“I’m going for lunch. You wanna come with?”
“I think I’ll stay here and watch the shop.”
Rick started walking backward toward the shop’s entrance. “It’s been a slow day, I’m sure Simon can handle it for a bit…”
“I’m good, thanks.” Keegan reached into his bag and pulled out a cup of microwavable soup. “Brought food.”
“You’re gonna have that cold? Bleagh…”
Keegan looked behind him to make sure the room was empty, then turned back to Rick smiling as his hand started to glow. Seconds later steam began to rise from the cup.
Keegan motioned for him to quiet down.
“That’s awesome!” continued Rick in a loud whisper. “When did you learn to do that?”
“Just this morning.”
“That is so cool! To bad I didn’t bring anything…”
“I wouldn’t worry about it, it isn’t as if I can make it taste any better.”
“Well, I’m going to go, see you in a bit.”
Keegan went to the back room to eat, but as he sat down he heard the door chime and the desk bell ring shortly after.
“Can I help you?” he asked as he stepped out of the back room.
“Yes, I’m here to pick up some Initiative property.”
Keegan looked at the desk to see the shooter from the night before leaning on it.
“Um, what?” he asked as innocently as he could.
“I think you can guess what I’m talking about, Keegan.”
“You left some convenient little prints on my gun. It didn’t take me long to find out everything about you.”
“Look, if you’re trying to find your rogue AI I haven’t seen or heard anything since last night.”
“PAX5 isn’t the Initiative property I’m after. Well, not at the moment anyway.” She walked over to a stand and casually ran her hand over several items. “Do you remember the accident?”
“Yes, I think you understand what’s going on now. Would you believe everyone expected you to be dead months ago?”
“Oh? And why would they expect that?” Keegan asked, trying to sound surprised.
“All human test subjects who got what you did died about two weeks after.”
“Huh, that’s sad. Did they have any family?”
“You’re taking this rather calmly…”
“Well it has obviously been a lot more than two weeks for me and clearly I’m not dead.”
“Which is going to make the scientists so curious…”
Keegan sighed. “So… Now what?”
“Well, I’d recommend telling Simon that you’re going to be leaving early today, because I don’t plan on waiting around until 4…”
“You think he’ll just let me off like that?”
“Yes, actually. He’s nice like that.”
“How would you know what he’s like?”
“Oh, and you might want to leave a note or something for your pal Rick. If he’s out for lunch he probably won’t be back any time soon.”
“And I’m what, just supposed to come with you?”
“Well, one thing you certainly can’t do is run away. That robot had no connections and nothing to lose. You are a very different case. I suppose you could try to kill me and hope I didn’t tell anyone, but you’d be taking a chance at making things much worse for yourself. Besides, you aren’t really the killing type…”
Keegan glared at her. “You’ve made your point. I’ll go talk to Simon. Meet you outside.”
Satisfied, she left the building, and Keegan headed to the office.
“You know, you should probably get a haircut soon. You’re starting to look a bit like a hobo.”
Keegan chuckled. “Actually, a personal emergency has come up and I have to leave right away if that’s okay.”
“Sure thing, is everything alright?”
“Yeah, I just… I have no idea when I’ll be able to come back. Maybe for the time being you should find someone to take my place.”
“Are you really going to be gone that long?”
“I don’t know. I might.”
“Well, you will be missed, good luck with whatever it is you’re doing. And be sure to let me know if I can do anything to help.”
“Thanks, but there really isn’t anything you can do.” Keegan started to leave, but stopped in the doorway. “Oh, and Rick went out for lunch, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the shop for a bit.”
Keegan walked into the back room, where he wrote a quick note for Rick and stowed it in his backpack. He then proceeded to head outside, where Selena stood leaning against the wall.
Sorry about the delay, we all had a busy weekend. Even with the delay this didn’t get the same level of proofreading and editing as the other posts so far this year…