The Terra Episode Chapter 9
The Terrestre Esperizium
"I do not see how else I can protect you without eliminating the survivor," reasoned Guardian.
"I said no!" said Tina strongly. She paced back and forth in her private quarters nervously speaking to Guardian. "There has to be a way. I do not want him killed. I may be a traitor, but Im not a murderer!"
"Then I suggest that you leave the place if you still value your life."
"Leave? How? The place is locked down. Nobody can enter or leave the area until yellow alert has been lifted."
"You forget, Branford. I can permit you to leave," Guardian reminded.
Tina shook her head as though Guardian could see her. "Im not leaving until I have all the information you promised. What is taking so long, Guardian?"
"I have to stop the upload while they were doing the investigation. Or else they would trace the transfer to your quarters," Guardian answered.
"Investigation? How close are they?" Tina asked in utmost concern. She was more afraid now than ever.
"Whatever they find in the ruined warehouse is not important. They will not get very far with it. But the surviving witness is the threat. He is recovering slowly without magical aid but recovering, nonetheless."
"Please leave him alone! It is not an option. I will not kill him! Do you understand, Guardian? Id rather turn mys--" Tina faltered at her last sentence. She doubted her resolve. "Id rather turn myself in," she repeated.
"That is not an option, either. But ready yourself, Branford. A messenger is coming with a delivery," Guardian said. Tina did not exactly understand this, but she wiped her tears and tried to regain her composure as best as she could.
Minutes later there was a knock on her door. She opened the door and saw a delivery person walking away, scribbling something on his clipboard. The man didnt even wait for Tina.
"Pick up the parcel, Branford," Guardian instructed.
Tina looked down and saw a small rectangular box on the floor, wrapped in brown paper with her name on it. She picked it up and closed the door before anybody else could see her.
"What is it?" Tina asked.
"A gift," Guardian said simply. "Open it and keep it safe always."
Tina tore open the small package with curiosity. She felt strange while she did it. She has never received a gift wrapped inside a box before. She tore off the last piece of the brown paper revealing a light metallic box painted black. She lifted the lid open revealing a beautiful bead and jewel necklace. Tina gasped at the sight of a circular ruby-colored stone about an inch in diameter. It was framed in a small gold circlet connected to a gold chain laced with tiny red globes of beads.
The beautiful jewel melted away the worries that were with her minutes ago. Try as she might she could not avert her eyes from the brilliantly cut red stone that sparkled in the sunshine that entered her barred window. There was something about the stone that made her feel strange and yet familiar with it. It was as though she had just found a long lost treasure, and now she was made whole with it again. She wasnt even sure whether the stone really was a ruby. She just didnt care. She found herself wondering why she felt like this. Often, when she was out of the Bronze Fortress Compound she would walk in the streets of the city of Vector passing by shops that sold jewelry and other trinkets and treasures. Never did she pay attention to the brilliantly sparkling diamonds and emeralds silently screaming at customers from window shops. She had never been interested at them. Their beauty had always failed to capture her eyes. But there she was, fixated on the dazzling red beams that danced within the stone as she shifted the stone in the sunlight slowly.
"Oh, thank you, Guardian!" she exclaimed. "Its the most beautiful thing Ive ever seen in my life. I how can I ? But why?"
Guardians answer was plain but without explanation. "It is necessary."
Tina smiled, and thought that Guardian would never learn to say thank you. She was very grateful, nonetheless.
"It is not a mere trinket, Branford. Take my word very seriously. Keep it safe with your life. Never part with it. Should you die then you die with it," Guardian said with a sense of urgency.
Tina thought of it as an odd way to value an inanimate object. She knew without a doubt that it mustve cost a fortune but to be overly protective of it was a strange request. And yet deep inside she knew that it would be easy to follow the request.
She wore the necklace around her neck, removing the other necklace that Guardian gave her that had the microphone. She placed the old necklace on the table. She wondered whether she should wear both of them so that she could still speak to Guardian, but Guardian answered her question before she could ask it.
"Dont throw away the old necklace. Just keep it somewhere safe. The red beads all have tinier listening devices that work better than the old one. But do get rid of the earpiece and replace them with the earrings," Guardian instructed.
"Earrings?" Tina asked her eyes going back to the black box. There they were, still inside the box, ignored due to the powerful attraction of the red jewel. They were a pair of red colored beads as well and about the same size as the red jewel. Tinas jaw dropped as she blinked at the earrings. "I am not wearing these," she said resolutely.
"They match the necklace," Guardian said trying to convince her to wear it.
Tina shook her head stubbornly. "No! Have you actually seen them? Theyre huge! Its oversized and no! Besides, Ive never worn any kind of jewelry all my life. This necklace alone is suspicious. I am not about to give the men wrong signals about the flirtatious earrings."
"As you wish. But keep them for emergencies."
Tina left the earrings in the box. She replaced the lid and kept the box in one of her drawers. "Is it a ruby?" Tina asked Guardian.
"No. Its a stone a hundred times more valuable than rubies," Guardian answered.
"But what do you call it?"
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