Daniel’s friends “los[e] their shit” as he shows them a gun he has 3-D printed in his basement. Everything has been “so fucking serious” since Manny died a while ago in a drug-related incident, so Daniel is grateful for his friends’ excitement and laughter. He shows them YouTube videos of the printing process to impress them even further.
Daniel’s ability to make something from nothing impresses all of his friends, and he is so grateful for the validation that he doesn’t stop to consider the pain and suffering his creations could create.
In many ways, Daniel thinks, Manny’s death was Octavio’s “fault”—and yet Octavio, Manny, and Daniel had become like brothers in recent years, and Octavio still comes over often to check on Daniel. When Daniel shows Octavio the printed gun on one such visit, he feels that the gun is “real” for the first time as he sees it in Octavio’s hands.
Daniel craves Octavio’s praise and validation more than he craves the attention of any of his friends in spite of how Octavio’s lifestyle has forever changed their family.
One night, Daniel writes Manny an email to express the feelings he’s been holding inside. In the email, he tells Manny what he’s been up to lately, and includes the story about the 3-D printed gun. Daniel tells Manny about how into coding he’s gotten, and how, through the connections he’s made online, he was able to secure the printer. Daniel tells Manny that he’s printed six guns—Octavio has paid him five thousand for all of them. Daniel is slightly worried about “what the guns will do”—he knows Octavio is planning to use them to rob a powwow, and will give him another five thousand if he and his group pull it off. Daniel wants the money to help support his and Manny’s mother, who has been deeply depressed since Manny’s death. Daniel signs off on the email, saying he misses Manny and will write again soon.
Even though Manny is gone, Daniel misses his brother so much that he feels compelled to “write” to him. Even though Manny will never hear Daniel’s story, Daniel is compelled to share it. He is excited about helping Octavio—and scoring some money for himself and his mother—and doesn’t worry too much about the kind of continued, cyclical violence he’s enabling.
With the money from the guns, Daniel buys a drone. He decides to use the drone to run around the baseball field at the Coliseum, and flies it right into center field when he spies, through the camera, a man with a trash-grabber coming towards the device. The man hits the drone, but Daniel flies it out before any real damage is done. At home, he watches the video over and over again until he hears a scream from upstairs—his mother. He goes upstairs and realizes she’s found the envelope with all of the cash. Rather than asking Danny about the money, she wraps him in a tight embrace.
Daniel’s drone, which has been seen throughout the novel, is connected to Dene’s storytelling project—though a different kind of lens than Dene’s. Dene wants to give agency to the people he’s filming, whereas Daniel simply wants to absorb experiences that don’t belong to him.