He was lying down across a row of metal chairs, his head resting on the lap of the young scientist as he looked to her pretty face and the blank ceiling above. His brother also, stood close by. Yet what occurred to him was not that he could stay or not stay there.

“I want to see her,” he whispered.

He woke standing in the middle of the road, somewhere in town. He did not know how he got there, but he remembered saying that-

“I want to see her,” he said again.

He put his hand in his pocket for the card. Not there, and a realization finally hit him.

“She’s going to die.”

He looked to his left and right, where people were walking.

“She’s going to-. Hey!” he called out to them.

A few glanced his way before moving on.

“Hey! Where’s the freedom meeting!”

He wandered closer to the sidewalk.

“Hey! Where’s the-

He heard the familiar sound and felt the pain of a bullet through his chest, but he didn’t die. Everywhere he thought to himself. He coughed blood into his hand and looked along the ground. A short distance off he saw a white card lying face down in the grit. He slowly made his way unhindered towards it. He supposed that a dying man did get some sympathy, as he was allowed to reach a final resting place. Except, he didn’t die by the time he reached the spot. Healed, he picked up the card and turned it over to read the address.

638 Gibbins Lane, 4D1 N8K

At first, it’s meaning eluded him. It had been so long since he had been in the city that he didn’t know where this street was. There never had been maps, but the other thieves would know. He disappeared himself into the nearest ally and kept on the back streets until he found a raggedy child sitting on the back steps of a bar. The Stranger lifted the card so that the child saw it.

“Gibbins Lane,” he said, “Where is it?”

“Ahhh…six blocks that way,” he said pointing, “I think.”

“You think.”

The Stranger moved forward past the boy, up the steps, and opened the door to the bar’s kitchen.

“Do any of you know the way to Gibbins Lane?” he asked those inside.

They stopped to stare at him.

“Ya,” one of them spoke up, “Ya, five blocks down this way and three blocks South. Near that old construction area, you know.”

“Thank you,” The Stranger said.

He let the door close and rushed back onto the street, following the directions given. It was possible, of course it was possible, that he wouldn’t make it. In fact it was just as possible that he would never find it, and a little less possible that nothing at all was happening, but he had to go now. He had to know now.

Fifth block turn right. He saw the tall metal frames of the discarded apartment plan ahead. He looked for the sign Gibbons. He passed a street with a broken street sign and stopped, turned back. That was the third block. He breathed in to slow himself and started down the lane, looking for house number 638, and there it was. He felt breathless, but up the steps he went. He just had to-get her out her reminded himself.


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