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Breed: Chapter Eighteen


  02:31:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 901 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Chapter Eighteen

?You said I was 'your kind,'? Mahmoud said, trying to keep up as they walked through the labyrinthine corridors. ?Like black? Muslim? Transhuman??
Mikaela smiled. ?The trifecta,? she said.
?So you're all?? he said, gesturing to all three of them.
?We are.?
?And we'd like you to come back to Bellingham with us,? Kean said.
?That's... sudden,? Mahmoud replied.
?It is. I discussed it with your parents, before coming here. Unfortunately, the circumstances of your detention and arrest will make you a lightning rod. Those looking for a cause to rally around- and a symbol for those looking for someone to hate. I can't protect you from all of that. But at my school, I can guarantee that you will be surrounded by those who can understand what you're going through- at least as well as any of us can.?
?My parents...?
?Would only be an hour away. I've made arrangements, for a scholarship, including bussing once a month to visit them.?
?Would I have to decide now??
?No. But the conditions of your release did dictate you not be released within the city tonight. Your parents are already waiting in Bellingham, with a hotel room. I'd like you to tour the campus, see if, perhaps, it might interest you.?
?But I haven't graduated yet.?
?You would technically be enrolled in the satellite high school, along with Miss Molina.?
?Hey,? Rox said. The pushed their way out onto the roof. Rain was pounding down, and they walked to the helicopter.
?We good to take off?? Kean asked.
?This is a light misting in Washington,? Linc said with a grin.
?Then get us the hell into the sky.?
?You got it.? Linc started the chopper, and lifted off of the roof.
Kean heaved a sigh of relief. ?Now that we're out of the lion's den, Mahmoud, I'd like to formally introduce you to Rox Molina, who's about your age. And our pilot is Lincoln Martens, formerly of the U.S. Army, and now the head of our counseling department.?
?Rox. That's a cool name,? Mahmoud said.
?Yeah. My parents named me Roxy; I think they didn't want it obvious that I was Mexican, but 'Molina' doesn't exactly scream white European. And I might be light-skinned, but I think people can tell, anyway.?
?I don't know that I would have guessed. But really, anyone lighter than me I don't make any assumptions about.?
?So you really built a fission reactor??
?It was just a science fair project,? he said, pantomiming the size of the device.
?So you built a miniature reactor? That's even cooler.?
?Yeah, I'm not so sure,? he said, touching his swollen face.
?I know getting stomped wasn't cool. But what you did was- so cool simple-minded cops felt threatened by it. Which makes it cooler.?
?I guess. I just wanted to make something cool.?
?You did. How the hell does that feel??
?It hurts,? he said.
?No-? She nodded to the smoke still billowing from the city as they overflew. ?That.?
?It's fucked up. I shouldn't have been arrested. Shouldn't have been disappeared to a secret prison where I wasn't even booked. People shouldn't have had to protest any of that, and there shouldn't have been violence.?
?No. There was a different part of the protest. You hear about the NSA tracking program??
?All I've heard all day was variations of the question, 'Why did you build a bomb?'?
?In response to your arrest, a hacker released records of an NSA transhuman tracking program. I think that pushed the protesters. And probably the police, too, made everyone feel violated.?
?Huh,? he said.
?I guess I, I sort of knew about it, already. Not in so many words. But I knew my data was being collected. At least, it was, until last month. I didn't know what it was being used for, so I rerouted it. Took myself off the grid, so to speak.?
?You can do that??
?It's the other side of my ability. I'm a technopath. I can 'talk' to electronics, and understand when they talk back. And in a limited sense, I can kind of ask them to function differently. Within parameters. The electrical pathways are all still the same; it's like how a telepath can't rewire a human brain, or make someone do something they don't know how to, but they can ask for something that person could already theoretically do.?
?But you can shield yourself from surveillance. That's really cool.?
?Actually,? he adjusted the glasses on his face, ?right now I'm shielding all of us.?
?The NSA have gone a little crazy over it, too. I don't think they like that you were able to spring me. So they're trying to track the helicopter, and tap your phones. And the longer they can't, the more desperate the attempts to get any kind of information. They stopped trying to get camera or audio. Now they're just trying to triangulate with cell towers. I keep routing them to the President's cell phone. I think she and her husband are doing... things. She's going to be unhappy with them come the morning.?
?Ew, and I don't think I've ever been jealous of somebody else's ability before. It's kind of funny. I think your power should completely frighten public officials, but not for any of the reasons they arrested you. But because you could totally spy on them back.?

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