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Breed: Twenty-nine


  11:45:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 2481 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Twenty-nine

?I'd feel better if Pete was here,? Demi said as they walked down the darkened street ringing the southern edge of the campus.
?Because being an overachiever in genetics is a useful skill when tracking a potentially homicidal Japanese schoolgirl?? Iago asked.
?No. Because she fucked up that cop, and where Pete goes Cris is pretty likely to follow. And I'd feel better having a walking emergency room with us.?
?I wish I wasn't here,? Tucker said.
?Thanks for coming,? Mikaela said.
?You said this girl needed our help- and you needed me to find her.?
?We do,? Mikaela said. ?And that's why I'm glad you came.?
Tucker closed his eyes. ?This would be easier if I knew Mayumi,? he said.
?The important thing to know right now is she's dangerous, so be careful. When she ripped into that cop, she was wailing like a banshee, like an animal. But there was something to the violence, something... practiced about it. Like, I dated a dancer, years ago. And everything in the way she moved was more deliberate, just walking around had a fluidity to it. Mayumi's had a lot of practice hurting people- though I don't understand how.?
?I'm sure I'll be fine,? Tucker said.
Demi noticed the tension between them, and tried to intervene, stepping so that she blocked Tucker's view of Mikaela. ?So what's telepathy like?? she asked.
?Have you ever struggled to hear yourself think while someone obliviously drones on? Strikingly like that.?
Demi stopped walking, and glared daggers into Tucker. ?You've got to forgive Tucker,? Iago said, slowing down to stay with her. ?He was born without a sense of humor. Or the ability to not be a dick for more than five minutes at a time.?
Tucker spun around. ?Has it been five minutes?? he asked Iago.
?Don't think so.?
?Tell me when it has,? he said, before spinning back around.
?Okay, so he has been known to deadpan. But other than that, no sense of humor.?
?You'll have to forgive my brother,? Tucker said, stopping to let them catch up.
?For?? Demi asked.
?His personality, mostly.? Demi stifled a laugh. ?But I'm sorry. I wasn't exactly keen on coming out for a protest. And you can imagine I was even less thrilled to get a call from my ex trying to help her find a girl. But cunty though my answer was, that is what telepathy's like. Think about your own internal monologue. Disjointed, abstract half-sentences. The one thing that really makes one person's thoughts recognizable is their voice- we all have a rough approximation of our voice that we hear in our own heads. Telepathy is like hearing someone else's thoughts in your own head- on top of your own. It's disjointed and disorienting.?
?And it's probably worse with someone chatting you up while you're doing it.?
?But it was still crappy of me to take it out on you, so, sorry.?
?It's okay. You might see this as mostly a favor you're doing for an ex. But Mayumi's my friend, too. And she needs us.?
?What happened to being afraid of her??
?I'd probably say I was more intimidated than afraid. But honestly, I think I'm the heaviest hitter here. If I can't take her... well, that's not very likely.?
Tucker closed her eyes and tilted her head to the side. ?You said she's Japanese, right??
?Yeah,? Drake said.
?Well either somebody's watching Naruto reruns or I think I've found her. And she's back to not saying anything.?
?Does that mean you lost her?? Demi asked.
?Not. She's not saying anything. But that doesn't mean she isn't still making noises- a lot of noises. Growling, mostly.?
?That's our girl,? Mikaela said.
?I'm not going to have have to get a rabies shot come the end of the night, am I??
?Almost certainly not.?
?It feels like it's coming from that park up there.? She pointed weakly. ?There's some ugly shit going on in her head, though. Almost like it isn't her head.?
They heard a scream. ?We should hurry,? Mikaela said.
?So what do we know about Mayumi, then?? Iago asked.
?She takes a licking and keeps on ticking,? Mikaela said.
?I don't think that was supposed to sound erotic...?
?Not even remotely what I meant.?
?It seems obvious she's got some superhuman durability,? Demi said. ?And the way she hucked that guy, it's equally clear she's got enhanced strength. And she likes cocoa.?
?I'm kind of regretting turning down the training,? Mikaela said. ?Though this is about as far from where I thought we might use it as possible.?
They heard another yell. ?I'm checking it out,? Drake said, and was gone.
?Damnit,? Mikaela yelled. ?We should be sticking together.?
?I didn't miss anything,? Drake said from behind her. ?Just popped up a couple hundred feet ahead. Trees are too dense in the park to see anything.?
?And he got scared,? Iago said.
?No. I didn't like the idea of getting ambushed alone there. Plus, I couldn't see very far in to teleport.?
?I'm glad you came back,? Mikaela said. ?We shouldn't separate.?
?I'm pretty sure this isn't a horror movie,? Drake said.
?But if it is, since Mayumi's our 'monster,' it's a Japanese horror movie.?
?Yeah, we need to be careful, I say, as the closest thing to a man of color as we've got in this oddly lily white brigade. Not counting Mikaela.?
?Hey, I'm at least as Latino as you.?
?But I've also got some Native American, maybe.?
?Yeah, like a pinky toe's worth- presuming your great grandmother wasn't BSing to get street cred.?
?I'm not sure how you spend your time that promiscuous grandmother equals 'street cred.' Also, saying 'street cred' automatically made you the whitest person here. By a wide margin.?
?Idiots,? Mikaela said, and nodded in the direction of the trees. ?Stick close.?
?Buddy up,? Tucker said, stepping closer to Demi. They took the left side of the park, while Mikaela went with the other two right.
?Tucker'll find her first,? Iago said, but there was a tremble in his voice.
?You okay?? Mikaela asked.
?Not really,? he said. ?I've seen people fight. But most of the time, even when it's a bigger guy picking on somebody way smaller, there's usually some contention. But she was so fast. I think she meant to kill that cop.?
?We'll find her, and we'll stop her.?
?I kind of wonder if we shouldn't. Let the cops handle her.?
?I don't know what's going on with her. If this is maybe a part of her ability, or maybe the way an underlying mental disorder reacts with it. But I don't think she meant to hurt that cop. And she's one of us. If we give her over to the police... well, you've seen what they do to people who aren't a serious threat.?
?And who knows how many of them she'd take with her,? Drake said. ?No, we have to do this. Because it's what the rest of us would need, if whatever's happening to her happened to us.?
Demi suddenly snapped into the tree just beyond Drake, wrapping around it like a flag around its pole.
?Iago, take care of her.?
He knelt to check on her, as Mikaela stepped forward. Tucker was lying against a tree. ?You okay?? Drake asked.
?Demi took the brunt of it. Though I still I'm concussed.?
Then they spotted Mayumi. She was hunched over, breathing heavily, with her hair over her eyes.
?May,? Mikaela said, approaching very slowly. ?We're your friends. We're here to help.? She put out her hand to touch Mayumi. The slight girl responded by punching her in the eye. The blow sent her stumbling back towards Iago.
?On the bright side,? Iago said, trying to contain a smile, ?at least now you'll match, you know, from when she hit you earlier in the other eye.?
?You could make me some ice,? she said.
?Oh, yeah. Where is my sense of chivalry??
He held out one hand, and clawed the fingers of his other. The air swirled around between his fingers, collecting moisture in the air into an elaborate snowflake, and when it was formed he handed it to Mikaela.
She pressed it against her eye. ?It's cold.?
?Damn. I left all my warm ice at the apartment.?
?Smart ass.?
?Little help?? Drake asked, appearing between them, before disappearing.
?Happy to,? Demi said, grunting as she stood. ?Just getting my second wind.?
?Think you've got a bird's nest in your hair,? Iago said.
She ignored him, and started marching in the direction she'd been flung from.
?Iago?? Mikaela started. ?Can you slow her down??
?I can try,? he said. ?Just don't let her mangle me.?
Demi and Mikaela stood on either side of him. Mayumi was still preoccupied with Drake, who was teleporting in and out of range too fast for her to catch. Or at least he'd thought so. She feinted to the left, then struck right, and her fist hit him in the throat. She immediately grabbed his neck and squeezed.
Iago held out his hands, and swirls of cool air formed a small spiral towards Mayumi. Ice crystals formed on her feet, cementing her in place. She tried to reel backwards to throw a punch at Drake, but with her feet stuck she lost her balance. As soon as her grip slackened, Drake was gone.
Mayumi howled, thrashing her legs. The ice cracked. ?Can you fix it?? Mikaela asked.
?Probably not as fast as she can break it,? Iago said. A crack opened down the center of the ice, and her foot slipped out, leaving her shoe embedded in the ice. Her other foot came out with her shoe still laced around her foot.
She snarled, glaring at all of them. ?I could teleport us out of here,? Drake said.
?No,? Mikaela said.
Mayumi cradled her left hand, like she was about to pop her knuckles, but instead shoved the fingers down into her hand with a sickening crack. Then the finger bones began to elongate and taper. ?Did she just make claws?? Drake asked. ?Escape??
?You're welcome to run,? Mikaela said.
Mayumi shrieked, and charged at them. ?Let me,? Demi said, and and took a step forward. She threw a haymaker that caught Mayumi just under the chin, and lifted her up off her feet. She fell backward, landing face-first against a tree root. Blood flooded from the wound at the speed of a drinking fountain as Mayumi rose, but by the time she was to her feet the flow had stopped entirely.
?There's no way she's clotting that fast,? Mikaela said.
?Well, we know what her ability is, now,? Drake said.
?I'm going to try something,? Demi said. ?I'm going to tase her. Can I get a distraction??
Iago shot a column of cold from his hands into her eyes. Mayumi roared as her eyes froze. Still she leapt at him, knocking him to the ground beneath her.
?Let me,? Demi said, and tackled Mayumi off him. ?Couldn't shock her while she was straddling you, without it all going through you. But now, Demi put her hand on either side of Mayumi's ribs and arced electricity through her torso.
Demi stood up, and brushed the leaves off her chest. She sighed triumphantly.
?Um,? Iago said, pointing over her shoulder.
Demi turned, and as she did, Mayumi threw a punch. Demi managed to get out of the way, but a second landed in her stomach. ?Son of a cunt,? she yelped.
?I think electrocuting her only made her stronger,? Iago said. ?Or at least more pissed off.?
Demi held out her hands, and electricity arced between them. Then it leaped out at Mayumi, striking her arm just above the elbow. The muscles in the path of the electricity from the strike down to the ground tensed, and Mayumi fell awkwardly to her knees. But the moment the shock stopped she started to stand up again. The charred skin around the electrical impact was already taking on a flesh tone again.
?Is she part fricking terminator?? Iago asked.
?Think I might have something,? Drake said. He teleported behind Mayumi and grabbed her shoulder, then they were both gone.
They heard screaming in the air, before the tree nearest to them shook. ?The hell?? Demi asked.
He reappeared. ?I'm going to need to borrow you,? he said, and took hold of Demi's hand.
Suddenly she was near the top of a tree, balanced on a tiny branch. She reached for the trunk to steady herself, to find it was slicked with warm sap. She heard growling above her, and realized it wasn't sap.
She looked up to the top of the tree and saw Mayumi impaled on the tree. ?That's why I needed some help,? Drake said. ?I mean, we could probably just leave her there, but that seems cruel. But I'm pretty sure if I just teleported her off that she'd be back to mauling in a matter of seconds.?
?Give me a second,? Demi said. She positioned herself so that most of her weight was on her hands wrapped around the bloody trunk. She put her heel just under her foot, and pulled. The trunk gave away, and she felt the world falling towards her. Then the air rushed around her, and she was aware of Mayumi smacking into her in mid-air. Then an instant later the ground rushed up to hit her.
Even with a large chunk of tree sticking out of her, Mayumi struggled to her feet. ?Hold her,? Tucker said, stumbling forward. Mikaela pulled a mirrored compact from her pocket and pulled a double from it.
?Got it,? she and her double said in unison. They rushed forward and grabbed Mayumi's wrists. and held her against a tree. ?Iago?? she asked.
?On it,? he said. He froze Mayumi's feet back to the earth.
?Hold her,? Tucker said forcefully, walking around the two Mikaelas. He stroked his fingers along Mayumi's hairline. ?I've got it,? he said. Mayumi started to shriek at a deafening volume. ?Shit. Thought that would shut her down.?
?One side,? Demi said. ?I think I know where her off switch is.? She reeled back, then threw a punch into Mayumi's forehead. Since she was held in place, unable to disperse any of the force either by stumbling or falling back, the blow landed with a surprising amount of force, and she went limp.
?Iago?? Mikaela asked.
?Yeah, I'll slow down her metabolism,? he said, holding out his hands. Air swirled around his fingers, and frost began to collect on Mayumi's skin.
?Let me,? Tucker said. He stroked Mayumi's face again. The Japanese girl's breathing started to slow, and her eyes closed. They waited for another move from her, until she started snoring loudly.
?Is it over?? Iago asked.
?Hardly,? Tucker said.

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