How could two level-headed teenagers possible think that Galveston was being taken over by the government? Part of the problem in the book had to do with riot control practice. This is actually a real thing. Mardi Gras at Galveston is a pretty big deal around here. Galveston Police has to be prepared for any eventuality so that they can keep all of the residents and visitors safe. Part of the preparation sometimes includes crowd control practice. I participated in one of these training sessions a couple of years ago. I got to play the part of an angry party goer. We threw half empty water bottles at the riot police over and over again so that they could practice their responses. It was a lot of fun. I felt like I was helping keep the public safe by helping the officers train. It was a completely planned and choreographed session, but I could see where a bystander could perceive it as an actually fight.