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Lock-Down: Chapter Four

Mac O'Roni

     Bishop nodded companionably to Forge as he ducked through the cell door that night. Forge nodded back, but perfunctorily. Just a quick snap of the neck and then he dipped his head back over the paper he was scribbling on. He had one arm curled around it in the same manner that an intent student would guard his exam paper from cheater’s eyes.
     "What have you been up to all day in here?” Bishop asked.
     “Oh, the screws have got me designing something,” Forge said, truthfully. He showed Bishop a finished sketch for something that looked like a backhoe. He was careful, however, that the man should not see the drawing he was currently in the process of sketching out.
     “What’s that one for?” Bish asked, pointing to the page the other man was leaning over.
     “None of your business,” Forge snapped. Then he seemed to reconsider. “Sorry, Bish. I just don’t like people to see ‘em before they’re finished. Didn’t mean to bark at you.”
     “It’s all right,” Bishop said blandly. “None of my concern anyway.”
     But the big man’s suspicious nature was aroused. He’d never known Forge to be sensitive as to who saw his work in progress. It was a testament to how far down the path of trusting his teammates he had come that he decided not to pursue the issue, though he worried that whatever the man might be up to could come back to haunt them all if it went wrong. Considering the deeply ingrained paranoia he had when he came to the team, a paranoia that still manifested itself in a decided mistrust of certain teammates who had proven themselves time and again, over the years, as loyal as any, it was a miracle when he lay down on his bunk and quietly awaited the hours to lights-out.
     But the question of just what the brilliant inventor was working on continued to prey upon his thoughts. When the lights went out up and down the block two hours later, he heard Forge rise from his chair behind the little drafting table the administration had provided for him and set his sketches carefully inside a wide, deep drawer under the work surface. All but one. That one piece of paper was carefully, and with a serious attempt at silently, folded up small and pinned inside his uniform blouse. Bishop vowed to find out just where that last sketch was bound to end up, and in whose hands.

On to Chapter Five!