Pete chimed in. “Jeremy, I see a large gathering behind you. Can I assume it’s some kind of vigil for the dead marshal?”
The reporter looked over his shoulder at hundreds of students sitting cross-legged on the green. “I’ve been told they’re here to honor the victims; I understand someone is about to say a few words.”
Eduardo recognized the curly haired young man who’d led the chanting at the barrier the night before as he stood up and came forward. He’d traded in his CXD-emblazoned sweatshirt for a button-down shirt and navy blazer and seemed subdued and respectful. The reporter offered him the microphone.
“I’m Jude Monroe, president of the Interfraternity Council and Communications Chair for the Student Senate. We, representatives of the student body of this university, send our condolences to the family of the marshal who died. But we cannot ignore that this explosion was planned—meant to distract us from the food shortages that continue nationwide and especially to turn our attention from the civilian deaths that occurred during the food riot last week in our neighbor quadrant, OP-441. This tragedy happened on our campus, and it’s our duty as citizens to call attention to the real problem.
“The marshals at OP-441 were more concerned about having enough food for themselves than about helping the people who were there to claim the food that was rightfully theirs.”
The hapless Jeremy Howard tried to retrieve his microphone, but several members of the crowd rose to hold him back.
“Essential Services still hasn’t resumed deliveries here, so no one’s getting any food except through markets like the one over on the green. The president lifted the Restriction, so the QM can’t legally shut it down, but they’re trying to intimidate us and keep us away. Without the market, how are we supposed to eat? This emergency has prompted us to take action. We will occupy this space and declare the university green a Restriction-Free Zone!”
He raised his clenched left fist to show the CXD symbol written on his hand. At his signal, people in the crowd raised banners and signs showing the CXD symbol and everyone began to chant, “Enough for us!”
After a brief tussle, he reclaimed the microphone. “Umm … this is Jeremy Howard reporting live in OP-439. Back to you, Pete.”
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