The Freedom Uprising was coming.
John Peters had waited a long time for this. He could feel the anticipation building inside him, and he wished he could share it with someone other than Bobby Durham.
John glanced at his partner, perched silently in the passenger seat of the truck, arms crossed over his chest, supplies packed in at his feet. Bobby was okay, as partners went. Not exactly a strategic thinker, but he was a die-hard believer. He’d do whatever was necessary to complete the mission.
Still, John wished his half brother was here, the man who’d brought purpose to his life.
He lowered the window, let the familiar scents of dirt and pine and fresh snow creep into his nostrils as he drove. It was so close now. One more day in this place, and then he could move on, begin the mission.
If only he could be the one to end it, be there for the final target and see it with his own eyes, instead of just on the news. But he’d be the one to start things off. And they’d start off with a bang.
He smiled at the thought and felt Bobby’s curious gaze.
“Are you ready for this?” John asked.
“Damn right I am,” Bobby replied, his young voice full of boastful confidence.
“When we get back you’ll need to clear out your bunk. Everything goes.”
“I know. The maps, the guns, the supplies.” Bobby repeated John’s words from earlier. “I’ll get rid of everything. We’ll be set as soon as we’ve got the go-ahead.”
“Good.” Before they left, John would double-check, of course, and he’d empty his own bunk, too, although he never wrote anything down. He kept it all where it belonged, locked in his mind, where no one could accidentally discover it.
Never leave behind anything they can use.
The reminder ran through his head, but he didn’t need reminding. He’d been training for this mission all his life. He just hadn’t realized his true purpose until recently.
And his purpose was great. The lesson he would help teach this country was crucial.
“No one will suspect a thing till we get back.” Bobby’s words interrupted his thoughts.
John grunted noncommittally. Bobby was willing to die for the cause, but John knew the kid imagined himself returning a hero.
John was resigned to the truth. They’d never be coming back here. If they made it through their mission alive, they’d spend the rest of their days in hiding. But it would all be worth the sacrifice.
He pictured the final target, the one he’d never get to personally see, and he felt his anticipation shift into something hard and powerful and bigger than any one person.
He’d seen a video of the target once, from a long time ago, taken with a shaky old video camera. An elite group of men, so cocky and righteous. Standing on land that wasn’t theirs, using bullets to enforce their pretend authority.
He could almost see them now, still thinking they were untouchable. Thinking their bloody hands had somehow come clean.
They were wrong.
And soon, very soon, the whole world would know it.