The Price of Demand (Reintegration Edit 7)

Altman nodded. “Yes. Yes indeed.” He frowned and turned his attention back to the tower before them. It should have been a reassuring sight, a beacon of safety and protection. In his mind’s eye, a shadow had fallen over it, darkened by the spectre of the oddly-marked bricks. No matter how he looked at them, they made him think sabotage, but he knew he was no trained inspector. “I’m jumping to conclusions. I should know better. I’m a little unsettled, that’s all,” he muttered to himself under his breath.

Waldon grunted. “Yer not the first I’ve heard muttering to himself today, y’aren’t. Nobody’s feelin’ right after yesterday. But the tower’s up, and on schedule.”

Altman turned to face the man again; there was little more he could learn from these bricks. “And a fine job, Sias. The men have been quick on their feet; the scaffolding’s all down already? Everything packed up and moved to the new market project site?”

Waldon straightened up a bit at the comment. “It is, aye. They didn’t want to linger by the tower more’n they had to. Can’t say as I blame ‘em. Work’s likely to progress faster now, but not for the reasons I’m lookin’ for.”

Altman grimaced wryly. “If they start getting careless, they’ll only make all this ridiculous talk of so-called ‘bad luck’ worse.”

Waldon’s face darkened a touch, and Altman belatedly remembered the clover. “Aye. Let’s be off then. I’ll show you what we’ve got for the market. The ground should be cleared for the levelin’, an’ the first temporary barracks is finished.”