Breed Book 4, Part 23


One of the inmates poked his head out of a hole in a crumbling wall. “Damnit,” Ben muttered, pointing both his hands at the wall, sending shockwaves through the ground. The wall collapsed the rest of the way, trapping the inmate under a pile of rubble.

Ben hadn’t worked this hard since he lived on the reservation with his brother. He wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. “I’m working too hard, here. I look best when I’m glistening, not drowning in my own tropical ball sweat.”

Rui landed beside him and clapped him on the back. “On the one hand, the U.S. Army is shooting at us. On the other, they apparently went to Stormtrooper School of Marskmanship, because they’ve been missing by a country mile.”

“I don’t know, man. If a dude was on fire and flying over my head… I wouldn’t want to shoot him. Because who’s to say shooting him does anything more than piss him off and get him to pay attention to you, specifically.”

“That’s a good point. I just figured they’d got lazy, living on a beach and sipping Mojitos.”

“Dude, Army men don’t sip Mojitos. They chug.”


“It’s green. That’s a manly color.”

“I’m really going to miss this,” Rui leapt back into the air, shooting flames at a fire team that had been trying to flank Ben moving through the tall grass along the hill, “when you inevitably get yourself shot.”

“Right, just because we decided to take a five mid-combat to banter doesn’t mean everyone else is honoring our time-out.” Ben spun, shaking the men off their feet, sending them rolling back down the hill they’d been climbing. One fired a wild shot over his head as he fell. “I kind of get the impression they think we aren’t on their side.”

“We aren’t.”

“Well, yeah, but it’s not like we’re on the other side, either.”

“The terrorists seem to have figured it all out quicker. Or maybe they’re just assuming anyone not explicitly with them is probably explicitly against them. Or maybe it’s just that I tried to set them on fire, and you collapsed a few walls on them.” He paused. “Terrorism suspects? I don’t know, maybe it’s not okay to just take the government’s word for it that they really deserve to be here. I mean… this government isn’t exactly renowned for its honesty.”

“Most of them have been here through more than one presidency,” Ben said, focusing on knocking a wall down to block some fleeing men.

“I’m Brazillian, dude; Drump might be objectively worse, but not by as much as some of you seem to think. The U.S. Government, whoever happens to be President, isn’t exactly a beacon of transparent and guile-free administration. Bipartisan, they get up to some shady shit. I’m not denying crap isn’t bad in Brazil, especially right now, but we don’t have nearly the kind of impact on the world stage, either.”

“That’s fair. And it’s certainly not like there weren’t some questionable detentions out of this camp, some released after a decade without charges.” The walkie on Ben’s belt squelched twice. “That’s our cue to get the hell out of Dodge.”

“Give me your hands.”

“Wait. I had a thought. Can you fly me over the compound?”      

“Like carry you by the hands, like we did to get here?”

“No, I need my hands free.”

“Ugh. By the armpits? Dude, you just got done describing the River of sweat trickling down you.”

“I did not make it nearly as homoerotic as you just did. And it’s just a little pitstank. It won’t kill you. Just make you nonviable with women for a few months- which seems like it will only extend your current streak.”

“All right. Fine. But let’s get it done, now, before I decide to just drop you.”

Rui lifted the both of them off the ground. “If I strain something, I’m drop-kicking you into the Caribbean.”

“I thought it was pronounced cuh-rib-ee-an.”

“If you’re a tourist, maybe.”

“So wait, when you said you were going to kick me in the Caribbean, did you mean into the body of water, or is ‘the Caribbean’ some kind of Brazilian slang I should definitely be made aware of?”

“If you keep this up I’m definitely going to kick you in the Caribbean.”

“Now I want an answer even more,” Ben said.

“Even as the cost of the question goes up.”

Rui swooped them both higher to avoid a bout of gunfire from a pocket of military personnel. Ben extended his shockwaves through his entire body, pushing them out towards the ground, shaking the soldiers and inmates off their feet. He kept going until a thunderbolt crack spread across the building.

“Uff, I’m pooped,” Ben said, his body going limp.

“So long as that’s not literal.”

“I know, if it is you’ll kick me in the Caribbean.” He exhaled. “But that might even be enough to get them to leave us out of the official story, if they can blame all the fuss on a natural disaster. Give them a massive chance to cover their asses.” “Yeah,” Rui said. “Cause the alternative only works if they can spin it so they’re the only thing standing between Karen Q.  Public and the dark, scary Breed threat. Doesn’t work so well when they get their asses handed to them.”

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