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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, '10, 2:14 pm
Joy could not describe her situation, but at least she could say she was in peace. Her next three months were uneventful. She left her room early in the morning, went to work, worked a lot and returned home before sunset, locked the door and never left for anything. On Sundays, she didn't exit her room. From time to time she went to the market to buy some food or other things she needed. She never talked to anyone.

But people came to talk to her. Sometimes, while arriving home, a man would approach her asking her services. They offered her money and other things, but she never considered taking the route of prostitution. She loathed that way of life. To feel safer, she bought a long knife and always walked with it hidden under her clothes, for she feared being attacked. But the only violence she suffered was being cursed at for not submitting to men's offers.

As she didn't have anything to do, she spent her time reading. She bought some cheap second-hand books and had them as a companion. Many of the books were about religion. Religion, at her time, was not a popular subject in Algol, since the inception of the Mother Brain. It the past, there used to be churches in all villages, but now the churches were rare and most people believed on in the Mother Brain and nothing else. Anna liked the religious books, because they gave her an explanation for her suffering and hopes of a brighter future. When she peeped through her window, she could only see a terrible world, filled with violence and sorrow. She could see prostitutes, transvestites, people on drugs, scoundrels, crimes. It was not rare for her to see or hear some kind of violence. She was alone, amongst the dredges of the society and didn't see anything good being done, so her mind was filled with doubts. She believed in god, but she wasn't sure about many things.

Meanwhile, Sara tried hardly to convince her parents to shelter Anna, but her father refused to “take a murderer home”. Regardless of the girls arguments that she acted in self-defence and saver her life, her parents were not inclined to change their minds, so she eventually abandoned her project. Anyway, she had lost track of Anna for a long time, so she didn't know where to find her friend in order to help, though she grieved for not being able to do anything for her friend and savior.

After three months, things started changing for worse in Anna's neighborhood, as if they were not already bad enough. A new gangster leader started bringing terror to the neighborhood. He and his minions blackmailed drug dealers and prostitutes, beat people who did not pay their protection tax and even murdered anyone who meddled with their business. Almost everyday there were drug addicts and prostitutes being robbed, beaten and, in the case of prostitutes, being taken by force. At first, most of the violence happened in the late hours of night, but then the scoundrels grew confident and started acting even on daytime. Anna was really frightened. One day, scoundrels beat to that a prostitute who lived in the same building as hers because she didn't submit herself for free. When Anna left her home to work, she was shocked and almost fainted by the sight of the dead woman at the doorsteps. Other day she heard shots outside and, peeping through the window, she saw scoundrels in a jet motorcycle shooting drug addicts at random. They left 5 killed and many more murdered. When the locals called an ambulance, the same scoundrels returned, seized the ambulance and set it on fire. They had many times stormed the building she lived in and taken the prostitutes by force. Anna prayed a lot, thought a lot about the situation and decided she had to do something.

She noticed that the gangster leader loved to walk the streets with his bodyguards, bragging about their actions and even doing some harm to a random victim. She studied her neighborhood and noticed also that there was a dark alley where there were lots of abandoned garbage cans and containers. There would be the place where she would do what she had decided to do.
At night, she hid herself for some time among the garbage cans and waited for the group to pass. In the first night, they didn't pass that way, so Anna returned home.

In the second night, Anna was there for some hours when she spotted the group coming down the street. “It is now or never.” She positioned herself behind a large garbage container. “Lord forgive me, I don't know His ways, but I must do that. It is not fair to leave it as it is...” She was aware she could die and she was resigned as an infantry soldier who goes to the battlefield. “I just want to do the best I can.” The group consisted of 4 men: the gang leader on the right, a scoundrel body guard on the left and two scoundrel bodyguards behind the two men. They were walking carelessly, as few people bothered about the garbage alley. It was the perfect opportunity for Anna. Doubt crossed her mind. She had fear, was anxious, but decided to go on. As the group passed by, Anna plunged the long knife into the throat of the gang leader and started running away. She was so fast that the bodyguards were surprised with the action and hesitated a bit. One bodyguard tried to help the dying leader while the two others got their sub-machine guns and shot at random. Anna was racing through the garbage maze and was safe from the bullets. She had carefully studied the alley, so she managed to escape. The bodyguards tried to chase her, but she was far ahead and the soon lost her track.

She was content she had successfully eliminated the gangster leader, but she didn't have the time to rejoice. She returned immediately to her room, packed her things and abandoned the place. Again, she was running for her life. She knew the scoundrels would soon put the neighborhood under siege, looking for the blonde girl who killed their boss, so she had to leave. She walked carefully through the streets, trying to avoid anyone, specially the scoundrels. She had to hide herself from the dangerous presence of people in the streets and it took a lot of time for her to advance. Her ordeal has started again, she was alone, had to run for her life, but she was almost happy to see herself exiting that dangerous neighborhood. She intended to leave the city and hide herself on the countryside. Suddenly, she feels a hand on his shoulder.

“GAHHH!!!” Anna was so scared that she jumped and trembled. The person took his hand out of her shoulder and retreated a pace, scared by her reaction. She turned to see who it was and saw a very tall redhead man.

“Forgive-me girl. I didn't expect that I would scare you. You are Anna, aren't you?” “Y-y-y-yess-sss”
“I'm Jake, Sara's brother.”
“Oh, Sara! Thank God!” Anna was still trembling, but sighed in relief.
“Were you living in that neighborhood? Oh my...”
“Yes, but I'm leaving anyway.”
“Can you come with me? I want to talk with you.”
“For sure.”

Jake took Anna to a small pub, ordered some food for her, a beer for himself, then started talking.

“Listen, Anna, Sara loves you too much. I don't know what you have done to her while she was in the orphanage, but I have to thank you. I also thank you dearly for saving her.”
“I'm glad to know Sara is well.”
“She tried to convince our parents to help you, but they didn't agree. I am with my sister on this subject, but I didn't finish my studies yet, I can't help you the way I wanted.”
“I see.”
“Anyway, I know you don't have family, so you must be facing difficulties, don't you? Living in that neighborhood...”
“You can't imagine...”
“I know that is not much, but I can help you in some way. Have you considered joining the guardian academy?”
“No, but now that doesn't sound like a bad idea.”
“Listen, Anna, I have studied there and I have a friendship with Colonel Numar, director of the academy. I have already talked to him and he seemed interested in helping you. Take this card with his address.”
“Oh, thank you very much, Jake...”
“It is nothing compared to what you have done to my sister.”
“You don't know, you have just saved my life tonight.”

By the morning, Anna went to the address indicated in the card. There, she was taken to a room to wait for Colonel Numar. After a few moments, she was called. Colonel Numar greeted her and took her to his room.

“You must be Anna. Jake told me about you. He mentioned you are interested in joining the academy.”
“Yes, sir, I am interested.”
“He told me a little about your life. Is it true that you don't have any relative alive?”
“None that I know of.”
“It must be very hard for you, girl. You are so young and alone. But I can help you, provided you really want to become a Guardian.”
“Yes, I really do.”
“There is only one problem, Anna. We only accept people over 16 to the academy and, as Jake has told me, you are not. How old are you, Anna?”
“I'm 13.”
“Whew... I know that is wrong, Anna, but let's pretend you are 16. Never tell anyone your real age or from where you have come from. I'll see for your needs, you will live in the academy, have food and clothes. If you have any problem there, just contact me.”
“Oh, I thank you very much, Colonel.”
“Well, do you want to pack your things before going?”
“All that I have is in this bag...”
“Right, so sign here and get ready to go to Zema!”
Anna's eyes shone bright. “Zema? The resort town?”
“Yes, the guardian academy is there. I'm sure you will love your stay there.”
“I'm deeply thankful for this opportunity.”

Anna left the room in a turmoil of feelings. She was still disturbed by the last night events, scared, anxious, happy... She thought of her past, her present and her future. “Oh, Lord, after what I have done, you didn't leave me. Thanks, thanks, thanks...” And Anna muttered a prayer while waiting for the transport which would take her to Zema and a whole new life, with tears of joy in her blue eyes.

Last edited by tilinelson2 on Tue Dec 14, '10, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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