Breed Book 3, Part 29

God damn. We did it. And by we I really mean all of you. I’m crying, here, so damned proud of all of you. I know some of us just did our parts. But some of us went so far above and beyond it’s hard to even quantify, to the point where I feel like I need to say thank you, and single at least some of you out. First, people of color, including special mention of indigenous and Black Americans; you have been mistreated by this country for centuries, and continue to work harder than anyone to save it. We will never be able to repay what we owe you, but I hope we’ll have a chance to make a dent. And I’d also like to single out the young voters, who turned out in a way I never imagined possible; you helped us secure a future for the country, and I only hope we can make it the future you deserve. I’m not downplaying anyone else’s role, here, and I would emphasize that this was a team effort, and a team win- that each and every one of us helped make this world better. It took all of us to cross this finish line.

Now, I need to dry my eyes, because I owe you all some damn updates…


(will post as soon as it’s ready)

Ben was leaning against a stop sign, waiting for a signal. Every car that passed, ever clack of a shoe on the pavement, made him think that it was over, he’d been found out, and was about to get shot in the back, but the shot never came.

He checked his watch. Sonya was running late. Only by forty-five seconds, but each one felt like a lifetime. Some of that was because every second he saw a different variation of how it played out, his brother, always a protector, standing between harm and his people the best he could figure how. But each time, he figured wrong, and each time, he died screaming, right before the same happened to everyone else.

He felt a hand on his arm, gentle, feminine, and recognized it from the day before, even without turning. “Sorry,” Sonya said, a little winded. “Got cat-called a block up and had to double-back to lose the creep. Figured it wouldn’t do to drag attention to our little party.”

“Before or after you set it?” He asked, anxiously checking his watch.

“Oh. Shit.”

He turned, arms outstretched. He pushed harder than he usually did, hard enough he felt the shaking in his bones an instant before he heard the scrape of rock on concrete as the ICE facility’s foundations shuddered. “Go,” he said, and Sonya was off, running towards the darkness on the left side of the facility. An instant later her boomlet exploded with what amounted to a loud pop- the agents indoors likely wouldn’t even hear it through the walls. The lights behind Ben went out, followed an instant later by the lights in the facility.

He heard a loud thump as the generator rolled over and the lights came back on. A moment later it started to scream, before black smoke rolled off the far end of the facility, and it went silent. The lights in the building went out a second time, and remained off.

Ben caught an ICE agent poking his head out of the exit. He rubbed his hands, like he was trying to get warmed up, even though in the darkness he probably wasn’t visible. Ben knew there were a half-dozen kids inside whose job it was to slow down the ICE agents; he hoped they were disciplined enough to wait for the guard to come back, or all hell could break loose. The agent closed the door, and latched it behind himself. Ben counted a couple of alligators before shaking the ground again.

He wanted to run inside, kick the door in, and bloody the first agent he saw. Hell, he wanted to bloody every agent inside, for what they’d done to Cris, and every unfortunate kid in their care. Or maybe he just needed an excuse to bloody someone- anyone. If anyone else had been there with him, keeping things running, ostensibly in charge, he might have run inside and indulged his darker instincts. But those kids needed him to keep his head more than he needed to cave in someone else’s, so he turned on his heels.

There were two potential points of entry into the sewers below. The manhole cover was easier, and he could probably move that himself. But climbing down a ladder was going to take time- time they probably didn’t have with a hundred kids in tow. No, there was a storm drain not far from the cover, small enough to fit the smaller kids, but not big enough for the bigger ones. He was going to need to widen that.

Ben closed his eyes, focusing on the task at hand. His power usually worked like water, a flow of power from him, about as easy to control as a river. What he needed here was precision, and he wondered if he should have given this job to Sonya or Rui. But they wouldn’t have been able to do it before the rendezvous without getting unwanted attention, and they were going to need that exit quick once they arrived. He exhaled, pushing softly at first. The concrete held, and he pushed harder, trying to match the force with equal amounts of care. It cracked, and so did a smile, before an explosion knocked him into the air, and he landed in a painful sprawl in the middle of the street.

Ben cast about, looking for his attacker, but the world was dark. He couldn’t imagine an ICE agent lobbing a grenade into the blackness on a hunch, so he pulled out his phone and used it to light the street. Sure enough, there was a crater where the storm drain had been. Concrete and asphalt had collapsed into the hole, blocking off the tunnel they’d planned to use for their escape. “Well,” Ben said, biting his lower lip, “fuck.”

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