Batkhuyag Atlan Khan
Joseph, Maria, and Jeremiah walked towards the mob in front of the burning building. Ezra and Donald followed them at the request of several of the Brotherhood in the group. When they arrived a short, stocky man greeted them.
“Ezra, Donald. That was rude of you. We have guests and you don’t even introduce us. Where are your manners?”
Joseph looked at the speaker. He was tanned and had jet black hair. His accent was Asian but refined. His eyes were dark and the smile on his face was that of a predator inspecting its prey.
“Mr. Khan, I apologize. That was not our intention. These strangers are just lost. Donald and I were giving them directions home. Plus, you were busy dealing with some important issues. We didn’t wish to disturb you.”
“Ezra, how many times have I told you? It’s Brother Khan.”
“Yes, sir. Of course. Brother Khan.” his voice cracked. “Brotherhood, Purity and Unity.”
Khan brushed past Ezra and Donald and made his way to Joseph and his family. He circled them like a lion stalking his prey. “Donald? Your friends appear to be impure. You wouldn’t be allowing the impure to leave here without me talking to them would you?”
Donald closed his eyes and swallowed. “No, sir. I didn’t think they were impure. They said the scars were from a car fire they escaped. I didn’t believe they were impure.”
Khan moved with the swiftness of a cheetah and spoke into Donald’s ear. “Donald, you’re smarter than that. These scars are not from a fire.” He turned back around and stepped close to Maria. His gloved hand reached out and grabbed her scarred face. “These are disease scars. Diseases which they still carry in their bodies. This makes them dangerous to those of us who are disease-free. They are impure and it is our holy duty to cleanse this world of the impure.” He looked out over the crowd gathered. “Brotherhood! Purity! Unity!”
The crowd answered back, “Brotherhood! Purity! Unity!”
Khan looked at the two men, “Ezra. Donald. I didn’t hear you.”
The men spoke in a hushed, cracked tone. “Brotherhood. Purity. Unity.” Tears ran down their cheeks.
Khan smiled. “Hmm. That’ll do for now. We’ll talk more later. You two may join the rest of your brothers in the crowd. Don’t leave. We have more cleansing to do. You don’t want to miss it.” Kahn’s voice was calm and almost soothing, but there was a darkness behind it.
The charismatic leader turned his attention back to Joseph and his family looking the man in his eyes. Joseph just glared back not once breaking the gaze. “What do you want with us? We have done nothing wrong. Let us go!”
Khan smiled at Joseph and looked down at the young Jeremiah. He was clinging to Joseph’s leg; tears streaming down his face. He knelt down beside the boy and caressed his face. “Don’t cry, boy. I won’t hurt you. I can see you are like me. We are pure. We are the ‘Chosen’.”
“Get away from my son you monster!” Joseph struggled against the three men holding him missing the back of Khan’s head with his fist.
Khan stood up face-to-face with Joseph. His eyes were darker than he’d thought. They were almost empty. Joseph glared back at him, a fire burning in his eyes. The fire of a father willing to do anything to protect his family.
Khan smiled at him and leaned in close to his ear. He whispered, “You’re a dangerous man Mr. Kane, and not because of the diseases you carry.” He backed away from Joseph and took Jeremiah by the arm. “Take them to the next cleansing.”
“NO!!” screamed Maria. She struggled against the three large men holding her as they dragged her down the street.
Joseph struggled against the five men holding him. Two of them took a foot in the face before they could subdue him. He glared at Khan, “I will kill you!” came out of his mouth just before one man gagged him.
Jeremiah struggled against Khan’s grasp crying for his mother and father as he watched them being dragged away.
Stay tuned for the next installment: The Cleansing