he had had more chances than a penny or a piece of candy that falls under a chair or behind the cushions of a sofa, and that nobody ever notices…
somehow he had survived the whole remaking of the world, even though he was the oldest of the old school, and had seen and done things too terrible to be revealed…
but now it was finally over..
he had known it had to happen some time.
he didn't feel relieved. he didn't feel anything.
he would finish out the night, because he was on the night shift, looking for jody, or looking for abdul, or doing whatever else connie asked/told him to do.
and then in the morning he would go back to the station and ….
actually there was no need to go back to the station… they would phone him anything he needed to know…
he would find someplace to go…
right now he tried to concentrate on looking for jody…
he could hardly remember what jody looked like.
all new humans looked pretty much the same to him.
he tried to put himself in jody's place.
the way he always had tried to put himself in the place of people he was looking for
where would a new human go?
molligan had no idea.
he decided to just keep walking.
what else could he do?
should he walk in ever widening circles - the time-honored way?
more likely jody had just started walking, putting as much distance as quickly aspossible between the apartment and jody's incomprehensible destination.
that made sense.
molligan decided to just keep walking in a straight line.
after all, other people would be looking for jody by sweeping the area the proper way.
he decided to play his hunch.
he headed north.
he walked and walked.
the streets were deserted except for a few police cars, as they should have been.
a few lights from screens were visible in the windows of apartments.
people were writing their novels or reading other peoples novels, or making their movies or watching other peoples movies.
novels and movies about death and murder and salvation and passion and sex and love and war and revolution and betrayal and revenge and fame and limitless wealth and immortality.
but the streets were quiet and deserted.
when molligan had walked about fifteen blocks a police car stopped and asked for his i d.
he showed the two young old human women in the police car his i d. there was no point in mentioning that he would be off the force in the morning.
they thanked him and drove away, heading south.
molligan resumed walking.
no sign of jody. and fewer lights in the windows. probably neighborhoods with more old humans, who slept more.
his phone rang.
he took it out of his pocket. it was connie. who else? now that he thought about it, he was surprised she hadn't called sooner.
"what the fuck do you think you are doing?"
molligan explained his reasoning for doing what he was doing. he emphasized that others must be looking for jody the standard way.
"that's the stupidest thing i ever heard," connie told him.
"i'm sorry. i was playing a hunch."
"the last hunch you'll ever play."
"i'll come back." mulligan looked around. not a person or a car to be seen, and hardly any lights.
"don't bother, " connie replied. "go home - or wherever it is you go. you'll be paid for the night. you'll be contacted. this ends our relationship - not a moment too soon."
"fair enough. i'd just like to say it was a pleasure working with you. i am glad we always maintained a good professional relationship. i really learned a lot from you. and i wish you the best of luck going forward."
"fuck you and your old school bullshit, you slobbering human asshole. and good fucking riddance to you." connie clicked off.
molligan put his phone back in his pocket.
now what? did he have anything back in the station worth going to pick up?
the station was east.
he kept walking north.
if he kept walking north he would reach the waterfront.
he heard a voice from the alley. "hey, mac!"
"mac!" it had been a long time since anybody called him mac.
but maybe it was not someone calling to him personally, but just the generic "mac", like in the old days.
then again, it had been a long time since he heard anyone use "mac" that way - or "pal" or "buddy" or "ace" or "clyde" or "slick" or "my friend" or "governor" or "handsome" or "rube" or "soldier" …