CHAPTER 29

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"Which one's the real Tom?" Briana approached the one on the ground between the two stores, her hands covered in ice, ready to pound. Shelly stood next to her, rays of sun reflecting off her metal skin.

Both Toms hopped to their feet and pointed to the other. "Him. Fry him."

I stood between the two Toms, a charged hand pointed toward each. I stared at the one near the wall, and then to the one backed up against the open desert.

I seriously couldn't tell which was my Tom.

"Red," the one next to the wall said. "I'm Tom."

"Dakota, no. I'm Tom, fry him." The one backed up to the desert pointed to the other Tom.

The one next to the wall had called me Red. That should be the real Tom.

Yes, Red, it's me. Fry him.

"Tom, show me your hands." I said. "Your real ones."

I focused on the thought that the real Tom would make his hands glow for me. My Tom would hear my thoughts. The imposter wouldn't have that power.

The chick demon I'd knocked out hopped to her feet and lunged at me. Shelly dove at her with the speed of a bullet shot from a gun. The sound of a skull hitting metal clanked, and the demon dropped to the ground, motionless. Shelly landed on her back, rolled, then hopped to her feet crouched, ready for more.

The Tom standing next to the brick wall illuminated his hands. "Red. Fry him."

"D, watch out," Briana screamed.

I faced the Shifter impersonating Tom, but saw only a fist headed toward my face. I ducked, but wasn't fast enough, and his rock-hard fist caught my temple. I thrust out my charged elbow and buried it into his stomach. The electrical boost sent him soaring.

Totally weird hitting someone that looked like Tom.

Shuffling beside me sounded, and it was Tom lurching for the creature, hands lit up. His fingers curled around the neck, and the creature vanished with a swift poof. That was okay, we had two others to choose from to mess with their minds and send them packing. Tom pushed himself up and looked toward me.

"Let's get them both, come on." He hurried to the unconscious girl and yanked her into his arms. A few steps away lay the other guy, still motionless.

Briana and I dragged him into the shadows, away from the stores, since the sun had begun to brighten everything. Shelly came up to our sides.

"Tom, can you mess with them while they're unconscious?"

"No. Need them awake. I'm glad we have two because I'm not sure exactly how to do this, and I might blow out one of their brains in the process."

"You can do that?" Briana stood straight like a rod had been shoved down her back.

"If I concentrate hard enough, making them forget, then implanting new memories, who knows what kind of damage I might do." He knelt beside the woman. "Shelly, stand next to the man, if he wakes up, use your steel fist to knock him out. I'll try with this one, first."

I knelt on the other side of the girl. "Briana, can you spit some water on her face to wake her up? Make it super cold."

Briana aimed her hand at the woman and a gush of water flowed. The female startled awake and started coughing. I ignited my hand, and she looked my direction, then Tom grabbed her face, turning it toward him. He leaned in, eyes flashed white, and the girl froze, her gazed locked on Tom's.

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