Eastern Standard Tribe – Day 62 of 64


I am: sprung.

Father Ferlenghetti hasn’t been licensed to practice psychiatry in Massachusetts for forty years, but the court gave him standing. The judge actually winked at me when he took the stand, and stopped scritching on her comm as the priest said a lot of fantastically embarrassing things about my general fitness for human consumption.

The sanitarium sent a single junior doc to my hearing, a kid so young I’d mistaken him for a hospital driver when he climbed into the van with me and gunned the engine. But no, he was a doctor who’d apparently been briefed on my case, though not very well. When the judge asked him if he had any opinions on Father Ferlenghetti’s testimony, he fumbled with his comm while the Father stared at him through eyebrows thick enough to hide a hamster in, then finally stammered a few verbatim notes from my intake interview, blushed, and sat down.

“Thank you,” the judge said, shaking her head as she said it. Gran, seated beside me, put one hand on my knee and one hand on the knee of Doc Szandor’s brother-in-law, a hotshot Harvard Law post-doc whom we’d retained as corporate counsel for a new Limited Liability Corporation. We’d signed the articles of incorporation the day before, after Group. It was the last thing Doc Szandor did before resigning his post at the sanitarium to take up the position of Chief Medical Officer at HumanCare, LLC, a corporation with no assets, no employees, and a sheaf of shitkicking ideas for redesigning mental hospitals using off-the-shelf tech and a little bit of UE mojo.


Art was most of the way to the Tube when he ran into Lester. Literally.

Lester must have seen him coming, because he stepped right into Art’s path from out of the crowd. Art ploughed into him, bounced off of his dented armor, and would have fallen over had Lester not caught his arm and steadied him.

“Art, isn’t it? How you doin’, mate?”

Art gaped at him. He was thinner than he’d been when he tried to shake Art and Linda down in the doorway of the Boots, grimier and more desperate. His tone was just as bemused as ever, though. “Jesus Christ, Lester, not now, I’m in a hurry. You’ll have to rob me later, all right?”

Lester chuckled wryly. “Still a clever bastard. You look like you’re having some hard times, my old son. Maybe that you’re not even worth robbing, eh?”

“Right. I’m skint. Sorry. Nice running into you, now I must be going.” He tried to pull away, but Lester’s fingers dug into his biceps, emphatically, painfully.

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