Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Monday, February 14, 2005

So while I've been doing all this thinking and taking all this time away from work, I haven't just been sitting around home. I figured there'd be no point in being anywhere that trained investigators would be able to find me, so I went on a singles iceboating weekend upstate.

The iceboating was fun (I had always wanted to try it, ever since reading an old Hardy Boys book when I was a kid), and I've always had the ability to be uninteresting to women, so I wasn't breaking any hearts unnecessarily. Still didn't know what I was going to do, though.

Then, this evening, we were all having dinner and drinks in the lodge. Quite a few couples had formed over the course of the last couple of days, and they were starting to separate off from the rest of the group. Those who hadn't coupled up were starting to take a musical-chairs approach to pairing up, so I slipped out onto the porch to get out of everyone's way.

The night was clear, and, this far away from the city, the stars were particularly bright. I noticed one sparkly one that seemed to be getting brighter the longer I looked at it. I sighed and sat down on the railing, waiting.

It kept getting brighter until it turned into a shower of silver glitter that poured down onto the snow in the form of Perseid.

"Hi," I said. "Greyghost annoyed?"

"Not as much as Cruickshank and Ingrid," Cassie said, sitting down next to me.

"Oh. Yeah. Hadn't thought of that."

"Dennis, you've got to return back."

"I don't know. I don't want to screw up somebody's life just because Greyghost tells me to."

She nodded. "I think I know what your problem is."

"Well, good, because my favorite conversations are the ones where people tell me what my problem is."

"Your problem is that you don't realize how much Greyghost is thinking ahead," she said. "Why do you think he told you to stop this reporter?"

"Because he couldn't be bothered to do it himself."

"No. Two reasons. First, he figured she'd be able to see through anything he could do or Cruickshank could do, because that was exactly the kind of deception she'd be looking for. But she'd never be looking for your kind of deception. Second, he trusts you not to screw up anybody's life. Don't you think he knows you by now?"


"Besides," she said, "you want to help him, right? You don't want him to end up like Surefire."

"Well, yeah."

"Then," she said.

"I guess. Yeah."

"Well, let's get back, then. Time's wasting down."

I shrugged. "I've already sort of got some ideas," I said. "By the way, how'd you find me here?"

She smiled the way she does and said, "Dennis, it's Valentine's Day. I could have found you if you were on the moon."

A while later I said, "No, really, how?" But she wouldn't tell.

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