Earths Eulogy

by

CJ Fielding

Chapter 14 December 90 AD Cuba- Rebel Recruitment

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A note from CJ Fielding

My Patreon stays ten chapters ahead of Royal Road.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=37485682&fan_landing=true

You can find books 1-4 on kindle unlimited here

https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B08BWQ1CLG

 

In the jungles of Cuba, a bit more than two dozen youths armed with spears and arrows made their way to a village. Just three years prior, this group of youths would never have worked together. They were all from different villages that had been warring for generations, but now a common enemy had united them.

Over the last few months, Lere had gathered these angry youths to his cause. Although they had generations of animosity toward one another, that was currently forgotten due to the current enemy humbling their villages, taking away their warriors, turning their chiefs into puppets, and forcing the people to work harder than they ever imagined possible. It was intolerable. And so those who used to hate each other now fight together.

If anyone was to ask Lere what the most difficult part of being a rebel was, he would tell you how hard it was to get the youths to listen to the elder that trained him in the bow, spear, and just surviving the jungle. They absolutely hated listening to the elder of another hated tribe, but their hatred of the sea wardens barely made it palatable.

And so, like many rebellions in history, reluctant allies were on a mission to strike a blow against a much stronger enemy. They were still at the phase of the rebellion where they needed to recruit more people while killing random members of the enemy, and so the group was doing what Lere had been doing for months. Find the youths who hated the sea wardens and recruit them while killing a couple of sea wardens and taking their weapons.

They were very careful in scouting out the village. They did not yet have the numbers needed to overwhelm their enemies, but they would get there eventually. While Lere was scouting out the village, he saw something that shocked him.

He saw his brother.

Lere had to head back into the jungle so that nobody could hear him cry. He was filled with mixed emotions. He loved his brother, but his brother was a sea warden. Later that night, when the scouts met up, he still had tear streaks on his face.

It was dark, but the moon was out, and one of the rebels noticed that something was wrong and asked, “Are you alright?”

Lere said, “Yes.” But he was young and could not hide the emotion in his voice.

So one of the other rebels said, “You don’t sound alright. What's wrong?”

Lere got angry and said, “Nothing.”

Although Lere recruited everyone in his group, there was still old animosity, so these young people were not about to let this go. All the young men began asking, “What's wrong? Did you hurt your stones? Tell us.”

After several minutes of peer pressure, Lere relented and said, “If you would just shut up for one second, I would tell you.”

Everyone got quiet. They were about to hear gossip, and they were delighted.

Lere looked down and said, “I saw my brother in the village. He is one of the sea wardens.”

All the others shouted in surprise. There were several curses.

One of the young men said, “Your brother betrayed you and your village. You have to kill him.”

Lere still loved his brother and was still overwhelmed with emotion from unexpectantly seeing him, and so decided to defend his brother, “He didn’t have a choice. When the landowners showed up, they had more men than we did, better weapons, and rode those giant beasts. Any uninjured warrior, no matter how old or young, was forced out of our village and were replaced by warriors from other villages.”

“He betrayed your village.”

“No, he didn’t. He was made sea warden in a village that has been our enemy for generations. He never betrayed me or my village.”

That was not a wise thing to say to this group of young men. They hated the sea wardens. All of them had been beaten by them. All of them lost friends and family to them when their villages were invaded. They despised the sea wardens with all their hearts. And with Lere defending this sea warden, their hands began naturally resting on their weapons.

But one of the rebels was a lot smarter than the others and said, “Well, if he’s your brother, why don’t we try to recruit him.”

The bitterness, hate, and revulsion the rest of the rebels felt over that suggestion showed on their faces in the moonlight. If anyone in the world stumbled upon them at that moment, they would have thought those bitter faces in the moonlight belonged to angry spirits. They began to foolishly yell at the rebel at the same time, and in the midst of their noise, the only thing that could be made out was an occasional curse.

When they calmed down enough to listen, the youth said, “If we get a sea warden on our side, we can use them to kill more sea wardens and perhaps start killing the landowners.”

That one suggestion made them pause. Were they willing to recruit one sea warden so they could kill more?

Lere started to tear up and said, “He’s my brother. Give me a chance to recruit him. If he is more loyal to the sea wardens and landowners than to me, then we kill him. If he is more loyal to me, then we use him to kill sea wardens and landowners.”

One of the rebels said, “We should kill all sea wardens.”

Several of the rebels agreed, but the one with a head on his shoulders said, “Even your brothers that were forced to become sea wardens? Even the warriors taken from your village and forced to become sea wardens? Honestly, I don’t care how many sea wardens, landowners, or villagers we kill, as long as they are not from my family or my village. It's just how I was raised. Be loyal to your village and family, and everyone else can die.”

Regardless of how much they hated the sea wardens, they had to agree with that. Not many of the rebels were willing to just outright kill their brother without very good reasons.

Lere asked, with a trembling heart, “Will you help me with my brother? Either to recruit him or to kill him?”

The rebels were quiet for a long moment. But they were young, and so with seconds to consider, they all began to agree. They would help recruit or kill Lere’s brother.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

When you are a rebel recruiting people, it's a delicate thing. If you find someone you want to recruit, you cannot just walk up to them and ask if they want to overthrow their government, particularly in a society run by tyrants. This is far more true in every society that limits the movement of its citizens.

The group of rebels were very aware of their need for discretion, and so over the next several days, they hid in the jungle and watched Lere’s brother. They were trying to figure out the best time to reach out to him. Hiding in the jungle was not very difficult. The village had been forced to cut the jungle back so they could plant fields of tropical fruits and grains that Trevor got from his dad. Where the jungle met the fields, there was a wall of leaves. Go to any forest or jungle in the world, and you will find that at the edge of a forest or jungle is a wall of leaves and limbs that is easy to hide behind.

Day after day, they hid at the edge of the jungle, looked for Lere’s brother, and stalked him. As they learned his habits, they noticed that he normally ate his lunch alone. They were fairly confident that Lere could talk to his brother alone during his lunch, and so Lere hid nearby while it was still dark and waited for his brother to arrive.

It was nerve-wracking. It was not like his brother was eating lunch in a secluded place. All morning, villagers and sea wardens walked by. If a villager saw Lere, he would have to talk himself out of the situation and leave. If a sea warden saw him, they would have to abandon the whole mission, and if he was captured, at best, he would get a beating. At worst, he would die.

As each person passed, Lere felt like he was about to be discovered, but none of the people came close to discovering him. They were not looking for anything out of the ordinary.

After a few hours, or what felt like months to Lere, the sun rose high into the sky, and the people began eating their midday meal, and as was his custom, Lere’s brother came to this place and began eating.

Once Lere saw his brother was alone, he crawled out of his hiding place, stood up, and said, “Hello, brother.” Lere did not know whether he would end up recruiting his brother or killing his brother, and so he did not use his name. He needed to dehumanize him as much as possible.

Lere’s brother turned and looked in shock at his brother and whispered harshly, “What are you doing here? If the other Sea Wardens see you, they will beat you. You have to get out of here. Now!”

“I need to talk with you.”

Lere’s brother thought the worst must have happened and asked, “Did Dad die?”

Lere was confused for a moment and harshly said, “No. But I need to talk with you. Can we talk in the jungle?”

“Yeah. Move quickly but not so quickly enough that you catch someone’s attention.”

And so the two brothers walked side by side into the jungle. A few people noticed them, but they just thought their Sea Warden was going to give the young man a harsh beating. None of the Sea Wardens were known as nice men. The Landowners beat them during their training, and so the Sea Wardens beat the people they managed. It was a system that was bound to create rebels quickly.

Once in the Jungle, Lere’s brother was surprised to find several young men, but Lere said, “Don’t worry about them. They are my friends.”

“Lere, what's this about? What's going on?”

“I could not deal with the tyranny of the landowners anymore, so I decided to fight them.” Lere carefully avoided saying sea wardens since his brother was a sea warden.

“Who taught you to fight? When I was taken away by the Landowners, you didn’t even know how to shoot a bow.”

“One of the elders survived the capture of our village. He taught all of us how to fight and survive in the jungle, and I have been going from village to village recruiting people for our fight.”

Lere’s brother's face instantly grew disgusted, and he said, “You are working with people from outside our village? Do you know what they have done to us over the generations?”

“Yes, but that’s in the past. Right now, we have to fight the landowners. Our village lost its battle against the landowners. We lost our pride to the landowners. Since our pride has already been taken by them, why not work with the other villages to fight our greatest enemy? You work with warriors from other villages in the sea wardens.”

“That’s not by choice. The Landowners have weapons and beasts that we can not match. We are forced to work together. If it was up to me, all my fellow Sea Wardens would be killed. Why do you think I eat alone. We do not get along. The only thing that keeps us working together is how scary the Landowners are.”

“Why don’t you kill them then? There is only one landowner in each village.”

“That’s not true. This village is very close to the village on the hill. That’s the first village the Landowners took over. Except they didn’t fight them to take over. A lot of Landowners married into the village on the hill, and so that village has over forty Landowners, and all of them have those giant beasts to ride on. If a village rebels, they will ride their beast through the village, killing everyone. The Landowners can easily wipe out any rebelling village. And the stupid sad part is that the Sea Wardens hate each other enough that they would help the Landowners as long as they are not wiping out the village they are from. Most of the Sea Wardens hate the Landowners, but they hate the other Sea Wardens and the villages they came from more.”

Lere nodded and said, “So you're saying that if we kill the landowners in the village on the hill, we would end all this?”

Lere’s brother thought for a long moment, then said, “Yes.”

“Come with us. Help us kill them.”

Lere’s brother shook his head and said, “You don’t understand. Even if you attacked at night, you couldn’t kill them all. You might not be able to kill any of them. The Landowners taught the Sea Wardens how to fight, and they are better fighters than the Sea Wardens. They are strong, have amazing weapons, and they always watch out for each other, including at night. They sleep behind log walls, and a Landowner is always watching for trouble. Unless you have a way to sneak in, you will never get to them.”

Lere saw from the corner of his eye that his fellow rebels did not like the answer and started preparing their weapons subtly. Lere still didn’t want to see his brother die, so he asked, “You have a landowner here. Could we capture him and force him to sneak us into this group of landowners?”

Lere’s brother paused and thought about it, and after a long moment, he said, “That might work, but we might need to kill the other Sea Wardens before we had a chance to capture him. Could your men handle that?”

Lere smiled as his men relaxed, and Lere said his brother's name, “Auli, many of us have already killed sea wardens. With your help, we will kill a bunch more.”

 

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A note from CJ Fielding

My Patreon stays ten chapters ahead of Royal Road.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=37485682&fan_landing=true

You can find books 1-4 on kindle unlimited here

https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B08BWQ1CLG


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CJ Fielding

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