“Why didn’t you kill me for real? Wouldn’t it be simpler?”
Jinar moved one hand to primp his hair. “I want to prove Cenva’s crime, not commit one!”
“I think kidnapping me is already a crime,” Naysha said pointedly.
Jinar flicked his tail dismissively. “All we did was stage that little show for the world.”
Naysha widened her eyes in anger. “You’ll never get away with this,” she said haughtily. “My father will find out I’m alive. If you think he’ll be satisfied with tales of what a few Sntaris saw, you’re grossly underestimating him. He won’t stop investigating, especially without my dead body.”
Jinar’s lack of concern made her uneasy. “Oh, we have all that taken care of,” he said. “Your father will be satisfied – or rather convinced,” he added with a flat tone. “I’ll show you something.”
With the push of a button, long-haired protectors known as prots looped tri-fingered tails in opposing grasps to escort her down the hall. She flinched as charcoal-steaked green hair on her left, and deep rusty red strands dominating green ones on the right brushed at her, invading her senses, but she didn’t deign to struggle. When they arrived, she couldn’t help but look at what could possibly convince her father she was alive. She stared, but the scene before her became too horrible for her brain to fully accept as real. There lay her own dead body, acid-eaten as if leakage from a fallen machine had etched into it. Bones were broken, and limbs flattened. A flash memory of cells scraped from her brought sudden realisation.
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