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Waking Up

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Dae stayed awake after his heart was restarted by Ayrus, all the way until he went into surgery at Barrens Chat Memorial Hospital, which had been opened when the city of Barrens Chat was ravaged by a massive troll infestation and its surviving inhabitants were forced to immigrate to Atlas Park. Even though he was exhausted, concussed, injured, and dead for three minutes, he kept his eyes open.

When the surgery was through and he was saved, Dae was handcuffed to a bed as he recovered, under the guard of an elderly female officer who waits patiently outside the door. The sun beams, as lively as ever, through the window, and Blebbeh is sleeping in the bedside chair.

Dae awakes with a groan, loud enough to wake up Blebbeh, and feels the outline of his stitches through his hospital gown.

Blebbeh stretches her arms and yawns. "You were asleep for a while."

She immediately stands up and pulls a handcuff key out of her boot. She is just about to uncuff him when he stops her.

"Blebbeh, I want to get out of this situation as much as anybody would, but this isn't the way."

Blebbeh looks annoyed. "I waited a while to do this." She abruptly slapps him across the cheeck with the back of her hand. "I thought you were dead."

"Yeah, well, so did I."

Blebbeh sits on the windowsill. "Anything I can get you from the outside? I am the only person who'll get it past that cop."

"As a matter of fact, yes. Get me Wrait."

"Wrait? The guy you haven't seen in five years?"

"That's the one."

"Where can I find him?"

"Look at a bar. That's your best bet."

Blebbeh opens the window and flies out.

---

"Is he dead?"

"I don't know."

"I don't think he is getting up."

"Poke him with a stick."

Wrait opens his eyes to a near vomit-inducing ray of sunlight and a crowd of teenage girls surrounding him. He pulls himself off the sidewalk and holds a hand to his head. He feels like it is about to explode. "I am not dead. I just have a massive hangover."

They all giggle nervously.

"It wasn't a joke." He grimaces.

One of the more chipper girls steps towards him. "Well, I am a good person. Here is your watch back. We took it while you were... sleeping."

"Gee, thanks."

"Well, since we know each other now, I am going to give you my number." She puts a slip of paper in his hand.

Blebbeh shoves through them. "Don't you have somewhere better to be?"

The girls scoff and walk away.

Blebbeh looks at Wrait. "You do realize she was about fifteen."

"Not in three years."

"You're Wrait."

"You don't say. And who are you?"

"I am Blebbeh. Dae wants you."

His smug grin dissipates. "What for?"

"He is in trouble."

"What kind?"

"Legal trouble."

He snickers. "Always thought I'd be the one to get caught first."

"Well?"

"Well what?"

"Will you come?"

"Are you kidding? This I gotta see."

---

Jenise keeps nodding off as she sits dutifully outside of her suspect's door. Every now and then she slunks off to the staff lounge to pour herself a cup of coffee, but she has essentially been assigned to sit on her ass for her entire work day and that would hardly keep anyone awake in the circumstances.

She cracks open the door. "You still in here?"

"You bet."

"Just making sure."

She almost closes the door when he speaks up again. "You don't do what I do."

She opens it again. "What was that?"

"I said, 'You don't do what I do.'"

"Well, with all due respect, I am not a criminal."

"Neither am I. You don't do what I do, I don't do what you do, but we're a lot alike."

She walks in and closes the door. "How is that?"

"We're both trying to do what's best for everybody else, and neither of our methods are working."

"What makes you think that?"

"Well, no matter how much we fight it, trolls still plague this city. People still starve in foreign countries. Citzens still struggle to pay rent."

Jenise stands silently.

"I man told me that... a long time ago."

"You believe him?"

"I didn't. I thought I was making a difference. For that, I am in cuffs."

"Well..." Jenise struggled with her words. "If you don't mind me asking, what did you do? Obviously, there's a reason I am here."

"I'm an arsonist, burglar, vandal, murderer, the list goes on."

She almost looks frightened.

"I'm kidding."

"Oh..."

"But if I was, I wouldn't tell you, now would I?"

She puts a stern look on her face.

"This is Hell we're in, Jenise, and soon, it is going to get a lot worse."

"How do you know my name?"

"It was a long time ago, I am sure you don't remember."

"Try me."

"Well, a long, long time ago. You lost a custody battle to a bastard who abused and neglected his kid."

Jenise's eyes instantly fill with tears and she puts a hand to her gaping mouth. She runs to Dae and throws her arms around him.

"I've missed you so much." She whimpers.

"I've missed you too, Mom."

To be continued...

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