“McKinley. Yeah, I know who you are. You were working on Greg Gunderman’s computer, weren’t you?”
They had stopped in mid-corridor by this time and Kevin faced his new acquaintance. “How did you know that?”
“Nothing mysterious about it. I saw Gunderman this evening as I was coming in. I walked with him from the parking lot and he told me how you were going to save his life.” Chris grinned openly at that, a truly sardonic look. “In fact, he was going to bug you about it and I talked him out of it. Told him if he wanted some results, he’d best leave you alone.” The last was said with a dry chuckle.
Kevin looked faintly surprised. Professor Gunderman was a pushy, hard to deal with, single-minded sort of man. He couldn’t recall the last time anybody had talked Gunderman into anything. “Ah, thanks. That was a help.”
Chris cocked his own head and looked Kevin up and down. “Which brings up a point—I assumed you saved everything to floppy disk, correct?”
“Yeah, about seven hundred k.”
“Where are they?”
Kevin thought for a moment and then sighed. He’d left them in the lab. “Right. I’d better go back and get them.”
“You might even want to think about dropping them off at the physics office on your way out. Gunderman has a meeting with the provost on some funding matter this afternoon, an emergency meeting I gathered, which is why it’s today, Saturday, rather than next Monday. Leave a note on the lab door and he’ll thank you a hundred times for it.” Chris now looked cheerful, and a bit manipulative. He clearly was enjoying this.
Kevin was too tired to get any enjoyment out of it. However, the man had a point. It might possibly head off getting rousted out of bed this afternoon and Kevin was so damned tired, it made him wince just thinking of Gunderman showing up at Kev’s apartment. “Right. A better idea. Thanks, Chris, I’ll do just that.”
“No problem. I’ll leave a phone message with the secretary letting him know. Get some rest, kid. You look like you could use it.” With that, Chris headed on the way they had been headed as Kevin turned around and slowly retraced his steps.
He grabbed the disks, locked things up and was about to head the other way, toward the physics office, when he thought to himself how strange it was to have met Chris, right where he did. He didn’t recall there being any doors along that hallway for a good fifty feet.
He looked. There wasn’t. But there was a keyhole. Or at least, there was for another five to ten seconds, before it shimmered and disappeared, leaving a blank wall behind. Now there was nothing.
But there had been.
Kevin was sure of that.
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