“A blind old man and a kid, huh?” the Greenman said. “Might be kinder of me just to put you both down myself. I’m not sure I’d feel right letting you walk around alone in there.”
“I have friends inside,” Wren said.
“Oh yeah? Who’s that, little man?”
“jCharles. He runs the Samurai McGann. He gave me a book once.”
The Greenman let out a low whistle. “Well, alright then. It might not stop anyone from messing with you, but I guess they’d be sorry enough after the fact. You know your way?”
“Alright. I suggest you go straight there, quick as you can. And watch your step.”
Nimble, the bartender, recognized Wren as soon as he came in the door. Nimble called up to jCharles, who practically sprinted down the stairs to see them. Of course jCharles knew immediately something was wrong, and he took them both up to the apartment where Mol was.
Wren was amazed to see her holding a sweet baby girl, maybe six months old. When Mol saw him, she handed the baby off to jCharles, and she held Wren for a long, long time.
They did everything they could to care for Wren, and though Chapel declined their hospitality, he remained nearby, and spent a great deal of his time sitting in the bar downstairs.
One night, jCharles took them both up onto the roof of the Samurai McGann, and they sat there staring out over the wildness of the city. Wren opened up then, about all that had happened. He told jCharles all about Morningside, and what had become of Three, and Swoop, and Gamble, and her team. And about his mama.
“They sound like they were great people,” jCharles said.
“I wish I could be that kind of person,” Wren said.
“You cannot be that kind of person,” Chapel said. The words stung Wren, and jCharles looked over at the old man with an ugly expression. But Chapel was nothing if not honest.
But then he turned his face towards Wren and lifted the boy’s chin. “You cannot be that kind of person, Wren, because you are the kind of person for whom such men and women willingly lay down their lives.”
Wren’s chest tightened, and a lump caught in his throat.
“But why?” he said, voice thick with tears.
Chapel turned his face back towards the city.
“That is the question your life must answer.”