Breed Book 4, Part 05


“Shit,” Tucker said. It was the first moment Mikaela noticed Mayumi was missing; she’d been engrossed in the speaker, in her passion, in her fury.

The next instance a shot rang out. The crowd parted, and Mikaela watched as Mayumi struck the pavement. “I couldn’t stop him fast enough,” Tucker said. “Mayumi. What do we-”

“Leave it,” Mikaela said, and sighed. The crowd around them was panicking, already trying to find an exit the police hadn’t cut off. “This sucks, but if there had to be violence, I don’t think they can throw anything at her she can’t take. Jesus, even I don’t like how cold that sounded.”

“It’s wrong,” Tucker said. “But you’re also right- in that Mayumi agrees with you. Poor kid. I’m quieting some of her nerves down; the trauma;s bad, bad enough she’s having trouble doing some of that herself. Were I her, I’d be trying to remove people’s childhood memories forcefully through their septums, and she’s just glad no one else got hurt.”

“Shit,” Mikaela said. “They’re taking her.” Two cops were hauling a limp Mayumi towards the police line.

“It’s not too late for me to rip trauma out septums,” Tucker said.

“Can’t,” Mikaela said. “Half the reason we’re standing here today is to prove that we’re better than beasts- to disprove their lie that they have to use lethal force on us. We do anything violent, and we gift them a propaganda victory- and the violence goes up, instead.”

“I’m pretty sure I could make them forget any of us were ever here- them included. Start fresh tomorrow morning, like this never happened. Except the trigger happy one; him I’ve got plans for.”


“Heh, yeah, okay, so maybe not the best time for bleak humor, but to be fair, there is a lot of our friend’s blood and eye fluid and I think some little flecks of brain and skull on the street, so I’m more than a little freaked out.”

“If it’s not too much like asking you to perform brain surgery on yourself, could you calm yourself down?”

“I don’t like to do it; think I’m,” she moaned, shuddering, before taking in a deep breath, “a little worried I might accidentally Michael Jackson myself, you know, put myself to sleep while leaning on the put myself to sleep lever, and just never wake up. I’m not entirely sure how metaphorical any of that is. Mind control is always, kind of abstract, to me. It’s not like I navigate through brain structures until I find the right thing to pinch, pull or stimulate.”

“Talking about your first date?” Iago asked, leaning in.

“No, weirdo.”

“Oh, good, because it looks a lot like our gunshot friend is dying, and being carried away by her assassin’s and it would be a really bad time to reminisce about bad teenage foreplay.”

“She’s okay,” Tucker said. “She’s healing already. And I’ve checked the intentions of the cops. Arrest. Some panic. Lots of grossness. But for the moment she’s safe, and the moment she’s not, I don’t care how large of a stink eye Kae gives me, I’m grabbing onto their biggest fear and beating them unconscious with it as painfully as I can.”

“She said stink eye, not brown eye, right?” Iago asked. “Because I don’t think I can process the latter right now.”

“You’re a jackass,” Drake said.

“Yep. But it helps me process.”

“Me, too.”

“I take it we’re not rescuing her from the cops?” Demi asked, her fists balled. “Because I’m down if you’ve just been playing coy, and waiting for me to make my intentions known.”

“No,” Tucker said. “We have to keep an eye on Mai, no orbital trauma pun intended. And you may hate this as much as I do, but I think we have to go with her.”

“Like you’re going to keep the cops from seeing us so we can pursue?”

“I don’t think that’s possible with this many people, and certainly not without a lot of practice.”

“Nope,” Mikaela said. “We have to get ourselves arrested, too.”   

A female officer who had removed her helmet approached them. “I’m going to need you all to disperse,” she said. “This is no longer a protest, it’s a riot, and if you stay, you’ll be arrested for felony rioting.”

“The girl who was shot, she’s our friend,” Mikaela said. “You need to let us stay with her, to make sure she’s okay.”

“You’re with the f-,” the officer stopped herself, “the Breed girl. Sorry. She’s being processed, and we’re already at capacity.”

“We came down here together, from the Breed school. And we’re not leaving without her- and you’re not taking her without us.”

“I don’t know who the hell you think you are to make demands-“

“Screw this,” Drake said, grabbed the officer by the elbow, and they both disappeared.

“Son of a bitch,” Tucker said, and pointed to the top of the nearest building. The officer was standing on the edge, teetering. “Oh, sh-“

They reappeared at street level, where the officer fell to the pavement. “I said I wouldn’t let you fall,” Drake said. “But like I was saying, we’re some of those dangerous Breed. Probably best not to just leave us wandering the streets unsupervised.”

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