1. Scola · 2. Esplode · 3. Aresta · 4. Prison · 5. Paranoia · 6. Rede X · 7. Spleno-Porco · 8. Paradox · 9. Furgon · 10. Claves · 11. Slogan
12. Conserta · 13. Jornales · 14. Bitnic · 15. Enrolada · 16. Reportor · 17. Tuneli · 18. Juas · 19. Vampires · 20. Tortura · 21. Judi · Epilogo

21. Judi

Mostra ance la testo orijinal

Los ia lasa solitar me e Barbara en la sala alora, e me ia usa la dux funsionante per rinse me – me ia es subita embarasada par es covreda par pisa e vomita. Cuando me ia fini, Barbara ia es larmosa.

They left me and Barbara alone in the room then, and I used the working shower head to rinse off – I was suddenly embarrassed to be covered in piss and barf. When I finished, Barbara was in tears.

“Tua jenitores —” el ia comensa.

“Your parents –” she began.

Me ia senti ce cisa me va vomiti denova. Mea dio, mea jenitores povre! La esperia cual los ia sufri serta!

I felt like I might throw up again. God, my poor folks. What they must have gone through.

“Esce los es asi?”

“Are they here?”

“No.” – el ia dise. “Lo es complicada.” – el ia dise.

“No,” she said. “It’s complicated,” she said.



“Tu es ancora arestada, Marcus. Como cadun asi. On no pote simple core a en e abri subita la portes. Cadun asi va debe es prosededa par la sistem de justia criminal. Esta va dura… bon, cisa lo va dura tra menses.”

“You’re still under arrest, Marcus. Everyone here is. They can’t just sweep in and throw open the doors. Everyone here is going to have to be processed through the criminal justice system. It could take, well, it could take months.”

“Me va debe resta asi tra menses?”

“I’m going to have to stay here for months?”

El ia saisi mea manos. “No. Me pensa ce nos va pote fa tua litiga e libri su garantia con alga rapidia. Ma ‘alga rapidia’ es un terma relativa. No espeta ce cualce cosa va aveni oji. E la situa no va es como su acel persones. Lo va es compatiosa. Tu va ave comedas real. No interogas. Visitas par tua familia.

She grabbed my hands. “No, I think we’re going to be able to get you arraigned and released on bail pretty fast. But pretty fast is a relative term. I wouldn’t expect anything to happen today. And it’s not going to be like those people had it. It will be humane. There will be real food. No interrogations. Visits from your family.

“An si Securia Interna es suvertida, esta no vole dise ce tu pote simple sorti de asi. Lo cual ia aveni asi es ce nos desprende la varia bizara de la sistem de justia cual los ia institui, e nos sustitui per lo la sistem vea. La sistem con judores, litigas publica e avocatos.

“Just because the DHS is out, it doesn’t mean that you get to just walk out of here. What’s happened here is that we’re getting rid of the bizarro-world version of the justice system they’d instituted and replacing it with the old system. The system with judges, open trials and lawyers.

“Donce nos pote demanda ce on move tu a un prison de jovenes sur la tera xef, ma, Marcus, acel locas pote es vera difisil. Vera multe difisil. Asi va es cisa la loca la plu bon per tu asta cuando nos garantia tu.”

“So we can try to get you transferred to a juvie facility on the mainland, but Marcus, those places can be really rough. Really, really rough. This might be the best place for you until we get you bailed out.”

Garantia me. Natural. Me ia es un criminor – me ia es ancora no acusada, ma on ia ave serta multe acusas imajinable. Mera la fa de pensas nonpur sur la governa ia es cuasi nonlegal.

Bailed out. Of course. I was a criminal – I hadn’t been charged yet, but there were bound to be plenty of charges they could think of. It was practically illegal just to think impure thoughts about the government.

El ia fa un plu presa a mea manos. “Lo apesta, ma esta es como lo debe es. La cosa major es ce lo ia fini. La Governor ia ejeta Securia Nasional de la stato, ia desasembla cada punto de controla. La Avocato Jeneral ia autori la aresta de tota enforsores de lege ci ia es envolveda en ‘interogas stresante’ e prisonis secreta. Los va vade a prison, Marcus, e esta es par causa de lo cual tu ia fa.”

She gave my hands another squeeze. “It sucks, but this is how it has to be. The point is, it’s over. The Governor has thrown the DHS out of the State, dismantled every checkpoint. The Attorney General has issued warrants for any law-enforcement officers involved in ‘stress interrogations’ and secret imprisonments. They’ll go to jail, Marcus, and it’s because of what you did.”

Me ia senti no cosa. Me ia oia la parolas, ma los ia sinifia apena. En alga modo lo ia fini, ma lo no ia fini.

I was numb. I heard the words, but they hardly made sense. Somehow, it was over, but it wasn’t over.

“Vide,” – el ia dise – “nos ave probable un ora o du ante cuando tota va recalmi, ante cuando on va reveni per enclui tu denova. Cual tu vole fa? Pasea sur la plaia? Fa un come? Esta persones ia ave un salon noncredable per empleadas – nos ia invade lo en via a asi. Tota superior.”

“Look,” she said. “We probably have an hour or two before this all settles down, before they come back and put you away again. What do you want to do? Walk on the beach? Get a meal? These people had an incredible staff room – we raided it on the way in. Gourmet all the way.”

Final, un demanda a cual me ia responde. “Me vole trova Anj. Me vole trova Darryl.”

At last a question I could answer. “I want to find Ange. I want to find Darryl.”

Me ia atenta usa un computador trovada per xerca la numeros de sua selulas, ma lo ia esije un clave, donce nos ia es obligada a pasea longo la coredores, clamante sua nomes. Pos la portes de selula, prisonidas ia xilia en responde, o ia plora, o ia suplica ce nos relasa los. Los no ia comprende lo cual ia aveni aora, no ia pote vide ce sua gardores pasada es gidada a la docas en securipolsos plastica, prendeda a via par ecipos spesialida de la polisia de California.

I tried to use a computer I found to look up their cell-numbers, but it wanted a password, so we were reduced to walking the corridors, calling out their names. Behind the cell-doors, prisoners screamed back at us, or cried, or begged us to let them go. They didn’t understand what had just happened, couldn’t see their former guards being herded onto the docks in plastic handcuffs, taken away by California state SWAT teams.

“Anj!” – me ia clama tra la ruido. “Anj Carvelli! Darryl Glover! Esta es Marcus!”

“Ange!” I called over the din, “Ange Carvelli! Darryl Glover! It’s Marcus!”

Nos ia pasea ja tra tota la longia de la ala de selulas e los no ia responde. Me ia vole plora. On ia transporta los a ultramar – los ia es en Suria o an plu mal. Me va revide nunca los.

We’d walked the whole length of the cell-block and they hadn’t answered. I felt like crying. They’d been shipped overseas – they were in Syria or worse. I’d never see them again.

Me ia senta me, ia apoia me contra la mur de la coredor e ia pone mea fas en mea manos. Me ia vide la fas de Fem de Capeles Sever, ia vide sua surie vil cuando el ia demanda per mea nom de conta. El ia fa esta. El va vade a prison par causa de lo, ma esta no ia sufisi. Me ia pensa ce cuando me revide el, cisa me va mata el. El ia merita lo.

I sat down and leaned against the corridor wall and put my face in my hands. I saw Severe Haircut Woman’s face, saw her smirk as she asked me for my login. She had done this. She would go to jail for it, but that wasn’t enough. I thought that when I saw her again, I might kill her. She deserved it.

“Veni.” – Barbara ia dise. “Veni, Marcus. No despera. On ave plu selulas asi, veni.”

“Come on,” Barbara said, “Come on, Marcus. Don’t give up. There’s more around here, come on.”

El no ia era. Tota la portes cual nos ia pasa en la ala ia es vea e osidinte, restante de cuando la base ia es orijinal construida. Ma a la fini mesma de la coredor, abrinte su sua pesa, ia es un porte nova de securia alta tan spesa como un disionario. Nos ia abri lo par tira e ia risca entra a la coredor oscur a ultra.

She was right. All the doors we’d passed in the cellblock were old, rusting things that dated back to when the base was first built. But at the very end of the corridor, sagging open, was a new high-security door as thick as a dictionary. We pulled it open and ventured into the dark corridor within.

On ia ave asi cuatro plu portes de selula, portes sin codigo de baras. Un peti teclador eletronical ia es fisada sur cada.

There were four more cell-doors here, doors without bar codes. Each had a small electronic keypad mounted on it.

“Darryl?” – me ia dise. “Anj?”

“Darryl?” I said. “Ange?”



Esta ia es Anj, esclamante de pos la porte la plu distante. Anj, mea Anj, mea anjel.

It was Ange, calling out from behind the furthest door. Ange, my Ange, my angel.

“Anj!” – me ia cria. “Esta es me, es me!”

“Ange!” I cried. “It’s me, it’s me!”

“Mea Dio, Marcus!” – el ia esclama con vose blocida, e sola sanglotas ia segue.

“Oh God, Marcus,” she choked out, and then it was all sobs.

Me ia bate la otra portes. “Darryl! Darryl, esce tu es asi?”

I pounded on the other doors. “Darryl! Darryl, are you here?”

“Me es asi.” La vose ia es multe peti, e multe gastada. “Me es asi. Me repenti tan multe. Per favore. Me repenti multe.”

“I’m here.” The voice was very small, and very hoarse. “I’m here. I’m very, very sorry. Please. I’m very sorry.”

El ia sona… rompeda. Fratida.

He sounded… broken. Shattered.

“Esta es me, D.” – me ia dise, apoiante a sua porte. “Esta es Marcus. Lo ia fini – on ia aresta la gardores. On ia ejeta la Departe de Securia Interna. Nos va ave litigas, litigas publica. E nos va pote atesta contra los.”

“It’s me, D,” I said, leaning on his door. “It’s Marcus. It’s over – they arrested the guards. They kicked the Department of Homeland Security out. We’re getting trials, open trials. And we get to testify against them.”

“Me repenti.” – el ia dise. “Per favore, me repenti tan multe.”

“I’m sorry,” he said. “Please, I’m so sorry.”

La polisiores de California ia veni a la porte alora. Los ia filma ancora con sua camera. “Sra Stratford?” – un ia dise. El ia leva sua visiera, e el ia aspeta como cualce polisior acaso, no como mea salvor. Como algun ci ia veni per enclui me.

The California patrolmen came to the door then. They still had their camera rolling. “Ms Stratford?” one said. He had his faceplate up and he looked like any other cop, not like my savior. Like someone come to lock me up.

“Capitan Sanchez.” – el ia dise. “Nos ia trova asi du de la prisonidas pertinente. Me vole ce on relasa los e me mesma va esamina los.”

“Captain Sanchez,” she said. “We’ve located two of the prisoners of interest here. I’d like to see them released and inspect them for myself.”

“Seniora, nos ancora no ave la codigos per asede acel portes.” – el ia dise.

“Ma’am, we don’t have access codes for those doors yet,” he said.

El ia leva sua mano. “Acel no ia es la acorda. On va dona a me la asede completa a esta compleso. La comanda ia veni direta de la Governor, senior. Nos no va move asta cuando vos abri esta selulas.” Sua fas ia es perfeta lisa, sin an un indiceta de sede o compromete. El ia es seria.

She held up her hand. “That wasn’t the arrangement. I was to have complete access to this facility. That came direct from the Governor, sir. We aren’t budging until you open these cells.” Her face was perfectly smooth, without a single hint of give or flex. She meant it.

La capitan ia aspeta como si el nesesa dormi. El ia grima. “Me va fa lo cual me pote.” – el ia dise.

The Captain looked like he needed sleep. He grimaced. “I’ll see what I can do,” he said.

On ia susede abri la selulas, final, pos sirca un dui de ora. Tre atentas ia es nesesada, ma ultima on ia entra la codigos coreta, comparante los con la radioeticetas sur la insinias de identia cual on ia prende de la gardores arestada.

They did manage to open the cells, finally, about half an hour later. It took three tries, but they eventually got the right codes entered, matching them to the arphids on the ID badges they’d taken off the guards they’d arrested.

On ia abri prima la selula de Anj. El ia es vestida en un roba de ospital, abrida a la retro, e sua selula ia es an plu nuda ca la mea – mera cuxinida sur tota partes, sin lavabo e leto, sin lampa. El ia emerji palpebrinte a la coredor, e la camera polisial ia es puntada a el, con lampas briliante a sua fas. Barbara ia veni protejente entre nos e lo. Anj ia fa pasos esitosa en sorti de sua selula, pico tirante sua pedes. Alga cosa ia es mal en sua oios, en sua fas. El ia larma, ma lo ia es un otra cosa.

They got into Ange’s cell first. She was dressed in a hospital gown, open at the back, and her cell was even more bare than mine had been – just padding all over, no sink or bed, no light. She emerged blinking into the corridor and the police camera was on her, its bright lights in her face. Barbara stepped protectively between us and it. Ange stepped tentatively out of her cell, shuffling a little. There was something wrong with her eyes, with her face. She was crying, but that wasn’t it.

“Los ia drogi me,” – el ia dise – “cuando me no ia sesa cria per esije un avocato.”

“They drugged me,” she said. “When I wouldn’t stop screaming for a lawyer.”

Alora me ia abrasa el. El ia pende contra me, ma el ia presa ance resiproca. El ia odori nonfresca e suosa, e me no ia odori plu bon. Me ia vole nunca relasa el.

That’s when I hugged her. She sagged against me, but she squeezed back, too. She smelled stale and sweaty, and I smelled no better. I never wanted to let go.

Esta es cuando on ia abri la selula de Darryl.

That’s when they opened Darryl’s cell.

El ia trinxa ja la paper de sua roba de ospital. El ia es enrolada, nuda, a la retro de la selula, scerminte se de la camera e nosa regardas. Me ia core a el.

He had shredded his paper hospital gown. He was curled up, naked, in the back of the cell, shielding himself from the camera and our stares. I ran to him.

“D,” – me ia xuxa en sua orea – “D, esta es me. Esta es Marcus. Lo ia fini. La gardores es arestada. Nos va es librida su garantia. Nos va vade a casa.”

“D,” I whispered in his ear. “D, it’s me. It’s Marcus. It’s over. The guards have been arrested. We’re going to get bail, we’re going home.”

El ia trema e ia clui forte sua oios. “Me repenti.” – el ia xuxa, e ia turna sua fas a via.

He trembled and squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, and turned his face away.

Los ia gida me a via alora, un polisior en armur e Barbara. Los ia regida me a mea selula e ia clavi la porte, e ala me ia pasa la note.

They took me away then, a cop in body-armor and Barbara, took me back to my cell and locked the door, and that’s where I spent the night.

Me no recorda multe sur la viaja a la corte. On ia cadeni me a sinco otra prisonidas, de ci tota ia es ja caturada tra multe plu tempo ca me. Un ia parla sola arabi – el ia es un om vea, e el ia trema. Tota la otras ia es joven. Me ia es la sola person blanca. Pos cuando on ia asembla nos sur la solo de la naveta, me ia vide ce cuasi cadun sur Isola Tesoro ia ave un pel con esta-o-acel tinje de brun.

I don’t remember much about the trip to the courthouse. They had me chained to five other prisoners, all of whom had been in for a lot longer than me. One only spoke Arabic – he was an old man, and he trembled. The others were all young. I was the only white one. Once we had been gathered on the deck of the ferry, I saw that nearly everyone on Treasure Island had been one shade of brown or another.

Me ia es en la prison tra sola un note, ma esta ia es ja tro longa. Un pluveta lejera ia desende, un cosa de la tipo cual ta fa normal ce me leva mea spalas e basi mea regarda, ma oji me ia fa como tota la otras en inclina mea fas a la gris de la sielo infinita, selebrante la moia picante en cuando nos ia traversa rapida la baia asta la docas de naveta.

I had only been inside for one night, but it was too long. There was a light drizzle coming down, normally the sort of thing that would make me hunch my shoulders and look down, but today I joined everyone else in craning my head back at the infinite gray sky, reveling in the stinging wet as we raced across the bay to the ferry-docks.

On ia prende nos a via en buses. La securitalos ia torpi nosa entra a la buses, e un tempo longa ia pasa per embarca cadun. Nun ia cexa. Cuando nos no ia luta per solve la problem jeometrial de ses persones, un cadena e la coredor streta de la bus, nos ia regarda simple la site sirca nos, la construidas sur la colina.

They took us away in buses. The shackles made climbing into the buses awkward, and it took a long time for everyone to load. No one cared. When we weren’t struggling to solve the geometry problem of six people, one chain, narrow bus-aisle, we were just looking around at the city around us, up the hill at the buildings.

Me ia pote pensa sola a trova Darryl e Anj, ma no la un e no la otra ia es vidable. La fola ia es grande, e on no ia permete ce nos move libre tra lo. La polisiores de stato ci ia maneja nos ia es sufisinte jentil, ma los ia es grande, armurida e armada, an tal. Me ia pensa constante ce me vide Darryl en la fola, ma esta ia es sempre un otra person con acel mesma aspeta vinseda e basida cual el ia ave en sua selula. El no ia es la sola person rompeda.

All I could think of was finding Darryl and Ange, but neither were in evidence. It was a big crowd and we weren’t allowed to move freely through it. The state troopers who handled us were gentle enough, but they were still big, armored and armed. I kept thinking I saw Darryl in the crowd, but it was always someone else with that same beaten, hunched look that he’d had in his cell. He wasn’t the only broken one.

A la corte, on ia marxa nos a salas de intervisa en nosa grupos cadenida. Un avocato de la Uni per Librias Sivil ia prende nosa informas e ia fa alga demandas – cuando el ia ateni me, el ia surie e ia saluta me par mea nom – ante gida nos a la salon de corte e la presentia de la judor, ci ia porta an un roba formal e ia pare es en bon umor.

At the courthouse, they marched us into interview rooms in our shackle group. An ACLU lawyer took our information and asked us a few questions – when she got to me, she smiled and greeted me by name – and then led us into the courtroom before the judge. He wore an actual robe, and seemed to be in a good mood.

La acorda ia pare es ce cualcun ci ave un familian per paia la garantia va parti libre, e tota la otras va es enviada a prison. La avocato de Librias Sivil ia parla multe a la judor, solisitante alga plu oras per colie la familias de la prisonidas e trae los a la corte. La judor ia es bon favorente sur esta, ma cuando me ia comprende ce alga de esta persones ia es encluida tra tota la tempo pos la esplode de la ponte, suposada como mor par sua familias, sin litiga, sufrinte interoga, isoli, tortura – me ia vole simple rompe mesma la cadenas e libri cadun.

The deal seemed to be that anyone who had a family member to post bail could go free, and everyone else got sent to prison. The ACLU lawyer did a lot of talking to the judge, asking for a few more hours while the prisoners’ families were rounded up and brought to the court-house. The judge was pretty good about it, but when I realized that some of these people had been locked up since the bridge blew, taken for dead by their families, without trial, subjected to interrogation, isolation, torture – I wanted to just break the chains myself and set everyone free.

Cuando on ia trae me ante la judor, el ia basi sua regarda a me e ia desapone sua oculo. El ia aspeta fatigada. La avocato de Librias Sivil ia aspeta fatigada. La enforsores ia aspeta fatigada. Pos me, me ia oia un zumbi subita de conversa cuando mea nom ia es clamada par la enforsor. La judor ia fa un colpa de sua marteleta, sin diverje sua regarda de me. El ia frota sua oios.

When I was brought before the judge, he looked down at me and took off his glasses. He looked tired. The ACLU lawyer looked tired. The bailiffs looked tired. Behind me, I could hear a sudden buzz of conversation as my name was called by the bailiff. The judge rapped his gavel once, without looking away from me. He scrubbed at his eyes.

“Sr Yallow,” – el ia dise – “la acusores ia identifia tu como un fujor posible. Me pensa ce los fa un bon punto. Tu ave serta plu… me va nomi lo istoria… ca la otra persones asi. Me es tentada a reteni tu per litiga, sin depende de cuanto tua jenitores es preparada per paia per garantia tu.”

“Mr Yallow,” he said, “the prosecution has identified you as a flight risk. I think they have a point. You certainly have more, shall we say, history, than the other people here. I am tempted to hold you over for trial, no matter how much bail your parents are prepared to post.”

Mea avocato ia comensa dise alga cosa, ma la judor ia silenti el par un regarda. El ia frota sua oios.

My lawyer started to say something, but the judge silenced her with a look. He scrubbed at his eyes.

“Tu vole dise cualce cosa?”

“Do you have anything to say?”

“Me ia ave ja la bon momento per fuji.” – me ia dise. “En la semana pasada. Algun ia ofre gida me a via, estrae me de la urbe, aida me a construi un identia nova. En loca, me ia fura sua telefon, ia evade nosa camion e ia core de ala. Me ia dona sua telefon – cual ia conteni atestas sur mea ami, Darryl Glover – a un jornaliste e ia asconde asi, en la urbe.”

“I had the chance to run,” I said. “Last week. Someone offered to take me away, get me out of town, help me build a new identity. Instead I stole her phone, escaped from our truck, and ran away. I turned over her phone – which had evidence about my friend, Darryl Glover, on it – to a journalist and hid out here, in town.”

“Tu ia fura un telefon?”

“You stole a phone?”

“Me ia deside ce me no pote fuji. Ce me debe fasa la justia – ce mea libria ave no valua si me es un criminor xercada, o si la site es ancora su Securia Interna. Si mea amis es ancora prisonida. Ce la libria per me no es tan importante como un pais libre.”

“I decided that I couldn’t run. That I had to face justice – that my freedom wasn’t worth anything if I was a wanted man, or if the city was still under the DHS. If my friends were still locked up. That freedom for me wasn’t as important as a free country.”

“Ma tu ia fura un telefon.”

“But you did steal a phone.”

Me ia acorda con testa. “Si. Me intende redona lo, si me ta trova la fem joven consernada.”

I nodded. “I did. I plan on giving it back, if I ever find the young woman in question.”

“Bon, grasias per acel parla, Sr Yallow. Tu es un joven multe bonparlante.” El ia grima a la acusor. “Algas ta dise ce ance un joven multe corajosa. On ia mostra un video en la novas a esta matina. Lo ia sujesta ce tu ia ave alga razona valida per evita la autoriosas. Considerante esta, e tua parla peti asi, me va permete un libri su garantia, ma me va demanda ance ce la acusor ajunta un acusa de fura minor, pertinente a la caso de la telefon. Per esta, me espeta un plu garantia de 50 mil dolares.”

“Well, thank you for that speech, Mr Yallow. You are a very well spoken young man.” He glared at the prosecutor. “Some would say a very brave man, too. There was a certain video on the news this morning. It suggested that you had some legitimate reason to evade the authorities. In light of that, and of your little speech here, I will grant bail, but I will also ask the prosecutor to add a charge of Misdemeanor Petty Theft to the count, as regards the matter of the phone. For this, I expect another $50,000 in bail.”

El ia colpa denova con sua marteleta, e mea avocato ia preseta mea mano.

He banged his gavel again, and my lawyer gave my hand a squeeze.

El ia basi denova sua regarda a me e ia ajusta sua oculo. El ia ave caspa, ala sur la spalas de sua roba. Un plu pico ia desende cuando sua oculo ia toca sua capeles filin e risa.

He looked down at me again and re-seated his glasses. He had dandruff, there on the shoulders of his robe. A little more rained down as his glasses touched his wiry, curly hair.

“Tu pote parti aora, om joven. Condui bon.”

“You can go now, young man. Stay out of trouble.”

Me ia turna per vade e algun ia saisi me. El ia es Papa. Leteral, el ia leva me de la tera, tan forte abrasante ce mea costelas ia cruji. El ia abrasa me en la modo cual me recorda de cuando me ia es un xico peti, cuando el ia jira me tra sirculo pos sirculo en juas ilario e nauseante de avion, ante lansa final me a la aira e catura me e abrasa me en esta modo, tan forte ce lo ia dole cuasi.

I turned to go and someone tackled me. It was Dad. He literally lifted me off my feet, hugging me so hard my ribs creaked. He hugged me the way I remembered him hugging me when I was a little boy, when he’d spin me around and around in hilarious, vomitous games of airplane that ended with him tossing me in the air and catching me and squeezing me like that, so hard it almost hurt.

Un duple de manos plu suave ia tira jentil me a via de sua brasos. Mama. El ia teni me a distantia de braso per un momento, xercante alga cosa en mea fas, no parlante, con larmas fluente sur sua fas. El ia surie, e esta ia deveni un sanglota, e alora ance el ia teni me, e la brasos de Papa ia ensirca ambos de nos.

A set of softer hands pried me gently out of his arms. Mom. She held me at arm’s length for a moment, searching my face for something, not saying anything, tears streaming down her face. She smiled and it turned into a sob and then she was holding me too, and Dad’s arm encircled us both.

Cuando los ia relasa, me ia susede final dise alga cosa. “Darryl?”

When they let go, I managed to finally say something. “Darryl?”

“Sua padre ia encontra me en un otra loca. El es en la ospital.”

“His father met me somewhere else. He’s in the hospital.”

“Cuando me pote vide el?”

“When can I see him?”

“Nos va vade ala pos esta.” – Papa ia dise. El ia es sombre. “El no —” El ia pausa. “On dise ce el va recovre.” – el ia dise. Sua vose ia es blocida.

“It’s our next stop,” Dad said. He was grim. “He doesn’t –” He stopped. “They say he’ll be OK,” he said. His voice was choked.

“Como de Anj?”

“How about Ange?”

“Sua madre ia gida el a casa. El ia vole espeta asi per tu, ma …”

“Her mother took her home. She wanted to wait here for you, but…”

Me ia comprende. Me ia senti aora plen de comprende sur como tota la familias de tota la persones ci on ia enclui debe senti. La salon de corte ia es plen de larmas e abrasas, e an la enforsores no ia pote preveni lo.

I understood. I felt full of understanding now, for how all the families of all the people who’d been locked away must feel. The courtroom was full of tears and hugs, and even the bailiffs couldn’t stop it.

“Ta ce nos vade per vide Darryl.” – me ia dise. “E me pote empresta tua telefon?”

“Let’s go see Darryl,” I said. “And let me borrow your phone?”

Me ia telefoni a Anj en via a do on ia teni Darryl – la Ospital Jeneral de San Francisco, en un strada multe prosima a nos – e ia organiza vide el pos la come de sera. El ia parla en un xuxa fretante. Sua mama no ia es serta esce el va puni el o no, ma Anj no ia vole risca mali sua fortuna.

I called Ange on the way to the hospital where they were keeping Darryl – San Francisco General, just down the street from us – and arranged to see her after dinner. She talked in a hurried whisper. Her mom wasn’t sure whether to punish her or not, but Ange didn’t want to tempt fate.

On ia ave du polisiores de stato en la coredor do Darryl ia es tenida. Los ia impedi un lejion de reportores ci ia sta sur ditos de pedes per vide sirca se e fa fotos. La flaxes ia creve en nosa oios como un stroboscopio, e me ia secute mea testa per clari lo. Mea jenitores ia trae vestes limpa per me, e me ia revesti me sur la seja retro, ma me ia senti ancora susia, an pos frota me en un saleta privata a la corte.

There were two state troopers in the corridor where Darryl was being held. They were holding off a legion of reporters who stood on tiptoe to see around them and get pictures. The flashes popped in our eyes like strobes, and I shook my head to clear it. My parents had brought me clean clothes and I’d changed in the back seat, but I still felt gross, even after scrubbing myself in the court-house bathrooms.

Alga de la reportores ia clama mea nom. O, si! – me ia recorda – aora me es famosa. Ance la polisiores de stato ia regarda me: los ia reconose o mea fas o mea nom cuando la reportores ia clama lo.

Some of the reporters called my name. Oh yeah, that’s right, I was famous now. The state troopers gave me a look, too – either they’d recognized my face or my name when the reporters called it out.

La padre de Darryl ia encontra nos a la porte de sua sala de ospital, parlante en un xuxa tro cuieta per es oiada par la reportores. El ia porta vestes sivil, la jina e sueter cual me imajina normal sur el, ma el ia ave sua sintas de servi fisada sur sua peto.

Darryl’s father met us at the door of his hospital room, speaking in a whisper too low for the reporters to hear. He was in civvies, the jeans and sweater I normally thought of him wearing, but he had his service ribbons pinned to his breast.

“El dormi.” – el ia dise. “El ia velia corta ante aora, e el ia comensa plora. El no ia pote sesa. On ia dona a el alga cosa per aida el a dormi.”

“He’s sleeping,” he said. “He woke up a little while ago and he started crying. He couldn’t stop. They gave him something to help him sleep.”

El ia gida nos a en, e Darryl ia es ala, con capeles limpa e petenida, dorminte con boca abrida. Alga materia blanca ia es a la angulos de sua boca. El ia ave un sala partal privata, e en la otra leto ia es un om plu vea de aspeta arabi, en sua desenio sinco. Me ia reconose el como la om a ci me ia es cadenida en la viaja reveninte de Isola Tesoro. Nos ia saluta lunlotra con mano, en modo embarasada.

He led us in, and there was Darryl, his hair clean and combed, sleeping with his mouth open. There was white stuff at the corners of his mouth. He had a semi-private room, and in the other bed there was an older Arab-looking guy, in his 40s. I realized it was the guy I’d been chained to on the way off of Treasure Island. We exchanged embarrassed waves.

Alora me ia returna a Darryl. Me ia prende sua mano. Sua ungias ia es rodeda asta la carne. El ia rode sua ungias cuando el ia es un enfante, ma el ia desabitua se cuando nos ia ateni la liseo. Me pensa ce Van ia convinse el, disente a el ce lo es tan repulsante ce el ave sempre sua ditos en la boca.

Then I turned back to Darryl. I took his hand. His nails had been chewed to the quick. He’d been a nail-biter when he was a kid, but he’d kicked the habit when we got to high school. I think Van talked him out of it, telling him how gross it was for him to have his fingers in his mouth all the time.

Me ia oia mea jenitores e la padre de Darryl retirante se, cluinte la cortinas sirca nos. Me ia reclina mea fas a lado de la sua sur la cuxin de testa. El ia ave un barba partal e desordinada cual ia remente me a Zeb.

I heard my parents and Darryl’s dad take a step away, drawing the curtains around us. I put my face down next to his on the pillow. He had a straggly, patchy beard that reminded me of Zeb.

“He, D.” – me ia dise. “Tu ia survive. Tu va recovre.”

“Hey, D,” I said. “You made it. You’re going to be OK.”

El ia ronci pico. Me ia dise cuasi “me ama tu”, un frase cual me ia dise a sola un nonfamilian en mea vive, un frase cual ta sona strana si me ta dise lo a un otra om. Ultima, me ia fa mera un plu preseta a sua mano. La povre Darryl.

He snored a little. I almost said, “I love you,” a phrase I’d only said to one non-family-member ever, a phrase that was weird to say to another guy. In the end, I just gave his hand another squeeze. Poor Darryl.

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Lo ia es automatada jenerada de la paje corespondente en la Vici de Elefen a 4 april 2024 (17:36 UTC).