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Escaping the State


Cabal
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Apon finishing her address to the crowd, Haifa is horrified at the sight of armed men approaching the stage. Knowing they are now after her, she leaps from the stage to look for her car in the night. She hears loud shouts from the crowd and warnings from the soldiers. Finally gunshots are heard, several people scream, but then the screams are drown out by a rumbling; the crowd charged the soldiers, buying Haifa some more time.

Finally in the dark she spots her car, fumbling her keys she realizes she would be an easy target in her flashy sports car. Her eyes dart back and forth hopelessly in the dark before catching a weak glimmer. Running towards it, her heart jumps. She hops on the bike and peddles into the night, hoping to lose the gunmen in the capital.

The troops find her car on but empty. "We have no orders yet to go into the capital. Report back to Cutlass, I'll contact the police to keep an eye out for the girl."

l_aston-martin_dbs31.jpg

Haifa's sportscar

Edited by Cabal
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Racing down the quiet streets, Haifa desperatly looks for a shop to replace her clothes. But the cerfew is taking affect and almost every shop is closed and the last few people on the streets are heading home. One small shop still had its lights on and Haifa darted for it.Throwing her bike on the ground outside she stopped the door as it was closing. A confused looking old woman poked her head out of the side. "I'm very sorry" she said, "but we are closed." Haifa took a moment to catch her breathe then spoke, "Ma'am please, I need to change my clothes. Soldiers are after me now and I'm very affraid. Just please give me one minute and I promise I will never return after hours." The oldwomans face showed great astonishment at this point. "You..your that girl on TV. The singer who spoke out against our leader?" the oldwoman said. Haifa thaught to herself, "Please don't be a Fascist. Please, please." "Come in quickly." the oldwoman whispered. Haifa hurried in and closed the door. "Oh my God, thank you soo much." Haifa said, pulling the oldwoman by her shoulders and kissing her cheeks.

Just then police lights where seen outside. The oldwoman looked to Haifa, "Quickly, go into the backroom."

Hard knocking came at the door, and Haifa disappeared into the backroom. The knocking did not stop, sounding like it would be painful for an average person. Then the oldwoman carefully opened the door. "May I help you?"

The officers loooked down at her, "Yes, you can help by turning off your lights and going to bed. I'ts past curfew and your lights are still on." "Ah yes" she replied,"I was just about to turn them off. I am very sorry, this is sure to be the last time it happends." The annoyed officers glance around slightly then return to their vehicle, "This had better be the last time, we're very busy and have no time to make stupid stops like this every 2 minutes. Let's go."

The oldwoman locked the door, turned off the lights and went into the backroom. There, Haifa was standing now with a thin brown robe over her outfit with a hood. "I'll give you 200 for it." she said. The old woman's eyes widened, "Oh no, take it. It has a hole on the right side wide enough for one's hand to slip out of. I was going to reuse as much of it as possible to repair some of the newer items. You take it." Haifa replied,"Oh, but I just..." "Do you need a place to stay?"the oldwoman interrupted "I live upstairs. My bed may be small for you, but the sofa is cumfy enough and long enough." "Umm, yes that would be greatly appreciated. And...thank you. Thank you so much."

The old woman's eyes smiled before her mouth did. "Would you like some tea? There's plenty already warming up in the kitchen." the old woman offered. "Oh, yes. Thank you." Haifa haden't had tea in years, she was used to expensive wines, and perhaps too often, liquor. Sitting at a tiny table, Haifa explained how she long wished to apeak out against Cutlass. Her parents where socialists who were brutally persecuted by the Fascist 'Grey-Shirts'. She told of how her great grandmother would tell her that she was royalty, being distantly related to King Abasi. It was a known fact that he was of royal blood even when he was the president. Haifa and the oldwoman spoke for hours before finishing the last drop of tea and going off to bed.

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Apon waking up in the morning the oldwoman noticed Haifa was gone. All that remained was a note and a small box. The note read:

I'm sorry that I had to go in such a hurry, but It is not safe for either of us is I were to remain too long. I will visit you one day, and again I thank you for taking me in & protecting me last night. I leave you this gift (check the box) in return. Farewell.

The old woman gasped apon opening the box, filled with money.....

Haifa walked quickly down the bustling street. It had been years since she had come to such a small street, or even seen this lower-income part of town. She missed the slower, simpler lives of these people, until she realised how hard they really worked. She slowed her step, taking time to watch the townspeople continue their daily lives. She realised she had a deep, but pure love for these people. Her mind began to wonder. What if she was royalty? What if these could be her people one day. She had always had a nagging fealing of looking otu for them, but that feeling was often overshadowed by her superstar life. But now, on this small town street, amongst the hardworking Moroccans, her mind was free and her feelings burst out at once causing at first confusion, then stranglely sadness, and finally excitement. She would now do anything in her power to remove Cutlass, and fight for a leader who cares about the people of the nation, not just what they are capable of doing for him....or her.

Suddenly her thaughts shifted as she saw a great croud lining the streets ahead. Again she rushed, hurrying to see why they where standing outside. She picked up a flyer off the ground, the State had announced a new State Police Force, outgunning, and outfighting any urban threat. Then she saw them, black armored trained killers. They where no more than murderers protected by the State law. Again emotions poured. She was sickened to see them and imagine the horrors they will bring to innocent civilians who get in their way, then afraid. Afraid that these killing machines would be sent after her. And so she ran. Not knowing where she was going, and having no plan she ran. Down ally ways, across large streets, through large market places. Finally stopping to rest at a gas station, where she was able to stuff herself with snacks she did not even knwo existed, the tastiest of which where natural fruits. She also caught glimps of a computer. It looked ancient comparred to the ones she had, but it worked. She used it to visit her webiste, which surprisingly was still up, and even more shocking was working to contact friendly nations willing to provide safety for Haifa. She realised the people around her where more than just lucky fans, given the opportunity to work for her. They where her friends, and they may just make it possible for her to escape.

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Haifa has found herself yet again in a crowd. This one much smaller, but confined to the small Gas Station. Everyone has huddles around the television to hear the words of their "Great" ruler in light of rumors of a Gebivian invasion. His words where powerful and his speech bled passion, which was clearly displayed by the tears running down Cutlass's face as he spoke. His words grabbed her and forced her in, she found herself compelled to do as he commanded, she felt a hate towards Gebiv. Then she stopped herself, turned away and sat down on the sidewalk outside, shocked over how Cutlass was so masterful at winning and weilding mass support. Almost capturing her own.

Then the speech ended. The Gas Station's quiet setting was broken by whistles, clapping,a nd cheers from the tiny crowd that had gathered. Angry customers stormed out, cursing Gebiv, speaking of giving their lives for the State, and how they would brutally massacre any Gebivian soldier that should come into their sights. Then a short report came on. Haifa heard her name and rushed back into the Gas Station to see what they spoke of. The programme was propoganda poking fun at the Iberians, as well as criticising them for announcing they will take in a Carthaginian State fugitive, Haifa Wehbe.

She droped to her knees, her hood nearly falling back revealing her identity to the customers. This was her chance to escape, her friends efforts had succeeded. She would be saved if she could just find a way to the coast.

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"The taxi stopped. This as far north as I can take you, if you want to go futher you'll have to catch afew buses. But you won't make it to the north coast under this hightened state of alert; the military has the beaches shut down and under guard."

"That is fine, thank you." She pays the taxi driver, and walks out onto the street. Puling out a map she baught from the Gas Station, she sees she isn't far from Al Hoceima City now. Her adventures took her on long, boring bus rides where she was able to catch up on some descent rest, and time to recollect on her journey so far. Then suddenly the bus driver called everyones' attention, as he turned up the radio. The Iberian President, Juan Esparrago had been assasinated, and the Iberians where blaming Carthage.

She turned pale. Would Iberia still accept her? She had no other choice but to continue forward with her "plan", anything to avoid the punishments the State may have for her. And finally she had reached Al Hoceima, the closest any civilian was supposed to get to the coast. She exited the bus. All she had ever known about city traffic was thrown away at the sight of military vehicles roaming the streats, while civilian vehicles where all parked, and civilians indoors. Troops walked the sidewalks in place of the usual families, businessmen, even police officers where ordered indoors. The State Police was still around, while they where supposedly working to disbaned into the military, their presence was strong in the border, and major cities.

The old cloak she wore was rapped tightly around her as she walked up to a small group of soldiers stationed at a small playgroud, going over basic orders under a tree, while armed patrols kept wandering eyes away. She walked over to the men, before quickly being stopped by guards as she had expected. "You are not permitted in this area, in fact you are not even supposed to be outside of your home at this time." While the guard continued threatening Haifa, she slipped her hand through the hole in her cloak and almost snatched the guard's handheld radio. When he noticed a tug at his side, her hand slipped back under the cloak, and his suspicions dissapeared, as he saw no way her hand could have come out of her tightly rapped cloak without his noticing. Ont he second attempt she snatched it and quickly hid it away. "....that means leave! Get out of here or I will..." he lifted his machine gun. " Ill shoot you." Haifa noticed a change in the guards attitude. At first he spoke like a typical enforcer of the law, but then his State training kicked in where force was key to getting cooperation. At this Haifa left. It would take perhaps another night of planning to figure out how to avoid the guards and reach the coast.

Her next stop was a hotel where she stopped to get a room for the night. But when they requested ID she knew it was a mistake, she claimed a change in plans and left quickly. In another two hours of searching led her to consider a new approach. She found an alley cutting between houses and connecting two roads. On one side was a Carthaginian soldier, and on the other was a State policeman. It was hot and their stations where obviously boring, leading to frustration to build up slowly as the men exchange meen looks across the alley. The State Police seemed to be annoyed that the military had entered the cities, beleived to be the territory of the State Police, who thaught themselves more than capable of handling any urban threat, even more capable than the State military. And so tensions where slightly growing. Haifa appeared our of one end. The soldier looked at her with an angry face and ran towards her, then she pulled down her hood and smiled at the soldier who's charge had now turned into a jog, then a casual walk.

She shot the soldier flirty looks and dissapeared back into the alley. As planned the stressed out soldier followed her invitation entering the ally. He found Haifa sitting standing in the exact center of the ally, now with her origional outift showing off her legs. The soldier rubbed his eyes aggressively, wondering perhaps if he had experienced a mirage, after all it was a hot day. Anyways, he walked toward her briskly beofre noticing someone else walking towards her as well. He haden't ven noticed until now that a State Police officer was approaching the same girl. Haifa had set them up perfectly and now they where ready to tear each other apart. The alley exploded in viciouse accusations and name-calling in Arabic. This lasted about 15 seconds before the men through down their guns and charged each other. In the squirmish, Haifa was able to grab some sort of a special security card and a soldiers helmet, as she sneaked out of the alley just before more troops and police came to investigate.

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