Please Note: I realize there are many grammar mistakes...I didn't want to fix the edits my teacher told me to make, I am DONE with school just too tired honestly right now. Work is very busy and I get tired fast (I'm a lifeguard)

Also...this was a school paper, I HAD to write (she let us have fun with it, obviously though)... this is why I didn't update my other stories...those are now being worked on. I hope any readers will read those XD and enjoy them, always remember to review, fav. follow, you never know the difference you may make in some ones day, or life! Critiques, hints, ideas are accepted with OPEN ARMS!

I hope you all enjoy, and are not too mad at me for not posting my or. AR fic. I do have a Beta now, for the Op. Civ. AR fic, SavSilvy...I look forward to working with her!


Children and Men;




It was dark. Suspended in the air was a thick layer of volatile dread. Red glow flickered in the fog and voices came out in varying volumes. Mud was plastered thick against the young boy's arms and legs, surrounding him in bleak desolation. He looked up and saw nothing, he looked around and saw death. His brown eyes were heavy with flashbacks, his once fair-hair now matted down to his forehead with a sheen of sweat. It was as though he had been transported to the center of a battlefield; and that he was.

The fair-haired boy stared out the window, his dark brown eyes watching listlessly as the cars drove past their English classroom at Brookland Comprehensive. He had just come back from the hospital after a mission gone south, (per usual) in the Polynesian islands two days ago; and demanded to be allowed back in school, as he would not sit around after missing half his third year already. He argued for a good two hours with Mrs. Jones (head of MI6) until they compromised on him being allowed to go to school under the agreement that Alex would willingly complete the next mission given by them. As much as it irked Alex to agree to work again, he needed to graduate high school, and if this was the only way, so be it.

Not that he had much of a choice, ever sense his uncle Ian's death two years previously; when he was fourteen, Alex had been blackmailed into doing British Military Intelligence Sector 6's dirty work. Upon completing all 9 missions he was forced into, MI6 discovered, along with many other intelligence agency's around the world; that Alex was just too valuable to lose. They forget or rather, choose not to remember that he is a teenager, or that he is in school still. He can take down the world's most leading criminal organizations; as he had and still does. He even has the scars to prove it.

The boy clenched his fist around the plain orange pencil he's holding and grits his teeth, setting his eyes in front to the teacher pacing the room. She is in the middle of a very animated discussion on their new book, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane; an interesting book on the physiological aspect of warfare. It hits much too close to home for Alex. The teacher herself is very good at what she does, her short blonde hair stops at her shoulder, with her green eyes shining in constant mirth. She is quite possibly Alex's favorite teacher, certainly the nicest. She stays out of his business and he respects her for that; as many teacher find themselves questioning his behavior often. He isn't a trouble maker by any means, just too quiet and distant to them; his eyes too deep and dead for what a sixteen-year old eyes should look like.

These musings continued until the shrill sound of a bell announced the end of the school day. Standing up, he slung his backpack over his right shoulder and brushed his unruly hair from his eyes. He had to come into the bank today (MI6 HQ) to debrief fully on the mission. He had given a brief report earlier, but was too exhausted to continue in depth. This one was supposed to be new and interesting, as Smithers (gadget guy) stated; spiking Alex's curiosity to the point of near anticipation for the job. He couldn't say he was truly excited, he still despised their illegal employment of his person and the fact that they will not allow him to quit until he is a legal adult. He still couldn't understand why his uncle would put him in the guardianship of a government intelligence agency, being a spy you'd think he would have some foresight on the fact they would use him; especially when he had been trained sense four in multiple martial arts and several languages along with pickpocketing and other useful skills like that.

He scowled as he came to Liverpool street and the Royal and General Bank and Trust loomed in his front vision, hiding in plain sight; perfectly MI6. He turned to scan the surrounding buildings before he came closer, not wanting a repeat to two years past when he nearly died after an assassination attempt on his life had ended in his bleeding out with a bullet in his chest and being sent on a mission not a week after…landing him in space…but let's not go there, that's a long story. Alex grimaced and walked through the revolving doors, trying to shake away that familiar twinge two centimeters above his heart. He walked past the receptionist's desks and straight to the elevator, knowing they would recognize him and dismiss security. As he made his way up to Jones office he mentally prepared himself for a physically and semi-mentally long week. He never thought it would be as psychological demanding as it was.

…two days later…...

It was two days ago that Smithers had showed Alex the machine he had been working on, it was strange looking but Alex hadn't thought much of it; as Smithers said it would be unworkable for many years yet. That was until he saw the bright flash of light and then blackness. Now that he thought back to it, he had just come back from Jones' office from the mission briefing; it was a strange one, she had told him to go to Smithers for the gadgets, but she did not truly specify where he was going. She said he would know when he got there, he didn't like that answer. His objective was the retrieval of a piece of information that was collected by an older-aged spy; only this spy had left his mission for an unstated cause, so Alex had to finish the job.

That was two days ago.

It was dark. Suspended in the air was a thick layer of volatile dread. Red glow flickered in the fog and voices came out in varying volumes. Mud was plastered thick against the young boy's arms and legs, surrounding him in bleak desolation. He looked up and saw nothing, he looked around and saw death. His brown eyes were heavy with flashbacks, his once fair-hair now matted down to his forehead with a sheen of sweat. It was as though he had been transported to the center of a battlefield; and that he was.

The soldiers saw the lean and lithe figure stand up from where he was previously laying prone on the ground. They noticed he wore a strange uniform, one of neither side of the battle; which confused them and concerned them greatly. It wasn't until one of them decided to risk it and approach the young man that they realized he wasn't from around there. His hair and his bearing showed a foreign distinction; of which they could not place. It wouldn't be fair to state that Alex didn't cover well, saying that he had absolutely no idea where, or when he was. Nobody in this year had wars with muskets and flag bearers and plain cloth uniforms. That may begin to explain the flashing light… Bloody 'ell, what wasthat thing?

He seemed to come back to his senses after hearing the soldiers impending approach. He stood up when he saw them, then when one came closer to investigate he noted the apprehensiveness of the gesture and moved his hands up into a surrender position. Not knowing the situation made him more willing to be cautious, at least more than usual. He took in their appearance and their bearing, analyzing their weaknesses and strengths in order to successfully take down any threats. He took into consideration the guns slung over their shoulders haphazardly, and the mud staining their uniforms. It looked as though they had just been digging trenches or huts for themselves. They must be tired, already exhausted to the point of which they didn't have full awareness of their surrounding; just by the fact that they hadn't pulled their guns on him, any person these days would've already killed him.

The man that had come first up to Alex was a young boy, he looked very small and scared; uneasy, perhaps in doubt. It remined him of himself two years ago, on his first mission; when he was about to be killed, and was staring into the eyes of the sadist that held him captive. Alex hated that feeling and decided immediately to help this young boy when he could.

The young boy had taken a liking to him quickly, along with the boy's own friend, Jim Conklin. They ended up conversing on the matters of running or staying; Alex could see this was the foremost thought on, as he had just found out his name, Henry's mind. Alex had to snort and disparage the idea of Jim 'knowing everything', and that the fact that their regiment would continue fighting was an out of this world notion to him, he was enraged by the fact that he could even think they would stay. They squabbled for a good time until Henry broke it with a question of his own,

"Do you think you might run yourself, Jim?"

Jim answered well, which surprised me immensely; leaving me with an unintelligible acknowledgement of, 'huh.' It left me to think longer about the true thoughts in one mind, and the choices men make. I respected Jim for his honesty, saying he would run if it came to it, I showed sanity and realistic way of thinking.

The men decided not to ask me about my clothing, which I was silently grateful for. I could see their eyes boring into my back though, questions just lurking on the tips of their tongues, he couldn't blame them though; he would certainly want to know why a strange man just appeared in strange clothes in the middle of a battlefield. He was just waiting for a moment alone so he could read the letter given to him by Jones before he left. He was sure that would state the rest of his mission and where the heck he was. This is what confused Alex most, nowhere in the world (and he was forced to know every country and their politics) was there a war like this. He sighed and rubbed his hand through his hair as he trudged through the thick slop. It's like a day at Brecon Beacons. Wow, I'm even starting to missthose days. Alex shuddered as he thought back to the grueling SAS training he goes through each year with his unit. (K Unit.) He certainly did not miss those weeks. In fact, he had just finished training before his last mission.

He stopped walking when he felt the bodies around him pause. He looked up and noticed a camp looming in their path. I suppose this would be where they would stay…you know, maybe I'm just dreaming. Alex laughed at his nonsense thinking and excused himself in order to relieve nature. After saying a quick bye to his friends, he walked away from the group and opened the envelope. The letter went as follows:


I apologize for sending you in like this, I understand that must be irritating. I couldn't tell you here what and where you are going, due to security. I am afraid bugs may be placed around and cannot risk this information getting into the wrong hands. The machine Smithers showed you was in fact a, for lack of better word, time machine. It has brought you to the time of the American Civil War. More particularly, during the events of the Red Badge of Courage.Though this book was known to be a work of fiction, it was in fact a true story told in the perspective of one of our agents. This agent being the one you are retrieving the information from. It is your job to find this agent and retrieve the information, and return it to me before any disaster happens. It is imperative you get this to MI6 ASAP. I cannot reveal who this man is, he will find you I am sure. The name you must take is given on the back of this sheet; what you do with this cover is up to you. Come back safely, I wish you luck. I am sorry for this Alex, I never agreed with Blunts ways of doing things. (*blunt was prev. head of MI6, Jones was his deputy, he was the one who originally blackmailed Alex. Jones continues albeit more reluctantly.)

Alex just stared at the sheet of white paper in his hand, the whiteness of it blinding compared to his beak surroundings. He couldn't believe it, he was thrown to the past, by two-hundred years. Of all the crazy stuff he has seen, this tops it all. His mind was still reeling as he made his way back into camp and to his friend's sides once again. It was Henry's question that brought him back to reality (he was beginning to wonder what reality actually was at this point…) and made his mind stop whirling. He answered absentmindedly,

"My name is Wilson."

Alex soon found himself supplied with a soldier's uniform, by way still unknown to Alex though he only assumed the army would take anyone they could get. He was also given a musket. The night had settled into a quiet field of disarray. The days past swiftly with little to no action, they were actually rather boring; but Alex was anticipating the fight. To be away from spying and actually be in a war, like he was trained at the SAS camp and other military organizations, he couldn't help but be a bit excited. So much so that, when he was walking and was called over by Henry he couldn't help but gleefully smile and state how they will lick them like no other.

It was rather amazing thought Henry, how one could go from ridiculing the fact that Jim thought no one would run, to saying how their regiment will beat the enemy in one go. He shook his head and added it to the ever-growing pile of mystery that was war and Wilson. He didn't really care to think about anything like that right now; he had his own problems to consider.

Alex meanwhile continued pacing in anticipation for the fight, the days of still had gnawed at him immensely. Such was his vigor that Henry became bitter and commented on this. It made Alex stop to think over his actions, and then state with dignity; "I don't know. I s'pose I'll do as well as the rest. I'm going to try like thunder." And that was the truth, he would try; try like he tries for every mission. Suddenly he scoffed, as Henry asked him if he would run; what a foreign notion, Alex had never run, even through the worst of the missions. He answered negatively, he wasn't a proud person; but he knew he wouldn't run from this fight. He had finally had enough of Henry's bad attitude and walked away indignantly, gosh, how he reminds me of Tom (Alex friend from home). And goodness, I wish Jones had warned me on how I had to talk, this is harder than it looks reading the book!

The next day came and went; Jim, Henry and Wilson sharing a last dinner together before the battle. An immense difference hung around Wilson as he approached them that night. It was as though the fire of his soul from days previously had burnt out and was replaced by a cold hunk of coal. He was pale and distant, Henry noted. Again, he tossed this aside as nerves for the impending battle and continued talking and eating.

Alex had previously retrieved his missions object from the lieutenant, who happened to be a spy during that time for MI6; come to think of it, that was rather odd that MI6 existed back then, but, hey, I mean, they are a secret government agency so who knows… and gotten intel from him on the enemies' advances, and their minimal chance of escape. Alex knew he wasn't coming home this time; after surviving all the suicidal missions he was sent on, he knew this would be his last. He was okay with that, at least he would die for a good cause. So, trying to lighten his mood he contented himself with the thought that, if Henry followed through with his request and returned the envelope to his 'home' his 100% success rate would remain intact. He felt slightly amused at his proud sense of humor, he wasn't proud of his success rate; he was forced, he only despised them. It was false light though, Alex mourned for the normal life he never had, he selfishly (as he thought) cried at the fact that he couldn't ever have a girlfriend or get married, have kids and get a normal job. Little things that he would never do, because MI6 illegally blackmailed him at 14.


That next night when the battle was about to begin Alex approached Henry and grasped his shoulder. He handed him a yellow envelope with instructions on where to send it. Alex knew it would make it back to MI6 from there. He said they were his belongings to be sent to his parents; they might as well be his parents, after all, it was because of MI6 that his parents were killed when he was not even one year old. Alex sighed and looked into Henry's eyes, he knew his request would be granted; the mission wouldn't be for not. He raised his hand and walked silently away.


Death did not take Alex that day, nor the next or the next. He was silently thankful; though much was taken from him in his young life, he learned he still had things to live for, like Tom and Sabina. He wandered, walking through the remains of battle in search for, well, anything. Life, hope, humanity. It seemed to have all but disappeared.

The nights after the battle were times of regrouping, soldiers returned from the skirmish battered and bruised. Wilson stood there guarding the posts of the regiment camp, gun in hand. His head stung from an earlier wound, but it wasn't the worst he had experienced. His day had begun to look a whole lot better when a young voice came querying. Henry was back, alive! Alex, being overjoyed, took over the care of the young and injured soldier that night; happy to have a good friend back.


They shared news of the battle, both victory and tragedy. The emotions were rather subdued due to the still battle-shocked-minds, until Alex gave in and started sobbing, the feeling was new to him; having someone care for him. Henry had listened and they both grew from this talk and became better men and carried a self-confidence about them that would hold importance in latter times.


Their prowess in war grew, almost insatiably, Henry grew to hate with deep loathing until he scared himself with the compliments of his ferocity being thrown his way. A fear settled in his stomach, was he becoming a monster? -

Later that day, when Wilson and Henry were resting they overheard talk of an imminent charge. They tried, hopelessly, to inform the others of it; but they didn't believe it. The friends looked at each other and prepared themselves for one more fight.


They charged in shouting, soon separated. Henry took up the cries and pounded forward, eager for victory. He would not run, not this time.

He pushed away the Lieutenant that tried to break his surge and shouted once again to push forward. His voice cried out in the great volumes to continue on, as his legs pushed ever further into the fray. His eyes were locked onto the creation of beauty and invulnerability. The goddess, radiant, bending form that had an imperious gesture, luring him to it. Red and white it called to him in hope. In the mad scramble the color sergeant flinched suddenly, as if struck by a bludgeon. He faltered, and then became motionless, save for his quivering knees.

Henry made a mad spring and clutch at the pole. At the same instant Wilson grabbed it from the other side. They jerked at it, stout and furious but the sergeant would not relinquish its trust. The battle persevered until at last they wrenched the flag from his hand and raised it up from the falling position.


Henry was empowered, he overcame his greatest dilemma, he had not run away from the fight. Alex had overcome the despair that had filled him sense his house-keepers' assassination and the terror from his last mission; he was free once again. Henry and Alex had become friends through blood, and until their blood ran, they would be friends.


It was the moments before the last charge that Alex once again made his way up to Henry; albeit in greater, yet somber, humor. He couldn't help but add a joke as he said a goodbye to his friend.

"Well, Henry, I guess this is goodbye-John."

Henry riled up at him and snapped, "Oh, shut up, you damned fool!" They deigned not to look at each other.

They had been praised, mocked, scorned, and they had been commended alike that day. Many of the comments and jeers about them and their regiment made Alex's blood boil, the general he compared to Blunt, a crazy lunk-head. He was soon appeased after a group of soldiers had come up to them to restate what the colonel had said to the lieutenant; Bloody ell we were even praised as should-be generals. Alex marveled. Even the colonel's description of his charge made him grin, "'he an' a feller named Wilson was at th' head 'a th' charge, an' howlin' like Indians all th' time,'…" Both their hearts swelled with grateful affection for these two officers.


The last battle began, it seemed to be still to Henry; now the flag bearer. His heart filled with hatred as arrows of scorn buried themselves deep into it. It was clear to him that his final and absolute revenge was to be achieved by his dad body lying, torn and gluttering, upon the field. As a poignant retaliation to the ones that had scorned him. He glanced around as dissolution surrounded him and his fellow soldiers fell; he looked once for his friend. He saw a vehement young man, powder-smeared and frowzled, whom he knew to be him. The fire of the regiment had begun to wane and drip, growing weak.

In a last effort for victory the colonel called for a final charge, the plea piercing through the thick air. Henry took up this cry and rushed forward, waving the flag in furious circles, shrieking mad calls and appeals, urging all around him to take up the cry. Enthusiasm soared throughout the ranks as hope was once more rekindled, a deep want for peace and finality was born.

The youth had centered the gaze of his soul upon that other flag. Its possession would be high pride. The end of a divided country; sons, fathers, and brothers returned to their homes. He saw the blood, dirt and grime staining the ground around where that impenetrable ring stood guarding the flag; a momentous and cataclysmic darkness vibrated through his ears as he pounded by the last 10 meters between life and death, and the flag. His own flag furling past him where it lay rested on his shoulder, his hands grasping the bloody wood of the pole. These moments that defined the war dispelled the last months hesitations and dilemmas, he ran and felt them fall away from his shoulders. Looking toward the flag he knew this was right.

He stopped for a last glance in front of him, before his final sprint and he could see the soldiers bearing the flag fall. The young boy carrying it gave a last struggle, a desperate purpose filled his face as he held up his crown, the purpose for his death. His sacrifice for his beliefs, the country he believed in.

He turned to see Wilson suddenly fly over an obstruction, in a rash sprint, and spring at the flag as a panther at prey. He pulled at it, and, wrenching it free, swung up its red brilliancy with a mad cry of exultation even as the color bearer, gasping, lurched over in a final throe and, stiffening convulsively, turned his dead face to the ground. There was much blood upon the grass blades.

His friends face turned up in inextinguishable glee at the capture of the high prize. The battle ended after that, and prisoners were taken. Henry saw them, and a boy; and felt pity for their position. After having shared their viewpoints he was able to better understand how, they too, were fighting for what they truly believed in, and how that was no different to what they themselves were doing. Henry turned and walked to the side, near a fence. He saw the sun in the sky, shining brightly for the first time; or the first time he noticed. There was some long grass. The youth nestled in it and rested, making a convenient rail support the flag. His friend, jubilant and glorified, holding his treasure with vanity, came to him there. They sat side by side and congratulated each other.

It was over. Their minds underwent a subtle change. Henry had emerged from a clogged cloud, he understood then that he had dwelt in a land of strange, squalling upheavals and had come forth. He had been where there was red of blood and black of passion, and he was escaped. He thought of his deeds, failures and his achievements, and finally they became clear. He was able to look upon them in spectator fashion and criticize them with some correctness. Men glorified him, celebrated him; and he saw that he was good.

Alex knew he was saved by this experience, from the inevitable breakdown that was to occur from his past experiences. The fighting for a cause, visible and having hope given to it by so many people, showed his how life is so much more than just the wrong doings of others; and if he could do something to make it better, than he had better fight and give it his all. For this Alex was thankful.

So, it came to pass that as they trudged from the place of blood and wrath their souls changed. They came from hot plow-shares to prospects of clover tranquilly, and it was as if hot plowshares were not.

Scars faded as flowers, and they both smiled; for the world was for them.

And in the blood and carnage both boys discovered they had become men.


They turned now with a lover's thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks-and the existence of soft and eternal peace.

Over the river a golden sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds.




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