"The government needs to be stricter about tannin regulations," Priscilla said. She had just given a speech in a public speaking class and was answering a question from a classmate afterward. "There was a story in the news yesterday about some underground dealer who sold it illegally to dozens of clients before she got caught." She thought she saw a glint of fear in Greg's eyes.
"Stricter? No way! Their current regulations are already infringing on people's rights."
"No one has a right to break the law, Greg. I'm going to vote Phillip Stoker so we can get some order imposed on this chaotic world." The voting age was only 16 in this country, so Priscilla was just old enough.
Greg looked past Priscilla, where there were two cops talking to a woman in a parking lot. "You're voting Stoker? I'm getting away from you." Greg got up to go, but fell for no apparent cause.
Clumsiness was a side effect of tannin. Between that, the glint of fear, and what he was looking at when he decided to go, Priscilla was mighty suspicious. "Wait a minute... you're inebriated, aren't you?" She wondered if he had been one of that dealer's clients.
"Inebriated with tannin? No! I'm no criminal!"
"Then get up! Prove you're not!"
Greg got up, but very slowly, and stumbled as he did. Priscilla was pretty sure he was inebriated.
"Hey, cops!" She yelled toward the parking lot. "I think this guy is a criminal!" She grabbed Greg's arm to stop him from running.
One of the cops came running over. Greg pulled free of Priscilla's grip and tried to run, but fell again. The cop arrived before he could get up again.
"I think he's on tannin," Priscilla said. "He seems really clumsy, and he got a guilty look in his eyes when I mentioned that undergound dealer that got caught yesterday. And I know he's underage."
"Not to worry," the cop said. "we've got a way to test him in the car." She began to handcuff Greg.
"What are you doing that for?" Greg said. "I obviously can't get away from you anyway. This isn't fair!"
"The law defines what's fair," Priscilla said. "This serves you right for not doing what you're told!"
"Dammit! Okay, there's no need for a test. I'll just tell you I'm inebriated."
"I knew it! I hope you get a big sentence."
"You're coming with me, kid," the cop said to Greg. She led him over to the police car. Priscilla followed.
"Nice catch by the way, girl," the cop said.
"I'm glad to serve the law. It's everyone's duty to help enforce it wherever they can."
"You sound like a good citizen."
"Thanks. I just hope we can get Stoker elected and put an end to this lawbreaking nonsense."
"I'm voting Stoker too. He seems like a good man."
"I knew him when I was ten, actually," Priscilla said.
"Really? How?"
"He was my Tactiball coach. Oh, I'll never forget that day, when I met Jane... the most rebellious girl I've ever seen. I hope she ends up in prison someday."
"That's a serious wish. Tell me about her."
"Disobeyed Stoker's orders, talked back to him after the game and then slapped him for yelling at her."
"Damn. I hope she got what she deserved."
"Stoker caught up and tackled her, but this boy called Kyle attacked him and made him let her go. I tried to grab her, but she punched me in the face and escaped."
"Wow... I hope she ends up in prison too. What happened to Kyle?"
"I think there was good in him. He didn't try to run away, and he accepted his punishment afterward. I guess he just couldn't handle seeing her punished when he didn't see the crime. Decided to put his own conscience above authority."
"That is really the root of all evil, isn't it?"
"Sure is." They arrived at the cop car. "Nice talking with you. I'm Priscilla, by the way."
"Lindsey. Nice talking with you too."