I returned to the abandoned church of the Survivor. Fleeing the police had been made easier by the fact that half of them were personal friends or admirers of Dane. That knowledge made me feel uneasy. Loyalty was a wonderful thing to a good leader, and Dane was a good leader. But it could just as easily work for a bad one. The moral quandaries of the thin blue line would have to wait for a little bit longer, however. Perhaps until we were not on the verge of a catastrophe. I walked down into the church’s bowels where, not so long ago, I had seen Dane almost murder someone under Jack Knife’s influence. Now the roles were reversed.
“I talked with my sister, up in Albany. She said she’d love to see us. She invited us up for the long weekend, we can be up there by tomorrow morning.” Paula smiled up at Ryan as he pushed her wheelchair down the ramp. It was late Thursday. The sun was just setting. Paula had a clean bill of health. They were going to get out of this goddamn city. “I can’t believe we’re getting out of the city. This is going to be so much fun! I can show you the swimming hole I used to visit when I was a kid.”
“You’re telling me that the guy who jumped me in that 7-11 escaped?” I asked, my eyes narrowed. Hector nodded, frowning darkly. “Jesus Christ. He was handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. How the hell did he escape?”
I awoke in the hospital. Twinges ran through every muscle, pain constantly buzzing at the edge of my awareness. I lay spread-eagled on the bed, and tested every joint. It didn’t feel good. Each one was like an overly tight spring, threatening to unwind violently at any moment. This would spell disaster for my poor overstressed body. It was like caffeine withdrawal on a scale most humans would never endure, combined with a hearty round of opiate withdrawal and some severe depression to add texture to the whole mess. I looked up, and saw Officer Blanski sitting in the bed next to me. He was in a hospital gown as well, and when he saw that I was awake, his arms wrapped around me. “Wait, wait-”
In a very real sense, I am everywhere. I am the wind, and the wind is very nearly everywhere. It is a kind of limited omniscience, which is a contradiction in terms, but illustrates the point nicely. If a human being had such awareness, it would be convenient, but they would not be particularly omnipresent. Human focus is limited to a single place at a time. Mine is… less so.
David Crenshaw stood at the top of the suspension bridge, staring down at the water. It was a very long way away. He was not yet a doctor, and would not be for another fifteen years. He did not have the distinguished silver hair and fine, vulpine bone structure that would make him both charming and well-trusted. He did not have the boundless inner confidence that would buoy him through his everyday life. What he had at the moment were a million regrets, the memories of lingering laughter mocking and fluting as it crashed back and forth in his head. Cars rushed past as he stood at the edge, a simple fence between him and the end.
I slowly trailed my fingers across the desk. I wanted a drink.