Breed Book 4, Part 55


“Anything?” Rox asked, tapping her foot nervously.

“That doesn’t help, actually,” Anita said, smothering Rox’s foot with her own. “And there’s a lot of variables; too many moving pieces. We could all be wiped out or not, based on whether an airman at NORAD drags toilet paper out of the bathroom on the bottom of his shoe.”

“That’s distressing.”

“And that’s factoring in your insane luck abilities. Trying to find the right sequence, where we don’t all die or go to jail or get sold to an oil sheikh like I’ve always fantasized…”


The door behind them cracked open, and both women spun around, trying to keep their gun arms down to maintain a veneer of normalcy.

“I can handle things here,” Mahmoud said. “And it sounds, from the radio chatter, like they could use the luck out there.”

“Bad?” Rox asked.


“You’re welcome,” Anita said.

“And a helicopter.”

“Can you shut them down?” Rox asked.

“Not without compromising their security response. They’re going to need them to take on Raif’s guys- you just have to make sure they don’t kill any of ours in the meantime.”

“You sure you’re okay alone with him? God knows, I’d have trouble not at least winging him for my own amusement.”

“He’s not going to shoot him,” Anita said, before noticing Drump was listening intently, “unless the saggy tub of moldering racism does something stupid, like try to talk. And I’m not being funny. Every goddamned ignorant thing that plops out of his mouth like a half-formed turd is disgusting to anyone with an intellect, not even a high one, one qualifying as sentience. So even to some plants.”

“That seemed at least a little funny, in an insult-comic kind of way.” Anita pantomimed being shot in the heart, then blood spraying out of the hole, before dropping to the floor. “Too mean?”

“Nah,” Anita said, wrinkling her nose. “I like it when you’re a little mean to me.”


“No, it just means I don’t have to feel bad about all those times I was mean to you.”

“Fastest route out of here?” Rox asked.

“Window,” Anita said, rolling out of the window Rox had previously opened.

Rox tucked her gun in the bag and then leapt out feet first. She landed gracefully beside Anita, who was brushing grass off her knees. “You even take gymnastics?” Anita asked, exasperated.

“I joined a team for a while,” Rox said. “But it wasn’t challenging enough to be fun. Besides, I prefer contact sports.” Rox ducked, as a Secret Service agent rolled around the wall, aiming a pistol. She bladed her fingers and jabbed him in the throat before taking his gun. “Listen to me,” she said, pushing him against the wall and holding him there with his gun pressed into his stomach.

“I won’t help you,” he said defiantly.

“Other way around,” she said, “we’re here to help you.” She turned his gun so the handle was facing him. “But I’d appreciate if you’d listen first, so I don’t have to take it from you again.”

He narrowed his eyes. Raif fired a spray of bullets, some of which struck the side of the White House. “We’re not with him,” Rox said. “In fact, we’re the reason his attack on Moscow failed.”

“I’m listening,” he said reluctantly, “but that window’s closing.”

“Even if you can’t trust us, just don’t shoot us in the back; the enemy of my enemy can be an ally, at least temporarily.”

“What do you have in mind?” he asked, holstering his gun.

“Our friends are by the treeline, pinned down, unarmed.”

“I thought you said you weren’t with the terrorists.”

“We did, we aren’t, but there’s two different groups there.”

“And he can shoot earthquakes, he shoots fire, and the girl can create explosions. They’re hardly unarmed.”

“Except in the literal sense,” Anita said, “wherein they aren’t carrying armaments.”

“She’d know; she’s an English teacher.”

“You’re from that school, aren’t you?”

“Does dropping out count?”

“Or abandoning your teaching post after less than a full school year to gallivant with a bunch of juvenile-at-the-time delinquents,” Anita said, before adding, “unless you mean maturity-wise, in which case they’re all still quite juvenile.”

“The plan.”

“I want you to give us a little pocket to operate in,” Rox replied. “It’ll look to Raif’s people like you’re corralling us and them into the same spot; they assume we’ll work together, at that point, rather than be killed or captured- but that’s when we turn on them. We time it right and we might even be able to stop them without anyone getting seriously hurt.”

“And how are you going to coordinate your plan with your team?”

“Text,” Rox said, taking her phone out of her pocket and unlocking it.

“How? All outgoing calls that aren’t ours get routed through us; you shouldn’t be able to so much as post on Facebook or send a message.”

“Our people have skills yours can’t match.”

“You’ll have to show me how that works.”

“Given who your boss is, and his general stance on the existence of people like me, I’m going to take a hard pass on that.”

“Fine. We’ll try a pincer move. But your people are on the tip of the spear, and I can’t guarantee things go well for you there.”

Rox stepped out of the way to let him leave, then waiting until he was out of earshot to ask, “You think he’ll turn on us?”

“Well,” Anita said, wrinkling her nose,  “on the one hand, the drafts are starting to converge on a single reality, and it isn’t one where most of us end up dead.”

“And what’s the reason you don’t seem happy about that?”

“I’m really bad about dropping the soap. You’d think that would be less of an issue in a women’s prison… but you’d be surprised.” Anita stopped, reluctant to leave the relative safety of the White House’s shadow. “What do you think the odds are that he plays nice?”

Rox leaned away from the building. “Oh, I’d say pretty good,” she said. Already, fire teams of agents were peppering the two Breed teams with gunfire in an attempt to drive them into a section of the lawn where a line of trees would inhibit flight to the west. “Shit,” she said, “they’re moving too fast; we need to run, or we won’t be in position.”

Anita burst past her, pumping her longer legs. They ran, staying as close to the building as they could until they could hook at the last second across the field, meeting up with Ben, Rui and Sonya sheltering behind a tree.

“This an okay spot for an ambush?” Rui asked. “Because I feel like Bugs Bunny in a cartoon where it’s wabbit season.” Several rounds burrowed into the bark of the tree near him.

“Unfortunately for us, we’re sitting on their backstop,” Anita said. “Just stand behind Little Miss Bullet Repellant and we’ll probably- shi-“ Anita spun on one heel, then flattened into the grass. Blood was seeping out of a wound in her arm as she lifted her head off the grass. She squeezed her hand, then tensed the muscles in her arm. “Just a through-and-through,” she muttered testily from the ground. “Jinxed myself, that time.”

“It’s about time,” Rox said, dropping to one knee and taking her gun out of her bag. “You want to give Sonya your gun?”

“I can handle it,” Anita said. “Fact, I do some of my best shooting prone.”

Anita rolled over, and aimed down the sights of the gun.

“On two, one,” they fired together. Anita’s shot went wide, but Rox’s struck Raif’s rifle, sending it bouncing off a tree.

“Anybody catch that?” Rui asked.

“What?” Sonya asked.

“Hearing… it works a little bit different when I’m gaseous, I can feel the vibrations through all of my molecules. There was a subtle change to the helicopter’s engine, it- aw, crap.”

“The Russian with the electric arm,” Ben said, pointing to the young man hanging off the side of the helicopter. “What the hell is he doing?” Tendrils of electricity arced from his electric limb, plunging into the cockpit and its controls.

“Seems like nothing good is the general answer,” Sonya said.

Electricity leapt from the front of the helicopter, striking both tanks in turns.

“We should really stop him from doing anything else,” Rui said.

“Well?” Sonya asked. “You’re the jackass who can fly.”

“Crap,” He said, and kicked off the ground. An instant later a bullet whizzed through him- but passed harmless through the gaseous cloud of his atoms.

“We should probably cover him,” Anita said, firing a few rounds near enough to Raif he hid back behind the tree.

Breed Book 4, Part 54


“I hope I made the right decision,” Aishah said, shifting nervously in the bus seat beside Mikaela.

“There isn’t one,” Mikaela replied, bumping her shoulder into the younger woman’s arm. “You stay home, you’re unhappy, you come here, you’re unhappy. It’s an impossible, and crappy, situation. It’s unfair this country, this administration, this short-fingered, thin-skinned, bigoted man has put you in it. But you’re in good company, and with work, and a little luck, maybe the next generation doesn’t end up in the same crappy situation. Hell, that may be thinking too big, maybe we just don’t have to come back here four months from now.” Aishah slumped in the seat and sighed, looking out the window at pedestrians as they passed them.

“We’re only a couple of blocks away,” Tucker said anxiously. “You want to rally the troops?”

“I think you just volunteered to,” Mikaela said.

“Could I get the mic?” Tucker asked the driver, who handed it to him. “All right, everybody, this is going to be intense. If you were in Seattle for the last protest, you have some idea, except that in that case the police had a vested interest in not spilling blood on these streets, because they live here, too. Federal goons don’t. This is an invasion. But, it’s also public relations. They claim they’re here because we’re out of control, threatening not just the people of Seattle but any Federal building within the city’s limits. Our first job is to prove them wrong. Our second, is to show that we won’t be intimidated. But it’s not to intimidate, this time around. Because these fascists have the big, swinging dick of the Federal government at their backs; until they see us tear a tank in half they aren’t going to be intimidated- and if we do that, every pearl-clutching suburbanite in the country will wet themselves at the thought of us remaining in their country twelve more seconds. So we have to be calm. We have to be reasonable- docile, even, if we can swing it. That means we treat abilities- all abilities- like they’re a use of deadly force, because they will likely be met with it. And- I’m not prying, but it’s there, on your faces- I know some of you are scared. Well, we all are. This isn’t something any of us have ever faced down. But we can get through this, together. Because scared as we are, they’re even more scared. Not because of what we can do to them. But of a future where new, better people are the norm, where you can’t just wear your bigotries on your sleeve and expect no pushback. We represent a better world- let’s go make it a reality in front of their eyes.”

The bus came to a rough stop, causing Tucker to grab the hand rail to catch himself. “How was that?” Tucker asked, handing the driver the microphone back.

“Give it a B plus,” Mikaela said with an amused smile.

“Only a B?”

“I thought it was great,” Aishah said. “I almost forgot how scared I was… until you reminded me.”

“Oh. Yeah. Oops.” Tucker led them off the bus, then pivoted to keep people near to the bus so they weren’t lost in the crowd already gathering on the sidewalk.

“Wrangling them could be challenging,” Tucker said. Mikaela didn’t understand, until she turned to see a sea of parents, siblings and other family and friend rolling towards them. Her father, smirking, stood to the side, propping up a nearby wall.

“Kept us waiting,” Demi said, hugging her from behind. “I was beginning to think you decided to just stay at home and watch Rick and Morty reruns. The buses are good, actually,” she knocked on the one they’d just left, “might provide some protection if things get too hairy.”

“Or you could fling it at the troops, if things got too hairy,” Tucker said with a smile.

“I’m trying to think happy thoughts. I think I get testier in direct correlation to how bad I think things are going to go. But we should file over here. It doesn’t matter if people mill around a bit back here, but we need to get to the front line. Excuse us,” Demi lightly touched a woman’s shoulder, and she stepped to the side to let them through. They emerged at the front of the protest, to see a line of agents without any identifying insignia beyond Velcro strips that said, “Police” on them.

“We know if these are even cops or feds?” Mikaela asked.

“I followed the shit we released last night,” Mayumi said from behind them. “Spent most of the day in the FBI offices. I’ve still got his scent, he’s third from the tall one in the middle holding the riot shotgun. If things do go off, I got dibs on that one.”

“The big one?” Mikaela asked.

“Or did you mean the one you got the scent of?” Tucker asked, not sure whether to ask follow-up questions about that.

“You meant both, or do now, if you hadn’t then, right?” Demi asked. Mayumi nodded vigorously, with an ever-widening but still grin.  

“So at least one of them is a fed,” Mikaela said, closing her eyes. “This is fucked up. We don’t even know if he’s here on official business, or is just a bigot willing to hide behind his badge, and use it to cover for other bigots- which is increasingly possible because organized bigots have been pushing for 20 years to infiltrate law enforcement.”

“I think that’s the point,” Tucker said. “Muddy the waters to the point that you can’t resist anymore, because you never know when you’re resisting lawfully or not.”

“So what do we want to do?” Demi asked.

“We came because we can’t cower,” Mikaela answered. “If they think they’ve beaten us, that’s the end; they’ll be so emboldened we’ll never have another moment’s peace. They’ll harass and harangue us, until we’re all either dead or driven out of the country.”

“You think everything’s an existential threat,” Tucker said with a smirk. “Maybe we could negotiate them down from genocide, if we agree to put a Confederate monument in the middle of the school plaza.”

“I forget that when your brother’s not around you work to keep our jackass quotient stable,” Mikaela said with a smile. “It’s about the only thing that makes you two seem like siblings.”

“That and their nose, in profile,” Demi said.

“Their scent, too,” Mayumi said, “not that I expect either of you to be able to corroborate that.”

“Have we heard from him and Drake?” Mikaela asked.

“Last they texted they were waiting at the border.”

“You think they’ll make it?” Tucker shrugged.  

 A man in black camo and body armor standing at the police line pointed with two fingers at Mikaela, then beckoned for them to come forward. “Moral support?” she asked Tucker.

“Seems only fair. And I got the last one.” Tucker followed her towards the police line.

“Go home,” he said coldly, from behind a set of dark sunglasses.

“Respectfully, sir, this country is my home.”

“Unless you live outside of this courthouse, you’re trespassing.”

“This is a public street. And a public sidewalk. You’re claiming authority you don’t have.”

“My authority starts and stops where I say it does,” he said, bristling. “In two minutes, my men are going to clear this street. We’d prefer if it was clear already.”

Mikaela glanced back over her shoulder. She was proud to see an army of parents and students, some not yet old enough to drive, all standing shoulder to shoulder.

“They say children are the future. Looks to me like the future is pissed off, unafraid, and coming whether you like it or not. You can’t beat it back. All you can do is prove just how antiquated the way of doing things you represent is.”

“I think you’re wrong. Just as soon as they get those cameras set up, we’re going to beat a hundred different shades of shit out of your little friends. And I got news for you: beating up people the folks at home are scared of is as American as apple pie. My grandpops had to buff ni- black blood out of his boots; dad’s came home caked in blood and spit from sp-” he paused a moment. “Cute. Keeping me from calling a spade a spade won’t carry the day. You and yours are just one more minority needs to be put in their place; my President will put a goddamned medal on me for this.”

“You know you’re going to die alone, unloved and unmourned, right?” Mikaela asked.

“Trying to tell me you’re some kind of psychic now.”

“No, I can just tell from assholes. You’re wrong about people. They can be scared, even bigoted, some of the time. But you don’t beat children on TV and have your wife and daughter look at you the same way after.”

“How’d you know I have a daughter?” he asked, a ragged edge creaking in his voice.

“Tucker is psychic.”

“Though she should stress,” Tucker said, with his hands up, “there’s no threat in that revelation, overt or implied. Your wife and daughter are just too good for you. You’ve known it for a while, now Stacey; keeps you up at night, wondering if today will be the day they figure it out, too- or if they’re smarter than you, like you fear, and have known longer than you. Today will be that day; there’s no coming back from this- this isn’t something you’re doing for your country, but in spite of it, spiting its ideals. Of course, you could prove yourself wrong, right here, right now. I just read people, not the future. You can be the kind of man your family wants- they kind they deserve. But not if you’re coming home with kids’ blood on your boots.”

He looked at his watch, then pantomimed a yawn. “Hope you ladies had as much fun as I did.”

“Ladies,” Mikaela said, raising her fists.

“No,” Tucker said, raising his hand as the agent turned. He stopped a moment later, and back towards them, as his groin moistened noticeably through his pants.

“You bitch,” he said, his hand starting towards his holstered sidearm. His arm stopped, and shook violently, before going limp.

“I might have made him forget how to control his bladder. Probably temporarily. And put his arm to sleep.”

“I love you more than I should, given our circumstances.”

“And who could blame you?” Tucker asked.

“What happened to treating our abilities like a use of lethal force.”

“They just watched their commander wet himself in front of a couple of college girls. That was worth getting shot over.”

“I hope you still feel that way in two minutes,” Mikaela said with a wince.

Breed Book 4, Part 53


“I’m beginning to worry we got stood up,” Rui said into his radio. A moment later, a bullet struck the wall behind him, sending flecks of wood and paint into his hair. “Crap, I’ve been spotted.”

“I got you,” Ben said, shaking the agent with the rifle off his feet. “Maybe they got spooked. We made a lot more noise than we intended.”

“I hope not,” Rui said. “Otherwise we’re all going to spend the rest of our lives doped up in Guantanamo- and not even the fun kind of doped up.”

“Why so moody? We can just run away again. I think I might prefer life on the road.”

“You just enjoy subsisting on a diet that’s 90% burrito.”

“I do.”

“Yeah, but it’s not kind to those who live downwind of you,” Sonya said.

“And I’m moody because I can fly, you yutz,” the barrier around the lawn collapsed under the tread of a tank, “and knew that was coming.”

“Apparently he got his parade of tanks after all,” Ben said, swallowing hard as two more tanks rolled up beside it. “Why does it always have to be tanks?”

“I hate to sound defeatist but we might- just might– have bit off more than we can chew this time,” Sonya said.

“Okay, we needs to stop talking,” Rui said, “because the more we talk the worse it gets.”

“I know you’re going to blame me for this, but I could hear it even before you said anything,” Ben said. Then they heard it, too, the sound of an attack helicopter in the air. “I assume we’re still not willing to use lethal force, right? Cause if not, our options are becoming surrender or run- and that second window is shutting quickly.”


“Down!” Sonya yelled, and tackled Rui to the ground as a rocket flew overhead, striking the side of the tank.

“You do know that he can turn to a gas, and the rocket would have passed through him, right?” Ben asked. “Meanwhile here I am, all distressedly damsely.”

“I might as well just run myself into a brick wall, for all the good I’d have done,” she said, pushing herself off Rui.

“Hey, it’s the thought that counts,” he said, as Ben helped him off the ground. The sound of gunfire brought them back to the seriousness of the situation. “They, uh, don’t seem to be shooting at us.”

“They’re not shooting, period,” Ben said.

“No,” Raif said, emerging from a stand of trees. “They’re being shot at.”

“I’m a little conflicted,” Ben said.

“He’s not,” Sonya said, pointing at Raif’s crotch. “In fact, he seems downright thrilled to see you.” There was a noticeable- and growing- bulge in his pants.

“Oh, shit, Sonya,” Ben said, and hit him with a concentrated vibration that sent him rolling backward. He came to a violent stop, and the explosive shredded his pants.

Sonya doubled over, chortling. “What? That was a scream.”

“It wasn’t funny when you did it to me, either,” Ben said. “Though it still hurt less than waxing; after the first day, anyway.”

“It was a tiny amount of anti-matter. It just wasn’t a small force field.”

“You bitch,” Raif said, struggling to his feet.

“Maybe I should have used more boom boom,” Sonya said.

Raif sprayed a burst of fire over their heads. “Little help,” Ben asked.

Rui set fire to the stand of trees Raif was near, forcing him to leap out of the way of a burning branch as it fell. He kept firing prone. Ben sent more shockwaves through the ground, but ducked when a round flecked him with bark.

“Okay, now the Secret Service is shooting at us,” Sonya said.

“They’re shooting at us from both sides,” Rui said. “Maybe we didn’t think this through.”

Breed Book 4, Part 52


Mikaela’s feet hurt from a long day walking the campus grounds, trying to help the school’s newest arrivals feel at home. She was slumped into the couch, her eyes feeling heavy. Her  phone rang. She saw it was Demi, and knew she needed to pick up, whether or not she wanted to. “I assume you’re calling to discuss the weather,” Mikaela said mockingly. “How’s Seattle?”

“You been paying attention to Portland?” Demi asked curtly.

“Yeah. A few of us talked about heading down to show our support.”

“I’d save the gas. They’re bringing the fascism circus to us.”

“The school?”

“Not enough heads to knock, I think,” Demi said. “And of course there’s the looming possibility of getting their asses handed to them no matter how many men they bring. Seattle, though, they think is ripe for the picking. Plucking?”

“What can we do?”

“Start a riot? Or at least be prepared when the feds and maybe some of the cops do.”

“I’ll spread the word, and I’ll let you know when we roll out.”

“See you soon, I guess.”

Mikaela disconnected the call. “Everything okay?” Aishah asked from the door.

“Just the world continuing to be on fire.” The description made her tense up. “It’s Drump. He’s sending feds to Seattle to crack skulls, like they’ve been doing in Portland.”

“God,” Aishah whispered, wrapping her arms around herself protectively.

“I need to get the word out. I think we need to be there, stand shoulder to shoulder in the streets, need to tell Drump and his henchmen that it’s our government, not theirs. We need to prove we aren’t intimidated.”

“I’m not sure if we should go,” Aishah said. “Last time most of us saw a Federal agent, they were cramming us into a van or a boat or a plane to rendition us to Cuba. Probably they wouldn’t know we’re fugitives, but if they do try to process us… I don’t know that I could ask anyone to risk that; I don’t know if I could risk that.”

Mikaela put her arm around Aishah’s shoulder and squeezed it. “That’s okay. All of it. You don’t have to come. None of you have to. You’ve already been through hell. Our is an all volunteer army; you aren’t going to catch shit for doing what you need to take care of yourself. But I’d put it to everyone; sometimes people you thought would sit out a protest are the ones most keen to go- and who will be the most hurt missing out. And just let me know. I’m sure we’ll join another caravan going down again. You know, strength in numbers and all.”

Breed Book 4, Part 51


“I always kind of wanted to go on a White House tour,” Rox said quietly as they trailed behind the walking tour, “you know, when there was an inhabitant less stomach-churning.”

“I’ve been, once, when I was tiny,” Mahmoud said. “Didn’t make much of an impact, then. Of course, if you’re too young to understand the historical significance, it’s just an old house.”

The guide stopped, listening to the radio clipped to her belt. Then she stood up robotically. “Apologies for the inconvenience, but we need to divert to a security checkpoint for all of your,” the room shook as the sound of a not-very-distant explosion disrupted the rest of the tour group.

“Think that’s our distraction?” Anita asked.

“We’ll know in a couple of seconds, if Sonya managed to peel off enough,” the rest was drowned out by the hustling through of a squad of Secret Service agents in tactical garb, “looks like that’s our signal.”

“Wait,” Anita said, and held Mahmoud back from the hall as a second group of agents, these in suits and ties, rushed by. “They didn’t notice us, the tour guide didn’t notice us falling behind. Your powers make things a little too easy.”

“If you really want to get shot at, we can split up. Then my ability won’t protect you in the slightest.”

“I just wish it was more offensive specific, rather than waiting until the last second to protect you by having your opponent slip on a banana peel.”

“Why not?” Rox asked. “That’s a classic. You ready?”

Mahmoud nodded. “Ready.”

She leaned her head to the side, to better hear Rui through her phone earpiece, “And our special delivery?”

“Getting nervous about being up in the air, honestly,” Rui responded.

“The window alarmed?” Rox asked, walking to the end of the hall. 

“Yeah,” Mahmoud said, “but I’ve got it bypassed.”

“Great.” She opened it, and stuck her head out.

“I see you,” Rui said. “Hold out your arms.”

She did, and a heavy backpack fell into them.

“Hey, you’re not supposed to,” the agent didn’t get to finish as Anita hit him in the throat, then slammed his head into a wall.

“We have tranquilizers for that,” Rox said, opening the smaller pouch on the bag that was filled with syringes.

“I prefer tranquilizers with more punch,” Anita said, and held out her hand. Rox opened the larger pouch, and handed her a handgun, then a magazine. Anita checked the weapon before loading it and chambering a round.

“They’re rubber bullets, but you still need to aim for the chest, and try not to use them within 30 feet. Because we’re better than these fascist assholes. We clear?”

Mahmoud shut the window. “Yeah. No alarms so far.”


“Guard at the door and one inside. That feels light…”

“Lady Luck strikes again,” Anita said.

“Let’s stop looking the gift horse in the mouth and get in there,” Rox said. “In or out?”

“One right after the other in rapid succession usually helps get me there,” Anita said. “You distract the guy outside, and then take the one inside while I handle him.” Anita burst down a side hallway.

“She know what she’s doing?” Mahmoud asked.

“Sometimes,” Rox said. “Hold this.” She handed him her gun, and he pinched it between his thumb and forefinger. “I meant like a normal human being, not an awkward cartoon crab.”

He slid it into his palm. “I don’t like guns.”

“Only amoral nuts like guns. At best, they’re a distasteful tool.”

“I have a particular aversion, maybe as a product of having one shoved in my face on the regular during ‘interrogations.’”

“With any luck you won’t need to use it. But I don’t think they’ll appreciate the nuance that the intruder of Middle Eastern dissent was holding the gun like it was one of the President’s overflowing diapers.”

“Noted,” he said, and pushed the gun into his pocket and held it there.

Rox slunk down the hall. The agent standing guard at the door noticed, and put up his hand. “Excuse me, Ma’am, you’re not allowed in this area. Did you get lost from the tour? I’m going to need you to go back down that hall, take a left and walk towards the flashing red lights at the security checkpoint.”

Rox put a little more swing into her hips, and tried to arch her back to emphasize her cleavage. “I don’t suppose you can help me find the nearest bathroom,” she said, in what she was sure wasn’t a terribly sexy voice.

His hand started towards his holster, and Anita hit him from the side with the butt of her gun. She took his sidearm and his radio, before giving Rox a bemused look. “What were you doing?”

“Distracting him?”

“I meant the pretty one. This one has a thing for Middle Eastern men.”

“Well, that at least salves my ego a little bit,” Rox said.

“And?” Anita asked, tossing Rox the gun.

“Oh, right,” Rox swung open the door into the Oval Office. The agent inside fired a shot too wide, and she returned fire, catching him in the chest.

“I had a thought,” Mahmoud said, bending over and pulling the agent’s earpiece near to his mouth. “Repelled two intruders, and Big Bird is safely feathering his nest.”

 “Big Bird?” Rox asked.

“Don’t’ look at me. I didn’t pick their codes.”

Drump was cowering behind his desk. “Mr. President,” Rox said, fighting back a wince, “your life is in danger.”

“I can see that. I’m not a wee-tard.”

Rox sighed, and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “I don’t think you understand. We’re here to make sure the attack doesn’t succeed.”

“I, I don’t believe you,” he said, his eyes barely visible over his small fingers clutching the edge of his desk.

“And you think if I meant to harm you, staying behind the Resolute Desk is a viable strategy?” He pondered a moment, then went back to glaring. “Fine. I couldn’t care less if you get a fucking leg cramp back there. A?”

“R?” Anita asked.

“We’re outside the door. M?” Anita threw Mahmoud the Secret Service agent’s weapon, and he tossed her one of the other guns.

“I’ll be fine in here.”

“Will he?”

“He don’t start none, won’t be none.”

“That’s a better deal than he ever would have offered any of us.” Rox nodded, and Anita followed her out.

Breed Book 4, Part 50


Mayumi would never admit it, but in this moment she wished she was wearing Demi’s ridiculous trench coat and fedora. She arched her shoulders, and tried to angle herself so that the rain didn’t have such a direct route to pour down the back of her shirt as it fell on her. Even if it weren’t such a crap night, she wasn’t surprised to see this part of town deserted after an army of Federal agents without markings attacked a peaceful protest for being too close to a building owned by the government. The protest moved over a few blocks, and the locals stayed the hell away, because anyone who so much as side-eyed the building had been attacked, beaten, or gassed.

Mayumi wondered if this was going to be the new status quo, and if so, if she was going to need to learn how to grow an air bladder, so she could suck in and store up hazardous gas attacks for later return to the fascists from whence it came. She heard the van shadowing her, even over the sound of the rain, and had to fight back the urge to fight back. Four sets of combat boots on the pavement, none stomping heavy enough to be worn by men topping a deuce. They were lambs, with no conception of the lioness they were stalking.

She let them hit her with the butt of one of their rifles, and cram her into the back of a van. They used zip-ties on her wrists, so tight they would have been causing nerve damage in someone who wasn’t able to rearrange her bones, nerves and muscles to accommodate them. A moment later, the restraints fell, and she folded her hands demurely in her lap. “What the hell?” one of the agents asked, going for a sidearm. She grabbed his thumb and twisted it back until he couldn’t move his hand. “She’s out of her restraints,” he managed to get out.

“How the fuck?” the driver asked.

“I forced my wrist bones out through the skin; made easier by how damn tight you had me tied. Then I sharpened those bones until they could cut through the ties, or skin, body armor.” She elbowed the agent in the far back seat as he tried to grab her, punched the agent whose thumb she was holding, then lunged forward, slicing the seatbelts of the two agents in front.

“You may not believe this, but in this case, I’m the good cop.”

“You ready?” Demi asked over Mayumi’s speakerphone. Mayumi grabbed onto the seatbelt holding the agent beside her, and cut it, maintaining her hold of the end still bolted to the seat.


Lightning struck the front of the car with such intensity that sparks flew off the dash and its electronics, setting off the airbags. The front brakes locked, and the van came to a violent stop, sending the unbelted agents flying forward. There were two more flashes of light, before the driver’s door was torn from the van; he followed it a moment later.

Then the front passenger, still groggy from the impact of the air bags, tried to reach for his holstered sidearm. Mayumi pinned his arm with her leg as his door was ripped off the van’s frame. “Howdy,” Demi said, and pulled him out of the van with such force he flew into a brick wall behind her.

Then she pulled the sliding door off the van, and dropped it in the street. “Really hope you got the insurance,” Demi said, before pulling the man beside Mayumi out.

The man from the rear tried to grab hold of Mayumi, and put his gun to her temple. He didn’t register her wrist at his throat until she twisted, just enough to nick the skin at his jaw. “The blades are sharp,” Mayumi said. “You shoot, you’ll definitely bleed out. I’ll heal, you won’t. Leave the gun on the seat and I’ll promise you live through the night.” He glared at her, before sliding the safety on and setting the gun down. “Now slide out, slow. And I’d raise your hands. I’m pretty sure I heard ribs breaking when she tossed your friends, and I would avoid that if at all possible.”

“You can’t do this,” he said, as he stepped out of the van.

“And why’s that?” Violet asked, holding up her recording phone, its light shining in his eyes. “Because as far as we can tell you’re just a quartet of assholes who rented a van and sewed yourself matching pajamas.”

“We’re federal officers,” he said sullenly.

“And what would stop a gang of human supremacists from claiming the same?” Violet asked, her eyes becoming an incandescent purple. He swallowed.

“That’s actually a large part of the reason for uniforms, insignia, and ID,” Demi said. “Don’t suppose you’d care to share some with us?” Demi asked.

“Fuck yourself,” he said.

“Hmm, that answer doesn’t work for me.” Demi grabbed him by the collar. She cocked back her fist, and electricity arced off it, touching on the pavement, then snapping towards him, searing his leg through his clothes. “See, if you are, as it seems reasonable to assume, some bigoted militia types, it’s thoroughly understandable self-defense if I fry you up like a side of bacon. God, I could go for a side of bacon right now,” Demi said.

“Or a bacon entrée,” Vi said. “Why does no one serve a bacon entrée.”    

“I will fry you both up as much bacon as you can eat, later,” Mayumi said.

“Since you’re our first interrogatee, you get your choice. Ten thousand volts. Head. Chest. Crotch?”

“You wouldn’t,” he said.

“I wouldn’t touch it, but I don’t have to.” She held up her other hand, and electricity leapt from one hand to the other.

“Christ,” he said. “Fine.” He produced a wallet with a badge and handed it to her. “CBP, huh? Really abusing the hell out of that public trust, aren’t you. But I guess when you’ve been keeping kids in cages, we can’t be shocked that you’re bad people.”

“What they’re doing in Portland will look like pattycake compared to what’s coming for you.”

Mayumi leaned into him and sniffed. “I’ve got your scent. You’ve got the day to settle your affairs here and leave. I find you in Seattle again- I’ll make sure it’s the last time I catch your scent.”

“You’re threatening a federal officer.”

“This?” Demi said, flicking his badge back at him. “Ten minutes of PhotoShop is all that would take. Besides, I didn’t hear anything threatening over the sound of thunder.”

Lightning crashed down on their van, the impact shattering the windows and showering the street with broken glass.