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Breed: Twenty-eight


  10:47:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 762 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Twenty-eight

?I've got to go,? Cris said.
?We aren't done,? Rox said, clearly running out of patience.
?I sort of am. Look, it's one thing for the rest of you to be considering this. But I don't have offensive capability. If I manage to get myself shot, sure, I can probably make sure it isn't fatal. Which completely sidesteps the fact that I think you're wrong. I want to be better at using my abilities. I don't want to try to use them to hurt people- even if they're the right people to want to hurt. And lastly, somebody needs me, right now. Not to hurt them, but to help them. And that seems like it's a lot more important than whatever the hell this is.?
He stormed away.
?Is he wrong?? Ben asked. ?We're kids. I'm as full of fury as any of you- and it's righteous, too. But we aren't talking about venting, or even finding a typical teenage rebellion. We're talking about- should we be worried about our phones??
?No,? Mahmoud said. ?They're dead, I saw to it. They'll ping the towers for signal and for incoming calls, but they're otherwise off the grid- no remote spying.?
?But see, that's kind of the point. We're in a position where we have to worry about the government spying on us. We aren't old enough to vote, but we're talking about committing treason.?
?Treason feels melodramatic,? Rox said.
?You want to break into a secretive government facility specifically run by the National Security Agency, then destroy government records, and make enough of a mess in doing it to convince them that it isn't a wise idea to keep trying to track transhumans. 'Treason' seems almost quaint by comparison.?
?This shit can't stand,? Rox said. ?Transhuman spying. We aren't enemies of the state- they are. They're declaring war on people who just want to live their lives in peace.?
?Surveillance isn't war...? Mira said.
?Isn't it? Isn't it the very first stage in war. And isn't sharing reasonable information given to the government in confidence with an organization whose mandate is basically to stop domestic terrorism essentially declaring that we're worthy of suspicion??
?But we aren't terrorists,? Mira said. ?So does the extra scrutiny really matter??
?Yes,? Rui said. ?Both because of the principle, that you can't just search through everyone's records to make sure they're on the up and up, and because similar laws have a history of abuse.?
?He's right about that,? Sonya said. ?The vast amount of arrests under the PATRIOT Act were drug offenses, not terrorism.?
?So?? Mira asked.
?So drug charges are disproportionately filed against minority offenders, and stiffer penalties are disproportionately given to them, too.?
?And the drug war has largely been a farce for years, a national game of chicken where no politician wanted to be the one to admit that it's stupid, pointless and expensive. Prohibition drives prices up, which consequently makes drugs- or any industry- more profitable. It pads out drug peddlers bottom lines.?
?But I think Rui's first point is the important one,? Rox said. ?Because the government shouldn't be able to go phishing in our lives for dirt without cause. A transhuman venting after his boss says something bigoted shouldn't be subject to arrest. And they've already shown they can't be trusted with our information, so not only shouldn't they have it in the first place, but they're leaving that information vulnerable, so even if you trust the government implicitly- which I don't imagine any of us do after Mahmoud and Eljah- but even if, they aren't the only ones you have to worry about.?
?But breaking in to an NSA site,? Ben said.
?I know. It sounds insane. But what we learned today is we can be a force to be reckoned with.?
?We kicked our own asses at a game of improvised touch football.?
?We learned to work as a team, organically. Imagine what we could do with time, and actual training, rather than just whatever comes to mind while we're winging it.? Rox paused. The air was still, and her friends were looking at her like half of them wanted to check her into an institution. ?I'm not saying we have to. But I do think it's something we have to consider, and talk about. Because I honestly do believe that Elijah is the tip of a very long spear, one that's only going to be driven deeper into our collective skin. If we don't pull it out of the wound now, we may not ever get another chance.?

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