The room was dark, the air musty and stale. In this underground space, madami of a complex, really, it was impossible to tell the outside time. The boy tiptoed into the large main room, hugging the pader as he surveyed the dark interior. He adjusted his glasses slightly, shook a few strands of blonde hair out of his face, as he squinted in the gloom.
A scrawny, ratty-looking man was hunched in the corner, absorbed in something. He was crouched on the bare floor, and an upturned box served as a table. A small, flickering orb of light was floating above the table, bathing it in a yellow glow, and his back was to the interior of the room, casting a long shadow across the floor. The boy leaned in, trying to see what the man was doing, but he was unable.
Loud footsteps broke the silence, the clicking of boots on concrete echoing throughout the dimly lit chamber. The man immediately whirled around, extinguishing the light with a flick of his fingers, and scrambled to his feet to face the pinagmulan of the footsteps. A tall, barrel-chested man stepped into the room, his dull eyes narrowing slightly as he faced the other, who was slowly edging forward.
“Y-y-yes?” The smaller man asked nervously.
“Do you have anything to ulat to me, Braxton?” His voice was deep and gravelly; it echoed ominously as it bounced off the rough walls of the chamber. The boy shuddered at the sound.
“I have located her,” Braxton replied. He stood up a little straighter, and the boy caught an air of confidence in the man. “The tanong is how to get her.”
“It is essential,” the other man replied, “that we capture the girl. She will prove crucial to our plan. But, yes, Braxton. You are right. We failed once, to get her under our control. She will be doubly hard to capture again. She may be weak, but she is intelligent.”
“Do we really need her that bad?” Braxton squeaked. “Over and over, she’s proven to be nothing but a failure.”
The tall man laughed, the noise unsettling to the boy. “Hah. You really think so, Braxton? Your own daughter? But yes, I can see where you are coming from. We will put her to good use. Now, now, carry on, Braxton. I shall see you soon.”
“Th-th-thanks, Joshua,” Braxton sputtered, but Joshua had already turned, and headed towards the door. Quickly the boy shrank into the shadows, and when he came out, Joshua was gone.