The paper mentioned that there would be a silent, anti-Legion protest at Margaret Hopewell Park that evening, so, having nothing else on the agenda, I decided to go check it out; I thought about asking Susan to join me, but decided that'd be like asking my friend Abe Cohen to a Klan rally.
I used to joke that Alsace was an Indian word meaning, "must be the water", a comment on some of our more colorful citizens. Even so, I was suprised and amused by the crowd assembled in front of the fountain, holding candles with little paper collars. It wasn't yet full dark, so I knew that this would go on for about an hour. Some folks held signs, saying, "LEGION SUCKS!", "FACISTS GO!", and the ever-popular "OCCUPY NOW!", appropos of nothing. There were about a hundred or so demonstrators, facing a larger amount of folks who came down to watch the free entertainment. APD officers were interspersed through the crowd, obviously not expecting any problems.
As if by a signal, the demonstrators blew out their candles, set down their signs, and, linking arms, began singing-I'm not making this up- "Kum By Yah", swaying back and forth. The scene was moving, if sorta silly. I wondered who organized this spectacle, and if they had a sense of humor.
Just as they reached the third chorus, music blared from the skies...."Shine Pt. 2", by Todd Rundgren. A bright blue streak flew down from the northern, overcast skies, pausing fifteen feet above the protestors-it was Nightwitch, glowing like a cross between Nemesis and Tinkerbell, air-dancing, ballet to katas to can-can, a smile beaming on her face.
Spark, Nightshade, Moonhawk, and other members of Team Alsace rocketed into the aerial fest, about twenty or so- not the whole contingent, which would be about sixty, but enough of them to light the sky, as they circled, dived, and dog-fought in mid-air.
This was even better than ignoring the demonstrators....stealing the show, and in a way that reminded everyone of why the Legion was there-for those of us unable to fight back the darkness alone.
As the song ended, the Legion members shot straight up, detonating brightly and loudly about a thousand feet up, to thunderous applause, even from some of the demonstrators.
I felt a hand take mine....Susan stood beside me, still smiling. She kissed me on the cheek, and leaned her head on my shoulder, as we enjoyed the night breeze, and the company.