Disclaimer: This is my very first attempt at anything remotely sci-fi. I have never been good at this genre, reading OR writing.
Auxi pulled the cloak around her tighter. It grew colder every day and whatever those people at the Tower said, she was not going to believe that it was only temporary. Already the skies were getting darker and it was obvious that winter was getting heavy. What the problem with that was that it had come in June this year.
Auxi stumbled on. Icy, cold wind had been lashing her face for the past half hour, but she wasn’t thinking of stopping. She would never break her routine at Waratia even if it meant days colder than this.
As she pushed on, Auxi thought about the announcement yesterday. They said they were almost done, that their machine was ready. Auxi didn’t know whether to believe that or not. The Tower certainly was capable of creating a heat blast machine that would increase the temperatures considerably. But why would they do that? Why would they tackle the weather, specially now when they could use this against the strike that had been planned. Things didn’t add up. Auxi decided not to put her five moons in donation.
The wind dropped, and it was considerably easier to move. Within three minutes Auxi covered more distance than she had in the past half hour. She reached Waratia. Auxi slipped inside the front door, as she had done every day for the past six years.
A wave of hot air hit her sharp. Auxi loosened her cloak gratefully. That was the one good thing about Waratia. It gave all it’s residents the priviledge of a moderate temperature condition all through the year. Anyway, it was very problematic to have an inmate die in prison, questions were asked.
Waratia was the only prison in the land, but then crime was a new word. The front door opened automatically as she walked in, and so did every door in the mesh of tunnels she crossed. There was no one anywhere. But Auxi knew her every move was being monitored and she had already been frisked twice. She had learnt through experience, that the metal badges on her cloak could detain her and cancel her meeting, so she always stripped them off before coming.
The dim white light of the final corridor beckoned her closer. Auxi tried not to run the last few steps. She reached the familar A-56 door. She typed the passcode she had been issued. She stood straight, and tried not to move or blink, as the seven-step checks proceeded.
Then a heavy frisking sound issued and the door slid open slowly. This had always tested Auxi’s patience. Like always, she stopped the urge to slip in and waited for the whole door to open, ever so slowly. Any hasty moves in Waratia and you were dead.
She heard him before she could see him. And just as she stepped inside, he took her in a tight embrace and held on.
“Just 1 year and sixty two days more, Auxi. Just this much.” He whispered in her ears, a figure Auxi was well aware of. The Tower may only just have faced crime, they were harsh on their sentences. Vizas had got a four year sentence for breaking out of a meeting in the Tower, and that too wasn’t much to blame him on…
“I know Vizas. I know…”
They stood like that for some time, when Auxi finally slipped down in the only chair in Vizas’ cell.
Vizas took his place at the bed. They talked about their families, Auxi’s job at the Message Room, but not much was spent on what Vizas did yesterday, after Auxi’s visit.
Auxi looked into Vizas’ blue eyes. The only blue eyes in all the land. Like she did every day, she wondered if he would be ready to slip back into the world when he finally got out. The world was precisely the reason he was in here in the first place. And it apparent he liked the hang of things much better here.
He had told her enough times that the only reason he was willing to get back to the Tower, that is if his position was still available, was to get nearer to Auxi and nothing else.
“How’s Bie?” Vizas cut through her thoughts.
Bie, his best mate. Auxi had never found just the chance to tell him he had taken his position at the Tower, temporarily as he said. But even Auxi could see he was in love with his job.
“He’s good. Asks of you everyday.”
“Yeah, he could just visit anytime.”
“Vizas. You know how they wouldn’t allow it, back at the Tower.”
“They did you.”
“Bie’s in admin, Vizas. They can’t take the risk.”
“So they say.”
Talk ceased once more. Auxi feared if Vizas would ever be the same again.
Vizas’ eyes lowered. He seemed to hear her thoughts. He had always showed telepathic tendencies, although if they were serious, they should have formed fully by now. What it would be if Vizas became one of the Lords, Auxi thought.
“Not very happy. The first thing I’d get changed is prison rules. This place could do with improvement.”
“You’re reading my thoughts again.”
“You were thinking too loudly. Sometimes, I seem to hear you from Message Room… for instance, were you really thinking about donating five moon for the Heat Machine?”
“I decided against it.”
They talked for another half hour. Vizas pried for anything Auxi might be hiding. He hated to see her cloak, it made him realise what she went through every day to get here. He had tried to dissuade her from coming everyday, but he had been pleased when she had refused outright.
Soon, the red light lit up inside the door, and Auxi got up to leave. Her swept the white cell that had been Vizas’ home for more than two years and put on her cloak. She tried not to think about the cold she was going into. She didn’t want Vizas to hear.
He hugged her tight, again, and Auxi held on for as long as she could. But then the light started whimpering an alarm ,as it did everyday to break apart these two, and Vizas whispered in Auxi’s ears again, “One year and sixty two days, Auxi and we’ll be together again. I love you.”
Auxi whispered, “And I do you.”