The Question

"He died.  He just...died."  Jackson spoke though his thoughts felt a million miles away as he stared down at his hands.

"I know, buddy.  There was nothing, I mean nothing, you could have done," Minh comforted, though even his thoughts were distracted by the chaos still swirling around them.

Jackson seemed to come gliding back to the present, "Minh, what's it all about?  I mean..."  He paused, casting his eyes about the behemoths of glass and steel around them and the cold, lifeless concrete at their feet.

Wise beyond his years, Minh looked carefully into his friend's face, "It's found you then, has it?  The question."

"What question?"  The din seemed to fade away, pushed to the background, leaving only he and Minh.

"The question of life.  It finds us all eventually, however much this...well, these distractions tried to pull us away, tell us nothing matters beyond the next shiny toy or the next hot cup of trendy coffee."

The blood on his hands demanded his attention once more, and Jackson realized aloud, "Then the old man, he knew.  He really knew.  Minh, I want to know.  I need to know."

Minh smiled wisely, "Then go.  Get away from these distractions and your present cares.  Take this with you."  He produced an irregularly shaped trinket the size of a racquet ball, covered in gold, ivory and jade.

"What the..."

"It's an ancient Chinese...hrm, sensor, I guess.  It will help to keep the worries and cares of this material world at bay, for a time.  Bury near by, and only retrieve it when you've answered the question."

"Minh, I don't know what to say."

"Just go.  I'll straighten things out with the agency."


"Yes, old friend?"

"I thought you were Vietnamese."

"Shut up and go."

The End

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