J. sat on the side of his bed with an enormous sandwich in one hand, an ever present beer in the other. He was listening to his roommate's disjointed tirade. Gideon had just wrapped up the story of his trip to New Orleans. He had been gone for three days.

     "You're the first person to even ask why I showed up late!" Gideon shouted.

     "Imagine that."

     "Carmen's so excited that she won't even listen," he slurred his words, then drank from his can of beer. "And now, I'm the fucking president!"


     "They voted me president of the Goddamned Students in Defense of the Third fucking World!" he said bitterly. Gideon was very drunk. "And now she wants to live with me!"

     He stood quickly and stomped to the window, looking back to find J. staring at him.

    "No, not here," Gideon answered the look. "She wants me to move in with her at that Goddamned house off campus." He pulled a crumpled envelope out of his back pocket and tossed it across the room to J.

     "If that's not bad enough, this was waiting for me when I got back." He pointed to the envelope and for a moment held the pose, a lost expression on his face. As J. leaned across the bed for the crumpled paper Gideon shook his head and leaned closer to him.

     "The Dean's thinking of having my G.I. Bill revoked!" His voice rose in a sudden panic. "He's gonna get me kicked out of this fucking school!"

     J. read the notice then held it out to Gideon. His lanky roommate stretched out to the envelope and retrieved it, tossed an empty beer can across the room into an already filled trash can, and belched. He turned to the door, grabbed his jacket and pulled it on, then turned back to J.

     "I'm gonna go talk to the Dean right now," Gideon whispered confidentially, wagging his finger at J. "E'splain what really happened!"

     Gideon opened the door and propelled himself into the hall. "See you," his voice carried back into the room.

     J. opened his notebook and began writing across the snow white pages.



     Gideon set his face in a drunken scowl and made his way across campus toward the administrations building. The Green was filled with an everchanging pattern of shapes and colors. Students were enjoying one of the last nice days remaining before winter crashed down upon them. Many classrooms were empty.

     Over two hundred students were on the Green, some playing guitars while others, in loving groups of two, lay on top of each other in the grass, making promises. Most, however, were listening to Herb Green. Herb was a representative of the Students for a Democratic Society. He was using this beautiful day to remind the students how bad things were. Lest they forget. He was talking to them through a portable PA system.

     One of the students in the crowd spotted Gideon stomping across the Green. "It's Gideon!" he cried out. The crowd began to cheer and Gideon waved drunkenly at them.

     "Where you going?" someone asked.

     Gideon, without removing his scowl, answered, "Gonna see the Dean!" He trudged off as murmurs swept through the interested students.

     "He sure looked pissed!" one of the students said.

     "I wonder what he's going to do?" another said.

     "That crazy fucker?" a voice far back in the crowd said admiringly, "He's probably going to take over the administrations building all by himself!"

     The murmurs rose to shouts.

     "He shouldn't go alone!"

     "It's time to act!"

     Herb Green quickly grasped the situation and raced to the front of the crowd. "The time has come! The time has come!" Herb screamed, his eyes filled with fire. He began leading the angry group toward the Dean's office, each one trying to stomp as they had seen Gideon stomp.

     As Gideon approached the steps of the administrations building he heard the loud murmuring behind him, but was too drunk to realize what it was, so he just kept walking up the steps at a steady pace. The crowd had multiplied as it swept across the campus, and the now giant circus of loyal followers stayed just behind Gideon.

     When his foot touched the first stone step of the building there were nearly five hundred students stomping along almost in unison. Gideon was in a drunken and victorious stupor as he watched frightened secretaries and office workers dash into doorways in front of him, dropping armloads of books and papers as they fled. He still didn't know there were five hundred students moving through the narrow hallway behind him. Gideon didn't know that, at that very moment, eight loaded police buses, twenty seven police cars and a regiment of the 'Fightin' 47th National Guard troops were being rushed to the scene. He was only hoping he could ask the Dean to change his mind about cancelling his G.I. Bill.

     Gideon was, in fact, unaware of anything peculiar until he opened the door to the Dean's office and heard a cheer that sounded, in his drunken state, like a choir of angels. He smiled.

     To his surprise, he suddenly found himself occupying the large office with the Dean, the Dean's plump secretary, and as many of the five hundred students that could squeeze themselves through the door and into the room. The students were shouting and knocking over desks, lamps and waste baskets in a frenzied attempt to stand at Gideon's side through his triumphant campaign.

     Gideon started to ask someone if he was dreaming when a bullhorn outside the building began roaring orders.

     "You have five minutes to leave this building!" the amplified voice informed them. "If you are not out of the building by then, we will use tear gas."

     The Dean, who had been in partial shock up until he heard the words "tear gas" now began roaring at the students. "Get out ‑ outoutout!" he shouted. "Get out!"

     The plump secretary fainted but was unable to fall. She was wedged between the wall and another wall of angry students. Gideon stood in the middle of the room, his eyes wide with wonder. "Dream?" he asked no one in particular. At that moment the first tear gas canister streamed into the room like a comet. It was followed by another and another.

     Gideon's army faltered as the room filled with a grey‑ white smoke that stung their eyes and took away their breaths. One canister struck a short, thin girl in the mouth and she screamed. Gideon, who knew then that it must be a dream and was positive he would wake up soon, began laughing hysterically. The other students gained strength by watching him thumb his nose at fear. To them his laugh was his way of telling the power structure to kiss his ass. Gideon's hands, in the pockets of his long coat, flopped up and down and he looked like a skinny, comic vampire.

     The students laughed briefly with him, then began coughing and crying in the thick fog, trying to fold into themselves as a wall of white helmets swept methodically down the hall, the cops inside swinging their nightsticks democratically, showing no regard for race, sex, or religious affiliation before them. The crowd panicked and began racing from the room like lemmings, directly into the path of white helmets and batons.

     In the middle of this Gideon still stood, laughing and coughing, tears pouring from his eyes. He had never dreamed such a silly dream. People were screaming and holding their hands over their heads as the clubs rose and fell mercilessly above them. He turned to look around him and a tall, slender boy with red, curly hair fell against him, splattering blood over his long coat.

     Gideon blinked. "Not a dream?" he said, confused. He spun around once then fainted, falling to the floor beside the plump secretary.









Senator Everett Pillhauser first heard of Gideon Holley shortly after the riot in New Orleans.

     "Who is this clown?" the senator shouted when his aide brought in the files of the Louisiana riot. "Find out who the hell he is and why he's trying to destroy my country!" The aide rushed quickly from the room and called Inspector Moranne of Senator Pillhauser's controversial Bureau of Subversive Investigation.

     The Bureau had been created two years before, after some individuals in high places discovered something disturbing about a large, ultra‑radical organization known as 'Radicals United for Peace.' The group was responsible for, among other acts, setting fire to the Bank of America building in San Diego, rioting through the streets of Philadelphia after the jailing of Clifford Simms for draft evasion, and blowing up a field office 'safe house' owned by the FBI.

     The disturbing revelation, found after many months of bickering between different Washington D.C. agencies, was that the Radicals United for Peace was made up entirely of spies from the Army, Navy, FBI, CIA, Marine Corps, Air Force, Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Coast Guard.

     Each member of RUP had squirreled himself into the group to expose and file away information on all the other members. Not one of these men had any idea the others were anything but radicals. The only person who had ever joined RUP and was not a government spy was a member of the Weathermen named Q.R. Jones. He quit RUP because they were too violent.

     Once the true situation was discovered, the government was faced with a sticky problem. They had to find a way to explain the sudden disappearance of a well‑known radical organization boasting membership in the thousands. If they simply eliminated it, they would have been accused of secretly locking away America's youth in hidden concentration camps.

     They were in a quandary. The government solved the problem by having RUP go "underground." Every six months or so they would blow up a building or shoot at a cop on his beat then call the press and brag, "RUP did it."



It was during this time that Senator Pillhauser came up with a brilliant idea. He made code‑scrambled phone calls, held secret sessions with top government officials, and flew back and forth on military aircraft. In a short time he had organized the Bureau of Subversive Investigation.

     BSI was an organization that brought together every spy from every government agency who spied on foreigners, civilians, suspicious strangers, government workers, and each other. As the senator explained to all with whom he conferred, "With all these spies under one roof, the only folks left to watch will be everyone else!"

     The Bureau had its own Top 10, a secret file of the top ten subversives and a complete record of where they lived, what they said, where and what they ate, with whom they slept and what they read. The names on the list had stayed basically the same for two years. The only fluctuation was an occasional number seven moving up to sixth place, and a number six sliding down to seventh.

     Now, out of the blue, Senator Pillhauser was confronted with a new name and it irritated him. He lost two nights' sleep and became angry at petty things. Here was a new name. Gideon Holley. No previous surveillance files, no pictures of him in any demonstration, confrontation or situation.

      At a secret dinner engagement on that second sleepless evening, the Senator questioned Army Major General Klepptucket about the possibility of Gideon Holley being a Russian superspy, smuggled into the country with fake credentials to create turmoil in America.

     "But what about his family?" the General asked.

     "They could be Russkies, too!" the Senator beamed, wondering why he hadn't thought of it before. He stabbed ruthlessly at his baked potato.

     "Yes, but what of the friends he had while growing up?" The General was playing the devil's advocate. "What of the men he served with in the Air Force?"


     Senator Pillhauser was convinced then that the entire state of Florida, Gideon's home state, or perhaps the entire Southeast, was Soviet controlled. This advanced his paranoia and added to his sleeplessness. From that time on, he began asking where the food he ate was grown. If the Southeast was the answer, he refused to eat it. He looked suspiciously at everyone he knew from the Southeast and began to deny he knew them.

     Then, just three crisp, Autumn afternoons after the New Orleans fiasco, Senator Pillhauser's aide brought another file into his office. It was written by Inspector Moranne himself, and it concerned a bloody attempt to take over the administrations building at a small college in Minnesota. The attempt was masterminded by a student named Gideon Holley.



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