Revolution No. 9

Revolution No. 9 by Neil McMahon Read Free Book Online

Book: Revolution No. 9 by Neil McMahon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Neil McMahon
turned appraising, as if to concede that Monks might be worth taking seriously, after all.
    â€œWhat you see with Mandrake—it’s all adding up to something in your mind, I can tell,” Freeboot said. “I can think about it better if I know what it is.”
    Monks’s many years of training had made him cautious about pronouncing a diagnosis until he was as certain as possible. But the normal rules were not operating here, and Freeboot seemed to be offering a glimmer of rationality. Monks decided not to waste the chance.
    â€œNext time he urinates, collect it in a clean container and bring it to me,” he said.
    Freeboot looked surprised, even startled.
    â€œWhat’s that going to tell you?” he said warily.
    â€œMaybe nothing,” Monks said. “Maybe a lot.”
    Freeboot barked, “Marguerite!” She appeared quickly in the doorway of Mandrake’s room.
    â€œGet the kid to pee in a cup and bring it here,” Freeboot commanded.
    She looked surprised, too, but went back into the room without a question.
    â€œYou must be ready for some chow,” Freeboot said to Monks. “How about a drink first? Vodka, right?”
    â€œNo, thanks.”
    Freeboot’s eyes flared again with quick anger.
    â€œYou don’t seem to understand, man,” he said. “You’re our guest.”
    He stalked to the rough wooden table and picked up a small bottle by the neck, upending it and taking a long swig. The liquor was clear but oily, with something thick and pinkish bobbing inside it. When he set it down, Monks glimpsed the label: Mezcal con Gusano Monte Alban. It was mescal, the real thing, and the “something” was an agave worm.
    He also noticed that the fingertips of Freeboot’s hands were scarred into thick lumps of callus—maybe a childhood injury from touching something hot.
    A quick series of beeps sounded across the room. Monks realized that they came from the belt radio that Hammerhead wore. They seemed to have a cadence, like a code.
    Hammerhead pulled the radio free and spoke into it. “Brother, this is Site Three. Over.”
    A man’s voice spoke, backed by faint static. “Brother, this is Captain America, requesting permission to enter. Over.”
    Hammerhead hesitated, his gaze flicking toward the bedroom, where Marguerite was still with Mandrake.
    â€œWhat’s your position, Captain America?” Hammerhead barked. “Over.”
    â€œI’m right outside, man.” Even with the static, Captain America sounded annoyed.
    Hammerhead looked questioningly at Taxman. Taxman nodded.
    With obvious reluctance, Hammerhead said, “Permission granted.”
    The lodge door opened. Another man stepped inside. He was about thirty, tall and good-looking, with wavy blondhair and an air of assurance. He carried an AK-47 or similar-type assault rifle with a large night-vision scope.
    He stepped to attention, facing Taxman, and raised the rifle to port arms, extending it forward as if he were offering it.
    â€œTake this, brother, may it serve you well,” he intoned. “Security was turned over to command of Sidewinder at ohone-hundred hours.”
    Taxman acknowledged this, with a slight lifting of his chin.
    Captain America relaxed, slinging the rifle over his shoulder, muzzle down, and glancing at Monks incuriously.
    â€œSo, Marguerite’s back?” he asked, looking around.
    â€œWe put in a long day, man,” Hammerhead said immediately, with a trace of belligerence. “She needs to rest.”
    Freeboot swung toward Hammerhead with the riveting gaze that Monks was starting to think of as “the stare.”
    â€œYou don’t talk like that to a made maquis , HH,” Freeboot said. His tone was harsh with warning.
    â€œ I’m the one who was on the mission with her,” Hammerhead said sullenly, but his eyes shifted away.
    â€œYou’re a fucking grunt. You don’t touch

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