Breed Book 3, Part 45

“I have good news and bad news. Preferences?” Rox asked.

“Bad first,” Mai said.

“We’re waiting for intel.”

“The good, then,” Anita said.

“We haven’t been told to fly a kite yet.”

Anita smiled, despite herself. Mai grunted, and walked away. “What?” Rox asked. “That was a little funny.”

“Don’t take it personally,” Anita said. “Being here… it holds a special place for us. Like whatever the opposite of the heart is- where the hate lives, and the fear. Her sense of humor’s always been stunted, but here… it’s extra unforgiving.”

“Still, maybe I should,” Rox walked off in pursuit of her.

“She’s wrong,” Mai said, emerging from behind a tree. “I’m not afraid. Or angry. I’m focused. If they brought that boy here… it isn’t for anything good. I can’t undo what Garrity- what was done, to me, to Anita, or the rest of us. But we can save this boy. We will.” She balled her fist and smashed it into the tree she’d been hidden behind. The bones of her hand were mangled, shards of broken bone torn through the skin as blood flowed freely through the open wounds.

“Can’t you, um, heal?” Rox asked, trying not to look directly at the carnage.

“Right now? I don’t want to. I need the distraction… it’s the only thing keeping me from kicking that door in and murdering everyone who might harm that kid.”

“Sure we couldn’t get you a whisky sour or something instead?”

“Would only make me sleepy,” she replied.

“We’ll get him out. I promise.”

“You can’t. He might already be dead- or at least wish that he were. Don’t promise me things you can’t deliver.”

Rox’s phone went off. “Speaker, please,” Laren said, and she obliged her. “We’ve hit a snag. The guy I knew in Canadian Defense retired to become a Mountie- I shit you not. And while he still owes me, he doesn’t have the reach he used to. All I’ve been able to verify so far is it’s definitely a government installation, but also definitely the kind of government op that pretends not to be government until hauled before whatever the Canadian equivalent of a Senate subcommittee is.”

“So what do you think we should do?” “You’re the lucky lady. It’s up to you. But it’s rolling dice either way. Could be they stole the kid to test their skyscraper-sized Breed hunting robots. Or, since it’s Canada, maybe they just brought him in to give him some free health care and an education in politeness. And, shoot. Looks like ICE’s air cover is actually plinking away at us. I mean, the jackass is using a pistol out the door- so he’s about as likely to hit anything as I am to shoot off the back of Lincoln’s skull from here, but still, I should probably fire back some suppression before they get brave even to come closer, or smart enough to use something with an effective range that covers more than a quarter of the distance. Adios.” The call disconnected.

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