"Wanna drop some acid...?"

"Where the hell are they?"

Lenore was incredulous.

"They went back the way they came," Molina replied. "I tried to talk them out of it, but they wouldn't listen. Finally I got an AK47 up my nose. I stopped trying to convince them. And, they, uh, took all the food."

"I thought they were looking for a way through!" Milo screeched. He was pissed off, naked, waving his arms and stomping back and forth like a cartoon lunatic, and not caring.

"They got one" said Molina, calmly. "I showed them on their map how we came. That's all Capitán Jauregui wanted -- a plausible way to tell his commander they made it. So he'll lie, report they got through the Darién Gap, and that when they did they found bodies of farmers, shot. FARC will take it from there. Meantime, El Capitán finally gets some leave so he can see his wife and kids for a few days."

Nobody said anything for long minutes. Molina tried not to ogle in Milo's direction, but couldn't help it. Milo eventually noticed Molina's involuntary eye-darts toward his pelvis and shifted to a more modest postion... Molina smiled a wan, brief thank-you.

Lenore walked back to the van. She returned almost right away, shaking her head disgustedly.

"Fuckers! They got everything. Fifty pounds of rice and fifty of beans. Cleaned us out while were were asleep "

"Goddam those creeps! I had a bad feeling about this," exclaimed Milo, the last night's hazy good will toward FARC already forgotten. He glared at Molina.

"Hey don't look at me like that. Not part of my brief. At least you guys are alive." Molina shrugged again.

"Well, for how long? What do we do now?" asked Lenore. "The van's got a half-tank of gas. Maybe ten gallons more in the jerry cans. No food except crackers, and we killed all the booze last night, too."

"I've got enough gas to go back. You guys probably do too," said Molina, considering. "But I don't think any of us actually want to do that."

He looked meaningfully at Milo. Milo looked down at his feet.

At least they still had water. The sun was getting high, and growing warmth underscored their hung-over dehydration. Lenore brought out the crackers and divvied about half of them up evenly between them.

The last part of Lenore's rant -- the part about no booze -- had sent a cold shiver up Milo's back.

No booze meant the unwelcome return of hallucinations so strong he wouldn't be able to keep his pants up -- he could already feel Callie and Furlonger skulking somewhere close by. Then an owl hooted somewhere in the trees.

That gave him an idea. Mybe a bad one, but in the circumstances he was willing to go with it. A quick, desperate mental inventory recalled to him something he hadn't considered since leaving Grace's apartment back in Chicago. Until now. He brightened. Perfect. Milo knew he was going to hallucinate anyway. He figured he could at least pick his own poison.

"Hey!" he blurted brightly. "Wanna drop some acid?"