West (Chapter Two, page 1 of 16)

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I had a weird dream, which wasn't wholly unexpected after drinking so much. In it, I was unable to cool off. I stood in the hot Arizona sun, in the middle of Tombstone. The tourists were gone, and I was alone, except for ...

Carter. At least, I thought it was him. His athletic form was at the end of the street. Whenever I tried to walk towards him, he stayed the same distance away. In fact, it was like I was walking in place. Sweating. Craving a damn mocha. With a weird headache.

"Hey, Carter!" I shouted. "You forgot my gift card!" I paused to look around, then up at the sky. "What the hell?" I shielded my eyes with both hands to get a better look.

The sun was rapidly getting closer, larger and brighter.

"Almost time to go."

I whirled at Carter's voice, startled to find him standing behind me.

"I have to cover a few things before you leave." A tablet appeared in his hands.

"Where am I going?" I asked.

"More like, when?" He beamed a warm smile. "That sounded better in my head. Anyway, let's get started."

"Oh, right. The eighteen forties. We're still doing that?"

"Yes! Your brain chips are in!"

"Cool." I smiled. It wasn't like I really cared. It was a dream, after all, and I liked Carter. "Shots, too?"

"Yep! You are immune to everything from the Black Death to diseases that don't exist yet."

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