JUST THE FAX . . .



LRH Balzer






December 31, 1997

Blair Sandburg adjusted his glasses as he peered at the monograph. Yet another interpretation of a legend on the founding of the city of Tenochtitlan, modern day Mexico City. Apparently the shamen of the nomadic Nahua tribe had advised their leaders to settle there, based on witnessing an eagle perched on a cactus plant, holding a serpent in its talons. Blair scanned the article quickly, passing over a story he had read many times before and sighing when he found nothing new in it.

It was always interesting to go through recent books acquired by the university library. Any anthropological texts were always sent around to the Anthropology Department before finding their way to the library shelves or being sent to the reference library. The winter break afforded Blair a few days to go through eight new books, and while he examined them carefully to review them for the other professors, his focus was always looking for new material on Sentinels.

He paged further in the book, pausing on an ancient drawing of an Aztec warrior and his shield bearer taken from the Codex Mendoza. He couldn't read the spidery writing behind the drawing and squinted at the faded text before giving up. The warrior was tall and strong, eyes forward, his hand pointing ahead of him. The shield bearer was just behind the warrior, looking like he was running to keep up.

I know how he feels, Blair thought with a short laugh.

He had fallen asleep in the truck the night before while they were on a stakeout. Jim had to wake him up two hours later to get Blair to watch him while he checked out the area with his senses. Since they were both tired, there was a greater chance of Jim zoning, and he needed his partner to stay alert. Jim never seemed to care when Blair fell asleep, but Blair always found it a bit embarrassing. Sure he was tired because he had spent fourteen hours at the university-- from eight in the morning until ten that night-- preparing classes for the new semester in January, then had joined Jim at midnight for the stakeout, but it seemed to be defeating the purpose of having him along if he couldn't stay awake. What if there had been an emergency? Or what if Simon had happened by and seen him sound asleep instead of assisting?

Blair flipped through the rest of the thick tome, then added the book to the pile he had already looked through. At least there was no stakeout scheduled for tonight and he could get caught up on his sleep. No, wait. It was New Year's Eve. He had invitations to ten parties, most of which he was expected to be at.

He peered out his office window, trying to get a look at the sky. It had been raining lightly when he rode his bike to the campus, but the rain had turned to sleet; he sighed, not relishing the ride home again. He had been trying to ride his bicycle more lately, knowing he needed all the exercise he could get. Between long hours sitting at a desk-- whether at home, in his office, or at the Station-- and the stakeouts and everything, he just wasn't getting much exercise. The weather had been unseasonably warm thanks to El Nino, so he had happily joined the other bike riders on the road, his books and laptop safely stashed in his new backpack.

At least he had finished the last of the books and could get them back to the library. His pack would be a lot lighter on the way home. With a sigh, he stacked them, then hoisted the lot into his arms and started up the stairs to the main floor.


"Hey, Blue-Eyes. Come here."

Half hidden behind his stack of library books, Blair detoured toward the reception desk at the Anthropology Department. "Yes, my lovely?" he asked, depositing his books on the counter and leaning toward the receptionist. "What can I do for you?" He batted those eyes at Sally Fung, shamelessly flirting with the beautiful young receptionist who was filling in for the regular staff while they were on holidays.

"There's a fax coming in for you."

"A fax? From where? Who's it from?"

"Brazil, I think. Someone named Brenda Rodriguez."

"From Brenda? Really? This could be good. I wasn't expecting anything from her for another few weeks."

"The first page is just coming through. They must be sending it from an ancient fax machine, though, because it's printing out line by line." Behind her, there was a slow chug, chug, chug as the department's fax tried to cope with the slow speed of its South American cousin.

Sandburg hoisted himself up on the counter, balancing on the palms of his hands, trying to read the upside down sheet of paper. Brenda Rodriguez had been working with a tribe deep in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and had spent most of her time with the storytellers of the tribe, capturing their traditional stories on cassette. She was just beginning the long, tedious task of translating what was said into English, with the assistance of two elderly men who had a working knowledge of the tribal languages. Knowing Blair's doctorate thesis was on Sentinels, she had sent him a fax a few weeks ago, promising to send him anything she came across that made reference to the tribal watchmen or their companions.

Sally glanced at the top part of the fax as it slowly inched from the machine. "It says there are four pages in all, so stick around." She glanced behind her, then amended her comment. "On second thought, why don't you come back in an hour or so? This might take awhile."

"Hmm?" Blair looked up from staring at the fax machine, once again hanging over the front counter staring at the machine as it slowly spit out the paper. He was growing frustrated that he couldn't read the handwritten comments upside down from ten feet away. Brenda had warned him it would be a penned translation, because she didn't have access to a printer. "How long do you think it will take?" he asked.

"It took about five minutes to do half a sheet, and there's a lot of writing on the other pages, I bet, so they'll be slow, too."

Blair glared at the fax machine, then looked up at the clock on the wall. "Okay. I'll be back in five minutes. I'll run these books back to the Main Library and then I'm coming right back. Don't let anyone take my fax, okay? Don't go for coffee or anything, okay? Just stay where you are."

Sally laughed and shooed him away. "They better be finished by two o'clock, because I'm off work then. It's New Year's Eve."

Halfway across campus, on his way to the university library, his shoes sliding across the slushy sidewalk, his cell phone in his back pocket began to ring, and it took some juggling to get it out of his pocket without dropping the books.

"Hello?"

"It's Ellison. I'm going to be out that way around four-- Do you want a ride home?"

"That would be great. I rode my bike here and it's starting to snow."

"No problem. See you in your office. Oh, if you don't have any plans, we've been invited to Joel's place tonight. Most of the guys from the station will be there."

"I'll add that to my list. I should be able to get all the parties in by morning."

"Hey, who's going to protect me against Cassie? I thought you were my partner."

"You're on your own there, Jim. Hey, I've got some new info on Sentinels and their partners. I'll bring it home tonight."

"From those books you were reviewing for the library?"

"No, from a fax a friend of mine is sending me from Brazil. Authentic stuff from an Amazon tribe."

"Authentic stuff for them, Chief. Remember that. It might not be for us." Jim had that warning tone in his voice he used whenever Blair would mention shamen, or anything else that Jim considered too mystical.

"We'll see, big guy. See you at four. It's starting to really come down here and I'm getting wet." He juggled the books again to get the phone back in his pocket, then slid the rest of the way to the library.


It had taken him almost ten minutes to get back. He shook the damp snowflakes from his hair as he grabbed the first page from where Sally had left it for him on the counter. He settled down on one of the lobby couches to read it while he waited for the rest of the pages.

The first two paragraphs were a greeting from Brenda and a brief introduction to the man whom she had been interviewing, giving his name, his estimated age, and where his tribe lived. Then she began a series of excerpts from his stories, things she thought would fit into Blair's thesis research.

He's talking about a man in their tribe who was their watchman, who lived outside the village when he was a child and guarded them. Their village was strong because of this man. Few villages had a true watchman. This man was blessed of the spirits and they granted him the keen sight of the condor and the keen sense of smell and hearing of the jaguar. He said this watchman lived alone, always by himself, but then he starts talking about the watchman's companion. My translator stopped and asked him how the watchman could live alone if his companion was always there and the tribesman couldn't understand the question. (?) He described the companion briefly, as follows.

Blair could hardly contain the smile on his face as he gently laid aside the sheet of paper and went back to get the next sheet from Sally. It wasn't quite ready so he made a quick trip to the water fountain to quench his suddenly dry mouth. Sally motioned him over as he returned and his hands shook slightly as she took the paper from the fax machine and handed it to him.

Up until now, he had found precious little information on the backup partner of a Sentinel, other than the odd casual mention of their presence, as if it were taken for granted. There were no pictures of them, no specific mention of them other than what he had told Jim already, that every Sentinel he had read about had a partner, someone to watch his back, to be there in case he zoned out or something. Jim had asked him about that several times, and it looked like Blair finally had something concrete to show him.

He took a deep breath, then tried to calm his nerves as he read what Brenda had sent him about the Sentinel's guide, but his face gradually paled as the implications hit.

As with all of his chosen kind, he was tall, taller than anyone else in the village. His shoulders were wide and strong for he had a great burden, to protect his partner, and so protect the village. He was responsible for his partner's safety, and with his great strength and cunning, could kill a jaguar or a boa before they would attack his partner. He was fierce, a great warrior, his arrows were true to target, his muscles solid as great rocks. It is said that he never slept; he was always awake to make sure his partner was safe, for his partner's life came before his own and his partner relied on him to watch over him. We were afraid of him when we were children, and hid our faces if he came near us, lest he look at us and steal away our souls.
The watchman in our village had a companion, and we never saw one without the other. The one responsible for the safety of a watchman was of highest value, for if the watchman was not safe, our tribe was not safe. In protecting one man, the companion protected us all.
The watchman was very different from his companion. He was eyes and ears and smell but he also was very smart. When the two men walked into our village, I remember the ground shaking beneath them as they passed by me to go speak with the elders of the tribe. They would meet together to talk about the neighboring tribes and to make decisions on hunting. The chief and the shaman of our tribe would always listen to the watchman.

Blair put the fax down and wiped the sweat from his palms. He could hear the fax machine spit out the next page, but he had no energy to go and get it. He took his glasses off and cleaned them carefully on the bottom of his shirt.

Taller than anyone else in the village? Strong? A fierce warrior?

"Hey, Blue Eyes." Sally was waving the next page at him. "Aren't you going to get this?"

"Sure." Blair got up and crossed over to her, trying not to look as dejected as he felt. Even with Sally Fung in her flat-heeled shoes, she was easily the same height as him. There was no way he was remotely tall, and it wasn't likely he was ever going to be tall. Or muscular. Or powerful. "Thanks, Sal."

"What's wrong?" she asked. "Bad news?"

He looked up at her and forced a smile on his face. "Just a little different information than I had been expecting, that's all."

"It's not the end of the world, is it?" she asked, already settled back at her desk and looking at her computer screen.

"No. It's something to think about, though." He went back to the couch and, with far less enthusiasm, continued reading about the Sentinel.

He was a surprisingly gentle man, for a warrior, with eyes that could see through us into our souls. He looked stern and important, but he was focused on his job and knew what was needed as he advised our village. We all listened to him and we all trusted him. We were not afraid of him. He was very wise and spoke with the spirits and we knew he would protect us until he died.

The next four paragraphs were a description of how the watchman once saved the tribe from a surprise attack from the neighboring village and Blair absently noted that the Sentinel could hear the warriors approaching long before the others could and listened as they planned their attack, then told the chief of the tribe what had been said, so that when the enemy warriors arrived, they were ready for them and defeated them easily.

The Watchman was the reason we grew to be a strong tribe. We were the only tribe in our area that had a watchman. In times before, we had heard there were many watchmen, but when I was a child, there was only ours. Some of the older people would tell us of how battles had been fought sometimes only between the watchmen, as they met in the forest and defended their tribes. I only remember seeing one watchman, and he was in our tribe.

Blair got up and took the last sheet from the counter, thanking Sally, and then read it as he slowly made his way back to his office. The final sheet was just a few isolated references that Brenda had pulled from her text, but none was really helpful. When the documented translation came from her, he could add it to his reference papers; yet, overall, the fax added little to his knowledge of Sentinels.

But royally screwed up his notion of those who guided Sentinels.

Calm down, he admonished himself after slamming his office door shut. Just be cool. Breathe it out. Breathe it out. Let it go. He stood leaning against the door trying to get himself under control.

It all made sense, actually. Jim would be able to accomplish ten times as much, if his guide was at least in the same physical condition as he was. Blair was faster than Jim at a short dash, but no way did he have Jim's stamina in the long run. Jim was always pulling his butt out of trouble, mainly because Blair wasn't strong enough to break away from whoever had grabbed him or because whoever hit him had a strong punch that would floor Blair instantly. How many times already had he awakened to find he had been knocked out by someone? If he were bigger, stronger, and faster this never would keep on happening.

Maybe this wasn't the middle of the Amazon like Jim was so fond of saying, and maybe Jim didn't feel he needed a shaman or a beefy guide, but, realistically, he needed someone to protect him when he was using his senses. Jim did a dangerous job. What good, in the long run, could a university student, a wimpy anthropologist, do to help protect someone who was a ranger in the army?


Jim Ellison looked across at his quiet roommate who was still washing the few dishes they had used for their dinner. Blair was scrubbing the pot determinedly, although they had only used it to boil water for the pasta. "I'm surprised you're still here. I thought you had a hundred parties to go to."

Blair shrugged. "I don't feel much like celebrating. I'll just stay here."

"Alone?"

"Sure. Why not?" He continued scrubbing the pot.

"How'd your day go today?"

"What?" Blair responded, rather sharply.

Jim moved to stand beside him, reaching for a towel to dry the plates and cutlery. "Just wondering if you were okay. You look like you're trying to scour the finish off that pot."

Blair stared down at it, then rinsed it and put it on the rack. "I just wanted to make sure it was clean." He washed the lid and put it beside the pot to drain, then pulled the plug from the sink.

"How did your day go?" Jim repeated, putting the plates in the cupboard.

"Why?" came the muttered reply.

"Something's got you upset. You've looked a bit down ever since I picked you up at the university."

"Just thinking."

"About . . .?" he asked, fishing for details. Blair's reluctance to talk to him was surprising, considering the bouncy mood the younger man had been in since Christmas. He tried changing the subject. "Hey, what about that fax you were telling me about? Can I read it?"

Blair nodded, carefully rinsing the sink out and wringing out the dishcloth. "Sure. Why not?" He dried his hands on his jeans and walked over to his backpack. He reached into one side pocket and pulled out some papers, tossing them toward the table, then walking to his room. "I'm going to lie down for a bit, Jim. I've got a headache."

The door to Blair's bedroom closed quietly, and Jim blinked, looking down at the scattered papers on the floor, then at the closed door. He draped the tea towel over the remaining dishes and bent to retrieve the papers, then put them in order and sat down at the table with a cup of coffee to read them. A few minutes later, he was just as puzzled as he had been. There was nothing unusual in what he had read, nothing that should affect Blair like this. He sipped at the coffee and read it all again, hoping to pick out what might have troubled Blair, but it must not have been related to the fax.

"Hey, Sandburg," he called softly, knocking at the door.

"Yeah?" Blair's voice was quiet, but it didn't sound as though he had been asleep.

"I read the fax. Looks like you've got some good information, but nothing surprising, right?" He tried to keep his voice as encouraging as possible.

There was a long pause before he got his reply. "I suppose not."

Damn it. Blair sounded more depressed now than he had a minute before. Jim opened the bedroom door, his eyes focusing in the dark to see Blair lying on top of his bed, staring up at his ceiling. He stepped into the room. "Do you want something for your headache?" he asked.

"No."

The silence lengthened while Jim tried to figure out what his next step should be.

"Go away, Jim. I just need some time alone," Blair said, still staring upward.

"Is it the fax?" Ellison ventured.

"Yes, it's the damned fax!" Blair yelled, then turned on his side, facing the wall. "Please, Jim," he said softer, his voice gruff with emotion. "Just leave me alone for a bit. Go away. I'll-- I'll talk to you later."

Not sure what else to do, Jim backed out of the room and closed the door. He refilled his coffee cup and read the fax yet again, but he couldn't see anything that would account for Blair's reaction. He shrugged finally, leaving it on the table, deciding it must have something more to do with the woman who sent it than the actual message.


Almost two hours passed before the door to Blair's room creaked open and his partner slowly walked into the living room. Jim turned off the television, and turned slightly on the couch to face the young man. The fax sat on the coffee table, and he watched as Blair stared at it as though it were a poisonous snake about to strike.

Blair dropped into the opposite couch, then glanced up to him. He had a smile on his face, but there was no laughter behind it, just sadness. "I should have been more prepared for it."

"For what?" Jim asked, carefully.

Blair gestured toward the fax. "For what Brenda sent."

"About the Sentinels?"

"About the Guides."

Ellison picked up the fax. "I thought it was rather flattering."

Blair's eyes widened as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Yeah, right. Maybe if I were anything like that, it would be. Face it, Jim, no matter how much you want to kid yourself, I'm not anything like that description of a watchman's companion. I know you say that things are different since we live in Cascade, not the jungle or anything, but there's a certain amount of universal truth here that we can't ignore."

"What exactly do you have a problem with here, Sandburg?" Ellison asked.

Blair snorted, his head shaking in disbelief. "Get real, Jim. Did you read that thing?"

Ellison took the first page and read aloud.

He said this watchman lived alone, always by himself, but then he starts talking about the watchman's companion. My translator stopped and asked him how the watchman could live alone if his companion was always there and the tribesman couldn't understand the question. (?) He described the companion briefly, as follows.

Jim glanced up to Blair, noticing the clenched fists. He continued reading.

He was a surprisingly gentle man, for a warrior, with eyes that could see through us into our souls. He looked stern and important, but he was focused on his job and knew what was needed as he advised our village. We all listened to him and we all trusted him. We were not afraid of him. He was very wise and spoke with the spirits and we knew he would protect us until he died.

Blair was staring at him, looking confused. "What are you reading?"

"I'm reading the fax."

"You've got it all wrong. Where's the stuff about being big and tall and strong?"

Jim glanced back at the fax. "Oh, here." He read the last line from one page, then on to the next.

I only remember seeing one watchman, and he was in our tribe.
As with all of his chosen kind, he was tall, taller than anyone else in the village. His shoulders were wide and strong for he had a great burden, to protect his partner, and so protect the village. He was responsible for his partner's safety, and with his great strength and cunning, could kill a jaguar or a boa before they would attack his partner. He was fierce, a great warrior, his arrows were true to target, his muscles solid as great rocks. It is said that he never slept; he was always awake to make sure his partner was safe, for his partner's life came before his own and his partner relied on him to watch over him. We were afraid of him when we were children, and hid our faces if he came near us, lest he look at us and steal away our souls.

"Is it the description of the Sentinels you have trouble with?" Ellison asked, as he read. "Or that the Sentinel was so responsible for his partner?"

"What the hell are you reading, Jim?" Blair asked, scooting over to sit beside him. "You've got it all mixed up. It's the Guide that is tall and stuff."

"I like this line about the Sentinel and Guide," Ellison said, as he reread the fax.

The watchman in our village had a companion, and we never saw one without the other. The one responsible for the safety of a watchman was of highest value, for if the watchman was not safe, our tribe was not safe. In protecting one man, the companion protected us all.

"I think that describes your role very well. It's nothing different than you explained to me when we first met. Every Sentinel had a partner, someone to watch his back," Ellison quoted. "That's what you told me."

Blair had taken the fax and was rearranging the papers. "You've read them out of order, Jim. Look at the fax information at the top. The pages are numbered. See-- the description of the companion. Tall, strong, big shoulders."

"Oh." Jim took back the document, frowning. "I had them in order by the circled number on the bottom of each page. Here in the corner." He pointed to the tiny numbers Brenda had written. "She must have faxed them in the wrong order."

"What?" Blair's eyes were huge, his brows pulled into a frown as he shuffled and arranged and rearranged the faxed papers. "What? What?"

"Brenda faxed them in the wrong order. You read them in the order they came, with the university fax machine's page numbers, instead of by the numbers she wrote on the pages."

"You're kidding. No way. What?" A slightly giddy laugh bubbled from his partner. "Oh, shit, man." The papers went sailing into the air. "I can't believe that. I can't believe it. Just shoot me now, Jim. I am such an idiot."


It was just before midnight, and Blair took a champagne glass from the tray Joel held out to him, then moved across the noisy room to the balcony door, slipping outside to look at the lights of the city. He could hear the partiers through the glass door, chanting along with Dick Clark as the television station rebroadcast a New Year's celebration from three hours before. It was sort of anticlimactic when you thought about it. It said "live" on the top corner, but it wasn't. It had been live at one point, to people in that time zone. Occasionally it would also say "recorded live at an earlier time" to clarify itself, but he wanted to be as far away from that sort of forced hype as he could.

He was glad he had come with Jim to this party, rather than making the rounds as he did most years. They spent several hours talking about the fax, and Jim had made a point of saying that even if the information had been the way Blair had first read it, it didn't affect his opinion of his partner. Blair was exactly what he needed in a guide. Nothing less. Size and skill were no guarantee of safety-- Blair's ability to sort out his senses and to watch him when he risked zoning was what kept them alive, what made his partner invaluable.

Blair looked back through the frosted glass and he could see them all mingling and laughing, enjoying themselves. Jim and Simon, Joel and his wife, Rafe and Brown, and a host of others, some of whom he knew, most of whom he didn't know. And there was Cassie worming her way through the crowd heading toward Jim, probably trying to time her arrival at his side to the stroke of midnight.

Turning away, Blair looked up into the faint stars on the cold clear night. The snow had gone already, but there was a crisp frost on everything that glittered in the streetlight. He shivered, trying not to cough as he took another deep breath. A new year was right around the corner. He had a lot of reasons to leave this last year behind. Golden drugs. Falling elevators. Being shot. Taken hostage.

The fax had made them both stop and talk about what was right about their partnership. His insecurities would probably surface now and again, Blair realized, but he had seen his worth in Jim's eyes and it had been more than enough. If Jim was happy with him, what more really mattered? Jim had quoted the one line over and over: The one responsible for the safety of a watchman was of highest value. What scared Blair the most was that he was responsible, but what Jim picked out of the quote was that Blair was of highest value.

He heard a noise behind him as the door opened and closed again, and glanced back to see Jim joining him on the balcony. "Hi. Too loud in there for you?"

"You're not doing your job, Chief," Jim said, moving past him around the corner.

"What do you mean?"

"Get over here," Jim ordered. "Out of sight. Cassie's after me. And if she sees you out here, she'll think I'm here, too. Where one is, the other is, remember?"

Blair laughed, joining Jim at the far railing. "Sorry. I thought you could handle her okay on your own."

"No way, Junior. You're supposed to watch my back."

Blair turned, leaning against the railing so he could keep an eye on the balcony door. "That better?"

Ellison nodded. "A minute to go." Jim held his drink loosely in his hand, staring out across the city lights and Blair wondered again how it would look with Sentinel sight. Jim glanced to him. "Any regrets about this year, Sandburg?"

"Overall? No. I could have done with a few less injuries, I guess."

Ellison laughed, turning his head to look at him again. "Me, too. Less car crashes, as well." The Sentinel stood taller, listening to the laughter inside Joel's house. "Thirty seconds."

"It was fun. This year," Blair said suddenly. "I'm glad I was part of it all."

"I'm glad you were with me," Ellison replied, turning Blair around to so he could see the fireworks, then he rested his arms over his partner's shoulders. "Countdown. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven."

Outside the neighborhood was waking up as people came out on their doorstep, banging on pots and pans, blowing on noisemakers.

Blair leaned closer to his partner, turning to talk over the sudden noise as the balcony door opened. "Jim, I want to say thanks. It's been a good year. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else."

"Next year will be better," Jim said, grinning as he held out his champagne glass in front of them. "To us in 1998. May we make it through safely."

Blair nodded happily, clinking his glass against his partner's as the balcony suddenly became crowded as midnight came and it seemed the whole party joined them. Fireworks lit up the sky. Everyone was shouting. Jostled by the crowd that pushed them back into the corner, he shivered in the cold, his head tilting to watch the colored lights. Jim pulled him back closer against his chest, then draped his arms around him, pointing out a starburst to their right, and Blair felt as warm and safe and protected as the description of the Guide in the fax Brenda had sent.

Joel was beside them, clinking glasses with them both, then disappearing. Cassie took Joel's place, half crushing Blair against Jim as she threw her arms around them both and gave each a big kiss. Jim never moved his arms from around Blair's shoulders, which meant Cassie couldn't get in between them, or effectively get her arms around either individually. She hovered for a moment, chatting on about something, then Rafe--who was feeling no pain at this point-- had her in his arms, kissing her quite soundly and marching her back toward the dance floor while she smiled back at them over her shoulder, waving goodbye.

"Bye bye," Ellison said, turning back to watch the fireworks as Blair laughed.

"You are so cruel, man."

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Sandburg. Drink your champagne and we're going home. I'm beat and you are turning into a popsicle."

"Nice work there, Jim," Simon said, sidling up beside them and gesturing toward Cassie.

"Just following your guidelines, sir."

"Yeah, right. Well, Happy New Year, both of you."

"You, too, Simon," Blair said, toasting with the little left in his glass.

"If this year is going to be anything like last year, I'm going to need it," Simon said, still chuckling as he drifted away joining the rest as they went back into the living room.

"Let's go, Chief," Ellison said, steering his partner inside.

Blair nodded and shivered, his teeth clenched to keep them from chattering as they moved through the crowd. "Cassie at ten o'clock," he whispered, and felt himself being moved in the opposite direction.

"See, you're already protecting me and we're only a few minutes into the year," Jim whispered back. "I have a feeling we better get all the rest we can get before we tackle 1998. Who knows what's in store for us?"

"Don't ask, man. Don't ask."


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