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The days after the explosion were hazy. Every time I tried to forget, the radio would give a news brief or someone would turn on the TV and I’d end up plagued with memories once again. Time crawled by slowly as a new paranoia crept into the collective conscious. Science was a threat; chemicals and equations were now seen as the most lethal things a kid could ponder. A man’s brain was more harmful than any disciplined form of combat, as a mind can formulate the intangible. The professors and savants of the world were now the scum of the earth. Welcome to the new terror.

There was new spirit in the streets. People walked with petrified stares and regarded others with unfounded suspiscion. Everyone was but a walking bomb, and I saw mothers look upon their children as if they were weapons about to go off.
Billy never wanted to hurt anyone. He wasn’t manufacturing weapons or even mixing gun powder. The kid never even set off fireworks. He was just striving to solve some grand question and make his name mean something to someone. I will repeat it until the day I day, the boy never intended for his ambitions to be deadly.

The media didn’t see that. All the reports were colored with hysteria and accusations were shot left and right at families, teachers, the government, and humanity. I vaugely felt it was like the Red Scare or 9/11, but it was hard to tell. We never really spoke much about those events in history class. Once of twice I heard mention of how America once had Japanese concentration camps, but I didn’t know whether or not to believe it.

I wasn’t quite sure what to believe in when it all blew up, but all I knew was that Billy didn’t deserve the label of terrorist. The media didn’t understand exactly what happened, they just knew he was in the lab when it all exploded. I couldn’t comprehend it all, but everything and instinct assured me Billy simply released his mass into energy.

“What are college students doing with dangerous chemicals?” barked some angry commentator on the television, “Who’s giving them all of it?”

The same people who formulated your lipstick, you ignorant bitch

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