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The bag was removed from her head and she took the opportunity to look around. She had been brought to a chute and was tied to a chair that was seated close to the opening into the center of the earth. She looked for the people that had brought her there. One person was standing with his back to her.
"What do you want?" Holly asked
The lone figure turned around and looked at her, staying silent.
Holly searched the brown eyes staring back at her through a mask. Something about those eyes were strangely familiar to her. There was contempt in those eyes, and something else... betrayal she realized with a start.
"What did I do?" Holly asked the masked figure quietly
"What did you do? What did you do? You know what you did!" the voice belonging to the eyes roared at her. "You have the nerve to ask!" The voice also struck a familiar chord. But that voice and those eyes had never looked at her with such hatred before. She gasped as she finally made the connection.
"Julius?" she whispered in disbelief. The figure ripped the mask off and Holly found herself looking at her red-faced commander. She felt her eyes fill with tears as she saw the familiar face contorted with rage that was directed at her.
"But, the explosion..."
"You left me for dead! I was counting on you to figure out that I was alive, but you gave up on me!" Root hissed, "So now, you get to see what I went through!"
Tears began to slowly track down Holly's face.
Suddenly, the alarms from the blast doors began to sound, signaling that a flare was coming. He grinned triumphantly
"Goodbye Holly, have fun in the flare" he gave her an evil glare and turned.
"Commander! Please! Don't leave me here!" Holly sobbed
He didn't look back as he walked briskly to the safe side of the closing blast doors. "No! Wait!" Holly called to her old commander "Help me please! Don't leave me!" He had reached the other side of the doors "JULIUS! NO!" He stopped. "Please Julius" Holly begged tearfully.
"Don't call me Julius, betrayer" Root roared and he walked off.
"Wait, help me!" Holly cried as the sliding doors closed with an ominous bang. "No!" she burst into tears and hit her office floor with a thump.
Holly looked around at the familiar surroundings. She had been reviewing a case when she had fallen asleep. Mulch ran into the room.
"Holly! What's happening?" He gasped breathlessly
"Nothing. Nothing" Holly replied, covering her tear-stained face with her hands before Mulch could see. Too late.
"Holly, you don't shout and cry for no reason." Mulch replied. Holly fought to keep from sobbing out loud.
"I-I fell asleep, i-it was just a n-nightmare" Her voice broke and she began shaking. Mulch patted her on her back comfortingly.
"Do you want to tell me about it?" He asked
"No, just leave me alone"
"Just leave me alone!" Holly shouted and threw him out of the room, slamming the door. She locked the door and returned to her desk sobbing quietly. She let herself cry her frustration out so that she might have a chance to continue working on the case. The nightmare had haunted her sleep almost every night since the Root's death in E37. "aaaaaaag" she muttered and got herself under control again. She usually didn't allow herself to break down like that, but every night that the nightmare came, she would wake herself with her own screams, sometimes after she had fallen off the bed and onto the floor. Three times, a security officer that a neighbor had called when hearing her screaming had shaken her awake. Just yesterday the head of the security team of her apartment building had recommended placing a guard outside to watch her windows and outside her door. They thought that someone was stalking her. She had had to explain that she was being stalked by a nightmare and not by an actual person. But this morning, when she left her apartment, she saw a security guard standing across the way reading a newspaper look up at her before he walked away. She was going to have a talk with any other guards she caught spying on her place.
Mulch sighed as Holly slammed the door to her office, and got up off the floor where he had landed when he had been thrown out. If Holly wasn't going to talk to him, he should find another one of her friends to help her. She had been coming into the office looking tired and depressed every morning, and now he thought he knew why. Julius's death was haunting her. Mulch was certain of it.
Walking to his office, he shut the door and locked it, just in case Holly decided to come in. She would be furious if she found out that he was going to tell Foaly about what was going on. Not that she wouldn't find out eventually, he just wanted to delay facing her. Having Holly angry with you was not a fun experience. Mulch picked up the communicator and dialed.
"Foaly here" Foaly answered
"Hey Foaly, it's Mulch,"
"What can the technical genus of the LEP do for you today?"
"I'm worried about Holly" Mulch began, and proceeded to describe hearing Holly's screams "It seems like she's taking Julius's death really hard"
"I'll try to talk to her, but I doubt that she'll admit it." Foaly terminated the link.
Mulch leaned back in his chair and wondered if there was a way to escape Holly's wrath.
"MULCH! YOU STUPID CONVICT!" erupted from Holly's office not ten minutes later.
"Sheesh Foaly, just confront her immediately. You could have at least waited until I left the office!" the dwarf in question muttered under his breath, grabbed his keys, the half empty can of cashews on his desk, and fled the office before Holly could kill him.