Breed Book 4, Part 38


 “Welcome to the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, formerly CHAZ. You can call me Violet.”

“That’s a pretty name,” Demi said, stepping over a pile of cardboard that had been used to mark off the edges of a mural, and was covered in paint splatters.  

“I was named after my aunt. Fox rotted her brain; cancer rotted the rest of her after.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

“I wish I could be. But she died right before Drump was elected, and definitely would have voted for him. It’s kind of hard not to see it as her body stopping her from doing something inhumanly cruel- one last little kindness my old aunt did for me, before my new aunt decided to start calling me all the slurs they inundated her with under the pretense of ‘news.’ You two are from Bellingham, right?”

“I’m not sure how you know that,” Demi said.

“Well, you I recognize from your Instagram; Demi, right? Her I remember from some viral video of that militia that stormed your school. She beat one of those rednecks within an inch of his inbred life.”

“Not to be argumentative,” Demi said, “but she was holding back.”

“That doesn’t surprise me, or take anything away from the absolutely brutal way you realigned his entire belief system; any delusions about being part of any kind of master race are surely dashed now. Not that I would have trusted my own obsessive indexing of internet video as definitive; our geeks had you profiled before you crossed the border into the CHOP. I just remembered both of your digital fingerprints enough to volunteer to talk to you, to put a friendly face forward when we made our ask.”

“What do you need?” Mayumi asked.

“There’s been a series of shootings, the first couple in CHOP, the last just outside it- but close enough to it for everyone to pretend otherwise. The shootings have shaken the entire CHOP; some want us to invite the cops back in; the others just want all of us to pack it in- the mayor included. We want the shootings to stop. CHOP is probably on borrowed time, anyway, but we want it to end on our terms, not because someone’s taking advantage. And Mayumi, we believe, though haven’t been able to verity it, is former military. Not exactly a cop, but likely the closest facsimile likely to walk through our doors in the next few days.”

“Seattle’s not a small city,” Mayumi started. “Even the area around Capitol Hill is more than the two of us can cover.”

“For that we might have a solution. The last victim was a technopath. We think he was singled out because he noticed a cell phone dead zone- that they’re using a blocker. Kills cell phones, wifi.”

“I don’t think either of us can track that,” Demi said.

“No, but we’ve got a couple of technopaths in the CHOP. And they can call you.”

“Unless we’re already in the dead zone.”

“No, even then. See, this,” Vi handed her a walkie, “isn’t going to be hit by the scrambler. It’s been customized, amplified. Would probably work from Portland with a large enough battery.”

“Maine, or Oregon?”


“What do you think, Mai?” Demi asked. “Why not? It’s been days since I last got shot.”

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