Center of A TensionMature

A dead man floats the way a new man floats.

Maron stood from the center of the room and walked half the distance to Dawmas to meet him, having to remind himself to show concern for the girl as the guard approached.  Their ordeal was unique, but not unheard of within the confines of a State Tower, especially one with the reputation of Greenward.  Maron reflected on the nature of the madness they had undergone, wondered if they had somehow triggered a trap, intended to prevent trespassers.  Perhaps, there was something worth trespassing.

"We just missed Director Lohta."  Dawmas offered.  Maron feigned interest in the statement, but only to press a question unspoken, which his new companion eventually reported. "There were others with him, she says.  But she couldn't tell you if any was the girl you are looking for.  They were covered."


"Yes...  Like masks.  Only no eyes could be seen. Lohta too, it seems."

A furrowed brow crept across the administrator's pate.  "Were they prisoners?  Is she?"

"No.  Just some spoiling doxy who chained herself to keep safe."  Dawmas was actually impressed by the move, with what little respect he seemed to hold for women of her nature.  "Apparently her husband had come in before us.  Made a mess of things."

Maron the enumerator glanced around the room, understanding.  "I don't see a body."

"No.  Any remains like that would be in whatever tried to take us.  Even the corners of this place look like I could eat from them."

"So, now where are they?"

Dawmas pointed toward the center of the room, the center of the device.  

Maron could only assume that this was somehow Lohta's Moving Gate, which meant that it was no trap.  Their pursuit wasn't in any real danger of being discovered, at least as far as he knew.  Keeping incognito was best when taking account of things.  Less distractions.  It was enough that the deaf girl, Vaerya, occupied so much of his brain.

The sound of a chained cuff striking the stone wall provided a small break, but Maron  felt increasingly uncomfortable in the chamber now, the prostitute standing and nearing the two of them.  Her reasserted identity reminded the young administrator of other things about the deaf girl, and it made his mind swim.  He made for a hallway opposite the door they just entered.

"Where are you going?" the guard questioned as the State enumerator crossed the room toward the Director's office.

The End

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