Jen was irritated. She was sitting crammed in the back seat of a MagLev-run maintenance truck behind Poet, who had commandeered the rugged vehicle from the EV plant. In the spacious front passenger seat was Marlowe. It was nearly three in the morning, and Jen and Marlowe were sorely sleep-deprived. Marlowe had AMP to keep her awake and alert, but Jen was only being pulled from the borderlands of unconsciousness by the sound of Marlowe’s very loud and incessant chewing.
“You know we are in a hurry, right?” Jen broke the silence testily.
“We’re making good time,” Marlowe answered through her chewing. “Thankfully, this thing doesn’t have wheels, so the snow’s not an issue.”
“You know what I mean!” Jen said. “And you know that we are wanted felons! And that you’re wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and big metal handcuffs and that you’re a celebrity, and that we could have been spotted by dozens of people and Jesus fucking Christ Marlowe! What the hell were you thinking?”
“I needed this,” Marlowe replied, holding up a massive, overstuffed burrito. She reached into her pocket and pulled out one of at least a dozen packets of Imagen Zesty Fire Taco Sauces, ripped it open with her teeth, and dumped most of the entire packet onto the end of the burrito before taking another huge bite.
“Ugh,” Jen said, disgusted. “Did you leave any sauce packets for the rest of the customers?”
“A few,” Marlowe said through her chewing.
“How can you eat that shit?”
“Like this,” Marlowe said, pointing to her open mouth.
“You’re so gross,” Jen said. “And you put us all at huge risk!”
“The store was empty, and the clerk was wearing a t-shirt with my face on it saying ‘Free Marlowe.’ I figured he wouldn’t turn us in.”
“And if he was streaming?” Jen asked.
“That’s what you’re here for,” Marlowe said, taking another bite from her burrito.
“I’m here to clear our father’s name, not hack into convenience store Feeds so you can get a tasty snack!”
Jen punched the back of Poet’s seat. “Don’t encourage her!” She said, smacking the headrest for good measure. “This isn’t funny!”
Marlowe was uncomfortable in her own ways. She was hungry, she was tired, she was beginning to go through withdrawals from the AMP again, and she was being driven to, by all accounts, an obsessed fan’s house to discuss his insane collection of Marlowe Kana Feed recordings. But the worst of it was that she hadn’t stopped thinking about Amanda since The Judge had brought her up back at the EV plant. In fact, she hadn’t really stopped thinking about her since they had broken up over a year ago. It was nearly an unforgivable betrayal, she felt, that Jen would side with The Judge on using Amanda to help them. So the burrito was helping with the hunger pangs, but irritating her sister with it was helping with the rest.
“Yeah, Poet, knock it off!” Marlowe said with a wad of burrito in her mouth. “This isn’t a joke. This burrito was mission critical!” She began laughing. This made Poet laugh as well, which made Marlowe laugh even harder.
“Ha, ha,” Jen said flatly. “I fail to see how a burrito helps us achieve our goals here.”
“I needed real food!” Marlowe said. “I just got out of prison after three months of solitary confinement, and all I’ve had to eat the past 24 hours is Battery Bars and AMP — oh shit, where’s my AMP?”
Jen held up the satchel containing the supplies she’d gifted to Marlowe back at the Subs and shook it. The muffled clacking of inhalers full of performance-enhancing drugs relieved Marlowe immeasurably.
“See? I’ve got everything I need for a successful mission now,” Marlowe said. “I’ve got my entry specialist,” she said, waving her burrito toward Poet, “and my hacker sister,” she continued, gesturing toward Jen. A small morsel flew from the top of the burrito and hit Jen in the cheek, leaving a dollop of greasy residue. “And I’ve got real food, finally!”
Jen wiped her face and grimly flicked the food bit off her lap. “That is hardly real food.”
“You vegetarians have no right to tell me what is and is not real food.”
“Marlowe, that’s an Imagen QuikGo Instant Burrito,” Jen stated. “The so-called beef in it is grown in a lab, as are the supposed beans. The tortilla is recycled corn husk. There’s literally no food in your food.”
“Poet, pull over,” Marlowe said. “I’m going to murder my sister and dump her body in a trash can.”
“I can’t advise that, ma’am,” Poet said, still chuckling. “I think we are going to need her, given who we’re about to visit.”
Marlowe turned in her seat and looked at her sister. “You’re lucky we need you,” she said, squirting another packet of taco sauce on the burrito and taking a very deliberate bite.
Jen rolled her eyes, sighed, and stared out the window, watching houses stream past though the iridescent transparent background of her HUD’s map screen . “Next left,” she directed dispassionately.
The trio rolled past the target address at moderate speed and pulled alongside the curb three houses down.
“What do you see?” Marlowe asked Jen as she wiped her mouth with the tail of her undershirt.
“Same schema we saw on that guy Austin’s setup, only…hmm,” Jen replied, having hacked into the service node for the neighborhood the moment it came into range. She scanned traffic in and around the area. “This is new. He’s got the connections all tunneled and then fractioned out through the other houses in the neighborhood. Maybe he detected Austin’s snooping when he was — WHOA!”
“What?” Marlowe said, whipping her head around to see Jen transfixed on a point in space.
“He’s good…” Jen said, her fingers a flurry as they swiped and typed in the air. “Oh man, he’s really good.”
“Is this some shit I need to understand before going up to the door, or just some hacker wanking stuff?” Marlowe asked wryly.
“Total hacker wanking stuff,” Jen replied.
“Oooo, share!” Poet said.
Marlowe gave him a sideways glance.
He shrugged. “What, a brother can’t learn some new shit?” He asked coolly.
Marlowe rolled her eyes, sighed, and opened the passenger-side door.
“Wait, where are you going?” Jen asked.
“To do what we came here to do,” Marlowe answered, lightly closing the door behind her. “You just said, whatever you’re seeing isn’t mission critical, so I’m off. Poet, you’re on overwatch, but I doubt there’ll be any trouble. Jen, do whatever you do from here. Teach Poet some new shit or whatever.”
“Bullshit!” Jen said, leaping between the two front seats and opening the passenger door.
“Stay here!” Marlowe ordered, half-heartedly attempting to push the door closed.
“I gotta meet this guy,” Jen said. “And you need me.”
“For what?” Marlowe asked. “You can monitor network shit from here.”
“Marlowe, he completely reconfigured the network in the thirty minutes it took to get here. If this guy is this good, someone needs to be able to talk the talk. If he doesn’t want to give up the footage, someone’s going to have to dig for it.”
“I’ll find some duct tape and a wrench and get it from him that way,” Marlowe said, nudging the door and pushing Jen back into the truck. “That usually beats any kind of encryption…literally.”
“Look,” Jen said, “At the very least, you’re going to need someone to call bullshit when he swears he doesn’t have what you’re asking for.”
Marlowe sighed and let the door swing open. She began walking up the street at a brisk pace.
“I’ll break it all down when we get back,” Jen said to Poet as she exited the car.
“Take this,” he said, pulling the bandanna from his neck emblazoned with the Dazzle face-recognition-defeating camouflage he wore and tossing it through the open window to Jen. “That’s not for her, it’s for you,” he added. “Your face isn’t out there yet. Keep it that way.”
“Thanks,” Jen said, and then trotted off to catch up with Marlowe.
“What the hell are you wearing?” Marlowe asked as Jen jogged up alongside her.
“Camo,” Jen answered, pulling the bandanna over her mouth. “We’re some covert elite team now, right? Gotta look the part.”
Marlowe smiled. “Poet’s camo, huh?” she asked in a knowing tone.
“…Shut up. What are you, five?” Jen replied.
“Jen and Poet, sitting in a tree…” Marlowe sang.
Jen smacked her sister on the shoulder. “I hate you,” she snapped.
“Mutual,” Marlowe replied. She nodded toward the house to their left. “This is it.”
The pair turned up the driveway and approached the door at 1337 Maple Lane. Marlowe peeked through the windows, checking the left, and then the right. The only thing she could make out was a small figure sitting hunched over a terminal at a desk in the far left corner of the room just beyond the foyer.
“Anything?” Marlowe asked Jen.
“Nothing coming up on the network…wait.” Jen looked through the window beside the door. Through her HUD, she saw bright red squares hovering over various pieces of furniture, which indicated that these items were appearing in another Feed elsewhere on the net. A small screen appeared in the bottom left of her display and began cycling through Feeds, until one matched up.
“What?” Marlowe asked impatiently.
“This place…it’s being streamed. From the inside. Just got a bunch of matches in my HUD.”
“It’s a random Anon,” Jen replied. “But it’s got over a hundred thousand viewers right now. This guy runs the most popular leeched Feed on the Net, maybe he’s got a CitizenFeed of his home life? Or…”
“Ring the bell,” Marlowe instructed.
Jen scowled. “How do we know it’s not boobytrapped? You ring it.”
Marlowe scowled back. Staring directly into her sister’s eyes, and with great purpose and very intentionally, she extended her index finger and pressed the button at the right side of the door. A chime sounded inside.
No one died.
Marlowe widened her eyes at her sister, flapped her arms, and made squawking noises. Jen replied with her middle finger extended.
A buzz sounded from an intercom speaker mounted above them. “It’s unlocked. Come on in,” a man’s voice said.
Jen and Marlowe looked at each other. Come in? Jen mouthed to her sister, perplexed.
“Uh…no?” Marlowe responded. “I don’t want to come in, Mister Cervantes. I just want to chat for a moment.”
“I know who you are,” the voice said. “And I know why you’re here. Come in and we can chat about the Feeds I’ve recorded of you. You and your friend in the weird mask.”
Marlowe and Jen both began looking around. Jen pointed to the security camera situated on the far right corner of the house. Marlowe waved at the camera.
“So, you can see us. How about we see you, and then we come in?”
A different buzzing noise sounded. The door popped slightly open.
“Well, this totally isn’t a trap,” Marlowe remarked idly.
“What gave it away?” Jen asked, “The creepy voice on the intercom or the creepy figure sitting there who won’t answer the door?”
Marlowe noticed signs of forced entry as she pushed the door open. She peeked cautiously into the entryway. The person sitting at the terminal was wearing an oversized hoodie and appeared to be tied to the chair, struggling frantically.
“…Annnnd there’s our bait,” Marlowe said. “This is definitely a trap. Someone knew we were coming. Anything official on the Feeds? MilSec? NewsFeed?”
“Nothing,” Jen replied. “No other Feed is showing this location or anywhere within a mile of it either, except the one Anon streaming from the living room.”
“Yeah, this stinks,” Jen agreed.
Marlowe held an AMP inhaler to her mouth and took a deep breath from it. “Here goes nothing,” she said as she cautiously pushed the door open. “Stay here.”
She crept inside the doorway. Jen followed behind, ignoring the order. Marlowe waved her back. Jen ignored her again. Marlowe shook her head in disgust, and lightly stepped through the entryway into the living room toward the small figure in front of the terminal struggling to get free. The Feed that Jen’s HUD picked up showed Marlowe entering the room, followed by herself. She scanned the room for the source, but saw nothing visible.
“Hey,” Marlowe said quietly. The figure froze, and then struggled even harder as she screamed through the gag in her mouth.
Marlowe looked at Jen, and then nodded at the bound figure in the hoodie.
Jen’s eyes widened as she shook her head. She pointed at Marlowe, then pointed at the bound person. “You go check it out!” She whispered.
Marlowe gritted her teeth and pointed sternly. “Go!” She hissed aloud. “I’ve got to watch our backs.” Jen sighed and reluctantly followed her sister’s order.
Marlowe surveyed the area. She determined that the stairwell represented the first and best vantage point for an ambush, and approached it cautiously. Jen tiptoed toward the bound figure, equally cautiously.
Marlowe peered around the banister and up the stairs. Jen reached up and pulled away the hoodie, and to her dismay discovered that it was a very young girl. Her mouth was bound with tape, her eyes swollen, red, and teary. A blue bow sat crookedly in her hair. The little girl was terrified. Jen pulled the tape from her mouth.
“TRAP!” she yelled, as soon as the tape was pulled from her lips. “It’s…it’s a…”
“Yeah, we know,” Marlowe said quietly.
“Hax…kitchen…cloak…he’s got…he’s…” the girl gasped before she heaved and vomited the contents of her stomach everywhere.
Marlowe’s attention was momentarily diverted by the young girl’s puking, but in that second, she heard a faint whistle from across the room, and felt a slight prick in the side of her neck. She reached up and felt a syringe dart sticking out from it.
“Okay, Hax,” she yelled, pulling the dart from her neck and stepping toward the doorway that led to the kitchen. “I know it’s you. I know you’re in thermoptic camo and using all sorts of high-tech bullshit. And you should know that tranquilizers don’t work on me.” No sooner did those words leave her mouth thann she suddenly felt her legs give way. She collapsed in a heap a few steps away from the stairs.
Jen watched frozen in horror as Marlowe’s arm lifted from the floor by itself, extended past her head, and as her body was slowly dragged across the room by an invisible assailant.
“What the hell?” Marlowe said groggily as she felt herself being dragged across the floor. “What did you hit me with, you sneaky fuck?”
Hax, completely invisible to the naked eye, chuckled between grunts as he dragged Marlowe inch by inch through the living room.
“He’s on the network,” the girl said. “He broke my firewalls! Quick, get me loose!”
Jen ignored her and rushed toward Marlowe. She reeled as she felt something slam across her face, sending her to the floor. She shook her head and spat blood, regaining her senses only to see Marlowe’s body once more being dragged across the floor, slowly but surely.
“Jen, this isn’t drugs,” Marlowe confirmed as she slid across the floor. “I don’t know how, but I can’t move my body!”
“There’s network and near-field jamming all over! Look at the terminal. He’s controlling her somehow!” the girl said. “Get me out of this tape, I can fix it!”
“What the hell?” Marlowe said. “A nanovirus? Those actually exist?!?”
“That’s got to be it!” the girl yelped. “He’s on my network! I can help!”
“Someone do something!” Marlowe said as she slid across the floor, dragged by an invisible Hax who had clearly underestimated how much she weighed.
Jen couldn’t see any other way to help her sister, unless being beaten to a pulp again counted. She rushed to the young girl’s side and began fighting with the tape that bound her wrists to the armrests of the chair.
“There’s scissors in the drawer! Quick!” the girl said.
Jen turned and pulled out the top left drawer of the desk. She began rummaging around.
“Middle drawer! Middle!”
Jen slammed the top drawer shut and moved down the stack of drawers.
“No, not THAT middle, the middle of the desk!” the girl ordered.
Jen groaned. She pushed aside the chair containing the bound girl and yanked at the drawer in the center of the desk. The contents went flying everywhere. A pair of scissors landed with a clank on the floor and slid under the chair that the girl was bound to. She dropped the drawer and scrambled for the scissors. Clasping them tightly, she began ripping at the tape on the girl’s right arm, tearing it open and pulling it off.
Urgently, she began to attack the tape on her left arm, when the girl cried “I’m good! Just push me to the keyboard!”
Jen did as she asked. The girl slapped a few keys. A window appeared on the screen with network traffic connectivity listed in a traceroute. She targeted a connection she suspected was Hax. She was right. A few keystrokes later, he was booted from the network.
Marlowe immediately yanked her arm back while Hax’s invisible hands were still grasped on. She pulled him to the ground and laced her legs around what she felt was one of his arms, yanking back against his elbow in an attempt to break it. But the angle wasn’t quite right.Hax yelped loudly.
“Scissors!” Marlowe barked. “NOW!”
Jen rushed toward Marlowe and tried to hand her the scissors.
“Not me, HIM!” Marlowe said. “Stab him!”
Jen hesitated, but knew it had to be done. With a deep breath, she held the scissors high over her head, and then stabbed down as hard as she could into what she hoped was the direction of Hax’s body.
Before the scissors could land, Marlowe’s body went limp once more. A loud rustling clatter could be heard as Hax rolled across the floor, narrowly escaping Jen’s attack. The scissors stabbed into the hardwood floor near Marlowe’s arm.
Footsteps were heard as Hax retreated to the kitchen. Everyone waited breathlessly, but no door or window opened.
“He’s still here,” Marlowe gasped after a few moments. “He’s going to fight.”
“Of course I am,” Hax said suddenly from behind Jen. She felt something wrap around her neck like an anaconda. The lights began to dim. Her world slipped away.
The young girl clacked away furiously on the keyboard with her free hand. “He’s back on the net! He’s trying to change the access key! God…he’s fast!”
“Stop him!” Marlowe yelled.
“I’m TRY — GOT IT!” the girl hollered.
Life returned to Marlowe’s muscles. She rolled forward to her feet, turned a half circle, and leapt with all her might toward her sister. Her shoulder landed on something hard just above Jen’s head. Hax went flying back, and Marlowe latched onto whatever part of him she could. She reached into her pocket and grabbed a fistful of Imagen Zesty Fire Taco Sauce packets. As fiercely as she could, she slapped the packets onto what she hoped was Hax’s chest. The sauce packets exploded beneath the force of her hand, coating him in a reddish-brown goo.
“Hide from THAT, motherfucker!” Marlowe screamed, just before she felt a metal knee joint collide with her head. The power from his augmented leg sent her flying off him.
A splatter of taco sauce began floating across the room as Hax ran toward Marlowe. Marlowe rose to her knees, tucked her feet under her once more, and sprung at him, wrapping her arms around his waist and tackling them both into the far wall.
“Didn’t count on the taco sauce countermeasure, did you?” Marlowe snarled as she began to choke him.
The hot sauce apparition rose for a moment and jerked wildly. Marlowe fell limp once again.
“Shit!” the girl screamed. He’s back on!”
“Let me on the network!” Jen said breathlessly as she poked at the air to bring up the network access panel in her HUD.
“No way!” the girl said.
“We don’t have time for territory here!” Jen demanded. “Let me on!”
The girl bit her lip. It wasn’t Jen she was worried about — it was the hundreds of her competitors on the Net that her system would be exposed to. But she considered living through this ordeal to be a precursor to dealing with any ramifications, and any help was welcomed. She entered a few keystrokes into her terminal. The firewall went down completely. Jen joined the network. “Which one’s his?”
“Dot 499!” the girl answered. Jen started a script that flooded Hax’s IP address with an unmanageable amount of ping traffic. Hax dropped from the network.
The taco sauce apparition jerked again, and suddenly Jen’s attack was blocked. “FUCK!” Jen cursed. She began tapping at the air again. After a few moments, she found the bridge connecting Hax to the software that was controlling Marlowe via the virus he injected into her neck. She began furiously attacking the bridge.
“Can’t port block a controller bridge!” Jen announced.
“Clever,” Hax snarled. He stopped his network counterattack on Jen and instead, turned his attention to Jen’s physical person. Jen watched a blob of taco sauce rush toward her. Panicked, she covered her face with her arms, ducked, and shrieked.
She braced for an impact that didn’t come. Parting her arms, she watched as the taco sauce blob flew across the room, hurled by an enraged Marlowe. No sooner did Hax land than Marlowe was upon him, slamming down on anything her fists could find.
“Mother fucker!” She yelled, slamming her wrist cuffs into Hax’s body pummeling him with all her might. Her fingers curled under something. She ripped upward as hard as she could, separating a chunk of Hax’s armor from his arm. She placed her left hand on his right upper forearm and pulled upward on his wrist with her right, breaking his arm in half. He screamed violently. She repeated this process with his left arm. Piece by piece, she tore strips of his thermocamouflauged armor and tossed them around the room, leaving only the veil over his face.
She grabbed the sides of the invisible blob that she assumed was his head, latching onto his ears. Over and over again, she slammed Hax’s invisible head into the floor, leaving dents and spatters of blood across the hardwood. With every thud of his skull, she yelled the word “motherfucker!”
*Thud* “MOTHERFUCKER!” *THUD* “MOTHER” *THUD* “FUCKER!”
Finally, she peeled off the blood-soaked veil to reveal Hax’s badly beaten and broken face.
“Die!” She yelled, clenching her hands together over her head and hurtling a double-ax-handle punch into his face. She rose her hands again, preparing for another blow. She felt a hand on her arm.
It was Jen. “Don’t,” she said quietly.
“I’m not letting him walk out of here!” Marlowe yelled. “He…he…”
“It’s over,” Jen said.
Marlowe was panting. “He hurt you,” she finally said.
“He’s no longer a threat,” Jen pleaded. “But MilSec has to know he’s here by now, and we’ve got to go.”
Marlowe slowly stood. She turned to the young girl taped to the chair. “Where’s your dad?” She asked.
“Dead,” she replied simply.
“Hax killed him?!?”
“No. Heart attack,” she answered. “Six years ago.”
Marlowe shook her head. She squinted at the girl. “You’re Nines?”
“MKFan_9999,” Marlowe replied. “Nines. For short.”
“Oh,” she answered. “Yeah. My real name’s Regina.”
“Wait,” Jen said with her jaw open. “So you’re the one running all those sockpuppets scraping the Feeds? A little girl, running half the FeedLeeches on the Net?”
Regina nodded. “More like seven-eighths,” she confirmed.
“Shit…and you set up this network?”
Regina nodded again.
“Wow…” Jen said. “Damn, kid, I’m impressed!”
“I’m flattered,” Regina replied. “Can you let me out of this chair now?”
Jen blushed. She grabbed up the scissors and began hacking away at the tape on the girl’s left arm.
“You seemed to know your shit,” Regina said, nodding toward Jen. “Who are you?”
“Jen,” she answered. “You probably know me as FeralJenrit.”
“Wait, you are FeralJenrit?” Regina asked in amazement. “Wow. You cost me nearly a million credits when you shut down my PokerBot network. You’re a bitch. I kinda hate you.”
Marlowe let out a sudden belly laugh.
“Nice to meet you, too,” Jen replied. “Marlowe, we’re in the presence of hacker royalty.”
Regina grinned brightly.
“Tell me about it later,” Marlowe said, walking over to help free the girl. “Listen, we need access to every single Feed you have that has me in it.”
“That’s at least ten terabytes,” Regina answered, yanking her right leg free from the unraveled nest of tape. “Is there anything specific you can tell me?”
“There’s a Feed from a private who was in the locker room the day I was attacked,” Marlowe said, pulling off a piece of loose tape from Regina’s sweatshirt as Jen cut her other leg free. “It shows me being attacked first.”
“Can’t say I’ve seen it,” Regina replied. “But then again, I don’t watch it all…or any of it, really. Frankly, I don’t like you very much.”
“Feeling’s getting close to mutual,” Marlowe said. “Can you give me the data?”
“Only if I get to come with you,” Regina said.
“Forget it,” Marlowe replied flatly. “We’re on the run, and you’ll very likely get killed.”
“I’m an orphan who’s been stealing her dead father’s identity to run a multi-million credit Feed scraping operation…among other things,” Regina said matter-of-factly. “And thanks to that pen camera on the mantle, everyone now knows who I am and where I live.”
“That’s where it was,” Jen said as she walked over to the mantle. She picked up the pen, dropped it on the floor, and stomped on it with the heel of her boot.
“If I stay here, I get dumped in an Imagen Youth Rehabilitation Facility, where I’m going to get raped, beat up, and likely killed anyway,” Regina continued. “At least with you, I can skip most of that stuff.”
“Jesus,” Marlowe said. “You know what? Fuck it. We have two old men, one of whom is missing a leg, a bunch of cultist soldiers, a fucking wannabe slam poet running the show…what’s the harm in adding a damn twelve-year-old hacker to the mix? Nines, you’re in.”
“Great,” Jen said, rolling her eyes.
“Fifteen,” Regina said.
“You prefer I call you fifteen?” Marlowe answered, confused.
“No, I’m fifteen years old. And again, my name is Regina.”
“Got it, Nines,” Marlowe said. “Now can you please go get me that footage so we can get the hell out of here before MilSec shows up?”
“It’s remote,” Regina said. “We can get it from the road. Nothing but dumb terminals here.”
“Smart,” Jen said.
“Duh,” Nines replied. “It’s not smart, it’s common sense, you newb.”
“Says the kid who didn’t think to just DoS Hax’s connection to the near-field virus he embedded in Marlowe?” Jen replied. “You can run Feed and poker and ransom scams, but you’re no hacker.”
“And you’re a bitch,” Regina answered.
“Fight in the car,” Marlowe interjected, lifting Regina out of the chair she was in and placing her on the floor. She gave her a light push toward the door.
“I’m going! Jeez!” Regina replied.
Jen fell in behind Regina and Marlowe took up the rear. The three headed to the door. “Wait,” Marlowe said. She walked back over to Hax and felt around his waist and down to his legs. She ripped off chunks of the camouflage armor to reveal his biomechanical left leg. She placed her foot on the metal hip joint at Hax’s waist and twisted and pulled. With a grunt, she yanked, ripping the appendage from his body.
“For Sully,” she said, holding the leg up for Jen. “I told you I wasn’t letting Hax walk out of here.”
“I think you probably ruined it,” Regina said.
“Shut up, Nines,” Jen said, nudging her toward the door.
Marlowe carried the prosthetic leg up the street, followed by Jen and Regina. Poet greeted them as they entered the car. “Welcome back…wait, who’s the kid?” He asked, bewildered. He sniffed the air. “And is that…taco sauce?”
“Shut up and drive,” Marlowe replied.