Lance nodded and carried on buttoning up his confederate grey jacket. Chris gave Justin a look that screamed say something. Justin shrugged and slipped his own grey jacket on.
“Are you serious Bass?” Chris demanded to know. “We are really going to walk up to the front door of the presidential office and they are going to let us in; just like that.”
“That’s the plan,” Lance drawled his Mississippian accent more prominent.
“And this is going to work, why?” Chris all but screamed as he raked his fingers through his short Mohawk.
Behind him Private Giggs covered his eyes and slumped back against the jeep moaning under his breath over and over how they were all going to die. Lance shot him a look and the teenager shut up but he still groaned inwardly.
“It will work CK, trust me.”
“Trust you! Trust you? I don’t even know whose side you are on anymore. Justin this plan is madness.”
“If Lance thinks it will work I say we go for it.”
Giggs and Chris gaped open mouthed at the simple statement. “You’re as mad as he is!” Chris exclaimed.
Lance shoved a grey uniform into Chris Kirkpatrick’s hands. “It will work.” He insisted. “Just keep your mouth shut and let me do the talking. One word in that Pennsylvanian garble that you laughingly call an accent and we will all be done for.”
“Its madness bloody madness,” Chris muttered under his breath as he stripped off his union uniform and replaced it with the confederate grey. “And you know they can shoot us as spies for wearing their uniform don’t ya?”
“CK they’d shoot us anyway regardless of which uniform we are wearing. Now just quit bitching and get back in the jeep,” Justin sighed exasperated.
The four undercover soldiers shifted uncomfortably in their seats as they drove through the streets of Charlotte. So far they had been ignored but that was due to the fact that they hadn’t yet gone anywhere restricted, but that was about to change. In the middle of the road in front of them was a checkpoint filled with armed southern forces and beyond that was the mansion that housed the president of the Confederate States of America.
“Not a word,” Lance cautioned as they approached the barrier.
“Lieutenant Lance Bass reporting,” he said his accent thicker than butter as he handed over a pile of papers. “These are my men. Their paperwork is all in order I believe.”
The checkpoint guard went through the different sheets, before passing them on to his colleague. Painful moments passed as the passes were examined. Smiling the guard handed them back and his colleague lifted the barrier. “Welcome to Charlotte Lieutenant.”
Lance grinned back and pushed the passes back into his jacket. “Have a nice day soldier,” he said and then lent back and relaxed as Kirkpatrick started the jeep and drove into the confederate compound.
Chris pulled into a parking space and inhaled deeply.
“Nice and calm CK, nice and calm,” Lance said softly. “Just follow me; you are my guard, no one expects you to say anything.”
They entered the building unchallenged and made their way deeper into the mansion.
Joshua sat in his tent plaiting his hair. He had sent Boris away early as he was tired and wanted to be alone for once. He sighed sadly as he stared at his reflection in the mirror.
“Where are you Justin?” he whispered. “Come save me, please.”
Joshua spun around and clamped his hand over his mouth to stop himself from crying out.
“Is Justin your husband, the big man with the beard that spends so much time with you?”
“Father,” Joshua gasped. “Why are you here?”
“You are my son.” General Chasez said stepping closer. “I’ve come to take you home precious child.”
Joshua backed away a step. “I’m happy in the north father. They will let me keep my baby. I don’t want to go back with you .please don’t send me to a breeding farm.”
General Chasez smiled caringly and reached out stroking his son’s face tenderly. “You were never going to a farm my precious. I always had plans for you.”
“No words my darling; I will take care of you now.”
Joshua gave a small sob and rubbed his face into his father’s hand. “I love you,” he whispered then backed away as far as he could. “Go father; go now while you still can.”
Chasez held out his hand. “Come child, let me look after you.”
Joshua shook his head. “No father. My life is with the union now. I’m safe with them. Please leave, before it’s too late.”
“It’s already too late Joshua.”
General Chasez spun around his hand reaching for his gun.
“I wouldn’t do that general. It would be very bad for Joshua and the baby if we had to kill you in front of him.” Captain Fatone stood in the entrance way, four armed men pointing their rifles at the southern general.
“A trap; how could you use a pregnant boy, your husband, to capture his father? I pity Joshua married to such northern trash.”
Joe Fatone laughed loudly. “Joshua isn’t my husband, he belongs to another but I believe you do know my own sweet lover.”
Chasez grunted, “I doubt that very much.”
“I’ll pass your regards on to Lance when I see him shall I?” Joey took great pleasure in seeing the realisation and horror sweep over his enemy’s face. “Take him away boys.”
“Captain, let me say goodbye to my son.”
Joe glared at the general, common sense told him not to trust the man but the pleading look on Joshua's face softened his heart. “You have two minutes general; try anything funny and I will not hesitate to shoot you.”
Chasez stood up straight tall and proud. “You have my word as a confederate gentleman sir. Once I have said goodbye to my precious I will come with you without resistance.”
The general stepped up to Joshua and stroked his face once more, brushing his thumb over his plush lips. “You are so beautiful Joshua. You have always been my entire world. I have waited all my life to be able to do this.” Joshua's father gathered him into his arms and hugged him tightly, his fingers stroking his hair as he planted a kiss on his forehead.
Overcome by the intimate contact from the man he had most loved and trusted Joshua hid his face in his fathers neck and began to cry, clinging on to him for dear life.
“I love you daddy, I love you. I love you.”
“I know you do precious and I love you. This Justin; he loves you?”
Joshua nodded, hiccupping as he tried to compose himself once more.
General Chasez took his tear stained face in his hands and thumbed away the worse of the tears .he kissed Joshua's mouth softly.
“What will happen to you daddy?”
“Military prison.” Chasez bit his lip then met his son’s loving eyes. “Will you visit me?” he asked hopefully.
Joshua nodded and choked back a sob as his father was pulled away from him and led away. Joey hovered no more than an arms reach from the pregnant breeder in case he was to swoon and fall.
“Joshua, do you need a doctor?”
Joshua shook his head and scrubbed his tears away. “You think I’m foolish to love him so much.”
Joe took the pregnant man by his shoulders and sat him on a chair, crouching down between his legs so that he was eye level to him still. “He is your father, regardless of what ever I may think of him. His blood runs through your veins, you are the man you are today because of him. And he does love you Joshua. He knew coming here was risky but he wanted to, needed to see you and tell you how much you meant to him.”
“He won’t … you won’t execute him will you?”
“No he will stand trial and he will go to prison, at least until the war ends.”
“Will the war ever end Joey?”
“I don’t know Josh. Steps are being taken, wheels are in motion. All we can do is wait and pray.”
Joshua breathed in deeply and released the breath slowly as he reached a decision. “I want to go home Joe.”
Joey nodded in agreement. “I’ll make the arrangements.”
Seven men sat around a round table in the circular office and three guards stood to attention watching. The war was at a stalemate. For all of the raids that they had rained down on Madison the north hadn’t crumbled as they had been expected to. It was time for the next step, the ultimate step, the ultimate weapon that would wipe their enemy from the face of the world.
The President stood up. He was a weasely little man with long sideburns and a hooked nose.
“Gentlemen it is time to decide do we use the nuclear weapon or do we endure this war for another 100 years?”
“Mr. President to use the weapon would not only destroy the north but it would take out the states that border it too.” The advisor sitting nearest to the president pointed out.
“Acceptable losses Mr. President,” the general that was sitting to the presidents left said.
“Tell that to the men living in those states. And what of the breeders that are posted there, are they reasonable losses too?” the first advisor snapped.
The general clenched his fist slamming it into the table. “How many men have died since the war started? How many more will die from prolonging the war. Acting now will end the war completely and give us a chance to rebuild our country.”
“Without breeders we are a doomed race Mr. president,” the first advisor said quietly. “There are hundreds still incarcerated in the bordering states. Do we add them to our losses too?”
“Cattle can be replaced Mr. President. We have done it before,” the general quipped back sharply.
The president sighed. “The virus that wiped out the female population should never have been allowed. It was a tactical mistake made by the southern government to instil hatred in the southern people’s hearts against the north. Our saving grace was that we had already begun our breeding program. It was a hard time for our sons to endure I would not like to have to subject our children to that again.” The president took a sip of a glass of water that sat on the table before him. “How long would it take to relocate all the breeding stock to Louisiana?”
“Two weeks Mr. President, three at the most,” the first advisor said excitedly.
“You have two.”
The doors to the circular office burst open and rapid but muffled shots rang out and the guards fell to the ground dead. The general jumped to his feet reaching for his side arm and found himself looking down the barrel of a rifle held by a short stocky man sporting a Mohawk.
“Sit down general,” the soldier snapped.
Lance rested his rifle against his shoulder and walked up to the table.
“Good evening Mr. President,” he said smugly.