The Long Run

Daniel Keys Moran


THE LONG RUN
A Tale of the Continuing Time
DANIEL KEYS MORAN
This is a work of fiction. None of the characters in it are real people and any resemblance to anybody, living or dead, is a coincidence.
It is the author's intention that this work should be freely downloadable, copyable, and shareable in electronic format. It may not be reproduced, shared, or transmitted for a fee by any party to whom the author has not contractually granted permission. The author retains all other rights.?
Copyright (c) 1989 by Daniel Keys Moran

Dedicated to
Jodi Jodi, Kathy, Kevin and Richard.
Yeah, yeah, I know. The dedications change with each passing edition. There's no law I'm aware of on the subject. And Jodi, Kathy, Kevin and Richard? They rock.
And Richard? He's two years old now. While I was proofing this manuscript I told him there was a scene where someone was Floating In Space While Awaiting Rescue, just like in Winnie the Pooh ... and he said wisely, "Christopher Robin saves him." Not a question; he was telling me how it would go.
Christopher Robin doesn't appear in this book, actually, but it was awfully cool that Richard thought he should, some twenty years after I first wrote the scene where Pooh was mentioned.
(Richard's eight now. His baby brother, Connor, is five. Time passes. DKM, 2007.)?

THE LONG RUN
A Tale of the Continuing Time
The Last Summer of His Youth
2069 Gregorian
I killed my love to set him free
For fear I'd cause him pain
I killed him--we were very young
And now I'm old again
We lived a life together once
And I was so afraid
For every life I've lived, I've died
For every life I've made
I killed my love to set him free
He wasn't hard to kill
He ran into another life
I guess he's running still
Mahliya Kutura, Many Lives
"Street Songs," 2078 Gregorian

1.
"You're Trent."
"I am?"
The young man was conservatively dressed: a gray jacket and black pants, and a white silk shirt that shone brilliantly even in the dim light from L'Express's outdoor glowfloats. He wore immaculately clean white running shoes; a single flat ruby stud shone in the lobe of his left ear. Trent's temples, where an inskin InfoNet link might have been implanted, were merely smooth skin. His hair was sandy blond, cut short, and he either wore no makeup or had turned it off.
He wore flat black sunglasses though they were hardly necessary.
It was ten minutes after six o'clock.
"You're younger than I'd expected," said the middle-aged man who had said his name was Jerry Jackson. On the phone Trent had not noticed it, but in person his voice held the faint but definite traces of a Southern accent.
"Am I?"
"And you're late," the man said. Despite the air, heavy with ozone as though a thunderstorm were about to strike, Jackson had taken a table outside beneath the gray-black skies, on the balcony level overlooking the eternally crowded streets.
"Ten minutes late ..." Trent shrugged. "Ten minutes older."
He seated himself across the table from Jerry Jackson. To the waitbot that had led him to the table he said, "A pot of coffee. With cream, no sugar."
The waitbot paused, then said mildly, in the rich baritone characteristic of opera singers, newsdancers and politicians, "Monsieur, that item is not on the menu."
"Waiter, please," said Trent. They both waited while the waitbot rolled away out of listening range.
L'Express sat on the western edge of what had once been the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and was now one of the most expensive residential areas in all the Patrol Sectors. From where he sat Trent could see to the northwest, on the other side of the East River, the scarlet sparks of spacecraft rising and descending at Unification Spaceport in lower Manhattan. The dull, distant boom of craft breaking through the sound barrier touched him every twenty seconds or so.
Eight spacescrapers reared high above the skyline, eight three- to five-kilometer tall buildings; two of them did nothing but house Peaceforcers and the babychasers from the Ministry of Population Control; the Left and Right Hands of the Devil Himself, Secretary General Charles Eddore.
Trent said, "How did you get referred to me?"
"You're in the Directory."
"That wasn't the question."
Jerry Jackson was drinking something cold and green with crushed ice. He wore an exquisitely tailored blue pinstripe suit. A brushed aluminum attach¨¦ case stood upright beside his chair. The cuffs of his sleeves were fastened European style, folded back upon themselves. "Actually, Booker Jamethon gave me your name."
"Booker's a great guy," said Trent.
"He said I shouldn't hire you, that you're not dependable."
"Of course, all those years on the juice, they weren't good for him."
Jerry Jackson smiled for the first time. "'Sieur Jamethon wanted the job himself. He only gave me your name--for a fee--after I turned him down."
"Tell me about the job."
"You know CalleyTronics?"
Trent paused. "It's located on the eighth floor of the Down Plaza. They sell inskins and image
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