Chapter 37

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Terra closed the back door of her house early the next morning, perhaps never to return again. Will carried two bags to the truck that contained what few of her clothes and possessions she decided to take with her. She held the key in her hand, but paused, then tossed it inside and closed the door without locking it.

Goodbye old house. You served me well. Perhaps someone will take better care of you.

They drove quietly toward the Blue Uprising Command Center. A small smile came to her as she recalled the sweet lovemaking of last night. She had expected Will to make a quip about seeing the sunrise this morning, but it never came. This gave her a distant feeling of unease, as if it foretold an undesired ending.  Her smile faded.

I hope we are doing the right thing.

The Blue Uprising Command Center filled an entire block and then some. From the outside, it appeared to be an unremarkable and somewhat rundown metal-sided warehouse. Terra guided Will away from the main parking lot in the front to a gravel lot a short distance off the back of the building, one concealed by a row of mostly empty wooden buildings.

She explained. "If things go bad and we have to make a quick exit we will want to avoid the main entrance and go out the back."

They circled the entire building at a distance to familiarize Will with the area. Finally, they approached the front entrance.

Terra turned toward Will. "Are you ready?"

He nodded and gripped her hand. "Together."

They entered through rickety doors and walked up to a pretty well-dressed receptionist behind a curved wooden desk. Two burly blue-uniformed security guards flanked it, not different then what one might see in a real functioning business. Terra knew they were armed and there were likely more nearby.  Even the seemingly harmless receptionist likely packed a sidearm.

Terra spoke to the receptionist. "Terra Lorr, and guest Will Sall."

The receptionist looked down and manipulated the tablet viewer before her. Shortly she produced two name tags and handed them to Will and Terra.

"Welcome back, Ms. Lorr."

The pair followed one of the guards through another set of doors and then paused while he ran some sort of scanner over them to check for concealed weapons. Satisfied, he motioned them on. They walked past two other uniformed guards who openly held assault rifles.

Terra whispered to Will. "From now on the security will be mainly Talented. Stay with me, but not too close. You will be nearly invisible to them."

He moved an arm's length away from her. Terra shifted into the aura, hoping that her relatively bright signature would mask Will's lack of one if anyone checked closely. They continued down the brightly lit windowless hallway past another set of guards, these wearing the traditional robed garb signifying Talent.

Terra turned and opened one side of a set of double doors to enter a large open area bustling with activity. She took Will by the hand and led him through the scattered people and desk stations. She stopped behind a short middle-aged man.

"Hex!"

The man swiveled around in his chair and grinned. "Terra! How is our favorite problem child?"

Terra pulled Will forward. "Hex, this is Will Sall."

The men shook hands.

Will said, "Good to meet you in person."

"Likewise."

Hex turned to Terra. "How did Will just walk in here?"

She smiled. "He has that way about him. Were you able to do what I asked?"

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