GENRE: Adult Science Fiction
Alinda, head of the Peacekeeps, is investigating the mysterious death of one of the city's Venerables. Roen was the Venerable's assistant and has requested to speak with Alinda. Pol is a Peacekeep Cadet.
“Thank you for contacting us, Mer Roen. When you’re ready to speak —”
“A memory square,” Roen burst out, then wrung her hands and fell silent again.
Alinda raised her eyebrows, and she and Pol exchanged a curious look. “Go on,” Alinda said gently.
“One of the things that was stolen. I just realized it yesterday.”
“The robber stole a memory square?” Alinda said.
“I think so. It’s still missing. It’s the only thing — I’m pretty sure it’s the only thing that never showed up.”
“What was contained on this memory square?”
“It was Venerable Jallaian’s.”
“And?” Alinda prompted after yet another silence.
Roen’s eyes were suddenly wet with tears. “I think it might explain why she died.”
Alinda came to Roen with a start. “Are you serious? Tell me exactly what you mean.”
But Roen’s chest had started heaving, and her sobs kept her from speaking for several minutes. Pol gripped her shoulder and murmured consoling words. At last, with a hiccup, Roen rubbed her eyes and said, “It was a specialist. Someone she was seeing in addition to her regular Caretaker. I — I think something may have gone wrong. I remember at the funeral yesterday, when the other Venerable —” Her face crumpled up. “When she collapsed. The same thing happened to Jallaian once, a month or two ago. She said it was just a side effect from some new medication — she told me not to mention it to anyone —”
“Shh, shh.” Pol gave Roen a solemn look. “It’s not your fault. You cannot blame yourself.”