On the outside edges of the city, the old roads start to leave ground level, rising up as bridges to nowhere that break off after a few blocks and maybe start again a few blocks after that. For most of the year the underpasses beneath them are dotted with tents and camps, wasters stopping through or local drifters sleeping out beyond the range of the inner-city gangs. There are even more in the winter – the wasteland’s a hard place to be during the snowy weeks, and the food in the city’s less seasonal. Vitch’s path to the outskirts, however, seemed deserted.
He took the long way, climbing up the ramps of the highways and climbing back down when they stopped, doubling back on himself when there wasn’t a safe way to descend. Killing time.
The thing was – the thing still was – they were right, and he couldn’t just march back to the milzone and climb the barricade and walk to the LEP office or whatever and be like “yo, can I get that guy back.” He didn’t know what he could do, honestly, because that was the only obvious option and it was obviously wackyduck as hell. So, what do you do when you’re not sure what to do? You go find somebody and ask what they would do, right? (And then you ignore that and do something else you thought up, but it’s still an important step.) The trouble with that was that he’d just dusted out on essentially the only people he even knew.
The only decision he’d made thus far was to walk outward, not inward, because if he did walk inward he’d probably end up going all the way to the LEP office or whatever and doing something full-bore wackyduck and that wouldn’t help anybody, at all, ever. If you’re planning to break somebody out of jail you should probably at least, you know, plan it. And aim for a plan that’s a little better than walking in and asking.
So: outside, up the ramps and down the overpasses, past empty blocks and glassy frozen lakes that had once been parking lots with insufficient drainage. He didn’t decide on his destination until he saw the sign for it: the Deer Bone.
Everybody knew about the Deer Bone – it was only, like, the most major waster bar in the whole city. None of them had ever been inside, since everybody said they didn’t care for streeters down there, but it was the central news hub – the drifter who did mail run always had some tidbit to share that he’d overheard there, and last summer there’d been a huge rumble on the south side that supposedly got started with something somebody said in the Deer Bone that got out to the wrong other people. If anybody knew anything about busting somebody out of jail, they were probably hanging out down at the Deer Bone. And Vitch was, after all, no longer a streeter. He just dusted out on that shit, and was totally a solo and a drifter now, which gave him every right to go in.
He walked around the block twice before he pushed open the door.