The Breach

The Breach by Lee Patrick Read Free Book Online

Book: The Breach by Lee Patrick Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lee Patrick
barrel. Travis looked down his own sights. The riders were still a thousand yards out, just now resolving into distinct shapes. There was no danger of them spotting Travis or Paige where they stood, against the darker backdrop of the camp and the tree cover.
    “Tangent is an organization,” Paige said. “Our entire purpose revolves around the Breach. Guarding it. Controlling it. And the Breach is . . . very hard to describe.”
    “I’m more open-minded today than I was yesterday,” Travis said.
    Several more seconds passed as Paige considered what to say next. Travis could see the gleam of sunlight off the chrome handlebars of the ATVs.
    “Have you ever heard something described as the strangest thing in the world?” Paige said. “A two-headed snake, a potato chip that looks like George Washington, something like that?”
    “Sure,” Travis said.
    “Even in strict scientific terms, with no hyperbole, the Breach is the strangest thing in the world.” She thought for a moment, then went on. “It’s a source. A technology source. We get things from it. I know that’s vague, but I can’t say it more clearly. Not just because it’d be an act of treason, but because you’d never believe me unless you were standing right in front of it, seeing it for yourself.”
    Travis saw her draw the rifle tightly into her shoulder, her left eye narrowing down the sight line. The riders were still well over five hundred yards out, too far for guaranteed kill shots. Travis was about to suggest that when they came into range, he take the left rider and Paige take the right, when her rifle cracked, a mini thunderclap in the stillness. The left rider jerked—Travis saw blood in the center of his chest—and pitched sideways, pulling the handlebars so tightly to the right that the machine jackknifed, flipped and threw him like a crash-test dummy. Which, by that point, he essentially was. Before he landed, Paige fired again, and the second rider’s head vanished above the jaw. He stayed on his quad for another five seconds, then tipped straight backward and fell off. The machine rolled thirty yards farther, throttling down to idle, and then just sat there growling.
    Travis turned to her, saw her staring at the kills, her eyes hard and—if he was reading them right—unsatisfied with her work.
    “I’m better with a scope,” she said.
    She leaned the rifle against the tree, turned, and went to a pile of the hostiles’ gear in the middle of the camp. Within a few seconds she’d pushed aside their belongings—among them a little dirt-crusted shovel—to reveal a steel plate on the ground, eighteen by eighteen inches and half an inch thick. She lifted it with her good arm and let it fall flat on its other side, exposing beneath it a leg-wide hole in the dirt. Its bottom was too deep for Travis to see from his angle.
    What caught his eye first was a disturbance to the plate’s underside: dark blue corrosion, and a just-visible bulge where the metal had spanned the hole in the ground. Exposure damage, caused by whatever lay unseen at the bottom.
    “Any piece of technology we get from the Breach is called an entity,” Paige said. “This one is designated Whisper, and it’s dangerous as hell. The man who sent these contractors wants control of it. If he succeeds . . .” She paused, looked at Travis, then shook off whatever she was thinking, and knelt over the hole. “He can’t succeed. It’s that simple.”
    She reached deep into the hole, almost to her shoulder, and lifted out a fist-sized object, perfectly round, its surface a dark, iridescent blue Travis was sure he’d never seen before.
    The object from the hinged steel cube aboard the 747.
    For a moment Paige gazed at it with a mix of revulsion and fear, as if it were a spent fuel rod saturating her bones with lethal rads. Then she narrowed her eyes and seemed to focus past the irrational feeling.
    Travis sensed that whatever danger this thing posed wasn’t as

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