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   Chapter 54 No.54

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5506

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

"Non-vampires, Mr. Governor!" Marla smiled again, her fangs now retracted. "What we call you, anyway!"

Landry almost gawked at her teeth, wondering if he'd imagined the fangs, and suppressed a shudder.

"A community of vampires?" Smythe said. "Well, I never! On Deanna?"

"Yes, General." She replied. "Wherever humans go, we tend to follow. Even out here."

"Are all the legends true?" Smythe asked.

"What – being undead? Holy water? Stakes? Garlic?" Marla almost sneered. "No. We're just … different, that's all."

"So a stake in the heart wouldn't kill you?" Landry asked.

"Would it kill you, having a piece of wood jammed in your heart?" Marla rebutted. "Silly question, isn't it?"

"You're not as young as you look are you?" Landry commented, looking her over curiously. "Or are you?" Marla rolled her eyes again.

"Look, I know you're curious about us, and there's plenty of time for that sort of thing later – but right now, we've got more important things to talk about – haven't we?"

"Yes, " the Governor agreed, reigning himself in. "Of course, you're right! You mentioned 'assistance'? Would you care to elaborate?"

"Our people live among you as we have for many generations, silent, secret, undetected, just living our lives – under normal conditions!" Marla explained. "But we also have an unseen social network – which is how we interact with each other and maintain our culture and our society! Right now, the vampire community on Deanna is aware of the danger facing various minorities on the planet – including our own! We don't have an army, but what we do have is centuries of experience, a vast network of

hunger and thirst after a long day in the sunlight, and lay down on the grass to rest, or to resign themselves to Fate. The more desperate and determined ones began to recycle their urine, like shipwrecked sailors, vowing to live long enough to seek vengeance!

Deanna's local public-access digital information network came back online – cut off from the rest of the Terran Interweb. Oddly, searches for various information resources and service websites about human rights related issues and socio-political concepts like 'fascism', 'oligarchy' and 'theocracy' came up omitted, deleted or missing – and many keyword searches routed users to a massive new online resource named 'Patriot-Web – the reliable encyclopedia'. Predictably, its purpose was to put a rose-tinted propaganda virtual reality mask over the public's eyes.

Meanwhile, Gary and Mei were enjoying a dinner with their friends on the Celeste, as prepared by Bubba. While they ate, lounging in the various comfortable new chairs on the bridge, the big screen displayed the local TV news channel, Deanna News Network, or D.N.N.

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