(@Eerie_Coppernight will reply soon. Curently working on memoirs)
The door of my prison cell is slowly opened by an auto officer. Two troubleshooters standing beside him. I hold up my hand to block the light from the door way as it floods into the tiny cell. I was arrested three days ago by the automaton patrol at the clock tower. Normally, Eerie breaks me out before my stay in loiterer's prison is over. However, I hadn't heard from her since my arrest.
"Huh, surprising you're still here." says the female auto officer in a interested, yet annoyed tone.
"Me too," I reply, slowly standing up.
"Who gave you permission to speak?" she barked back at me.
I avert my eyes, knowing she didn't want any sort of reply. The officer taps her control gauntlet and commands the troubleshooters to grab my arms. I let them, too weak from hunger to fight back this time. Normally, the occupants of loiterer's prison are fed and only kept a single day before being released with a warning. As for me, I don't officially exist in Aethasia, or anywhere really. So the auto officers can do whatever they want to me when they catch me, which is far too often.
"So, no one came to the rescue this time?" the auto officer remarked as we walked through the lush green grass of Evergreen meadows.
The fog-washed farmers had sold a portion of their land in exchange for an unlimited supply of fog pills and free maintenance on their fog boilers.
I stared at the ground, trying to ignore her.
"Well it's a good thing, no one defies the Empire, not even puny little street rats like you!" With that she hits me over the head in frustration. I bit my lip and keep my head down, the less I say the better. When we finally arrive in No Man's Landing, the auto officer commands the trouble shooters to let go of me. Then, she kicks me hard in the stomach, causing me a hard fall on the ground.
"Get out of my sight!" she barks, pointing towards the grotto.
I give her a dark glare and run as fast as I can away from her.
Where were you Eerie?
When I enter the grotto, I am immediately surrounded by my little friends, their faces pure masks of fear and relief.
"Wh're were you, Missy?" asks Spring, a little girl of ten "We was worried sick about you!"
"Sorry," I tell them, "I was caught by an auto."
"Why din't hat lady get you out faster?" asks Billy, referring to Eerie.
"I don't know," I say, "I need to go see if she's alright."
"But you jist got back!" cried Georgia.
I kneel down beside her, "I know, but I know you're safe here. Hat lady might be in trouble, I'm just going to her house to see."
"Ok . . ." replies Georgia, quivering the slightest bit. I put my hands on her shoulders. "Don't worry, I promise I'll come back."
I stand up, waving to all my little friends. As I stand, my head begins to swim. I sit back down and hug each of them good bye before making my way to the Business district. I have no idea why Eerie would want to live in such an awful, fog-filled place, but so far it's served her well. I feel my head begin to swim again.
Maybe I can eat something at Eerie's. I think.
I walk up the stairs to her dark, shadowed house and rap on the door three times. I wait, and then rap three more times. Sighing, I pull out a spare key she had given me and unlock the door.
At least the door is whole. No one forced their way in here.
I look around the room, all of Eerie's things are in place. I look through her drawers to see if anything was stolen. Nothing.
How long has she been gone?
I throw open her wardrobe and look through her clothing. The chimney sweep outfit is missing. Eerie mostly wore that outfit when she needed a disguise that wouldn't draw question to being on a rooftop.
Are you investigating someone? Why do you need rooftop access?
I glance at her phonograph. From the position of the needle I can tell Eerie had just finished listening to a record before she left. I walk up to the phonograph and stare down at the recently played record. It's our favorite one, Best of the Phantom of the Opera. I could just picture my friend, singing, or humming a song from this record on the rooftop at night. Eerie does love going out doors in the evening. I pause, a sudden thought crossing my mind.
When you sang these, were you heard? I asked her mentally.
I head began to throb, and my stomach clenched painfully. I winced in pain, but continued to stare at the record.
You said the automatons don't have very a very long range when it comes to hearing. Did something human here you? An auto officer? I gasp aloud Are you in prison now? I move away from the phonograph and over to a dark window.
Or did someone else. . . I glance back at the record. Suddenly, the record divides into two blurry copies of itself. I stop, suddenly realizing how delusional I am. I lean against the wall, trying to regain my senses. Everything begins to fade away, the swimming in my head overwhelms my thoughts. Black spots flash before my eyes as I slowly sink to the floor.
I'll find her in the morning. I think, struggling against the swimming, Or maybe, she'll find me