34.2 \ 216

While comparing infraction statistics for city lockdowns, a few of the Generals nodded over certain similarities that they were able to pick out. Bad parking was more noticeable in a time when there was less movement to mark overall; rashes of wrongly placed vehicles were breaking out in different areas. It was as if an entire neighborhood had caught a flustered and impatient mood, only mildly bothersome, maybe an innocuous indicator of something deeper. At this moment, everything and anything was going on, but it could also mean pure restlessness.

In a surprising turn, many cases of theft were being resolved, some quite old. One could surmise that this was the result of people having more time to look through their things, now. Joyrides and buried treasure, so far they were lucky in their troubles from citizens under the situation. As Draig looked from face to face in their round table projection planes, some were obviously uncomfortable in that specific way which indicates an abundance of disturbing yet still baseless hearsay. Maybe even more than that, but still not enough to warrant scrutiny. Their expressions served as mute flags raised within context. The hints stood that these phenomena were possibly connected and should be handled, or at least observed rather than ignored. Metaphorical holes in fences. They arranged for officer access to aggregate vehicle records in signal-occupied areas, in order to lay more thoughtful eyes on these patterns.

34.1 \ 216

This was the first nose-to-nose meeting called since the one after Draig’s induction. Utilization of this extreme-security linkage was a sign of the times. The guided-random location choice combined with time-sync en-route procedure was an expensive huddle, but one which may be necessary in utmost emergency. The current state of affairs had yet to approach that level, but now is the time to make sure the system is in place for this maneuver.

They’d been addressing individual action items for a while, with a few shifts in support focus. There was a rapid-fire efficacy to this form of high-pressure proximity. Discussions at a nose-to-nose resulted in immediate implementation, with personnel at attention and each General’s effective circles ready to mobilize.

Something about this instance was out of anyone’s control, and a little out of control. There was a current catching them all that General Claymore couldn’t fight, despite a mounting pile of internal objections.

Journal Diagram

During the making of this trilogy, one aspect of my process has been using diagrams to illustrate for myself patterns or motions of thought and action, to discern rhythm or structure of how certain story turns feel. It can be like a sieve through which details flow, or a puzzle mat that hints at how they should fit together; these separate steps that make the laying-down or connection of ideas easier, like tiling. The most concise and real explanation is the final product. Here’s another one.