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When Injustice Continues . . . and a New Group of Students
Comes to the Aid of Freedom.

Chapter 3: Beginning Anew

Abigail paced the room as the numbers on the clock neared eight.  She was nervous about meeting this Onry fellow--could he be a spy, or was he for real about this?  She aimed to find out . . .

Precisely as the numbers flipped, she heard knocking on the door.

At least he’s prompt.

She sat down at the desk, quickly, and called out softly, “Come in . . .”

When Eric Onry entered the room, he saw her bent over her books, scribbling furiously in her notebook.

“Oh--I’ll be with you in a few seconds . . .” she murmured, not bothering to hide her nervousness--it happened to fit the situation.  “I just have to finish these notes . . .”

She made him wait exactly forty-five seconds as she “finished” her work.  Then she closed the notebook and looked up.

“You must be Eric,” she said shyly, holding out one hand.  “I’m Abigail.”

“Hi--Greg told me that you wanted to see me about something . . .”

“Greg?” she asked, pretending confusion.

“Gregor, my--friend . . .” he said hesitatingly.  Apparently, he was quite unaccustomed to calling this man a friend.  “Patricia told him you wanted to talk to me.”

“Oh, yes . . . I was told that you would be the one to talk to about . . . peacekeeping.”

“Peacekeeping?” he asked incredulously.  She had him thoroughly confused--so far, so good.

“Yes.  I don’t want to see anyone make trouble--but, unfortunately, I know some people who think it might be a good idea if we--the students, I mean--offer resistance to the administration,” she whispered quickly, as if wanting to get it over with fast.  Maybe she did.  “Patricia said that you were one that I could trust to make things right--to show them that this is wrong, and--punish--them accordingly . . .”

“Mademoiselle,” he said angrily, standing up--mademoiselle?  Where had that come from, Abigail wondered briefly--and turning towards the door, to leave.  “I’m afraid your friend Patricia was much mistaken, and we have nothing to talk about.  Au revoir.”

“Eric,” she said softly--but in her own, more authoritative voice now, “stop.”

“Why should I--”

“I hope you’ll forgive my little charade,” she said, still very quietly, but coming closer now--“but I had to be sure, you see, that your sympathies were with us.  Since you’ve passed my little test, we have much to talk about, my friend.”  She touched his arm--and sparks shot up her spine.  As if burned, she jerked back--and so did he.  They had both felt it . . . though what it was, neither knew yet . . .

“Come away from the door; it’s safer in the middle of the room,” she said, nervous once more.

* * * * * * *

Eric paced.  He was so nervous; he couldn’t help it.  Up and down the room, counting the steps . . . eight steps up, eight steps back.  And again, eight steps up, eight steps back.

The rest of the living room, filled with the eight boarders that lived in the small house, was silent.  The students watched Eric pace, eight steps up, eight steps back, until they couldn’t stand it any more.

All but Gregor.  In the corner of the room, a beer in his hand that was not his first of the night--nor his second, nor even his third--and halfway to oblivion, he sat slumped in a lumpy easy chair, and the notion crept through the thick fog of his brain that there was something important going on here.

“Would you stop pacing, Eric, please?” Caroline finally exploded, agitated.  “What in the world is going on with you?”

“Shh!” Eric insisted.  “Keep your voice down!”


“Because it’s safer that way,” he murmured in a whisper.  “It’s always safer that way.”

Felicia sighed.  “Here we go again,” she grumbled to Jay, who nodded in complete agreement.  She stood up and walked over to Eric, putting her hands on his shoulders so that he had to stay in one spot.  “Calm down, and tell us exactly what you’re talking about, before one of us bites off your head.”

Eric reached up and took Felicia’s hands off his shoulders, forcing her down into a seat.  “Listen very carefully.  This is important.”  He took a seat himself and a deep breath besides.  “You remember how violently I reacted to the injustice here, a few weeks ago?”

“Do we remember?” Chris asked with a short laugh.  “How could we forget?  You were practically ready to storm the administration building and stage a coup!”

“Yes, I was,” Eric agreed seriously.  “But that would have been pointless, as you all know.”

“You’re talking sense at last!” Gregor exclaimed thickly.

“So you’ve given up the revolution ideas?” Lisa asked.

“I didn’t say that.  There are more effective ways of getting at the root of the problem, and that’s what I propose to take up.”  He stood up and started to pace again, quickly.  “If we were to strike at them in secret, through sabotage and undercover operations, we’d survive much longer and do much more than we would attacking them openly, would we not?”

“Well, obviously, yes . . .” Joanna admitted slowly.

“And if we could also help release some of those trapped in this injustice through these undercover operations, we’d be doing even greater good, right?”

“Yes, we would . . .” Jay said excitedly, beginning to realize what was going on.

“So why not?”

“Why not?” Caroline said.  “I’ll tell you why not--you propose we take this on all by ourselves, make ourselves an eight-student guerilla spy army, and you think we could succeed?”

“We may not succeed, but we could do a lot.  And it’s not by ourselves either.”

“What do you mean?” Caroline said warily.

“I mean, that there is a small group on campus that does exactly what you described, under cover and in secret, and that we would join with that group in our efforts--if you wish to.  I won’t force you . . . by any means.  But this is something I want to do--something I am going to do, in fact.”

“Wait a minute,” Lisa said suddenly.  “You mean that there are some students who sabotage, spy, fly in the very face of the administration--and they’re still around to tell about it?”

“It’s very much in secret.  That’s why they succeed so much.”

“And you wish us to join them,” Felicia murmured thoughtfully.

“I do.  The leader of that group has invited me to ask any of you that wish to to join.  I won’t lie to you, it’s dangerous--not only to your collegiate record, but perhaps your life as well--and there are numerous risks.  But I do hope I’m not the only one that believes something has to be done.”

It was a long time before anyone said anything.  Decisions like this don’t happen quickly.  But Chris finally gave his answer.

“No,” he said firmly.  “You’re not.”

Eric smiled in relief.  “Thanks, Chris . . . but what about the rest of you?  If you say no, I won’t think any less of you . . . but I will expect you to close your eyes to any suspicious things that go on around here . . .”

“I don’t think anybody’s going to be ignoring this,” Felicia said softly.  “We’ve done too much of that already.  At least I have.  I’m ready to do something.”

Everyone else in the room nodded firmly at the proposal, determined and ready . . . even Gregor.  But as the rest of them crowded around Eric, speaking in hushed whispers about what to do next, Gregor kept on nodding . . . and nodded himself to sleep in the chair.

To be continued . . .

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