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The house was filled with hurried conversations and breakfast, as usual. The aroma of the coffee, blueberry muffins, pancakes, and syrup filled the air. The Prohibited were early risers, and some of the Normals and their children, now called sympathizers, were sitting among the group enjoying the calm and happiness that engulfed them. To sympathizers, Prohibited were like an injection of Ativan. They felt more at peace around them than anywhere else in the world. Because of this, they had become a common fixture in the home, and the Prohibited loved it. But most of all, they loved the children’s laughter. The residence in this home did not have children. The house was primarily filled with young adults fighting for the cause or retired persons who were doing the same. So, the children were a breath of fresh air. Everything was right with the world.

Violet had completed her yoga, meditation, and tea. She usually awoke well before the others so that she could have the new morning to herself. She liked to take advantage of the quiet. She walked past the living room where people were watching the morning news while drinking their coffee. She entered the kitchen and was instantly overtaken by the three children who had been eating breakfast. They wrapped themselves around her legs while chanting her name. This filled her with happiness.

She knelt and hugged them all. She stood up and made a generalized statement of good morning to the group. As the group filled their bellies with the fluffy pancakes and thick syrup, Violet grabbed herself a muffin and took a bite. She watched as people continued to chat and chew. She always loved the camaraderie that was always in this house. The more, the merrier. She had a busy day, and this was the calm before the storm.

Violet was to meet with Senator Kindle this morning, and she was very excited. Senator Kindle was probably the closest thing to a Prohibited anyone could get without being a Prohibited. She was determined to create an equal world for the Prohibited, and her efforts seemed to pay off regularly. Most importantly, Senator Kindle truly loved and cared for all Prohibited. She didn’t have the inherent hatred for Prohibited, just the opposite. Violet akin it to, adoptive parent’s loving a newly orphaned child.

There was something extraordinary about Prohibited when it came to Senator Kindle, and it showed. Violet had gotten to know Senator Kindle and had established a deep connection and friendship. Senator Kindle was very wise and could create a plan with ease, whether it was planning a rally or passing legislation to advance their cause. Violet would be meeting with her at the State Capital this morning, so Violet needed to chow down and get ready to go.

As she picked up another blueberry muffin to begin eating, she noticed that the house had become quiet, and it wasn’t due to people having their mouths full. More and more people were directing their attention to the living room. Violet placed the blueberry muffin on the counter as she followed the group. She could see “Breaking News” in red flashing across the screen. There was silence in the room as news anchors and onsite reporters were describing scenes from overseas. It appeared chaotic as news anchors were interviewing the reporters.

The group of Prohibited and sympathizers watched in utter disbelief. The onsite reporters were speaking of a horrific scene. The reporters had been there to cover the sizeable Prohibited rally when a crowd of Normals had approached, hundreds of them. According to reporters, a series of explosions had taken place, causing confusion and chaos. It was a coordinated attack. The Prohibited had begun sending waves of protection through the crowds. However, as more and more explosions occurred, sympathizers and Prohibited had separated from the panic that ensued.

This was a very calculated and strategized plan on behalf of the Normals. As more sympathizers and Prohibited scattered to retreat the scene, they were gunned down one by one. The Normal’s bullets did not discriminate. They shot at anything, and everything that moved as the crowd of thousands fled the scene. If the shots didn’t hit intended targets due to the Prohibited protection, so be it, there were plenty of Prohibited and sympathizers left without protection.

The continued explosions had caused Prohibited and sympathizers to become disoriented, which created a situation where even the Prohibited found themselves alone. This allowed the protesting Normals to take aim and fire at them, killing them. The news footage showed bodies lying on the ground. The news crews took cover as gunfire continued to erupt. Occasionally an explosion or two could be heard from behind the reporters who would duck down while conveying what was happening. It looked like a war zone. Prohibited in pairs or groups could be seen surrounding the wounded and dead. Warnings of graphic content ran across the screen as the cameras scanned the death toll on the streets.

The anchors continued to ask the reporters’ questions. The reporters did their best to give whatever information they had while taking cover as coupled Prohibited began to approach all people on the street. There was destruction all around, but those Prohibited were now regrouping and returning to the scene. They were stunned and confused, but not defeated. A reporter’s voice became muffled as sirens filled the air. Bodies, debris, and smoke could filled the screen, giving viewers real insight into the severity of the situation. It was inhumane, and it was wrong.

The entire house was in shock and began to grieve. The children were corralled back into the kitchen after someone recognized that they, too, had been watching. The Prohibited and sympathizers in the house were horrified. It didn’t matter that this was and always had been a common occurrence across the world since the beginning of the Prohibited’s existence. It didn’t matter that sometimes it felt like one step forward, two steps back. It was always hard to see. It permanently affected their kind and their supporters.

It was disheartening that it took a tragedy like this to get their fight out to the public, gaining more sympathizers and push bills through the legislature. They continually battled a world that justified its evil. It made no sense. They all stood in silence as the broadcast went to commercial. Instantly phones began to ring. The new sympathizers in the home took this as their cue to exit. They were new to this life and didn’t want to get in the way, and they were ashamed. They were ashamed of their own actions and the Normals’ actions that were on a killing spree. So, they left.

Violet walked back into the kitchen to retrieve her phone that she had left on the counter just in time for her phone to ring. She answered it immediately. It was Senator Kindle.

“Hello?” Violet answered.

“Violet?” Senator Kindle responded.

“Hello, Senator.”

“Hello. Have you seen the news?” Senator Kindle asked.

“I have. It’s so tragic.” Violet fought back the tears.

“I agree. Listen, get on the phone, make the calls you need to make to get the process started, but then I want you to pack a bag. Enough for a few days. I’ll have a car sent for you. So, be ready by 10:30. Can you do that?” Senator Kindle was not asking. She was instructing her.

Violet was thoroughly confused. She was supposed to meet the Senator at the Capitol building. And why did she need to pack a bag? Violet didn’t even get a chance to answer when the phone disconnected. She had no idea what was happening, but she wasn’t going to argue. She had great trust in Senator Kindle, and if she said jump, Violet was going to ask how high.

Violet began organizing the group. Most of them already knew the drill. They started making the calls of notification, emergency awareness, and preparation for the descending Normals who were about to go on the attack, as they always did in these situations. Computers were opening to send out email notifications and to send out Prohibited press releases. Prohibited were assigned to groups of sympathizers. Sympathizers needed to begin their emergency procedures. This was going to be a bad one. Unfortunately, they had all been through this so many times that it was now a well-oiled machine.

Violet worked with everyone and then passed the torch to Caroline as she went to pack and get ready to leave. She had no idea what to pack because she had no idea where she was going. So, she packed a few long-sleeved shirts, a few short-sleeved shirts, pants, and shorts. She even threw in a jacket for good measure. As she packed, she could hear the chaos downstairs. Delilah had left early that morning to help open Dr. Marsh’s facility, and Violet had not thought to call until now. She picked up the phone and pressed MOM under her contacts. The phone began to ring.

“Hi, baby girl.” Delilah answered. “Is everyone busy?”

“They are. Are you guys secure?” Violet asked, concerned.

“We are. We’ve been on lockdown for a while now. We have sympathizers coming quite often. We’re organizing protection on our end. How is it going there?” Delilah asked.

“Going good so far. I’ve been very busy. Do you know if any protests are happening here because of this?” Violet asked.

“I haven’t heard yet. Once things calm down a bit, I’ll find out and let you know.”

“Thanks, Mom. Oh, Senator Kindle is sending a car for me. It should be here soon. She told me to pack a bag. It sounds like we’re going somewhere for a few days, but she didn’t say where.”

Delilah paused. Violet waited for her to respond. “You’re going somewhere?” Delilah finally responded. She sounded like the apprehensive mother that she is.

“Yeah. I don’t have any other information than that.” Violet wanted to ease Delilah’s concerns, but she couldn’t.

“But Violet, I would like to know where you’re going especially if it’s overnight. I don’t feel good about it at all.” Delilah was worried.

“I know, mom. I wish I could give you more details, but I don’t have any more information. I promise to call you once I have more.”

Delilah sighed. “Okay, Sweetheart, but please promise to call me?”

“I promise. I have to finish packing, but I promise I’ll call you the minute I know anything.” Violet did not want her mom to worry. “I love you.”

“I love you to Violet. I’ll talk to you soon.” Delilah’s worry resonated in her voice.

“Love you too.” Violet hung up the phone.

Violet finished packing, for what, she didn’t know. She took the suitcase and placed it by the front door. She looked out the window, but there was no car waiting. What was waiting was another group of protesting Normals. There hadn’t been any for a while, but she assumed they were there because once the chaos begins, it quickly spreads. She walked over to Caroline and motioned for her to come with her to the back of the house. They walked to the back door, and Violet began explaining that she would be leaving for a few days. She gave Caroline direction as she and Delilah would be in charge while she was gone. Violet had no reservations about Caroline leading the Prohibited. She was intelligent and a natural leader. Caroline was just as experienced in all things Prohibited as Violet was. She had no hesitation with Caroline, and this made Caroline feel good and even more confident.

Violet watched out the window as the black town car pulled up, pushing the protesting Normals away from the house. Violet walked over to get her bag. As she opened the door to the Normal’s vile screaming, Caroline and the others said their collective goodbyes. Caroline made sure to insist Violet be careful. Violet assured her that she would as she shut the door behind her. Violet passed the angry faces of the protesters that had gathered. They had had weeks of reprieve from them, but now they were back, in full force.

The driver reached for the door and assisted Violet in getting into the car. As the car pulled away, Violet looked back at the anger and hatred that she was leaving behind. The amount of hate that stood in front of her home was not only bountiful; it was disheartening. Violet felt sorry for the group of Normals who allowed such a negative emotion to take control of their hearts. However, she didn’t feel any remorse for those who had taken innocent lives that day overseas. That was unconscionable to her. Allowing hate in your heart is one thing, but taking that hate and actively taking lives because of it was another. She had no remorse or understanding for those people. She hoped for justice but knew to expect disappointment. Justice for Prohibited and sympathizers was a rarity. However, she would fight for justice, regardless. Not fighting was not an option.

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