- drive repealed -
Of course it was the little Roche girl who broke the stalemate. The police riots had been ugly, fueling the fire against vigilantes and getting the Keene Act pushed through Congress, but there had still been resistance here and there. Even the news media, who'd been all too eager to focus on the lawlessness caused by NYPD's absence, couldn't keep an entirely confident tone when they quoted Senator Keene's assurances that "America has spoken, and we are listening."
Her parents didn't want her to get involved. She was only eight years old, after all, and she still awoke screaming from nightmares. But once her school showed the Senate's PSA in her class, there was no stopping her.
Every day she could be seen on her street corner - A childish likeness of Rorschach dominated a posterboard sign that she brandished like a shield which proclaimed in large, careful block letters, "Bring him back."
People still remembered what happened. No one laughed, or tried to stop her - not even as HUAC was doing its level best to destroy what was left of vigilantism's reputation with tales of innocents harmed, of depravities hidden and the dangers to John Q. Public.
Her mother joined her, eventually, after a bitter quarrel with her husband. A few other children joined in as well with placards of their own, and enough of them stuck with it that the news finally decided it was worth talking about.
Once she appeared in a Walter Cronkite interview, it was all over. Her earnest little voice asserting "He saved me, I would have died!" became the clarion call for countless grassroots movements who suddenly found it in themselves to unite into one massive group - one that suddenly outnumbered the "majority" who had put the Keene Act in place.
It was amazing how quickly evidence of graft and coercion among city government was unearthed, and how many people came forward with stories of giving anti-vigilante evidence to HUAC under duress.
The Act was repealed after a mere nine months, and Senator Keene - who some said was acting as a puppet the whole time - faded into relative obscurity and did not run for re-election.
When asked for a comment, Adrian Veidt - the only vigilante to have willingly shed his mask before the Keene Act - only said, "We must all act according to our conscience."