“You don’t understand me,” Brown cried. “This city’s about to fall! She’ll be killed if she stays! I’m just trying to do my job!”

The bartender sighed. “Listen to me, Marine. Perhaps you are right; perhaps when the rebels come they will kill Ms. Anne. But perhaps not. Perhaps the rebel at the very front of the column was a schoolmate of hers. Perhaps the soldiers that burst in here know her from playing in the streets. She grew up here, and cannot believe the land would allow any harm to come.”


“I have survived several coups, Marine. I will survive this one as well. The men are always thirsty. They are thirsty for other things as well, and if Ms. Anne wishes to wait, to see her old school friends’ faces when the men come for her, who are you to deny her? Go. Ms. Anne does not want to leave, and I will shoot you if you try and take her.”