2011-01-23:How Precious Is Life


Hosea_icon.jpg Robin_icon.jpgRashmi_icon.jpg Cloud_icon.jpgConnor_icon.jpg

Summary: Several X-school students discuss just how extreme the retaliation will need to be to free Travis and the village from Nero's grasp.

Date: Sunday, January 23, 2011. 4:14pm

Log Title: How Precious is Life?

Rating: PG

Africa - Tribal Village

The lush green trees of the rainforest hide the small village, with only one road that leads out. The road clearly doesn't get much use, high grass growing up the center. It's nestled next to a beautiful river, flowing with the clean source of water. Still, it is a good walk down a slippery slope to get there.
The village here is poor, but hardly unpopulated. There is one solid building standing at the middle of town, and that's the church, though even that is a roug stucco building. It also seems to double as a clinic. There is no steeple, it is a simple block building, but a cross stands high over the main entrance of the buildling. There are no white people who live here, a dark shade of black on the skin tones of each inhabitant. Though it is small, there are people who live and play. Children run amidst dogs, the women wash clothes and cook while men bring in the food. Some traces of civilization can be found, playing cards and checkers seems to bethe popular activities among the elderly, and they can be found in the shade of any of dozens of trees or around the large fire kept burning at the center.
The rest of the buildings in town are all the same. They are grass huts, and offer little privacy. None of the inhabitants seem to mind, content with their community life. This might offend some of the sensibilities of Americans, but they don't seem bothered by such things.

Sunday, as it is discovered, is an event at this small town. Much of Saturday was a particularly hard day. The one of the men who died trying to rescue Travis and the child stolen on Friday was a prominent leader in the community, and well respected by many of them. To say that Sunday is their day of rest wouldn't be quite accurate. There is less physical labor done, this is true, only enough to provide food for the town, but the church service here is nothing like something that people would find in America. It's blazing hot inside of the stucco church, but that doesn't prevent the entire community from showing up. Many of them are outside, looking in from the wide doorways and from the windows. The injured are still on cots, and being tended to during the time of teaching, which has lasted for the better part of six hours. Not even the small children seem to fall asleep, though. This is a weekly event, and come hell or high water, they are riveted.
The topic? Suffering for Jesus. The sermon is dual lingual, an exercise in English as well as the Bible. Abraham, the village's leader, preaches from an old Bible, while many of the members have new hardback Bibles to follow along with. Hosea himself seems unable to do anything but listen with a fierce determination. Through the day there have been a few major focuses. First, Suffering should be expected in life. Second, no matter how terrible things are, God works all things for the best, so anything other than what happens would be worse. Third, because those persecuting them do not know Christ, they must be loved and taught the truth, not hated and feared. Lastly, it may be easy to deduce that this peaceful village was once a very violent one, prone to kill and to seek revenge for blood that had been shed, and they must remember not to go back to their old ways.

The life has been seen lived out. Several of the new wounded are soldiers who were left behind by the attackers. They are treated with the same mercy and kindness as if the soldiers were their own family. Finally, at about four in the afternoon, the teaching time has ended, and the feast has begun. Berries, other strange vegetables, roasted insects, and a LOT of fish make up the meal, all of the city is sitting around one another, eating and conversing excitedly about the teachings of the day.

While Robin is not impressed at the roasted insects, she still eats anything presented to her in order to be polite. Much in the same way that she attended the church service. Unlike the villagers, she did not remain riveted at the long talk, but still kept her puppet at her side in order to show some respect for their ways of life. The last thing she wants to do is cause offense to their hosts. She remained silent and attentive within reason. And now, she remains silent and attentive as well, silent because she has little to say about the teaching, and attentive because of the attackers that came to take Travis away. They could be back at any time.

Rashmi's appetite has been markedly lower, since returning from the Blackbird to hear about the attack on the village. So, too, has she been markedly less chatty, doing what she can to aid the villagers in the aftermath, working with the injured, and trying her hardest not to break the general air of relief that this time, the number of injured and dead is decidedly lower than usual. Food, eaten sparingly and mechanically, questions answered without much feeling, and during Abraham's preaching she listens silently and attentively, for all that her gaze is left somewhere in the middle distance, one part of her mind endlessly chewing on her own worries.

Hosea sits down to join the girls, not wearing a shirt, which has been the state to describe him for most of the trip. "It has been vedy long since I was able to hear teaching dat was so filled with da truth," he announces to them. "And a good amount of it, too!" Being in the village has been like a fresh drink of cool water for the tall Nigerian, and his demeanor shows it. "I have asked Abraham to speak with us about who has been attacking da village, so dat we can rescue da hostages," he adds. "He should be with us soon." Hosea casts a glance over his scarred shoulder, and indicates to the pastor. "He has many people who wish to ask him questions after da sermon. What did you two think?"

"It was interesting," says Robin, not really able to commit to anything further than that. It was like sitting through church when she was younger, where she was told to sit up straight and pay attention. Even then, while the sermons didn't touch her heart, she was interested in some of the talk. So 'interesting' is the best she can do without being negativistic. And then shift to something she has more to say about, "I'd like to know more about who attacked. I think if I was prepared for something quite like that, maybe… I would have done better."

"You did something," Rashmi says, not looking up. "Maybe it's not much consolation, but it's more than they had last time." Loosing a quiet sigh, she raises her head, looking to Hosea and tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "It was a good sermon, Hosea… It tells me a lot of how they live, hearing what he had to say. …Thank you, by the way. For saying we're going to get him like it was never a question."

Hosea tilts his head down and looks Robin in the eye from beneath his eyebrows. "You did vedy well, Robin," Hosea tells her, a finger pointing in her direction. "Most people would have become so afraid dat dey could not move. I have never seen an attack like dis repelled so quickly. Do not be ashamed. And I believe dat you also stopped da leader of da attack. Da man on da gun was in command, I know dis."
"I could not let anyone stay trapped where I believe he is," Hosea tells Rashmi. "Travis is not da only one who has been captured, we must free dem all." Abraham arrives behind Hosea, "Dis is true, to have a wicked man destroy our children is not what we desire, nor your man." His voice is gentle, but Abraham is one of those people who seems to command respect by his very presence, and there is a certain magnetic quality of his voice that helps people listen closely, even when he speaks for such long stints.

"He was in command? He was just a kid…" says Robin, scratching her neck lightly. Okay, so now that it's over, maybe there's a little guilt for headbutting a kid, but even in retrospect it was a necessary course of actions. Her attention is drawn naturally towards Abraham as he approaches and she nods, "It's awful what these people are doing to your village. We'll do whatever we can to get your people back, as well as ours…"

Rashmi bobs her head. "I just… I don't know, Hosea… that's the problem, you know? I can't…I *won't* take anything for granted, not here. So I don't know what to expect. That's why the thanks." As Abraham approaches, she seems to perk slightly. "We're glad we've been able to help, sir… I've been meaning to talk to you about the supplies we've brought, how much of them could be helpful to use after we go back home. …But probably more important to ask about the guy behind these attacks."

Abraham sits down on the ground next to Rashmi and across from Robin. "You have done so much," he says to the group. "We appreciate all da supplies you have given us, and any dat you leave behind will be well used. We do not have much in medicine," he explains, "And tools are primitive heah." There is the sound of thunder overhead, and the sky seems to be getting darker. No doubt a rainstorm is on the way. "Da man who is behind dis is vedy dangerous. His name is Nero." A familiar name for those who have known Hosea. Nero is the man who had captured him when he was younger, and turned him into the weapon that he is now.
"Nero has captured many people from da village, he has stolen our children and our women. I believe he has more people den he can currently handle, or else he would have killed everyone in da village. He must have plans to take da rest of us when his base has gotten large enough to handle dem." Abraham's face is rather sober with the thought. The entire village is sitting on a metaphorical bomb, just waiting to be captured or killed with the next attack.

Robin pushes her glasses up lightly, reaching up with her long sleeve (the sleeves she wears are still long, despite the heat) to clear any condensation on the clear lens. "I'm glad that the supplies we brought will help you. And I hope we can help you more to protect the villagers…"

Cloud figured this would be a calm little trip where he'd help out and maybe be able to convince Star to talk to him, so much for calm this place seems to be as dangerous as the mansion, today while the others were in church all day he instead tried to help some people fishing, so he's a little late arriving, he's dressed in cargo shorts and sneakers, eading over to the circle he sits down as quietly as possible trying not to disterb the meeting, he wants to hear whats known about the attacks.

"Nero," Rashmi repeats, voice low and musing. "So… What's he after? I mean… it just doesn't make sense, why would anyone *do* this, sir?" Shaking her head, she looks back down at her hands, frowning. "But if he's got more people than he can deal with, then it might help when we go free the prisoners… Too many people stepping on each other's feet instead of stopping us, right?"

Hosea interjects. "Nero wants control. He wants to rule Nigeria, just like any other warlord does. He will not be satisfied until he has da whole country." He folds his hands across his lap.
Abraham nods, "Dis is true. He uses da extra people to build him more forces. Da strong ones will survive, da weak will die. He will not free prisoners. Your friend will become a killer just like da men who attacked us unless he is freed. So will my children. Dey will take food to feed more soldiers from more villages. Dey will build larger base for da soldiers so dat dey will have a place to sleep, or dey will die trying."

Robin frowns at that and says, "So we'll free them." It's a facade of confidence that Robin sometimes puts on when she wants things to be normal again. "We'll find them and get them out." She crosses her arms and says, "He's obviously a bad guy… I really feel like I should contribute to stopping him…"

Cloud nods, "Robin's right, we gotta help 'em," whoa slavery, one of those things you hear about in history but you don't think is still going on, "Between us we must be able to do something," they're mutants after all.

"When we have the chance," Rashmi says, "we'll all be working hard to make sure everyone comes home safe." Lacing her fingers together, she closes her eyes, drawing in a deep breath and looking up at Abraham. "…Question about that… I know Hosea's escaped before," she says, nodding toward the younger Nigerian, "but are there any others here who've been there before, that could help us plan the rescue?"

Abraham nods. "Yukuba used to be one of Nero's commanders. God changed his heart, and he lives with us now." He smiles broadly. "It is a beautiful thing da way dat God can take dat which is dead and bring it to life. He does not speak English, though, I'm sure Hosea can help translate for you. We will speak to him tomorrow, he does not like to be troubled by his past when he is worshiping. I think he would be vedy grumpy with me." He claps Hosea on the back. "I do hope dat we can act soon. Da rain is coming, and it will slow down Nero until it passes. He will be coming back quickly once da rain ends. Now dat he knows dere are mutants here, you must all be careful. Do not wander in da trees alone, it will not be safe for you."

Robin raises her eyebrows slightly at that statement, "I'm guessing he's looking for mutants in particular, then? I can understand why…" She crosses her arms and then uncrosses them, both her and Blank seeming to fidget slightly at the thought. "Have you had any, um, mutants from the village that have been captured in the past?"

Cloud raises a hand to ask a question, "How many mutants does he have on side, if he's only got a couple we have more of a chance, he doesn't know exactly what we all can do, or if we're all mutants, does he? Maybe if they have the element of suprise?.."

"Well if all he wants is soldiers, it makes sense," Rashmi says, nose wrinkling. "He wants power. The mutants that're here? Soldiers who don't need to leave to capture people," she says, nodding to Robin, "soldiers who don't need ammunition," she nods to Cloud there, "soldiers who can go anywhere," another nod to Hosea, "that's power. …And it's *scary* to think about anyone that insane with that kind of pull… Yeah. We need to shut him down as soon as we can."

"I think I was da first he had," Hosea answers Cloud. "But I was his favorite soldier, because I could do things his other soldiers could not." Abraham nods. "He enjoyed his mutant soldier," the elder tells the others. "I do not know how many he has, but da other villages have a rumor dat some people he has taken have been seen, dey were not mutants before, but now dey are. I do not know what would cause dis. We do not try to get close enough to his camp to find out." For the obvious reasons. "I do not believe dat any who have escaped were mutants."
The rain seems upon them, as the soft patter begins to fall over the village. Most people are at least under some tree cover to keep the rain off, but it will still be wet.

Robin appears a bit alarmed when the elder says that and she says, "Something like that mutant growth drug thing, maybe?" She looks over towards Rashmi as she speaks and then towards the elder. "It never turns out good when people try to meddle and play God like that." She furrows her brows slightly and bites her bottom lip, "It's dangerous if he is generating mutates."

Cloud raises an eyebrow, "They're making mutants?, is that even possible? I though it was genetic?" if not his biology notes suck, "There's a mutant growth drug?"

"People'll make drugs for just about anything they can manage, Cloud," Rashmi says quietly, shaking her head. "They don't always work right… But if you can always get more people who want powers and it doesn't matter if they *live* terribly long or not…" The redhead spreads her hands, a truly disgusted look on her face. "If he's trying to make his own mutant soldiers… well, that's bad. A little good, because they'll probably have had barely more training than any of you've had… But mostly bad. You don't *need* a lot of training to set off a grenade, after all…"

Along from the path in the jungle, where no one has still warned him that he shouldn't be wandering on his own… Connor steps out into view. One hand over his head to project a defensive disc in perhaps one of the most extravagant umbrellas one has ever seen, not dressed for good health in this weather, and the other hand behind him as he trails along several new boxes of supplies. Looking around for a moment, he begins trudging his boots through the mud towards where the tents he'd brought earlier are, whistling out and saying loudly, "HELLO THE CAMP!"

Hosea arches his brow. "Rashmi, I do not wish to assume dat. Dey taught me to fight vedy well. If Nero could find a way to teach dem to use dere powers, he would." He rests his knees on
The pastor strokes his smooth face. "I do not know much about what it could be, but it is not a good thing." He shakes his head. "I pray dat God will watch over those who have been taken, and dat He will protect you as you make preparations to save dem."
Some little girls have made their way behind Rashmi, and despite the grown-ups being in a conversation, they start to play with her hair.
As Connor announces his presence, several of those who are eating look up. Some of the children eagerly rush out to meet him, and one of the women seems to be rather annoyed at them about something. One of the older children stops to talk to the woman, who angrily points at Connor, as if the child has done something wrong. Namely, he let one of the foreigners wander around in the rain forest without keeping an eye on him.

Robin pushes up her glasses again, silently, turning her attention towards Connor as he arrives. She doesn't know the other boy well, so turns back to look at the others and continue listening to the conversation. "I'm guessing that strongman they had from the other day is one of the mutates…" she speculates.

Cloud sighs, as much as the pastor is asking god to keep an eye on them, they may need a back up plan, "Well if we're gonna help them we need a plan, Rashmi you've graduated right?, what do you think? and Hosea you know the area right?"

"I'd like to hear more about the…" Pausing, she draws in a slightly shaky breath, glancing over her shoulder as the children start to play with her hair. The sight seems to give her a touch of comfort, and she reaches back to undo her braid, letting her coppery hair spill out behind her so every child has a lock to play with. "…Sorry. The attack. Since, y'know.. I wasn't here…" Clearing her throat, she looks up as Connor shouts his welcome, lifting a hand and waving through the chapel's doors to the teen, gesturing for him to come join the impromptu war council. "I've graduated, Cloud, I'm not a secret agent or anything… all I've picked up is the supplementary stuff from my other school, really… But I think that if we had a good idea how the camp was laid out… we'd probably have a good chance of getting them freed… And with Connor, there's an even better chance of getting back." She starts to perk up, but then pauses, frowning. "…But then they'd probably come right back to retaliate… Hm."

Moving around the crowd of children with his rather impressive display of boxes being float-shifted behind him, and the cover over his head of pure energy, every time water hits it there's a small ripple of blue-green through the otherwise mostly-clear field. Connor moves the boxes to one side and lets them come to rest, before looking around at the group, "Okay… what's this about retaliation? I… well… second supply run. I've got camp supplies for those of us who haven't lived here… washing supplies, cleaning wipes for self and clothes, and a few camp cooking essentials just in case. Next one's mainly medical supplies. Bandages, disinfectants, basic medications and some curatives. I… uhh… also brought some toilet paper and some books." Nodding to each of the boxes in turn before looking back to the others, "I saw some track treads on the way here… I take it someone's local warlord decided to come for his weekly shakedown?"

Hosea knits his brow. "Connor, you should be careful, dere are dangerous animals out dere, and worse den animals," he instructs. The children happily run around Connor as if he were Santa Claus, not at all bothered by the rain. "I think we must act quickly," Hosea says. "But if we are going to stop dis, you are right Rashmi, dey will attack again. We must drive dem from da area." The prospect seems intimidating to the African. "Dat will not be easy. Nero came with maybe thirty," he says. "One of them was vedy strong. Ms. Hilde was able to stop him. Dey captured Travis, and a boy who was in da village."
Abraham looks toward Hosea after Connor's comment. With a patient and sober tone he answers Connor. "Dey killed seven people. Eight of dem died, and two people were kidnapped." He doesn't chastise for the common tone Connor gives, but the sincerity that he answers with should be an indicator that he doesn't find it a situation that should be addressed casually.
Robin raises her eyebrow slightly as Connor seems to make light of the situation, but Abraham takes care of that with his calm tone much better than Robin could. Both her and Blank switch their sitting position in synch, and she scratches under her sleeve lightly. "We do need to stop this. It just isn't right."

Cloud tries to think of away to say what he's thinking without causing trouble, "I don't wanna be the one to sa this but… he can't retaliate if we take him out, like permanently, i know we don't do that, but otherwise it'll keep happening, if he's gone hopefully his army will disperse."

If Rashmi looks stricken at the mention of the latest attack on the village and the deaths and kidnappings that resulted, she turns positively ashen at Cloud's tacit suggestion. P{ressing her lips together as though in hopes that whatever she wants to say will die on its own if she simply doesn't speak up, she turns her head, looping her hair over her shoulder to better allow her to watch the children play with it.

After taking out some hand sanitizer from his pocket and wiping his hands down, Connor replies to Cloud without looking at him, "Not how it works… it's a wolf pack mentality. Whoever you're talking about is going to have people with him ambitious enough to take the reins, but not ambitious enough to try and take over." Turning to face the others, he nods one to Abraham, and then to Hosea, "Not making light of things… just confirming some facts. So if you want to do this… first thing you need to know is why they're here. This village is pretty off the grid. Which means he's got control of outside communication to a degree. Also…" Taking a moment, Connor then smiles at Rashmi, "Outside help is the worst kind… especially altruist. People who can't be bought or bullied away before they can see the conditions."
An exhale comes from him as Connor puts a hand on the girl's shoulder, squeezing softly, "Nobody needs to kill anyone Cloud. We kill one of theirs, they kill ours… and things go downhill. These guys don't care about the people they've got as anything more than supplies. And there's always more American Aid workers and children to kidnap. It's a sick cycle, and a hard one to break. But it's possible… if you're smart about it."

Hosea shakes his head. "I came here to remember what it meant to be merciful," he says to Cloud. Of course, the severity of the situation might show why he instinctively turns to more permanent solutions. He killed several of them yesterday. "Connor is correct, dere will be just another who would take Nero's place. Robin, how far can you take Blank? Maybe you can float overhead with Blank and understand da layout of da camp. Connor, what would be your plan? How do you think you would break dis cycle without murder? I would be eaga to hear if you have a realistic plan." The little girls giggle behind Rashmi, and Abraham says something to them in Igbo in a rather fatherly tone. They let go of her hair, and both of them lean in to try to give her a kiss on the cheek before running on their way.

"I can take Blank wherever, really… I've never found a limit. She teleports back to me if I stop controlling her and she's far away, though," explains Robin in response to Hosea, eyes turning to the little girls as they leave. She shrugs and notes, "I'd like to hear something hopeful and realistic, too."

Cloud nods, "Yeah we should try other options, but i think it needs to be understood, in this matter taking a life may be the only choice in the end," he doesn't like saying it but it's true, "What are you thinking Connor, got a plan up your sleeve? Between you and Hosea we could probably get a full layout of where they are."

"Stop it, Cloud," Rashmi says quietly, watching the children go, then pulling her hair back into her lap to braid again. "I know what you mean… but we can't afford to talk like that. First it's 'It might be the only choice.' Then, 'I'll do it if i have to.' Then, 'It would make things a lot easier.' Then, 'I couldn't trust it to happen any other way, so I did it.'" Frowning deeply, she shakes her head. "It's just not an option. Enough people have died already, and these people are *peaceful.*" Nodding to Abraham, she glances over Cloud's way. "Would it really be worth it to buy more peace with more blood, to them?"

Connor looks around the room, "'We' can't… not like that… teleporting in and out might sound like a good idea, but we'd need cameras and other materials to take notes. Teleportation isn't invisibility. I know my future self could cloak, but it's beyond me just yet… I don't get the math quite yet. However… we do have something working for us. Supplies come in a very limited fashion out here. Which means this Nero character has to go to his suppliers, or the suppliers have to come here. Weapons, ammunition, food supplies… and that comes in trade. Which means either Nero is bankrolling his little army out of his own pocket, he's working for a bigger fish, or he's found something in the region of value. And it could be any combination of those three." Motioning outside, "If you want my take on this… find out where he gets his stuff. Cut off his supplies. That draws him here, unfortunately, because we're the only people stupid enough and heroic enough to light that powder keg."

And then the young man smiles, "However… we bring it all here… it gives us the bargaining chip. Suddenly he has the considered threat of an armed village who hasn't taken too kindly too him. I know you're probably peaceful Sir… but many times in history, peaceful people have taken up arms for what was theirs, taken away too many times. I'm not advocating war… I'm talking about undercutting his supply, and his power base. Up until now, his people have been shooting at people who don't shoot back. the Prospect of being under the gun themselves could make a few of them break off."

"We will not send another to hell to avoid going to heaven sooner," Abraham tells Cloud. "Our souls are secure, da souls of those with Nero are not. It is bettah for us to die than to kill." It would seem that Abraham agrees with Rashmi's stance.
"Dey would not be concerned with being against enemies dat fight, Connor," Hosea explains. "Dey would fight. When I was under Nero, I killed three warlords by my own hand for his power struggle. Da base here is one of many dat he has. He may not even be here in person. Believe me, he is da big fish." He gets up, and walks to the doorway of the church. "You may have an idea, though. If da base depends on an outside water source, den he will need to bring water in. Unfortunately, da rainy season is almost here, so we must act quickly if we will cut dem off on water." The presence of the current rainstorm is evidence of that.

"Well, at the very least, we have to take away whatever is allowing him to give people powers, if that's what's happening" notes Robin, placing her fingers on her glasses as if to stabilize them, while Blank synchs with her action, "That's one of the things that would be giving him the edge. He used you so hard, Hosea, because you're a mutant."

Cloud sighs, "I get it, i was just saying", he listens to Robin and Connor's ideas, "Connor's right if we cut off their supplies we have leverage, but how much does that give us", he leans over to Rashmi, "But if it does come to it, if it needs to happen, it has to be considered".

"Drying them out's probably the best option we have," Rashmi murmurs, tying off the end of her braid. "If they just pack up and move because it's not worth the expense of staying here, it won't be worth the expense of keeping… or retrieving… people to be his soldiers." She seems about to say more, but Cloud leans over her way and attempts to press his point. Her mouth snaps shut, audibly, she she slowly turns her head to face him, eyes glittering and telling the truth of her carefully neutral expression for what it is; a girl trying, *very hard,* not to fly into a purely red-headed tantrum of fury.

Connor turns to walk towards the door as well, taking a look outside at the rain, "Cloud… there's a LOT that needs to be considered. By these people as well as ourselves. Is it our right to make their lives worse with our actions? Because if we act, they will too. If we punch them in the nose, they'll shoot us in the arm. It's an escalation. And we can't be here forever. So it's either we make it too hard for them to stay, or we take away any reason for them to stay. And killing him might anger the rest enough to destroy the village. Consider that. Please." Sighing again, he then stops at the doorway putting his hand on it, "If the village could move, I would implore them to move… and let him have whatever he's here for. Easiest solution to the problem. But I doubt it's just that easy for them, nor would I ask it. Since we have to fight, since people are at risk… we have to fight smart. And we have to be able to stand up to whatever this guy is ready to throw at us."
Then he adds a bit more softly, "So please stop… we get the hint. Especially stop trying to convince her. She's been through too much for you to even have the right to tell her it's all right to take a life. You don't have the chops or the respect for it Cloud. And that's not an insult… it's fact."

Hosea shakes his head. "I do not agree with Cloud," Hosea says. "But you must understand, dis is not going to be easy. Dey will press us, and when we sit heah, you may all talk about being merciful to deir lives. When dis happens, know dat it may not look da way you expect it to look." It's easy to talk about sparing lives when there aren't bullets flying over your head. "I am going to go speak with some of those who were left behind by da attackers," he says. "I shall see what there is dat we can learn from dem." And with that, he heads out the door.
Abraham watches as Hosea leaves abruptly. "You must understand," he says to the remaining group. "Hosea has seen great evil that people are capable of. Words would hardly describe what your friend will go through at that camp. It is very important that you act quickly. Most people who live Hosea's life do not end up as well as he has. He is a rare man." One of the women of the village stands not far away, and Abraham takes note. "Excuse me," he says. "Dere is some things I must talk to dis woman about, I will speak more with you all later."

Robin nods at Abraham and Hosea as they head off, and she shakes her head lightly. She lets the others discuss this stuff, while she just listens and chips in slightly, "Yeah, I don't think it'd be easy…"

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