Later that evening as I was packing my things I heard another knock at the door. This time it was Alan. "I heard you were leaving," he said hesitantly.
"Hello, Alan," I acknowledged. "Yes, you heard right."
"Do you really have to go?" he said, rather to my surprise. There was something in his eyes I couldn't quite read.
"I think I do," I answered after a moment. "I wanted to tell you," I said by way of changing the subject, "that was a wonderful piece of work you did. If it hadn't been for you there would have been an awful bloodbath back there."
"Thank Will," he said. "It was his idea. I just did the technical stuff." I suppressed my surprise. This really was a different Alan than the one I'd been clashing with for so long. I realized then what it was that I saw in his eyes, and I knew I couldn't face it at this of all times.
"Senaria," he hesitated. "I--"
I cut him off as gently as I could. "Alan, I've got to finish my packing. I'm sure you understand. I'll see you again someday. That's a promise." We made some more small talk for a few minutes, and then he left. As I watched his departing figure, I finally realized just what a lonely man he was.
I left for Qozernon the next afternoon on a regular passenger liner, accompanied only by Tora. Will offered to take me in the Futaba, but I told him I was looking forward to the three-day journey, and promised to send him the account you're reading now as soon as I could bring myself to finish it. And, as you can see, I did.
THE THREE MINDS. Copyright © 1998, 2000, 2001 Lamont Downs. All rights
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