Deathwalker 2.7

             He held out his hand, palm up. I stared at it blankly.
            “The document, please.”
            Hurriedly, I pulled the parchment out again. I hesitated only an instant before laying it in his hand. It was my only evidence. It was also my only chance of making him believe me. I held my breath as he opened it.
            What did that mean? His expression hadn’t changed a bit. The uncertainty was making my heart beat like it would burst!
            “Enna,” the man said at last, making me flinch, “by what methods did you test this parchment?” There was a startled rustle among the crowd as the man turned, holding out the parchment before him.
            “Test?!” Enna squawked. “There was never any doubt!”
            A few of the other deathwalkers fidgeted uncomfortably at that. Whether because the man hadn’t tested it or because they knew Ter Dryst would not approve, I didn’t know. While I wanted to hope that they were upset to find out that they’d almost lynched me without any evidence, I figured it was more likely they were scared for themselves.
            “So it was not tested beyond the basic completion scan that showed it to be questionable?” The man’s expression and tone never wavered. I was beginning to wonder if he felt emotions.
            I opened my mouth to say that he never let me submit it for the completion scan, and I got a sharp glare from the man that shut me up fast enough to put me in orbit. How had he known I was going to talk? Across the room, the old man’s mouth was opening and closing like he was having a fit.
            “It… He-” he spluttered. “You expect me to allow such an obviously fraudulent completion to be submitted?!” He blurted at last.
            The man’s eyebrows raised. The air felt electrified, and I could have sworn everyone in the room held their breath this time. A few edged silently away from the old man. That tension held as the Ter Dryst silently crossed the room and thrust the hand holding the parchment into an opening that appeared on the side of the desk. When he pulled his hand back, the parchment was gone, and the box it was in began to glow. An almost inaudible hum filled the air.
            As the moment dragged on, I began to shake. I knew the parchment was real, but would the machine agree? My hands fisted at my sides. What was I going to do if it didn’t? Or – better question – what were they going to do to me if it didn’t?

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