Twelve

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Twelve


"Musetunes stocks have risen far beyond what was projected last year and continues its upward trend in the market. It's no wonder producers are willing to invest."

-Edward Simons, From the November edition of Music Mania Magazine




The West District was arguably one of the worst maintained areas in all of Sarias. Just on the edge of flatlands, but not too far from the coast, the district used to be a high traffic area. Back when Sarias produced a lot of goods in house, the West District was the prime location for factories and the production of exports.

Seventeen years ago, when Sarias made a trade treaty with the neighboring country, Aeriana, most of the exports became imports. In return, Sarias supplied other goods such as lumber, oil, and coal from the mines up North.

Some shops attempted to rebuild and reuse the district but with all the major cities being too far it was hard to bring in shoppers. No one wanted to shop in a refurbished warehouse.

Once truly abandoned, much like any vacant building, it didn't take long for vandals to sweep through and do what they do best--smash windows and spray paint their art onto any available canvas.

We drove up in the Initiative's van and parked in a side lot near the edge of a warehouse.

I gently closed my car door. Wes parked out in the open. We didn't have to sneak up on anyone, but quiet was always better in the field.

Eva wrinkled her nose, "It smells like a sewer."

Brayden, looking up at the jagged glass of broken windows at the top of the warehouse, said, "I think it adds character."

"Is that what you tell yourself?"

Tony, who'd begged to come along, groaned. "Do not tell me that the Musetunes Headquarters is in this rank warehouse."

"Ok," Wes headed to the building.

This particular section of the West District was block after block of warehouses. They weren't small either. These buildings were massive three or four story structures with angled roofs and rows of loading dock doors.

Wes had parked outside one at the edge of the massive lot, near the chain link fence bordering the next property. If I hadn't known we were on our way to meet with Wes' contact for Musetunes, I would've thought we'd gotten horribly lost.

He grabbed the handles of a weathered green dock door and, with a bit of muscle, lifted it up.

We headed inside, quiet as ever, despite the loud creak and groan the door gave as it went up.

"It's empty," Tony whispered.

And it was. The internal structure was as bad as the outside. Steel beams crisscrossed over the ceiling. Holes in the roof leaked sunlight that cast over dusty boxes and discarded spray paint cans. The stale air didn't sit well in my lungs.

"This doesn't make any sense," Tony whispered behind me, nudging an empty beer bottle with his toe. "Why not rebuild the structure and add in walls, a server room, workstations...?"

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