Chapter Thirteen

The entire tribe is in the tent, after three days of nothing for our travelers, we’re at afternoon tea, it’s bumping up on four thirty.
Daria has more information on the Shadow collective, she will wait to bring it up, We don’t do the ugly bits during tea.
Danika, “I watched a clip of Chloe on her fan page, the one in Japan with the kendo match. I don’t know how you even see the strikes, much less counter them.”
Chloe, “Don’t watch the sword, watch the hands, wrists specifically, all other motion is distraction.”
“Ah, of course, the sword goes in the direction of the wrist and hand. Your opponent appeared talented.”
“She is talented, we each did our best and it showed in the result, one-one and a tie. Rank is not announced, I think she’s a sixth, but may be a talented fifth dan. I’m only guessing.”
Nikko, “Hanshi saw it, he said she’s sixth. He also said you intentionally missed a debana waza and let the third match end in a tie.”
Danika, “What is debana waza?”
“Striking at the moment the opponent attacks. It takes advantage of her momentary focus on her own attack.”
Chloe, “Busted.”
Nikko, “Hanshi said it was the appropriate thing to do in the situation. He was pleased.”
“That’s a relief, I thought I pulled it off without being obvious.”
“You did, to everyone except Hanshi.”
Hanshi in kendo is like sensei in karate or judo. The boss, or master. In this case Hanshi is Nikko’s father Soichi Murakami. He’s the last of the ninth dan kendo masters, the rank is no longer awarded, eight is as high as it gets. He taught Nikko and me, then Chloe came along with zero prior martial arts training. Hanshi saw something, as did Nikko’s mom Ari. Hanshi made Chloe a kendoka and Ari made her geisha. Her deep interest in all things Japanese was both a cause and a consequence of her bit of fame in Japan today.
Chloe, “Did you see it?”
“I wasn’t quite sure, I asked my father to watch it without telling him why.”
“Hard to get away with stuff around here.”
Amaya, “What do you have to get away with, beanpole? Your fans adore you, you have me as a lover, you are rich and famous, all my doing. All you need do is practice your sword, your lines and stay on script. Well, your singing and flute need constant attention, but you are not completely incompetent.”
Chloe giggles, “I won’t be fluting at Carnegie Hall.”
“Or singing, your vocal range isn’t much, but the octave you work best in is more than adequate and you can carry a tune. Not a problem, most pop singers have zip for range, if Swift or Cyrus had to hit a high note they would snap like a broken guitar string. Besides, you have the most photogenic face on the planet and violet eyes are near non-existent.”
Dasha, “A week of making Vesnushki peerfect for every moment haf make Eemaya dizzy, she ees still recover. Feex makeup every two minute, cannot haf one stray hair, check every nail for polish peerfect, clothes must fit just so, all day efry day.”
Sloane, “That’s no different than when she’s home.”
“Da, but ees spread over everyone, not only Vesnushki.”
Amaya, “I also had to keep an eye on the Russian, one day she plastered on the most ghastly eye shadow, she looked like a Goth prostitute. I have no idea where she even got it, likely ran her finger over an ancient engine block, horrid black mess.”
Dasha has a habit of screwing up something, mis-buttoned shirt, ragged jeans, bad makeup or none at all. She knows perfectly well what to wear and how to makeup, she likes it when Amaya fusses over her.
Chloe and I clear the tea table. The thunderstorm predicted has begun, Danika covered the pool before tea as the clouds rolled in and distant thunder grumbled. Rainstorms here are windy and varied. We might see one few miles distant, but it’s sunny at the house. Often there are two or three visible, making their way generally northeast. We’ve seen little lightening when they pass, just rumbling and rain. 
Daria, “I created a fictional Shadow and joined the thread, right now it is down to less than a dozen screen names, the others dropped out.”
“Any planning going on?”
“Not much, mostly rants about Shaolin, empty threats for now, they have no clue who is pursuing them. The whole thing may just deteriorate and fade away.”
Janah, “IP addresses are no good, you don’t know where they are.”
“Nyet, they have been sly about mentioning any location. All of them are in the states, at least we think so. Shadows elsewhere have no reason to participate. Three or four said they were leaving the country and dropped off the thread.”
Janah, “We aren’t making overseas trips to kill Shadows, not unless we’re overseas for other reasons. We could spend eternity roaming the planet.”
“One of them, screen name mindthief, has started talking about ways to make us come to them.”
Janah, “Crap, only one way to do that.”
“Da, make enough trouble it rises to our attention.”
“Has mindthief made any proposals?”
“Not on the thread, except to say he has an idea that guarantees we take notice.”
“And we send three or four of us to check it out, except it’s not just one or two Shadows, but several. Mindthief thinks they take out some of us by sheer numbers.”
“He talks of a powerful show of force, that they are vulnerable alone. And he infers an entirely different way of dealing with us.”
Nikko, “Let’s think about possible scenarios. For instance, they take control of cops or other armed citizens. Use them as bodyguards.”
Janah, “That would chew up a lot of energy, but it might work. I have an uglier one.”
“What?”
“What the easiest thing to buy in America that isn’t Coca Cola or a politician?”
Nikko, “Geez.”
Zi, “What?”
“Guns.”
Amaya, “Of course. We assume they use mind control for everything. We are a deadly threat, not a kid on a street corner, or an old lady at the bank.”
Guess I need to research Kevlar.

Chapter Fourteen

I call my mom, hacker supreme, Daria is with me on the phone, “Sis, we’re tracking Shadows who have a chat room going down in the dark web. Daria will get you there. We are particularly interested in finding a participant called mindthief, don’t know gender or age. We need to find out where he is.”
My mother’s name is Susan, but we look so much alike I’ve called her Sis since forever. She had me when she was fifteen, Janah and I quit aging at twenty five, mom’s a perpetual forty.
Susan, “Everything can be done, only time and talent, I have both, Daria could likely do it as well.”
“She’s digging into a couple of the other more active ones.”
“And what’s the threat, besides just suspecting they’re Shadows?”
“They’re trying to figure out how to kill us.”
“That would be a threat. I presume you have no intention of letting that happen.”
“Not in this century, they’ll be dead before the dial turns. I don’t mean to insult, but don’t leave any footprints.”
“My dark web is deeper and darker than theirs, God isn’t finding me, Daria knows the protocol, find something else to worry about.”
I leave Daria and Susan to discuss strategy, although my understanding is that it’s more persistence than magic. All web traffic starts with an IP. Going to a proxy server, like Tor, changes the IP. If you can route through enough servers and maintain a connection, it’s a bitch to unwind all the IPs to the original one. But it can be done. You can change your own IP by turning off your modem for five minutes, sometimes it takes overnight. Each browser has a tag called a user agent. It will remain the same unit you change it. Also, clear all cookies or don’t allow them at all. That, however, may screw up what you can view, for everyday sites, allow cookies and avoid the hassle.
Most people know this, but in case, Ccleaner will clear history and cookies every time you run it. You’ll have to log back into sites, think of it as a memory exercise.
Janah, “All learning is tedious at first. Math, languages, music, programming, which is simply a foreign language with math, are to all but the gifted, a difficult process. If people plug away at the formulas, speak the words, one more set of scales on the piano, stumble, try again in smaller bites and persist, one day the pieces will fall into place. The answer would be obvious, the chess move clear, the code works. But they don’t, tedium gives over to frustration and they walk away. All too often just before the breakthrough, because that’s when frustration is highest. My bit of advice on any troublesome business is, keep going.”
“Amaya would never write a sentence if she gave up when the process got ugly.”
“Exactly, she rewrites ten times more than she writes, but it’s always remarkable when she’s done.”
And don’t say it dear reader, I’m writing this, not Amaya, literary perfection lies elsewhere.
Amaya, “I am not the martial artist you are dear girl, few are. And nobody puts more time and energy into it than you do. You are our biographer, your stuff doesn’t need to be Dostoyevsky, Austen or Dickens. Press on. What is for dinner incidentally?”
“Dasha is slow cooking, pulled pork, to which she will add Tonkatsu sauce later. Cornbread or Johnny cake, maybe both. Some sort of veg concoction, she hasn’t said, although we have a ton of fresh yellow, red and orange peppers. Probably a quick grill in butter and olive oil. Do you want a salad?”
“Something with bleu cheese or vinaigrette, keep it basic. The entrée sounds splendid, Chloe loves pulled pork.”
“Chloe loves life, but I take your point.”
“If Chloe is happy, I’m happy, if I’m happy, the world is blissful, it isn’t hard.”

Ect-shually, it isn’t. Give people good food, a caring environment, a word of encouragement and a bit of freedom to roam about, and things shuffle along splendidly.
The kitchen and living area look out on the pool, and it’s about the same size. We could have a basket ball court in our combined kitchen, dining and living room, it’s all one room.
Sloane screeches across the pool deck and stops at the doorway, “Starved mom, wow, smells great, what’s on?”
“Pulled pork, and a long hot shower for you, you are insanely filthy.”
“Cassie and I took a run up the hill, can’t ride the bikes. It’s not freezing, but the rain is cold, it felt tingly.”
“Where is she?”
“Under the pool shower getting clean enough to come inside.”
“Then you do the same thing, leave the wet clothes by the door to the laundry room. There are fresh towels inside, use those and go sit in one of the tubs and boil. Make sure Cassie washes her hair.”
“Got it,” she races off.
Dasha, “Sloane ees take gud care of Cassandra, or she would sit and stare all day. You will make tea now Dahfoney, fahmahley will be coming soon.”
I do, and they do, everyone here except Sloane and Cassie, Oceane’s attendance is always questionable. Today is informal, tea, cookies, no ceremony. I go upstairs to find our missing links.
I don’t hear the Jacuzzi, Sloane’s door is half open, I look in and sense motion in her bathroom. I see Cassie, she’s nude, hair is dry so they’ve finished cleaning up. I walk further in, oh.., I see Sloane’s erection and Cassie’s fingers tracing the shaft.
Then a voice, Oceane, “Like this,” her head comes into view, she takes the cock in her mouth, slides back and forth. 
She pulls away and Cassie takes over, a low moan of pleasure from Sloane, I back out and go downstairs.
Janah, “Girls exploring?”
“Yep. I doubt Sloane is contemplating tea and cookies.”

Fifteen

Just after tea, Janah’s phone dings, it’s Katya. Katya is half of a set of twins we came across via a Society contact named Gerard Depardieu in New Orleans. We’ve never met Gerard, he’s just a voice on the phone for now. But we did meet the twins after we discovered their propensity for violence, they are contract killers. 
They agreed to do social work for the Society, further agreed that killing was not part of it. Then they brought in three others we didn’t know, girls who live with them in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Five hit girls in one house, crazy.
They also help us with Shadows, which they are allowed to kill. Since Shadows can take a mind, they may not get a chance to use a gun, a dart fired from the drone at thirty yards is much safer. We primarily use drones with an attachment for darts like they use to sedate animals in the wild. We have an injectible tranquilizer and another called Oblivion, which kills virtually instantly. The Shadow will never know what hit him, never see his killer.
Subsequently, we met the five girls in St. Martin’s, Katya and Katja are identical like Dasha and Daria. Our twins took the anti-aging proteins when they were sixteen, we gave them to the Katya group when they were twenty one. Ellen was twenty, Mani and Sarah were nineteen and eighteen then, now two years later, none of them has aged a day.
The proteins apparently help with illness, none of us catch colds, nobody’s had life threatening diseases. We don’t know if we’re cancer proof, and it doesn’t help with accidents or bullets, we can be killed like anyone, when we’re cut, we bleed. I have a flat spot on the top of one ear courtesy of a bullet to prove it.
Katya, “You are in Manhattan, or elsewhere?”
“You must be mind reading, I was just about to call. We’re in Arizona, can you get away for a bit, come to Prescott?”
“I was going to ask you to come to New Orleans, but we have never seen your place in Arizona, when is good?”
“Anytime, we’re here at least six more weeks. If you like it, you can come out even if we aren’t here, Danika and Su keep the place open all year. We need to get you to Canada too, maybe next summer if you’d like.”
“We appreciate. Saturday today, maybe Monday, I will check with the others, if it works, I will text you an arrival. I see Prescott Municipal airport, that is correct?”
“Yep, Daphne will collect you, we’re about a half hour from the airport.”
‘Da, okay, I will send text soon,” she clicks off.
“We getting company?”
Janah walks in our bedroom, “Yes, Monday unless one of the others has something she doesn’t know about. How do we stack them?”
“We have two guestrooms, it’s only five girls and I think Sarah and Mani shared a room for a while, Ellen sometimes sleeps with them or the twins, but it would be cool for her to stay in our room.”
“Cool and hot, she’s a sizzler, none of them have any problem hooking up. You know the twins are going to mix, Sarah will try to get to everyone, she did last time anyway. Cassie has kicked in hormonally and she’s taken the treatment, she’s fifteen forever. So far, she’s only been with Sloane and Oceane, but she’s got her eye on Amaya.”
“I’ll tell Katya that Cassie has to initiate any intimacies, they know the rest of us are available, they might assume Cassie is too.”
“They don’t know Danika and Su.”
“Good point, Danika plays occasionally, Su doesn’t sex, I’ll mention that as well. Those girls like things straightforward.”
“Works for us.”
Janah’s phone dings, text from Katya, “Arrive eleven Monday.”
Janah texts her a ‘got it,’ most of the girls are still in the living area or around the dining table.
“We have company Monday, Katya and crew are coming in for a visit. We never discussed how long, I suppose a few days, they have business interests to look after.”
Nikko, “We had a good time in New Orleans, filled up the house.”
“They have a big place, but it can’t accommodate eleven extra women. Suites at the Sonesta was hardly a sacrifice, how can you beat being across the street from Galatoire’s and Bourbon House on the corner?”
Amaya, “You ate enough raw oysters to fill a cement mixer.”
“They’re hormonally stimulating.”
“Hah! Like your hormones need an accelerant.”
They laugh at me, I’ve fulfilled my duty.
Janah, “What’s for dinner?”
In our tribe, it’s at the top of the question list, we like food and Dasha and I like cooking for everyone.
Dasha, “Coincidence, we are to haf New Orleans style roast bif poboy, garden burghur for Janah and Oceane wiz bleu chiz, ohnyon, tomato. Black bean zoup wiz corn and sour crim, spicy also.
Janah, “Yay, and it’s time for a glass of wine.”
Amaya, “I shall prepare cocktails and anticipate.”
Dasha’s stirring the beef, cooked to pull apart tender then simmered in rich brown gravy.
Sloane peers over Dasha’s shoulder, “God that smells good, my wolf self is drooling,” she licks Dasha’s neck.
“Go somewhere Sloane, no time for biting neck,” Sloane giggles and races off to find Cassie, Dasha drifts off into self talk, “Dasha ees to feenish stirring zoup, Dahfoney must grill burghur, then I haf to cut ohnyon and tomato…where ees bleu chiz…? Tweens are coming, we haf caviar and blini, Dahfoney will get smoked salmon feesh from store…Dahfoney, do we haf Elijah Craig weeskey for Ellen?”
Dasha’s brain runs on two or three tracks at a time, “Nope, they have it at the Liquor Barn in Prescott Valley, that’s where we buy Russian Standard.”
Liquor Barn was happy we showed up, I buy Russian Standard 1.75 five cases at a crack. We have a small freezer devoted to booze and I don’t even drink alcohol. The wine cellar has grown to a couple hundred bottles not counting Champagne, cases of Heidsieck and Gosset in brut and rosé. Contrary to appearance, rosé is not remotely sweet. Janah likes the tart stuff.
Cocktails imbibed, time for dinner, for drinkers there’s cold Sapporo, wine seems weird with poboys.
Janah, “Black bean soup is perfect Dasha, bit of vinegar tart in it, yes?”
“Da, ees rice wine vinegar, best kind for food, a leetle less acid bite. I also leaf some beans whole, not mush complete in bleender, can of spicy fiesta corn, bay leaf, ohnyon, bit of red peppers, garlic, teensy touch of clove, paprika, then sour crim alongside to add. Next time maybe add also potato. You could haf for entrée.”
Oceane is concocting her burger, “Soy, Kewpie, Tonkatsu, tomato slice, toasted bun, “ she smiles and bites, “grill burger, sweet, crunch of toasted bun, soft bread.”
Oceane knows sensations, tastes, textures, scents. She’s not a vegetarian, she will eat fish, chicken, occasionally pork or bacon, not beef. It isn’t a health issue, it’s just what she does, we don’t know why, she doesn’t explain much.
Cassie eats whatever we set in front of her, pretty much like the rest of us. She doesn’t express preferences, she doesn’t express non-preferences, Dasha likes to say Cass ‘haf no opeenyon.’ At least she’s simple to cook for.
Zi, “Thank you Dasha, Daph, those sandwiches are addictive, I love the crunch of pickle in the mix.”
Danika, “Same here ladies, go find a place to light, Su and I will clear up. Do you want me to freeze the rest of the roast beef?”
“No, it’s not that much. We’ll make sandwiches tomorrow for lunch, I also have chipotle chicken breast and vegetable quinoa. Dasha and I need to go into town tomorrow and shop. We need to offer something besides New Orleans cooking to our guests, they live there.”
Dasha, “Ellen ees gud cooking person, she will want to help. Maybe steaks first day, not much seafood een Prescott, everything ees frozen. Pork loin from Sprout’s second day, then we will ask Ellen for idea.”
Su, “Cooking for eighteen, I can only admire your fortitude.”
“Ellen will help, I think Mani backs her up, that makes four of us and our kitchen is essentially commercial. We’ll have fun.”

Sixteen

Sunday comes and goes, then Amaya and Daphne are off to collect their guests.
Everyone has met everyone, Janah’s group went to New Orleans for three nights. With so many bodies, sixteen in all, they ate out, contributed their bit to economic activity in a city that sorely needs it.
The home in Arizona is better equipped for a large group, they cook for eleven anyway, adding five is no big deal. 
“Welcome,” hugs around for all.
Ellen, “Amaya, if you get any more gorgeous I’m gonna have a heart attack.”
“Thank you, you need not have a heart attack, you will have a Chloe and Amaya attack, if I can peel you away from Janah.”
Ellen grins, “I’m gonna hang on to that happy thought sweetie.”
Sarah sidles up to Daphne, “I hope you have time to fulfill my fantasies, legs.”
“I can do that, and anything else you’d like.”
Mani, “Sarah is insatiable.”
“Speaking of which, did they feed you on the plane?”
Katja, “Nyet, we ask only for coffee and tea.”
“Good, Dasha is organizing lunch, nothing elaborate, finger sandwiches, cheese, chips. We’ll have a big dinner tonight.”
Amaya pulls into the drive that lead to the house.
Sarah, “Good Lord, that’s what they mean by a mansion.”
“There are eleven of us plus Danika and Su, we like big bedrooms and space in the living area. While it’s on my mind, everyone is open to intimacies with a couple of exceptions. Cassie came of age and has occasional fun with Sloane and Oceane. If she approaches you and you are willing, fine. Let her make a move first. Su is asexual, she’s off the list. Danika plays occasionally, she’s not shy, just not as active as the rest of us.”
Katja, “We are understanding, there is no girl shortage. Sisters are happy for seeing sisters.”
Unload suitcases, greetings, they haven’t met Danika or Su.
Danika, “Welcome, we’re excited to meet everyone. Gee Daph, two sets of twins, and three more lovely young ladies. Come along, Su and I will get you settled, then lunch.”
Sarah, “Sloane! Oceane! What a place you live in, I have to see your rooms instantly.”
Sloane hugs her, “As you wish your hotness, come on.”
They dash upstairs, I hear a screech, “Sloane, I sooo hate you, look at this bedroom, you are so spoiled!”
They return a few minutes later, “The bedrooms are ultra luxury, fireplaces in every one, and the bathrooms are sinful.”
Nikko, “Amaya prefers wretched excess.”
Amaya, “Elegance Nishiko, I design tasteful elegance.”
Janah, “Lunch.”
Dasha, “I am putting out now. Use dining table or outside if you wish, it is cool but sun is out for warming. Today not so windy.”
“There is beer, wine, Champagne, sparkling water or Coke Zero. Please, help yourself. Don’t be shy about digging around in the fridge or getting snacks. When you’re done with dishes and glasses, just stack them on the counter.”
They settle in spots, several conversations rolling at once, Nikko, Zi, Daria and Katya discuss the various businesses of Murakami Sylk. 
Dasha and Katja sound like they’re chatting about Oceane and Cassie in Russian, Katja curious about their similarities and differences. 
“So, Oceane is about feeling and sensation, I have seen her drawing skill, we framed to portrait she did of us. Gerard studies it every time he comes over, finds it fascinating. I can understand Oceane at least a little, but not so much Cassandra.”
Dasha, “Cassie was left to herself much of the time. The Shadow that took her, used her only like a doll. Dress this way, sit that way, when he tired of it, she was put in her room or allowed to swim outside. She learned almost nothing, and nothing at all about the world outside. The housekeeper managed to teach her simple math from cooking, one cup, a half cup, two tablespoons, like that. She still knows nothing of money. In the beginning, we had to tell her everything to do, which she did without question or complaint. She did know about personal hygiene. Left to herself, she would sit in her room all day. Sloane got her involved in running, the dirt bikes and karts, but she has to tell Cassie, she will not initiate an activity on her own. She will watch TV, but it doesn’t matter to her if the sound is on or what the program is. After it is over, she has no idea what it was about. And she has only one speed, full on or off. You will see when she rides the karts, no brakes, just top speed, same with dirt bike. At first, she always crash, but now she is expert, better than Sloane even.”
Katja, “She is not afraid then.”
“Nyet. We have to watch her and Oceane, they cannot go anyplace alone. Not too bad, they would stay home all the time if we allowed.”
Sloane and Cassie come out of the house suited up, helmets, elbows, knees and wrists in versions of the protective gear I had made for our work. Elbow and knee covers made of titanium in overlapping sheets, think of a lobster’s tail. Bang an elbow on a rock, no damage. Wrist guards are standard skateboard style. Over the calf leather boots with steel toes.
Sloane pops over to me, I’m sitting with Janah, Sarah and Ellen, “Mom, I feel like the terminator, karts first, then bikes,” she and Cass run off to the garage. With dirt bikes, karts, formula one cars, two SUVs, Amaya’s Corvette and a pickup truck, it’s like an aircraft hangar. We have our own gasoline pump and the garage has lifts like a car repair shop. Eloise and Daria keep things running, Sloane has learned a ton about mechanical repair and maintenance.
We walk over to the track to take in the mayhem. I hear karts fire up, they blast out of the garage and onto the track.
Our track has two straightaways, one quarter mile, the other a bit over half that, two slightly banked turns and one ninety degree. There is also a diagonal from the lower corner to the upper. Right now, it’s blocked off on both ends with traffic cones because Cassie will try to make the u-turn at full speed and she’ll spin off the track. She used to always spin out on the ninety degree until she learned to ease up on the gas, she never uses the brakes. It isn’t a big deal, the karts sit so low and the axle track so wide, they are impossible to turn over. They have roll bars anyway, a kart to kart crash might cause a flip. Sloane always makes sure Cassie is belted in snugly.
Ellen, “Damn, they got one speed, fast.”
“Cass figured out letting off the gas, she doesn’t spin out so much anymore, I think she does it sometimes because she likes it. There’s a third kart in the garage, helmet’s on the kart, give it a go.”
Ellen, “I’m all about that, want to go first Sarah?”
“I’ll take a few turns after you’re done.”
“The other gear, elbow and knee stuff is on the kart as well, it’s primarily for the dirt bikes though, up to you, it’s all adjustable.”
I walk with her to the garage, “Right gas, left brake, just like on a car. If you take your foot off the gas, it slows quickly. When you stop, the engine will just idle, the key is on the left. Not much to it, just point and shoot. I’ll pull Sloane and Cass off the track for your first couple of passes. It’s not a race, people go at whatever speed they’re comfortable with.”
I return to the track, Janah’s already flagged Sloane in, Cassie knows to follow.
Ellen comes putting out of the garage, waves, hits the initial straightaway and takes the track at about half speed, guns it up three quarters for the next round, then has it at full bore on the long straight, two more passes and she pulls in next to the others.
“Got-tam, not better than sex, but damn close. Here Sarah, you have to give this a go.”
Sloane, “Take my kart, you can both go, no running over each other.”
She goes over the simple operation like I did with Ellen. Then they’re both zipping along decently, Sarah is fearless, she does a Cassie spin out on the ninety degree.
Sloane, “Uh oh, hope she doesn’t freak,” we hear a squeal of delight.
“Sounds like she freaked on the happy side.”
She cranks it up, climbs on the track and zips around to us, “That’s amazing, it’s okay, to make it spin?”
“Sure, the karts are tough devils, Daria and Eloise keep them in top shape.”
She grins, screeches off again, Ellen behind her, both howling in the wind. Cassie steps on the gas for another go. The three make another half dozen laps, everyone stays on the track, Cassie passed and just about lapped them. 
The rest of the crew joins us, Danika says, “Girls having fun I see.”
“They’re coming in. Sloane and Cass will want to dirt bike. Katja, Katya, there will be two Karts ready to go.”
Dasha, “You will go for kart ride, ees fun, you will see, Dahfoney will show to operate, seemple. I am going for dirty bike wiz Sloane and Cassie.”
Soon the place sounds like a beehive, three karts tearing around the track, three bikes tearing up the dirt.
Our guest twins take two karts, Ellen sidelines, it’s Sarah and the twins. 
Ellen’s attention is on the dirt track, it’s got the requisite hills and jumps, a steep straight up the mountain, big curve and a minefield of jumps down. For variety, they can counterclockwise so the jumps are up and the straight down.
Ellen, “Sheeyt, those girls are friggin’ insane, Cassie must be twenty feet in the air. Right about one thing, she’s got one speed, on, all the way on. Sloane and Dasha aren’t slouches either.” 
“Dasha wanted a Harley for the street, but her sister talked her down. People just don’t see motorcycles, too busy texting maybe. I saw a woman on the freeway, with a cup of coffee in her hand and talking on a mobile with the other, knee steering her way through Brooklyn.”
Ellen shakes her head, “I got more respect for my life that that, people think stuff just won’t happen to them until it does. Then they’re lookin’ for it to be somebody else’s fault.”
“Stupid people are too stupid to know they’re stupid, if they did, they wouldn’t be stupid anymore, but they don’t, so they are.”
“Word honey girl.”

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