“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.”
- Maya Angelou
Voltaire’s driver, Kelly, was waiting on the sidewalk to help him into the car. She took his cane for him and climbed into the driver’s seat.
“Take me to Successio, Kelly,” Voltaire said as he handed her a map from inside the file. “It’s at…”
“I know where this is,” Kelly said, handing the map back. “I’ve studied this town’s history.”
“Why are you always so desperate for money if you’re so smart?”
“I got my degree,” Kelly said bitterly. “In this world, a major in computer sciences and a minor in architecture did not guarantee that anyone would be willing to hire someone like me… At least, not until I met Croft and a paranoid invisible man who hires the dying.”
“What can you tell me about this place?”
“It was a dying town ‘till Maria Stone turned it around,” Kelly said. “She built most of the city. Her last great achievement before she died was a building called the Gentleman’s Hotel. She originally called it the Cynosure. It’s an architectural masterpiece that people from all over the world come to look at and it is also the main tourist attraction to the town. The town is located in a strange place; it is at the edge of both a desert and a forest because there are mountains that divert water back into the forest and has turned the other side into a wasteland. Mountains block precipitation like clouds from entering the other side, and after a while a desert forms. The town is nearly in the center of these two extremes.”
The car drove into the small town. Voltaire leaned against his tinted window; he looked out but could only imagine what types of buildings they were passing. Maria Stone had drawn inspiration from both African and French architecture to design the town. Voltaire’s blindness often made him frustrated. This was one of those times; he tried to picture an artistically built town at the edge of two extremes. He picked up his cane from the floor as the car parked in front of the Gentleman’s Hotel.
“What does it look like?” Voltaire asked as Kelly helped him out of the car before handing him his cane and his bags.
“It is inspired by a castle in Gonder,” said Kelly cleanly with disdain. “It’s a place in Africa that escaped the slave trade and began its own empire. Emperor Fasilides built the original castle in the 1600s, inspired by tales of King Arthur. Maria Stone made some changes to the design though, so it could be used as a hotel and a gathering place for the community.”
“Thank you,” Voltaire said. “Park the car and I will book two rooms.”
“No, we need to talk because we are hunting for a human nuclear bomb. What are the safety procedures? How are we not going to die?”
“I take it you are less then pleased with my work?”
“I’m less pleased with your rashness. This is suicidal. Tell Drusilla no. I have a family, and I’m going to spend every moment I have with them. I don’t want to die chasing Quinn.”
“Then you don’t have to come. Just drop me here. I will call you when I need you.”
“How are you going to find Quinn, little one?”
“I’ll tell you when I have done it.”
Voltaire waved goodbye in the direction of Kelly’s voice and made his way up the hotel’s steps using his cane.
Disclaimer: This is an original story that is not based on any real people or events. It is a work of fiction that is purely for your entertainment.