Jackson told me "Night has most of our company on guard around the vehicles and food stores." He told me that like it was supposed to mean something. I was slow, I didn't get it, but it told me Night had a plan which was good enough for me.
"Okay Jackson. Stick around." I looked at Shelli and said "Don't tell me you don't know the back story here. You, of all people, are not who I would expect to see standing here grinning."
She gave me a wry smile and said "You're not up to speed with our new world. Max and Freya are a couple."
That surprised me and angered me. "She's a kid Shelli."
She laughed. It was a bitter one but it was a laugh. "Yeah. Right. You may be the only man here who could say that and have me believe him. She has the body of an eighteen year old and the heart of a 4,000 year old." She paused, then added "Well, I don't think she has a heart but you know what I mean."
I thought about it. I flashed some images through my mind and realized she was right. I said, and I didn't bother to hide the disgust "I go away for a couple weeks and come back to As the World Turns."
She smiled "No G. Think of it as a really bad reality show. That's what I do."
I shrugged and told her "Sounds like bullshit to me." I looked at Zane and told him "C'mon kid. Lets go find your Mom." As soon as I started walking Jackson got in front of me and said "I can't let you do this Gardener."
I looked at him and said "Then you die."
He looked at me, whispered "I know," and shut his eyes. I thought "Well this sucks." I hesitated, I didn't like this, I would do it but I didn't like it. That is when the church bell started ringing and Shelli said "That's the signal. Zane...time to meet your Mama."
I know I had told Shelli to shut up and I also knew that it was like telling water not to be wet but I was actually happy to hear her say that. Probably not as happy as Jackson though.