Breed Book 4, Part 12


As the clouds parted and the lights came back on, there was suspense. It was possible the cops would be so threatened by the display they’d feel they had to respond with force- even in the face of their own certain extinction. But as the streetlights flickered back to life, they started kneeling.

Keane rolled over the temporary barricade the police had constructed, and walked slowly but purposefully towards the steps to Seattle’s police headquarters. There he was met by Mayor Raykin. She was shaking. “That was something,” she stuttered.

“That was Tuesday. These students came here with peace in their hearts; they aren’t here for conquest. What’s more, their asks are reasonable, even fair. But if you’re asking me if they’re inclined to come back again, six months from now, still full of youthful optimism and the milk of human kindness, the next time one of your officers murders someone? I wouldn’t wager lives on the question.”

“Nor would I,” she agreed. “In fact, I find myself suspiciously open to you, which begs the question: are you controlling my mind?”

“I don’t do that.”


“Don’t. Myself, and those behind me, we are capable of doing wonderful, extraordinary things. But just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should. We did not come here to meet violence with violence. We came because we will not be intimidated by violence. And perhaps, to remind you, and these officers, that while we may walk softly, there is no stick larger than the one wielded by the people. This is not a war you can win. Not through fear, or through violence. But it is a war you can stop. We want an end to bloodshed, not more carnage.”

The mayor swallowed, and grabbed a megaphone from a nearby officer. She keyed it and spoke. “Men and women of the Seattle Police Department, on your feet.” She closed her eyes, steeling herself. “Go home. You’re relieved of duty for the evening. You’re no longer needed here.”

A roar erupted from the protestors as the police started to file away, one by one.

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