Lost our new hire Saturday. [This was before the cats decided to save me from the Matrix.] I was thinking “Don't have to know, don't want to know,” but his uncle had me cornered and wanted to tell me the whole story. I thought he was a good kid, but he acted a little odd, like he didn't quite know how to behave. It's because his parents were in jail for a long time and he had been in the system as a result. Finally moved in with family and discovered he was a stranger, so he elected to go back in. One year from graduation and he is so institutionalized he can't function on the outside. He's also so big no one will be able to correct him.
His replacement is the total opposite: Middle aged woman who was recently laid off from a state job. Now, I don't mean to belittle her, because her job was a tough one, but it's just not the same as the retail world. We had her working Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with Monday as her first day. Someone calls in sick, won't be at work Tuesday. Call the new hire. Refuses to work on Tuesday. It's her day off. Doesn't like to work weekends, asks for time off to go watch her husband race. Me and the boss agree that her definition of hard times and ours may not match. It's not that she's a bad or lazy person, she just comes from a different set of rules. They never knew each other, but our two hires share that bond of being strangers in a very harsh world, and eager to return from whence they came. Oddly enough, the second may be a bigger threat, because she represents the first lapping waves of a dissatisfied public worker tsunami that's going to get very Greek in places.
Sabrina stepped cautiously out of the tomb and looked around for her companions. None were to be found, so she resigned herself to making the journey to the atrium, their pre-agreed meeting place, alone. She started out slowly at first, as she had to climb the ladders which descended down into the pit where they had found the crypt, but her pace quickened as she reached the the levels of tunnels and galleries above. Now she moved quickly but silently, pausing only to look down the smaller passageways for the thing which had killed so many of her friends. She felt better as she reached the topmost level, but still clutched her short sword tightly as she made her way towards the atrium, her passage lighted by the weak sun coming in the windows far above.
She was going to wait until the doorway was in sight before she called out, but Cato must have heard her coming up the hall because he was waiting for her.
“Sabrina's back,” he said to Mark, who was still sitting at the table in the middle of the room. “We had to leave,” he said, “It was getting too dangerous.”
“Why?” Asked Sabrina.
“There is something else down there,” said Mark, “It's big, and it's quiet, with razor sharp fangs and claws.”
“Well, you didn't fortify much,” said Sabrina.
“No need,” said Cato. “If we all stay together in a well lit room, we should be alright. If something attacks us here, we can always run out quickly and meet someplace else. Barriers would only get in our way.”
“Well, for what they're worth, I got the coins,” Said Sabrina. She opened her hand and let the Chuck E. Cheese tokens slip onto the table.
“That's it!” exclaimed Cato as he gave Sabrina a hug with one arm, “The fifth and last treasure!”
“There were six,” said Sabrina as she focused her gaze on Mark and raised her sword.
“Just a moment,” said Mark. “You're not going to stab me with that thing, are you? Everyone in this room knows you couldn't push a sword through a person.”
“Perhaps not,” said Sabrina, “But I might easily use this!” she said, as she pulled the laser pistol from underneath her cloak. “Tell them!” she shouted, “Tell them about the Six Treasures of Chrishotep!”