The day before Jeremiah is to arrive, Roger, Mark, Charles, Jack, Shawn, and Nick are all gathered at Doug and John’s house. They are getting their equipment and supplies together for the journey on to Jeremiah. They have packed food, water, tents, medical supplies, etc. They are cracking jokes at each other and having a good time. Doug has two radios playing. One is tuned into a country music station. The other radio is broadcasting the status of Jeremiah. Just as they are getting done packing Frank pulls up in his truck. With him is his wife Chelsea and son Brian. Doug can hear Frank and Chelsea arguing as they pull up. It sounds like neither of them is winning. Doug, Roger, Mark, Charles, Jack, Shawn, Nick, and John all go outside to help him unload. What they see shocks them. The back of Frank’s truck is loaded with guns and ammo. Over half of the guns are military grade firearms making them illegal to most civilians. Doug sees some weapons, the M249 for example, that is capable of firing over six – hundred rounds a minute. Fortunately for Frank he has a Class 3 weapons permit. But that is not what disturbs Doug. Under the ammo Doug sees a box labeled explosives. Doug lifts up the lid and sees five blocks of C4. Doug waits to ask Frank about the C4. Frank’s argument with Chelsea looks like it is more important and dangerous. Doug, Roger, Shawn, Charles, Mark, Jack, Jake, John, and Nick all know better than to get between Frank and Chelsea during an argument. Everyone except Frank and Chelsea move to the back of the house. Doug takes Brian’s hand and escorts him to the other side of his house. But they can still hear Frank and Chelsea yelling at each other. This particular argument is about Frank leaving to go onto Jeremiah and leaving Chelsea and Brian behind. Doug looks down and notices the tears on Brian’s face. Doug kneels down to Brian’s level and whips the tears from his face.
“What’s wrong Brian?”
“I wish mommy and daddy would stop arguing.”
“Me too, that is why I am taking your daddy away from a while. This separation may just be what they need.” Doug replies.
“You really think so?”
“I know so. Just you wait, when your daddy comes back everything will be okay, I promise you.”
Brian jumps on Doug and hugs him.
“Thank you Uncle Doug.”
Frank and Chelsea argue for what seems like forever. The argument ends with Chelsea walking away crying. Doug and Brian move back to the front when the argument ends.
“Where did mommy go daddy?” Brian asks.
“She ran off into the woods.” Frank angrily answers.
“You’re not going after her?’ Doug asks.
“No, she needs to cool down.”
“Which way did she run?”
Frank points off in the direction that Chelsea ran off.
“Do you mind if I talk to her?” Doug asks.
“Go for it. I cannot talk to her when she’s like this.”
Doug slowly and cautiously follows Chelsea into the woods. Brian tries to follow him but Doug stops him immediately.
“I need to talk to your mother alone.”
“Ok but what should I do while you are talking to my mommy?” Brian asks.
Doug loudly whistles for Lucky his four year old Golden Retriever. Lucky comes running up to Brian and starts licking him.
“Lucky here will keep you company until I get back. He is friendly. Just don’t grab his ears or pull his tail. Lucky doesn’t like that at all.”
“What happens if I accidently do?”
“He’ll probably bite you.”
Doug disappears like a ghost into the woods. His disappearance scares Brian. Brian cuddles up with Lucky. Lucky keeps Brian occupied while Doug is in the woods.
Doug has a lot of experience tracking animals. Tracking humans is much easier. They leave much more visible trail. It doesn’t take long for Doug to find Chelsea. He really doesn’t have to track her. Doug can hear Chelsea crying. He finds Chelsea standing on the creek bank behind Doug’s house. Doug sees tears rolling down her cheeks.
“This is where I come to think things out.” Doug says when he gets close to her.
Chelsea almost jumps when Doug walks up behind her.
“Oh Doug I didn’t hear you coming. Don’t you make any noise?”
“It’s my specialty.” Doug replies. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t think that you can help me.”
“I’ll do my best. Now start from the beginning.”
“Ok, Frank and I are falling apart.” Chelsea answers.
“I don’t know, we argue all the time. I love Frank but he is just impossible to talk to sometimes. It is like his attention is on everything else but me.”
“Are you really trying?” Doug asks.
“Yes, I am doing everything I can but nothing is working.”
“Have you tried counseling?”
“Yes, but it only made things worse.” Chelsea answers.
“Have you prayed about it?”
“Yes, I pray at least once a day and nothing has happened.”
“God will answer your prayers. But He will answer your prayers on His own time. Believe me it is better to wait for His response than to try to fix it on your own.” Doug replies.
“How do you know?”
“I’ve got a lot of experience. I know that this is not the answer you want but this trip may be what you need.”
“You think that it will give us time to calm down?”
“Yes, this trip will change him, I just don’t know how. I have a feeling that this is just what you guys need.”
Doug and Chelsea talk for an hour. When they get back Doug sees that the others have already unloaded, cleaned, and fired most of the weapons from Frank’s truck. Doug told them to wait until he got back to shoot. But Doug lets it slide.
“So Frank where did you get these weapons?” Doug asks.
“I have connections”
“I’m talking about the C4?”
“I can tell you but then I’d have to kill you.” Frank answers.
“Yeah I’d like to see you try Frank.” Jack shouts.
The guys rush to the back to help unload the rest of the weapons. They all want a weapon that Frank brought with him. Before he showed up, all they had are mainly hunting rifles, pistols, and a few shotguns. Frank brought several firearms: two machine guns, a M240 and a M249 machine gun; an AK47; two M4s; and a M4/M203 assault rifle. The guys grab the weapons they want. Frank reaches into the cab and pulls out a weapon that Doug is very familiar with.
“Doug, I believe this is yours.” Frank says as he tosses it to Doug.
It is the M4 rifle with an M203 grenade launcher that Doug used during his years of service. Doug does a quick weapons and maintenance check to make sure that it still works. He pops off a couple of rounds at a target a hundred yards away. Doug hits it right in the center.
“Holy crap Frank I owe you one for this.”
“Don’t worry about it man. Just bring us back home in one piece.”
At that moment, Doug hears another vehicle driving down the dirt road. His house is the only thing down this road. Doug, his friends, and family are the only people who use this road, except people who get lost and the occasional police officer. Everyone thinks that it is a cop. Doug knows that all these weapons, especially the C4, will be difficult to explain. Since this mission has not been put on paper there is nothing to prove what they are doing. Jack, Mark, John, and Frank take off running like they always did when they were kids when cops came around. Luckily Doug recognizes it as Jake’s vehicle before the guys start trying to hide the weapons.
“Relax guys, it’s just Jake.” He yells.
Jack, Mark, John, and Frank come out from their hiding spot. When Jake steps out of the vehicle it looks like he hasn’t slept for several days.
“Whoa, Jake, you don’t look to good.” Doug asks.
“I’ve been doing some thinking Doug. Jake answers. “I want to go with you. I need a change in my life. This may be the change I’ve been looking for.”
“Good for you man, I was beginning to think that you weren’t going to change your mind.” Doug says.
Frank reaches into the bed of his truck and pulls out the AK47, the only weapon left.
“Here you can have this.” Frank says as he tosses the AK47 to Jake.
“I don’t know how to use this weapon.”
“It’s simple Jake I’ll show you to use it.” Doug says.
“Thanks man.” Jake replies.
The next three hours, the guys load their weapons and ammo into the bags. They have enough weapons and ammo to wage a small war. Doug, Nick, Charles, and Shawn teach the others how to use the military weapons. They want the others to be familiar with the weapons. Beside guns each of them has multiple blades on them. Doug has his M4/M203 rifle, a .45 handgun and 44 magnum, and a leopard gun. A leopard gun is a double barrel shotgun that has had the barrel sawed off. The barrel of Doug’s leopard gun is only 18 inches long. The shortness of the barrel allows the shot to spread out, increasing the damage up close. The only safe place to be when a leopard gun is fired is behind it. Doug has one because he likes how effective it is, and that it can take out multiple targets up close. He also has a bowie knife, a medium size hatchet, and three other smaller knives hidden on him. He designed his bowie knife personally. The blade is nine inches long with serrated edges on the back. The hilt has brass knuckles with pointed tips and a skull crusher on the bottom. Doug also has his recurve bow for hunting, and because in his opinion it is the ultimate silent weapon, besides a knife. Roger has his scoped Remington I – bolt .270 hunting rifle, an AR – 15 (the civilian version of the military M16 assault rifle), and a .38 pistol. Unlike the M4, the AR – 15 does not have a full automatic firing mode. Automatic means that as long as the trigger is being, the gun will continue shoot. In most states, it is not legal for weapons to have an automatic firing mode. Roger also has an eight inch K – Bar knife, a pocket knife, and a small hatchet. He is very well trained in close combat with a knife. Shawn taught him how to fight with a knife. Shawn has a crossbow with a red dot scope; he uses it more than another weapon. He is the best in the group with a crossbow. Shawn can hit a moving target the size of an apple from fifty yards away. He has a scoped .30^06 hunting rifle, a .40 pistol, and an AR – 15 rifle. Shawn also carries a Marine K – Bar fighting knife, along with a pocket knife. He is a master at the Army knife fighting style. He learned his skills from the Infantry. Frank carries the M240, one of the group’s heavy weapons. The M240 is a light machine gun that the military uses. He also carries an M9 (the military 9 millimeter pistol), and a 12 gauge pump action shotgun. Frank also has three long knives that he carries tucked into his belt. Jack carries a M16/M203. The M203 is a grenade launcher that can be attached to the underside of the M16 and M4 assault rifle. The grenade has a five – meter kill radius. It has to travel eighteen meters for the explosive to arm. But even then, it can do more damage than a .50 bullet because of its size. Doug, who also has a M203, has to show him how to load, aim, and fire it. Jack carries an over under double barrel 10 gauge shot gun. He also carries a .357 pistol and a bowie knife. Jack is very proficient with a pistol. The only person better with a pistol is Doug. Jack also carries the radio equipment that the group will use the keep in contact with Linda Johnson, Doug’s mother. She is the source of information on what is going on in the world. Jake carries the AK47 that Frank gave him. After a quick demonstration from Doug, Jake feels confident with it. Jake also has a Desert Eagle. A Desert Eagle is a .44 magnum handgun. It has a little less recoil than the revolver version. Jake also has a scoped, camouflaged AR – 15 hunting rifle. Jake also carries a machete and his compound bow. John has a scoped .30^06 rifle, an M4 assault rifle, and a semiautomatic 12 gauge shotgun. Semiautomatic means that every time the trigger is pulled, one round will fire. He has a .45 pistol tucked into his pants. He also carries a foot long knife strapped to his right leg. Charles carries the M249, another one of the big guns in the group. A M249 is a smaller version of the M60 light machine gun. It is a little bigger and more modern than the M240. Charles carried this gun when he was in the Army. He is the most familiar with it. He also has a close combat 12 gauge shotgun strapped to his hip. He has a K – bar knife strapped to his other hip as well. Charles carries a lot of the medical supplies because he has a lot of experience in the medical field. In the Infantry, Charles was the medic in his squad. Nick carries an M4 assault rifle because he used it in the Rangers. He has a home defense 12 gauge pump action shotgun tucked under his jacket. The barrel of his shotgun is shorter and it has a pistol grip instead of a stock. That makes it more maneuver in close quarter combat than a standard shotgun. Nick has a .40 pistol holstered on his waist. He carries a crossbow slung across his back. He also carries a machete, a small axe, and a bowie knife. Most of the guys, Doug, Shawn, Charles, and Nick are dressed mainly in old Army temperate forest camouflage. Roger, Frank, Jake, and John are wearing old hunting clothes. Mark, Jack, and Corporal wear old shirts and blue jeans. Most of them do not pack an extra change of clothes. They believe that it is a waste of time because they have nothing to wash their clothes with.
Just as the sun is starting to set Doug hears another vehicle coming down the road. The sound of the vehicle puzzles Roger, Frank, Jack, Jake, John, and Mark. They have never heard this kind of vehicle.
“What is that?” Frank asks.
“That is a military humvee.” Doug answers.
Everyone except Doug jumps up and starts hiding the weapons. Doug just sits there and watches them run around.
“What are you doing just sitting there Doug?” Charles shouts.
“It’s nothing to worry about. It’s Colonel Patrenski coming to inspect us. I invited him here.”
Everyone stops running around and glares at Doug. Doug just sits there and smiles back.
“What, I was just trying to have some fun.”
Sure enough the Humvees pull up to Doug’s house and Colonel Patrenski and a couple of Rangers step out. Patrenski walks straight up to Doug. Doug salutes him.
“As you were Staff Sergeant”
Doug drops the salute and shakes Colonel Patrenski’s hand.
“How are you doing Colonel?”
“I’m doing pretty well at the moment.”
Colonel Patrenski looks around at the team that Doug has chosen for this mission. He’s really not impressed at Doug’s choices.
“So this is the team you’ve chosen?” Colonel Patrenski asks.
“Yes, I know that these are not exactly the people that you’d choose but I trust them.”
“Glad to hear it.”
Doug and Colonel Patrenski spend half an hour running through plans, weapons, and equipment. While the others just sit back and relax Frank and Charles watch Doug and Colonel Patrenski.
“Who is that guy?” Frank asks.
“That’s Colonel Patrenski a legend.” Nick answers.
“So we do have ally. I thought that we were the only ones crazy enough to do this.”
Once Doug and Colonel Patrenski finish their business Doug calls everyone together for a briefing. Everyone forms a circle around Doug and Patrenski.
“Since most of you are not in the military or have never been in I’ll keep this simple so you can understand. No one knows what to expect so I’m just going to lay down some ground rules. But first I don’t think that I need to remind any of you that this mission is top secret. Only a few people outside of this circle know about this mission. And just so we’re clear, President Ronald doesn’t know. He would cancel this mission in a heartbeat if he knew about it.”
“You’re not going to tell him?” Roger asks a little surprised.
“I will tell him once you guys are on there. By then he will not be able to do anything about it. Now back to the rules. I only have one rule: you must stay in constant radio contact with me. You don’t have to radio me every day, just whenever you can. But you must always contact me before you even think about doing something. Any questions?”
“You got any advice for us once we’re up there?” Mark asks.
“Yes I do. I have four guidelines that I follow whenever I go on tour. One, do not attack unless it is absolutely necessary. I have been in situations where all it took was one “trigger happy” moron to start a conflict. Rule two is be nice. Being nice to them will take you a long way. It’s easier to earn someone’s trust if you’re nice to them. Rule three, do not do anything stupid. Think before you act. I cannot stress that enough. Doug and Nick both know what I’m talking about. And four, follow the chain of command. I have reviewed the personnel file on all of you and have decided to appoint Doug and Shawn as the leaders because of their military experience. Any questions?”
There are none.
“Good, I will give you whatever assistance I can while you’re up there.”
Doug escorts Colonel Patrenski back to the Humvee.
“Oh Doug I almost forgot. I am also assigning Corporal Nelson to the team.”
Doug turns to Corporal Nelson. He stands almost six inches taller than Doug and is bulging with muscles. Doug notices that expressionless look on Nelson’s face when he shakes his hand. Nelson’s grip is strong and firm.
“Does he talk?”
“I’ve never heard him talk.” Patrenski replies. “Try to stay out of trouble Doug.”
“I cannot guarantee that Colonel but I’ll do my best.”
Doug waits until Colonel Patrenski is gone.
“So Nelson, do you have a first name?”
“Zackary, but I’d prefer Corporal.”
“Okay, this is going to be interesting.”
That night the guys are sitting around a campfire telling stories and cracking jokes. Doug, Frank, Charles, and Jake are playing songs to pass the time. Doug, Frank, and Charles are all excellent guitar players. Doug can also play the harmonica and the fiddle. Jake is an amazing drum player. They played together in church several years ago. Their band was famous locally. After graduating from high school Doug, Frank, Charles, Jack, and Jake went their separate ways. Lucky hangs around the fire. He’s a hyper Labrador. Doug uses Lucky mainly for duck hunting and for protection. He has to keep a constant eye on him. The guys take turns playing fetch with Lucky. Lucky is in good shape for a dog. Every morning, Doug goes for a run through the woods. The run is the length of a 5K race. Lucky follows him every step of the way. Fortunately, Brian is there to keep Lucky under control. Around the campfire, the guys are roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. They are telling jokes and having a good time. Doug also has the radio on so they can listen for the approach of Jeremiah.
“So Cobra, what if you are wrong about all this?” Nick asks talking to Doug.
“I know I’m not wrong. I know that God doesn’t make mistakes. If He showed it to me then I have no reason to doubt Him.” Doug answers.
“I’m just saying, I’d like to know what would happen if we fail.” Jake asks.
“We’re not going to.”
“Ok, now I know you’re crazy.”
Nick walks inside the house leaving everyone by the fire. He is getting tired of trying to talk Doug of this mission. Nick thinks that Doug is going crazy. The only reason that Nick agreed to go along is because he owes Doug his life two years ago on the Yemen mission.
“So you are the famous Cobra?” Corporal finally says.
“Wow it finally speaks” Roger says.
Everyone cracks up laughing. Doug waits for everyone to calm down before answering.
“Yes, I’m that Cobra.”
“Why do they call you Cobra bro?” Mark asks.
“My Ranger buddies gave me that nickname when I was in Lone Ranger Program. They gave it to me because I struck with the speed, strength, and stealth of a Cobra. So my buddies started calling me Cobra, which eventually it became my codename.”
“What is the Lone Ranger Program?” Jake asks.
“I’ll explain for you Doug.” Corporal says. “The Lone Ranger Program was started when our government started cracking down on drugs in South America. They recruited Rangers that had extraordinary tracking skills. Most of them were qualified snipers. They would send these men in solo to track down and eliminate drug runners. Thanks to these Rangers a large portion of the drug trade was eliminated. Doug was one of, if not the best, in the program. I heard rumors that he would enter the jungle with only a bow and arrow, a bowie knife, and a tomahawk. The codename Cobra is known throughout the Rangers and the Special Forces. But five years ago the program was shut down due to budget cuts. It was bad timing because our forces were closing in on the big bosses.”
“Are those rumors true Doug? Did you really enter those woods with primitive weapons?” Frank asks.
“Yes, but that was a long time ago. My skills have doubled since then.” Doug replies.
An hour later, Doug goes inside to use the restroom. On his way to the bathroom Doug notices Frank and Chelsea cuddling up together. After their argument this afternoon this was the last thing he expected to see. Frank is still awake. Chelsea is sound asleep.
“What are you looking at Doug?” Frank whispers.
“I’m just surprised to see you two like this.”
“I can’t explain it either. She was much nicer to me after you talked to her. What did you say to her?”
“I just gave her some advice.”
“Well, whatever you said thank you.”
Doug walks back outside and sits down by the fire. Shawn, John and Charles notice the smile on his face.
“Why are you smiling?”
“It’s nothing that you need to worry about.”
At three in the morning Doug, Shawn, John, and Charles are suddenly woken up. A strange feeling comes over them. They quickly jump up, look around, and realize how quiet it has become. The wind isn’t even blowing. Doug looks around and don’t even see Lucky. It is so quiet that they could hear a pin drop. Even the radio is silent. John tries to find a working station but all he gets is static. The sudden and eerie silence tells them that something is about to happen. All four of them look up and what they see shocks them so much that they can barely move. Above them, they see the outline of Jeremiah moving across the sky. Seeing a giant object coming directly at them amazes each of them. They just stare at it in amazement. Roger, Frank, Chelsea, Nick, Corporal, Jake, Jack, and Mark walk outside half asleep to see what is going on. In amazement half of them almost pass out when they see what is right above their heads. Jack actually does pass out. No one notices Jack fall to the ground unconscious. To their amazement, Jeremiah slows to a halt appears to float about a mile above the Ozark Mountains. Mark falls to the ground unconscious. He cannot comprehend what is happening. As if that is not enough, all of the sudden, giant vines fall from the bottom of Jeremiah. The smallest one of these vines is easily fifty yards wide. The vines slowly float down to Earth. When the vines land on the ground, they pierce the surface and dig in deep into the surface. One of these vines land about a three hundred feet away from where Doug, Charles, Shawn, John, Roger, Frank, Chelsea, Nick, Corporal, Jake, Jack, and Mark are standing. They just stand still, shocked at what they are seeing. Even though the vine lands gently, it still shakes the Earth knocking the guys to the ground. Doug gets up and looks around him. Because his house is on top of a mountain, he can for miles around in each direction. The impact of what Doug just sees causes him to almost pass out. He has to place his hand on his chair to keep from falling down. Doug looks around and notices all of the guys doing to same thing. Several of the guys sees Jack wake up, look around him and then fall back into unconsciousness. None of them laugh because they are all still shocked.
“Well Doug, that was just about one of the strangest and amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life. But it still does not give me a reason to believe in your phony god.” Nick says.
“Well Nick hopefully by the end of this trip you’ll change your mind.” Doug replies.
“I doubt it, but at least now we know how we’re going to get up there.
Meanwhile on Jeremiah Katrina and Zathora are standing outside the clan leader meeting building. After her dream, Katrina got a message out to all of the clan leaders that she had something they all needed to hear. Because of their degree of faith in God, He grants them dreams of the future. When a Dog says that they’ve had a dream everyone immediately drops what they’re doing and listens. Katrina and Zathora wait outside to be called inside. While they wait Katrina looks around the city just to pass the time. The clan leader building sits right in the middle of the five clan territories. The city is inhabited by different members from all five clans. During the day the city is bustling with activity. This is where the clans come to trade and reunite with family and friends. But there is almost no one around at night. The only people who are still awake are Katrina and Zathora, the clan leaders, and a few other Dogs. Across the street Katrina sees two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and three Greyhounds sitting down and joking around together. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks are physically the strongest of the five clans. It is not uncommon for a Rhodesian Ridgeback to have the strength to lift five hundred pounds. Their reddish brown fur is the shortest of all the clans, a quarter of an inch at the most. The shortness of their fur allows them to live in the hot desert of Jeremiah where they live. Even from this distance Katrina and Zathora can see the distinctive patch of fur that runs down their backs giving the clan their name. The three Greyhound look like midgets compared to the Ridgebacks. Their fur is a little longer than the Rhodesian Ridgebacks and is a reddish, brown color. The Greyhounds on the other hand are the smallest. They stand an average of five foot eight inches. They have grey fur that is slightly longer than the Ridgebacks. The Greyhounds make up for their lack of size and strength with speed and flexibility. They are known for their speedy and flexibility. The Greyhounds can run an average of fifty – five mile an hour and move through the jungle trees like a Spider Monkey. The Greyhounds live in the jungle where they can move around more freely and train. In the city square, Katrina can see two Mastiffs doing some late night sword training. Their thick skin allows them to survive in their villages, which is located in the snow covered mountains. The Mastiffs’ fur is usually brown, black, or white. The Mastiffs are known for their swordsmanship skills. It is very common for a Mastiff to duel with multiple opponents and win. At the church Katrina can see an Anatolian Shepherd standing outside talking with a Rottweiler. The Anatolian Shepherds are most patient and calm of the clans. But they are the biggest physically of the clans. The average height for the Anatolian shepherds is 6’6”. Most have white fur that is longer than the Greyhound. They live in temples high in the Jeremiah Mountains where they isolate themselves from the rest of the clans. This allows them to focus on God and their martal art studies. The Anatolian shepherds are the most spiritual of the clans. They are also the most talented fighters. But they are peaceful and will only fight as a last resort. The Rottweilers are the largest numerically of the clan. Their fur is varies in length from half an inch to an inch long. They are the only clan that has multiple fur colors. The fur color varies from yellow to black to brown. A few of the Rottweilers have blue fur. They live in the forest where they get to use their stealth. The Rottweilers are famous for their stealth and accuracy with weapons ranging from a knife to a bow to a gun. A trained Rottweiler possesses more skill for a bow than most people with a gun. They are trained to make kill shots with a bow at targets located three hundred yards. The Rottweilers are the hunters and guerilla warfare fighters on Jeremiah. Katrina is a full blood Rottweiler. Zathora and Salvador are half Rottweiler and half Rhodesian ridgeback. Their fur is the same as the Rottweilers. They are the size and possess the strength of the Rhodesian ridgebacks.
Katrina, Zathora, and Salvador wait outside for what seems like forever. Katrina can tell that Zathora is getting a little anxious. She won’t stop fidgeting.
“Calm down Zathora, we have only been waiting here for an hour.” Katrina says.
“I am so bored.”
“It should not be much longer. How about you go to bed? I can handle this by myself.”
“You sure you can handle them on your own?” Zathora replies.
“Yes, I know how to deal with them.”
“Ok, good luck then.”
Zathora turns to leave but the stops in a couple of steps. There is something on her mind.
“Hey Katrina, if you do not mind me asking, who else did you tell your dream to?”
“Nicolas” Katrina answers.
“Seriously, you told one of the oldest Anatolian Shepherds your dream?”
“Yes, he is the wisest man I know.”
“That makes sense”
Not long after Zathora leaves Katrina is called inside. Inside the five clan leaders are waiting for her. They sit around a round table to show that no clan is above the other. The clan leaders invite Katrina to take a seat at one of the empty chairs. Katrina reluctantly takes a seat close to Achilles, the leader of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks leader is the clan’s most powerful warrior. They remain the leader until their death. Achilles is the current leader and has been for the last twenty years. Despite his age Achilles is one of the most feared of the Dogs not only for his skill but also for his ability to solve problems and ending fights without ever throwing a punch. He has a very noticeable scar on the right side of his face from a battle with the Lizards. The scar wraps around his cheek like someone tried to cut it off. Seated next to Achilles is Jonathan, the Mastiff clan leader. The Mastiffs have a monarch leadership. Jonathan is an expert swordsman and a wise man. Jonathan’s skills with the sword are legendary. Very few people possess the skills with the sword that Jonathan does. His judgment is extraordinary. He can solve conflicts very quickly and effectively. Seated next to Jonathan is Joanna the Greyhound clan leader. Greyhound has the same monarch leadership as the Mastiffs. Joanna is the youngest of the clan leaders and the only woman. She is in her early thirties. Joanna is the only clan leader that is not married. Despite her age even the older more experienced Dogs will not mess with her. It is not just that fact that Joanna is a powerful warrior but she carries herself like a natural leader. When she first became clan leader several Dogs made the mistake of looking down on her because of her age and gender. Joanna quickly put them in their place. Despite her skills as a warrior, Joanna is a little inexperienced, cocky, and immature at times. But she makes up for it with her unwavering confidence and nobility. Seated next to Joanna is Griffin, the Rottweiler clan leader. Just like the Mastiffs, the Rottweilers have a monarch society. Griffin is one of the most feared and respected of the clan leaders. Only Achilles is more feared that him. Griffin is feared because of his combat skills and psychological thinking. He has been known to solve conflicts quickly and effectively. Griffin has more combat experience that most of the clan leaders, except for Achilles. His skill with the bow and knives are absolutely amazing. Griffin and Jonathan were combat partners during the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan Wars. Jonathan’s swordsmanship and Griffin’s skill with a bow was a perfect combination. Griffin has a long scar on his arm from a battle only a few years ago. The injury almost caused him to lose him arm. He keeps it hidden from the public to keep people from asking questions about it. Finally, seated next to Griffin is Jonah the Anatolian Shepherd leader. The Anatolian Shepherd’ clan leader is the wisest member of the clan. Jonah is the wisest and one of the oldest of the Anatolian Shepherd. He is eighty – three years old, the oldest of the clan leaders. Despite his age Jonah is said to be the best fighters that the Dogs have. However it has been ten years since anyone has seen him fight. But no one is willing to test him. Griffin is the first to stand up and ask Katrina questions.
“Why did you call a meeting this late at night?”
“Because the public does not need to know what I am about to tell you.”
“And what are you about to tell us?” Jonah asks.
Katrina tells the clan leaders everything about her dream. She leaves out the details that God told her to keep secret. Katrina tells them that she was allowed to choose two people who she can reveal those details to. She also tells the clan leaders that she has already chosen the two and revealed it to them.
“What do you propose we do about it?” Jonah asks.
“I recommend that you send me and a couple others to the spot where they will come up. Once I find them I will watch them from a distance until it is time to reveal ourselves.” Katrina answers.
The clan leaders think it over for a little bit. They ask Katrina to leave while they discuss it. Katrina stands outside waiting for what seems like forever. She starts getting a little impatient. After thirty minutes of waiting, Katrina is finally called back in. Back in the room, it looks like it was a close decision. Jonah stands up to give Katrina the verdict.
“Katrina the verdict passed three to two.”
“Good, so what’s the plan?”
“Since you were the one who had the dream, you will be the one to find him.”
“Yes sir, I will not fail you.”