The tension in the air descends on us like an invisible, looming weight, so thick that even Leatherface would have major trouble cutting through it with his chainsaw.

We all sit at the Table of Metal, waiting in deafening silence for the arrival of the last two Golden Elders who are supposed to be present for this meeting.

I observe the expressions of all present around me, scanning them one after another. It’s as if everyone got a memo to arrive with a specific facial uniform; a dress code that mandates twitchy eyes, distressed frowns, and worry-lines.

Their collective expression primarily reflects worry and concern, with barely subdued anger and hints of annoyance peeking through every now and again.

I’m certain mine does as well.

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