Well, you'll have to make the chance, then, correct? Any idea how
you'll do that?
Umů He stammers for a moment, takes the opportunity to have a
nervous sip of Jack. Carol is staring at his arm, the one holding
What happened to you? she asks.
He knows she is referring to the scar that runs the length of his
forearm, from the elbow to the bulbous bit of bone at his wrist. It
has been a year since it was sliced open, and the angry, mottled wound
has only recently given way to a more whitish hue of acceptance.
I know how he got it, Allen volunteers, but I can't say.
State secret? She says quizzically. Sometimes Allen's flippancy
registers with her, and sometimes it doesn't.
He means it's confidential, C.J. says.
Scars from a past life, speak no more of it, Allen finishes.
C.J. thinks: We'll speak no more, but there's always more.
C.J. Want your opinion, Allen says. A contraption is on the table,
a box-like shape, a collection of switches. Atop it is a small speaker
that resembles a miniature mega-phone. With a magician's flourish,
Allen passes his hand in front of the device. The sound of chirping
birds echoes through the empty room. It is similar to the sound one