2 AM. The house was quiet. She couldn’t even hear the city, far below. The light streaming into Jamie’s window was as dim as Chicago could get, and augmented only by the pale blue light of her tablet. She still hadn’t slept. She’d tried, right around midnight. But she couldn’t.
She’d kept thinking about Jenna, and about Isaac’s reaction.
There was nothing about Jamie that would let her do anything about it. The gauntlet she’d worn all day couldn’t do anything about this. And trying to problem-solve her way out of it was just putting angry knots in her brain.
She’d tried a distraction: just a quick peek, to see if Opal had any public social media.
That was not what she found. Opal’s name only came up in reference to an eight-year-old court case – her dad’s. That seemed like a likely conversation-ruiner, so she’d started reading, wanting to find potential landmines ahead of time.
But reading about the trial was so confusing, she’d gone looking for a reason in adjacent trials. That didn’t make any more sense, and she’d ended up reading old articles online for hours.
In retrospect, her plan to cure her insomnia was flawed.
Now it all made sense, except that she couldn’t understand how this could be allowed! How had nobody fixed this yet?
The whole system was a disaster, and Detroit was a microcosm of every single way it was broken. Detroit had no superhero team and never had, though it was by far the most altered city in the US. Instead, it had a police force with army-grade gear and military tactics. The bureau had never endorsed the protective actions of any altered civilian in the city. There was trial after trial for altered who had protected people, and every one of them was convicted and jailed. The sentences so much longer than they should be.
That led her to read how thoroughly that mirrored racial issues in the larger criminal justice system. Racial minorities were, across the board, hugely more likely to be arrested than given warnings. More likely to serve longer sentences. More likely to be arrested young. Really young. More likely to be fatally shot by police. More likely to die in prison. More likely to have their kids taken away forever because they were locked up.
With the altered, a lot of the charges were especially nonsensical. Anyone who wasn’t white was ten times more likely to be imprisoned on drug charges. But since most drugs didn’t even work normally in the system of an altered, they were all automatically charged with intent to sell, which was a felony. As far as Jamie could tell, a black person found in the same house as drugs could be convicted of a felony for just that. And they kept arresting whole households at once, even taking in anyone who was just visiting the house. The trials were short and didn’t seem to matter much.
And Jamie had exposed Opal to it. Put her in the path of APB guards with guns, made her look like a suspect to anyone who expected to see a suspect, instead of someone who’d just wanted to help.
Even Jamie had reacted to her with fear at first. How must that have felt to Opal?
And the APB, who owned Jamie’s home, who controlled the superheroes, was embedded right in the heart of it. They were the ones who kept pushing for new laws for altereds. Longer jail times, more aggressive charges. There was a new bill expected from Secretary Bridgewater within the week aimed at “lowering recidivism rates”, tightening restrictions even further. There were hints that it was going to be something dramatic. Jamie felt sick.
She didn’t understand how her family could be involved with this. How Opal could want to be.
Did she know her family as well as she thought? What did the gauntlet even mean? It wouldn’t let her do anything about any of this!
Blog Tour Schedule
23 April (Monday)
- Secondhand Origin Stories blog tour launch (via That Bookshelf Bitch)
- Feature post from Candid Ceillie
- Review and feature post from The Backwards Bookshelf
- Review from Crimson Blogs
- Review from Samantha House
- Review from Stuffed Shelves
24 April (Tuesday)
- Excerpt from Not Just Fiction
- Excerpt from Utopia State of Mind
- Feature post from Unputdownable Books
- Review from That Bookshelf Bitch
- Review from Bookish and Awesome
- Review from Cliste Bella
- Review from wallflower’s plight
25 April (Wednesday)
- Excerpt from The Nerdy Elite
- Review from BookMyHart
- Review from Candid Ceillie
- Review from F A N N A
- Review from forthenovellovers
- Review from Igniting Pages
- Review from Spines in a Line
26 April (Thursday)
- Excerpt from Provocatrix
- Review from Bookish Wanderess
- Review from bookishwisps
- Review from Flying Paperbacks
- Review from TheHufflepuffNerdette
- Review from My Reading List
- Review from Unputdownable Books
27 April (Friday)
- Author interview on That Bookshelf Bitch
- Feature post from Cliste Bella
- Review from Afire Pages
- Review from The Book Maiden
- Review from The Little Miss Bookworm
- Review from Reader Fox and a Box of Books
Review from The Youngvamp’s Haven