April 12

“You gotta help me, Interloper,” he says, his voice now completely broken and scratchy. It actually sounds like he’s been crying for a lot longer, and only made it through the conversation with Kyle by dint of sheer force of will. If he wasn’t sobbing, I guess he would have had a good voice for radio. He certainly has the face for it. “I’m in it deep. You have to…”
“Calm down,” I say. “And for God’s sake, stand up.” He does, swallowing a few more tears as he rights himself. “Now, from the top. What are you doing here?”
“It’s… it’s a long story.”
“The Quick Stop is only three blocks away,” I say. “Condense it. What’s your game?”
“It’s, ah, funny you phrase it like that,” he says. “I’m a con man. I’m not proud of it, but it’s what I do.”
“And this convinces me to help you, how exactly?” I ask.
“Look, it’s not like you think,” he says. “I never meant to hurt anyone. I really didn’t. I just, well, I had the perfect scam, you know?”
“This Recall insurance thing.”
“Yeah,” Bert says. “Okay, so, you know time travel, right? Well, history always happens one way and never another. Stuff that I know about in the past, always stays happening in the past. All I do is just… take advantage of a little foreknowledge.”

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