Chapter 21 "Friends"

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A person who is friendly to or admires America or American customs, institutions, history, culture, etc. In the last few years with the growth of civilized communities and attempts to rediscover the past, the culture of the old United States of America has become very popular. Fashions, entertainment, and popular culture references have started permeating North American society as more of the past is rediscovered and made available.

            - University of New Lazlo Database (Updated 100 PA)


"Wind, lighting, fire, and water will scour the lands and leave nothing but death in their wake... to act as a concourse for the dead."


            - The Collected Prophecies of Tamara Walker


University of New Lazlo Dig Site, Outside Red Rock

            "I know who you are," Meg said.

            Doctor Randal Cooper didn't even look up from the trench he was digging in when he responded, "A lot of people have said that to me in my life. However, I have yet to have someone properly explain just who exactly I am to me."

            "None of them were me," Meg said cocking her head to the side and smiling darkly at the man's broad shoulders.

            "And who, pray tell, Miss Carson," he asked as he continued using a whisk brush to clean off some unidentified artifact, "am I?"

            "Did you really think a new face would obscure my best friend from my eyes?" Meg asked sounding amused and sad at the same time. "Did you really think not coming closer to me would keep this thing from telling me who you really are?" She continued touching the glowing circle on her chest shining through the clean white tank top she wore.

            Randal's shoulders slumped and he set the object and brushes on a rock shelf.

            "Why?" Meg asked jumping down into the trench, "Why didn't you tell me who you are when I first came through?"

            "Remember that day we skipped classes and took the train into the D?" Randal asked, standing and wiping his hands on his dirty trousers. "We saw that revival of Wicked at the Fox and pigged out on lamb and baklava in Greek Town. And there were those two guys... I can't remember their names, wasn't one of them Scott?"

            "Yeah," Meg said placing a hand on Randal's shoulder, "and the other was Alex. We had a good time with them, didn't we, Tammy?" she finished.

            Randal Cooper turned and as he did the size, shape, and features of his body changed. To Meg it looked like an invisible sculptor was working with wet clay. When the transformation was complete the clothes once form fitting on a tall middle aged man now hung loosely from a petite young woman.

            "I've missed you so much, Meg," Tammy Sanford said smiling sadly.

            "Are you going to answer my question?" Meg asked her voice going cold.

            Tammy sighed and pointed up. "Can we get out of this trench then talk?" she asked.

            Meg nodded and the two women climbed back out and settled on the cleared winter grass. The sun was high and the air unseasonably warm for southeastern Michigan. Under normal circumstances it would have been a perfect winter day.

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