Mark settled back at his desk. He took several deep breaths while hiding behind closed eyes, hoping that a sense of calm and distance would get him through the next few hours. Peace settled into him with surprising ease, but he knew it was just a veneer. It would have to do. He got out the documents and clean paper and began to write. He'd managed to get through one page and part of the next when he heard a shout. He set the pen down and listened, trying to hold on to his calm.
A gunshot blasted from down the hall. A woman screamed. Mark dove for his weapons belt just as the door to his room opened.
It was Jester Juggler, and he was smiling.