Everyone kneels around her, heads bowed and faces tight and angry but pale. They are just as furious as she is, but they are also just as scared as her. She wants to fight, to yell, to do something. But she can't move, her limbs refused to; she's too terrified.

"You fucking tyrant!"

Silence. The ceremony comes to an abrupt stop.

Heads whip around as everyone looks to see who shouted. In the distance she can barely see him; a boy – a man – standing alone, chin raised as he glares at General Samson.

She watches along with the rest of the crowd as the general gestures, as soldiers – there's no police in the city ever since Samson declared martial law – rush through the crowd. No one speaks as they drag him – unresisting but with his back straight and staring straight ahead – to the podium, and the general waiting on it to give punishment.

"Take him to holding for inciting panic. I will deal with him later." Samson's voice is cold, completely disinterested in the boy. The boy that will never be seen again, at least not alive, just like everyone else who was taken to the holding and returned with the note that they 'died in an accident'.

The soldiers begin to take him away. He still walks, no hesitation in his step even though he must know he's walking to his death.

That alone has shame churning in her gut, finally giving her the strength to finally look forward. Those around her, strangers she has never seen before this day, try to drag her back – both by grabbing her and shaking their heads – but she knocks them away.

"Kill him now! Show us the tyrant you really are!" She's proud that for once she doesn't stumble over her words. And that her voice doesn't shake as much as her hands do.

The soldiers pause, the boy still in their grasp, and look around. The boy smiles at her though his eyes are sad – perhaps he is aware that without him, she wouldn't have spoken up, and she wouldn't have a noose around her neck now- and that action alone lets her keep her head up even if she can't help the step backwards as the soldiers come for her.

Like the boy before her, she doesn't struggle as they latch onto her arms and force her through the crowd that parts silently before the group.

And like her, someone speaks up.

"Stop pretending to be anything but a militarist dictator!"

Only this time, it isn't only one person. It is many.

"Get out of our city!"

"We don't want the likes of you here!"

"Take your martial law and shove it up your ass!"

And even as the voices slowly die off, as all of them get rounded up, and forced into a black jeeps probably to never see their city again, she looks out the small window, relief dropping her shoulders and bringing a smile to her lips.

Her people – strangers in a large city – stand silent but together, heads raised tall. Word will spread and more people will speak out.

And even though she knows she will die – she just doesn't know how or when, but it's going to be soon – she is proud that her city will protest and fight. If it takes people dying to start the protest – and unfortunately it does take people dying for anything to have meaning – to get her fellow citizens to fight for their freedom and safety, their return to the rest of the country (who left them alone to try and deal with Samson diplomatically), then she is honored to die for that reason.

Terrified and oh so sorry for the pain this will bring her family – they told her before phone lines cut out, to look out for herself and be careful – but at least she stood for something.

It might have taken some prompting but she didn't stay quiet.

Looking to the boy who started it all, she finds his pupils blown wide. A glance down shows hands that tremble.

He is just like her, considered a child still – probably a foolish one, seeing as he has piercings and tattoos. But he was the first one to stand, the first to gather the courage, to find the bravery to shout out against the government.

Luckily, he didn't stand alone.

"I'm sorry," He whispers, his voice hoarse and close to crying but still so strong.

"I'm not." It's the truth; she's thankful he gave her the courage that allowed her to act – even if nothing comes from it, at least she can be proud that she stood for what she believed in. How much of a comfort that will be when she is about to be execute, she doesn't know but will find out. "I'm Andromeda, my friends call me Andy."

His smile is smaller than before, but no less bright. "I'm Ethan. If only we could have meet earlier."

Andy laughs, "I'm happy we meet when we did, at least we won't forget it."

"Well you're right about that."

They speak for the rest of the drive, talking about inane things and pretending. And if at points one breaks off into a sob – when talking about family or dreams – neither them nor the guards make note of it.

But all good things – no matter how new or temporary they are – must come to an end. The jeep comes to a stop.

Generously, the soldiers give them a moment and the two look to each other.

"Andy, I don't want to die."

"Me neither, and that's ok." Tears slid down her cheeks but she makes no move to wipe them away. Andy stares him dead in the eye, allowing Ethan to see everything. "Be afraid, but stand tall. That's all we can do now."

A minute is all the soldiers give before they are lead from the jeep. Either they are the first vehicle to arrive or the only one coming to this location, because there isn't another jeep in sight.

Perhaps it justice, that she is escorted before him. Because the only thing left in her as she walks to her death is resolution, even her fear as left her now. That resolution allows her to walk calmly, her eyes straight ahead.

She can only hope he draws strength from her, just as she did from him. It might be the only thing that she can give him.