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Chapter 2: The Most Hated Family in America

It had been Max’s decision and everyone had agreed: all mail was passed through Logan. And the transgenics got a lot of mail. So much so that two X-6’s had been smuggled to Joshua’s house to help deal with it. The transgenics had even set up an x-ray and a radiation machine in an abandoned warehouse to screen the mail. Only one bomb had made it all the way to Logan’s abode and the X-6 whose mistake had allowed that to happen had nearly died saving Logan’s life. The post office took care of the majority of the bombs, mostly because they didn’t want them exploding near civilians more than supporting the transgenic cause.

Everyone knew about Jam Pony-transgenic connection and so they had very brisk business delivering stuff to Terminal City. Normal was pleased that people (even those who hated transgenics) would pay to have their packages delivered. Business had improved since the siege. So much so that he had to hire ten new employees (mostly to replace the transgenics stuck in Terminal City. Normal knew that most mail addressed to Terminal City never made it to its assigned designation and didn’t insist on a signature.

All mail did end up at the warehouse. The mail was then separated in several groups: the dangerous, the hateful, the encouraging, the fan mail, and the intelligence. The X-6’s disposed of everything that was a biohazard and/or explosive. The hate mail was read, bundled up tightly and Logan used it as fuel to heat the house. He never ran low. The few letters of encouragement and support were analyzed and marked on the map as possible escape routes or allies. The fan mail was a source of great amusement. It seemed that some humans were infatuated with the appearance of the transgenics. Even Mole had a fan club. Letters from other transgenics were disguised as hate mail but with code words evaluating life outside of Seattle and offering assistance. Those were separated and carried to Logan’s to pass the intelligence to Terminal City. The post was tallied and used as a barometer of the general population.

The manila envelope could not be categorized immediately. The fact that it had Alec’s name on it was the first clue. The fact that it had a return address was the second. Few of the mail received had return addresses. It tested negative for any hazard. The short message was hateful but the medical records didn’t mean anything to the X-6’s reading it. The package was separated and given high priority.

It was the first thing Logan read out of the day’s mail. He recognized the Berrisford name and address immediately. He almost didn’t read it even though he had been given permission from everyone. It was personal, very personal. In the end, he fed Ransom and Brentwood, the X-6’s in charge of the mail, and Mellon, the recovering X-6 in residence. Then he told them to find someplace that they couldn’t eavesdrop. The child soldiers obeyed and Logan was left alone to absorb the files’ contents. He read through all the other mail and waited for radio contact.

Terminal City had to be very careful that their communication was not hacked. Logan had to be even more careful since he didn’t have the protection of Terminal City blockades around him. Only when all the checks had been made would Logan hear from Max.

“Hey, you,” his computer transmitted Max’s voice only two minutes late. That was a good sign.

Logan smiled at the computer screen. “Hey you. I’ve got quite a bit, but I also have something private for Alec.”

Max nodded and sent someone for Alec. He was normally coordinating the lookout posts at this time of day. Though most transgenics didn’t truly understand privacy in the physical sense, they all respected the need to keep their thoughts and (some) knowledge to themselves. All nonessential personnel cleared the HQ as Logan passed along the daily report. By the time he had finished, Alec’s head bobbed in the background. All knew that Logan didn’t waste time with trivial stuff.

Max stepped back and Alec’s face filled the scene. Both waited.

“Actually, Max,” Logan said, “this is really private. Can I speak with Alec and he can decide what to tell you?”

Max didn’t like it, but she wandered away. Alec was starting to look worried. He watched Max leave the area and turned back to the computer. “What’s going on?”

Logan raised the envelope so that Alec could read it on his monitor. Logan watched as the transgenic turned so pale that his freckles stood out. “What was inside?” Alec asked.

Logan held up the first message. “Just let me know when you finish each page.”

Alec nodded, waited a beat. “Done.”

Logan flushed a bit. He had a tendency to forget just how smart, how fast a transgenic could read. He dropped the hateful message and picked up the first page of the medical file. Alec turned even paler if that was possible. “Next.” Logan lifted the next page and then the next page and then finally the fourth page.

“Next?” Alec asked.

“That’s it. There’s nothing else.”

Fear, anger, and desperation all flashed across Alec’s face. This piece of hate mail had provoked more of a response than a thousand others. It was one of the few times Logan had felt compassion for Alec.

“I will do everything in my power,” Logan promised before Alec had to beg him for help.

Alec smiled, but only slightly. “Uhm… thanks?”

“Just know that this is going to be very, very difficult. And it’s going to take a while. It’ll be easier to find him once he hits school age.”

Alec didn’t like that news even as he understood the reasoning behind it.

“Just promise me one thing.”

“Name it,” said Alec.

“That you won’t hurt Max with this. Secrets hurt.”

Alec’s jaw dropped and he blurted out, “I have never been with Max. She’s… become my sister. She lied to protect you. So that you could move on.”

Logan blinked. Before he could voice a response, Alec ended the connection.