Tariq sat on the cracked stone floor of his cell, his wrists still red and aching from the recently removed restraints. With a well-practiced gaze, he watched the pacing guards, counting their steps and timing their pattern of patrol. It didn’t take long for him to identify the new guards, with their quickened, stuttering pace, from the deliberate and conserved steps of the veterans who had walked the same route, at the same time, for months, if not years. This was certainly not the first time he would spend the night on a cell floor in Memnon, but it had been a long time since the last one. He suppressed a slight chuckle as it dawned upon him that both this time and the last time, his incarceration had been due to a woman……..