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(continued)

Banks, OR

April 21st, 2020

It’s more of a quick and easy observation than anything I can rely on, but right now it’s all I’ve got. Even as I move a little faster I gain some distance on them, though it isn’t enough to feel comfortable, not yet. The agents are bustling into the office, one of them standing outside of the door, and none of them are noticing the sound of my footsteps or the others obviously. But as I quickly find my way to the rear exit I can’t help but make a little noise as I turn the faded brash knob and open the door.

It’s a mistake that any other person might count as their last, but when I walk out and see the agent with his gun drawn I freeze, and that’s probably all that saves me. He’s got dark glasses and the same kind of suit as the others, but he looks almost too young to be in his position, a rookie probably with nerves wound tighter than piano wire. His gun is aimed at the door even as I do my best to keep my focus and move slowly away.

The others that are after me stop at the doorway, glaring in my direction as I can’t help but feel confused. Looking around I see a few of their number milling about here and there, but instead of the many I noticed coming into town I see only the glimmers of a few here and there, going about their business. The agent moves a little closer as I step to the side, his gun still aimed at the doorway as though he expects someone to come bursting through at any moment.

It’s so tempting to hit him at that moment, to just release some pent up anger at someone even if this kid isn’t the reason I’m in this current fix. But to do that would be a mistake, and to stay the way I am would be an even bigger mistake since my head is starting to pound furiously. As I look back to the doorway I see that the others have gone, perhaps sulking in frustration that they couldn’t take hold of me. It’s a bit confusing though, I’ve never seen anything to indicate that the others have limits of any kind, especially on where they can go.

The young agent calls out to those inside, and I use that time to slip away, crossing the street at a brisk walk that’s beyond his hearing as I pass the corner laundromat and then another building beyond that before ducking into a short gap between that building and the squat structure that passes for Banks’ city hall. Crumbling to my knees it’s all I can do to keep the effect going, but I manage to peek from out of my hiding spot to see what the agents are doing.

Of the others I don’t see a single sign now, and that worries me even more.

(to be continued)

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