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A Chance Meeting

Desmond Hill sat at the table reading the paper as he waited for the breakfast special to arrive. He had been doing this routine for the past six decades now and it was good to know that some things never change in life.

"So what's the scoop for today?" Marley Bishop asked him as she approached with a fresh pot of coffee.

"Oh, the same thing that went on yesterday," he replied and slid his cup over to her.

Marley topped it off and dug into her apron and put two 11% creamers and a packet of sweetener on the table. Then she wandered off to the next table to see if the two truckers wanted a top-up and Desmond went back to scanning the obituaries.

He saw that George Neilson Jr had passed away the other day and he was hit with a wave of sadness. He got to wondering when the last time was that he had chatted with George. Maybe it was a little over two years, but they had constantly waved when they passed each other on the streets or highway.

"Damn," he muttered. He made a note to attend the wake tomorrow. After all, it was the least he could do for an old friend.

The restaurant door opened and set off a jingle as the chimes were activated, snapping him out of his thoughts. He glanced at the door to see a young lad enter and his mind went to a spot of recognition but it was blurred by time. The fellow was in his late 20's or early 30's, white with a thin frame. His dirty blonde hair was spiked up some; Desmond thought the 90's were coming back again - it seemed it was the style back then.

But by gum he thought he knew this fellow from somewhere, or perhaps he could be the son of someone he knew but he couldn't exactly place it at the moment. The young fellow spotted him and Desmond could see the look of recognition in the fellow's eyes as he saw him and he let out a smile.

"Desmond Hill!" the lad said as he approached. "There ya be!"

"Here I be," Desmond replied. Desmond didn't want to ask the fellow his name; he wanted to see if his memory would kick in. "So what brings you here?"

"I heard the news and I had to come," the fellow said. "He's being waked tomorrow."

Aha, Desmond thought, he's George's grandson. Though the fellow could be just a close friend of the family, as well. Still there was something about him that was familiar.

"I just came in to grab a coffee and was about to swing by your place," the youth said. "Just wanted to see how you were doing as well, since it's been a while."

"It's been more than that," Desmond bluffed. His mind still trying to pin a name to the fellow.

"Yeah, you're right," the man said with a slight nod. "I knew that you and George grew up together and ended up being in the same unit..."

The unit he was talking about was in Viet Nam back in '69 when the robotic rebellion...

"Yo Max!" a Japanese girl called out to him as she entered. "The gang is waiting for you!"

"Cube?" Desmond asked. Then it dawned on him; the fellow in front of him was Sgt. Cube. How the hell was this possible?

"Look Des, I got to hit the road - there's a matter of importance that's not too far from here and I will swing by tomorrow and we'll get caught up..." Max said. He got up and headed for the door leaving Desmond stunned and wondering how this was possible.