"Man," the first one said conspiratorially after swiping his fare card for the both of them, "did you see what they did to that riot cop?"
"Pretty harsh," the other replied as he slid into the seat behind Kendrik. "But, geez, what'd he expect them to do when he body-blocked his wing-man to protect the cop who turned on them."
"I don't know," the first said, "if you're a cop, aren't you supposed to hang tight? I mean, protect your buds-in-blue and all that?"
"Yeah. Well, after that old gal threw it down on the People's Mike, I thought for sure they were gonna have her for lunch."
Kendrik swung one knee onto the seat and turned to face them. "Are you talking about what happened this morning at the Occupy downtown?"
"Sure kid. We're heading there now. Why?"
"That was my gram. I mean the lady who greeted the cops. Do you know what happened to her? I had to leave after that livestreamer was taken down."
The man nodded. "It was pretty intense, kid. After that cop cuffed her and led her into the street, this other woman breaks through the line of cops and starts screaming at their CO about them all being the mayor's private army and everything. And that riot cop who'd turned? He was right there beside her. So then the other woman -- your gram -- drops to her knees and goes limp on the cop trying to get her into the paddywagon. And throughout all this, the string of occupiers passing around the People's Mike are running through a litany of all the violence that's been wrung down on protesters over the years. Damn!"
Kendrik stared at him for a long moment. "So" they took her to jail?"
"I don't know, kid. Last I saw, the cop that was with her had been called off to deal with something else." He held out his smartphone. "Here, see for yourself."
Kendrik took the phone and held it against the top of the seat back so they could all see the screen. "Okay, everyone," the livestreamer said, gasping for air, "this is Ishmael. Becky's rig was just confiscated, so I guess I'm it. Dirty lasts." He zoomed in on a cyclone fence. "Do you see that? Behind the fence, there's a bunch of uniformed police. I hear they've been called in from all over the county. That's the border guard. They've got mace and tasers, and they're watching for escapees." He zoomed back in and pointed the camera towards the open end of the lot. "It's been crazy down here. The cops have been entering in teams and rounding up a group of people at a time with those orange plastic nets, so they can walk them out and cart them off." Then he panned around the encampment. "There's not many of us left down here, so if you know ---."
Black. The feed went dead.
The three exchanged uncomfortable glances while the bus slowed for a light. Once he had the phone back, the man gestured suspiciously at Kendrik and said, "Hey, what are you doing on the downtown express? Shouldn't you be in school?"
Kendrik gave him a withering look. "I don't care. This is more important. My Gram's in trouble."
"So look," he said, "as long as we're all headed down there, we might as well work together. "I'm Jason. He's Marty."
"Call me K2."