Maite just sat in her room, racking her brains for some kind of plan to escape de Lancre’s clutches. But, she could see no way out. She was stuck on the top of one of the tallest buildings in Bilbo and she was sure those damned spheres would alert de Lancre to anything she did.
Her door opened suddenly and she looked up. One of those spheres hovered at the entrance, just floating in the air like a giant eye, staring at her.
“What?” she exclaimed exhasperated. “Can you read my mind too? I wasn’t going to do anything.”
The sphere just floated there. If it understood her, it didn’t acknowledge it.
Maite stood up and sighed. “I assume this is some kind of summons then?”
As she made toward the door, the sphere turned and started floating down the hall. Instead of out to the patio, where at least Maite could take in the admittedly magnificent view of the city, the sphere took her in the opposite direction. At the end of the hall was a large double door, made of some shiny metal. The sphere stopped. Maite stopped. Nothing happened. She looked up at the sphere, which just floated in the air.
“Ugh,” she said as she approached the door. It opened silently, each side sliding into the neighboring wall. Inside, she saw a large desk surrounded floating displays. She recognized a few. One was of the city from above. Another showed the plaza outside the airport where she and Kepa had first encountered the flying eggs. Others displayed more intimate settings, seemingly the inside of people’s homes. A shiver ran down Maite’s back as she watched on one display a mother and father make dinner for their two children. Were these enemies of de Lancre that he might be planning to eliminate?
De Lancre sat behind the big desk. As Maite entered the room, he waved his hand and all of the displays dematerialized, leaving the room empty and spartan. Beyond de Lancre’s large desk, there was a small table surrounded by chairs in one corner, and another large chair on the opposite side of the desk from de Lancre. There was no art on the walls, nor shelves with momentos or books. Just plain bare walls.
De Lancre stood up as the desk rotated around him such that it was now behind him. He approached Maite and offered his hand. “I want to show you something,” he said.
Maite, her hand remaining at her side, replied. “What if I don’t want to see it?”
De Lancre tilted his head to the side. Three of the spheres floated into the room, small bolts of electricity arcing between them. They surrounded Maite’s head, one at each side and one behind, with de Lancre in front. “I hate to use them, but I won’t hesitate.”
Maite sighed, extending her hand.
De Lancre smiled.
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