3.9 New found freedoms

I’m now the mother of four very headstrong, lively young people.  It seems as though they were children for such a short while, but now they’re all growing up and have very strong ideas of what they want to become.

The girls were very excited about becoming teenagers.  They know that the older they get, the more permissions there are for them to do things in town, and now teenagers are allowed to spend time at places other than school and home the girls can’t wait to start exploring.

Kes tells me that she’s already decided what she wants to do with her life.  She has plenty of time to change her mind, and I keep telling her this, but she’s pretty headstrong and I’m not sure much will shake her when she’s made a decision.

She has decided to take on the role of house cook and she wants to become a qualified five-star chef.  I have told her how difficult it is to be trained to that standard, especially here where we only have tinned and dried goods to eat, and how hard my own father found it, but she is determined she can do it for the grandfather she never knew, for me and for herself – she has heard that in the before time people had a rich diet with lots of variety and flavour and she wants us to have the same.

Like Kes, Krillitane is making herself very useful around the house.  She’s a very intelligent and resourceful girl.

She’s fed up of things continually breaking and she’s always repairing them.  She tells me she wants to upgrade our sinks and toilets and showers so they will never break again.  I don’t know where she gets this from.  My own grandfather was good around the house but none of the rest of us have enojoyed that kind of work – repairing things is a neccessary evil to me, but Krillitane takes it in her stride.

Ilari and Jango, meanwhile, spend a lot of their time getting to know the people of our town.  Ilari is trying to spread the message about what she and her colleagues are trying to do in establishing a business infrastructure.  I wish her luck, I sometimes feel like an old luddite when she tries to tell me about it.  She and her colleagues are real visionaries and they completely believe the time is coming when other towns will open trade routes to us, when our skies are clear enough that we can be a completely open town.

Sometimes that thought frightens me.  I know it will be good for my children and grandchildren and all future generations to know the world beyond Riverview, but unlike my grandfather and father, this is all I have known.  This is my home, this is my environment.  I want it to be better; I have dedicated my life to that – but do I want it to change?  Do I want the outside world to be open?  I know I should, but I am scared of that possibility.  We know so little of your world, we don’t know how much it has changed since the days of our ancestors, and while Ilari and her friends may relish the challenge, it overwhelms me.  I have never expected it would happen in my lifetime, but Ilari’s confidence makes me wonder if it could.

There is so much change going on in this town at the moment.  I am really enjoying being able to go to the gym, and now we have finally opened our library.

My cousin Shana has worked so hard overseeing this project.  She really wanted to honour her parents and all they did for the education of our town.  She has achieved something spectacular.

The kids spend a lot of time in the library at the moment.  Kes wants to learn all about food from the before time.

Krillitane is reading manuals on how to upgrade our toilets, sinks and showers.  Jango mostly goes to chat to people and get to know the latest town gossip.  The boy has to know everything!

I can’t believe that we have managed to get the gym and library opened.  One day we will be able to open a gallery.  I can feel it.  I hope our parents and grandparents and all those who have gone before us can see what is happening, wherever they are.  I know they would be so proud of our town right now.

There is something even more important I have to tell you.

Tensions have been running high in the shelter for some time.  Eugene has been angry with Gaius over the disappearance of a friend of his.  Gaius kept trying to tell Eugene that in order to achieve his goal to take over the Alto mob and dismantle it, he had to do unpleasant things.  It has really hurt me to see my brother and husband squabbling.  I understand why Eugene is upset, yet I know Gaius has to do this.  I have been putting myself and my family at risk for some time, and it has been hard on all of us.

I have been worried about the effect working for the Altos has had on Gaius.  He has had to do some very nasty things as part of his job – I know, because sometimes I have had to deal with the fallout.  He broke down one night and admitted to me that there was something about the power he had that he found attractive.  He didn’t enjoy hurting people but he did enjoy people looking up to him.

He is afraid the desire for power will become too strong and he won’t be able to control it.  So he asked me a very difficult favour.

Gaius was indeed chosen to take over the running of the Alto mob.  He has achieved what he set out to do.  He immediately called for a stop on protection money being paid, and ordered a reprieve for local artists.  We are now allowed to hang paintings, read novels people have written and begin work on the gallery.  Artists can come out of hiding.  We no longer have to live in fear of thugs collecting protection money.

During his time working for the Altos, Gaius has spread his message to several members of the mob, and enough of them have supported his plans to usurp the power from within that it will be impossible for the elderly Alto brothers and their henchmen to regain their hold.  We as a force have been out arresting people, though I have tried to turn a blind eye towards Gaius’s closest colleagues.  The grip of that evil mob has been broken.  We have a new level of freedom.

Yet Gaius believes he should be punished for the atrocities he committed whilst working for the mob.  He asked me to arrest him, to let him serve his sentence.  He would claim I knew nothing until he confessed.  I offered to find him a safe place, as we did for Gloria, but he refused.  He feels he owes it to those he has done wrong by to receive his dues, and he owes it to himself to get away from the temptation of abusing his power.

And so I have had to make the hardest decision of my life, and put my brother in jail.  He is in a separate cell, away from the Altos and their henchman, and he will serve a much reduced sentence due to his penitence and to the fact that he has done something great for this town that far outweighs the damage he has done.

When he is released, we will both be old people.  I only hope prison will treat him well.  My little brother may have done bad things, but he has released our town into a great freedom, and I admire him as much as my mother, grandfather or any of those who have done seemingly more noble works for our town.  When our history is written, I hope no-one forgets what was won for us by my brother, Gaius Lazarus.

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9 Responses to “3.9 New found freedoms”

  1. […] 3.9 New found freedoms, the Lazaruses are making more breakthrough in their task to free Riverview from the […]

  2. Wow, this chapter really floored me; didn’t see that coming with Gaius at all! Congratulations to all of the Lazari on their achievements and thanks for the lovely Christmas gift.

  3. The library is open, how awesome!
    And the Alto mob has been infiltrated by Gaius. I’m so sorry that I doubted the guy – he really accomplished something great. It’s awful that he has to spend nearly the rest of his life in a prison cell and I hope it doesn’t weigh to heavily on Firefly.

    • Well, he should get out at some stage, he did get a reduced sentence. I think he will be OK – it’s not so great for teenagers to be around someone who did what he did and was seen to ‘get away with it’ so that was a factor in his decision.

  4. DB loves her Mac Says:

    Now that is a man! Nicely done, Gaius! Here’s to you!

    I hope Eugene can understand now, and that things will be better between him and Firefly now.

    Yay, another go at chefdom!

    • Well in my game he rolled to woohoo with her yesterday for the first time in a little while so I think they’ll be fine.

      Stupid chefdom. Still, she rolled the LTW very early on which was nice and now they can go to the library it helps (building cookery on one serving of hot dogs a day isn’t easy).

  5. moondaisy101 Says:

    Congratulations on writing such a powerful and bittersweet account of Gaius’ small lived but long lasting victory over the Altos clan!
    He is a hero and anit-hero rolled in one. In my opinion he deserves a statue! 🙂

    The Lazarus family is really on a roll now. The library will make such a difference to gaining all those skills! They are doing great!

    Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Rad. And thank you so much for this unique apocalypse story!

    • Hopefully you’ll see him again once he gets out of prison. They are indeed on a roll – and the library is essential for the last restrictions we need to lift.

  6. raquelaroden Says:

    Yay for the Lazarus clan! Poor Gaius, though–he sacrificed a large chunk of his life to win this freedom. I hope his time in prison isn’t too terrible.

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