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   Chapter 15 No.15

Prodigal Sun By Christina Engela Characters: 5937

Updated: 2018-07-06 19:01

"Then hop to it, Mr. Carver – and you'd better not bollocks it up!" The academic said sternly, gesturing meaningfully past him at the pool. Carver didn't think the Professor was one to mess with. After all, what kind of idiot would mess around with a man who had a sinister organization behind him – and somehow managed to find him in less than an hour of landing on Deanna – not at a spaceport via regular transport, but unannounced and unplanned in a life pod somewhere in the Whatoosie River?

'I won't!" He replied, his mouth suddenly even more dry. A long look of understanding passed between them before the Professor nodded to one of his henchmen.

"Cut him loose. Give him his kit. Then send him on his way!"

* * *

Despite all evidence to the contrary, the large, paved circular space cluttered with benches, busy stalls and small coffee shops, and surrounded by a circular road more or less at the heart of Atro City, was called Lupini Square. People threw food-related objects at herds of pigeons to relax or pass their time – or even to improve their aim.

"When pigeons fly, they can flock all they want, but on Deanna, when they're on the ground, they're a herd." – The Galactic Tourist Guide, page 2013.

The pigeons, descendants of native Earth stock, were too stupid to duck. Pigeons can't duck (they're pigeons) but they were smart enough to congregate there to avoid their only natural predators on Deanna (other than cats, Jeepo tires and hungry hobo's) – which happened to be a weird idiosyncratic plant-like animal species called crabby-grass. Hardly any crabby-grass ventured into the deep center of the city because there was too much concrete for its liking, so it was a wise choice.

At the center of the square stood a large ornate monumen

The whole Us and Them thing is the root cause of the progressive and debilitating social disease known as Patriotism. This is what eventually leads to the terminal stage of the disease – the social disorder called War (sometimes euphemistically referred to as the 'Human race's favorite pastime' – next to Rugby and other fiercely contested ball games, of course). Patriotism and War are like H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. – inexorably linked together, they both result in mayhem, death and destruction, and one – if unchecked, ultimately leads to the other.

Why is this? Well, because no matter how people try to group each other under labels, categories or a common set of issues, the more they work against the grain of human nature – which is individuality and diversity. The more people are forced to be the same, the more they rebel against these restrictions. The more one group tries to conform and comply, the more others will resist. Regardless of which side of this dynamic the paradigm of Patriotism manifests, you can be assured that it will be employed as justification or an excuse for promoting beliefs, ideology or actions in keeping with whatever opposing camps exist.

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