Sara Weaver snapped awake, felt for her rifle, and hoped she'd at least get the chance to shoot one of the bastards before they killed her. She had no idea whether it was day or night. The Bible was open on the floor where she'd left it and she quickly found her place and resumed her prayers to Yahweh, the stern and unbending God of the Old Testament. If she'd slept at all, it was only for a few minutes; that's all she allowed herself. Had it been three days, now? Four? A noise brought her eyes up to the windows, covered with the denim curtains that she and her mother had hung to keep the enemy from seeing them. Still, a few shards of unnatural light cut through the room and lit the cabin like constant dusk. Sara looked across the beamed living room at her friend Kevin Harris, who'd been like a brother to her for half of her sixteen years. He was still coughing blood. Sara'd given him herbs, tea, and cayenne pepper. She'd dressed and cleaned his gunshot chest and arm, but he was still too pale and had lost too much blood. He would probably die.
Her father was in better shape, awake, but staring off toward the kitchen. His gunshot wound was healing, but he seemed distant and tired, and Sara was afraid that he blamed himself for what had happened. It wasn't his fault. She knew he just wanted to protect the family. But there was no way she was going to let him feel so bad that he would surrender to the Beast. Her ten-year-old sister Rachel was asleep at last, curled up on the floor next to her. Sara was glad for that. The baby was asleep too and had finally stopped crying "Mama."
The voice startled Sara as it blew through the cabin like a December gust. There had been so many noises: tanks and trucks and helicopters echoing through the canyon. But it was the steady voice of the negotiator that was making her crazy -- so calm on that PA system somewhere outside the cabin. "Pick up the phone" he kept saying, as if they were insane. "We've thrown a phone onto the porch. Pick it up." He sounded Mexican to her. Wouldn't that just figure; the Babylonian One World Government sends a Mexican to talk a white separatist out of his cabin. They will do anything to break us, she thought. Yesterday, he had called himself Fred. A Mexican negotiator named Fred talking on a PA system every fifteen minutes, trying to get them to step outside. The FBI had made it perfectly clear what happened when the family stepped outside. Agents blasted away at them. It was ridiculous and horrifying at the same time. Rachel stirred as the one-sided conversation began again, and she cried as the cruel, taunting words settled on the cabin.
"Good morning, Mrs. Weaver," the voice called. "We had pancakes this morning. And what did you have for breakfast? Why don't you send the children out for some pancakes, Mrs. Weaver."
Why were they doing this? Sara stared at her mother's body covered with an old army blanket and pushed underneath the kitchen table. Soon, Sara would have to crawl through her mother's blood to the cupboards to get canned apricots and tuna fish to feed their family. As the voice tormented them, Sara's anger fled, and she prayed for her mother's strength. Her mom had practically built this cabin, pieced together the walls from mill scraps, made the quilts they were huddled upon on the floor, canned the food that was keeping them alive, and shaped the cupboards where Sara had to get the food.
She couldn't let her dad go in there. If he moved in front of a window, they'd kill him, finish what they'd started outside the cabin. Sara sat up, her long, black hair in a ponytail, her eyes tender and puffy from crying, her lips drawn tight. It had been so long since she'd spoken in more than a whisper, and now she wanted to scream. She knew she should go to the kitchen, but she didn't want to get off the floor.
Beneath her -- where an open basement was framed with thick timbers -- Sara listened for the agents of Babylon, who had crawled under the cabin with their goddamn listening devices, trying to get any edge. She thought she heard their muffled whispers and wondered for a moment if they were really there. She wished she could yell at them or pound on the floor or something. She was just too tired. Too tired to crawl through the blood into the kitchen. Too tired to shield her dad when he stood in front of the windows. Too tired to rock the baby to sleep, to tend to Kevin's wound. For the first time, her fatigue seemed stronger than her anger, and she wished Yashua the Messiah would just come and end this suffering.
And so she prayed to Yahweh as her parents had taught, thanking Him for His blessings and asking for deliverance. Lying on the floor with what was left of her family, Sara Weaver looked across the long room at the bullet hole in the kitchen window and she prayed that they not be picked off one at a time anymore, that they be taken together to Paradise. She prayed that the evil agents of ZOG just get it over with. She prayed that they firebomb the house.
Along the denim curtains, across a narrow gully on an adjacent hillside, the barrel of a bolt-action, high-powered rifle traced the breadth of the cabin, looking for any movement. Behind the gun, a compact, muscular sniper watched the windows through a magnified, ten-power scope. Nothing. Lon Horiuchi knelt camouflaged...(Continues...)