Read part 1 and 2 here:
Action: Part 3
“So, Empathy, tell us about yourself.” Voice said.
“Well, I’m thirteen years old and I’m the daughter of a king. Although I always knew I didn’t belong as a Princess. I believe in destiny and believe that being an activist is mine.” I said earnestly
“I’m a good and fast runner and I can hide as well as any animal. I speak many languages, am skilled in medicine making and nursing and I’m used to the desert heat and sun. I go for daily walks and I know the land well. I can sniff out a storm from miles away and I know which plants are edible and which are poisonous.”
These words all came out in such a fast stream that Voice put his hand on my arm and laughed gently. “Don’t worry, Empathy. We don’t judge you by this, but by your character. And we all see that you have a kind, compassionate, honest heart. So it doesn’t matter if you’re the most useless soldier in the land, we’d have you by our sides in any fight.”
Amnesty hadn’t said a word since I had arrived, but now she came up to me and grasped my hands in hers, they were rough and I could see scars on her beautiful, young face. ” Do you think you can help Equal?” she asked, hopefully. She looked at me with such pleading, distressed eyes. ” I think so.” I said. Liberty beckoned for me to join her at his bedside. I pulled my hands gently from Amnesty’s, she seemed reluctant to let go.
I went and put my hand on Equal’s head, it was burning hot. “He has a fever.” I confirmed. ” Amnesty, will you give Equal some water please. Just drip it onto his lips, they look very dry.” I lifted the bed sheets from over his legs and saw the thick, white bandage. I looked at the others. “May I?” “Go ahead” said Voice. “Do whatever you need to do to make him well again.”
Gingerly I peeled back the bandage to reveal a nasty, inflamed wound. I looked to Liberty for an explanation. “It was three days ago, the day before we came here.” she said, biting her lip in pain at the memory. ” We were standing in the square in our home village. Amnesty had just delivered the most moving, inspiring speech. The crowd was cheering, I guess some rebels must have been patrolling nearby. Suddenly five men on horseback charged into the square, wielding swords and other weapons. The crowd scattered, leaving a direct path to us. ‘Stand your ground!’ I cried. ‘ Stand your ground, Action!” Liberty’s eyebrows quivered in anger. ” The horsemen split up, two went tearing towards the villagers, who screamed and fled in terror. One headed for where Voice and Amnesty were standing. They too ran, shouting for Equal and I to follow. I shook him, yelled at him, but he wasn’t coming. The men were almost upon us. I ran, sobbing, to safety, from there I watched the man, laughing, slash out at Equals leg with his sword. He sheathed it and they rode off with a peal of evil laughter. It still sounds in my head now, a reminder of why we need to fight. This is no French Revolution, no oppressed rising against their tormentors, this is people who want to dictate, who wish to become the oppressors, the tormentors, the tyrants. This is not good fighting for power over evil, it is the other way around.”
I was silent for a while. Finally I spoke. “Liberty, I need some herbs for that wound. Will you come and get them with me?” “I will, Empathy.”Liberty smoothed down her hair and composed herself. Amnesty smiled at me as I went past her. “Thank you, Sister.” she said.