By the time Catfox and he were at the bottom of the stairs, his blood was practically boiling. He was gripping his wrench so firmly that the color drained from his knuckles. “I hate them so much. They’re all…they’re all naught sees, every last one of them!” Value normally hated to use such foul language. He was so worked up he did not care.
“I hope shi sends our army after them. Those cishet fulkers wouldn’t know what hit them.” Catfox thumped his metal pole against the wall. “I hope they kill them. I hope they kill every last one of them and the die screaming and crying. I want the streets to run red with their blood. They’re our streets. We only let them live on them because we’re better than they are, but everything they own was stolen from us.” Fir words became more and more frenzied. They spewed forth in firehose gushes. Value could feel the intensity radiating off of them with each new thought that escaped fir mouth. “They’ll never learn, never. They could be like animals, like us, good and at one with nature and never stealing from or oppressing each other and just eating and fulking and playing like nature intended. But no, they’re bigots, they have to be all….ignorant. They should all die, all of them, all of them. Then, then they’ll know they can’t beat us!” Fir mask slipped. On fir face was a manic grin. “They’ll know. Love will WIN!” Fe’s exclamation echoed down the hallway.
“Love WILL win! Fulk yeah!” Value was normally very soft spoken and everyone who knew him knew this. Catfox was too riled up to pay any mind to how loud the fixer had become. They could have spent all day riling each other up; exchanging expressions of animosity toward the bigots. They were out of hallway. The pair burst through the door and onto the streets.
A crowd was gathered outside. It must have been at least two dozen citizens. All of them were wearing makeshift masks to cover their mouths and noses. Some of them even had their eyes covered, having to make do with what was available. They were gathered around something in the street. As soon as Value stepped out of his building, he could hear their chanting. They did it in unison, in perfect harmony. “Hey hey, ho ho, inequality’s got to go! Hey hey, ho ho, love will win!” The words flowed easily, just like they had all practiced as children during their school’s music lessons. Without thinking about it, Value started chanting along with them as he closed in on the group. He did not even need to wait for them to start a new sentence, picking up in the middle of one. It was not like he had never done this before and it was very easy to simply slip in with the rest of them. He chanted louder as he neared the group, only dimly aware that Catfox was still with him. They were not individuals any more. Individuals were weak. As part of the group, they were stronger than any of them were alone. The other citizens made space for him as he approached. They did not even need to look at him carefully. They knew he was another citizen, not a bigot. It might have been the words he was using, it might have been the mask, but they knew. The throng of people formed a solid mass, a wall in a half circle around the object that so offended their sensibilities. They could see it clearly. A person? No, a bigot. A subhuman, hateful creature that they had backed against the wall of a residential building.
That’s what this hate-filled monster was, an ‘it’. They did not need to respect the pronouns of something that stood against everything they believed in. The mob knew that, if the situation was reversed, it would have done the same to every last one of them. At that moment, it was cowering. A small, pale thing with thinning pink hair hanging in long strands. Its brown eyes were wild and staring. They darted from person to person in the mob but never settled on any one for very long. It could not bear to look at any of them for too long. It wore a dirty, rainbow-colored shirt and torn up pair of black leggings. That it was wearing a rainbow, their rainbow, they all found most offensive. Droplets of blood spotted its shirt. It could have been from its smashed nose, but it was more likely from another person they had just victimized. It was saying something. The words had no meaning. None of them could be heard over the chanting of the mob, nor could they be heard over the beeping of its connection band. The beeping was all the mob needed to hear. It was the mark of someone who the DHR was investigating. In these times, with their farms under attack from the occupied lands, that was all the mob needed to hear. It was guilty and the mob did not need to wait for their benevolent government to sort this out.