Follows 'The Palace of Ice'.
|My fingers suddenly reminded me that I had taken my gloves off and it was bloody freezing. I clumsily pulled the mitten back on, which was not easy as my fingertips had already started to go numb. For fear of my ears and face meeting the same fate I quickly pulled up the thick mask to cover right up to just under my eyes and jerked up my hood, the soft fur lining blocking out most sound as well as cold.
I jumped, the voice loud and clear in comparison to the muffled sounds of the train leaving, which I suddenly realised was the only other thing that broke to near silence here.
I turned to see a man, slightly taller than I was, dressed in a royal blue military style uniform. It had a double row of brass buttons down the front, which had clearly been silver plated at some point, but the gilt was rubbing off and the dull orangey metal was showing through. He had a pair of very shiny black boots on and all in all seemed slightly underdressed for the weather. Or maybe I was overdressed, I had no way of telling. He was standing just in front of the ticket office on a patch of floor I was sure had been iced over a minute ago. Perhaps he had some form of heater in those thick soled boots. I wouldn't have been surprised.
"Please," I said, smiling, before realising that the mask would render this pointless, "call me-"
"Miss Crimson," he repeated frostily. I mentally snorted at my own irony.
"Oh, alright then," I said. It didn't appear that I was going to get control over what I was to be called.
"I am your guide. Please, come this way."
I'd have betted that he was a biomod if there'd have been anyone to bet against.
Or anyone at all, really.