Breed Book 4, Part 35

Note: Sorry about the posting gap. Had some familial friction that is, hopefully, resolved now.


“So I have a hit,” Mahmoud said, trying to flatten out a dollar so the vending machine would take it.

“Then why are you grimacing?” Rox asked, taking the dollar from him. It went in without any trouble. “And couldn’t you have just told it to give you a snack for free?”

“I could, but I’d feel bad,” he said punching in the number for a bag of pretzels. “Plus this way you get to show off.”

“And try to avoid the question,” she said. “But fail.”

“Right. The grimace. It’s a combination, really. Because I think I’ve found Mira. But she’s almost in D.C. And the reason I found her is that she got flagged buying a gun.”

“Well that’s ominous.”

“Right? And to make matters worse, it wasn’t the kind of flag that kept her from getting the gun- they just sent law enforcement after her later. It meant that she got away clean. On the plus side, I don’t think they intended to get flagged, so they had to leave town quick- means she’s still carrying the phone she bought with the card that got flagged. I’m shielding it from law enforcement- at least in theory- they haven’t so much as pinged a cell tower for it.”

“You keep saying ‘they,’” Rox said.

“She was with someone, according to the preliminary reports. Older, latinx, male. Douche beard.”

“Raif. That complicates things.”

“Oh? Seems like one more mouth to feed a fist to- and we do seem to have a pretty healthy fist to fool ratio.”

“He spikes powers. He’s a walking performance-enhancing drug. Mira on her own I think we could stop. But with him all bets are off. Though it explains the guns.”

“It does?”

“Mira wouldn’t need them. She could probably storm the White House on foot; she redirects energy used against her, so every shot the Secret Service took, every punch they threw, she’d give them back. She could just wade through that carnage. But he’s a leech. One with firearms experience, courtesy of the Army. He wants to be there, either as back-up, or because he wants to take the shot himself. It’s an extra degree of suck, too, because the rest of his entourage likely aren’t far behind. We might be in over our heads. Can you stop a gun?”

“Like a gun, gun?”

“As opposed to what?”

“No. Technopaths control electronics, the more digital the more control we have. Some of us can hear other machines, like that van sounds like it’s on its last legs- but all old cars kind of do. Just like old people that way, I guess. My great uncle, from like age 50 when he had a heart attack, was convinced he wouldn’t live another year. Just turned 92. His sister was the same; heart attack a year to the day after his, died before I was even born. But unless a car has a digital brain, I can’t actually know much, let alone control it or shut it down.”

“What can you do?”

“Well, if they’re using any kind of an electronic scope, I can fuck with that. If they’ve got a phone I can take control of it.”

“But that’s provided we can figure out what phone he’s carrying, right?”


“So we need to get our asses back on the road, then.


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