Hannah came up to Portland to take in some of the activities, dragging Kate and Randy along. Things were going well in Eugene, and they had left Condon in reliable hands. The action in the university town at the end of the valley had turned into a giant party and spilled out onto the quads between Prince Lucien Campbell and the art museum. It would take care of itself.

In her skin-tight jeans and oversized sweatshirt, Hannah was the image of healthy, attractive youth. Kate was the image of youth striving for maturity, but the overexertion was alleviated by a pair of arresting eyes, cat-yellow and intense. They were hard to overlook, and Adam apparently hadn't.

Lyssa, Marty and Mercy were taking donations for the rape crisis center, working information booths and waiting for Diana's band to come on stage when Hannah and her friends joined them after a stroll through town.

"When is Diana supposed to start?" Hannah asked.

"Actually, they were supposed to start in ten minutes," Lyssa said, looking at her watch and then at the stage. "But it looks like they don't even have their equipment set up yet."

"Looks like?" Marty asked rhetorically. "They don't."

The impromptu get-up of the rally had been replaced by a much more professional-looking construction. The authorities had been astonishingly lenient, tolerating the presence of a respectable number of women in the Portland Building day and night (as long as they observed security regulations) and even allowing a regular stage for "spontaneous" concerts and lectures. The official leniency was nothing but selfish calculation--the activities provided a healthy dose of free advertising, enough to put Portland on the map temporarily. And the weight of names like Deborah Dobell and Lyssa Strutter didn't hurt.

It was certainly convenient meeting with so little resistance, but it also gave Lyssa a vague feeling of impotence. What was there to fight for if there was no one to fight against?

Even so, the strike had taken the city by the ears and shaken it up a bit, transforming itself into a true event. Lily and Myrine were giving self-defense lessons in the park. Lyssa was organizing articles and interviews for a special issue of Cutting Edges on rape and sexual harassment in Portland and had practically set up a second office beneath Portlandia's benevolent bulk. Marty was keeping the permanent office running in the meantime, organizing the messy details like layout and deadlines and sales. Diana had enlisted the support of numerous local musicians, mostly female, and was planning a whole series of concerts in the park, weather permitting. Deborah was lending her name, her fame and a lecture, and had announced her intention to write an epic poem on the campaign. Posters for Mercy's pet project, a mutual admiration session for unpublished women writers, were hanging next to announcements for classes on self-defense, self-awareness, and female symbolism and tarot cards. That was Lily's contribution.

The friends wandered across the lawn towards the stage, two small boys picturesquely in tow, when Lyssa noticed something that made her stop short: a big van carrying a National News TV crew and equipment had just pulled up next to the fountain on Front Ave.. She nodded her head triumphantly. "Now we will really reach a few people."


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