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Breed: FIfty-five

01/21/16

  11:33:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 749 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: FIfty-five

There was a knock on Mikaela's door. She wondered if it could be federal agents, but couldn't bring herself to care. The break-in hadn't been covered by the news media, but one casualty had. Mahmoud had been killed, though news reports linked his death to anti-Muslim sentiment.
So in the back of her mind, she knew she should assemble duplicates from every reflective surface in her dorm, but she couldn't muster even that degree of concern for herself. She swung the door open wide.
?He's dead,? Mayumi said. Her voice was soft, and fragile, but her eyes were hard, and full of a fury that scared Mikaela enough to snap her back into her senses. ?There wasn't a body, but,? she held out her fingers, and they were streaked with blood. ?He was there. I could smell him. Taste his sweat.?
Mikaela's eyebrows shot up. ?Not like that. But we lived together for months,? Mayumi said. ?And my senses are... acute. He was there. Someone fired a shot. And there was blood. Lincoln's dead.?
?You can't know that.?
?I know he wouldn't have just disappeared. That he'd tell me if he was okay.?
?Unless he couldn't.?
?The only way he couldn't is if he's dead. Or incapacitated, en route to being dead.?
?Maybe he's with Rox,? she tried to sooth. Mikaeala took out her phone, and dialed the younger woman's cell. It went straight to voice mail. ?Damnit,? she said. ?She's still not picking up. But that strengthens my argument. He's probably with Rox, and they're all lying low.?
?I don't think so,? Mayumi said. ?Judging by his smell, I don't think he got within a hundred yards of her.?
?But you can't know, is my only point. So embrace that uncertainty, so you can hold onto that litle bit of hope.? She navigated to her messages. ?Damnit.?
?What??
?I've been trying to get a hold of Rox. If she is around... I kind of wanted to get a drink with her. She was there, when we sprung Mahmoudd from that Seattle black site, and... I just feel like I need to get sloppy drunk. I'm not sure I feel responsible, exactly... but responsible enough I could really use not being sober right now. So, uh, what are you doing tonight??
?I'll go with you, but I don't think I can get sloppy drunk. With my metabolism, I don't even think shotgunning Wild Turkey would do it.?
?That sounds like a challenge. And really, the important thing is that you keep up numerically, even if I end up way more plastered. So long as I'm not weeping alone into my beer, and then drinking the tears, anyway.? Mikaela opened up her front door, and standing there were Iago, Demi and Drake.
?We brought wine coolers,? Iago said.
?And things that people who aren't fifteen year old girls drink,? Drake said, hefting a six-pack of bottled beers.
?And the hard stuff, for people who want to mix their own non-craptastic drinks,? she had a large bottle of vodka in either hand.
?And they brought a teatotaller, for some reason,? Peter said, rounding the corner into her apartment.?
?Because somebody has to give out sober, non-creepy or gropey hugs,? Mikaela said, throwing her arms around him.
?The best hugs come from the pelvis,? Peter said.
?That was your cue to start air-humping at her,? Iago said.
?Damn, I always miss that cue,? he said.
?How's Cris?? Mikaela asked.
?Cris?? Peter asked, turning towards Demi. ?Haven't seen him. Not since before... oh, shit.?
?What??
?You don't think he went with them, after all, do you? I mean, we know he wasn't at the break-in, but maybe he met up with them after.?
?Well, let's hope not,? Demi said.
?Last night was far too sobering. I don't think we can afford for tonight to be, too.?
?Pour me a shot, too,? Peter said.
?Really?? Drake asked.
?We all lost somebody. It just might mean my hugs get a little bit sloppier tonight than usual.?
?Your hugs were always kind sloppy,? Iago said.
Pete leaned in close and whispered breathily, but loud enough everyone else could here, ?Only for you.?
Demi handed out shots.
?For those who couldn't be here tonight,? Mikaela said.
?May they be the last,? Mayumi said, and clinked glasses with her. They others followed suit, until their glasses were all held high in the air. Then they downed their shots together, and set their glasses on the table between them.

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