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We meet up with Ash McKenna once more, this time as he’s filing to get his passport. It doesn’t take long to get caught up  on how he’s doing after the events in Portland: He’s living in a hippy commune in the Georgia woods, he intends to leave the country entirely and fly to Prague, and he’s dealing with what happened in Portland by drinking as much cheap whiskey as it takes to not be swallowed by his memories and fears. Also, that he has next to nothing. 

The commune, South Village, is owned and operated by a friend of Ash’s, Tibo, whom we met first in New Yorked. We learn that Tibo offered to make Ash head of security but haunted as he was by his past, Ash turned it down to instead work in the kitchen alongside a man names Aesop. Ash’s goal is to keep his head down, work, and stay drunk enough to get by until his passport comes in. 

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Short summary: We meet back up with Ash McKenna outside Naturals, a Portland-based vegan strip club as he’s doing half of what he’s good at–getting hit. He’s working on keeping the other half, hitting back, tucked deep down inside and far away from the surface. Portland is just the latest stop in a tour of US cities Ash has been through lately, all of them following his departure from New York in the wake of a self-destructive quest to find a friend’s killer.  He’s doing his best to turn over a new leaf, to leave the drinking, smoking, brawling Ash he used to be firmly in the past where he belongs. So when one of the strippers, Crystal, asks for his help finding her daughter, it’s too much like his old life to agree to help. 

That is, until he’s forced in a trunk, warned to stay away from Crystal, and pistol-whipped by a man in a chicken mask. Then, it’s personal. Chicken Mask broke his cell phone and owes him a new one. 

Ash begins to unravel the mystery of where the daughter went while letting the new Ash unravel as well and in the end, finding who he was and always has been waiting for him under a thin veneer of sobriety and pacifism.  

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