The stairs continued for some time – long enough that Mavis had completely lost track, although she’d never been good at keeping time.
It got colder with each step until, eventually, Mavis wished she’d been warned so she could bring a coat. Shortly after the stairwell felt almost to be at freezing temperatures, the stairs ended and they came into a chamber lit by a hearth at the back. She felt the warmth immediately, it almost making her ill with the sudden change.
Through the dizziness now overwhelming her, it took Mavis a few seconds to realise that Gideon was motioning for her to sit on a small couch. She did so, waiting for him to take the other couch across the coffee table, which was covered in papers. Perhaps they were plans for houses that would make other luxury home designers jealous.
Gideon paced the room for a while, and Mavis began to wonder whether he was just trying to make her nervous. She knew the first rule of negotiations, however: never make the first move.
Finally, Gideon sat across from her, bringing his hands together. Did all new home builders for the Mornington Peninsula act like this?
“Mavis van Westerly.” Gideon said her name slowly, drawing it out like a final breath. “I have brought you here because I need your help with a rather ambitious project. Lorenzo has kept a close eye on you and your friends. We believe you are perfect for this, as our goals align quite nicely.”
“And what goals would those be?”
Gideon chuckled. “Your friend Dirk seems quite interested in bringing down the elites. His lips are quite loose after a drink or two, I’m afraid. But it will take more than a few dozen Elite Tokens to even put a dent in the system. If that were the case, I would have dismantled it by now.”
Mavis bit her lip. “I suppose you have my attention. Do go on, Mr Gideon.”