I thought back to yesterday and what happened to Ana and Colette. Implanted commands might have unexpected side effects. Is Kals confident she can get to us if something goes wrong?
We’re only upstairs, Daniel thought back at me. Kals says she’ll contact you via implant with the words.
I felt him withdraw even though our connection was never completely closed.
Even as it ended, I felt my implant accept a connection, which, now that I was paying attention, registered as a Xiniti implant. It was interesting how the Xiniti were more involved now.
Kals’ words sounded in my head, all of them translated from Ascendancy into English by my implant, Nick, try these words in my language first, but if they don’t work, you can translate them into yours.
Then she shot me a list of 20 different words and ended the connection. I became aware of my surroundings again, seeing Major Justice and the others. Major Justice tilted his head to look at me and said, “Well, boy?”
“Sorry,” I tried to remember what he’d said before I contacted Daniel and then it came to me, “I got a message over my comm. It’s nothing big, just a distraction. Um…”
Then I tried a word in Ascendancy. Kals had thought it was the most likely to be used of the 20. It passed for an unintelligible mumble and caused just as much of a reaction as if it had been an unintelligible mumble.
“Excuse me,” Major Justice leaned forward, “I think I missed what you said.
I shook my head, “You didn’t miss anything. I was talking to myself while I thought about what you’d said.”
I looked over our group—Haley, Cassie, and Amy, “Other people can argue with me, but I don’t think any of us are willing to let you run the League, much less pass over the information we’ve gathered. Some of it is personal, the kind of personal that might compromise members’ personal identities and with them their families.”
I paused for breath, using the moment to pass everyone on the League channel the message that I might be about to start a fight, “Think about it. If we give you that kind of information, you’ll have everything you need to go after us on a personal level. We’re fighting the Nine. You know what they’re like. They’ve got their fingers in far too many people’s brains. Maybe you’re working for the Nine. Maybe you’re not, but if you were, you’d be asking for all of that.”
Major Justice’s nostrils flared and he stood up. I let out a breath and relaxed, putting myself into the right headspace in case he attacked.
From the way Major Justice’s face reddened, I wasn’t sure how to classify his headspace, but I didn’t have to. He opened his mouth to tell me about it, “Do you think that someone like me, a man who’s fought for the people of this country for my entire life could be controlled by the Nine?”
“Hell, yes,” Cassie said. “People all over the world are controlled by the Nine and we’ve seen more this year than ever before. There’s no reason that you’d get a pass that I know about. They’ve controlled better people than you.”
Mime placed his invisible cup on the table in front of him and whatever had been holding its contents in place ceased to exist. The coffee fell to the table, some of it dripping over the sides and onto the carpet.
Whatever. Someday we’d blow up the building again and the carpet would go along with it.
Mime didn’t attack, but he’d put his hands in his lap, barely moving as he watched all of us. Near him, South Beach Surfer had stood up, facing Cassie, “You need to have more respect for him. He’s done more for the people of this country than you ever will.”
Cassie looked at her, “I thought you controlled air and water. Do you also tell fortunes?”
Under her breath, Haley muttered, “Cap…”
For me, that might have been enough to reconsider where this was going. Cassie didn’t notice or didn’t care. Also, unlike me, she wasn’t dating Haley.
Shaking her head, Cassie said, “No. This is bullshit. They might be mind-controlled pawns of the Nine, but if they’re not, they’re washed-up busybodies who are butting into our business.”
Shifter growled, reminding me of sounds I’d heard while watching Animal Planet. South Beach Surfer’s eyes bugged out and she opened her mouth, but Major Justice talked over her.
“You don’t do the first Captain Commando any credit by talking to us like this.”
Cassie rolled her eyes, “I remember him talking about you. He said you were an uptight asshole. Now that I’ve met you, I agree. Now, get out. You can take your donuts and coffee.”
The muscles around Major Justice’s mouth tightened. He turned to me, “Do you agree with this?”
“Me? I think I already said that, didn’t I? We’re not going to come to any sort of agreement in which you get to tell us what to do. Since that’s what you want, I don’t know where we go from here. Um… But you are welcome to the donuts.”
Behind me, Amy muttered, “Smooth.”
6 thoughts on “Distractions: Part 8”
It’s nice to share donuts.
Top Web Fiction
Well I guess they may be blowing up the building sooner than Nick thought. Oh well I’m sure he already has plans to upgrade the next office they build.
Well, at least all they are against is Budget Aquaman, Captain Badge-for-brains, and two Pokémon cosplayers. Did I forget anyone?
“Whatever. Someday we’d blow up the building again and the carpet would go along with it.”
This made me laugh out loud.
“We don’t want to have the rest of humanity make us police the powered. Now sit tight for a week or else we will police the powered.”
If you’re wondering where the “Too Close” story went, I moved it into the interludes for Motor City Intern. Here.