I arrived in Victoria Square shortly after 3pm on September 13. It had been two days since the riot at North Acheron High School, and a mere 16 hours since gunfire and screams had interrupted the protest that had filled this square. I'm not sure what I expected to find when I arrived, but it wasn't this...
VICTORIA SQUARE, ACHERON
The city of Acheron is jut over 375 years old. That doesn't mean much by global standards, but in North America it's practically ancient. The British crown realized the value of this location early on and devoted significant resources into developing the city in order to secure their access to North American goods. Victoria Square was built as part of these efforts.
Originally envisioned as an open marketplace, the square is located just 2 blocks West of the Olde Porte, which still functions today despite the larger and more modern port that now exists on the other side of the island. many of the original merchant buildings still line the square. They have all the elegance and dignity you would expect to find in Georgian architecture, but also a solidarity that speaks to the frontier in which they were constructed. British soldiers could keep the outpost safe from Haudenosaunee attempts to reclaim native lands, but it was brick and mortar that protect royal subjects from tundra-like winters of the far north.
At the East end of the square, separating it from the working class streets of Olde Porte, sits City Hall. This gian, brick monstrosity is beautiful in its own way, I suppose, although to me
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[Image 1: The reporter stands alone at one end of Victoria Square. Restaurants and shops line the left and right sides of the square, and City Hall sits dead ahead, stretching the full width of the square. The roads on either side of the square are empty, as are the outdoor patios and sidewalks. A statue at the front of the panel commemorates soldiers who have fought and died for the Confederation of National Democracies. The statue features the C.O.N.D. declared values of Wisdom, Righteousness and Prosperity.]
[Image 2: The reporter takes a photo of the square. There is no evidence of protest or the shooting that occurred the night before. A trash bag sits neatly waiting to be collected. It is cleaner than you would expect to find any city street on a normal day. Open signs hang in the doors, but there are no customers to be seen.]
[Image 3: The reporter has taken a photo of the front of the statue honoring fallen soldiers. The statue features a uniformed soldier saluting a second statue and City Hall at the opposite end of the square. The front of the statue reads "In honor of the dutiful soldier. May we find his bravery in each of us."]
[Image 4: The reporter crouches on the ground in front of a stain on the sidewalk. Something in the distance draws attention away from the stain and across the open expanse of the square.]