A.I.
Chapter 16

Copyright© 2015 by Colin Barrett

We were married about two weeks later, a lovely little ceremony at a small pavilion in a riverside park not far from the place I'd rented. We'd actually had to book a time, it seemed that a lot of couples used the pavilion for the same purpose. We had no friends on hand, of course, no wedding party, but a few passers-by hung around to watch and congratulated us afterwards.

Lee had to use her real name for the license form, of course, but it was meaningless to anybody local, and Spook said he'd buried the digitized record so deep that even he would have trouble finding it. And now, as Lisa Carstairs, she'd be mostly invisible to the meddlesome Feds even without Spook's protection.

There'd been one last loose end to tie up after we got to Charleston. I hadn't had to worry about it when I'd gone on the run, I'd always been kind of a loner except for Lisa and of course there had been all those initial news reports about me being a fugitive. But Lee was more gregarious, there were no official alerts about her, and her friends would be concerned if she just vanished into thin air.

There'd been such a case a few years earlier, a Congressional intern who abruptly disappeared, and there was a big public outcry about it—especially after it turned out she'd got pretty close to one Congressman. The Congressman lost his election, but the hunt for the missing intern went on very publicly for a couple of years until her bones, or what they thought were her bones, turned up in a nearby park; apparently some transient (not the Congressman) had been responsible. Even much later the case kept being revisited on some of those missing-persons TV shows.

We didn't need that; Lee shouldn't be anybody's "missing person."

I'd helped her compose an e-mail to go, with minor personal variations, to each of her closer friends. The vanilla version went like this:

"Don't worry, I've gone to be with Jack. We can be together now, and we want to be. I don't know where we'll go, too soon to tell you, but we don't want to come back, not right away at least. I'll write again after we've settled. Love, Lisa."

It had only "anonymous" as a return address, which Lee explained in a p.s.—"I'm sending this from a public system, you can't reply. See you later!" Official diggers would trace it to an Internet café in Colorado with considerable effort. I figured the inquiry might generate a little local fame for the café, if anything.

There is more of this chapter...

For the rest of this story, you need to Log In or Register