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Breed: Thirty

12/01/15

  11:54:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 660 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Thirty

?I don't know how I feel about this,? Mahmoud said on the phone.
?Why's that?? Rox asked, trying to make her steps quieter as she stepped through the lightly staffed lobby. Like most things in Bellingham, the police all but closed at eight, too. The man at the desk was paying more attention to his log book than her, but something told her she couldn't just walk past without arousing his suspicion. So she planted herself on a small bench enough to the side that he wouldn't give her more attention when she did. ?You already helped me track down a cybercriminal.?
?Yeah. In another state. And even that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. But this guy's a cop.?
?A volunteer,? she corrected him.
?But he's got friends on the force. He could make life for both of us intolerable- if not downright dangerous.?
?And that's why you're cloistered safely away in a dorm room, which, by the way, how do you like it??
?It's weird. But at least I talked my parents out of moving up here so we could share an apartment. That would have been intolerable. Oh, shit; I'm sorry. That was insensitive.?
?What was?? she asked.
?Oh, crap,? he said through a sigh. ?I may have done a little snooping on you. It's kind of a habit. Not even one, exactly so much as if I think about someone- anyone- any connection within wifi range bends over backwards to find information out about them. And it's hard to have self-control when it's all right there. But I know, about your parents. I'm sorry- both for knowing, and because of what happened.?
?You don't know shit about what happened,? she said.
?I don't. You want to talk about it??
?No.?
?You sure??
?People get hurt when they upset me. It's a reflex; I don't control it. So don't push.?
?Absolutely. Sorry. You're right. Even luck powers going wrong on you is irrelevant. If you want to talk, I'm available, but otherwise, I'm dropping it.?
?So what have you found for me??
?Not much. That's why I'm glad I sent you with that dongle.?
?And you're sure it's not just because you like saying 'dongle.'?
?It is a fun word. And that's only 75% percent cause it sounds like a euphemism. It's the 'ongle' that's fun.?
?Mhmm,? she said. ?So why's the dongle necessary??
?The police, their files, their network, they aren't online- no remote access at all. This town's kind of...?
?Backwards??
?I was going to say 'quaint.'?
?No you weren't.?
?No. I was trying to figure out a nicer way to say 'hillbilly.'?
?I've found banjos help.?
?I'm pretty sure if I take up the banjo on top of all of my typing, I'd get arthritis by age twenty. So where are you??
?Waiting for my opportunity.?
?Seems like waiting around a cop shop that's about to close is a great way to get noticed.?
?Hey, do you want this done, fast, right, or with a low body count. You can have two.?
?That isn't funny.?
?Who was joking?? she said. The desk sergeant ducked under his seat. She stood, and walked past the desk briskly.
?Plug it into any computer. Provided it's hooked into their network I can get in through there.?
?How long will this take??
?As long as it takes,? he said. ?Why??
?Because I probably shouldn't leave your dongle here.?
?Probably not. Though I wouldn't lay odds that anyone involved with their ancient network could do anything more than marvel at its technological prowess.?
?Just hurry. My powers skew odds in my favor. That doesn't mean I can get caught conducting espionage in a police station without consequence.?
?Okay, they opened up an investigation. Linc does have some pull... but it's already closed. They bought what the officer said, that he had his gun stolen.?
?But you've got a name??
?And an address. And a bad feeling about all of this.?

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