The night slowly undresses its dark cover as they wait, out stretches the naked morning sun to the day. A streetlamp flickers and dies as the sun catches hold. Sabo looks down at his watch and nudges a sleeping Henson. Henson sits up and rubs his eyes awake.
“When did I fall asleep?” asked Henson.
“Oh, right after you finished all of my whiskey.” Said Sabo.
Henson stifled a yawn with his imprinted hand, whiskey breath rebounding into flared nostrils. Sabo stoop up and stretched his arms out wide. He pulled his watch up to his face, cursing to himself about someone being late and not waiting any longer. Henson watched as the older man though, the scars on his face creating worn rivers, interconnecting between wrinkles of bad memories. Suddenly Sabo took off away from Henson, calling over his shoulder that it was time to go.
“Where are we headed?” asked Henson when he caught up.
“We are going to visit a friend who will help us. We are also going to hide for now, once the sun arises, that’s when they start searching for us.”
“Who is searching for us?”
“The government, the army, civilians, pretty much everyone, it’s just another thing that they have been programmed to do.”
“Only during the day? What about last night with the helicopter?”
“Random night patrol, they think they will end up catching us by surprise, but no luck so far. We eventually caught on to their tactics, because once you do something often enough, random still becomes routine.”
They walked on a little while longer by the riverside, across the street the buildings loom in a quiet void before the hustle of daily business. The two men crossed the street to turn a corner by a quaint French café. As they turned, Sabo brushed shoulders with a man who walked with his female companion. Both of them looked very odd, shiny even. Almost off the assembly line, out of the box shiny. The man wore a grey suit and white tie. His greased black hair shimmered like his polished shoes. The woman paid no attention to the interaction and kept walking, but the man, disrupted from his path, glanced a flicker of a second at Sabo then continued on walking. Sabo turned back to the man with a quizzical look on his face.
“What’s up?” asked Henson, noticing Sabos’ expression.
“We need to run…Now!”
Before Henson could say a word, Sabo was gone, down the sidewalk, opposite the couple, his limp noticeable in his stride. Henson hightailed after him. Henson heard sirens in a distant direction, he almost missed where Sabo had turned down an alley way as he pondered quickly the situation. Henson caught up to Sabo, who sat behind a dumpster, breathing deeply as he kneaded his leg.
“What the hell was that all about?” asked Henson.
“The man.” Said Sabo through grasps of air. “He looked at me.”
Henson was taken aback.
“All that for a look?! So what!?” he exclaimed.
Sabo held up his finger to his lips, asking for silence as the sirens grew louder, waiting for them to pass. After a minute, the sirens faded away.
“They never look” said Sabo.
“What do you mean?”
“They are programmed remember? With the barcode. You could have kicked that man in the shin and he would have kept on walking, they do not look up unless they are programmed to look, and if they do look, then someone is watching.
“I think someone programmed your barcode to crazy” said a confused Henson.
“I don’t have a barcode, that is why I am on your side. You don’t know or remember much, it will all be explained very soon.”
“How soon? I need to know things.”
Sabo smiled and lifted the lid to the dumpster.
“Get in” He said.
“You said you wanted to know what is going on, and the only way to do so is getting in the dumpster.”
Henson walked over and looked inside. A hole had been fabricated out of the bottom, big enough for people to climb through. Sticking out from the hole was a welded on ladder that lead to a darkness below.
“Clever” remarked Henson as he hopped in and began climbing down.
Sabo followed suit and shut the lid behind him.