And the Dark Slavers
JOHNNY PULLED ANOTHER DEEP GULP OF AIR into his burning lungs, as he dragged Karen back onto her feet from where she had fallen only a second before. The rise of the hill led off to the north, and the sounds of pursuit were getting closer.
"Come on Karen," he said. "We have to keep moving!"
"I can't go on," she moaned. "I am so tired." She sounded as if she were about to cry.
"You can go on," Johnny stated matter-of-factly. "You exercise every day, and your heart is in great shape. You can do this!"
Johnny had watched the girls go through their workouts in the compound each day. If they didn't work hard enough, they were punished. The slavers didn't want any flabby merchandise for the auction block!
"I don't run up hills every day," she gasped, as Johnny yanked on her arm and started her moving again. "And we have been going for miles."
Karen was right of course. This was a long run uphill, and it was not what Johnny had planned. Even his conditioning was being tested by this mad dash for freedom. But if he could make it, his mission would be a success, and then he could rest, knowing that he had done his duty.
"How much farther do we have to go?" she asked.
"Only another half mile or so," he replied. He could already see the rock up ahead that marked the hidden doorway.
"I'll never make another half a mile," she sighed as she fell to her knees. "Go on without me. I mean, what can they do to me if they catch me? I am already scheduled to be sold, and they want to make their money don't they?"
Johnny took a deep breath, and he swung Karen off the ground. He was going to get her to the door, even if it meant carrying her all the way. His people needed her, and she needed them, even if she didn't fully realize it yet. Okay, it was even more than that. She was important to him personally, and he knew it.
"We are going to make it girl, and that is final!"
His lungs hurt, and it seemed that he was running out of oxygen, but he continued to move up the hill at a jog. His legs ached, and his feet were unsure of where they would land next. A rock turned his ankle, and a stab of pain shot up his leg, but he held his balance and continued on.
As he took step after step, he felt the weight of the young lady in his arms, and saw her long blonde hair caught in the wind pushing against them. Her blue eyes were closed, and her lips were nearly white from exhaustion. Her head was lolling about and finally came to rest against his shoulder. She had given all she had to the attempt to escape. Well, Johnny wasn't going to let that effort go to waste.
Johnny thought back to when this mission started, if back were the correct direction in time. The council had given him his orders. And those orders were to save a group of 100 White women, who were about to be sold into slavery. It no longer seemed odd to him that his mission had taken him from the year 2237 to the old United States of America, 150 years in his past.
The chronometric-physicist historians, all 5 of them, had concurred that these 100 women would all be lost to the race, in fact were already lost to the race, if history took its course. Not one of them would have a White child, and nearly all of them would have non-White children, in their captivity. If Johnny White could free those women, and bring them forward in time, they could live normal, free lives, and help the White race to pull back from extinction.
All at once a crack rang out, which explained the puff of dust that had appeared 50 yards behind them. Still out of range, but gaining fast. There were only 100 yards to go. Johnny somehow found the energy to increase his pace. The air tore at his burning lungs but he ignored it. His ankle was aching but he drove it into the ground time after time as he ran faster up the hill. Another puff of dust appeared, followed by another crack of a rifle. This time the slug had landed at a point even with them but off to the left. The pursuers were gaining fast.
When Johnny arrived in this time period, the time portal had been intentionally located in a remote place, high on a hill, and inside a cave, protected from observation. This allowed him to come and go without being seen. The problem had been how to get 100 women out of their fenced stockade, and safely up the hill, without arousing an alarm.
He had managed to set nearly all of the women free, using stealth. The compound was not too well guarded, because the slave traders were overconfident. There was little chance that the women would try to escape. There were only a few White people left on earth, and they were politically helpless. They were in hiding, and docile. They could do nothing to save these women. The women themselves were resigned to their fate, and would not try to run. They had nowhere to go. Why waste a lot of manpower on guarding them, when having too many guards around would increase the odds that the merchandise would be spoiled; White Virgins drew a high price—especially since there were so few of them left—and the slavers did not want to lose that profit.
A shot ricocheted off the rock to the right. Johnny was near collapse, and Karen was passed out in his arms. The door, with its force field protection was just feet away when the bullet hit him.
Johnny had snuck down to the compound, and worked a hole in the fence. They hadn't even electrified it, so cutting through was no challenge. Once inside, he restrung the wire, so it would appear to have been unmolested, and worked his way quietly to the girl's barracks. The window to their restroom had been easy to work open, and he was inside in a moment. He found the room empty, but shortly a blonde girl, who looked about 16, came through the door.
"Don't make a sound!" said Johnny as he covered her mouth with his hand. Her eyes grew large with fright at first but when she saw Johnny's face she relaxed. He removed his hand slowly, ready to reapply it if she started to scream. She didn't.
"Who are you?" she asked. Her blue eyes were the most beautiful he had ever seen. To think that they were to be wasted on some slave master of a different race was just appalling.
"My name is Johnny White," he replied. "And I am here to rescue you."
"How are you going to do that?" she asked incredulously. "Just walk us out of here? They have armed guards, and they will shoot!"
"I am aware of the guards, and I know it will be tricky," he said. "However, I do have a very efficient means of escape, if I can get you all into the hills."
"All of us?" she asked loudly. "How are you going to get 100 slave girls out of this stockade without the guards knowing?"
"Shh! Keep it down," he whispered. "I don't want anyone else to know that I am here yet."
Johnny's leg exploded in agony as the bullet tore through his flesh. He fell to his knees, just a few feet from the door across the cave entrance. His left leg was screaming pain to his brain, as he struggled up onto his right leg, still holding Karen's unconscious body in his arms. He dove for the door, just as another bullet whistled by his ear and chipped the rock surrounding the cave entrance.
"My name is Karen," she said. "What can I do to help?" She had been his contact on the inside from that point on. She could interface between Johnny and the other girls, and supply information about how the camp was run.
Johnny was happy to hear that they didn't do daily routine head counts. He decided it would be safest to take only a few girls through the fence to safety each night. It would have been better if he had been less conservative.
At first, it had worked like a charm. The first night he had gotten 10 of them out and up to the cave. They were safe, and the guards didn't even notice the missing girls. The next night, he felt more confident and was able to move 20 more out.
During the next day, he scouted around and found a relatively safe canyon whose mouth opened out not far from the compound on one end, and ended fairly close to the cave at its other end. He decided that he could lead the girls to the canyon base, and then just send them on their own to the other end, where they would wait for him. This should allow him to move most of the remaining girls to safety in just one night. He felt he needed to speed things up, because the longer it took to complete, the greater the chance that his scheme would be discovered.
Seventy people can make a lot of noise. So, Johnny started by taking only two girls out of the fence at a time. Karen would bring them to the restroom window, and then help them outside when Johnny was ready for them.
"How far is it to where we are going?" asked a redhead, who looked frightened as Johnny helped her through the fence.
"Not far Pamela," he replied. "It is only a couple of miles, and you will be safe and free!"
"But I am afraid!" she said, and her eyes showed that she meant it.
"So am I," replied Johnny. "You would be crazy not to be. However we are going to make it, and life is going to be great once you are safe. Trust me please!"
Susan, the brunette that Pamela was with, took her by the hand and they both headed up the canyon together, while Johnny went back for two more.
After a few hours of this, Johnny decided that they were ready for the remaining 10 to leave as a group. However, Karen refused to leave.
"It will take you some time to get all the girls away," she said. "It is getting to be the time of day when some of the girls normally get up. If I am here making noises that sound normal, the guards will not grow suspicious. Otherwise they may come in to check what is wrong, and they will immediately send out a patrol to hunt you all down." She was right of course. Johnny was very much impressed with her brave spirit!
"I hate to leave you here Karen," he replied. "What if they discover you here all alone? They will not treat you gently if that happens."
"What are they going to do? I am valuable property that they don't want to damage," she tried to smile. Johnny knew that they could do plenty to cause this beauty terrible pain, and not leave a single mark. But what could he do? She was right about the guards.
"All right," he said. "But I will be hurrying back here as soon as I get the other girls to safety. Because of the terrain, it will take me about 45 minutes each way to and from the portal. That is an hour and a half at least that you will have to hold out. Then it will take some time to get the girls through to safety. I hope to be back here in 2 hours, before the sun comes up."
"I'll be waiting," she said, trying to mask the fear in her eyes.
"You are the bravest girl I know!" he replied, and was off.
The room seemed dark and he shook his head. His leg felt like it had been shattered. The darkness began to give way, and he realized that he was inside the cave. He could hear voices outside. That meant that the shield was not up yet. He struggled to gain his senses. The switch on the wall looked like it was a million miles away, but he had to make it. He just had to.
By the time he had stumbled across the uneven terrain of the direct route up to the cave, and then made his way over to the top of the canyon, all but four of the girls had already arrived. He led the group over to the cave, and sent them through the portal, one at a time. They could walk through at a normal pace, and so it only took about 20 minutes. Then he went back to the top of the canyon, to look for the other four. They weren't there yet.
He quickly started back down the canyon, and in a few minutes he heard a sob. He hurried his pace even more, and when he turned the corner, he saw three girls standing around the fourth, who was lying on the ground crying.
"What happened?" asked Johnny, as he approached.
"Trish stepped in a hole, and twisted her ankle," said the girl with corn silk hair.
"I…I…think it is broken," sobbed Trish. "The master will beat me for this!" She seemed far more terrified of the master than she was of a broken bone. As she shook her head, her long black hair cascaded down her arms. Johnny felt rage growing inside himself.
"Okay ladies," said Johnny. "The three of you head up the canyon, and I will bring Trish with me." He picked the young lady up, and she was very light in his arms. Soon they were all back at the cave.
"The doctor will have your ankle as good as new in no time," said Johnny as he sent Trish hobbling through the portal. Now all he had left to do was to go and get Karen.
When he arrived back at the compound, he heard a noise inside the barracks and the screams of a woman. He cursed, and slipped through the fence. As he made his way around the front of the barracks, the door was kicked open and a large Black man, dressed in fatigues, dragged Karen out and slapped her, knocking her off of her feet. It was the last thing that man ever did, except die. The knife was flying through the air before Karen's body hit the ground, and the guard fell on his face, the knife protruding from his neck. Johnny retrieved the knife, wiping the blood on the guard's shirt and then tended to Karen.
"Are you okay?" asked Johnny tenderly. He wiped the blood off of her lip, and the tears from her cheek.
"I think so," she sniffled. Johnny felt that death was too good for any brute that would hit this delicate creature. "Can you walk? We must hurry!"
"I will be okay," she said, as she regained her feet. She is tougher than she looks thought Johnny.
Suddenly the door of the barracks flew open behind them, and a mulatto man dressed in the olive uniform of a guard came out saying, "Man, there ain't a single one of those b…" The surprise on his face appeared as quickly as his words evaporated. He reached for his gun, but he was far too late. Once again Johnny had the knife flying through the air, and the guard's hand was redirected from the gun, towards the new addition to his throat. He gurgled his last sounds as Johnny pulled and cleaned his weapon once more. It was time to move!
The moon was full, which had made the evacuation of the girls earlier much easier to accomplish over the rough terrain. Karen and Johnny were able to make some pretty good time up the hill, for a while, and they were out of sight of the compound by the time the sun started to pink the sky in the east. It was about then when they heard the alarm being sounded at the compound and knew that pursuit was not far behind now.
The room was spinning madly about him as he struggled to his knees. He had to get to the switch. He could see the shadows of the pursuers being cast outside as they approached. He reached out his hand and felt the contact close beneath it. They were safe at last.
The bed was comfortable; the sheets were crisp and white. Johnny looked at the white ceiling and wondered where he was, and how he got there.
"Well hello there soldier," said the gray haired man in a black uniform. The man smiled, as Johnny recognized his commanding officer. Johnny felt like he should be standing at attention and saluting, but his leg was in a cast and he was trapped in his bed.
"Hello sir," replied Johnny. "Where am I?"
"Lieutenant White," said the colonel. "You are in our hospital facility, recovering from wounds gained during your last mission. An extremely successful mission I might add. Well done!"
"Thank you sir!" said Johnny, trying to hold himself stiffly at attention while still on his back.
"The doc says that you will be as good as new," said Colonel Jackson. "And you have increased the White population of our colony by 100 White women all of child bearing age. The future generations will be blessed by what you have done my boy."
"That was my hope Colonel," replied Johnny honestly. "Our people are in trouble and anything that I can do to help…" he trailed off.
"Well there is something else you can do," the colonel replied. "But I will let you discuss that with your visitor."
"And who might that be sir?" asked Johnny.
"The one who saved your life," replied Colonel Jackson.
"Saved my life sir?" asked Johnny.
"The young lady who accompanied you through the portal put a tourniquet on your leg and kept you from bleeding to death Lieutenant. She then somehow coaxed the information out of you on how to operate the portal, even though you were nearly unconscious. You owe her a lot son."
"She is a very special girl Colonel," replied Johnny. "She helped me throughout the mission, helping to get all the ladies safely here."
"Well, she has also been very concerned about your health soldier," said the colonel. "She has refused to do anything else until she knew you were okay, and now she is in the hall waiting to talk with you. Would you like to speak with her?"
"Absolutely sir!" said Johnny with a smile.
"Good," replied Colonel Jackson. "We will go through your debriefing later when you are feeling more like yourself."
Colonel Jackson opened the door, and let Karen into the room. He smiled at her and then at Johnny, and said with a wink, "Carry on soldier."