Slicer reached over and took Lysergic Oldham into his arms.

The years of tears came flowing back, as Lysergic sobbed. Slicer gently stroked her hair.

He reached out and flicked off the overhead lamp, plunging Lysergic once again into darkness. But this darkness was cool and comforting and long overdue.

It may have been one hour or ten, it made not a difference to either of them.

Lysergic then slept. Slicer stared at the ceiling. He thought about his own life, before Lysergic.

When he was a child, his mother had caught his father with another woman. As young Timothy Edward Friendly hid in his bedroom, he shook nervously, as he listened to the yelling and screaming downstairs. Suddenly, gunshots!

When it was all over, his mother had shot his father, just before she had turned the gun on herself. So, at tens years of age, Timothy Friendly went to live with his only living relative, his dad’s brother, Tom.

Tom Friendly was a nice enough guy. However, he wasn’t around much, always going away on “business trips” to exotic places for long periods of time. Timothy, in turn, was left in the custody of a variety of his Uncle’s “friends”.

Most of those “friends” were cordial, however, some were more so than others, and Thomas had no one else to turn to. So, at twelve years of age, he became another runaway, out onto the streets of L.A..

There he scrounged, begged, and stole, in order to survive. He lived that way for a few years, until hooking up with another family, a gang actually, who called themselves “Groogs”. They turned out to be the best “family” Timothy had ever had.

They looked out for each other, helped each other, and while as a “Groog” he happened, one day, upon another runaway. A fifteen year old lost girl by the name of Lysergic.

It was love at first sight for both and they soon realized they were soul mates. And they remained soul mates for almost a year, until that one day, when someone broke into their shed and whisked Lysergic away. Her past had caught with her, while Timothy’s present was suddenly shattered!*

But that was all in the past. ‘You can’t go home again,’ Slicer lay there in thought, “absolutely f****n correct!!!’

Lysergic awoke.

“Why are you really here, Lysergic?!” Slicer asked, switching the light back on.

“I could ask you the same thing,” she quietly replied.

Slicer smiled, “We’ve always been honest with each other, you know that.”

Lysergic nodded. She knew he was right. Slicer was the only person she ever truly trusted. Even now, as she looked deep into his eyes, she knew there was still that element of trust and of love.

So she told him. Everything! She knew it was the right thing to do.

Besides, she was livid with Mr. Z.!

‘That Son of a Bitch!’ she thought.. ‘He knew everything about me. My past. My life. My love. He knew about Slicer! He knew Friendly was Slicer! He knew I would find Slicer! Z tricked me! Used me!’

“I figured Lamp Post would try again to get that damned book back, sooner or later!” Slicer said.

“What is so damn important about that book?!” Lysergic asked.

Slicer shrugged, “Braincase says its got information about strange powers and energy that could give a lot of control to anyone who can understand and utilize what it proposes! Says it could bring about the end of the world!”

Lysergic thought once more about what Richard Malkin had told her. (“What you seek can put the entire world in danger!”)

“What were you gong to do with it?!” Lysergic asked.

“Sell it!” Slicer replied.

“To who?!” Lysergic wondered.

“I was contacted by a Ms. Antia Kristos Savo,” Slicer explained, “hired, so to say, to break into some church basement and retrieve a “special journal”, then deliver it to this Ms. Savo.”

“Who is she?” Lysergic asked.

“She’s very rich, is who she is!” Slicer replied, “she’s the daughter of some industrialist, who has had an interest in exotic science. I don’t know, I just know she offered me a handsome sum to grab that journal!”

“You think you can trust her?” Lysergic asked.

“As good as anyone else, around here!” Slicer answered.

“That’s not saying much!” Lysergic laughed.

“Well, to be on the safe side,” Slicer continued, “I’m making a copy of the journal!”

“A copy?!” Lysergic asked.

“Yeah,” Slicer replied, “I’ve got a girl with a “special talent” who is hand copying it, page by page.”

“What for?!” Lysergic wondered.

“For re-sale,” Slicer answered, “if one copy is worth a lot, then how much for another?!”

“You’re asking to be killed!” Lysergic said, “look Slicer, you and I know we can’t trust anybody. If I retrieve that book and take it back to those assholes who sent me here, they will more than likely kill me!

If you turn that book over to this Savo, what’s to keep her from killing you? Which she definitely will, if she finds out you’ve copied the book and plan to sell it to someone else!”

“So, what do you suggest I do?!” Slicer asked.

Lysergic smiled. “I think there’s only one thing you can do and you’re not going to like it!”

Next: Chap. Twenty-Eight “Love and Compassion”

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