While Gordon pecked away on his computer in Suzanne’s office – an extra bedroom nicely appointed with her service plaques and display cases, a sturdy desk, and her router – Jackson and Suzanne talked, catching up and processing what was happening at the hospital.
“So you’ve been out for a year or so, and you’ve been hunting ghosts and monsters?” she asked before taking another sip from her bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, her second this evening.
Jackson nodded, feeling a little self-conscious about the question and his answer, regardless of the truth of things. It felt strange to be asked, point-blank, such a thing and even stranger to answer earnestly and to the affirmative.
“FOB Murphy wasn’t the only instance of things like that in this world, and there are folks out there who accept that and work to do something about it,” he answered, wondering if he should mention SAVE or not. “Gordo and I have known each other since we were kids. Our parents went to high school together, actually. He’s seen things, and now we’re doing something about it all, or at least trying.”
“So this isn’t your first dance?” she asked, leaning back into the overstuffed couch, looking like she wanted to hear more. It was good to be able to talk openly about the last several months and some of the things he’d seen and done, places he’d been, and people he’d helped. Much like the hung-over conversation he had with Gordo in the car on the way out of Indiana, laying all the cards on the table, face up, helped a lot. He still stayed away from SAVE – the purges and deaths they’d been told about sounded awful, and operational security was something he understood and respected.
“So how do you get by – I mean, how do you afford to do this?” she asked
Seeing an opportunity to steer the conversation around a topic he didn’t feel like broaching he answered instead, “so…why do you start all your sentences with ‘so’?” smiling. “You’ve always done that,” he laughed.
Suzanne rolled her eyes and looked a little sheepish. “You wouldn’t understand – it’s a black thing,” she dead-panned…and then a long pause….and then the two old friends laughed about the absurdity of it all.