Prologue Three

We were probably tracking Denny even before the ORDA guys knew that he would need tracking.

The Casino thing had made the evening news. But we were on our way well before that. Pa was lurking in the feeds and relaying the info direct to us. Pa had long ago found a back door into just about every feed worth watching. If they knew it; Pa 404 knew it.

It looked like Denny was heading North West. Any clown could have worked that out from the news reports that had cropped up over the past 48 hours. A trail of seemingly unrelated incidents all pointing in one direction.

A trucker having to swerve to avoid a figure in the middle of the road at junction 18 of the R1 had made the morning traffic report on local radio.

Some guy opens up his store to find a six foot hole through both of his side walls. Like something had smashed straight through the building, another local radio report.

There’d been another story that afternoon that had got airtime on most outlets through the day. Some creep had tried to grab a kid at an open air market in The Quads. He’d run around a corner into an alleyway and straight into Denny. The blood spatter guys had said that a “massive” blunt object had struck the creep in the side of the head at a “fantastic” velocity. Forensic teams were finding things like teeth some eighty feet away and two floors up.

The kid was fine. His mother had been on the news, all teary eyed thanking Denny.

A human being thanking Denny!? We still gave him banter about that to this day.

Later that night we found him up at the Kennett Stockades freight terminal. He was in a bad way when we got there. Ai on its last legs and it must have felt like his own head was trying to tear itself apart. We found him kneeling with his head on the track, looking kind of peaceful, calmly waiting for the nightly mail train as it made its way to the Orbital. Waiting for the train to do the shutdown he couldn’t do himself.

He was resistant to our offer. I thought it was gonna get gnarly. Malki had done the talking and tried to keep everything calm, but there were definite signs that violence was gonna be involved.

We figured the ORDA guys were only a few minutes away. We didn’t really have time for subtlety, so Walt had picked Denny up by his right leg and smashed him into an old diesel locomotive a couple of times until he’d gone into safe mode.

And then we’d bought him home.

Personally, I didn’t think there was enough left in Denny’s head to Blue Pill him. He was too far gone. Of course nobody asked my opinion. Why would they? It wasn’t my decision to make.

The following morning, we took Denny to see Pa 404…