SLAM

SLAM by Tash McAdam

Book: SLAM by Tash McAdam Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tash McAdam
Tags: Dystopian
way and high enough that
it won’t block her gun hand if she needs to draw. Then she
pointedly glares at Leaf until he obediently spins on his heel with
a dramatic sigh, leaving her to help Abial put on the sticky-backed
body armour.
    She unpeels the coating and waits as Abial
strips down, then gulps. They’ve seen each other nude hundreds of
times, but the huge scar covering Abial’s right upper arm and
shoulder in thick, raised whorls always chills her. The melted
flesh is the result of a direct hit from a zap, during an Institute
raid. The day Damon was taken. She thrusts the memory away,
applying the body armour inch by inch and replying to the question,
even though several moments have passed.
    “Well, he’s not coming with us for this bit,
but I expect we’ll keep in touch. Leaf, which part of the Wall is
least heavily guarded?” The second pad, the front, is more
difficult to apply, and she has to concentrate to get it to lie
flat. Abial’s tall enough, of course, that they won’t have to cut
it down the way she did hers.
    He scratches his chin, leaning his other hand
against the wall he’s facing. “Uh, the east – not much town out
there. S’desert almost immediately.”
    Serena squishes together the edges of the body
armour where the pads meet down Abial’s ribcage and flank. “Right,
that’s where we’ll be exiting, then. Which means we need a
decent-sized explosion on the West, dig?” She pats Abial’s shoulder
to let her know she’s done.
    Abial flexes and bends, then nods at Serena
and starts getting her civilian kit back on.
    “Yep, I gotcha. That means yer gonna have ta
get across town from the northwest, where yer target’s been
dodgin’.”
    “I know. Leave that to us. You got a
timepiece?” She brings up the clock on the new wrist unit and
grimaces; more time has passed than she thought, and they’re going
to be cutting it close to get out of sight before they lose the
cover of darkness.
    “Call it an hour to get over
there, maybe two to track the body down and get them out, another
hour across town, and a half to be safe?” She doesn’t pause long
enough for anyone to give their opinion on her time estimates.
“That means we’ll be ready to go over at 0030. If you can pull off
a big distraction at 0015, that should give them enough time to
call all the on-duty forces in ...” She trails off, looking at his
raised hand, and lifts an eyebrow. “We’re not in class, you don’t
have to put your hand up.” Although I
can’t say I hate it.
    He coughs, drops his hand a bit, and points to
the comm he’s wearing on his wrist. “This one’s not just for show.
Why don’t ya just comm me when yer ready ta rock? Wouldn’t that be
easier than all this ‘set clocks ta synchronize at midnight when
the crow flies east’ stuff?”
    Eech, he has a point. She blinks and rolls her eyes. “And if my comm
breaks, or there’s interference, or ... alright, yeah. I’ll comm
you. But, if you haven’t heard from me by midnight, blow something
up anyway. Even if our mission breaks down, I like it when they
have explosions to clear up. Gives them something to do. Hey, make
sure it’s civilian casualty free though, aye?” If we go down, at least Dad will see we didn’t go
quietly.
    “Oh, don’t worry, I’m gonna get my boys ta
help me run game on City Hall. We’ll take out a gatehouse or two;
they’ll think they’re under full-on attack, we’re shadows in the
moonlight, an’ all that. Uncatchable mischief-makers. Ya’ll get yer
distraction. Ya got a map of the slums? I’ll show ya where ta head.
My boy Dent and his missus’ll put ya up ‘til yer ready ta bust a
move. And they’re smugglers, so no probs hiding ya.”
    Smugglers. Makes sense. Bet that’s
how he knows Kion, too. I know he’s still in touch with the nomad
tribes.
    “Smugglers. Great. They’ll probably make us
lie under the floorboards and pretend we’re sacks of grain,” Abial
mutters. “This all sounds

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