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Sadly, their triumphant march would probably be interrupted by the local police. The Man had his dogs looking for the brave members of the Mayday Army, calling them “ecoterrorists” and making dire statements about how they’d endangered the public health. Endangered it how? By setting the people free from the tyranny of Big Pharma? If that was endangerment, then maybe it was time for everything to be endangered. Even The Man would have to admit that, once he saw how much better the world was thanks to Brandon and his brave compatriots.

Brandon walked toward home, lost in thoughts of glories to come once the Mayday Army could come out of the shadows and announce themselves to the world as saviors of the common man. What was the statute of limitations on ecoterrorism, anyway? Would it be reduced—at least in their case—once people started realizing what a gift they had been given? Maybe—

He turned the corner, and saw the police cars surrounding the house. Brandon stopped dead, watching wide-eyed as men in uniform carried a kicking, weeping Hazel down the front porch steps and toward a black-and-white police van. The back doors opened as they approached, and three more officers reached out to pull Hazel inside. He could hear her sobbing, protesting, demanding to know what they thought she’d done wrong.

There was nothing he could do.

He repeated that to himself over and over again as he took two steps backward, turned, and began to run. The Man had found them out. Somehow, impossibly, The Man had found them out, and now Hazel was going to be a martyr to the cause. There was nothing he could do. The pigs already had her. They were already taking her away, and this wasn’t some big Hollywood blockbuster action movie; he couldn’t charge in there and somehow rescue her right out from under their noses. Her parents had money. They would find a way to buy her freedom. In the meantime, there was nothing, nothing, nothing he could do. Hazel wouldn’t want him to give himself up for her. He was absolutely certain of that. One of them had to get away. One of them had to escape The Man.

Brandon was still repeating that to himself when the sirens started behind him and the bullhorn-distorted voice blared forth, saying, “Mr. Majors, please stop running, or we will be forced to shoot.” The owner of the voice didn’t sound like she’d particularly mind.

Brandon stopped. Without turning, he raised his hands in the air and shouted, “I am an American citizen! I am being unfairly detained!” His voice quaked on the last word, somewhat ruining the brave revolutionary image he was trying to project.

Heavy footsteps on the street behind him announced the approach of the cop seconds before Brandon’s hands were grabbed and wrenched behind his back. “You call this unfair detention? You should feel lucky we’re arresting you at all, and not just publishing your name and address in the paper, you idiot,” hissed the officer, her voice harsh and close to his ear. “You think this country loves terrorists?”

“We were doing it for you!” he wailed.

“Tell it to the judge,” she said, and turned him forcefully around before leading him away.

* * *

The ringleaders of the so-called Mayday Army were arrested today following a tip from one of their former followers. His name has not been released at this time. Brandon Majors, 25, and Hazel Allen, 23, are residents of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Drug paraphernalia was recovered at the scene…

July 4, 2014: Berkeley, California

The Berkeley Marina was packed with parents, children, college students on summer break, dog walkers, senior citizens, and members of every other social group in the Bay Area. A Great Dane ran by, towing his bikini-clad owner on a pair of roller skates. A group of teens walked in the opposite direction, dressed in such bright colors that they resembled a flock of exotic birds. They were chattering in the rapid-fire patois specific to their generation, that transitory form of language developed by every group of teens since language began. Stacy Mason paused in watching her husband chase her son around the dock to watch the group go past, their laughter bright as bells in the summer afternoon.

She’d been one of those girls, once, all sunshine and serenity, absolutely confident that the world would give her whatever she asked it for. Wouldn’t they be surprised when they realized that, sometimes, what you asked for wasn’t really what you wanted?

“Where are you right now?” Michael stepped up behind her, slipping his arms around her waist and planting a kiss against the side of her neck. “It’s a beautiful summer day here in sunny Berkeley, California, and the laser show will be starting soon. You might want to come back.”

“Just watching the crowd.” Stacy twisted around to face her husband, smiling up at him with amusement. “Aren’t you supposed to be watching something? Namely, our son?”

“I have been discarded in favor of a more desirable babysitter,” said Michael gravely. His tone was solemn, but his eyes were amused.

“Oh? And who would that be?”

Behind her, Phillip shouted jubilantly, “Oggie!”

“Ahhhh. I see.” Stacy turned to see Phillip chasing Maize in an unsteady circle while Marigold sat nearby, calmly watching the action. Mr. Connors was holding Marigold’s leash; Maize’s leash was being allowed to drag on the ground behind him while the Golden Retriever fled gleefully from his playmate. “Hello, Mr. Connors! Where’s Marla?”

“Hello, Stacy!” Mr. Connors turned to wave, one eye still on the fast-moving pair. “She went down the dock to get us some lemonades. Hope you don’t mind my absconding with your boy.”