Ostia is the perfect place to hide from somebody like me.

It’s abandoned, thanks to…well, you know. But not for so long that everything has been looted. If you know what to look for, there’s still food to be found that won’t give you a writhing death from botulism. Even batteries, if you’re lucky.

But that particular skeleton of a city is rapidly getting popular now that most people fancy that the danger is past. Oh, you’re still not allowed in, and the roadblocks will turn you back. USUN will shoot you on sight, though they don’t stray from the roads and certainly don’t get anywhere close to the outskirts.

So I wasn’t surprised to learn that my quarry had fled there. In fact, I relished it. With a typical bounty, the chase is half of the fun. In this case, with our history, it was more like the delightful final chapter to a long book, or the last moves in a long chess game. I intended to enjoy it to the full.

But only one of us was coming out of there alive.

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