Father Tuck had been especially cautious in his approach to arranging this secret meeting. As the veteran priest got to know Private Brian Vance, it became clear that the young Brit was not only going to desert his post, he was on the verge of switching sides. Tuck had made it known at a meeting a few nights earlier that a deserter was about to join their ranks. Right off, Jeff and Benjamin Hinton as well as Marty Smith accused Tuck of collaborating with the enemy. The young, hotheaded Ben Hinton had even threatened to shoot Father Tuck right there in Robert Hunt’s basement. Tuck had braced himself for this reaction by his compatriots.
Once Hunt had heard the very compelling reasons as to why Brian Vance was crossing the floor, he reluctantly convinced the others to meet with him. Hunt, Smith, Templeton and the Hintons sat around the small room located at the back of Sacred Heart Church anxiously awaiting their meeting with Brian Vance who was, for all intents and purposes, still the enemy. The doorknob slowly turned. Father Tuck entered with a fresh-faced youth with a crewcut. Hunt and the others rose from their seats. It was plainly obvious that Vance was as nervous as they were.
“Brian,” Tuck said. “I would like to introduce you to Robert Hunt, Marty Smith, Jeff Hinton, Ben Hinton and Chris Templeton. Bob is the leader of our little group. He’s a retired RCMP officer.”
Hunt and Vance shook hands.
“Nice to meet you Brian.”
Vance shook hands with the other members.
“I guess we should get started then,” Tuck said.
Everyone sat around on the old couches and chairs.
“So Brian, Father Tuck explained to us why you have deserted,” Hunt stated.
“I just believe that this entire occupation is illegal. The world conflict taking place right now was completely engineered by the world’s banking elite and the military industrial complex. Secondly, I’m British. I have many ancestors who moved to Canada. As well, I have relatives living here now, mainly in Victoria and Vancouver. I can’t do this. I mean, suppress people who’ve done nothing to me.”
“I understand fully,” Hunt stated. “My grandfather served with the Twelfth Manitoba Dragoons during the Second World War. I myself gave this country over thirty years of service.”
“Mr. Hunt,” Vance asked. “What are your plans to take back the city?”
“As of right now, nothing,” Hunt replied with a slight chuckle. “It’s just a miracle that we haven’t gotten caught yet. I have to admit Brian, we were all hesitant to meet with you at first. But since I’ve spoken to you in person, it isn’t hard to see that you’re the genuine article. I’m just glad that the citizens of Kamloops have the cajones to fight back. Those protests are growing by the day. It’s a sure sign that the occupiers are losing ground. I’m sure you’ve heard about Jake Scribner.”
“I certainly have. He’s the modern-day Robin Hood who’s been wreaking havoc in this district for months.” Vance stated.
“I don’t know Scribner that well, but his fiancé’s parents, God rest their souls, were good friends with Barbara and I. We knew them mainly through church. Father Tuck, have you had any contact with Nicole Clare since she was sent to live with Carragher? I just hope she doesn’t betray us.”
“Nicole is our greatest asset,” Tuck said. “When the moment is right, she will take down that power-mad murderer herself. No, unfortunately I haven’t. Hopefully one of these days though I will.”