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Clair: "It's not over yet. They left the bikes behind. We can use them. They'll be faster than the buggy thing."

Jesse: "But you can't drive."

Clair: "I'll learn, just like you said. We still have each other, right?"

Clair headed toward the bikes, turning her lenses back on as she went. Perhaps she finally understood what danger she had placed herself in by switching them off.

There was a red dot right on the map right on top of hers.

"Dylan Linwood" rose up from behind the electrobikes and trained a pistol on the centre of her chest.

"Stop right there."

She obeyed. Jesse was two paces behind her. He stopped too, then came forward one hesitant step.


The pistol shifted left and down. A single shot cracked into the asphalt at Jesse's feet.

"Don't come any closer, boy. I won't tell you again."

His voice wasn't exactly the same as it had been at Clair's college. There was a hint of another accent-British, perhaps. But even under starlight there was no mistaking the face.

At the time I didn't think it important that he actually looked like Dylan Linwood as well as shared his label.

"Clair, I know you're armed. Put the gun down where I can see it. Don't try anything or I'll shoot you in the leg."

"You're going to kill us anyway."

"Not until you tell us where the others have gone. The gun, Clair, or I'll go back to your parents, afterward. Would you like that? Would you like me to pay them another visit?"

"No." She slipped off the backpack and dropped it to the ground. The gun she pulled from her pocket and skidded across the ground toward him.

"Who are you?" Jesse asked.

"Move over with your girlfriend."

He didn't move. "She'd never date an Abstainer. If you were really my father you'd know that."

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