During the next month, Crystal was improving in both her training and her chores. I felt a twinge of pride, but of course I didn't say this out loud. My feelings for her also increased, and these were harder to hide. But I had plenty of other things on my mind. Our first attack on the humans was coming up, and the higher ranking rabbits were working us harder than ever. Punishments were more severe, and many rabbits (mostly lops) were nursing scratched eyes from kicks to the face. Meanwhile, my fellow officers were complaining about their trainees disappearing for long times.
I stepped out of my nest one sweltering summer day and headed to the mess hall for breakfast. On my way there, I saw the purple rabbit in a spare room. I noticed for the first time that he had blue and pink spots as well. He was talking in a hushed voice to a large group of lop-ears.
"I know how to get the leaders to change their minds. But we can't talk here. Follow me, two or three at a time, to the surface."
I interrupted by thumping the ground, sending up a cloud of dirt. Everyone turned to face me, their fur bristling.
"What are you doing," I demanded. I noticed a flash of white fur near the front of the group. Crystal was there.
"How much did you hear," the oddly colored rabbit asked, his eyes darting nervously back and forth.
"You want to change the leaders' minds about something."
"Um, we wanted to campaign for better food in the mess hall?" The stranger seemed desperate. The rabbits in the room hesitated, unsure of what to do.
"Then why don't you ask for help from straight-ears? The leaders are more likely to listen to them."
There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence. Finally the stranger said, "I'll tell you the truth if you promise to not turn us in."
"What happens if I don't keep my promise," I threatened.
"A lot of rabbits would be very angry with you." He pointed with his ear to the crowd behind him. As much as it pained me to admit it, he had a point. I was vastly outnumbered. I sighed with resentment.
"Alright, I promise I won't turn you in. Now what are you up to?"
The purple rabbit regarded me suspiciously for a minute, and then nodded.
"My name is Roger and I am the leader of the Lop-Ear Liberation Alliance, or L.E.L.A. As you can probably tell by the name, the object of this organization is to give lops the freedom they deserve. They deserve equality. Our motto is 'Ears don't make the rabbit.' We do nonviolent protests and strikes, and we have branches in all military bases."
I flicked my ears, surprised. Lops always seemed so docile. How did they manage to keep this organization a secret for so long?
"You won't tell, right," Roger insisted. I felt many pairs of eyes on me and glanced at the crowd. My eyes rested on Crystal and in a moment of insanity, my life changed forever.
"Why would I tell? I want to join."
I knew I had surprised them, because I even surprised myself. But there was no backing out now.
"That's great," the leader of L.E.L.A. said. "We need some straight-ears on our side."
"Yeah, just one question: Why are you purple? It's not very intimidating"
Roger glared at me, and out of nowhere the ground exploded and I was thrown back. For a second I just stared speechless at him.
"How…where did you hide the bomb," I managed to squeak out.
"That's for me to know and you to remember if you don't mind your own business."
Roger reminded me of someone. I racked my brain, trying to remember where I had heard that before. Reuben! He said almost the same thing to the general! Was this rabbit associated with the leader of the entire rabbit army? Remembering the mysterious explosion, I kept my mouth shut.