“You don’t seem to understand, President Freemont, that we have people to look after out there, too. There are almost two thousand residents in this city that require protection. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, but they’re still important.”
“I understand that, Matthew. But, what you don’t seem to understand is that we’re also in the middle of an academy here and we have students to protect. It’s hard enough when we have something serious happen. We can’t be sending out people on missions that may not even be a mission at all. Besides, how often do those monsters attack your precious little town? Isn’t that why we chose to build the headquarters here? It’s safe.”
Kaylee and Sarah looked to one another. It was true the city was safer than most, as the monsters usually didn’t bother with places so small. That was why the headquarters were built in that location all those years ago.
“I know that.” Matt sighed, trying to stay calm. “Look, we need some help. He was last seen a few nights ago near the old factory on Ridgeway. He had no reason to be up there, especially at ten o’clock at night.”
“That factory you’re tearing down in a few months?” Matt nodded. “Have you checked inside the building?”
“No, we thought that would be the only place he wouldn’t be.” Kaylee could see the anger flash across Matt’s already hard face. He pinched his nose together. His silky, blue eyes narrowed. She watched with fear that he may draw back and hit the president. Instead, he took in a long, deep breath and slowly let it out before removing his fingers from his nose. “Of course we checked the building. That was the first thing we did. Wouldn’t look too good if we razed a building with a councilman inside, would it?”
“No, probably not.” Harrison raised his hands, his head shaking vigorously. “As of right now, though, there is nothing I can do. My hands are tied. I have children to think about. Call the local authorities and ask them for help. If nothing can be found by the end of the month, then we’ll send out a mission team to do some digging.”
Matthew sighed again and stepped away from Harrison. “Fine, but I hope, for your sake, that the councilman is found safe. And, that delaying a mission team by the month won’t hurt his chances of being found alive. You’d do well to remember that my city helps fund your organization.”
“Yes, and you would do well to remember that we help keep it safe for you, Matthew. Do not test me. I promise you won’t like the results.”
The president walked away, his shoulder smacking against Matt’s as he left. He rounded the wall and stopped just long enough to look into Kaylee’s eyes before moving on. It took Matt a second to gain his composure before following the president.
He, too, stopped and looked at the group.
“Nice to see you all,” he said, his voice wavering. “How’s it going?”
“Uh, good,” Kaylee said. “Nice to see you, too, mayor.”
“You can call me Matt.”
“Okay, Matt,” Sarah said, her voice cracking with nervousness.
“Well, have a good day, children.” He nodded his head and hurried off through the hallway.
As he walked away, Kaylee stared after him.
“I could watch that man walk away every day,” Aileen said. Her head had appeared over Kaylee's shoulders. She pushed Aileen off her and rolled her eyes.
“Aileen!” Mitch hissed. Kaylee and Sarah snorted with laughter.
“What?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he said. "Can we just go, please?"
"Sure," Kaylee said, still laughing.
Christy Howell is the author of the Eloquentia series