“Not that that I know about.” Responded Ivan. He noticed her worried expression before asking, “Is there some reason for you to think that anything would be…. missing” He paused for a second before the last word because just before he had said it Lynn was gone. She hadn’t left through the doorway or anything mundane like, she had just ceased to be there anymore.
After around a minute for swearing at the frustration of having to deal with her he pulled out his cell phone and dailed her number. There was a ringing sound and he looked up to see a phone sitting on the table next to him. Curse her and her bloody ability to teleport willy nilly. He really needed to find a new job.
University District, Professor Harold’s Laboratory
It has taken Lynn several minutes to arrive at Harold’s Laboratory. There was too many intervening obstacles to make the teleportation any quicker. Still by going across the rooftops she had been able to arrive at the other side of the Research District faster then any other person was capable of doing. It was beginning to become evening and the doors to the laboratory were locked. Harold used to keep the doors open late working but since he was missing the must have locked the doors early. Maybe the doors hadn’t even been unlocked today if there was nobody to work here.
Locks never really bothered Lynn however and a moment later she was on the other side of the still locked door. She could have made a few quick jumps and nearly instantly arrived main research room but she walked instead. If something really had happened to Harold then any clue she might find would be interesting.
The rooms on the way to the main research room were empty of any clues that Lynn could find however and the room itself was equally useless. Sure it was full of all sorts of things, experiments that Harold had been working on before his disappearance. Many things were out of the ordinary but that was too be expected, but nothing there clued Lynn into why Harold has vanished. She hadn’t really expected to find anything though, the University Security must have already combed this placed and Ivan would have know had they found anything.
The room changed and Lynn was in the basement. Harold kept many of his projects down here where they were safer and father away from prying eyes. In particular one project was down here that Lynn had helped him with. That was the project that she had initially been worried about and had decided to come over to check on.
It was a relief to see the door into the special laboratory shut and still locked. Only her and Harold would be able of opening the door without breaking it, or at least that was the plan. There were probably other Espers that would be capable of entering the room so it would be best to go in and double check. She went up to the door and typed in the password to open the door and… nothing happened. Lynn frowned, the door not working was a bad sign.
She moved to the other side of the door easily, trying to type in the password had simply been a formality. The keypad on the other side of the door had been rewired as far as she could tell, possibly to stop the door from opening from the other side. But it didn’t look like the door would be able to open from this side either so she didn’t know why somebody would do it, had it been Harold.
She crossed the room instantly, her worry growing and found the case that usually sat there open and flung to the floor new to a small portable power generator that they had kept in the room for testing.
The Euclidian Key was gone.
The Belly, Sector 36
It had taken Emiray several days sort everything out down at the water pump. After taking all of the notes she could about the body she needed to find a way to dispose of it. The distance was too far to take the body all the way back up to the surface and she didn’t want to even if she could have. Still she had to carry it, with the help of R08, several miles to something that functioned like an incinerator. It was a horrible way for someone to end, burned deep under the surface with nobody who cared about you to morne for you. It also reminded Emiray that when she died this would probably also happen to her.
After the body was dealt with it was still several more hours before she got to a communication station. Cell phones didn’t get service down in the Belly so engineers had to rely on regularly spaced communication stations to stay in touch with each other hand the chief engineer. Normally she would have made a report about everything that had happened and then been assigned another job in a nearby sector to go and complete. This time was different however. Somebody in the University District was making a fuss and she needed to personally travel up several sectors to return the personal articles that she had deemed important enough to save from the fire.
So she began they days long trip through the tunnels up to the University District. In straight distance it probably wasn’t that far away, only a couple of miles up but there was no straight path. The city has constantly built upon itself and as the top got heavier and heavier the bottom sunk deeper and deeper into the ocean. Now there were miles of tunnels and rooms and passageways all beneath the city. A person could be lost for years down in the Belly if they didn’t know the passageways between the sectors.
Emiray had grown up in the Belly and knew her way around many parts of the Belly. In the parts she didn’t know she was still able to find her way. R08 had been to many places that she never had been and engineers were constantly marking and remarking the correct paths and while an normal person would never recognize the signs Emiray knew them on sight.
When she finally arrived at Sector 37, not far under the University District she made contact with the head engineer again. The orders she received were to wait there Omar, another engineer. He was bring down one of the people from the University District. While it was unusual for people other then engineers to want to enter the Belly she suspected that a death of another person from the University District was probably important enough for that to happen.
Emiray waited at the communication station for Omar and it was only a couple of hours before he arrived. He wore the some type of stained jumpsuit that Emiray was wearing although his was a fair bit bigger then hers. He have her a bow and she nodded her head slightly in response. Following behind him was a robot, although his was much different then R08. He was a quadruped model, faster and stronger the R08 although not as good at delicate tasks. Omar’s was also more bulky and was less then a decade old, practically new by engineering standards. If something couldn’t last at least ten years then it generally wasn’t worth having in the first place.
A little bit behind the robot come another map. The man was huffing and leaned up against the wall as soon as he caught up to Ovan. Surface-siders always had trouble keeping up with the pace that Engineers tend to set. The man looked a little bulky and probably got too much to eat and not enough exercise.
“Is the the man.” Said Emiray. It was more rhetorical then anything else. Who else would be following Ovan down into the Belly. Ovan nodded enthusiastically. He had only been an engineer for three years now and still thought the job was exciting. Emiray thought that he had enough enthusiasm for two or three engineers.
“Yes, that is him. Bit of a strange old dude if I would say so. No disrespect but he always keeps grumbling. First it was about not having a decent cup of coffee and then it was about not taking a bath. Surface-siders can be soft can’t they.” Ovan laughed at his own comment, not seeming to realize that the man was not three feet away from him and plainly capable of hearing everything that was being said.
“Excuse me.” Said the man who seemed to have gotten his breath back. “I heard that there was an Engineer who found the body of a University Citizen an I to believe correctly that you are that engineer?” He paused for a second before continuing. “I mean not offense but you seem awfully young for the job.”
“Hey now, don’t go saying that.” Said Ovan heartily. “Don’t let her fool you. She is one of the best engineers that there is. She has been one longer then I have, she had been one most of her life, practically born an engineer I say, an engineering genius.” He paused to catch a breath and Emiray interrupted him before he could continue.
“Yes, that was me. I found the body down in Sector 38 although I still have not idea how he managed to end up dead locked inside a room. I brought with me all of his personal possession except his clothes. I will give you a full report before you are guided back to the surface.”
Ovan shook his head for a moment. “Actually you will have time to tell him on your way back up. I’m been instructed to pass the guide duty off to you and the head off to Sector 35. It seems that some of the platting is starting to weaken and it left then some of the building in the city above might collapse. Architecture is my strong suit so the chief is wants me to get on to it as quickly as possible. You are to guide Professor Gray here back up to the surface and then give all the appropriate reports before reporting back to the chief.”