Gloria’s law professor had once counselled against arguing against idiots.
They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
What Gloria was concerned with, was that some idiots get given badges. The guns weren’t so much of an issue, because most people could get one no matter what. No, a badge was a far more frightening weapon in the hands of a moron. Harlan though, was smart enough to exercise his constitutional right to shut the fuck up.
Gloria came across as adversarial because she cared. It was easier to play the victim, blame institutions and use that to be passive. Gloria knew people who had built lives and careers around that, but she believed that change was only ever going to come if you got into the fight rather than watch from the sidelines. She did not always get the clients that would have made for good press, but that was the point of the law. That it wasn’t about the ideal but the real, that perfect was the enemy of the good and that the mob was too capricious.
For the price of a coffee, Gloria would tell you what was wrong with the justice system and how to fix it but instead of bitching about it, she took cases and won them. If the state fucked up cases, then she was there to remind them about it, make it sting so that there was a process of evolution. It hadn’t made her friends but she had been walking her path without ever looking back.
She took a sip of the shitty coffee, touched Harlan on the shoulder and smiled at him.
Enough with the pleasantries of pretending that these assholes had a goddamn thing to put him away. Mentally, she rolled up her sleeves and stopped playing nice.
Harlan had been terrified of this, but sat with her, she had reminded him in a small, amusing way of Avery.