Calypso hid slightly behind Daedalus when the man turned around. The man glanced at Calypso before addressing Daedalus. “I remember you. Your father brought me a USB drive, and a good one. You were hiding behind him just like she is,” He motioned at Caly, “And drove a good bargain, he did. Where is he? Why have you come?”
Daedalus started in surprise. It had been half a decade since his parents passed away, and everyone around him knew what had happened. “He died,” Daedalus said flatly, not wanting to bring back the memories.
“I see. My condolences. Now then, let’s get you two out of my foyer, shall we?” The man led the siblings through his home into a comfortable sitting room, obviously built for impressing his customers. Calypso’s eyes grew wide at the sight of the leather couch and seats, polished until they shone in the warm yellow lamplight. In stark contrast to the grimy exterior and dangerous area, the man had obvious wealth.
“Please, sit. Juice? Water?” He asked the two. The siblings sank into the leather couch, Caly wondering at its softness.
“Juice?” Calypso repeated audibly, before Daedalus could speak.
The man smiled. “Of course. One cup of juice for the lady. And you…?” The man trailed off, obviously trying to recall Daedalus’ name from all those years ago.
“Daedalus. Yes, please.” The politeness stayed, augmented with awe for the wealth around him.
“You may call me Drew.” said the man as he walked towards a door.
Daedalus was glad the man seemed friendly. He had worried on the street that the man would turn him and his sister out, or that he’d cheat them. His father and Drew hadn’t chatted much when he had come the first time around, in fact, they had both seemed on edge. Dae remembered the day when his father had him sit in the same place Calypso now sat, and how he had also gazed wonderingly at every frame that hung in the room.
There was a painting depicting bright blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and brilliant green meadows with beautiful accents of purple flowers. Another overlooked a lake, so life-like that Dae could almost feel the chilly wind and hear fish splashing in the water. Calypso’s eyes were riveted to a frame that held a faded photograph of a city, from long ago. The buildings stood high, and light sparkled off the windows. A little girl in the photo laughed as she walked in a fountain, the bright yellow sunlight glinting off of her hazel eyes and green dress.
The fountain looked familiar to Daedalus. But he wasn’t sure that it was the same cracked, overgrown white bowl he passed when he was on his way to Scavenging the Waste. Drew walked back with three tall glasses of apple juice.
“Admiring my picture of Old Chicago, huh?” He asked Calypso. “Too bad we three are too young to remember the good ol’ America.”
“How long ago was Old Chicago?” Calypso asked her brother.
“Half a century.” He replied.
“Is that older than the baker on Michigan?” She asked. The baker on Michigan Avenue’s market had been the oldest person she could recall.
“It’s older than two of her!” Drew laughed. He ran a hand through the mop of hair on his head, slicking back the limp hair. “Now then, Daedalus, let’s get down to business, shall we?” he said as he placed the tray on the table in front of the leather sofa.
Calypso grabbed a glass as soon as Drew sat down across from the siblings. She glanced at Dae, and at his nod, she guzzled down the juice like she was dying of thirst.
Daedalus smiled. “Let’s.” He replied.