The rush of water hastens and sucks her through an open doorway. Her head slaps against a timber lintel. The fractured beam lodges a row of quilled splinters deep into her upper brow. She reaches back and clings to the beam, pushing her head beneath it as debris rains down all around her.
“Papa!” she screams again.
“Signorina Brilliant, ti sento. Dove sei?” The Directorate. If only he spoke English.
“Signore Malpiero, I am here!”
The sound of brick grinding on brick echoes throughout the dark chamber with a deafening growl. The grinding ceases with a jarring thud. The collision quakes the hotel, upheaving the pool of water, and Jada feels a senses of weightlessness amid the sloshing water. The building goes quiet. Debris fragments splash with the repetition of dripping water like the sound of a somber requiem. The current slows, and the pool of water settles.
Jada wipes her brow, and a sharp sting pierces her head as her fingers rub over the prickly slivers lodged in her forehead. Random creaking warns of an imminent collapse.
“Signore Malpiero!” she cries.
“Signorina Brilliant, è necessario uscire in fretta!” the Directorate says.
Jada huffs in frustration.
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