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Volume 2, Issue 3, September 30, 2007
Seven-Ten Split
by Tim Mulcahy

        At the time, I had no idea what I was doing in the cab. A cop named Tom Bennigan called, forcefully requesting my presence at the Midtown Lanes. I could barely stand the soft hum of the cab's electric motor. Scotch hangovers were the worst.
        I was concentrating on the pain gnawing at the inside of my right eye when a high pitched tone blasted my brain. "Jack Kerouac!" I said.
        "Did you see that son of a bitch?" the cab driver said.
        "Two cars on the whole road and you to idiots have to cut each other off."
       "He should watch where he'Rs going."
        I looked down at the floor of the cab and rubbed my temples. Days like this, I wished my great grandmother stayed on Earth instead of coming to this god forsaken planet.
        Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the Big Rock hadn't hit the southern continent on the other side. They said there was six months of dark, followed by a month of snow. In the end there wasn't much of a colony left. If it hadn't been for the Emperor and the Shamans we probably all would have checked out.
        The instant the cab hit the bump I knew my battle with nausea was over. The prior night's dinner, and whatever my stomach was using to digest it, shot out of my mouth.
        "Hey, cut that out," the cab driver shouted.
        I gagged again and spit on the floor one more time before looking up. It was my favorite defiant look.
        "Get out of my cab." The car pulled over to the curb.
        It was only a half a block to the alley so I figured it was a good time to get out. I stepped out of the cab and flipped the guy a token.
       "No tip? Come on mister, look at my cab."
       "Next time keep your mouth shut." I turned and started walking up the street. The driver said something to my back, probably a curse, before driving off.
       Midtown Lanes were inside a big gray, stone building. A wide stairway led to a landing guarded by large Ionic columns. There were several cops blocking the entrance.
       "Can't go in," one of the cops said.
       "I was called."
       "By who?"
       "Guy named Bennigan."
       "You the Emperor's Champion?" he asked.

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