Chapter 14: Roland

Roland popped open the cab so he could change into a clean set of spare clothes. He was grateful that Skullfucker Mike had packed them bags to lend their story extra versimillitude. Manny changed too, and once his hands stopped shaking they rolled off to the next checkpoint. Roland tried not to think too much about the men he’d just broken. It helped that one of them had been an asshole. It helped that none of them had died. But still…

Chapter 13: Manny

He took another slip from his glass and set it down on the bartop with a ‘clack’. Donald Farris leaned in at that and eyed the glass as he rotated it around on the table. He tapped it again, smiled, and looked back up to the group.
“Now, young man, let me explain why you should go risk your life on a daring and dangerous rescue mission.”…

Chapter 12: Sasha

“I’m sorry if this hurts you. But it was for the greater good. We must sometimes do distasteful things to serve God’s design.”…

Chapter 11: Roland

“I don’t need your killyness. I need your sneakiness. You can still take faces, right?”
Roland’s memories of his time in the army were as patchy as his memories of everything else. He didn’t remember much about how they’d used him. But he knew that some of the wetware they’d installed in him allowed him to modify his skin and bone structure to fool facial recognition scanners, thumbprint readers and, of course, human beings.
“Yes,” he said, “but…”

Chapter 10: Manny

Skullfucker Mike was hard at work mixing up another batch of cocktails. These ones seemed to just be normal gin and tonics, four of them. “There’s not anything fucking crazy about those drinks, is there?” Manny asked.
Mike shrugged. “Two shots of gin. Splash of tonic. Nothing you normies can’t handle.”
“Neither of us asked for a drink,” Manny said.
“Yeah,” Topaz yawned from her place stretched out on the bed. “But you almost died today. You should always have a drink after almost dying.”…

Chapter 9: Sasha

The man had a thick drawl, he sounded ‘country’ in a way Sasha had only heard in movies. Her voice caught in her throat as she tried to respond, “Sir, I’m…I’m looking for David.”
“Ayep,” he grunted, “you’n every other teenager what’s come through my depot. I’ll tell ya the same thing I told them others: ain’t no David here.”
Sasha’s eyes widened. She squeaked and immediately hated herself for it.
“No…no David?”…

Chapter 8: Roland

He shoved the wrench into his waistband and threw himself into an elegant backflip (he maybe wanted to impress Bigsby a little). He landed fourteen feet back from his prior position. In the same continuous motion he picked two fist-sized chunks of concrete off the ground, flipped back again, and launched both improvised missiles at the retreating martyrs…

Chapter 7: Manny

He heard the thumping sound of heavy gunfire and braced himself for the instant of agony that would preceed his end. But instead, he heard the sound of impact and crunching metal behind him, followed by a high-pitched mechanical whine. Something heavy and black crashed into the ground ahead of him…

Chapter 6: Sasha

She recited that passage again and again, throughout what she now knew would be her last day at school. The words steadied her as she waved goodbye to Mr. Dane at the end of the day (“these are the doubts of the serpent!”). They calmed her when she looked into her backpack, which held the small ‘go-pack’ she’d put together that morning. It was just a change of clothes and handful of hygiene items. That seemed woefully inadequate, but anything more would’ve looked suspicious…

Chapter 5: Roland

Roland’s response was another deep gulp of his coffee. “Anyway,” Jim continued, “I know you don’t care for cash. But there is something I think you might want, and I can buy it back for you if you’ll help me out.”
“Wait- buy it back? Buy what back?”…