Chapter 8

    "I'm sure you all heard of the rescue effort, when the Catholics across The United States got judges to take kids away from their Spiritist relatives and give them to good Catholic families.  Well, we were involved in the effort.  The patriarch of our town didn't want his grandchildren to be Spir, so he had their parents declared unfit and took the kids.  Well, the kids were real asses!  There was three of 'em, the oldest, a boy about seventeen, and they were the ringleaders of the other kids in the community, led the resistance.  They refused to go to church, to take communion, to wear appropriate dress to school.
    Finally we took the six worst ones to an old perish house outside of town, tried to make them take communion.  Every time the priest would offer it to them they spat on him.  We had one deputy sheriff with us, and this real troublemaker, the boss' grandson, began to really push him, kept calling him names, saying no matter what he did he'd never make him take communion, he'd die first.  The deputy brought out a black jack and told the kid if he didn't take communion he'd beat his skull.  The priest tried to give him communion and the kid spat on him.  The deputy hit him a good one. The kid just looked up at him and spat in his face.  The deputy took the black jack and beat his face in, screaming at him that he'd obey.  By the time the priest managed to stop him the kid was dead.
    You couldn't blame the deputy. It wasn't his fault!  The damned asinine kid pushed him beyond all reason. It was HIS fault, but the priest went crazy, screaming that our purpose was to help the children, not murder them.  The deputy told him to be quiet about it, but the priest had to tell the kid's grandfather. He went crazy, called in the state police.
    Just before they came the scheme was busted out of state, too.  So when it came time for the trial the protection we were supposed to have wasn't there.  The Spir crucified us, wouldn't allow ANY kind of plea deals of any kind.  We had to be punished to the full extent of the law!
    The deputy was sentenced to the electric chair, but gave evidence after he was convicted, and was given a lethal injection. Even then he claimed he had been right doing God's work.  I got life without parole.  The war was the only thing that got me out.  But that wasn't the worst of it.  The town's patriarch was convicted too, of conspiracy and got twenty years!  His family got control of the business and the spiteful damned bastards shut them down, all three factories in town, put everybody out of work.  Everybody begged and pleaded for mercy and they said 'Tell that to our children who were starved and beaten!' 
    My home town's a ghost town now.  There's nothing left.  Everything's gone all because The Spir are so god damned unforgiving when other people do what they think is right. Well, that's it, really.  No more to tell.  Like the rest of you when they came looking for volunteers I was more than happy to join!"
    The major looked around.  "Well I guess that's about everybody!"  he remarked.
    "One of the lieutenants spoke up.  "What about old Red Feather?  Haven't heard from our Injun brother yet!"
    The major looked to the scar faced sergeant who did have a lot of Native American ancestry.  "What about it, sergeant?"  he asked.
    "Not too much to tell," the sergeant answered,  "from the moment The Spir came to the reservation they were trouble for everybody that wanted to make a quick buck.  They paid to have a complex built on the reservation.  The contractor that put in the low bid grossly underestimated the job.  He was going to lose money, big time.  I was the code enforcement officer.  He offered me a considerable amount not to see the sub standard materials he was using.  Some of the wire that came in was part of a batch that had been rejected by the manufacturer because the insulation was bad.  But some of the people had shipped it to certain suppliers who were selling it to contractors looking for a bargain.
    Almost the whole complex was wired with the stuff.  In days after it opened it caught fire and burned.  The junk he'd built the place with wasn't fire resistant .  The place went up like a torch!  Eight children died, plus three adults.  One of the construction mens' foremen talked to save his own hide.  They charged us with manslaughter.  When it was all over I got ten years. 
    The contractor managed to get probation, because he had medical problems.  Didn't do him much good.  A month later he was electrocuted on one of his job sites.  Wires fell on him!  The people investigating said it looked like they'd been cut through with an ax or something, but it was probably a falling timber that had snapped them off.  Everybody suspected The Spir had had something to do with it, but couldn't prove it.
    I figured I might as well take my chance out here fighting then sit in that damned cell.  If The Spir had been more reasonable, given me a chance, I might have been willing to side with them.  But they won't give anybody a break, so why should anybody give THEM one?
    Well, I don't know about the rest of you but I think I'm going to follow the advice of our friend earlier and go get some sleep.  I want to be alert tomorrow, too."
    The major nodded.  "I think we better ALL get some rest!"  he agreed. "We'll have an opportunity tomorrow to see that some justice is done.  Let's get to bed!"
    The men finished the last of their drinks and headed off to their bedrolls.  The next morning at about 9 a.m. a tremendous barrage hit The Union Forces.  For two bitter hours it continued.  The Republic's Forces knocked out The Union's aircraft with suicide planes, and most of their artillery with suicide bombs.  Then supported by helicopter gun ships and armor the infantry advanced.

Page 13

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