“No, not quite.”
“Let’s just say, then, that your whole DNA sequence is mapped out on a sheet of paper in your record. You and I aren’t scientists, Brett. Eighty percent of the population is gone, and that means that eighty percent of anyone who could’ve read a DNA sequence is gone. And all the poor people who could have determined anything about the Purge are gone. And you already know that.”
I shrugged and looked down the narrow street of houses because I didn’t want to look at him. “You’re right, I do know that.”
“So why are we here? Or at least, why am I here?”
I stopped walking. “I used to have an uncle, his name was Peter. He was my dad’s brother, ‘died before the Purge.”
“Yeah… anyways, he used to tell me the most important answers were found in hospitals. And he always told me that my answers would always be in Chalice Hold.” I had said that only to myself, and it sounded pretty stupid out loud. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I decided that I needed to find out what he meant.”
Anderson stared blankly and started walking again. “Brett, I’ll be honest with you. I’m pretty sure ‘the most important answers are in hospitals...’ just sounds like some practical-ass advice someone may give their nephew. And ‘your answer is always gonna be in Chalice Hold’? Of course it is; it’s your hometown. You don’t really think your uncle had some precognitive episode that inspired him to offer two pieces of cryptic advice that would help you fix the future, do you?”
“No, I don’t think that.” I really didn’t. “But I think he meant something. I don’t expect to fix all this, or bring any of the dead back… we’ve all given up on that. But I want to do this. There’s something in that hospital.”
Anderson shrugged and sighed. “Alright, I’m here now, so let’s do this.”
We were less than half a mile from the hospital. We had been in the north business district for several minutes before it came into view, a large complex of smaller buildings, most of them brick. Although we hadn’t spoken since my explanation, we sensed one another’s apprehension. The northern half of town was more haggard than the residential sections. There were countless vehicles that appeared to have run into buildings. More than one huge sign lay across the streets and on top of crashed cars.
“Most everywhere is pretty messed up these days,” said Anderson, startling me, “But this place is a special kind of messed up.”
“Yeah… Chalice Hold got hit pretty hard and pretty early by the Purge. People were dropping in the streets, dying in cars and driving into shit. It all happened right before I got arrested the first time.” We had stopped on the street, staring at two cars that appeared to have crashed into each other and then into a store front.
“For stealing that gun?” His voice rang slightly of the urge to provoke a familiar reaction.
“I didn’t steal a gun, I got set up.”
“Yeah, I didn’t rob that woman in Montreal, I got set up too. Good thing you and I got set up and met each other in prison, huh?”
I looked at Anderson beside me and turned away from our distraction. “Yep.” I started walking, and I heard my companion’s steps following mine.
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