Both the figure and Asheyna gasped in shock, then sighed in relief.
"Geez, don't scare me like that!" the latter hissed. The figure came into the dim, grimy light, shrugging.
"Didn'mean to," the figure, who Asheyna recognized as Gwen, muttered appologetically. "Guess you're doing a good job keeping quiet, huh, f'y'scared me like that?"
The Irish Pianist eased the door closed behind herself, and crossed the room to the brightest corner in the darkened space. She circled a few times, then settled onto the concrete floor cross-legged.
"Did you get across the border alright?"
Gwen shrugged. "I'm here in one piece, aren't I?" She ran her lean fingers over her emaciated features. "And I thought legal border-hopping way-back-when was tough enough. I'd think Satan himself would have an easier time getting into heaven than I did coming in from the States." She sighed. "But I fired up the press back home, met with the staff, told them to keep their eyes open."
"So the word's getting out?"
"To the right people, yes. There are enough literary folks in the States to be concerned 'bout us, but it's out of their jurisdiction, so they can't do much 'bout it. 'Sides, even if it was in their jurisdiction the lit. peoples'd be in danger, because it's also in their jurisdiction." She fiddled with the end of her frazzled braid. "Speaking of danger, did any of the guys get back yet?"
Asheyna shook her head. "At least one of them was supposed to get back over an hour ago. I'm worried."
"I don't think this is a time for sarcasm," Asheyna quipped.
"Good a time as any." Gwen would've elaborated, but she heard a noise outside the blocked windows. Footsteps. Heavily booted, by the sound of it. The two locked apprehensive eyes, sharing mutual thoughts: this could either be a fellow Protagonizer, or a dreaded antagonist.