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Breed: Seventeen


  02:51:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1189 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Seventeen

Mikaela tensed as she went through the metal detector. She went through everything on her person, wondering what might set it off, and whether or not that would set off the cop.
?See, nothing to worry about,? the uniformed officer said, handing her the dish with her keys in it. ?I'm going to have to pat you down, so if you'll put your feet in those circles on the ground, there.?
Mikaela looked down, and positioned her feet in the circles. Her muscles were tense, and the entire facility felt like a place out of her father's worst nightmares, but she was standing in the middle of it, despite the fact that the cops didn't want her there.
The woman paused. ?It's okay,? she said softly. ?I worked TSA, before here, and I recognize fear when I see it. I ain't going to bite you. And you're not going to hurt me, right? You're just here to see the boy. And I just got to make sure you aren't smuggling anything in. We ain't antagonists; nobody here wants anybody to get hurt.? She sighed. ?Cops can lose sight of that fact. It ain't us versus the public, or we're already lost. We work for the public, with them, to make communities safe. When we do that, when we remember that, and more important remember to show the community that, that's when police get to be the good guys, when we get that respect so many cops think they're due. You okay for me to start??
Mikaela nodded her head slowly.
?Okay. You tell me if you need me to stop, or slow down. That's the other thing I think cops forget. This ain't routine for everybody. We may do this forty hours a week, but for Jane Q. Public, this can be some scary shit.? She gently patted her way up one leg, then the next. Then she patted Mikaela's sides, and her arms. ?You're clear. He's in his own holding cell. I'll take you in to see him.?
The officer beckoned, and Mikaela followed her outside of her circles. It was only a few doors down, before she stopped and opened a door with her keys. ?I know he's just a kid, and so are you; I don't expect trouble. But procedure says I stand here, outside the door. I ain't going to listen, but if you yell for me, that I'll hear, even through the door. There's also a button, on the wall, that will make noise out here, if you need to get out for any reason.?
?Okay,? Mikaela said. ?Thanks.?
?We serve and protect,? she said. ?I'm just doing what's in the job description.?
She opened the door, and Mikaela stepped inside. The room was lit by a single bulb, just enough illumination that she could see Mahmoud's bruised and swollen face. It was worse than it had been in the videos, either because the swelling hadn't happened yet, or because they kept hitting him.
?Jesus,? Mikaela said.
?Mohammad,? he said, ?though it's an easy mistake to make.?
Mikaela smiled. ?I can't believe they left you like this.?
?I know. No wiFi, no TV.? He smiled, then realized she wasn't smiling anymore. ?Sorry. I've been in here a while; deadpanning helps.?
?Whatever helps you cope,? she said. ?Excuse me.? She pushed the button on the wall, and the door opened immediately.
?Everything all right?? the officer asked.
?I want ice, and bandages. Painkillers, if you've got them.?
?Okay. I'll see what I can come up with.?
?And is there any reason to keep him cuffed??
She frowned. ?Not that I can see. I'll bring keys back with me.? The officer shut the door again, and locked it.
?So, not that I'm complaining, because any friendly face is better, but who are you??
?My name's Mikaela.?
?That name's pretty. And so are you.?
She smiled. ?You're saying that because you've taken too many blows to the head.?
?And because I want to avoid more.? The door opened, and the officer came back in. She handed Mikaela a small box of supplies, then walked over to Mohammad.
?Hands out,? she said. He held out his wrists, and she used a key to open his cuffs, then took them with her. ?Play nice,? she said, before leaving again.
Mahmoud rubbed his wrists. ?You never realize how much those things chafe until you spend hours in them. Thanks. I don't know why I didn't think to ask to have them taken off.?
?I don't know that they would have listened.? Mikaela poured some rubbing alcohol onto a cue tip. ?This will sting.?
?It already does,? he said. She jabbed it into a cut above his eye. ?Ow, ow, ow!?
?So you built a bomb?? she asked, and blew on the cut to dry the alcohol off it.
He sighed hotly. ?It wasn't a bomb. It was a fission reactor. There's some similarity, but not much. I mean, my physics teacher knew it wasn't a bomb. But then the principal...?
?Sorry,? she said. ?I didn't mean to open up a wound.?
?Not your fault. I went to school this morning thinking I'd impress my teacher. And she was very impressed. Not enough to hug me, or anything, but...?
?Are you telling me you're hot for teacher?? Mikaela asked with a grin.
?You haven't seen this teacher,? he said.
?That's true. And I've definitely had hots for many a teacher- so I'm not judging.?
?But all I wanted was to show off. I didn't think... I mean, I understand fission isn't a toy. But it's also not something to be afraid of. I mean, if you could mass produce my generator, it could revolutionize the way that people interact with the power grid.?
?And they kicked your ass for it. Here.? She handed him the ice pack. ?Hold this, wherever it hurts most.? He pushed it over the split in his forehead. ?How much do you know, about what happened out there??
?What do you mean??
?People protested your arrest. And there was a riot.?
?Here,? she said, and gave him a couple of pills, and a disposable cup of water.
He took them, then handed her the cup. ?You're not just playing good cop, are you??
?I'm not a cop,? she said. ?I'm not sure what I'm doing here, honestly, but I'm definitely not a cop. And fuck them, for doing this to you.?
?Don't thank me. This isn't okay. Even if you weren't 'my kind.' People shouldn't do this kind of thing- especially not those we trust to keep us safe.?
?That's not always a popular opinion,? the Dean said, as the cell door opened. ?Least of all in a place like this.?
?And that's the problem,? she said defiantly. ?Cops ought to be the ones most incensed by this kind of violence, because not only is preventing violence part of their mandate, but it erodes public trust even in good police.?
?I agree. And that's why we're taking Mr. Mohammad away from here.?
?Really?? he asked, rising. ?I'm free??
?After a manner of speaking,? he said.

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