Friday, November 29, 2013

13. arrival and departure

by jeremy witherington

illustrated by konrad kraus

to begin at the beginning, click here

for previous chapter, click here

jody did not want to be taken down to any police station.

no, not by any means.

molligan was occupied with making calls about this person - "abdul" - apparently from one of the basement apartments - who had run off when one of the police tried to question him.

jody was not sure who abdul was. jody did not not pay much attention to the other tenants. maybe if they were hot. but none of them that jody had ever seen were.

actually jody did not pay much attention to anybody unless they were hot.

jody sort of remembered seeing a fat old human going in and out of the basement.

was that abdul?

it seemed that abdul, whoever he might be, had run out on the police.

well, bully for him. well done.

a thought flashed into jody's brain.

the thought of escaping ...

if a fat slob of an old human could do it….

molligan was still talking to a person - or more likely a robot - that he addressed as "connie".

molligan seemed a little bit afraid of "connie" . well, maybe not afraid exactly. but he seemed concerned to placate her/him/it.

jody had already tried coming on to molligan, a little bit.

it hadn't worked. molligan had only seemed a little surprised and amused.

maybe turn up the volume?

molligan looked like he might have been halfway hot. twenty-five years ago.

and he looked like he had seen and done things too terrible to describe.

who knew what someone like that wanted? or if he wanted anything.

it wasn't worth trying again.

jody got up from the table.

molligan did not seem to notice.

the door was open.

there was no one left in the room, or in the apartment, except jody and molligan.


but to where…?

jody tried to think of a person sympathetic enough to open a door… to a poor hunted fugitive… somewhere…

was there such a person?

and would jody be able to tolerate the company of such a person for any length of time?

molligan was still talking….

and the door was open…

not much, but enough to slip through without the sound of the door clicking open…

jody did not want to be taken down to any police station.

no, not by any means…

jody started to walk past molligan to the door.

molligan glanced up. now he was talking more confidently, probably to some other person than " connie".

jody backtracked, and went over to the window and looked down.

a small two-passenger car was pulling up to the curb. by its abrupt movement and sudden stop jody guessed it was an automatic vehicle.

the car door opened. a tall figure emerged and headed quickly for the door of the building without looking around.

in the brief glimpse jody got of it , it appeared to be a robot of the newest model.

probably the dread "connie" . who would be on the way up.

so it was now or never.

molligan was talking more animatedly on his phone. he was not glancing up.

jody was in front of the door.

jody was through the door.

the elevator was at the end of the hall.

as jody approached the elevator door the green light beside it went on, indicating that someone was on the way up.

the stairs were at the other end of the hall.

to get to them it would be necessary to pass the half open door of the apartment again.

but there was nothing else for it.


after connie got on the elevator and it started up, she suddenly decided to visit the basement instead and take a quick look at the room abdul had escaped from.

she hit the stop button and the elevator stopped at the third floor. then she hit the button for the basement.

something about the elevators in these old buildings disconcerted her.

maybe that it was so enclosed.

connie did not like closed things.

she liked everything connected and out in the open.

the door opened. she got off in the basement corridor.

one of the doors was slightly ajar. a dim light shone through it. it was marked number 2. she thought it must be the door she wanted.

she looked through the opening and as she did the light suddenly got stronger. she pushed the door fully open.

dooley, a young old human tech, was turning up the brightness on a lamp beside a big easy chair. there was a table beside the chair with a couple of books on it.

dooley turned and saw connie in the doorway.

he assumed it was connie, although he had never seen her in the body now in front of him. who else would use such a tall body?

"i just got here," he told her. "molligan told me to come down here and just keep an eye on it." there was no need to address connie with any formality or title. she didn't care about such things.

connie just nodded. she took a phone out of her pocket but did not use it right away. she looked around the room.


jody reached the first floor and pushed the front door open and stepped out on to the street.

14. flight

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