Day’s fourth chapter begins with Day walking through the streets incognito, his disguise consisting of a pair of army issue pants that their host for the night had given him, a plain shirt, a cap pulled down over his face, and a bandage over one eye. Tess is not with him, but instead hiding elsewhere. It’s a typical day with a typical day’s crowds, walking through the market, some on their way home from work. Day easily blends in, keeping well away from the areas that have been marked off as quarantine.
The loudspeakers that line the roofs of the buildings crackle and pop, and JumboTrons pause in their ads — or, in some cases, warnings about another Patriot attack — to show a video of our flag. Everyone stops in the streets and goes still as the pledge starts.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the great Republic of America, to our Elector Primo, to our glorious states, to unity against the Colonies, to our impending victory!
It’s a little bit creepy how everyone snaps to attention like this and salutes when the Elector Primo is mentioned. This authoritarian state flies right in the face of what the America I know believes in. I am very interested to learn more about how this country changed so much. Details! I needs them!
Day slips into a “Chinese themed bar” for a quick drink and to find out information. The bar owner boasts of having an expensive Chinese beer on tap, but Day knows this is most likely a lie and that the owner is just putting fake labels on his own brew. Inside the bar, the patrons are betting and cheering on a fight. Day strikes up a conversation with the bartender, a pretty girl who Day admits he wouldn’t mind flirting with if he had the time, and asks if she knows about a person who might have plague medicine.
She raises an eyebrow at me. “Yeah, I heard about that. There’s a bunch of people trying to find him.”
“Do you know what he’s been telling people?”
She hesitates for a moment. I notice that she has a few tiny freckles on her nose. “I hear he’s telling people he wants to give the plague cure to someone — one person only. That this person will know who he’s talking about.”
“This person” has to be Day, right? Day thinks so. He tries to pretend to be nonchalant about it in front of the bartender. She tells him that the person with the cure wants to meet at midnight at the “ten-second place.” Whatever that means. The bartender thinks that the guy is just a crazy person, but Day isn’t so sure. He is pretty sure, though, that he knows what the “ten-second place” is. He remembers back when he robbed a bank and taunted one of the guards that it would only take him ten seconds to be able to break into the vault. The guard hadn’t believed him, but I guess Day was able to do it, as he reminisces about the things he was able to buy with the money he got that day.
After talking with the bartender for a few more minutes, Day gets up and leaves. He knows now that somehow, someone in the government knows who he is and that he was the one who broke into the hospital. He is sure that this midnight meeting is a trap, but he also knows there is a possibility that they will actually have real plague meds as bait. It’s a terrible idea, but Day decides to go for it. He changes direction and heads to the financial district . . . and the ten-second place.
I have an appointment to keep.
This seems like such a bad idea, but Day is desperate to help his family. Was this trap part of June’s plan to catch him, to bring him to justice and avenge the death of her brother — who Day didn’t even mean to kill? Does Day even realize that he killed someone that night? We’ll see if we find out in the next chapter!
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