The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 17

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I cast a skeptical look at him. “I don’t see how I have any power over him, how that would make him dangerous, or how what he does or doesn’t do is my responsibility.”

“I’m not saying it’s your responsibility. It’s not. What Luc does is all on him. What I’m saying is you need to be aware of what he’s capable of.”

“I’m aware. I’ve seen it firsthand.”

“You’ve seen a little of what he’s capable of. So have I, and I like to think I’m a badass. My legion of fans would agree.” A quick smile appeared, flashing deep dimples. “But he could take this whole block down with a snap of his fingers.”

My eyes widened as my stomach dropped. I’d seen Luc uproot trees as tall as skyscrapers, but take down a whole block? “You’re being a little overdramatic, right?”

Shaking his head, he turned to the television. “My sister.”

I frowned. “What?”

“My sister is on TV.”

The volume turned up without anyone touching it, and I figured that was courtesy of Daemon and his nifty alien talents. I twisted toward the TV.

I recognized the man. Senator Freeman appeared on half of the screen along with the skyline of New York City. He was the senator of one of the midwestern states. Oklahoma? Missouri? I didn’t know, but the man was extremely anti-Luxen and in favor of tightening the ARP—Alien Registration Program—policies that President McHugh was trying to get passed through Congress, along with repealing the Twenty-Eighth Amendment, which afforded Luxen the same basic rights as humans.

He wasn’t alone on the screen. There was a girl, a stunningly beautiful young woman who was the feminine mirror image of Daemon.

“Dee?” I said, pulling the name out of the recesses of my memory.

“Yeah, that’s Dee.”

“What’s she doing on TV?” I was assuming that she was like her brother, unregistered.

“Doing God’s work,” he said, and then smirked.

The female Luxen was absolutely poised, her midnight hair pulled back from her face and her emerald-green eyes shockingly bright. I couldn’t tell where she was. The background was just a plain white wall.

Senator Freeman was worked up over something, his cheeks ruddy and lips thin. “You keep saying that your kind aren’t dangerous, that you can be trusted, yet there has been a steady increase of Luxen-on-human violence.”

“There is no evidence that the unfortunate acts of violence against humans have been at the hands of the Luxen, only speculation—”

“An entire family in Charleston were found just this morning, burned from the inside out,” Senator Freeman viciously interrupted, his tan cheeks deepening in color. “Are you saying that one of your people didn’t do that?”

There wasn’t so much as a flicker of response on Dee’s face as she calmly stated, “There are many things that could explain their deaths other than an altercation with a Luxen—”

“Like being struck by lightning?” He scoffed.

Dee ignored the comment. “None of these senseless deaths have been officially linked to any Luxen, but there is staggering evidence of violence against Luxen—”

“Oh really?”

She nodded. “Videos of beatings loaded onto the internet—”

“Videos of United States citizens defending themselves.”

“God, will he let her get one full sentence out?” I muttered. “How can anyone have a conversation with this dude?”

“He interrupts because he doesn’t want to hear what she’s saying,” Daemon said, one hand tapping off his bent knee. “He doesn’t want anyone else to hear it, either.”

“I don’t know how she doesn’t lose her mind and flip a table.”

“You’ve met me, right? She’s had twenty-two years of practice dealing with someone who continuously interrupts her.”

I grinned. “You must’ve prepared her well.”

“Looks like it.”

Dee wasn’t flustered in the least as the senator slipped into another tirade about how Luxen were committing wholesale genocide against humans, which was an exaggeration even if a Luxen or a group of them had been responsible for the recent murders—even the recent murders Micah had been responsible for. He claimed he had nothing to do with them, but we knew better.

“She’s so young.” I brushed my hair out of my face. “I’m surprised that she’s the one doing these interviews.” Her youth was another thing I could tell irritated the senator, simply based on the way he spoke down to her. He was the definition of condescending and patronizing, and I had a feeling he probably spoke to all women like that.

“There are not many older Luxen left,” Daemon said. “Most were killed during the invasion and the fallout afterward. Dee’s kind of become our unofficial spokesperson.”

“That’s brave of her.”

“It is. Most unregistered Luxen want to lie low, not wanting people to know their face. She’s well protected, but most importantly, she’s fearless.”

“Archer?” I asked. “You?”

“All of us.” His gaze flicked to me. “An entire community protects her.”

“There’s nothing to fear from a Luxen,” Dee was saying for what had to be the millionth time. “We are no more dangerous than humans—no more evil or innocent. We are not monolithic, Senator Freeman, just like the human race isn’t. If we were to judge the entire human race based on the rather extraordinary number of serial killers, mass murderers, rapists, racists, and so forth, how would that make you feel?”

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