He placed a knight on the board, enjoying the satisfying snick as the heavy stone figure met the granite board. To a purist, he supposed a challenging game with crude, plastic figures was preferable to a poor game on an expensive board, but he took pleasure in the intricately carved pieces and the way they felt in his hand.

“Your queen is vulnerable.”

He studied the board and smiled. “Queens can be replaced.”

His opponent frowned, and took the piece after looking for the trap. Travers smiled again and moved a humble pawn into place.

“See? Now I have another.”

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