A young woman is taken from the only family she has ever known and thrust into the War against the Indian Tribes of the US. Her family is killed so that she can be used as an intricate part of the War, a tool to destroy all the Indians. Not knowing who she really is or what she is capable of, she learns that she is to be the end of the Indians. What happens when she escapes on the back of a stolen horse? Will she find herself in the middle of Indian Territory with no means of surviving? And what happens when the Tribes are asked to keep a look out for her and give her back if they encounter her? Will she show her true colors? Are there others like her, children taken from their families to do the Army's nasty bidding? Will they stand together and take on the Army as one? Will the Tribes align with the children? Or will they scatter to the farthest reaches of Indian Country?
My family called me Arcadia. I did not have a last name that I knew of, just the name my family gave me. They said that I would be an asset to the world and that I would outlive them, though I think they were just trying to scare me. I was kept away from the world, in a little room all to myself. They kept me hidden from even our neighbors for fear that I would be taken from them. When I got older, they told me that I wasn't biologically their daughter, that I had been given to them to keep safe, that I would be the savior to a world in terrible danger of being overrun. The book that was given to me was for me to learn about who and what I really was. That book kept my hope alive that one day I would be able to leave my room and explore the outside world. But I did not know that it wouldn't be with the family that had raised me.
When I was twelve, the Army showed up and entered the house. I was still in my room so I did not know what was to conspire, but I did hear the screams of my family members that had been eating dinner upstairs. For you see, my room resided under the rug in the living room, what you might call a basement or cellar nowadays. I kept quiet, but got ready to leave as soon as I knew it was safe to do so. I packed my book and what precious items my parents had me keep safe, including all the money that they had collected for my future into my side bag (think side backpacks; only backpacks didn't exist in the late 1700's). I also put some socks and undergarments as well as my brush and hair ties in the bag. I stayed as quiet as I could, staying on the carpet that covered my floor. I stuffed fruits and vegetables into another side-bag and a couple of canteens of water.
As I was putting on one of my father's old coats, I heard footsteps just above my head. I knew that they had found the door to my room. I grabbed both of my bags, tying the tops tight so nothing could be taken from me and slipped my shoes onto my feet, tying them as tight as possible, knowing that if they fell off, I would not be able to get them back on. In a last effort to be prepared, I untied one of my bags and stuffed in a handful of candles and a couple boxes of matches, then retied the top of the bag. They would not take me without what I believed to be my most sacred possessions. When the door was thrown open and a torch was shown down into the shadows, an order from someone told me to exit the room immediately. I did as I was told.
As I climbed the stairs and came to rest at the top of the steps, I saw what the soldiers had done to my family. I knew that I would no longer live with them and was marched passed my dead family, tears streaming down my face and out into the open. Our livestock had been left to meander around the farm. I prayed that they would be taken in by the Indian Tribe that moved passed our farm on the way to their Summer Village. I prayed that they would bury my family as they had been asked if something were to ever befall them. And I prayed that they would realize that someone had been taken and might come looking. For I had made friends with the Chief's daughter on the one time I had been let out into the world. I had seen my parents talking to the Chief and explaining why I was hardly seen and I have seen the awe on the Chief's face as my parents told him about me. They had never told me about my powers or what I was truly destined for, only that I would be needed one day to fulfill a prophecy. Maybe that's why the Army soldiers decided to attack my family and take me hostage. They knew about the prophecy that foretold of someone like me coming into the world and they were going to use it against their enemies. But the only enemy I knew the Army to have was the Indians and I did not want to see my friends killed for something they had done nothing to deserve. Would I be able to save my friends and their families? Or would the Army win after all?
Those questions circled my head as I was placed onto the back of a horse, hands tied in front of me, holding onto the horn of the saddle. The soldiers did not try to take my bags from me as I thought they would have done. They obviously had order not to harm me, which I did not know the reason to at the moment. I only hoped that if I had the chance to escape, I would do so with my bags intact and everything I owned inside. The soldiers mounted their horses and move out, with me in the middle of the company. We did not know it at the time, but we were being watched and it wasn't by someone the soldiers wanted to be watched by. Unbeknownst to my, the tribe my family was on friendly terms with had sent a couple scouts ahead to see if it was safe to cross our land. Those scouts were now watching as I was taken from my family and they had heard the death of my family as well. They would report back to the tribe about what had happened and they would do what they could to get me back. But neither the tribe nor the soldiers truly knew what they were in for. They did not know how powerful I was nor did they know just how powerful I would become. For I was not the only on that they had taken, but I would be the downfall of the largest Army in the world.
Chapt.2: Fate Uncertain:
We traveled for nearly two weeks to get to our destination. Along the way, we stopped to gather more soldiers and the conquests of the missions that they had been on. All had children on horses in tow. And all the children seemed to possess something the Army was looking for; they just didn't know it at the time. I became friends with three of the children, though the soldiers did not like it at the time. They told us that we would be separated as soon as we reached our destination. And I made a note to stay in touch with my friends. And that was when I learned of one of the many gifts that I possessed and which the Army was now in possession of. I could hear the thoughts of my new friends and our captors, and I could talk to them through my own thoughts. My new friends kept what I was telling them a secret for they knew that if the soldiers knew that I was telepathic, they would kill me on sight.
As more and more soldiers and captives joined the company headed for any unknown location, more and more Indian scouts began trailing the soldiers, wondering why the Army was kidnapping English Children and what it would mean for the future of all Indian peoples. With my telepathic abilities, I was able to seek out the minds of the Indians following the Army Company and know that they planned an attack for the coming night to try and free the children that had been taken. I sought out a mind that I knew and took it over at one of the meetings the scouts were having. They were discussing who to attack and when. Having taken over the Indian's mind, I ordered him to stand and that was when I began talking through him. I told them that the attack would not work as the soldiers were heavily armed and aware that they were being followed. The soldiers had guards awake all night. The Indians would be caught and killed. I pleaded with them to not attack until the time was right. An Indian I did not know asked who I was and I told him. I was Arcadia and I was telepathic, could take over the minds of people I hardly knew if I wanted to and warn people. I was Arcadia, friends of Snake Maiden, a Chief's daughter.
I let the mind go and fell into a deep sleep. When morning came, I knew that the Indian's had backed off for now. I sought out the mind I had taken over the night before and understood that I had been listened to, for now. But if it came down to it, the scouts would attack and take back as many children as necessary. I also came to understand that the other scouts had asked the Indian who I was and he had explained that I had been the hidden daughter of a white family the tribe had come to know as friends. My family was killed so the soldiers could gain access to me. I told him to tell Snake Maiden that I would return to her as soon as I could, with as many children as I could. A war was coming and the Indians would play a part in it that they knew nothing about, so would the other children. I let go of his mind and meandered back to the present where one of the soldiers that took me was prodding me awake. All of my stuff was still on me as I refused to let them take it from me even in sleep, sleeping with the bags underneath my body.
I was placed back upon the horse I had been set on that first day at my home. We headed out shortly after dawn, having been given only a couple pieces of stale jerky to chew on. We were nearing our destination, that much I did know. What I did not know was what would happen to us once we reached our destination. None of us knew our fate, nor did we want to guess at what they had in store for us, we were too afraid that they might just kill us once we reached our destination and be done with the bother of us. I was wrong of course, but I was not to know that until we reached our destination, which would be at the end of the week by the looks on the soldiers' faces.
Chapt.3: The City of Lions:
As the procession of soldiers and children entered the mysterious city, we looked about our new surroundings. The soldiers seemed glad to be back after such an arduous mission and as soon as they had handed us children over to the people that had ordered us taken, they left the compound and joined their families. I looked at one of the soldiers that had taken me from my family and saw guilt. He truly felt sorry for what he had done and I would use that to my advantage when the time came. As we were removed from our horses and taken to a strange building, I looked around at the many faces that now watched our March. The women and children felt pity. There was no reason in their minds that the Army should be taking white children and killing the families at the same time. But they too eventually looked away and went back into their wood houses.
We were moved into a huge building and made to stand in a line along the center of the room. There, we were told to remove our possessions that we had brought with us, that we would not be needing them anymore. But being children, we did not listen. Instead, I stepped forwards and looked at the man that looked to be the leader. I looked him straight in the eye and then said, "Who are you to tell us what to do? Who are you to murder our families and kidnap us in the middle of the night? We will keep our possessions with us. And if you do not like that, go bite a bullet!"
The doctor came up to me, then looked around at the rest of the children. His eyes told me all that I needed to know. He was being ordered to do everything he didn't want to do. His eyes betrayed him. And there was also shock on his face when I said that our families had been murdered to get to us. When he spoke, it was much calmer, "You may keep your belongings. The soldiers were told NOT to harm the families of the children that they took. They were told to pay them off. If this is all you have left of your families, then, yes, you can keep it. The soldiers that did the killing will be dealt with later."
With that, he stepped back and ordered the nurses to take us to our rooms. Each of us got a separate room and we got a room all to ourselves. We would live here now. The nurse explained that this was a hospital and that all the children needed to be quarantined. But I knew better. We were going to be experimented on. We were going to be used for something that nobody should ever have to go through. They were going to try to break us, bend us to their will and destroy our very souls. The nurse left my room and locked the door on the way our, as if a locked door could keep me from harming them if I really wanted to.