Gravity clutched once more at Jackson, and he and the thief came down with a heavy thud. Landing on the man softened the fall, but Jackson heard a distinct wheezing coming from below him. His soft landing had equalled an even harder one for the thief.
Jackson rolled off the man and landed on burning sand. The bright sun pierced his eyes, and his hand instinctively rushed up to protect his sight. His other hand was supporting himself, uncomfortable bordering on painful on the hot sand. He imagined part of the wheeze next to him came from trying to breathe through the heat and sand.
Moving to his feet, Jackson peered down at the breathless thief, wondering what to do next. After all, he'd just watched a Nazi take the man's...his, he corrected himself, money. No way of getting that back now he supposed. No way anyone was going to believe him either, not after the oh so clever story he told his mother.
Angry now, he grabbed the older man and dragged him to his feet roughly.
"What the hell did you have to go and rob me for?" he yelled in the man's face. "It was only a lousy few hundred bucks. What good would that do you?"
The man looked up at Jackson's face, terrible familiarity dawning in his face. Without seeming to have heard Jackson's questions, he started to blabber.
"How did you get out of the tower? How did you escape?" Fear and panic were uncontrolled in his voice. "How did you find me?" The man felt suddenly heavy in Jackson's arms and he realized that the man's knees had buckled.
Alarmed by the fear he had somehow instilled in this man, Jackson let him fall.The man's speech had devolved into pained whimpers and panicked gibbering. Looking down at the crumpled form, Jackson surprised himself by feeling pity. After all, he had somehow scared the wits out of him, and he had just watched a Nazi soldier rob him as Jackson had been robbed in turn. Even though he was a superhuman vagabond, Jackson did somehow pity him.
Turning away, Jackson considered the facts and his options. The money was gone. It was now about 8pm his time, so the box office had been closed for at least two hours. Could he say he'd been mugged? Hold onto the man behind him and turn him into the police? Then he could wave away the story he'd told his mother, saying he had been too frightened to speak of it.
Yes, Jackson thought, that ought to do the trick. And I imagine the police won't be able to hold this guy for very long as it is, since he doesn't have the money...Wait, he doesn't have the money, and he looks just like any homeless bum. And I'm some teenager. When they don't find the money on him, or they think he's a loon when he says it was taken by a Nazi soldier in a German pub, will they suspect me of stealing it?
These thoughts began to cloud Jackson's mind, and with a wrench, he pulled his thoughts away. No, I'll bring this man in, turn him into the police and tell them the story. Well, a part of the story at any rate. Not like they'd ever believe what really happened, and then they probably would suspect me. Jackson once again nodded to himself
"Okay buddy, come with me. I'm turning you into the police," said Jackson as he turned back around. The man was nowhere to be seen. The imprint of his body still lay upon the sand but he had vanished once more.
Jackson let out a yell of frustration and anger. Only the empty desert listened.