If The State So Says, So GoesMature

1.2 (cont.)

Greenward. Director Lohta's lower floors. It was the place where prisoners were taken to be put to task in the ironworks, whose labors made manifest an assortment of increasingly-odd and experimental machinations. There were horror stories from the place among young trainees and probationaries under the care of the State, to make sure their toes were at line and their noses in books.

"And you are fine with this?" Maron exhaled, turning a pale face to the State Tower, whose shadow now fell on the small market.

She chuckled. "A State's salary and a safe place to sleep? They had asked me, but ah-- My old bones wouldn't make it up the first steps. I sent her instead."

Unconsciously, he dropped a crown on the table leaving the figurine and headed for the State Tower, his personal vision of a happy home evaporating in the sweltering air.


Uniformed men bearing spears sag against a white wall.  A dog sniffs one and barks.

The young man had not realized what it was he was doing or had been doing.  Religiously he had gone to see the girl to satisfy his own desire.  She didn't even know him, he was sure.  He was just another silly man gawking after anything with two legs and a warm smile.  And then there was the  idiocy, so the locals spoke.  Was she worth the bother just to catch a glimpse of someone who never once showed interest in him?  Of course.  It wouldn't do to have this absence gnawing at him.

As an enumerator, Maron felt confident he could easily pass the gates.  Enter in and go directly to Director Lohta.  But he'd need something that was believable and spontaneous, with no required notification.  The young administrator paced the width of the fenced entrance.  He could get in but what about protocol?  Eventually they would read the logs and question him.  Visits like this should be approved by his supervisors and they would certainly like to know why he would visit a place reserved for those who broke the State's commands.  It would haunt his record.

The End

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