City of Smoke & Mirrors : Chapter 9
As I make my way into the impressive sight of towering structures in different shades of bright colors and sizes, I'm struck by the distinct smell of tobacco hitting my nose effortlessly. As I follow the thick mist of smoke up to a beaming tower full of shining light reading "Westport Industries", I'm suddenly reminded of Cole's words, and smirk as I enter the massive structure.
"Hi there, I'm here to see Millie Westport," I announce to one of the security guards standing near an entrance to what appears to be a modern lift of sorts.
"Do you have an appointment?" They ask.
"No, but Cole Thumper sent me. Said Millie could help me find Bowski," I implore.
The guard mutters through an electronic device, and after a brief back and forth opens the lift gates, and motions for me to enter.
"You may proceed," says the guard.
Admittedly a bit weary of what's to come, I slowly enter the contraption, and the doors close immediately after. Suddenly, I am catapulted up to what seems like the sky, before stopping and exiting into a very long corridor with a light beaming from an open door at the end.
As I make my way down, I notice portraits of Millie with Belle Aldine in Humble Park, Cole Thumper in Buckstaff Bluffs, and Bowski Hamlin in Kernel Springs, which brings a huge sense of relief.
I notice the door is slightly ajar and hear a very distinct voice shout, "Come in, come in!"
Upon entering the space, Millie gives me a big hug, and makes me feel right at home, as if I'm already family, which does make me feel a bit at ease.
"I've heard so much about you Ø," Westport continues while typing on a keypad of sorts. "Welcome to Rough City."
"But how did you," I begin to ask.
"Word travels fast around here," Millie interrupts. "Not to many of us humans around these parts." Millie chuckles and proceeds to go on about how they are in the business of selling land and building properties, pointing at all the blueprints hung up on the walls.
I listen intently, until there is a brief moment of silence. "So you have seen Bowski?" I ask. "Are they here?"
"Of course, Bowski's always around," Millie takes a giant puff from their cigar, sitting at an impressive desk in front of a giant window overlooking the jaw dropping landscape of tall buildings. "Oops, where are my manners?" Westport shakes their head and pours me a glass of delicious brown ale with hints of cold smoked pecan wood and toasted graham cracker.
After a tour of the building and a nice meal of winter's roast, I begin to feel a tad sleepy.
"You must be exhausted Ø!" Westport notices. "Don't you worry. I have a place set up just for you right down the block." Millie points on the map, hands me keys, and a bit of advice,"Try to stay for a while and enjoy all the city has to offer. Plenty of time before you hit the tunnels to Kernel Springs."
I thank Millie for all the generous hospitality and make my way down to the bottom floor, this time a bit more confidant.
Upon exiting the building, I'm struck by the beauty of the crescent moon, a calm presence above the hustle and bustle before me. While I am eager to visit Kernel Springs to reunite with Bowski, I am suddenly curious to explore and discover more about this City and all it has to offer.