Breed Book 3, Part 7

“I legitimately can’t tell if I pulled the short straw,” Cris said, “or if the rest of you heard me saying I wanted to do more and interpreted that as being a sacrificial lamb.”

“Some of it was all the Jesus talk,” Ben said.

You were the one who brought up- you know what? Nevermind. Because either way, this is something. It’s something stupid. Dangerous. Crazy.”

“Ah,” Sonya said.

“Sorry. Reckless.”

“Thank you.”

“That’s our brand,” Rox said. “If you wanted us to reinvent the entire wheel, that would have at least entailed a longer conversation.”

“All I’m going to say is if I get killed in ICE custody, I won’t be healing any of you again.”

“That sounds fair. Now, Laren’s brief says that ICE come through this neighborhood practically daily. The corner’s a popular haunt, both for local gangs and dealers, but also just for the kids who live in the area. ICE don’t much care if they’re roughing up innocent LatinX citizens or if they’re, you know, criminals. And when they do come through, it’s pretty much always this time of day, around shift change for the local PD, so they get a few extra minutes to stomp the crap out of their targets- though half the time it sounds like the cops join in if they do get called.”

“I am not looking forward to getting stomped.”

“You can heal yourself almost instantly,” Ben said.

“The stomping still hurts. And I’m not assuming that they won’t have some kind of dampening field when I’m in custody.”

“Well, it looks like we’re in luck, and you’re out of it,” Sonya said from the front passenger seat. They could see several men in ICE armor kicking someone on the ground, holding up his hands.

“Let me out here,” Cris said. “We don’t want it obvious I got out of this van.”

“Right,” Rox said, stopping on the other side of the street. Cris slipped out, and the van rolled away, before turning down the street.

“Everything okay?” Cris asked.

“Sir, I’m going to suggest you keep your distance. We’re detaining dangerous –”

“Que pasa?” Cris asked. He tried to get a look at the person being held on the ground. “Cuantos años tienne?” he asked.

“Don’t think I like your tone.”

“No quiero tu cara, puta.”

“Now ‘puta’ I hablo, Pablo,” the agent said, extending a baton and advancing on Cris.

“Crap,” he muttered, ducking the first swing of the baton. That was when he saw enough of the kid on the ground to realize he wasn’t even in high school, and there was a growing pool of blood beneath him. “This is really going to hurt,” he whispered, before diving onto the pavement. He had his hand outstretched, like he was stealing a base, which meant he couldn’t break his fall at all. It did mean he managed to heal the kid a little before the first baton blow hit him. But the burst of light that traveled from his hand to the kid gave the game away.

“Breed freak!” one of the ICE agents yelled, before kicking him.

Cris couldn’t really get his bearings, as blows rained down on him, but he comforted himself that at least they were laying off the kid. He managed to catch the kid’s eyes, and saw a cut on his head that had healed when Cris touched him. “You’ll be okay,” Cris started to mouth to him, but was cut off by a blow from a baton in the face.

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