Day 735, Time 00:01
0 Hours 0 Minutes
Sinclair opened his eyes. He was in a hospital of some kind. That made sense, he was dying. He tried to remember why…oh yeah, he was old, so very old. He felt better than he had in years, he didn’t know why…oh yeah, he was dying, that was probably it, but he couldn’t remember how he had gotten here. This hospital seemed familiar somehow, he recognized this place, but why? He couldn’t remember. Sinclair realized he wasn’t alone in the room; on a bed next to him was a young woman. She was still asleep but didn’t seem to be enjoying it much, she kept moving and muttering to herself. Why would they put such a young woman in a room with an old man like him? Wait, he knew her. She was a memory from so many decades past, but she hadn’t aged a day. What was her name again? May…it was May Singer; beautiful, beautiful May Singer. So smart, so focused, so much stronger than himself.
When was the last time he had seen her? It must have been years ago they had hunted together, back when he could still hunt. Who, who had they hunted? Right, it was the son of a bitch Denis Rowan, that fucking psychopath. They were the only ones to survive him…why, why had they survived? Had they gotten him? No that wasn’t right. Had Denis let them live for some reason? No that wasn’t right either, Sinclair couldn’t remember the hunt ever ending. Had it just continued until he couldn’t hunt anymore? Why was he feeling so good, so much stronger than before, so much younger? May was waking up slowly, that was good, someone her age shouldn’t be having nightmares. Something caught Sinclair’s eye at the foot of his bed, a full length mirror, and he saw he hadn’t aged a day. He was crying. How many years had Denis taken this time? A man walked into the room wearing a uniform.
“Do you remember who you are?”
“Do you remember your job?”
“Find that son of a bitch Denis Rowan and kill him.”
“No you just need to find him, we can kill him. Now return to your post.”
Day 735, Time 18:43
18 Hours 43 Minutes
Sinclair pored over tax records. They seemed familiar, he had looked at them before damn it. Fine, nothing lost, just time. Precious time. They knew what continent Denis was on, hell they knew the damn country he was in, but nothing more than that. Sinclair was sorely tempted to tell them to just nuke the damn country and be done with it. That wouldn’t fly of course, Denis had killed thousands but that didn’t justify killing millions in a desperate attempt to get him. Where was he? Oh yeah the useless tax records. May made a sound of excitement from the other side of the room.
It was a big room; that first day it had been at capacity with two hundred people, not including the liaisons in the next room over. They were in high spirits, they were the best, there were even six dream walkers assisting. The high spirits lasted a week before the first dream walker died, he was shot by one of the interns who later committed suicide. It took three hundred and eighty days to identify Denis Rowan, and at that point there was less than fifty of them left. The liaisons were long gone, the last dream walker only lasted another week.
“What did you find?”
“Idiot ran a red light, got a picture of his face and a license plate.”
Day 737 Time 14:13
62 Hours 13 Minutes
Sinclair heard the shaking of a pill bottle from somewhere behind him, it didn’t register at first. Then he remembered, and reached for his own bottle. He missed the first time but managed to grab the bottle of amphetamines the second time. Sinclair took two of them dry; he knew that was too many but he was getting resistant after abusing them for the past year. He looked around for something to drink, but the three coffee mugs on his desk were already empty. Water would be good, he needed water. May handed him a bottle of water. He didn’t know if he had been talking to himself or if she had anticipated him. What the hell would he do when she died, what would she do when he died? He watched her walk back to her own desk, she paused for a moment and leaned against one of the empty ones, putting a hand to her chest. Who’s desk had that been? Sinclair couldn’t remember. He couldn’t remember any of their faces. May shook herself back into wakefulness and returned to her desk.
Day 740 Time 03:38
123 Hours 38 Minutes
“May, May, MAY!”
May jerked up from her desk to look over at Sinclair, she looked just as bad as he felt, but in this moment she couldn’t be more beautiful.
“I found the bastard.”
She raced over to Sinclair’s desk with more energy than he was capable of, pressing the red button hanging from her neck as she moved. Sinclair, meanwhile, sent the address to the generals or whoever was still alive to get it. He was laughing and crying and so very, very tired. Sinclair gave up fighting and allowed himself to fall asleep in his chair. His last sight was May collapsing to the floor, not even bothering with a chair. She really had been dead on her feet.
Day 740 Time 03:40
0 Hours 0 Minutes
Sinclair woke up feeling good, better than he had in years. It was the same familiar hospital he had woken up in every time he had fallen asleep for the past year and a half. But that didn’t matter, he would never have to wake up here again. Sinclair looked to his side. May wasn’t in her bed, probably already up. She always was the strong one. Sinclair heard footsteps in the hall, someone was coming to get him. If they thought he would give them a proper debrief they all could go fuck themselves, he needed to get the hell out of here. Sinclair heard laughter in the hall. Well, everyone would be in a good mood.
Denis Rowan walked in the room, and Sinclair started screaming.