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   Chapter 29 No.29

Prodigal Sun By Christina Engela Characters: 5341

Updated: 2018-07-13 19:01


"Demographics?"

"Eurocentric, as they call it these days. White, Caucasian, as they used to say in our day." Vernon winked at her. "Very religious, connected to fundamentalist social organizations, some of which have been around a very long time, and which hold the official classification of hate groups."

"Well…" Marla said, at a loss for words, and sighed. "I can see what you mean!"

She looked at him, her eyes brimming with new questions.

"But why Deanna? What could they want with this planet?"

"The conclusion we've reached is that it's because Deanna is on the very outskirts of the Empire. It's far away enough from any Terran military outpost to give a likely rebellion a realistic chance of success. Remember, the mundane authorities aren't expecting it – by the time they could mobilize a military response, the Governor would be overthrown and they could set up a new government, and take over the colony! Deanna has no military presence. There are only a handful of cities and towns on the planet, and Atro City is the biggest. All they have here is the Sheriff and her handful of deputies – which they have been unable to replace without raising suspicion."

"Suspicion? How so?"

"The Sheriff is under the direct control of the Mayor of Atro City – and the Sheriff of the capital city is also the senior police official on Deanna – what you might call a 'chief of police'! The Mayor is under the control of the Governor – and as chief of Deanna's SODs, the Sheriff also falls under the Governor's control! Do you know anything about Sheriff Muller?"

"Just that she

Ten thousand." Vernon said, giving her a knowing look. "Give or take a few here and there."

This had been going on for a considerable time! It hadn't just been planned yesterday, it showed a great deal of time, planning and resources had gone into this – and all she had just learned was just the tip of the iceberg!

"Someone's been building an army!" She breathed, "But – who's behind all this? The groups you mentioned back on Earth? The hate groups?"

"Perhaps. It's very likely, dear – but here on Deanna, everything we've uncovered appears to trace back to the University. For some reason, it seems to sit at the center of the spider's body! That's why the Chancellor was killed, because he got in the way!"

"Okay? And?"

"Who has been standing in for Chancellor Fielding in his absence?"

A look of realization crossed Marla de Bris' pretty features as Vernon continued to intone a stern warning.

"Hard and dangerous times are coming, Marla! As many years as you have behind you, you still haven't seen times such as those that are coming!"

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