Xander didn't have any trouble finding the others. Megan was minding the littles outside in the fresh air, teaching them how to play the games they'd never had the chance to: Hide and Seek, Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, Open Gates, Fruit Salad, Tag… They were right in the middle of a game of Open Gates when Xander came over, leaning against a tree and smiling.
"Hey Megan. Remy's called an Army meeting, can you finish up here and come up to Caine's room when you're done?"
Megan smiled at him, reaching up to pull a hand through her now-brushed hair.
"Yeah, of course! It feels so nice to have the sun on my skin though, can't we meet out here?" She took a deep breath of fresh air, tilting her face up to the warmth of the sun once more.
"Nah, Remy's orders. Do you know where everyone else is?"
"I saw Caine a few minutes ago,you just missed him. He was heading up to his room so maybe just knock on his door and make sure he knows that everyone will be there soon? I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'll get these up there in about five minutes."
Xander nodded and shot her another smile before walking away in search of Caine. After a bit of exploring he found the way indoors and was soon outside Caine's room. He knocked sharply, hearing the complete silence inside.
That didn't bode well. When Caine was in one of his silence-and-darkness moods that meant that something had gone wrong with Remy. It was no secret that they were incredibly close and when they fought it usually had bad consequences for everyone in The Army, with Caine's mood becoming stormy and Remy getting reckless.
Caine answered the door, revealing that the entire room was indeed dark. He was pale and his black hair was mussed as if he had been running his hands through it excessively.
"What the hell do you want?" His voice was rough and gravelly, almost as if he'd been crying.
"Um, Remy called a meeting and she wants us to meet here so…" Xander trailed off and Caine let out a growl of annoyance.
"Remy is being a complete and utter idiot at the moment so I'm not entirely sure why she's trying to make decisions for me. I'm only her second-in-command, but she's always given me a say before. I want to speak with her. Now."
At that exact moment Remy rounded the corner.
"Hey, what's going on? Xander, where are the others, I ran into Megan but nobody else."
"Oh, yeah, sorry. I'll get right on that."
Remy sighed. "You had one job Xander. One job. Go!"
Xander practically ran away from Remy, not wanting to make her angry. She was nice most of the time but when she was stressed… things generally got severe. Caine and Remy were left alone, glaring at each other.
"Caine, we're having a meeting here. We are having the meeting now. Get yourself ready, I won't ask you again."
"When you apologize for refusing to tell me your plans, attempting to change the fate of this world and storming off when you didn't get your way, I'll get the room ready."
"I will have a vote if you aren't careful Caine. We elected you into the position of second-in-command, I can have you removed. The others will agree. You know they will."
Caine looked at her in total shock. She had made him feel worthy, made him feel important. She couldn't just take it away!
"…What? Rem, I… You promised. You promised me that you wouldn't do that! You know how much this means to me!"
"Caine, I didn't do anything wrong! You're the one being unreasonable!"
"No I'm not! Just… please. Rem, don't do it. I'll do anything, you can have the meeting in here, I'll try to convince Lord Elrond to let you go, just-"
Caine was cut off by Remy tackling him to the floor with a hug. "I don't want to fight with you Caine, believe it or not."
Caine laughed and wrapped his arms around her. "Err, would you mind getting off me though? I mean, if the others arrive now…"
Remy blushed and scrambled off, brushing herself down and looking around Caine's room.
"You really did a number on this place didn't you?"
The small bedside table was knocked over, clothes were thrown everywhere and the drapes were pulled haphazardly to cut off all light. Remy pulled them back, letting the sunshine stream in. Both Remy and Caine winced. Caine stood the table back up and started picking up the clothes strewn around the room, tossing them into the wardrobe. He grabbed the blankets and pillows off his bed and placed them on the floor, setting up a small area for everyone to sit.
"Hey, do you think we could postpone the meeting for another few minutes? We should send someone down to the kitchen to-"
"No need!" Came the happy announcement from the doorway. Jasmine was standing next to Megan, Clem and Michael behind her. In her arms were all sorts of breads and meats, crackers, fruit… the works. She ran over to the blanket and arranged all of the foods neatly so that everyone would be able to access them from any angle.
"I got up super early this morning and one of the elf ladies helped me! She said that I'm really really good and that she could teach me to cook and…"
The girl rambled on until Brad and Samuel arrived, looking exhausted and sweaty.
"Sorry we're late, we were doing a bit of training." Samuel said, passing a hand across his forehead to brush away a few drops of sweat.
Finally Xander came in, Justin trailing behind. He looked in pain and he was walking stiffly, as if injured. Immediately Remy's mind jumped to the worst case scenario.
"Justin, what's wrong? Did you get bitten at home? What's happening?"
"What? No, no! I'm okay, I just overheated out in the sun. Oh, and Samuel tried to teach me to use a sword, that didn't go very well. I got a few bruises. You can calm down Remy, nobody's been bitten. We're safe."
Remy relaxed, taking a seat on one of the blankets. Everyone else took their seats and the meeting finally began.
"Okay, so as you guys know there's a lot to talk about. I'm sure some of you have read 'The Lord of the Rings'?"
Justin nodded eagerly, Samuel doing the same. Megan replied with a yes, Brad shrugged and said, "I watched the movies." This earned a glare from Justin. "Doesn't count." He muttered. Remy chose to ignore it. Finally, Michael looked up and nodded his head solemnly.
"So there are seven of us who know what's going to happen, counting Caine and I. Actually, you know what, six. Brad, you don't count."
"Oh come on! I still know what's gonna happen!"
"Shut up. So we need to decide what our part will be in this story. We can keep our mouths shut and have people turn on us for not warning them of the events about to occur or we can change things, which will damage the future. Or we can do something else. Any ideas?"
Xander looked at Remy, a happy sparkle in his eyes.
"Remy, we could help this world! We could travel around, use our skills to improve the lives of everyone here! Jasmine can teach them about cooking and different foods from our world, I can instruct them on how to build things with the materials we have here, Justin'll be able to talk about science and medicine and things like that… We can all do our part. There'll be a place for everyone and we can travel around, fix things, make this place better than ever. Think about it, the possibilities are endless!"
Remy glanced at Xander, a smile beginning to spread over her face. She looked at Caine, who was grinning like a maniac.
"That… would be fantastic, I'll admit. First of all, let's make sure that everyone will have a place in this, if we do go ahead with it."
After a great deal of conversation, they figured what part most people would play in the possible plan.
Megan had studied art and literature in the old world, so culture, acting and the arts would be her personal talent. Jasmine, cooking and baking. Xander, his mechanics and engineering. Brad was excellent at sports and knew a lot about fitness and healthy eating and diets. Justin was obsessed with science, medicine and technology.
Clem was raised speaking both French and English and though she had only been three when the apocalypse started, she had still retained much of her language skills. Remy had helped her with that. Remy herself didn't have the slightest clue what to do with herself and neither did Caine. Finally she settled on one of her passions, history, while Caine decided that martial arts were more his thing.
Nobody knew what Michael's skills were however, and since he hadn't spoken a word in the two years he'd been with the group, they weren't quite sure what to do. They didn't even know his age for god's sakes, never mind his talents. Finally, Megan spoke up.
"Michael? We need you to tell us what you can do. If you don't feel comfortable talking, I can get you some paper from my bag and you can write it-"
That word was the only thing that came from the boy's lips.
Michael was silent for a minute, thinking, before finally speaking again. His voice was weak from not speaking in so long but it got stronger with each word.
"I like writing poetry. And reading it. I know all of Shakespeare's sonnets. And I'm 10 years old too, in case you wanted to know."
His voice had a clearly upperclass London accent to it. It seemed odd coming from the small, shy boy sitting in front of them.
"Wow Michael… That's amazing! I can't believe you spoke, that's fantastic!" Megan exclaimed, moving to give the boy a hug. He pulled away, squirming angrily.
"Don't touch me. I don't like it."
There was a silence before Remy finally decided to cut in.
"Well then, since it seems that everyone can play a part, let's vote. Do we put Xander's plan into place?"
One by one, in order of rank in the group, people began to give the thumbs-up sign. First Remy, then Caine. Next was Megan, Justin, Samuel, Brad, Clem, Jasmine and finally Michael.
"Well then. I suggest we bring this idea to Lord Elrond as soon as possible and start our lessons."