I pushed open the door at the end of the hall and headed down the staircase, our footsteps loud in the empty building.
“I heard you decapitated Micah,” she said. “I approve. I wish we could have pushed him out of a shuttle first, though.”
I glanced at her as we stepped into the HARC lobby. “I don’t know. It felt kind of . . . wrong.”
“In what way? You probably saved half the humans in this city by getting rid of him.”
I shrugged. “I’m tired of getting rid of people. It’s what I’ve been doing for five years. I want to . . .” I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
“Make more people?” Addie asked, trying to keep a straight face. “Have some babies?”
I groaned. “No.”
“Are you sure? You can do your part to save the Reboot race. I have a knife right here. I can take out that birth control chip for you now if you’d like.”
“I will stab you with that knife.”
She laughed as we walked into the sunshine. “So you and Callum are putting it to use.” She shot me a look, a wicked glint in her eye. I shoved her lightly. “Okay, can I ask you a question not about killing people?”
“Would you ever be with a human?”
“How do you mean?”
“You know, like . . .” She waved her arms around. “Like . . . together. Like you and Callum.”
“I don’t know. I think it would be weird.”
She kicked a rock. “Yeah.”
I cocked my head to the side, something Callum had said about Addie protecting Gabe when they rescued me floating through my memory. “Gabe?” I asked.
“Yeah.” She looked at me sheepishly. “He kissed me last night.”
“Was it weird?”
“No, it was nice. But it made me think about the future. If we win and Reboots start living among the humans, what’s gonna happen? Are they going to start dating? Having kids? What is a half Reboot half human going to look like?”
“I don’t know, I never thought about it.” I shrugged. “Maybe Micah was right.”
“Not about everything, but about the evolution stuff. He had a point that Reboots are simply evolved humans. So maybe we’re just in the tough part right now. Eventually everyone will sort of meld together into one superhuman Reboot.”
“A Rehuman. Or Huboot.”
“Maybe not Huboot.” I laughed as we turned the corner and the schoolhouse came into view. Callum was talking to a group of humans, a map in his hands.
I forgot to breathe for a moment when our eyes met and his lips curved up. I didn’t know whether to blush or jump into his arms every time he looked at me. Flashbacks of the previous night were on repeat in my head, and it seemed ridiculous that everyone around us was going about business as usual while I was standing in a slightly shifted world.
Addie punched my arm, snapping me out of my trance, and when I turned she grinned at me. She lifted one eyebrow and I blushed, scurrying to where Riley and Isaac were standing with a few Reboots.
“How’s the ammo situation look?” I asked.
“Not bad,” Riley said. “Micah and his team had a lot on them, so we took that. Combined with what the humans took from the cities, we’re in pretty good shape.”
Callum joined us, spreading the large map he was holding on the table in front of Riley.
“Do we have a plan?” I asked. Desmond and Tony were standing a few yards away, their heads bent together as they spoke. “One the humans are okay with?”
“Yes.” Riley put his finger on the map. “We’re here.” He moved his finger along the river to the north. “About thirty miles north is Rosa.” He traced the route farther up. “Twenty-five miles north of Rosa is New Dallas. Everyone has agreed to go into Rosa together to get the Reboots first since HARC has set up headquarters there. If we can take Rosa, we’ll hit New Dallas right after. Apparently there isn’t much left of HARC now. Most are in Rosa.” He put his hands on his hips. “Tony got in contact with Leb, and they think they can get together enough humans in the city to support us.”
“Seriously?” I said doubtfully. “They’re not exactly the most Reboot-friendly humans in Rosa.”
“I still have the scars from where they captured me and beat me in the middle of the street,” Callum said.
Riley rolled his eyes. “You don’t get scars.”
“Emotional scars, then.” A smile tugged at the edges of Callum’s lips.
Riley chuckled. “Leb said he and the other rebels have been working on the people in Rosa, especially recently. You have support from a few officers inside of HARC, which is what’s really important. Don’t go around killing any of them unless they strike first.”
“Are humans coming into the facility with us?”
Riley shook his head. “We’re going to position some outside, though, to try and prevent more officers from getting in before you guys have a chance to escape. Our hope is we can get all the Reboots out of the building quickly and fight HARC off in the street. It will be easier. Well, relatively.” He raised an eyebrow at me. “And Leb said Officer Mayer is back in Rosa. I thought you might appreciate that information.”
A blip of excitement ran through me at the prospect of cornering Officer Mayer and eliminating him. I glanced at Callum, who’d had the chance to kill the officer and hadn’t taken it, but his expression was neutral.
“Do they know all these humans came here to help us?” I asked.
“No idea,” Riley said. “We suspect if they do know where they went, they don’t know they want to partner with us.”
Addie looked down at the map, then back at Riley. “What’s the plan for the humans? Assuming we win? It’s not realistic to think they’ll all be okay with living among us.”
Riley shrugged. “Don’t know. The idea of splitting us up in each city was mentioned.”
“Like a rico side and a slum side?” Callum asked dryly.
“Hey, maybe we could lock all the humans in some sort of building,” Addie said.
“Oh! And they could help us out with stuff like policing and capturing criminals,” Callum said. “But they may not like that, so we should probably keep them pretty tightly contained.”
Riley gave me a “make them stop being ridiculous” look, and I laughed.