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4. Bad Ideas
Inez retrieved a map. She spoke as she walked across the shop to the sales counter. "The University of Michigan's chapter of The Monkey Wrench Gang is still active. We're still under your original charter. Did you really write the charter as a freshman?" Inez opened a map of Northern Michigan and flattened it out on the glass counter top.
Seward listened. He didn't want to believe that the student club he started his first year in college was still active. He'd read The Monkey Wrench Gang and several other of Edward Abby's novels in high school. Seward might not have grown up in the Southwest, but the encroachment of man on nature was everywhere. The characters in Abby's novels took action. They didn't wait around for justice. They took revenge on the behalf of billions of voiceless species and ecosystems that were being poached, abused, and degraded. "Actually, I wrote the charter when I was fifteen." He grinned, looking a little embarrassed.
Seward's smile quickly tuned into a vicious snarl when he saw the markings on the map Inez had unfolded. "Tell me you didn't." He pointed at a red fist drawn in Mecosta County, MI.
"Don't you listen to the news?" Inez put her hand on her hips.
"I try not to."
"We'll you should." She looked around the shop. "No radio?"
"I'd be tempted to listen to Minnesota Public Radio." He had allowed her to shift the conversation again, but he'd not give up. "I'd be tempted to get involved. Being involved got me nowhere and nothing." He waved his hand around the shop. "If you really want to change the world, stop talking about it do something local. Raise awareness in your community. Not only does this shop keep kids off the street and out of trouble, but if you check the logs," he pointed to the wall left of the front door, "You can see the amount of carbon and CO2 we've prevented."
Inez shook her head. "What happened to you? You're soft." Inez started to fold up the map. "Soft like everyone else. You've been lulled into believing that the small things matter."
Seward snorted. "So, what did the hard-boiled-eco princess do?"
"I think you know."
"You attacked the Nestle water bottling plant in Mecosta County." Seward shook his head think that she'd likely broken in and tampered with the equipment. The damage would be a temporary setback, costing hundreds of thousands in lost hours of productivity. This was also likely his fault.
He had drawn up detailed plans that outlined three options for escalation. Option 1: disrupt shipping. Option 2: disrupt pumping. Option 3. demolition. Demolition was never a real option. He had made that clear in the charter. Options 1 and 2 would result in criminal misdemeanors, while option three would almost always result in a felony conviction if caught. "Which of my plans did you carry out, option 1 or 2, or a little of both?"
Inez twisted the map in her hands. "I blew it up."