On the Free Speech Square

Teresa Paloma

T 120 minutes

Pacifica Academy, Free Speech Square

There were about 200 students and 30 faculty members on the Free Speech Square. That was about a quarter of the Pacifica population, but more were 起點文學網ing. On the way here, Harrison noted to Teresa — without really caring to involve Dimitri into the conversation — about how the police drones were flying away from the campus, and it was rather concerning since the police wouldn risk a raid like this without drones. Harrison believed that the police had either given up an immediate raid into the campus or decided to launch a risky attack without aerial visuals. While both options were bad, Teresa considered the possibility of a much worse out起點文學網e — the police had forsaken Pacifica. She immediately pushed that thought out of her head, because there was no way, no possible way, the police would abandon an entire school.

The blazing afternoon sun hanged sweat beads on everyones forehead, or perhaps it was the tension of the circumstance. The gunmen dressed in dark outfits blended in with their shadows, and it was only the weak gloss of metal that distinguished the tactical helmets and kevlar vests from the rest of the uniform. The 16 dark pillars stood motionless around the Free Speech Square, like obsidian fence posts of some bizarre civilization, and although their masks blocked all facial expressions, Teresa imagined them to also struggle under the heat.

Unlike the typical hostage situation in movies, there wasn any shooter barking 起點文學網mands and forcing everyone to kneel. The students spoke in hushed whisper with each other, and some in quiet sobs, but there wasn any dramatic action. Teresa stretched her neck and scanned the crowd for the sight of her brother and her fellow protestors, but she didn see any.

Teresa reached for the inner pocket inside her jacket. There was a taser resting firmly in her grip, its smooth texture kissing her palm, giving her some level of reassurance. For emergency only, Harrison had said. All three of them carried a taser, though she doubted this could do much against the kevlar vests.

Seeing that there wasn any body searching, Teresa put one foot into the Free Speech Square, then another, almost expecting some magical mechanism to be triggered. The two sets of uniforms beside her remained motionless. Teresa realized why they looked so inanimate. They weren just standing still. They were intentionally suppressing any natural body movements in an idle position.

Xaviers blaring voice in the campus PA system cut off her thoughts.

The Fall of Pacifica
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