Vance struggled to keep his hold on her shoulder as he was dragged away by force. Erin could still picture the hands of the Northern Martian humans, her own countrymen, beating Vance, a Southern Martian human, with crudely cut steel chains that cut his skin until blood gushed. But Vance did not put up a fight, nor did he shout & curse; the reason she had always loved him. The only resistance he made was to grasp onto her, for fear of parting from her. Vance was no stud; he had no virility or absurd amount of pride. But he was caring and thoughtful. These traits were almost always valued by Erin, but not at times like this, when she was forced to play the part of the rescuer.
The couple had known that crossing the volcanic mountain range that separated Northern Mars from Southern Mars was prohibited. North Martians must stay in Northern Mars, and South Martians must stay in Southern Mars, on penalty of death.
Yet Erin refused to be torn apart from Vance, simply because of humanity’s lust for power and pain.