Oops. I forgot to update yesterday. So I’ll do a Friday post, instead.
Ben was sitting in the front bus, just behind Sonya. She was trying not to let on how anxious she was driving at night. “You’re doing great,” he soothed. “And remember, slow and steady. Right now we’re ahead of where they’re looking for us. So long as we don’t draw attention, we should be fine. You’ve just got to get us there in one piece.”
“Yeah,” she said, wincing, “I’m not entirely sure this drive shaft is in one piece, but I’m trying.”
“You’re doing fine.” His phone rang, and he answered it without checking the ID. “Excuse me. Hello?”
“Hell of a night you kids have had,” Laren said.
“Where are you? We could have used the help.”
“I am helping,” Laren said. “I’m currently in a caravan of buses, heading towards Mexico- making sure we get enough attention to pull focus off of your merry band. There’s another contingent, from Breed Lives Matter, laying a trail west. There’s some silver-hairs going to lay a trail east, if they can get enough of their VW buses actually rolling at the same time. Maybe if you’d given us a little more advanced warning we might have been able to give you more help- but I can’t fault you for compartmentalizing, either.”
“There was a… degree of improvisation involved,” Ben said coyly.
“Under normal circumstances, I’d probably kick and scream and otherwise make you feel paradoxically small for your house of a man. But your luck seems to be holding- knock on wood. The flack they had covering PR for that ICE facility didn’t drink enough java before they talked to the press and flamed out, hard– couldn’t answer if it was a jail break or if the kids had help, couldn’t stick to the ‘Breed terrorists’ talking points, especially when trying to explain how there weren’t even any injuries amongst the ICE staff. This went from the kind of story that would be sanitized by the time it hit the national press to truly viral, breaking out faster than the speed of federal deception. Still leaves you in an… interesting position. The good news, is you got a lot of people talking. Eyeballs on this means fewer things will slide- that means better treatment, access to medical care, fewer kids getting molested. Yeah, that one’s been happening… The bad is they’re beefing up security- not just here, but everywhere- pulling in enough backup to where I don’t think we’re going to be able to pull off an encore. But again, this is mostly mitigated by the good. People are paying attention to it, now, and in enough numbers, so the worst of it might just sort itself out. The rest… the rest might have to wait for a regime change. Which means November 2020. Unless you’ve got other ideas about that- which I’m not foolhardy enough to discuss without a lot of liquor in me- and as much plausible deniability as I can have- which would not include a fucking cell phone- not even a pair of burners.”
“Should you be calling me, under the circumstances?”
“You kidding me? I’ve got a half-dozen technopaths back at the school lighting signal flares you could see from Mars; and one making sure the NSA never hears one solitary peep of this call. CBP are half-bright enough they might find a third of those breadcrumbs we’re choosing to leave, and maybe the operational competence to track half of that. They’re going to be so busy focused where we want them they’re not even going to get a chance to start looking where we don’t want them looking.”
“And if you’re wrong?” Ben asked, concern bleeding into his voice.
“I’d give any two of those kids, plucked out at random, even odds of ending any stand-off, if they managed to find you. They were cowed because they’re kids, because they thought the world was good and fair and their parents would be allowed to come back for them. There’s no cramming that genie back in the bottle. Those ICE dumbfucks were sitting on an atom bomb, jerking off over how superior they think they are- the delusion of which being positive proof of just how inferior they truly are.” She sighed, “But the last thing you need is to hear more from my soapbox. It’s going to be a long night. Take care of yourselves, and those kids. I’m not scared for you; I worry for any fool who would try to hurt those kids while you’re watching out for them. Just… don’t take your shit out on somebody else. They might deserve it, but you’ll be the one who carries it. And you don’t deserve that.” “You take care, too,” Ben said. “And be safe.”