Today is a special day. Not only because I got up early and the sun is shining, but also because it's my birthday. And now to help the two elder scientists catch up with the young one. The only thing that bothers me is that these scenes move so fast... no matter. There will be more epic actionness, later.
The doors on the bus hissed shut, just slow enough for Smyrna to see his son take a seat as the bus began rolling away. They stared after the bus and read the digital sign on the back, "Street 92 & Delta."
Smyrna was most familiar with the mapping of the city. "That's a number of blocks down that way."
Nic twitched his mustache. "You think we can out pace it and meet him at the end?"
"Not a chance, without drawing attention to ourselves."
"Well let's duck in an alley then and ditch these lab coats." The two scientists stepped out of sight for a moment and tossed their lab coats under a rusted-out dumpster. They reemerged and did their best to look like ordinary concerned citizens.
As more and more official cars came running around the bend they made off. Bumping and jostling their way down the street, they tried to not appear to be in too great of a hurry. A few blocks down they caught up with a knot of regular workers moving toward the tallest tower in sight. Nic and Smyrna cautiously joined the tail of that group, looking as carefully as they knew for concealed weapons.
They passed through a small park, one of the rare patches of grass in the city. The thoroughfare had been surrounded by exotic trees in flower pots at some time in the past, but those plants had choked to death and were now overgrown with ordinary moss and weed. Nic remarked on the degree of sanitation and cleanliness in the area, "It's interesting how every concave surface in the city eventually becomes a garbage receptacle."
Smyrna stuttered a step to fall back even with the younger scientist. He whispered, "Remember. You have seen all this before. Nothing is unusual."
Nic made an anomalous grunt noise, unwilling to admit mistake, unable to pretend innocence. He just pushed along ahead, half a stride in front of Smyrna.
In an effort to avoid being seen as unusual, the two crossed the street multiple times, sometimes waiting for the traffic lights to change to their advantage. The only sign of their constant apprehension was the hair sticking up on the back of Smyrna's neck, an involuntary impulse he wished he could control.
The tower was beginning to loom over them when loud speakers erupted, "Attention United Citizens: Criminals have escaped their containment at the Paradise Come Lab on Street 80 and Delta. They are armed, dangerous, and seditious."
The two tried not to break their stride, but couldn't help but cock their ears to listen to the speaker. Their pace quickened ever so slightly, against their will.
"Two are religious Unaccepted. If you see anyone suspicious, or have information as to their whereabouts, report it immediately to the nearest United Peace Outpost, or the first United Peace-Keeping Officer you can find."
Nic barely refrained from yelling, keeping it to a harsh whisper, "Well, at least they know I'm not as bad as one of you."
Smyrna winked, "Or else they don't yet know about Ephesus and figure you are one of us."
"I am just upset that they labelled me as seditious. It's you two Christians who are seditious."
"So says the one who refers to the United Representatives as 'clowns' and their scientists as 'fluffy.'"
"That is not the same. That insulting, not seditious. I cannot imagine them blaring over the city that I am insulting. And between the two of us, I am the only one armed, too. Their announcements need some work."
Smyrna snorted, "I do not believe they are as concerned about exact truthfulness as we Christians are."
"It's not Christianity that makes me honest."
Smyrna turned his head at Nic, "Then what is it?"
Nic smiled, "Who ever said I was honest, anyway?"
Smyrna continued walking in silence, until he broke it saying, "I don't think I have ever been referred to as dangerous before."
Nic passed Smyrna and whispered as he went, "Take it as a compliment. I've been dangerous all my life."
No guesswork involved in finding out what happens to Nic and Smyrna next. Read on!