Frederica sat at her desk, invisible, watching Karen argue with a pair of suits from City Hall. They were here about a story the paper had printed—written by Frederica—about corruption in local government. They wanted access to sources, files, and everything else that Frederica had spent the past few weeks assembling to back up her initial discoveries. Karen wasn’t having it.

“Just because we’re students doesn’t mean we don’t know our rights,” she said. “Come back with a court order and maybe we’ll talk. Assuming you still have any judges in your pocket after all this.”

“We could always talk to the president of the university,” one of the suits—a tall man with slicked blond hair and a shit-eating grin—said. “Maybe he can convince you to see reason. Or maybe he’ll decide this little paper is more trouble than it’s worth.”

“Or maybe he’ll tell you to take your jackboots and stick them up your asses,” Karen said.

“Are you willing to take that risk?” the man asked.

“Compared to the alternative? Hell yeah!” Karen said. “Unlike the folks on city council, I take my work seriously.”

“You’re making a big mistake.”

“My only mistake was not kicking you out ten minutes ago,” she said. “Now, are you going to leave quietly or do I need to call security?”

The two men glanced at each other, then the one who was doing the talking set a business card on a nearby desk.