Mistakes Made: Act 1, Scene 4
Several long, tiring days passed before Arly found herself in the ethics class again. She knew that their lunchtime conversation had very little bearing on reality, and, realistically, the likelihood that either man would be interested in committing a serious crime was small. However, it was hard to push her thoughts of showing companies like Johnson United Manufacturing that they were found guilty in the court that mattered most–the court of public opinion. It wasn’t fair to the people they hurt that the case was lost because of the way evidence was collected, and those in charge needed to know that.
Arly knew that the guys would think she was crazy when she approached them after class, conveniently waiting for Benny to exit the classroom. He wasn’t too interested in sticking around after the professor’s rather rude behavior earlier that semester. Kyran and Tom wished that they had agreed to join him for lunch when they realized they were caught by Arly, who clearly still had the Miller case on her mind. Tom tried to push past her, but Arly stood her ground and looked at him somberly. “You can’t hide from me forever,” she informed him honestly.
“Arly.” Tom sounded annoyed, not that it deterred Arly in any way. She was so short-sighted sometimes, willfully ignoring the fact that others were upset about the case too. He hated that terrible things happened to those families as much as she did. The only difference was that he didn’t see a way for them to do anything about it. “You need to stop. If Benny hears that you’re still going on about this, he’ll be devastated.”
Kyran agreed. It wasn’t fair that Arly choose to exclude Benny from these difficult conversations, knowing that he had a small crush on her. Benny was too nice of a guy to notice how set Arly was in her decisions about the case, even if they had nothing to do with him. Any actions she took against Benny’s father would be seen as a betrayal, and Kyran said as much. “There’s nothing we can do about the case decision. You know that.”
Their words did little to deter Arly, as they expected, because she grabbed their arms and started pulling them towards the courtyard where they could talk. Both men were more than strong enough to stop her, but they had to admit that Arly had always been a good friend to them. She listened to their complaints and indulged them when it seemed irrational. Perhaps they would be able to convince her that, while she had the right intentions, she was going about it the wrong way. There were other legal ways to get the case reopened.
Well, they thought so anyway until Arly informed them that there weren’t. The company itself would not make the same mistakes twice and would make sure that information regarding whether they were at fault or not never saw the light of day again. She also dismissed the idea of another civil suit being brought forward because the evidence collected had already been thrown out. If anything was going to happen, it would have to be done by the people. They had to admit her logic made sense, but they still had a hard time believing that college students could do anything to hurt such a massive manufacturing empire.
“That’s what you both don’t seem to be hearing,” Arly insisted. She had been listening to their claims about vigilante justice failing where the courts could succeed for almost a week now. She’d thought about every possible avenue that the company would receive a punishment for what happened, and there wasn’t one. She was grateful that they seemed to be finally coming around. “Those men have more money than God, and they’re profiting off the things they’ve done to those families. You both have to agree that isn’t right.”
Her point was (and had been) acknowledged many times since she’d started on this tirade. However, the two men were unsure about what her angle might be. They were college students, not lawyers or superheroes. “Arly, will you get to the point? What are you thinking we can do?” Kyran asked, preparing himself for what he knew would be a crazy answer.
“You two are going to think I’m crazy,” she pointed out.
“Fine, fine. You already know that we can’t go through the courts. There’s no evidence anymore, and what lawyer would want to fight a losing battle? You might think that the people will stop using the company’s products, but we know that’s not true either. Really, there’s only way we can help these people and show Johnson that they can’t push us around. We are going to rob them.”
Well, both men had to admit that it wasn’t the plan they were expecting from Arly. She might have been on a crusade for almost two weeks since the court decision, but she was still a rational young woman. Neither imagined that she would come up with something so irrational, so dangerous that they might not finish their first year of college together. However, as she explained the rationale behind her decision, both admitted it was possible. They could, technically, steal from the company and get away with it. Tom still had one unanswered question, though: “What about Benny?”