I got a message informing me that my ration package was available for pickup at the government center.
While not an addict: I do enjoy eating from time to time, and I was starting to feel like I could get used to doing it on a daily basis.
At any rate, I was still suspicious that someone might realize I'm not entitled to be receiving free food, and try to take the package back from me.
I did the only reasonable thing under the circumstances: I got lost, and dug in.
As before: it had that same delicious flavor of not rotting food, and water that tasted better than the puddles in the ruins to wash it down with. I was just thinking to myself, as I licked my finger and ran it around inside the package to collect crumbs I might have missed: "I could get used to..."
Then I heard a conversation down the hall. I had apparently taken a "wrong turn" and ended up some place I wasn't expected.
I didn't follow most of the conversation, and remember now even less, but the gist was that someone was going to get hurt, and that someone would happen to be in the ruins.
To be frank: I've never been one into heroics. Then again: I was never really in a position to be a hero. Now I was. A week ago, I would have steered clear of anything to do with offing someone, but I'm not the same person I was a week ago.
So it was that I found myself heading back to familiar ground: the ruins. It didn't take long before I found the guy. He had set up shop in the ruins, literally. He had some sort of contraption he was working on, but I was about to change his plans for the day. Or so I thought.
"Someone wants to hurt you!" I blurted out, or something along those lines. Funny that I was more excited about this than when I went looking for trouble. This guy didn't seem particularly surprised either:
"So what else is new?"
Well, those were not his actual words, but it was definitely his tone, and his words were not too far off that either.
Far from packing up and moving on, he instead invited me to help him with his strange contraption.
Under the circumstances, him having a short life span left and all, I wasn't about to put a bag over my head and keep myself from fully detecting the coming threat at the earliest possible moment.
Only that's pretty much exactly what I did.
He promised that this thing had information of great value, and the university had taught me the value of information. I found out as much as I could while I was wearing it until his communications indicated he was in some sort of firefight.
They had found us, or rather him. Even in the midst of the actual battle though, he seemed decidedly unconcerned with his fate, promising to buy me a drink when it was all over.
I found my way out of there while I was still not a clone, and headed back to the Inn.
I have to say that I am not sure exactly how the things I learned are of value, but my gut tells me that he did not exaggerate. I looked at the stacks of books I'd collected for further reading, and dismissed them for a moment. I passed on the repair manuals also, despite their being my new favorites.
As I drifted off to sleep, I contemplated the memories shared in the visions I had had.
When I awoke, I found that my dreams had been about the ancient memories, and it is hard now to sort which parts I dreamed, and which I actually saw.
But still: better to remember!