Posted Jun.17.18 at 03:00 pm
The mantis calmly swiveled the monitor back around to face them, saying, "It is possible that Minerva and Liliya missed out on a visa during the last round, as they are very limited. If you like, we can pass your informa--"

"What if the Order brought her here??" Hawk interrupted. He'd stood up automatically, hands on the desk, wings half-furled. The mantis folded their claws up and looked at him.


"Liliya Kiski," Hawk said desperately, but as he spoke, he started to falter. "She was took by the Royal Order. F-from Violetta. I--it woulda been May a' last year."

The mantis looked at him blankly--or, at least, their expression didn't or couldn't change. "I'm sorry, I don't understand," they said. "Was Liliya a trafficking industry victim?"

Hawk stared. "N...no," he said. As soon as he said it, something came over him--slowly he relaxed and leaned back from the desk, wings sinking down to his sides.

"I think there must be some confusion," the mantis said reasonably. "The Order does not just 'take' people. I can see you're disappointed," they added, but Hawk was no longer listening, no longer really looking at them or anything in particular. Everything seemed to have gone very quiet and cool as he stood there, not hearing the mantis continue, "I'm sorry. If Liliya turns up at next port open, we can give her your information. Would that be helpful, Mr. Press? Mr. Press?"