To the reviewers from last time, thanks so much, most of you were anonymous so I can't thank you personally but your kind words and encouragement were appreciated :)
This is the last part of this story, thanks for coming along for the ride, I hope you like the ending - and thanks as always to Oflymonddreams for creating the CollarVerse and kindly allowing others to play in it. In case you missed it there is another writer, Ravenhurst, who has just started a story set in an AU to the CollarVerse and Oflymonddreams has given us the start to the third season of CollarRedux - Greg is free, now what will he do? Both stories can be found in the Collarverse community on Oflymonddreams' profile (don't forget to change the rating to K to M to see all the stories!)
House eyed his patient, in her glass, goldfish bowl, room. He was sure this was a case of abuse. Supermodel had PTSD, probably from Daddy diddling her. The Dad was also her manager, a manager who liked to extol his client's many physical attributes to all who would listen. Now he just had to get Dad to admit it and he could wrap up this case.
He heard a cough and looked up to see Foreman standing next to him.
"Nasty cough, you should get it seen to."
Foreman ignored his comment. House was impressed by how like his counterpart this Foreman was, they had both mastered the art of maintaining the same facial expression all day long. Boring in one universe meant boring in the next apparently.
Foreman had been trying to do some sort of 'take charge' manoeuvre all day. House wondered how he'd liked having a slave as a boss, not much, House would bet. Maybe he saw the disappearance of 'Greg' as his big chance to step up and take leadership of diagnostics if House decided not to hang around.
"Look, I get that you want to rush to a diagnosis. This is your first case here, you need to prove yourself to Cuddy, and to us. Just stop and think, reconsider this, there's no evidence of abuse. You don't have to pull a diagnosis out of thin air, just to show us you can." Foreman said in what he probably considered to be a calm and authoritative tone of voice.
House stared at him. Foreman thought House had something to prove to his fellows? He grinned to himself, this would be good.
"Thanks," he said out loud to Foreman, nodding his head as if Foreman had spoken some wise words. Foreman nodded back and looked satisfied.
House turned away from him and yelled down the corridor, to where the Dad was just entering his daughter's room.
"Are you doing your daughter?"
Conversation all around him stopped, movement stopped. Everyone stared at the father and then back at House. The father advanced upon him and House backed away towards the bathroom, elbowing the door open.
"In here," he said to the father and then turned towards the people all staring at them, expressions of shock and disgust on their faces, "he's not. Sure he's not. She is a babe though."
He closed the door on them all, but not before catching a glimpse of Foreman, who had an odd expression on his face, it almost looked like concern.
When he emerged from the bathroom, having finally gotten the father to confess to sleeping with his daughter, he was met by the imposing presence of two security guards, both as tall as him. The PPTH security guards he was used to were mostly overweight ex-cops biding their time until retirement. These guys looked more like a cross between professional bouncers and secret service agents. He cast a wary eye at them.
"Doctor Cuddy wants to see you," one said, hand resting on a baton at his hip, the other guard moving behind House, splitting his attention.
"She'll have to wait, I have a life to save." He turned to go but his elbow was grabbed and pulled by the second guard, causing him to stagger, his leg buckling under him. The first guard smoothly took the cane out of his hand.
"Now," he said.
He was hustled into the elevator before he knew it, sandwiched between the two men.
"Look, I don't know if you guys have heard but I'm not a slave boy anymore. I'm a doctor, and head of the Diagnostics department, on the other hand you guys are just two disposable security goons. Now give me my cane back."
The guard holding his cane hit the stop button on the elevator and House felt a moment of real fear, remembering Wilson's warning about wandering around the hospital unescorted, and his talk of how the hospital staff 'used' Greg. House wasn't a slave, but would the lack of a collar stop these men?
The guard with his cane tapped it on the ground.
"We were told you'd been freed. Nobody knows why, or how it happened so fast. Or how you aren't in a hospital bed right now. I don't know what the fuck went on but as far as we're concerned nothing much has changed when it comes to you. Doctor Cuddy asks us to fetch you, we fetch you. You may be 'free' now but you aren't anyone we're interested in taking orders from. Now if you're a good boy and shut up I'll give you your cane back and you can walk all nice and dignified to Doctor Cuddy's office. If you're not a good boy we'll drag you there."
House was about to launch a verbal volley at the guy but then shut his mouth, he hated not having his cane and he wanted to get off this elevator. The guard smiled at him and handed him the cane, starting the elevator again.
"Good boy, Greg."
"You rang, mistress?" House said, bowing deeply as he entered Cuddy's office. The security guards had seen him to the door and then departed, he hoped. Cuddy looked up from her paperwork and frowned at him.
"Stop calling me that, I wasn't your mistress, I was your owner."
"If I'd known you wanted to strap on the high heels and get out the leather I would have left a whip in your office to give you the hint." House snarked back and thumped his cane on the ground. "Need I remind you that you weren't my owner because I have never been a slave. Don't send security goons to haul me down here to your dungeon. I'm a doctor, I'm a Department Head, if you wouldn't send a posse for Wilson then don't send one for me."
Her eyes widened at that and House felt a sliver of satisfaction, she probably wasn't used to Greggie, her pet slave, asserting himself like that. He needed to make the distinction very clear to her, and to everyone else in this damned place.
She looked down at her desk for a moment, clearly caught off guard. Then she looked back at him.
"You're quite right, I apologise."
Well, those weren't words he was used to hearing from any version of Cuddy.
"I needed to see you, and I asked the security guards to find you, like I always did with Greg. There were standing orders about how he was to be handled, and I assume they followed some version of that with you. I will reinforce with them that 'Greg' is now free, and is to be accorded the same respect as any other member of staff." She sighed and sat back in her chair, regarding him with a slight smile. "You must understand, 'you' were a slave here for fifteen years, nobody here knows you as anything different. It's going to take some time for them to adjust, and to be honest being a freed slave is, well...it's not the highest of social statuses."
"Yeah, I figured that."
"They didn't... 'hurt' you, did they?"
House snorted. "'Hurt' me? You mean 'make use of me'?"
"Hurt you in any way, I meant." Cuddy replied primly. "Needless to say, no-one can now 'make use of you'."
"No, they didn't 'hurt me', they did however drag me away from my case, which was just getting interesting, so if we're done I'll get back to it." House turned to go.
"No, I'm not finished with you yet. I heard that you accused the father of abusing his daughter, I need to know what you found out. And we need to have a talk about proper decorum in this hospital. Whatever you might have gotten away with in your hospital doesn't apply here. I run a tight ship, House, and I won't put up with you doing anything to endanger that."
House sighed, he'd only been here a couple of days and he was already getting called on the carpet, it seemed some things didn't change even when the rest of the world did.
The fellows all looked up at him with wide eyes when he entered the lab where they were working.
"What did Doctor Cuddy want?" Cameron asked, word must have gotten around of his visit to the Dean's office. "Foreman told us what happened, with the father."
"You can't just yell out an accusation like that, not in public. Everybody in this hospital knows you as a slave, they're going to expect you to behave a certain way. Greg would never have done that." Foreman said.
"I'm sure Greg wouldn't, but I'm not Greg and I run the case my way. If you have a problem with that feel free to leave, before I kick your ass out of here."
"I'm just trying to stop you doing something that could get you into trouble," Foreman said stiffly, "this isn't the world you were used to."
You got that right, House thought to himself. He wondered how Greg had ever managed to come up with diagnoses with all the restrictions being a slave must have placed on him. Had he lived in fear of the security squad turning up whenever Cuddy had asked them to 'fetch' him? If the goons had been more careful with him because of his supposed free status, how much rougher had they been with Greg?
He looked up and realised that the three fellows were staring at him and forced his mind back to the case. Foreman had been wrong, he didn't have anything to 'prove' to them, but he did need to establish quickly that he was in charge here, and he could do this job.
"Daddy was doing his daughter, he confessed - thanks to my 'public accusation'. She has PTSD, pack her bags and get her a pysch referral." He widened his eyes at them, "hey, maybe that's why I was sent here, to 'right what once went wrong', to do what Greg couldn't - and now I've cured the girl I'll go back." He looked around at them all, amused when they all stared at him, seeming to hold their breaths and wait for him to disappear in a cloud of smoke. After a few seconds he shrugged. "No, that's not it. Too bad."
"Maybe you didn't go back because she isn't cured, or diagnosed." Chase said, handing him some lab results. "Elevated proteins in her CSF, it's not PTSD."
House stared at the printout, damn, he was wrong. Again.
Wilson turned up to take him to lunch at the hospital's cafeteria.
"Still no money, you'll have to pay."
"What else is new?" Wilson asked as they took their trays through the line. House was shoved from behind.
"Hey, slave canteen is downstairs, boy." The burly man in the line behind him said when he turned around.
"Don't let me stop you then, I hear they serve meatloaf on Mondays," House said, grabbing a large piece of pie and a bag of chips to put on the tray Wilson was holding. "'Case you hadn't heard, Dickie, I'm not a slave anymore, see look - I know it's complicated, but try to follow anyway - no collar, no slave."
"Shut your big mouth slave, or I'll shut it for you. In case you haven't heard, once a slave always a slave." The man flicked a glance at Wilson who was busy paying for their lunches and lowered his voice, "of course, now Wilson hasn't got you tagged maybe you can come up to the gynaecology lounge after lunch, always did enjoy the sight of you on your knees sucking me off. Why should Wilson have all the fun?"
House raised his cane, getting ready to take a swing at the guy, all his frustration at being stuck in this place coming out. Dick Carbin, third rate cardiologist, was an asshole in his universe, and looked to be just as big a one here.
He felt a hand come down on his shoulder, turning him away from the line.
"Come on, let's go find a table. I've got a busy afternoon and I'd rather eat than try and explain to Cuddy why Carbin is in her ER." Wilson turned to Carbin. "Doctor House is now a member of staff here, and a Department head, he has Doctor Cuddy's full support, you'd probably do well to remember that."
House reluctantly followed Wilson to a far corner of the large room. "I don't need you to protect me," he told Wilson as he sat down, grabbing food off Wilson's tray.
"You have to remember that the rest of the staff are used to seeing 'you' as a slave, it's going to take a while before people think of you as something else."
"Yeah, got that lecture from Foreman, thanks Dad. Maybe I should come clean, and tell everyone that I'm from a different reality. "
Wilson looked alarmed. "If you do that, and manage to convince anyone, how long do you think it would be before there'd be other questions asked? Before somebody official took notice of you? Maybe hauled you off to find out where you came from? Or maybe decided that alternates from different realities can also be classified as slaves? There's too many unknowns House, you need to keep this quiet."
"So I should just pretend to be a good little ex-slave, keep my head down, and prove to everyone I'm worthy of keeping around, and not just an ass to fuck? Maybe I should go up to Carbin's lounge and get to my knees for him. Is that what Greg used to do for you?"
"Keep your voice down, House." Wilson looked around at the other tables, but apart from a few people shooting curious looks their way nobody much seemed to be paying any attention to them. "How is the case going?"
"Oh, let's change the subject then shall we? Okay, I'll play. She has cancer."
"Oh? What type?"
"Don't know, can't find it. We need an oncologist, do you do consults?"
Cancer turned out to be another dead end. Wilson has examined every organ, poked and prodded the patient but they couldn't find a trace of cancer anywhere. House returned to his office, frustration written in every movement. His leg was killing him, and this case was defeating him. The fellows were sitting around the conference table, they looked up hopefully as he came in.
"It's not cancer."
They conducted a spirited differential, with House shooting their ideas down one by one. They were at a dead end with the girl.
"I'm leaving, House, if you want to come." Wilson lounged in the doorway, and the fellows all turned to look at him and then swivelled to look back at House. Interesting reaction, House thought. He wasn't sure about going with Wilson again, and sleeping in that small hotel room which he used to share with a slave, but the alternative, sleeping on a narrow bed tucked into a corner of the office wasn't exactly appealing either.
"Give me ten minutes," he said, turning back to the whiteboard. Wilson gave him a little wave and then disappeared.
You might as well all go home as well, unless you have any actually useful ideas," House said. Three blank, tired faces looking back at him and he waved his hand at them, dismissing them. They gathered their things together, while shooting looks at each other. Finally Cameron stepped forward.
"You came in with Wilson this morning," Cameron blurted out. "Chase saw you. And now you're going home with him."
"It's not a crime is it? Don't discriminate against oncologists, it's not their fault all their patients die."
"Wilson had you tagged." Chase said as if that was somehow significant.
"First of all, Wilson did not have me tagged. I am, believe it or not, from another reality or universe, or fold in the sandwich - whatever term we're using today. Wilson had someone who looked like me 'tagged'."
"You know what that means?"
"Apparently it means that they were having s - e - x , don't tell Cameron, she'll be jealous." He shot a look at Cameron and put his hand to his mouth, "oops! My bad, pretend you didn't hear that Cameron, I'm sure they were just good friends."
"I don't know why I'm bothering, because you're not going to listen to a word I say, as usual but..." Foreman looked in the direction of Wilson's office and then lowered his voice, as if Wilson could hear him through the walls. "Look, we don't know exactly what went on with Doctor Wilson and you...er, Greg. We know he used to come for Greg after work, and put a leash on him and take him out. Whatever happened then, whatever Wilson did to him, Greg did not enjoy it. When he came back, after spending a night with Wilson, he always looked like... like a slave."
House felt himself closing down, like he always did automatically when someone tried snooping in his private life. He had virtually nothing in this world, the only thing he had was this job and the tenuous link he had forged with this world's Wilson. Now the fellows were trying to stick their noses into that. None of this was their business. He fell back on his usual habit of deflecting.
"He looked like a slave, because he was one apparently, had the collar and all, strange how that works."
"Shit, I give up. You're a stubborn ass who thinks he knows better than everyone else. Do whatever the hell you want. It's your funeral." Apparently Foreman had reached his quota of being a concerned citizen for the day and he grabbed his bag and stormed out. Chase glanced at House and started to say something but then quickly followed Foreman out the door.
Cameron stood up and approached House, he took a step backward but she just smiled and laid a hand on his arm.
"Just... be careful is all we are trying to say. Don't think that Wilson has your best interests at heart."
House stared at her, then moved his arm away.
"Don't assume that I'm Greg, or that I'm anything like him. I don't know what all those years of slavery does to someone, but I guess you do. I'm not that man."
"Greg never talked about how he felt - about being a slave, I mean. He never talked about anything personal. We went on a date once, and he still never talked about it."
She moved off, picking up her bag, and then going to the door. She stopped in the doorway, looking back at him.
"He never talked about it, but he didn't have to. Greg hated being a slave, and he hated going home with Wilson. I know you're not him, but you're taking his place. Don't do anything you'll end up hating."
With that she left and he stood by his desk and waited for Wilson to return and take him away.
"When did you meet Greg? Was it before he was enslaved?" House asked Wilson as they sat in the same depressing hotel room watching the television.
Wilson looked at his in surprise.
"No, I only met him last year, when I started working here. I got him to help on one of my cases."
For some reason House had expected Wilson to have met Greg at the same conference that he'd met Wilson in his world. He wondered how his own life would have been different with no Wilson in it.
"Have you known your Wilson a lot longer?"
"I bailed him out of jail fifteen years ago, we were both in New Orleans for a conference, he got into trouble in a bar and I bailed him out."
Wilson was staring at him. "I remember that conference, I was fresh out of med school, just an intern. And I did some damage in a bar and spent the night in jail, nobody bailed me out, I went before the judge the next morning - got off with a fine.":
"I was one of the speakers at the conference."
Wilson shook his head, "not at that conference. In fact, that would have been just about the time when Greg got into debt and was enslaved"
Both men fell silent. House wondered if Greg had been scheduled to speak at that conference, but had had a collar put around his neck before he could. What was he doing on the weekend of the conference when House had been meeting his Wilson?
"So, you never knew Greg when he was free?"
"No, of course not, I only met him last year like I told you." Wilson sounded a little impatient at this line of questioning.
"When you put your tag on his collar." House said flatly.
"Well no, that was only a couple of months ago, once I had chance to get to know Greg myself, and to finalise my divorce from Julie. Vogler had Greg tagged for a while last year anyway"
House shook his head, trying to reconcile this sudden influx of Greg's history. Vogler had him tagged?
"He didn't like Greg's time being wasted by the other staff, he said that the hospital didn't buy Greg for that."
House realised that when Wilson said Greg's time was 'being wasted' he meant that the other staff were having sex with Greg, using him as they liked to euphemistically phrase it in this society.
Wilson talked about it so calmly, so matter of factedly, as if it didn't matter what the hospital staff did with Greg, yet he'd stopped it by tagging Greg himself. House didn't know whether he could trust this Wilson or not. Wilson had said he'd only had Greg's best interests at heart, a sentiment House knew that his Wilson would echo - with all his interfering with House's life, his Vicodin usage, even his team. And yet, there was something about this Wilson, and there was the reaction of House's team to the man...
House pulled out his Vicodin. Wilson had given him the prescription as arranged and House was comforted by the familiar weight of the bottle in his pocket.
"Are you in pain?" Wilson asked, his expression alight with interest.
House paused in the act of throwing two tablets into his mouth and eyed Wilson. His Wilson usually greeted the sight of House taking the tablets with either a roll of his eyes or a disapproving look.
"I'm always in pain. That hasn't changed just because I've hopped universes, in fact this place is a giant pain in my butt." House answered, chucking the medication into his mouth and swallowing loudly.
Wilson was still staring at him intently and House looked away, suddenly feeling uncomfortable with Wilson's scrutiny.
"Look, House, I've been thinking. I know you don't know me very well, but you're in a tight spot for living expenses, and this hotel room kind of sucks as a place to go home to at night - and it's cramped for two people. Why don't we find a place together? I'll pay for it until you get your first pay then we can split it."
"You're asking me to move in with you?
Wilson shrugged, still looking at him with that peculiar intensity. "You're alone here, in this world, you need a place to stay, so do I. It only makes sense that we find a place together. You're not Greg, and I'm not your Wilson, but it seems like we'd be predisposed to get along together. Unless you'd rather move in with Cameron or Chase."
"Well, Cameron does have a certain appeal... "
"And Chase doesn't?"
"I like my objects of lust female, like my supermodel with her 'heart shaped ass'... "House trailed off, his brain making connections, the case opening up before him.
"There's one place we didn't look for cancer."
Wilson look confused. "Are we... talking about your patient now?"
"Of course, keep up. We didn't look for cancer in her testicles." He grabbed for his phone and his jacket. "Take me back to the hospital."
House watched his patient through the glass window of her room as she sobbed silently, her father nowhere to be seen. Her whole word view had been destroyed with the news that she had testes, and other male attributes, that she wasn't, strictly speaking, biologically female. He'd been harsher than necessary with her, lashing out at her as he wanted to lash out at this new world he was living in. He lingered for one moment, thinking he might go in and try and say something to her, something to help her. Instead he turned around and limped off in the direction of Wilson's office.
"I need a shot of morphine in the spine."
Wilson looked up from the work on his desk. House was standing there, leaning heavily on his cane, his hand trembling on the handle. He was obviously in a good deal of pain. Wilson felt the familiar rush through him, the arousal as he breathed in House's pain. He could enjoy this pain, and then he could help House, he could show him that he could trust Wilson.
He stood up from the desk, coming around to House.
"Is your thigh inflamed? I should take a look, see if there's any change. Maybe what's happened has affected it."
House looked at him for a beat and then obediently slipped his pants down his legs, exposing the scar to Wilson's gaze. Wilson regarded it, seeing its familiar contours and textures, the source of all House's pain. He lent down for a closer look, his hands reaching out to it.
"I can get you the shot, if it'll help. Then you can lie down in here while it takes affect."
House took a clumsy step back, preventing Wilson from touching the scar. Wilson frowned up at him.
"I asked Cuddy for a shot," House said, "to see what she'd say."
"And...?" Wilson didn't understand where House was going with this.
"She told me to shut up and take my Vicodin, that any increased pain was all in my head."
House reached down to pull up his pants, fastening them hastily around his waist.
"You enjoy my pain, just as you enjoyed Greg's," he said, looking down at Wilson, almost sadly.
"I don't... " Wilson protested feebly, his mind whirring, how had House known that?
"You enjoy my pain, and you want to control it, and me. Just like you controlled Greg. You can't put a shiny tag on my collar, so you want to tie me to you by my own neediness."
"I cared for Greg," Wilson insisted. "I helped him."
"You stood and watched while he was given fifty strokes of a whip. You stood there and drank in his pain. You came down to the slave ward that night to enjoy it some more. My Wilson... " House stopped for a moment, looking out the window, a hitch in his voice. When he looked back his eyes were bleak. "My Wilson would have taken those blows for me, if he could."
"I never hurt Greg."
"I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy when I was a child, Wilson. If you enjoyed his pain you hurt him. You put him on a leash and took him back to your hotel room to have sex with him. Maybe, if you'd met Greg when he wasn't a slave, maybe things would have been different, I don't know. But you met him when he was an easy target, someone you had a lot of power over, and you used that."
House limped to the door while Wilson watched. He wanted to make House stop, he wanted him to take back those things he'd said. He wanted Greg back.
"It would be different with you, House, you're not a slave, you're free. We can... "
"No, we can't. I can't be that for you, and you won't be satisfied with anything less."
House paused at the door, his hand on the knob.
"You need me," Wilson said, "you have no-one else to turn to, nowhere to sleep but here, no money, no friends, nothing. You need my help."
"No," House said, "I don't."
With that he left, shutting the door firmly behind him. Wilson stood looking at the closed door for a moment. Then he sat down behind his desk, trying to focus on his work again. After a while he opened one of the drawers in his desk and took out the leash he kept there. Greg's leash. He held it tightly for a moment, remembering, and then hurled it against the closed door.
Cuddy called out to House as he limped towards the hospital doors.
"Where are you going House? Where's Wilson?"
"No idea." House kept going. Cuddy put out a hand to slow his progress.
"I thought you were staying with him, the last couple of days."
"I was, now I'm not."
"You can't leave."
"I can do anything I want, I'm free."
"You'll never make it alone, without money, without identity. You can't practise anywhere without a license."
"Greg House has a license, and you've 'freed' him - the papers I have in my pocket say that. I can't leave the State for two years, not that I have to work in this hospital. I'm going to set up a consultancy business online. You're welcome to engage my services, when you need them, we'll talk about my rates."
"Why don't you stay here? I'll advance you some money so you can find a place, you don't have to live with Wilson, you don't even have to see him if you don't want to."
"I can't stay here, I'm never going to be anything but an ex-slave here. This is a new world for me Cuddy, I don't want to be here, but as I am here I need to start over. Your hospital has had Greg's services for fifteen years without paying for them, I'm sure whatever you paid for him has been repaid many times over by now. You've had your pound of flesh. I hope wherever the poor bastard has gone it's somewhere better for him."
Cuddy regarded him silently, it was true that Greg had more than repaid his purchase price, she'd built the reputation of the hospital on his back without ever admitting he was a slave to the outside world. When she'd drawn up his manumission agreement she hadn't stipulated that he had to work in her hospital, although she had expected that he would. This position had been made for him after all.
Now, as she looked at House, she saw the man she'd known those years ago at Michigan, the tall proud man who bent for no-one. If she forced him to stay here, and she was sure she could, he would be resentful and difficult to manage - he'd already shown on this case that he would be a handful, and she didn't have the luxury of sending him for a well deserved whipping whenever he deserved one.
House took a step towards her, his expression open and honest for once, sincere.
"Let me go, please."
She slowly nodded her head.
"Stop by tomorrow and we'll do the paperwork terminating your employment, a new record even for you I think - three days. I can also give you a few hours employment in the clinic if you need some quick cash."
He nodded, and then glanced out the doors again, clearly eager to be outside, to gain his freedom.
"Good luck, House," she said.
He looked at her, and bounced his cane on the ground a couple of times and then turned around and went confidently out the front door of the hospital, alone, unshackled and unleashed. Free.
She watched him until he was out of sight and then returned to her office. There would be a bit of explaining to do about this rapid sequence of events to the staff and the Board. The loss of the diagnostic department would be a blow, but on the other hand the presence of a slave doctor had never sat well with many of the staff and there had always been opposition, she could put a positive spin on this, sell it as being good for the hospital.
She would keep an eye on House's progress as an 'online consultant' - if he was the House she knew, it was very likely that he would get himself into trouble sooner or later. One day he might be on the market again, and she would be ready.
House breathed a sigh of relief as he left the oppressive air of the hospital. The hospital that was not his hospital, the Cuddy and Wilson who weren't his friends. His grief over kicking Stacy out of his life seemed distant now, consumed by the problems of this new world. He wasn't sure what the future held for him, but at least he wouldn't be repeating the mistakes of the past.
He pulled out the cellphone that he'd been provided with and punched in a number.
"Foreman, need to talk to you." He supplied the name of a bar he'd noticed close to the hospital and then hung up and made two more calls to the other fellows. If he was going to consult he'd need some help, and without a Diagnostics Department they would find themselves unemployed, or shunted back to their original specialties. Besides they had the cash he didn't have.
He put his phone away and started walking towards his future.