Chapter 8

When Anya woke up she was surprised to find she had company. It took her a moment to remember what had happened the night before. Sherdan was fast asleep beside her and she didn’t want to wake him. She grinned as she thought of what people might say if they saw the two of them in that moment. It looked like they had done more than sleep beside each other.

Her body still hurt in a lot of different places but she was also thankful. The worst two and a half days of her life so far were over. She was a little angry at Sherdan but God wanted her here until she had seen the prophecy.

The first few days she had been in Sherdan’s house were a little blurry. She remembered the doctor and how nice he was, and seeing Sherdan at meal times but the rest was a sleepy haze. There was no way of knowing how long she was going to be here but she felt calm and peaceful. She’d had a few nightmares in the last few days but they were soon stopped by praying. At the moment she felt strangely safe.

She didn’t like being alone so much, however and very quietly settled back down beside Sherdan. While she waited she studied his peaceful features. It had been a pleasant change to talk to him rather than argue.

Anya prayed for him. He had told her about the drug he’d made and that he planned to follow his science experiment wherever it led. She knew he disapproved of her faith, but liked how peaceful she was. At this particular moment in time he appeared the most peaceful.

About half an hour after Anya had awoken Sherdan finally stirred. He opened his eyes to see her laying beside him. She smiled.

“Good morning,” she said. He didn’t move back or get up but stared at her until she blushed and looked away.

“I’m sorry. I guess I fell asleep.”

“It’s okay. I did too. I think it’s the first time I’ve shared my bed with someone since I was five.”

“I’m honoured to be the first.” Sherdan grinned. Anya blushed again. “I’ve got to go, do you want breakfast?” She looked away. She was starving but couldn’t give in at the last minute. Sherdan got up and went to the door.

“When are you going to visit me next?”

“I can come back at lunch if you’d like?” Anya nodded, “Very well.”

He left her and she sighed. All his barriers had come back up this morning. For a little while he had let her beneath his cool calculated exterior and told her about himself. Sherdan was a very intelligent man and extremely logical. He connected two different things very quickly and had a great deal of intuition. It was a shame he had such loose morales.

Anya wandered slowly around the room. Her toes were the only part of her still bandaged but every other wound was healing well. She thought it was pretty impressive considering how little she had eaten, although she had rested plenty to try and make up for it.

For the rest of the morning she prayed. She missed her family and friends and was sure they’d have missed her over the Christmas period.

When it came time for lunch she curled up on the bed again. She didn’t want Sherdan to see how much better she was just yet. He brought her a tray of food as usual. She sighed and opened her mouth to tell him she wouldn’t eat but as he put the tray on the bed beside her she noticed there were also two books. She gasped.

“I thought both of these would make you happy.”

“What made you change your mind?” she asked.

“You are right. You’re going to be here a while. As long as I want you here in fact. I figured there wouldn’t ever be anyone else you can tell.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Now I have a lot of preparations to make, this evening is a big evening. I will leave you to your reading.”

Anya grabbed both books as she beamed. She tucked the Bible under her pillow and flicked open the second. There, in Sherdan’s handwriting, was the prophecy. She glanced over it, checking it was authentic and then tucked into the plate of food.

He had brought her leftovers from the Christmas dinner the day before. Turkey had never tasted so good.

She then sat back and let her food digest for a bit. It had been so long since her last meal that her stomach hurt. She sighed; her mission for God was almost complete.

Chapter 9

Sherdan had a little bounce to his walk as he made his way down the steps. It had made sense to let her see the prophecy and start eating. He wanted her to stick around for a long time and she really wouldn’t be telling anyone else. In less than twelve hours any chance of her ever escaping would be drastically reduced.

He went straight to his security guards. They confirmed that all the preparations for the evening were complete and Sherdan went over to his command bunker. All the changes would need to be coordinated from one place and all the residents informed.

Today was the first step for his organisation to act as a separate entity and was a day Sherdan had been looking forward to for many years. Hitchin had predicted it and now it was coming to pass. Their plans would pick up pace from this moment and there would be no stopping them.

Everyone waited for Sherdan in the command bunker and greeted him when he joined them. There was a tense silence before he gave his first few orders. The visible changes would need to be deployed in a quick and orderly manner. As progress was made a buzz of excitement grew and continued to grow until Sherdan picked up the microphone and addressed everyone within the organisation.

“Hello everyone, may I have your attention for a moment? I have promised all of you a better future where you are all valued. This evening we take the next step in that future. Tonight we will be putting up barriers on every road and path into our land. No one will be allowed in unless invited by us. For the next while we would ask that all residents also stay within those barriers to minimise the workload of the guards and security. Congratulations everyone!”

As soon as Sherdan had finished this speech he nodded at the person standing next to him.

“All teams move into position. In a few minutes we’ll be going into action,” the commander, Graham, said into his radio. The security teams were all heading up the changes and policing the barriers. To start with there would just be simple road blocks and signs but they had all the resources needed for much more secure blocks if necessary.

Sherdan smiled and sat listening as everything he had planned was executed. The teams all placed their barriers and signs with quick efficiency. The only hiccup was a car that had driven onto their land as a cut through before any barriers had been placed and needed to be let out at the other end. Thankfully it was late on boxing day and not many people were out on the roads.

The following day would be a different story. It was a working day and he had closed off a lot of roads. This day had been in planning a long time, however, and Sherdan had made sure no major roads were closed off. He wanted to make a point, not start a disagreement.

Sherdan stayed in his command room for the next hour in case any problems arose. There was the odd issue but as usual the smoothness of change was a testament to the planning and organisation he inspired from the people.

Of course, the many extra abilities helped. Each one was unique and fitted in well. There was one woman who could turn plants, fruits and vegetables that were decaying back into perfectly healthy food again. One initiate could control the weather within a small range although he still needed a little more practice. Sometimes it hailed when he tried to make it rain.

When Sherdan had satisfied himself that everything was going according to plan he decide to take a walk back to his home with a few detours around the land. No sooner had he left the compound than he was approached by a resident. The man shook Sherdan’s hand and had a large grin on his face.

“Congratulations. This is a marvellous step,” the man enthused.

“Thank you. This couldn’t have come about without the help of everyone here and it is just the first step in a full plan for independence and rights.”

“I’m very glad to hear it. If there’s anything else I can do just let me know.”

“What’s your new ability?”

“I can create heat in anything just by making the atoms vibrate.”

“That’s a wonderful ability. I’m sure it will be very useful over the next few weeks and months. Only three days ago I think, in an email I was given, I was informed that there were concerns over keeping the winter greenhouse hot enough. I will reply and inform the lady of your ability.”

Sherdan found his hand being shaken again with even more enthusiasm than the first time. He then said goodbye and allowed Sherdan to continue his walk.

Everywhere he went he was stopped by people wanting to congratulate him or offer their support. The general air of excitement buzzed around the entire area. To add to the fun, just as he began to head back to his own house the first few flakes of snow fell. He smiled and radioed for his car so he could return to Anya and a late supper together.

Despite the car arriving very swiftly and bearing him home it was gone eleven by the time he informed Anne he was back and not far off midnight when he took a tray with food for two to Anya.