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   Chapter 18 No.18

Prodigal Sun By Christina Engela Characters: 5527

Updated: 2018-07-07 19:01

A small crowd of fellow students was gathering outside the old store room. Actually 'store room' was a misnomer – it was more like an old warehouse inside, partly lit and quite roomy, and set up like an old fashioned theater – with chairs on the floor and a raw timber stage at one end, with a shiny black podium at the center. Once, when Deanna was new and before the University existed, this had been the young colony's first Town Hall and movie theater. What was the D.S.L? And why would there be a need for a 'Patriots' meeting? What was a 'patriot' anyway? In what sense was the word meant? It sounded exciting. It sounded like trouble – and if there was going to be any trouble coming, Danielle wanted to know in advance so she could get out of its way.

A tall student whom she recognized as one of the varsity's senior football jocks seemed to be standing guard at the door, like a club bouncer, and had allowed her in. There were plastic chairs laid out for them, enough for her to think the organizers a tad optimistic. The arriving students took seats as they came in. Some were sipping cold drinks and chewing on hot take-away pies from Albrecht's Takeaways across the Square.

She found an empty seat and sat in it. Then, as she glanced around with mounting discomfort, she noticed the decorations on the walls. That was when she began to hear the whispers, the excited chatter. The old store was being used by what seemed to be a campus society calling itself the Deannan Service League. Whatever the purpose of this student group, it seemed to Danielle that it had a preference for black and bright red paint and posters depicting all kind

others, and people who try to hurt others, and to help only themselves. I'm one of the people who wants to help others, and I'm here tonight to try and help you.

I want to talk to you about monsters. We all know about those – the monsters who hurt others, murder, rape, and steal from us. The monsters who do us out of jobs, abuse our hospitality, pretend to be in need of charity, they come to our world claiming to want to start a new life – and they lie to us. They take our jobs, they rob us in the dark alleys of the city, and they steal jobs so that the honest, hard-working Deannan citizen cannot feed or clothe his family.

They live out dangerous and perverse lifestyles, normalizing the abnormal, naturalizing the unnatural, and they influence society, religion and government to force the rest of us to accept and tolerate their horrors – and to even force us to change to become like them. I want to talk to you tonight about the monsters in our midst! I want to talk to you tonight about what we can do – together – to protect ourselves, and to protect our traditional way of life."

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