Once the three of them were out of the earshot of everyone, “How’s your dad?” Jack Reese asked his niece.
“He’s okay. Still assigned to run the garbage trucks.” It didn’t rankle, but only because it was essentially set in stone: the first generation of Lupos in Eureka had been among the intellectual elite hand-picked for residence there, the second generation had been just as successful, but Jo’s dad hadn’t scored the rarefied heights that Henry, Stark, and others all scored. But something had needed to be found for him, so he was assigned the trucks.
“The trucks are. Dad’s using the time to dictate poetry.” The trucks were needed, she knew that – that was the whole purpose of the outer town: to present a low-tech face to the outside world. Presenting a face & having make-work jobs... “I’ll tell him you said hi.”
“Do that,” Jack Reese agreed.
“You’re not the big guns Dani’s wheeled out to convince me to change my tune?”
“On this Metsenger person?”
“That’s the one.”
Then why are you here? Dani wondered.
But if her dad had an ulterior motive, aside from asking Jo about how his sister, brother-in-law and other family in Eureka were doing, Jack Reese didn’t seem to even hint at it.
“And the way,” Jack Carter was saying, “her eyes get when she’s annoyed with you, but she wouldn’t leave, no matter how annoying you get.”
“She’s got that look,” Crews said. “And how much talk they can take from us, even when they don’t understand what we’re saying.”
“Amen, brother, amen.”
“And the rhythym in her step.”
“Poetry in motion.”
“Never liked that song. But it fits.”
“Completely. And the amusement in her voice.”
“You never want it to go.” Everything goes. Its just part of being something. Even so, you never want it to go.
After a minute, Jack looked at his apple. “Just the core left.”
“The apple is not gone.”
“I know, there’s still a core.”
“The apple is not just its core. It’s also its apple.”
“But only the core is left. The core’s part of the apple.”
“But the apple isn’t gone.”
“When I throw the apple away, it will be.”
“No, then the apple won’t be at hand. It still won’t be gone.”
“Crews,” Dani said, returning alongside her father and cousin, “he needs to be sane to go back to work.”
“I didn’t do anything,” Charlie said.
Before anyone could reply to that – seriously, snarky, or however else – all three cops’ radios went off. They all answered them, and when they said they’d be right there & returned their radios to their belts, “Bad news,” Dani said. “The woman you wanted to take home as a prisoner?”
“Phi Metsenger,” Carter said.
“How?” Jo asked.
“She tried to escape,” Crews said, “stole a handgun, and was making a run for it.”
Almost in answer, Jo’s and Carter’s mobiles rang; they answered, and, when they hung up, Jo said, “Looks like another so-long, Cuz.”
“They’re sending a car to pick you up?” Dani asked.
“They managed,” Jack Carter said, “to fix the thing that sent us down here.”
“’The thing’?” Charlie asked.
“Trust me, even if it wasn’t classified as hell, which it is, I can’t pronounce what they call it anyway.”
“Good reason,” and took a final bite of his apple.
“But they say we have to be right where we showed up here…so, there was a road not far from your place.”
“The coyote,” Dani and Crews said in unison.
At the site:
“Well, so long,” Carter said, shaking Crews’ hand.
“You’ll be back.”
“You know that?”
Dani looked at Crews to see just what came out of his mouth this time.
“You’re going back now, and we can all return to places both in memory and in reality.”
“Ah. I suppose that’s true.”
“It is,” with the voice of one who knows something the hard way.
“Adios, Cuz,” Dani said.
“Wa salaama, Cuz,” Jo replied back.
They glared at one another good-naturedly: ancestry mattered not one whit – they both knew English, Arabic, Spanish, Farsi, and a dozen other languages. But it was a ritual, a custom shared by the two of them. Hence they continued it.
“Tell your folks I said hi,” Jack Reese said.
“Yes sir,” Jo said.
“Afternoon, sir,” Carter said to the other Jack. “It’s been nice to meet you.” Dani and Jo restrained a chuckle.
And Carter and Lupo went over to the epicenter of the space where the transit had taken place.
It happened between eyeblinks – one moment they were there, the next – gone.
Crews was mouthing something, Dani wasn’t sure what, but figured it probably had to do with being and not being some place.
“Wow,” Dani said finally.
“Yeah,” her dad said. I guess they finally worked the bugs out of it.
The three of them just stood there. Nobody said anything.
Finally, “Fine,” Dani said, “I’ll go get the car.”
Into the silence while Dani was gone, “I’m not giving up,” Charlie said. Not my pursuit to find Rachel again, not any of my goals are being scrapped. And I won’t bring you down without cause.
Jack Reese looked at Crews. “Good. Because I’d hate to think I was wrong.”
When Jo and Jack Carter showed up, they were holding hands. Utterly professional in appearance, if you weren’t noticing that one detail.
Save for Zoe, who noticed these things, who knew these two. “Ugh, get a room!” throwing her hands up and leaving.
Not far away, a handful of reporters were talking to their station cameras about how the arrest of Jack Reese marked the final episode in the closure of the government experiment classified as ‘Eureka.’
But neither Reese nor Crews paid them any heed. “Want me to tell them I sent you?” Crews asked Dani’s dad. “I can do that.”
“I don’t doubt you can. But don’t. If I need it, I’ll say so myself.” Noting how close his daughter had become with Crews, “You know how far, even on the Inside,” Jack Reese said, “a man can reach.”
“I know,” Charlie said. “And you won’t have reason to,” one hand brushing Dani’s with a familiarity and comfort that he missed.
Jack nodded to that. Good. “Dani.”
“Take care of yourself.”
She nodded back. “You too.”
The officers led the older Reese away.
“I’m fine,” Dani said.
“That’s not going to make us melt away,” Charlie said. “Least of all me.”
“Good.” ’Cause, in good Reese fashion, I’ve got plans for you, buddy.
“So Zoe’s over at a friend’s,” Jack Carter said, “and the security system’s on Passive Alarm?”
“Yup,” Jo said. The security system had been a wedding present from Fargo – he’d buried SARAH into the programming; ‘passive’ meant there wouldn’t be disembodied voices talking to them unless a capital-E emergency was happening.
She’d just put on her bathrobe when Jack had come in the room wearing his robe, hair still damp from his shower.
Jo looked down to double-check the knot on her robe.
“Gun!” Jack said, grabbing Jo by her wrist and spinning her around, dropping her against the bed, wrist on her back.
“Getting better,” Jo said.
“Thanks,” kissing her neck.
“Now,” she said - Lupos do not purr - “can I take a shower, or did you have something else in mind?”
“I’m not against the idea of a shower.”
“Carter! Are you saying I smell?”
“I – I – Come on, Jo, you know that that’s not what I -” and saw the playful smirk on her face. “You little stinker, you. Just for that, I might have to shower with you.”
“Heaven forfend,” Jo said, letting herself go.