The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 22

Luke was worse than Mark. Within days, the entire army was transformed. Women older than fifteen years old were considered sex objects, and even a few younger. They were not allowed to train with the men, and they only handled weapons if an attack came. It was disgusting. Emmett was worried sick about Norie and his mother. Well, and Amelia too.

Why should I worry about her? He kept telling himself. She was just using me.

Those thoughts didn't help. At all.

"Lillian!" He saw his friend standing against a tent, crying. "What's wrong?" He watched in dismay as she recoiled from his touch.

"What do you think?" Lillian said thickly, looking up. "My mom and little sister were taken by some men! Right after I was."

Rage burned in Emmett's stomach. He though of Lillian's mother, a sweet woman who smiled at him and offered him cookies whenever he came over. He thought of her little sister, a frail girl, just like her mother.

He made his decision. Luke had led a mutiny against Mark. This was supposed to be a democracy, wasn't it? He'd lead a mutiny against Luke, a dictator.

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