Carpathia III: Episode 40 - The Letter
Zhail City, Sra's Sundries
Adell was still being harassed by the King's Sentries, but far less often than he was at first. Most of them seemed to know who he was now. There were a few, however, who harassed him more than a few times, leading him to believe that there were some who enjoyed their power too much.
Adell's routine was, at least, varied enough to lack monotony. Every day, his deliveries rarely took him to the same place twice in the city. He crossed paths with several other delivery boys like himself quite often and enjoyed brief conversations with them.
The sun was starting to wane on Adell's second shift as he trudged back to Sra's shop. This shift was different in a slight way, but it was enough to keep his curiosity. Normally, every delivery was the same. Deliver the goods and collect either credit or cash. One of the shops, a very posh location full of glittering jewlery and ornate decorations, gave him a large envelope sealed with a wax crest.
Adell opened the door of the shop and stepped inside. Sra was busy cleaning up, preparing to close for the day and he could hear Haria just out of sight, scratching down the day's numbers in her ledger.
Sra: Oh, I was wondering how much longer it would be. Could you hand the receipts over to Haria before she busts a pipe?
Adell approached the opening between the front desk and the back room and held the receipts through it. Without a word, Haria's tiny hand reached through and snatched them away from him.
Adell: By the way, one of the shopkeepers... I forgot the name. It's the fancy one down the street with all the jewlery. She asked me to give you this.
Adell presented the envelope to Sra, who was now looking just as puzzled as he was. He took the envelope from his hands and carefully opened it. Inside was a piece of thick, heavy paper which rattled in a low tone as he opened it. Adell gazed upon Sra in anticipation, wanting to know what was in the very important-looking letter.
Sra read the letter in silence, his eyes darting to and fro across the page. Finally, he sighed and appeared to read it again, occasionally glancing at Adell. Sra's eyes did not meet Adell's when he did so, however. Instead, each time, he scanned him from top to bottom. Though it gave the impression that the letter was about him, Adell could not imagine how it could be possible. He knew nobody important nor could he even imagine even an unimportant person writing about him. Was he in trouble or something? It seemed odd that anyone would take the bother of writing such an elaborate note for a simple reprimand.
Adell: What is it?
Sra: Hmmm... I figured this day might come eventually.
There was a pause as Adell expected him to continue.
Adell: What day is that?
Sra: Oh, Prince Riven has heard about our new offerings wishes to arrange a date to visit the shop. He's a regular customer at the jewelery shop where you got this note and buys my watches there.
Sra scanned Adell one more time.
Adell: Um, does this have something special to do with me?
Sra: He wants to meet all the employees. I'm sure you'll do fine.
Adell was sure there was more to this visit than Sra was telling him. Tired as he was, however, he decided to ask more about it later.
Adell: Anyway, where's Artemis?
Sra: He's in the room. I just like to let him do whatever work he wants nowadays. By the way, that last thing he made... I think he called it a "mechanical pencil?"
Adell: That's the one.
Sra: Lots of orders for that already. I've got a case of them for you tomorrow. You'd better rest up.
Adell agreed that he needed to rest up. He wasn't looking forward to carrying around a heavy case of pencils all day long and he hoped that he would have a nice cluster of locations to deliver to and unload much of the weight early.
Adell: Rest sounds good.
Adell turned towards the door to his room that he shared with Artemis. He turned the knob and pushed the door open. Artemis was hunched over his computer in deep concentration and hadn't even noticed him entering the room yet. Just before Adell opened his mouth to announce that he was home, Artemis suddenly leapt out of his chair and raised his fists high.
Artemis: Yes! Now that's what I'm talking about! Who's the genius? I'm the genius!
Too amused to say anything, Adell simply leaned against the door frame and watched the show, smiling at each one of Artemis's wild gestures.
Artemis: Oh yes, I am awesome! Go Artemis! It's your birthday! It's your birthday!
Adell could not contain himself any longer and decided that he must announce himself.
Adell: Find something?
In an instant, Adell was now looking high up at Artemis, who had his arms and legs wrapped around a support beam.
Artemis: DON'T YOU KNOCK?
Adell: It's my room too, you know. Besides, I would have missed the show!
Artemis unwrapped his legs from the beam and swung down. He released his hands and landed on the floor with a thud.
Artemis: Well, since you asked, I finally managed to make an EM shield for my computer. This crazy EM field on this moon has been messing up all my electronics! Now, maybe I'll be able to figure some things out without my computer bugging out on me all the time.
Adell: That's good. So what's the date?
Artemis: I don't know. I lost that data when we were back on the island. At least we can start counting the days from now, but everything until now is toast. I'm going to update Phobos and Deimos so that they can count too. Last time I tried to link to their data, it scrambled them too.
Adell: Think we'll find a way back home?
Artemis: I don't know. I'm almost certain what brought us here was a wormhole. We would need to find what generated it to get back. The problem is, it could be anywhere on this moon or somewhere else entirely. I have no way of knowing until I figure out a way to scan through all this interference. Something here is producing massive amounts of energy and I want to find it.
Adell turned and closed the door. He strode up to Artemis and wrapped his arm tight around his waist.
Adell: Well, before you solve the mystery of the moon, why don't you take a break?
Artemis shivered a little.
Artemis: Oh yes. A break. A break would be great.
All city pictures from SimCity 4