The rooftops of Seneret were tinged golden and warm orange in the light of the rising sun. The hour was still early. The trams from Hetla hadn't yet rattled into town, and the streets were quiet, devoid of what little activity they might otherwise receive. Seneret was not a town of labourers. With its warm sea breezes and pleasant climate, it had long been a retreat for Hetla's wealthier elite, a place where they could escape the crush and stress of the city center and take refuge in the quiet of the countryside. When the trams would arrive in the mid-morning hours, they would bring with them the servants and gardeners that inhabited Helta's Ket sector, a crowded, ragged part of the city that was pushed a little farther to the west every year, and farther from the extravagant houses and genteel existence of the upper classes that dwelt in the better neighborhoods of Terna and Merat.
The Malek family had long owned an estate in Terna, a large sprawling house that was si