Week 93

The Red Tsar lifted a small bell; immediately, the tinkling sound brought George Takei. “Yes, sir?” he asked, bowing slightly.

“Mila has wisely decided to join us; escort her to her chamber.” “At once, sir,” Takei replied, gesturing for Mila to stand and follow him.

Her beautifully appointed new quarters were a far cry from the slimy cell where Mila had previously been kept.

Besides the bedroom and private bath, there was a spacious sitting room with a small gas fire and a comfy chair.

“A computer? Oh, my!” Takei thought for a moment. “Certainly, I can bring you one, although we have no wi-fi here, under the sea.”

“Under the sea?” Mila repeated. “What do you mean?” Takei smiled. “Of course, you were not very attentive when we first brought you in …

“Notice there are no windows here. We are thousands of leagues beneath the surface of an uncharted inland sea—it’s a wonderful hideaway!

“You’ll see from those maps there,” Takei went on, gesturing at the papers on the desk. “You may want to study them, once you get settled.

“Well, I’ll go see about your computer now. If there’s anything else you want, just use this intercom. I should be back shortly.”

Mila walked warily through the suite; she was certain the “intercom” was a listening device, probably with a camera to watch her movements.

She was momentarily pleased to see a Russian translation of “Decent from Xanadu” on the bedside table; she hadn’t read that one yet.

But of course they knew that. She frowned. And there was something else … something about the windows … Stained glass!

When she first arrived, she had seen the history of the Order’s rebellion against the Hive in a series of stained glass windows!

True, they could have been set in a false wall, lit from behind, but more likely the Order was just lying to her about their location. Why?

Why tell her they were miles underwater? To prevent her from trying to escape? Perhaps. She walked to the desk and rifled through the maps.

They were very explicit, showing the topography of mountains surrounding a plain, with the exact coordinates of longitude and latitude.

The other papers appeared to be blueprints of an alien technology—What was she supposed to know about this? She was a spy, not an engineer!

Just then, there was a gentle tapping at her door. “I’m back with your laptop!” George Takei announced. “All right,” she replied.

Mila opened the door and was surprised to find no sign of Takei. But there was a package, wrapped in a greasy paper grocery bag. Odd.

She was pulling the computer out of the dirty wrapping when she saw it: a cockroach, dropping from the bag onto the carpet.

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