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By Patrick Reinken

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Chapter 5 Anthony Depending on your viewpoint, the grounds of Laurentian Mines were laid out like a college, or like a prison – nothing more than large central buildings, smaller surrounding ones, and some living space for the people who had to be there. The mining operations themselves were the main facilities. All the operational buildings necessary for recovery, sorting, and cleaning of diamond rough, from the ore machinery to the acid baths, were at the edge of the pit. Spreading out from those was a variety of administrative locations: the superintendent’s offices and the management building, the lockers and screening areas for the workers, the laboratory and quality analysis facilities.

All the meals were the same – a single, small sandwich on stale bread, a piece of cheese, a paper cup filled with water. There were no utensils. There was nothing breakable. When he could manage it at all, he slept on the wood floor. The discomfort from that was simple and plain, the feel of it almost nonexistent in the shadow of the rest of his pain, which cut through his head like a nail in his temple. His eyes were swollen, his ears crusted with blood, and his jaw creaked and popped now when he opened his mouth.

The space they saw was too organized. Miners weren’t meticulous people in their living spaces. They existed by themselves as near transients, wanting only a place to sleep and eat and nothing more. An apartment that was this put together was one that someone other than the miner laid a hand to, which meant someone other than Anthony had been in this room recently. Someone had cleaned it. “Done,” one of them men said after a nod from the other. The lookout turned from the window.

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