Day 741 Time 12:43
0 Hours 0 Minutes
Sinclair opened his eyes.
“Do you remember who you are?”
“Do you remember what your job is?”
“Find Denis Rowan.”
“Get to it.”
Day 743 Time 3:43
39 Hours 0 Minutes
“You can go to sleep yet, WAKE UP!”
Sinclair jerked up in his seat back into the world of the awake. What the hell had that been? He took another one of the pills, apparently no longer amphetamines but something else that would be more effective in the short-term. The long-term side effects were worse but that wasn’t really an issue; the doctors didn’t think he would survive much more than another month at this rate. Sinclair didn’t know what the doctors had told May but she had been downing the damn things by the handful.
“May, did you say something?”
Day 744 Time 14:00
76 Hours 17 Minutes
“Wake up, wake up, wake up.”
“Who are you?”
“Lisbeth, now WAKE UP BEFORE DENIS GETS HERE.”
“Why isn’t he here now?”
“Because you aren’t all the way asleep yet. SO WAKE UP.”
Sinclair did so violently falling out of this chair. He reached for more of the pills and downed a couple of them. It wasn’t easy to do his throat was dry, and he was so tired he could no longer taste them. That probably wasn’t a good thing…whatever, all he had to do was find Dennis. Not that it was going well, they had found him after he had run that red light but hadn’t been awake long enough to follow-up on it properly. Denis had once again slipped the net, but it was getting smaller, they would find the bastard eventually.
Day 745 Time 2:14
86 Hours 31 Minutes
“Damn it, you need to take better care and stay awake.”
“Yes, now stay awake.”
“Who are you?”
“Lisbeth, I already told you that, now focus on finding Denis.”
“But who are you? How are you talking to me?”
“Not sure, I think you’re hallucinating and tired enough for it to count as a dream.”
“Then why isn’t Denis here?”
“Because it hurts like a bitch. Now enough about me. WAKE UP.”
Sinclair came back into mostly wakefulness as opposed to the state of mostly asleep he had been in. There wasn’t much difference, but Lisbeth wasn’t talking to him anymore. Who was she, a dream walker? Or just another hallucination, there had been so many. He got up off the toilet he had been on. One of the effect of sleep deprivation was diarrhea, another effect was lack of appetite. Combine the two and the fact that most of his nutrition had come from a tube for the last month and the results were frequent and liquid. There had been more than one accident and both himself and May had stopped really caring all that much.
Day 746 Time 23:48
131 Hours 34 minutes
“WAKE UP PLEASE WAKE UP, YOU FOUND HIM, SO YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP.”
“I did! MAY, MAY!”
“Don’t bother, she fell asleep ten minutes ago, Denis has her.”
“What? No! I have to help her.”
“The button, hit the button.”
“But what about May?”
“JUST HIT THE DAMN BUTTON SINCLAIR”
Sinclair hit the button around his neck, fumbling with it a bit at first, his fingers felt so large and clumsy.
“Good, now you can rest.”
And he did.
Sinclair felt good, every muscle in his body felt relaxed. His skin wasn’t hot or cold, it was body temp so to speak. It had been so long since he had felt like that. He could feel the sun on his skin and soft grass beneath his back. Most of all he didn’t feel in the least bit tired, it was all too perfect, too nice. He opened his eyes and May, the oh-so-beautiful strong May was looking down at him, smiling.
“This is a dream, isn’t it?”
“Who are you?”
“Why do you look like May.”
“Thought you might like a friendly face.”
“Why did you help me?”
“Can’t a girl try to do some good?”
“He might not be able to hurt you, but what about family or friends? He could get to you through them.”
“I would almost like to see him try. Besides, he was the closest thing I had to a friend.”
May looked incredibly sad, well Lisbeth did, but she was wearing May’s face so it felt like the same thing.
“Look we don’t have much time, can we hold off on the questions?”
“Am I going to wake up soon?”
“No, but May is dying so we don’t have much time to say goodbyes if you want to.”
“Her heart gave out, too many of those damn pills. Now do you want to go say goodbye or not?”
Everything faded to white, the ground lost its sensations and no longer gave sensory input. The light disappeared, not that Sinclair could no longer see, he could do so just fine. It was just him and Lisbeth-who-looked-like-May in an empty white void. Then Lisbeth started to fade away too, and May stayed behind. Something about her made Sinclair realize that this was the real May, and no longer Lisbeth.
“We got him.”
Somehow that was enough. Neither of them had expected to survive this, and had long since come to peace with that. But they had done it; of the two hundred core investigators and an unknown number of liaisons they alone had survived. But May hadn’t, he could see that there was less of her now even if she looked the same. Less and less. Sinclair wanted to scream and curse he wanted to kill Denis all over again, but he didn’t. He simply stayed with May as she faded from the world.