CutFreeze – Chapter 1 and 2
Canea felt strong and filled with new-found hope when she walked through the long corridor, passing a line of whitewashed doors until she reached the end of the hallway where a tall, ebony door with a deadbolt obstructed her. She lifted the bolt and walked into the waiting room where Chloé had been just a few moments ago.
Chloé Zettanu was not her first choice of partner. She didn’t know her well, and they both came from two different worlds. Chloé had been born in High Dacaria, the privileged class zone. She had visited a prestigious school with outrageous tuition fees that Canea’s parents could never afford. Chloé came from money whereas Canea was born and raised in Middle Dacaria, which was a step below High Dacaria but still a class above Terraria where the dregs of society lived. Middle Dacaria wasn’t so bad. The schooling system was decent, there was enough food, and families enjoyed good housing, but they could only enter High Dacaria if they were allotted work there or if they signed up for the Squadron, Dacaria’s police system. The High Dacarians were proud of their name and status and wouldn’t pass up a chance to rub it in with the lower classes.
Terraria was something else. No one wanted to live there and the unfortunate who were stuck in the lowest class by birth or fate had little chance of getting out. Most houses were ruins, streets were littered with potholes, many lanterns were out of commission which made driving at night a huge risk, and Terraria was infamous for the bunch of outlaws it played host to. Maihem had been born in that hellhole.
Stop! Her inner thoughts shouted at her. Do not think of him. You just had him frozen out of you!
The door to the Director’s office opened a crack and his voice beckoned.
“Delu, come in.”
She entered the big room and saw Chloé in the left sofa chair. She didn’t turn around to greet her, but it wasn’t expected of her since she belonged to a higher class.
“Close the door please.”
She did as she was told and approached the desk, taking a seat next to Chloé. The young woman finally acknowledged her with a cold nod.
“Good, now that I have both of you here, I’ll get straight to the point. I am forming a new task force to investigate the recent disappearances.”
Canea nodded, aware of what had been happening, but Chloé seemed surprised.
“You mean, there are more like Caleb?”
Chloé glared at Canea, irritated that she seemed to be more informed. It should be the other way around.
“If you hadn’t focused so much on finding your previous partner, you would know this,” the Director reprimanded her. Chloé’s eyes narrowed, still staring at Canea, but when she turned back to the Director her face was stoic.
“You will join the task force today,” the Director continued. “We need all hands on deck.”
“How many have disappeared?” Chloé asked.
A knock on the ceiling interrupted them and all three looked up when the ceiling slid open and revealed a woman’s face on the flat TV. screen. Her stern, blue eyes gave the girls a once-over and then she addressed the Director.
“Todd Buhan and Mikal Everhard are gone.”
“For how long?”
The Director turned to Chloé and said, “As of right now, fifty-three have disappeared.”
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