Chapter Eighty-Six: ‘Turn toward the needful...’
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The police presence here wasn’t as strong as the rest of Gray Rock, and Hector had ended up visiting this area frequently during his patrols. Just in the past three days, he’d thwarted two attempts at robbery, one at rape, and another at murder. At the moment, however, he wasn’t here on patrol. Garovel had a different task for him now that the sun had risen.
The unmarked building on the featureless street corner had taken a while to find. He barely noticed the small sign by the front door. ‘Free breakfast,’ it said in thin letters.
He proceeded inside and found it just as rundown as the exterior, though the smell was slightly more welcoming. The very first chamber was a large refectory with a crowd of disheveled persons afoot. Hector had tried to match attire in order to blend in, but now that he got a good look at what they were wearing, he was starting to think he’d gone a bit overboard. Sure, none of them seemed to be wearing fresh clothes, but they weren’t in rags like him. After silently consulting Garovel about it, he decided to pull off the most shredded pieces and trash them before he attracted too much attention. He kept his hat and ridiculous mustache, however.
There was a line for hot food at the counter, but Hector just took a seat at one of the empty tables. ‘So now what do I do?’ he asked.
‘Just observe and listen,’ said Garovel. ‘The first step is establishing a presence. It’d be a little off-putting if you just walk up to them and start asking about their lives.’
Hector saw a few people eyeing him oddly. ‘You really think this is going to work?’
‘No idea. Could be a total waste of time.’
He shot the reaper a look. ‘Garovel, what the hell? Are you serious?’
Garovel snickered and shrugged. ‘Relax. Just think of it as getting more acquainted with your local community.’
‘This “local community” is on the other side of the city.’