The Adveni had built it when they first claimed dominion: a large compound they had named Lyndbury. While criminals of the Veniche tribes used to be marked for what they were and sent on their way to live alone, far from those they would rob or hurt, the Adveni had a different method. Instead of sending the criminals away, they would lock them up, keeping them all together in the compound.
The creation of Lyndbury had sent outrage spiralling through the people. Who were the Adveni to lock a man in a single place, especially through the volatile seasons of Os-Veruh? At times, Georgianna could almost understand it. A man who committed murder should be kept away from others and not given any opportunity to commit his crime elsewhere. However, the Adveni did not offer that. Instead of keeping criminals away from other people, they locked them all in a building together, and let them do as they pleased so long as they never left the compound walls.
One group of Adveni had been tasked with guarding the compound. Specially trained and working with ruthless efficiency, the Guards of Lyndbury were infamous within the city. The Veniche of the city described the inmates as being “buryd alive”, after the compound’s name, Lyndbury: though your life was over and there was no escape, your body remained alive.
The Veniche people might not have considered it so bad if the Adveni were fairer about it, punishing those who committed crimes the Veniche agreed with, but the common opinion was that the Adveni punished crimes without understanding them. They didn’t look at the starving family of a thief, nor did they care for the claims of five other victims when they said the man a woman stabbed to fend off an attack had also attacked them. There was no justice, only punishment. Even those who refused to bow to Adveni rule and register themselves were labelled as criminals and sent to the compound. Those sorts, however, never stayed inside the walls for long. Instead they were sold off in the drysta yard as slaves to whichever Adveni would pay the highest price.
Georgianna hated going there. She detested the sight of the inmates burned by the sun when the Adveni forced them outside into a fenced yard while the sun was high. She abhorred looking at the women, locked in the cell block with morally lacking men who had not seen a woman in so long that their urges overcame them. She heard her brother’s pleas that she stay away, that the Adveni would, at some point decide she was no longer useful and lock her in there as well. Whenever the tsentyl communication device she had been given lit up, however, she answered it, because she knew that no one else would. The Adveni didn’t care if a Veniche man died in the block in a fight over food. The body would lie in the block until count if the Adveni wanted. It was only her continued service that meant that someone saw fit to call for a medic at all.
Turning towards the compound, Georgianna brushed an errant lock of hair out of her face, and walked the last couple of hundred yards towards the high metal gates looming in front of her.
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