San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Phoenix Rising: Part 1

Editor’s Note: Phoenix Rising is the second series in the Source Point Saga. Click here to read the second part in this series.

The world we know has changed.  Entire governments have fallen into puppet states.  Martial law has been declared.

There was no bloodshed, no revolt and no violence.  It was as if the world was invaded all at once.  And now, we can’t trust those around us.  Who knows if our greatest enemy has come from within?

“You had no permission to put this up on the site,” Faisal, the editor of Cairo News International, declared.  “We are not allowed to write such inflammatory posts.”

“And why is that Faisal?   Has journalistic liberty also been suspended?  Along with the right to have an opinion?  Do you even need reporters anymore?  Just take what the government gives us to print out.”

“Look Soraya, I’m going to be honest.  We’re pretty open to a lot of things here at International News.  But the bosses?  They’re the one that call the shots.  And right now, they want your source.”

“My source?”

“Soraya, the material you’re writing about, it’s got a lot of people asking where it’s all coming from.  The bosses would be lot more willing to work with us if you just-”

“Forget it Faisal! I’m not giving up my source.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Soraya crossed her arms.

“Was it your decision or theirs?”

“Mine.  Soraya, if you didn’t give it up, the consequences would have been much worse.  This way, you have no ties anymore.  Do you want my advice?”


“Flee Soraya.  The bosses want your source.  You’ve stirred up a hornets nest.”

“I’ll go pack my stuff up.  Good luck being the puppet with a hand up your“

Faisal had already slammed the door before she could finish.

Damn, she thought.  Now what?  Checking her watch, a gift from her deceased parents, she noticed she was late to pick up Samira.  Great, she thought as she quickly began to triage her desk, deciding what to take and what to leave behind for that swine Faisal to clean up.  After finishing, she said goodbye to Abbas, her one real friend on the news section, promising to keep in touch.

Arriving at the secondary school, she looked for Samira, to no avail.  Chills began to run through her body as she sought out the principal, an elderly woman in great distress.  Greeting her politely, the principal described how officers had come and taken Samira as she was in class.

“Mikhail, its Soraya.  We need to go to the Justice Building.  They have Samira.”

Mikhail, her fiancé, agreed.  “I’ll meet you there.”

Suddenly Faisal’s warnings seemed to not be so hollow.  This can’t be happening, she thought.  She had been Samira’s guardian,  had promised them she’d always protect her sister…

Taking a bus to the Hall of Justice, she found herself stuck only a few blocks away.  The stop, unscheduled, was occurring just outside of some sort of nightclub and bar.  One man was getting into a fight with others.  Flashing lights appeared.   The police would only delay her trip.  Exiting the bus, she ran the last blocks to the Hall.

“Soraya!”  She turned at the sound of her name to see Mikhail.  Embracing, she told him the story, before they boldly stepped into the hall.

“Excuse me, but are you Soraya Al-Ghazi?”  A polished voice inquired as they approached the front desk.

The voice belonged to a balding man with a goatee.

“Where have you taken her!?” Soraya demanded.

Removing his glasses to polish them, the man began.

“Your sister has been removed from your care.  Citing unfit guardianship, the state has seen it necessary to take her under its wing to better her situation-“

“This is about the articles I write isn’t it you piece of slime-!”

“Soraya, please,” Mikhail cautioned.

Continuing, the man smiled.

“I have no idea what you’re referring to Ms. Al-Ghazi.  We are simply following through with our investigations.  If you do not calm down I’m afraid I will have to ask you to-“

He was interrupted by a call on Soraya’s cell.

Quickly answering it, she asked, “Who is this?”

A scared voice replied.

“Soraya, it’s me.  Samira.”

“Samira, oh God! Where are you? Are you hurt!”

“I’m ok.  I’m being held at the Arbiter station.”  Her voice dropped to a whisper.

“But they said I’m going to be transferred…”

“To what?! Where?”

“Some place called, the Leviathan.”

Soraya froze.  Her source had previously mentioned something- No.

“Samira, don’t worry.  We’re coming for you.”


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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Phoenix Rising: Part 1