on!" my shadow yelled as he dragged me down the corridor. We got about 30 feet
before we were cornered, and they threw the cuffs on us.
"Let's go, you two, we're bringing you down to headquarters," the burly sergeant
grunted, and he prodded me along.
"Hey, you can't separate us. I'm his shadow. Hey, you..." my shadow was screaming
as they dragged him down the corridor. "You can't do this!"
He disappeared around a bend and I walked along through the dim hallways until
we reached the station.
First they fingerprinted me.
"Captain," the fingerprinter gasped after they stuck my middle finger onto a stamp
pad and wrapped it with red tape that was connected to a computer in the corner
of the room. The computer shrugged its floppy disks and spat out a card. "I can't
find anything on him," the fingerprinter concluded.
"What do you mean, you can't find anything on him?"
"He doesn't exist, Captain."
"How's that?" the Captain grunted. "Did you try the sub- intelligence data base."
"Yes, Captain. As you know everyone in every known universe is in our data base,
but yes, I did check the SI. He's not there."
The Captain fell back into his chair. A shoe-shiner dashed over and stuck a pipe
in his mouth and began massaging his feet.
"Did you check his friend?"
"Yes, Captain. Couldn't fingerprint him -- he appears to be a shadow. But he says
his name is George. Sounds like a good enough name for a shadow to me."
"George what?" the captain sneered between puffs.
"He didn't say. George Shadow, I suppose."
"Very strange. Well, bring this George Shadow in here."
A guard entered the room, leading my shadow, which slithered and slunk along the
My shadow looked up, and seeing me, dashed across the room, pulling the guard
attached to its handcuffs along with it.
"Oh, I'm so glad to see you," my shadow sighed a cool whisper, and sliding out
of the handcuff, it wrapped itself around me.
"Now look here," the Captain bellowed, jumping out of his chair. "Control yourself
there, um, George Shadow."
My shadow climbed down and stood beside me. "Captain," he demanded, suddenly filled
with confidence. "Captain, we'd like to leave now."
"Well, I guess you can go, George Shadow, but until we figure out who your friend
here is, I'm afraid we can't let him go. You've got to be someone to enter the
Gates of Eternity. Then we take your soul away, you see. There are always those
who try to sneak in, but we always get them. Now you, you're a shadow. You can
come and go as you please. You sort of slip by on a technicality."
"Yes, Lieutenant?" The Captain looked over to the corner, where the fingerprinter
stood hunched over a panel of instruments and stared into a green glowing toaster.
"Captain, I'm getting a readout now. He's X-Rimrian from the X3-8167 dimension."
"Oh, OK. Well all right, then. Take X-Rimrian of the X3- 8167 dimension to the
"Wait, Captain. He's Treegrak Ligzor from the Pointellian era of the XY-6 dimension.
Oh, wait, he's..."
The fingerprinter rattled off name after meaningless name for about thirty minutes.
I looked up and saw the Captain had fallen back into his chair and was sound asleep.
"...John Doe from Earth XYZ-1..."
"Come on," George-my shadow whispered, and we dashed out of the room.
We ran round corner after corner and finally saw the train up ahead.
Shadow told me to get on. But, there were no lights inside, and I must admit I
was more than a little hesitant to take the leap of faith he was requesting of
Shadow moaned and insisted there wasn't anything to worry about.
"Well," my brain reasoned, rather slowly. "If he's not afraid and he's only my
shadow, why should I be afraid?" I guess I convinced myself, because we jumped
together through the doors, just before they closed, and I felt the train pull
off into the unknown.
Chapter 26- MP3 song demo by Lyndon DeRobertis)