For the Throat

The watch on Robyn's wrist seemed to be gaining a pound or two with every tick of the second hand. A cacophonous ring that hit her eardrums accompanied it and she rubbed her temples in distress. The two of them were trying their best not to look ever so anxious. They needed to have a self-effacing demeanor, however difficult it was for the bursting creative minds of theirs. They walked down the steps to the entrance of the platforms silently.

Asheyna was obviously eager to take a closer look at the graffiti on the wall and admittedly, Robyn was on tenterhooks to do so too. As she thought about it, it gave her some relief to know that there were prospective allies amongst them. It was a risky thing to do, leaving such prominent signatures of rebellion, but she saw some potential in using it to the Protagonists' advantage. A diversion, maybe?...

It was subject to be discussed during the meeting, and she made a mental note of it. Her head was currently filled with imaginary sticky notes (all color-coded, of course) marked with black ink; it had been devastating news for her to hear that post - it notes were no longer legal. A tool for accumulating the products of sporadic bouts of inspiration, they called it. 

"Robyn, have you got some money? I think I've misplaced my wallet..." Asheyna asked. Robyn handed her just enough for two one-way tickets on the train leaving from platform 8A. It was an approximated seven minutes until the next train arrived. 

"I wonder who's going to turn up at the meeting. I do hope it'll be more than the little six that arrived last time," Robyn said with a heavy heart. She was burning with curiosity to know of the other Protagonists' states. Safe methods of communication were scarce at a time like this, and people were arriving from one too many directions. A detected interference with a line or signal, would cause immediate suspicion. 

"Well... I recall Rose saying she'd be here after her cat recovered from that nasty bug, and Jack said he'd be back from Kelowna by now, and Kaiser should've contacted me two days ago, but obviously not. That's all I know of as far as expected attendants go," Asheyna replied. 

Robyn sighed, identifying with the tinge of doubt of their presence she could sense in Asheyna's voice. No one ever returned when they expected they would - if they returned at all that is.  

The pair sat down on the bench, having reached their platform, and Robyn took off her coat. The Canadian air was cool, but she'd been on the go for the past twelve hours; at least in tennis training she got a water break or two. 

There was a vending machine at the other end of the platform, and she was amazed at how appealing a bare and unattractive appliance looked to her, all of a sudden. It had been stripped of its brightly designed advertisements, and was now a boring sheet of white. Robyn had made a promise to herself to not make use of such examples of the government's disapproval to innovation, but she was undeniably parched.

"Asheyna, just wait here a sec," Robyn instructed as she got up, "I really need something to drink." 

"Oh, me too please. Just some water," Asheyna requested.

Even the walk to the other side was tiring. Luckily, the machine was unoccupied and she slotted in a couple coins. With her index finger, she pressed for a bottle of water. 

Ba-dum. 

And naturally, she would have dived in for the water. But she didn't know where to put her hand. She blinked. Twice - it was still jet black. 

And as loudly as Robyn's dry throat could manage, she cried desperately, "Asheyna?!" 

The End

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