FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 6/9/18: But Seriously, What About Uncle Julio?

Get the most recent draft here:

Read the latest words below this line:

“So, wait!” I said, wanting to drag us back to my earlier question. “If we see Julio again–if he survived those Conva that attacked him in the hub, do we trust him?”
Jill hesitated and then shrugged. “If it feels right? Trust him.”

“That’s nice and unclear,” KJ said. Kate spoke next: “How do we even know what feels right at this point?”

“I don’t know.  Then don’t trust him.  He’s just never steered me fully wrong before.”

“Again, that’s sorta a mixed message, Dr. Jake’s Sister,” KJ said.  “It sounds like he’s gotten you in compromised situations before.”

“Well, of course he has!  He got me the job building the Accessory from cobbled-together tech from our planet and others only to keep from me the part where we are trusting the government to not abuse the very tool I was building for them.”

“Yeah, Jake, your Uncle Julio sure is a mixed bag, isn’t he?”

“Yes, KJ, that he is,” I said, adding: “Well, I guess we trust Julio on a case-by-case basis.”

“Word, so if he tries to hold the door for you or tells you to duck, do it.  If he offers you a drink or a treaty with an alien military, say no.”

Again, Jill shrugged.

“So, if we can move on from the issue of Julio, I found something interesting on my rounds scouring public CCTV feeds today,” Jill said.

“Oh yeah?” I said, with an odd amount of enthusiasm for such a random announcement.

“Jim, did you convert it from crappy four-eighty security cam format to enhanced 3D holo?”

“Yep,” he replied.  Instantly anyone inside the circular area of the lab could see an AR hologram in place of the surrounding library.  The hologram was of a back alley behind a big building at night.  It was almost like we were there except the focus was a little off and the resolution was not that clear.  So, they could see the AR hologram too, Dot, Dr. Green and Jill moved into the circle where Kate, KJ, and I already were standing.

“This was shot last night at around one in the morning,” Jim said.

“What are we looking for, exactly?” Dot asked.

“Keep eyes on that door.”

I spotted the door and kept my eye on it.  Nothing was happening.

“Jim, spin forward to one a-m, already, would you p-p-please?” Jill asked impatiently.  Jim nodded and just then the door opened and a white man in a suit stepped out.  He wasted no time and walked the opposite direction from the camera.

“Where is this?” I asked.

“It’s a supplementary city building a couple of blocks from City Hall,” Jill said.

“Who’s the white dude?” KJ asked. “Do we know him?”

“Jacob might.  Jim, back it up?” Jill said as the hologram ran in reverse for a moment, showing the man, walking backwards, opening the door backwards and then entering it backwards, closing the door in front of him.  Then, the door opened again and he stepped through it.

“Pause it!” Jill said and the hologram froze in place.  “Aaaaand, z-z-z-zoom in!”
Suddenly, the entire hologram moved around us, causing most of us, especially Dot, to steady ourselves.  

“Wow–I hate space travel!” Dot said.  KJ threw a vaguely perplexed look at me and a shrugged.  I turned back to the white man in the hologram.  His face was closer to us now, but was very pixelated.

“Hey Jim, that resolution is horrible.  Any chance you could–“

“Already on it, Dr. Rivera,” Jim said, nodding again.  Looking back at the man, we could see it was the politician that had been traded for me. KJ spoke next: “Well, if it isn’t State Senator Teddy Ted!”

“Tedesko?  The guy we just traded to the bad guys?  How is he back on Earth?”

“Yep,” Jill began, “The only question is, why.”