Hello all and welcome to Cat's-Eye Private Investigators: Beacon. This is the fourth book in the Cat's-Eye Private Investigators series. In this book, I have actually not tried very hard at all to summerize what went on in the first three books. So, if you're new here, I highly recommend you go back and read them. The first book is Cat's-Eye Private Investigators, the second is Cat's-Eye PI: Remnant and the third is Cat's-Eye PI: European League of Heroes.
I'd also like to take a moment to thank Pterodactyl for the lovely review you recently gave the series. And a special thanks to Jeruselum, who's reviewed the entire series and I always forget to thank. So, thank you muchly. Last thing, thank you to whoever nominated this series to the La Campanella Awards and to all those who voted. Cat's-Eye Private Investigators was named best series in the Cycle 2 awards. So, thanks again everyone!
Now, without further ado...
Everything was so white. The walls, the carpet, the ceiling, the sink, the water, the grass (if you could even call it grass), the roads, the buildings, the sky—all of it was white. Even the sun was white. Not the way that light was scientifically white, with all colors reflecting back at you. No, this was the absence of color. They didn't understand color here. They didn't know what color was, because everything was white. White and empty.
After three years of this, Säde Paiva was sick of white.
Mornings were the worst, which was awful because mornings used to be the best. She used to love waking up in the morning. Only one thing was better than waking up to the sun pouring through her window, and that was waking up curled next to Rem (pity she could never do both at the same time). She hadn't woken up to either in three years. Instead she woke up to that awful white practically glowing off every surface. It was like in those horror movies when the protagonist woke up in the hospital and everything was white and so disgustingly clean it made you want to roll around in a mud pit. The white always seemed to glow in those movies. Everything was sort of fuzzy, making the watcher wonder if the hero was dreaming. That was how Säde felt every morning when she woke up to that white glowing around her—like she should have been dreaming about a horror movie.
Säde sat up and ran a hand through her blonde hair. It was starting to hang past her shoulders again. She would have to cut it soon. She had gotten pretty good at sawing through her hair with a knife, and it was almost fun. Her three month highlight was watching her blonde locks fall to the floor. It was color, after all. Not much color, but color none the less. But, as easy and amusing as cutting her hair had become, Säde decided to put it off one more day. She'd likely put it off for another week in her hope that she'd soon find a way out of here. A stylist would have an easier time fixing her hair if it was long.
Her nightgown, of course, was also white. She hadn't had time to pack anything when she had come here, so they had provided her with clothes. Initially, the nightgown had been very modest, covering her whole body. After a month of white, Säde had cut it up. Now it only went down to her knees, had no sleeves and the collar was large enough that it hung off her shoulders. She had gotten pretty pale over the past three years without sunlight, but her skin still offered more color than anything else around her.
She pulled off the nightgown and tossed it into a corner. She liked to keep her space messy simply because everything else was so clean. Hanging against the wall was her Beacon uniform. It was white, of course. She was a light manipulator, which usually meant a white or mirror colored uniform. But she didn't hate her uniform for two reasons. One, it was hers. She had brought it with her when she had come to this place. They hadn't provided it. And two, it wasn't white. Not like this. Maybe it was faded or dirty from years of use or maybe it was the organic part of the uniform. Whatever it was, her uniform was off-white and that made it bearable.
She pulled it on slowly. White leggings first, followed by the skin tight, white shirt. She pulled on her boot, and then her trench coat, both white as well. Last was her hat. It was a musketeer hat made with white velvet and a white ostrich feather sticking out the side. She loved the hat, as it was the one point that really differentiated her costume from Rem's besides the color. The fedora hat was used simply to help hide his identity if he was very caught out in the light. Her hat was all about being flashy.
Hey, she glowed in the dark. There was no point in trying to be subtle.
As pleased with her appearance as she could be after wearing the same thing for three years, Säde left the room and made her way from her residence to the command center. Malocil, the only one of them she actually got along with was sitting in front of the thing that was basically a computer. They had a name for it, but Säde had never bothered to learn it and she always tuned Malocil out when he pronounced it slowly for her.
"Good morning, Säde," Malocil said. They looked just like everything else in this world. It wasn't like that thing where all Asians supposedly all looked alike to white people. Säde was good with faces and she was good with people. And while they had faces, they weren't people, which was why they blended in so well with their world. Except for Malocil. Sometimes, she thought his face wasn't putting off the same glow as the rest of the room, but that was about the only distinction.
Their basic features were human; head with two eyes, a nose, a mouth and a tongue (which always caused Säde's stomach to flip whenever she saw it). They had a torso with two arms and two legs and the females were even sort of curvy. They had five fingers with opposable thumbs, but Säde wasn't sure about toes. The biggest and most disturbing difference was that they were so white they'd make Rem look tan. And it wasn't white that looked as though they'd just had a bunch of powder or paint smeared over them. They looked like plastic. Their eyes were like glass eyes that didn't have the fake iris or pupil—just empty, white glass. Säde still wasn't sure how they saw anything. And their tongues… Säde didn't even want to think about their tongues. They all were the same height, although weight sometimes varied. Säde didn't know why, considering what they ate. And none of them had hair. Not even the females, which was why Säde had to pay attention to the curves.
"Morning, Malocil," Säde said, dropping into a chair next to him. It was surprisingly comfy despite how un-invitingly white it looked. "How's today looking."
"Like another slow day," Malocil said. "You decimated the enemies' drones in their last assault. It will be some time before they have a chance to strike again."
So it was to be another day of sitting with Malocil, waiting. Säde hated days like this. Malocil wasn't a big talker, which meant she'd be spending the day thinking about how much she hated it here. Fighting drones was almost preferred. Then she didn't have time to think about how great it would be to be home right now. To feel the sun or rain or eat real food. To be with Rem. God, she missed Rem.
That was the worst part about this whole thing—not knowing what kind of toll the past three years had taken on him.