Lab Rat's tail

The residents of Bisbee have a story to tell

Lab Rat's tail

Postby Zzz » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:48 pm

The Better Trap and the Stainless Steel Rat

This is the story of “Fast” Eddie Getz and the Fae known as The Powers That Be. But first a few words about fear and about hope. Just as love and hate are both attractive forces, as both ultimately bring you to grapple with the object of your attention, so too can running away be simultaneously an act of fear and of hope. Fear from what you’re running from and also hope for what you’re running to.

Eddie knew running. As a child he ran away from home, as a youth he ran with the wrong crowd, as a young man he ran afoul of the law. But it was always away from something with very little thought of what was ahead of him. This might be why what he usually ran into was trouble.

There is a well-known phrase in the lexicon of stolen good sold for cheap, it is “Just fell off the back of a truck” and it is perhaps fitting that those are his last memories as a free man and his first as a possession of The Powers That Be. But even the poorest of souls owns a history so there is Edward Getz’s record of sale and use.

Edwards’s existence had been a threadbare, seedy and slightly sinister one, similar to most persons of no fixed address residing in fringes of the modern jungle. Lacking either the killer instincts of a street predator or gentle grace of the urban herd he made his living in bits and pieces. He was a scavenger; scraping by on the margins of society, surfing the thin interface between daylight legality and nocturnal crime.

His occupation was a seller of small pieces. Items sold second hand, information “from a little bird” and even the bits of worth and self-respect given up when begging and lying. Eddie had always been small time, a lookout always looking over his own shoulder, a number runner running forever smaller numbers forever faster just to try to keep pace. This existence could have continued on the Street (that particular cul-de-sac of life so common to any urban existence, an avenue that goes nowhere) for the rest of his small time. But that changed, like many things often do for a young man, with a woman. And in fact more strange still for Eddie, two of them.

The love of his daylight hours; her name was Lillian Wyatt; a coffee skinned nurse at St Jude’s Children’s hospital with an Anti-bellum manner as charming as it was incongruous. The love of his night time romps, her name was Norrie Cole; of no fixed occupation or abode or even name save that which she needed to receive Medi-care, disability and Social security checks. But she went by Noriko. She was pale as the moon and her manner was as just as changeable and mysterious. And they had both decided to love Eddie. Love and gods move in mysterious ways and both are more powerful then mortal ken, you can not control, assuage or bargain with either, merely put your faith in them and hope for the best.

The two were as different as the night and the day. Lillian was self sufficient, career and future minded. A caregiver who cared for Eddie at first as sort of a community outreach/salvage project, one of many lost causes she administrated to because that was who she was more then expecting anything out of it. But one bright and rare day Eddie put himself in harms way to stop an escaping convict that thought a child hostage would be just the ticket he needed, and then Lillian saw him in a new light. She said she saw something in him that was good and true and brave and she loved him fiercely for it but cut him no slack. She wanted him but did not need him.

Norries’ job was nothing more then to die slowly and graciously in a series of waiting rooms and emergency beds. Very slowly some twist of genetic fate was killing her and in compensation for this and her veteran father’s sacrifice the government paid her in monthly stipends and prescriptions. Aside from these obligations she lived a life of comparative ease and gave freely of her time and shared her life’s small luxuries. The two would range into the night together, sharing fantasies of what could be in nocturnal flights of escape, intrigue and pretend. But her heart was always partially hidden; protected behind the many masks, gentle lies and self-delusions that she used to cope with her life’s reality. She needed him, but was long ago forced to become accustomed to needing things so she would not show the weakness of wanted him as well. But two loves are too many, one can not live for both night and for day, and whether he would have given himself to Noriko’s vulnerability or accepted Lillian’s strength is a question that might have been answered if not for the actions of 3 bullets, one truck, and a street sign.

Leaving the Land

The last meal of Eddie Getz was a breakfast Mcmuffin he indulged in late to his shift at the hospital, the last song he heard was a band called Maroon 5 singing “She will be loved” though an open window at the intersection where he saw the truck being hijacked. The semi trailer was responsible for delivering quarterly St. Judes supply of type 3 medications; life saving drugs and equipment of immense street value, unlicensed to all but government approved outlets and of immense street value. Eddie saw the masked assailants force open the rear doors and place three professionally grouped shots into the security guard’s chest and head and then enter though the rear bypassing the protection of the cabs reinforced doors and windows. Eddie saw the hand of McGivney, the aged hospital security guard, flex as the door incompletely closed on it and saw the truck pause as it reversed course to leave by the route listed on an official looking sign printed with large easily visible letters as closed due to roadwork do not enter.

As vivid as all these pictures are he is unable to recall what it was he was thinking. Whether he abandoned his bike and leapt behind the vehicle out of self-preservation to avoid it’s sweep and rear view gaze or if he thought that he could help the old black man who had worked for St Judes so long his hair resembled the steal wool the hospital floors were scrubbed with. He remembers the way his body swung as he threw himself aboard and the truck turned hard right, he remembered the clang of the door as it closed. He remembers vividly the coppery smell of the guards’ blood and the strange almost beautiful contrast of it against the clean white of the hospital supplies.

McGivney in bubbling breath was mumbling soft sounds that sounded even then like calm but urgent instructions. His gun, his radio broken, the route blocked, two of them, unarmored, shift change, but Eddie seemed to be in a timeless state as events rushed by him. Two choices, two paths, two women seemed to lay in front of him; he could take McGivney’s gun, attempt to overcome the unsuspecting hijackers, save the lives of the guard and the children’s medication or he could leave, carrying as much as he could, not enough to save the children of Judes but enough to keep one person, and her boyfriend well looked after for the rest of her days. There was one path to daylight hard work and respect with Lillian, one midnight path of ease and concealment with Noire.
Eddie stood in front of the door, medication in one hand, the guards gun in the other, McGivneys’ calm but weakening half heard urgings turning to curses behind him and decided. What he decided he can not recall but the last memory that was of Edward Camino as a free man was falling off the back of a truck, and into darkness.
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Zzz
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