The sound of sniffling filled the auditorium that afternoon as the principal took to the podium to comfort the students. The girls were red-eyed and the boys were stony-faced. Lily too was stony-faced. She felt more anger than sorrow, but she hadn't known Rachel very well. Rachel had been a brain and not an athlete; she spent more time in the opposite wing of the school, far from the gym and P.E. teachers.

"In the face of this tragedy, the emotions we are feeling differ greatly, according to emotional constitution, according to how close we were to Rachel," the principal was saying. "Many of you feel pain and loss. Many of you feel rage and frustration. But all of us feel shock, horror, indignation. Death is always difficult to deal with, but it is particularly difficult when it comes so brutally, so senselessly and so young. Each and every one of us lives between the bookends of time, but Rachel's chapter came to a close before her story had even begun."

Lily winced at Helen's attempt at poetic expression. Tomorrow she would probably be quoted in The Oregonian.

"Many of the students who came to the counselors today expressed not only pain and anger, but are also feelings of revenge and violence. It's very understandable. We feel helpless that the killer or killers of our fellow student and our friend remain free, making Rachel's brutal murder that much harder to deal with. We must help each other in these difficult times. We must show solidarity."

Solidarity is the ticket, Lily thought. The best defense is a good offense. The best therapy is to get out there and fight back.

Lily finally had a real problem on her hands.