It was one of those frigid mornings, the sort where each inhalation fills your lungs with a burning crispness that reminds you you are alive. She pulled her stole a little tighter in defense against the bitter wind—a wind that only intensified as she entered the tunnel leading to the head of Prince Dakkar Boulevard. Garnet Psaltery didn’t mind the cold, so long as one was properly dressed, in fact she quite enjoyed the feeling of freshness.
The day had been off to a brilliant start. Her brisk morning walk through Market Square had rewarded her with the opportunity to see a number of fantastic snowmen on display for the annual contest. To top it off, the sun was shining and it was still early. Plenty of time to attend to tasks.
Filled with such happy distractions it is understandable it took a moment to process what she found on the Prince Dakkar side of the tunnel. A man, who appeared to have been beaten into unconsciousness lay sprawled across the tram tracks.
Her instinct was to rush to the man’s aid, however, she had been in New Babbage long enough to do the right thing and scan the alleys and odd-angled corners for signs of danger before proceeding further. The street in the near vicinity appeared deserted, although further down Prince Dakkar she could see a man near the alley to the west of the Gangplank.
Garnet knelt by the unconscious man’s side and made sure he was breathing. It wouldn’t be enough to just pull him off the tracks; she couldn’t leave him unattended in this weather. As Garnet shook the man to see if she could rouse him she thought she might have recognized him—a writer who’d been around town for awhile now. What was his name? Herodotus Tripe? She couldn’t recall.
“Sir, can you stand?” Garnet spoke with a measure of urgency when she noticed the man stirring. “You must come with me or you will freeze. Throw your arm around my shoulder. I will help you. There is a bar a few doors down. I know the owner.”