(Chapter 3): Convivial Celebrations

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<P class=MsoNormal align=center>Chapter 3:</P>

<P class=MsoNormal align=center><I>Convivial Celebrations</I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal align=center><I></I> </P>

<P class=MsoNormal>4th March 2921</P>

<P class=MsoNormal>11:23 am </P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"Brilliant, Lysandra" </I>Smiled Miss Summers, as she pinned a small piece of paper to the wall. It was an odd picture, but the girl had talent, there was no denying that. The last thing she had expected her student to produce was an image of a south Eden denizen, sufficiently terrifying and miserable. He had dark brown hair, and an eye of the same colour. The eye-patch was particularly well done... </P>

<P class=MsoNormal>In fact, Lysandra seemed to be a different girl today. Tired, yes, but that probably just added to the improvement. She had not questioned Marshall once; in fact, she had not asked any questions at all. It was a blessing. </P>

<P class=MsoNormal>Miss Summers had no idea what had brought about these changes, but they were certainly an improvement. With any luck they would be permanent. </P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"So" </I>She said, beaming <I>"Can you tell the class what your inspiration was?" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"South Eden" </I>muttered Lysandra <I>"It's a horrible place." </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"That's right. And It's full of horrible people, like this" </I>She gestured at the girl's picture <I>"But with Marshall protecting us, we have nothing to fear!" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal>Lysandra looked as though she was about to speak, but kept her mouth shut. Miss Summers smile only broadened. She herself was not the firmest believer in Marshall's policies, but one thing she did believe in was money, and another child praising Marshall meant more of it in her pocket. </P>

<P class=MsoNormal> </P>

<P class=MsoNormal>3:11 pm</P>

<P class=MsoNormal> </P>

<P class=MsoNormal>Once again Lysandra sat in the corridor, while Tom spoke with her teacher. But this time there were no raised voices emerging from behind the door, only calm praise. When her uncle emerged he wore a smile, but it faded as soon as her teacher was out of sight. </P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"So... I hear you've been going along with it all" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal>He sounded uncertain, as though he was still undecided on whether or not this was a good thing.  </P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"You asked me to" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"I know..." </I>Tom sighed <I>"It just doesn't seem right, you acting like this. I just... I just want you to be happy" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal>Lysandra frowned; she knew that she had not been herself the last couple of days, but that was hardly her uncle's fault. </P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"You were right, I need to be more careful" </I>She replied <I>"And it wasn't just about what you said. I didn't need to ask questions because yesterday I finally got some answers" </I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I>"Ah, yes. I saw the picture, It was a very good likeness of mister Beletsky"</I></P>

<P class=MsoNormal><I> "...Yes" </I></P>

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