The Time Chronicles: Episode I Part II

The year is 1777 and the seed has grown into a tree, but it's surroundings have changed. The once sprawling field is now contained within the stonewall courtyard of a fortress-like military outpost of the Continental Army in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin, already war-weary, dressed in a dirty leather apron, kneels in front of the tree in reverence. He touches it's bark and smiles weakly.  He looks around at his sanctuary as shrapnel and stone fragment rain down filling the courtyard with dust. 

Canon blasts shake him from his daze as tranquility is abruptly replaced by chaos. Men scream outside the walls as their pistol and musket fire cackle throughout the streets. Troops pound at the front door while terrified servants hurry through the yard. If they were caught they'd be killed, but if he was caught all would be lost. Ben stops one of them, "get everyone out while you still can, the city has fallen."
He rushes inside to his office where he grabs a feather quill pen off his desk and reaches for the stack of parchment. A golden lion's head paperweight with a bright red jewel in its right eye sits perched on top of the paper. 
He stares at it pensively then quickly snatches it like a hot coal and stuffs it in a bag. He looks up at his own framed portrait hanging on the wall, writes a note, grabs a knife, and stabs the note into the painting. He flees out a secret passageway.

Moments later, British troops smash down the door and raid the house for some valuable intelligence. Flipping tables, pilfering cabinets and destroying everything in sight. General William Howe walks in with the swagger of a conquering hero."Search every room, closet, bookshelf, everywhere," General Howe commands, "I want it found." 
A poor young maid, who wasn't even supposed to be working today, is drug into the room kicking and screaming.  Howe eyes her like a hungry predator circling a kill. "Darling! A moment of your time please," with the manners of a rattlesnake, "we are searching for something very valuable and we are willing to sacrifice anything to get it. Including you. So, look upon our meeting as destiny my fair maiden and help us in our quest." 

"I don't know, I'm sorry," she says with steely resolve.
"My dear," he recoils, "I'm not a monster, I want to keep it safe, keep it out of the wrong hands you see, there are terrible men out there."
"I just work here sir," she pleads for her life.
"How unfortunate," Howe shrugs, "take her out back and shoot her. Wait, don’t waste the ammo just cut her throat and dump her body in the street. Send a message to the sons of liberty." She protests but is eventually hauled outside. Howe turns to the portrait on the wall and sees the knife and note stuck to it.

It reads: "Make yourself at home. Don't forget to water the plants. Vive la revolution!” Howe seethes in anger, "you can run, but you can't hide."  He crushes the paper in his fist and the innocent maid's screams are silenced. To be continued.

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