"Taylor? Can I see you for a minute?" The general looked at Taylor sharply. The boy stood up quickly and followed him into an office. The older man sat down in a high-backed leather chair, looking Taylor over. "Sit down, Taylor."
He sat. The general pulled out a cigar and lit it up. He took a long drag, making smoke rings as he blew it out again.
"Taylor, youíve been doing an excellent job in this missionary. For your age, youíre an amazing fighter. I want to get your younger brother into the game...he has great potential."
Taylor choked.
"General Fitzgerald, you canít do that to Zac! I mean no offence to you, but heís so young...This war might end tomorrow, for all we know! Zac doesnít need to know what itís like to kill someone you donít even know..."
Fitzgerald sighed.
"Taylor, I know. Youíre right; Zachary doesnít need to know what thatís like. But now that Isaacís out of the league, we need new fighters...heís strong, has a good will. He can handle it."
Taylor shrugged.
"Strong, fine. But he doesnít need to know...and what happened to Ike wasnít his fault. Because of this war, my brother canít remember anything before his fifteenth birthday. Heís lost every memory of freedom and peace heís ever had! You canít do that to Zac."
The general softened.
"Taylor, I realize we shouldnít be tearing your family apart like this. But you, and all your siblings, are excellent assets in our force. We need you. We may win this war if you stay with us. Before Isaac left, he took out half of the enemy. Youíre even better, and learning more. Now with Jessica and Avery working in the factory, we just have to wait until Mackenzie turns seven..."
Taylor cut him off.
"No, not Mackie. No, please! He keeps asking why Ike canít remember anything. He keeps asking why I come home covered in bruises and blood. He always wants to know why Jessie and Avie have to bring the bullets they make home with them to finish. He needs his innocence, sir. He needs to know what our world was like before the Nazis took over again."
Fitzgerald shook his head. He pulled his feet up onto the desk and sighed, rubbing his neck.
"Taylor, when those white supremacists stole that nuclear warhead, we thought it was the end of the world. When they dropped it over Europe and we didnít die, it was like a miracle. Now, though...weíve been thrown into the nineteenth century, in the manner of technology and living styles. We have no electricity; no running water. No semi-automatic rifles, and no handguns. Weíve had to recreate bayonets and canons, for the love of Christ...this is like the civil war with warplanes. Spitfires, Taylor...weíve had to reconstruct bloody spitfires. All because of prejudice people who thought they owned the world. I realize this is no world for Mackenzie to grow up in, but thereís only one safe place on this earth, and thatís Canada. But Canada has itís own problems, and the last thing they need right now are a bunch of American soldiers seeking refuge. Everyone is fleeing to Canada, son. Thatís the only place where everyone is free. And even with their freedom, we have teenagers being shipped out here to fight with us. Just yesterday we got a new round of them, and there was a girl with them..." the man looked ready to cry. "She told me she didnít want her cousins to grow up in a world of death and destruction. She wanted to help as much as she could, and sacrifice whatever she had to, just so we could live in peace again. You know they cloned Hitler before they dropped that bomb...now look what we have to fight. That poor girl...she had a career ahead of her. She was going to go to dance school, try to make it in ballet. And now look...trading in that violet leotard for military green."
Taylor was shaken, and didnít know what to say.
"I want you to take care of her, Taylor. Show her how to do this by killing as few as possible. Donít let this destroy her life...Iím sorry for what happened to Isaac...and I donít want her to end up like that."

"Our greatest enemy is the man who has nothing to lose."


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Chapter Two