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A Bad Idea 68

“I’d like to leave here,” The Golden Man said, his fingertips touching the plexiglass.

“We’d like you to come with us,” Shade replied. She glanced at Anne, who moved towards the box.

“It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this,” The Golden Man said. He glanced at the floor. “It’s been a while since I’ve felt.”

The plexiglass box wasn’t heavily protected — Anne only had to contend with a basic padlock. She worked at it while The Golden Man continued to talk.

“You’re all so different.”

“That’s the thing about people,” Cat said. “No two are alike.”

Nobody has an ass quite like Shade’s, Cat thought.

“We’re not even like ourselves, sometimes,” Superfreak said.

“Who are you?” Shade asked.

“A tool,” he said. Then, softer, “A weapon.”

“And how’d you end up here?” she asked.

“I was just supposed to be a probe,” he explained. “An emotional interface between my planet and yours. But I felt so much hate, and I got confused, and I…” He didn’t finish the sentence.

“Got it,” Anne said. The padlock opened.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“We came here to steal you,” Shade said. “We didn’t know you were…”

“Alive?” he said

“We didn’t know,” Shade said. “Now we’ll have to reconsider things. But there isn’t time to do that here, so I have to ask. Will you come with us?” Shade asked.

The Golden Man took a second, then said, “Yes.”

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