Dapple up the path to the house and left Patrick standing with the mare while he trotted up to knock politely on the front door. Footsteps sounded on the wooden floor inside, and then a kind-looking rather plain woman opened the door slightly to peek out.
“Can I help you sir?” she asked.
Kerchak smiled at the woman, noticing how it softened her wary expression. “Yes ma’am. A good friend of mine Becky, told me I might be able to speak with someone here tonight, during a meeting?”
The woman stepped back to swing the door open immediately. “Yes, of course. Harold will be back from town soon with the group. You can put your horse in the barn there, anywhere you like. You and your son hungry? I’ve got supper cooking. What did you say your name was?” While she spoke she went ahead and walked out on the porch to shake his hand and wave at Patrick with a hand that held a wooden spoon.
“Kerchak ma’am. Kerchak Reinsson. That’s my oldest, Patrick. And you are?”
“A fine boy you’ve got there. Lucy Dalson.” Kerchak tipped his hat at her, making her blush. “Well go on and get settled then, and come inside when you’re ready.”
Kerchak thought for a brief moment about whether he should mention Faith, and then decided against it, smiled at Mrs. Dalson, and turned to trot back down the porch steps toward Patrick. It would be best not to try to move his daughter, the journey was trouble enough, and Mrs. Dalson would just fuss with worry as women were wont to do.
“Come on Pat, let’s take Dapple to the barn. You hungry? Mrs. Dalson is making supper.”
Patrick cheered in delight. He had been expecting to eat another cold meal from their provisions. While Kerchak always made sure to have a variety of things- not just meat and hard biscuits, but also dried fruits and cheeses, sometimes even teas, it was far better to have a hot meal.
Kerchak opened the large center barn door in the rear and Patrick led dapple in still pulling the tiny carriage. Sure enough, there was a wide clear space for storing wagons and such. It was large enough for two vehicles, but only one side showed signs of use, even though it was currently empty. Perhaps Mr. Dalson had taken it to town. Kerchak let Patrick back Dapple and the carriage on his own for the practice. The boy only had to pull forward once, and maybe he hadn’t had to. Kerchak gave him a nod and Patrick beamed, proud to have managed the task.
“Ok, you unhitch Dapple, get her all cleaned up. Don’t forget to clean her hooves. And Mrs. Dalson said she can have any stall you like. Get the grain from the feed bags and make sure her bucket has water.”
Patrick nodded and set to work, very much used to this chore. Kerchak set the carriage wheel brake and watched Patrick move around for a moment unbuckling things, then he opened the door and stepped inside.
Faith had shifted just a little during the parking. Her head was to one side nearly off the pillow and one arm dangled down. Taking extraordinary care, Kerchak gently lifted her arm and held up the edge of her blanket while he tucked it back close to her. He let the blanket down and gently nudged it under her slightly to help keep her contained. The bindings on the other broken arm beneath the blanket was exactly as he had left it, and it wasn’t time to change it yet. He gently lifted her head and readjusted the pillow before letting her back down.
He sat in the tiny chair then and sighed with the overwhelming sense of helplessness. It was a feeling that was haunting him more and more lately. He watched his daughter slowly pull air past the small tube poking through her lips. How he wished those blue eyes were open, sparkling at him with her ever-present smile. Such a brave girl. He smoothed her silver hair back from her face gently and pushed aside his doubts.
Hanging from its hooks in the corner beside her were the small pouches that held her prepared meal and water. He often made up the thin cereal ahead of time and stored the rest to keep from making it at every mealtime. Kerchak stood and squeezed the bag to be sure there were no lumps that had formed since lunch time. Satisfied, he unrolled a short tube that protruded from the bottom of the triangular-shaped container. He uncapped it and hung the cap on a hook, then made sure the tube was clean. It was, of course.
Keeping the tube pinched, Kerchak brought it down to Faith and gently fit it over the smaller tube in her mouth. Satisfied that it was securely attached, He released the line and let the meal slip down the tube to Faith’s stomach. She just lay there, breathing slowly as if she weren’t having supper. He let the appropriate amount slide past, watching carefully, squeezing the bag slightly as the mixture started to slow, then pinched off the line again. He detached it, wiped the end with a cloth that was hanging there also for that purpose, and rewound the tube on the hooks. He next gave her water, counting slowly to measure, and then replaced it just as it had been.
“There you go, sweety,” he whispered. He looked her over one last time, then stepped out of the carriage and shut the door. He had no fears that she would wake while they were absent. Her comas had been happening for and more, and for longer durations. This one, happening with her injury, was likely to last another week at least. By then her shoulder blade and arm should have completely healed, which was one blessing. He hated seeing her in pain and hurt, even though she hid it well.
Patrick was brushing Dapple, looking to be just about finished too. The grain and water were out, and Dapple had already had some, by the looks of the buckets. Her tack was hung neatly in its place over the carriage yoke.
“Your sister’s had her supper. What say you and I go in and have our own, hmm?” He laughed as Patrick whooped and threw the brush back into the grooming basket and hauled it quickly back to its place under the bench.
Dinner was a hearty stew with a slice of warm fresh bread and apple juice. the house was warm and inviting, cleanly kept, and sooner than he knew, Mr. Dalson had returned from town and was eating with them. He was an honest-looking fellow with the outdoors marked on him. There were 5 other men who came in with him, and Kerchak didn’t care for their manners. Mrs. Dalson took it all in stride and soon the meal was over and they had all retired to a clear section barn loft to sip spirits, smoke and chat. Patrick was set down with a new board game to try out, and he didn’t mind at all when the adults disappeared to the barn.
Mr.Dalson had everyone swear not to tell his wife as he drew on a pipe. Soon though, the chatter died down and a more serious tone took over. Talk turned to politics, and inevitably the tax. Why the leadership were doing things wrong, and what the men would change if they had their way.
Kerchak wasn’t much interested in the topics, or in the men, except for one. He was a dark chap, dark hair, dark eyes, dressed in somber colors. He seemed to be the one in charge, as he would bring up the topics to discuss and let the others have their say until it seemed he was satisfied, and then he would mention something else. Kerchak recognized a good salesman when he saw one. This man knew how to handle people easier than he could handle a horse.
Sure enough, the mood generally turned to one of discontent, as talk dwindled and each man was left thinking with the faults in his life, and how little anyone was doing to right them, how they should be getting help to get by. The dark man, Antanaso, suddenly turned to Kerchak.
“And you have an ailing daughter don’t you? Things must be hard.”
Kerchak nodded, wary. Antanaso continued, “We all have hardships, and regrets. I’ve heard of a group that is trying to gain a following. They say that they are sending people to the capitol, someone to talk with the king and try to get us heard.”
The group, including Kerchak, looked at Antanaso with interest. He nodded. “The people are tired of being treated like they don’t matter. We work hard, we grow crops,” he looked at Dalson.
“We raise cattle,” the gaze swept to the burly man in the corner under a wide-brimmed hat.
“We breed fine stallions and train them for the army.” And now Kerchak was fixed with that black stare. He felt a righteous indignation at the words. he did work hard for what he had. Why did a lord get to lounge about with the fruits of others’ labor while Kerchak was stuck working just to find help for his child?
Antanaso echoed his thoughts. “Why do they deserve to sit in Lordearon and decide our fates, when we are perfectly capable of getting along on our own? When have they ever lent you aid, Derek?” The subject of the question squirmed uncomfortably, but Antanaso didn’t really want an answer.
“I’m tired of serving a king, and leaders that don’t treat us like people. The group I mentioned meets every other week in Andorhal. They are working things out there, getting organized. I’ve been told anyone is welcome to attend, and maybe you like what you hear.” He shrugged noncommittally. “We’re bringing together men and women of every trade to just help each other out too. Need a doctor, find one. Want a farmhand? Hire there. Blacksmith? Cobbler? Tailor? Need food? We’ll share. We’re not about to turn anyone away. We can help our own selves, and we aim to. Everyone helps each other, everyone is the same. No lords and pompous politicians sucking up the rewards of hard labor.”
No wonder Becky had hesitated to tell him about these men. She knew he wasn’t a strict loyalist, but he had never done anything against the crown either, and this group was talking about organized anarchy. Sure, they spoke of sending people to the capitol, but what if that failed? Another part of him asked himself what it would mean if they failed. This group wasn’t being unreasonable. Everything that had been said was true, fel, Nadine’s family WAS those stuck-up lord-overs that had been mentioned. He knew that class of people all too well. What if this group really could help Faith…?
Kerchak decided that even if he didn’t quite agree with everything Antanaso had said, it was worth it to help this group, if it meant he could cure Faith. He would go to Andorhal.
The men spoke more, but Kerchak wasn’t listening. He’d have to get a house here, and he’d get Teresa back to look after the children. He could support them here, where farmers and tradesmen would need sturdy horses for fieldwork and traveling. Stratholme wasn’t too far away if he needed a large city for the more finely trained horses and warmounts. The plans rolled around in his head, optimistic, and mostly realistically founded. Maybe this was the solution he’d been looking for so long.
Kerchak was willing to do anything for his daughter.One more time and you'll be Dead
At least I think that's what They said, Oh
Forty days won't break a man
It was a bullet in his head
There's something in the
Something in the way you were
The pain so wrong my friend
Revolution, revolution man
Imagine all the people
One more time and you'll be dead
At least I think that's what They said, oh
Forty days won't break a man
It was a bullet in his head
Listen while I load my gun
He said to me
Something 'bout a chosen one
It's comin' back to me
Watch him while I taste the Sun
He said to me
Something bout a chosen one
You'll never beat me
One last time your medicine
Swallow hard and take it in, yeah
Lucy's in the sky again
Trippin' on her diamonds