O’Leary watched the street incident through the window from the apartment above. Nicholas was not going to brook any kind of delay bringing “The Package” home. He’d been in a funk for quite a long time, and those poor street gangers allowed him to vent some pent up frustration. O’Leary pitied them. They were just street gangers doing what they normally did to survive -- they just chose the wrong victim tonight.
“Everything all right?” Jono called from the chair.
“Yeah, jus’ some kids tryin’ t’ flex their muscles. Didn’t know better.” O'Leary answered in his Irish brogue.
Jono chuckled a bit.
“I’ll bet they looked like easy marks, a blind man, young-looking oriental woman, and amnesia-boy.”
“Nicholas didn’t even break ‘is stride.” O’Leary moved away from the window. “No police investigation. Not fer street thugs anyway. Still, Nicholas should be more careful, tho’. Channelin’ energy like that in the open street.”
“You tell him,” Jono snorted.
“I ain’t been around ‘im this long an’ know when t’ keep outta his way. ‘Specially nowadays.”
Moments later the door burst open and the three walked in. The Package was thinner, much thinner than his usual frame, O’Leary noticed. He’ll need some fattening up. He had a constant confusion on his face as well, and when their eyes met, he didn’t recognize O’Leary at all. No wonder Michael has been in a foul mood.
“Bags are packed, we can be leavin’ as soon as ye want,” O’Leary reported.
“Unpack them. We need to stay for the night. Our boy here is more damaged than I at first thought. He can’t travel in this condition. Take him to his room.” The blind man who called himself Trent sunk down into a chair. “Get me something from the bar, Sinh.”
“I’m your bodyguard, not your butler,” came the quiet voice. “Get it yourself, or have Jono do it.”
“Come on, lad,” O’Leary quickly interjected to Shadoe. “Let’s get ye set up in yer room. Follow me.”
O’Leary led Shadoe down a hallway, Trent’s unbroken string of cussing followed after them growing into a fevered pitch. “He’s gonna be a little difficult t’ share quarterin’ wit’, but wha’ kin be done?” O’Leary shrugged.
“Who is he?” Shadoe began to be concerned about his situation.
“Ah, now, that would be tellin’, an’ tha’s not me place t’ tell.”
“Are you his personal assistant or something?”
O’Leary stopped, turning slowly. “Ye really don’ know, do ye?” A sadness slowly poured over O’Leary’s face. He patted a heavy hand on Shadoe's shoulder.
“Come on, lad, ye must be tired from yer hospital trip. Let’s get ye to yer room.”
* * * * *
O’Leary returned to the main room.
“Sleepin’ li’ a baby once his head hit th’ pillow.”
“I’ll get the equipment,” Jono got up from his chair.
“Nicholas?” Sinh’s hand rested on the blind man’s arm.
Trent brooded, jaw clenched.
Jono came back with a briefcase.
“Shall we do the download? It’ll be a lot easier than in the hospital. Trent?”
Trent brooded some more.
“Nicholas?” Sinh said again, gently.
“Yeah, let’s do this.”
Nicholas Trent moved into Shadoe’s room, the others in tow. Sinh administered the injection to insure Shadoe would not suddenly awaken, while Jono broke down the briefcase which revealed electronic equipment and some lead wires. These they connected together, and ran the main line into the jack hidden behind Shadoe’s ear, which was covered with a layer of soft bio-skin. Jono typed in the commands, and the machine began to whirr softly. Wordlessly, the rest of the group left the dark room, leaving Trent alone with The Package.
The blind man stood in the dark for quite some time.
“Good night, bro,” he whispered softly. “Sweet dreams,” he tussled the hair of the unconscious body, then turned to leave the room. Suddenly he stopped in the dim doorway, listening to the soft whirring of the equipment.
“That is, if you still have dreams, anymore.”
And slowly the door closed, the machine still whirring in the inky blackness.
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