Friday, April 1, 2011

Lost Convoy, Part XXIII: Rendezvous

It seemed like only hours had passed when someone came to whisper in his ear again. James had a book in his lap, the old-fashioned kind, one of the slimmer Von Archimbaldi volumes, just something if he wanted to distract himself a little, and when he felt the person's breath in his ear, this time he had a momentary impulse to defend himself, grabbing the book as if to swing it at them. But he was able to restrain himself, as he always did. He listened with a little interest about a signal of some kind. He had no idea what they were talking about.

It was another few hours before the rock star, the one who had been singing earlier, came up to him, and suggested that he look into the matter personally. He had no idea why she thought it should be important to him, but again he was in the mood to humor the situation. He found himself conducted to a cabin with a radio transmitter, and someone was holding a receiver out for him. When he took it, James heard a curious voice on the other end, Latin of some kind. He had very few dealings with such men, though he held nothing personal against them. It had always been about reputation. The man identified himself, but James glossed over it, when suddenly, he thought he should identify himself, too. He tried just his name, but that didn't seem to faze the man on the other end, so he elaborated as best as he could, by introducing himself, what he had once been. It sounded so quaint, but it had also been good to say out loud, when it might still have some meaning, some impact. The rock star quickly took the receiver, and James lost the moment as soon as it had occurred to him.

A few hours later, he found himself roused again, this time with the news, "We're due for the rendezvous in fifteen minutes. Is there anything you'd like before then?"

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