Rayse walked into the precinct office of the Zygerus Circuit Security. She had been summoned to the office by her commanding officer, Commander Urether, for a new assignment and to meet her new partner. Rayse had been a beat cop, walking the streets of Zygerus in quadrant three, zone sixty-five, between Alsuria and Dearen, and Fodge and Hilkanz Streets in the suburb of Miltzenax.
The elevator doors opened up on the forty-fifth floor. Corialis and Nize stepped out into the large foyer with hallways splitting off in four directions from it. It was finely decorated in a professional style that bordered on luxury. Ihdris Enterprises wasn’t the biggest corporation within the Zygerus Circuit, but they didn’t do too bad either, due in part to their flagship Meep product line, featuring: The Meep Automatic Backscratcher; The Meep Automated Dog Patter; and the Meep Auto-Combing Hat Insert that promises to eliminate hat hair forever. The elevator doors closed behind them, as they looked down one hallway and then another.
“Which way is the meeting hall?” Nize asked his traveling companion.
“How the brohl am I supposed to know?” Corialis replied. “Do I look like an Information Kiosk?”
Shaking his head, Nize replied, “What good are you, then?” He shoved Corialis forward toward the closest of the four corridors. “That way.”
Corialis stumbled forward. “Hey! There’s no need to push, you big pezit.” They moved down the corridor, passing marked doors on either side. If they had not been too busy bickering with one another, they would have seen that they were moving in the wrong direction. However, their distraction with one another blinded them to the obvious. Corialis continued, “I’m growing tired of your bossiness. We’re supposed to be partners.”
“Quiet,” Nize growled. He was growing tired of Corialis’ incessant wromming. Sometimes, he just wanted a little peace and quiet – especially during an important mission as the one they were currently on. “Don’t you know the meaning of stealth?”
“Better than you,” Corialis said. “I can hear your ambling gait from a kilometer away.”
“For crying out loud, Corialis, just shut the tish up?” Nize pushed Corialis once more, sending the frail-looking man stumbling forward once again.
Recovering himself, Corialis stopped and turned to face Nize. He was growing tired of the abuse his so-called partner was always ready to levy upon him. He was fuming and stared up at the big guy, daring him to push him just one more time. “What’s your problem?” he demanded.
Nize just continued walking past Corialis. They don’t have time for these games. They needed to get to Masblitz before he realized they were coming for him. The smaller man was not going to be ignored. He shoved Nize with all his strength, but the hulk didn’t even budge. He added insult to injury by chuckling softly. “You’ll have to try harder than that.” The dismissal only made Corialis even angrier, but before he could say something else, Nize continued, “Come on. The meeting hall should be just ahead.”
“How can you be so sure?” Corialis said, still fuming – his words had a sharp edge to them. If words could cut, he would put his partner out of his misery.
Nize sputtered for a moment as he struggled to find the words. The truth of the matter was that he didn’t know. He had just picked one at random and got them walking. Finally, he just said, “I just do.”
When they finally reached the door at the end of the hallway, Corialis stopped in front of it shaking his head.
“Well?” Nize said. “Go on in.”
“This isn’t it,” Corialis said, feeling a bit satisfied that Nize had been wrong. “Unless, of course, they are meeting in a custodian’s closet.”
“You got it wrong, you papnihr,” Corialis said, pushing past Nize and heading back in the direction they had come. “Follow me. I’ll find the meeting hall.”
Nize grumbled but fell in behind Corialis. He just wanted this job to be over with. He was finding it more and more difficult to work with Corialis. If he could find a new partner capable of doing half of what Corialis could, Nize would drop him in a second. However, mercenaries, bounty hunters, and soldiers of fortune were not career choices most people in the circuit even considered. Besides, it took a special kind of person with a unique skill set to be able to handle the job and all of its various challenges.
“—over by the time we get there,” Corialis said.
“What?” Nize asked, snapping out of his reverie.
Corialis turned to his deqor of a partner with displeasure written into the frown and the furrows of his brow. “I said … The meeting will be over by the time we get there – thanks to you.”
“Shut up and just keep walking, since you think you know better,” Nize said wanting nothing more than to smack the pelm from his smug partner’s face. Corialis continued leading them back to the foyer, where the elevators were and the other hallways branched out from.