Metaworld Chronicles

by

Wutosama

Chapter 40 - Miles to Go Before She Sleeps

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A note from Wutosama

Edited 26/01/19

  The click-a-clack of her Mary-Janes may as well be rolling thunder as Gwen Riverdanced down the concrete pavement. For about ten-meters, Gwen considered moving the rest of the way barefoot, though the sight of shattered glass killed that prospect outright.

On the next platform, restless passengers began to gather around the light and noise emitting violently from the terminated carriage.

Thankfully, she made it without incident to the escalator extending upward toward the street level. The automated stairs disregarded her presence when she clanked onto its metallic surface.

Nothing, it was unpowered, some sod probably dug out the mana crystal or disconnected the power.

Gwen groaned inwardly, then loudly clunked her way up and over the metal, making enough noise to mimic a theatrical troupe. When she had finally emerged, two stories worse for wear, she was already sweating profusely. There was something about the air here, oppressive, low and moist, like the night before a thunderstorm.

The avenue that now unfolded before Gwen was the streetscape she had seen earlier from the shelter of the carriage. Immediately, a stench violently violated her sense of smell. It was a tongue-tingling scent of age-old urine, a stinging synaesthesia of neglect and destitution: so vivid that Gwen wondered if she should stun her face to numb its senses.

Gathering her wits, she surveyed her surroundings, finding a half dozen homeless men peering at her from the shelter of their cardboard boxes. Their eyes met, the men's wide-open with disbelief; Gwen’s watery with the injurious odour of their wastewater.

A spark of electricity escaped her fingers.

She watched wordlessly as the men retreated into their boxes like hermit crabs. One of them even had a lid with a hand-scrawn ‘CLOSED’. What? Her mind wandered unpleasantly. For what activity had the man been open for? Shaking herself from the stupor, Gwen realised she had to keep moving.

'Splat!'

Half-a-meter later, she found herself inch deep in something. Not daring to look down, Gwen persisted in moving forward.

It only took a hundred meters for her to be beset by her worst fear.

Where the hell was anything around here?

She had a general idea of where Stacey was, but there was no landmark, not even a street sign to show her the way. Perhaps she should ask one of the box people? That seemed like the best course of action. They appeared docile and likely wouldn't test her mettle. Feeling confident, Gwen gathered her courage, fortified her nose, and walked toward one of the boxes. The one with the ‘closed’ sign seemed as good as any other.

“Hey!” a voice called out.

Ah, here we go. Gwen cursed her presentiment. She had been expecting to be accosted, although not so soon.

She turned on her heels, placing herself between the box people and the gang. There were no walls here to shield her back, so the box-hermits would have to do. From their attire and age, she confirmed that these were very same ones who had attempted to glass the dog earlier. These young ones were not like the old hermit men. She could read the continence of their body, the manner in which they carried themselves. These men were bored. Bored and unemployed, and that made them stupid and dangerous.

“Oi sweetheart!” One of the young men called out in a voice that made Gwen’s jaws clench.

Let’s try to do this peacefully, give that old charisma a workout, she told herself. Gwen knew she had panicked a little on the train when she had gotten crowded, but her mind was measured and calm now. It was amazing, what she could acclimatise herself to, given sufficient time and crisis.

“Gents,” she answered coldly, standing her ground firmly with her legs slightly apart, her heels well planted in the mysterious gunk. Avoiding them would only incite them, what she needed to do was project was the idea that fucking with her was a terrible idea. With that intent in mind, Gwen circulated a mote of lightning mana through her body, lighting her irises with a pale, cobalt glow.

The leading lad, a skinny young man with a tattered, dirty white Tee and jeans, stopped himself cold.

“Cor! You got some freaky eyes,” he replied, then again loudly to his friends. “Beautiful glowing electric eyes!”

This one's rather acute. Gwen was pleased. Maybe this won't go over so badly.

But if Gwen had expected the speaker's friends to be awed into withdrawing, she would be disappointed. Rather than heeding their friend's warning, the rest of the gang instead congregated around her in a semi-circle. After all, it wasn’t every day that a six-foot beauty in heels and couture walked through Blackheath. Be it curiosity or something more nefarious, their intention mattered little to Gwen, for all she could see was a pack of fanned out mongrels eyeing a stray cat.

“Oi, mates, she’s a Mage.” The acute one stated again before repeating himself. “A quasit Mage.”

To both Gwen and the young man's chagrin, his 'mates' remained oblivious, far too enthralled by the prospect of mobbing the girl and having their fun. Their obtuse reactions made Gwen even more furious. Can’t a girl chat up a hobo in peace? Did these dickheads take their cue from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange? Fighting her better impulses, she remained determined to resolve this peacefully: after all, how far could she go if she had to drop a Flashbangs every other block?

“Gents, I would move on.” Gwen attempted to stare them down. In her mind, she assumed the air of a dangerous, confident Mage. She didn't know that in their eyes, she was a defiant prey tugging on their testosterone.

When they still refused to move, Gwen knew she had to escalate.

She produced her ID, the one for the Public Practice of Magic, from her bag.

“Tower business,” she intoned coldly. “Remove yourselves from my sight.”

A few of them drew back.

One of the young men edged closer carefully and read the card.

“Ha!” He suddenly hooted, “She’s only 16!”

“What the fuck, for real?”
“Ha ha ha…”
“What's this sheila think she's doing?”
“Who you think you trying-ta-scare?”
"A real school girl?"
"Maybe she's from one of dem private academies, out here looking for thrills."

FUCK! Gwen screamed internally, almost snapping her card in half. Fuck, I am an idiot. A fucking imbecile. She might as well have pulled out her student card and warned them that bullying was for losers.

Without warning, the young man nearest to her moved to grab her hand. Backpeddling, Gwen cursed under her breath, then allowed the electrified mana to infuse her body. A semi-circle ring of electricity sprung up around her, forming a Semi-Dome Shield. She was using her Gunther Shield, a two-layered wedge of crackling Lightning with a cushion of raw mana particles in between. Her control was far weaker than the Radiant Magus, but it stopped low-tier projectiles just fine.

“Fuck! She's for reals!”

“Shit! She’s a Lightning Sorc...”

In the next moment, the men scattered like beaten dogs, fleeing from the vicinity and into the dark alleyways and byways that were formed by the chaotic architecture. Around Gwen, the air hummed and sizzled with fresh ozone, her lightning crackling and whipping the air currents into a frenzy.

One lad remained, the astute one, nervously wringing his hands.

“What do you want?” Gwen demanded coldly.

The young man swallowed hard; Gwen could see his Adam’s apple bobbing.

“Do… do you need a tut?”

“What the hell is a tut?” Gwen's tone possessed an edge of frost. Was he offering her drugs at a time like this?

“Like- a street guy, a guide, like, maybe I could show you around.”

Oh? Gwen's face remained impassive. That sounded exactly like what she needed. Still, she had to be careful. It's all a part of her test.

“What makes you think I need a tut?” She asked. “I got business here. Mage business. What makes you think I want to be disturbed?”

“Right… right…” The young man supplicated by lowering his profile. He looked like a skulking rat. “So, you know your way around here, do ya? Used to live in this neck of the woods?”

Gwen glared at him.

Their eyes met. She could sense the low cunning in his face. It wasn't malicious, but it was conniving and greedy, the look of a guy wanting to make a quick buck.

“So… can a guy show you around-like? Save you some bother? Just doing a good deed, right?”

Of course, the gangster was right.

With a snap of her will, the Shield around her waned, leaving only the smell of burning cardboard.

“Like, ya need to watch where ya shoving spells around ‘ere." Her self-imposed companion advised. "It's real dangerous for the common folk.”

Gwen glared at him.

“Juz saying, Miss...Cuz you juz set Bub’s house on fire.”

Gwen spun around and saw that she had indeed set alight one of the old men’s cardboard houses. By now, the flame had almost reached the petrified old man, who preferred being burnt alive to making any sudden movements while behind her. She swore and kicked at the cardboard, sending half of it flying.

“N’ now he’s homeless too,” the acute man observed sardonically.

Gwen faced her criticiser angrily, forcing the feller to shirked away like a whipped dog backing away from a raised hand.

“You jus like the others! You Mages don't care none, stepping all over us with your fancy pyrotechnics,” He sulked. “Ya tossers think you’re all so righteous.”

Fuck, right in the heart, Gwen grumbled annoyedly. The man was right. She had been careless, but she wasn't about to prove him right. Forcing a smile to her face, she turned back toward the newly homeless Bub and hunkered down to speak to him at eye level, careful not to touch the sticky floor.

“Tell me where this is.” She produced the scrap paper with Stacey's last whereabouts, simultaneously pulling out an LDM crystal. “And I’ll compensate you for your house.”

The old man regarded Gwen with bewilderment, opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish. Gwen noted that he had no teeth, just red and infected gums. Instantly, she baulked. The smell that came from his breath was enough to make her eyes run. Overwhelmed by the sudden revulsion, she dropped the shard in the man's lap and removed herself from his vicinity. She was ready to fry a folk or two, but she wasn't ready to face decades of dental neglect.

“Ya wasting good shard, I tell ya.”

The bloody young man was still there! Gwen felt an urge to let loose a blast on the annoying little punk.

“Oi, I know that address, you looking for a good deal? To pick up some goods? I can take you ta see the Boss. She runs the place you're after, she does.”

Gwen held up a scrap of paper. If nothing else, the acute young man had acute eyesight.

“You know this place?”

“Sure do.”

“You can take me there?”

“For a crystal- for two crystals, I’ll walk you the whole way.” His face lit up.

“You better not be lying to me, Acute.”

“Whose acute?”

“You are,” Gwen said smugly.

“I am cute?” The young man blushed.

“…” Gwen allowed the moment to pass. “What’s your name?”

“Anthony, but me mates call me Tonna, as in a ton-o-shit. On account that I am all glib like.”

“Right, Anthony.”

“Tonna, please.”

“Tony,” Gwen said firmly.

They stood awkwardly while Bub carefully bit into the crystal, gumming it. He must have acknowledged its authenticity, because in the next split-second he was gone, bolting away into the darkness of the hive city.

"..." Gwen turned to Tony.

“Tell me about this place. Tell me about 'Boss'.”

Tony gave her a big grin that was full of tobacco-stained earnestness.

“We walk and talk yeah? It’s at least a good half hour away, even going through shortcuts.”

“You better not be trying to shaft me…” Gwen warned, flashing a crackle of electricity.

“No Miss, no way,” Tony assured her.

They departed from the plaza, Tony falling in step beside Gwen.

“You’re tall Miss, so pretty, you a model out in the city?”

“I am a Mage and an... an Agent.” Gwen corrected herself.

“Prettiest girl I ever see Miss, prettier than even the ones at the Boss's place.”

The man kept stealing sideways glances at her, seemingly disbelieving every other moment that she was real. Gwen could see he was full of questions as well. Where did she come from, why was she here? What were her three sizes? The man's antsy manner had his curiosity clawing at his throat like cats on a piled-rug.

They were now moving into a complex, though Gwen used the word complex loosely because it was more accurate to say that she was between buildings. Without any regard for code, whatever government housing that had once existed were now extensions built on top of other extensions, giving the place the feel of a sprawling Jenga tower.

As they moved deeper, Gwen could feel wayward eyes upon her. When she looked up at the windows, she could sense gazes darting away, sometimes accompanied by the sound of slamming windows.

“Tell me about this Boss,” Gwen insisted.

“Alright…” Tony considered his choices and went with the first one. “She owns that building you’re trying ta get to.”

“What does she do?”

"She's a broker,” Tony continued. “The old house is her place of business, lots of people work there.”

“What kind of business?”

“Ah well, ya know, the usual kind here.”

“Drugs? Prostitutes? Got any Mages there?” Gwen's voice rose an octave.

“Sure, here and there. No whores though, nothing so low, she's a stock trader.”

Now it was Gwen’s turn to say, 'What the fuck?'.

“Ya know, goods, like stocks, inventory, that sort of thing.”

“What kind of portfolio does she deal with?”

“Port... Wha? She does business - you know, with people like you.” Tony was gazing at Gwen like she was the weird one. Maybe the too-pretty Mage wasn’t in the know after all. They said that looks could be deceiving. The ones that came from outside to see the Boss were all pretty weird. God knows they had some sick tastes.

"Just keep talking," Gwen commanded as the passage became narrower yet again.

"She real good to us, keep us fed. Brought water to the area, that kind of thing."

"What do you do for her?"

"I am just a runner, message boy, on account that we got no crystals for Message here."

"You said other Mages come here often?"

"Nah, just once a month. People like you, looking to buy."

"Tell me more..."

They continued to walk, the corridor getting narrower until Gwen had to duck between buildings that hung too low, filling some sections with fetid water. Luckily, her new ‘mate’, Tony, offered himself as a tribute, stand in the puddle and allowing Gwen to balance herself without the risk of slipping and falling into sewerage. The little bugger could be cute like that, Gwen amused herself. Now to see what his Boss had in store for her.

According to Tony, the place was likely a trafficker's den. If so, they could be holding her target. To Gwen, she was beginning to see how her Quest was shaping up. A smuggler's den full of NoM criminals meant she could exercise her spells without getting into trouble. In the off-chance she ran into a Mage or two, she was sure they couldn't compare to the likes of Gunther and Alesia.

Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, they arrived at the street once known as Rogan Crescent, Blackheath, G6: 266 on her defunct map. From station to the den, the duo had walked for over forty minutes, though Gwen was positive they were no more than four to five kilometres from the station.

The building itself was an amalgamation of several fire hazards combined to create a multi-storey OSHA nightmare, looking as though it could go up in flames and create a national tragedy at a moment's notice. The windows were boarded up, not suspiciously at all, and only a single entrance made itself known. The was a bouncer out front, a giant of a man with a bull-like facade, build like a brick shit-house.

"Oi, Tonna, who's the chick? She a real stunner, mate." The man cracked his neck impressively as they approached.

"We need to see Bozza, Pieto."

"This the right address?" Gwen looked up at the tower of horrors.

"Yeppers."

She turned to Pieto. In Gwen's eyes, the crack-house-mafioso-urban-decay looked lifted straight from a B-grade film.

"You want in or not, lady?" Piet blasted Gwen with his loudspeaker voice.

Gwen hesitated but told herself that between Ariel, herself and Caliban, she should be fine. After all, she also had her non-Newtonian Shield. There was no way some NoMs could get through that.

"I am here to buy." Gwen flashed her Public-Practice I.D at him, too quick for Pieto to see.

Before Pieto could respond, she moved for the door, just like in the films she had seen. To think there'd be one day she would be using Hollywood flicks as real-life references!

To her dismay, her passage became blocked by a thick, hairy hand the width of her waist.

"Gotta check youse for weapons." Pieto grinned idiotically; his intentions couldn't be more blatant if he had tattooed it on his face.

"No," Gwen replied. "Fuck off."

"No check, no entry," Pieto insisted.

"Oi Pieto mate, I wouldn't try if I was you. She's a quasit, the blue and sparkly kind," Tony added beside them. "You'd be lucky if ya just pissed and shat ya-self right here. If Bozza found out you tried to stop an Initiate she'd have you skinned."

Pieto did not look pleased to be interrupted.

"You bringing trouble for Bozza, Tonna?"

"Nah, mate, she got business, don't cha Miss?"

"I do indeed. I am looking for someone. Your Boss should know."

"You got a name for the Boss?"

"Gwen," Gwen said simply. "Why am I wasting my time speaking to you again?"

Pieto growled menacingly.
Eyeing her figure hungrily, he back off. In the man's limited mind, he realised that a girl waltzing into Blackheath showing that much leg likely had no qualms dealing with unwanted attention.

"See? No dramas mate." Tony tried to laugh it off.

Pieto shrugged. Whatever she may be, the girl was above his paygrade.

"Fine. I got my eyes on you, Tunna. She fucks up and I beat you like a dog."

"Ha ha.. eh..." Tony choked on his own laughter.

Pieto moved to open the door. Reinforced Hardwood. Gwen noted. No 'average' Mage could blast through that, but she should be fine. Her mind caressed Caliban and Ariel for a second, who were both snuggled in their pocket dimensions, semi-aware of Gwen's circumstances. Using her Empathic Link, she told them to get ready. Ariel responded with an 'Eee!'; Caliban growled, informing her of its eternal hunger.

Within, a few wayward strobes of glow-bulbs long past their mana dates shed a sickly light. There was an immediate smell that Gwen found foul and familiar at once, reminding her of the synthetic weed that people used to smoke in her old world. Gwen eyed Tony again: the young man seemed to be at ease, his body language betraying nothing. The stink grew in intensity as the door closed behind them with a 'thunk'.

Well shit, I am in the thick of it now, Gwen fought her better instincts to remain calm, hoping that she wasn't about to throw shit at the fan. Along the way, she spied a glimpse into one of the rooms along the corridor: there was one with its door ajar. Within was a woman, naked from the waist up, drawing blue smoke from a glowing pot.

Gwen reminded herself that the whole place was a fire stack.

They soon reached what appeared to be an atrium carved out of someone's living room, now opened up to two storeys via a violently displaced ceiling. The broken skylight was covered by semi-transparent canvases, providing light and shelter. There was a woman in the midst of the room, elevated upon a divan that placed among piled up rugs and cushions. She languishingly puffed away on a hookah, sending out jet streams of blue and grey smoke. Her most distinguishing feature was her hair and her scar, a crawling pink thing that ran from the base of her jaw to the tip of her right eye. Wow, nasty, Gwen winced. Another millimetre and she would be one-eyed Bozza. Her hair was neon-electric, adding a dash of colour to the otherwise drab room. The woman dressed in a pair of skintight calfskin pants rounded off with a black tank top, pushing her considerable bust together to form a deep cleavage.

"Who's this, Tunna?" the woman asked.

"She's a Mage, looking to buy."

"What you looking for sweetie?"

"My name is Gwen," Gwen announced, it never hurt to be polite. "I am taking delivery of Stacey Cantwell."

"Bozza. Nice ta meet cha." The woman seemed surprised. "You sure came quick. What's with the urgency?"

Gwen did her best to read Bozza's body language. The 'Boss' did not appear to be hostile, not even tense. Additionally, she seemed entirely at ease with Gwen's presence, even prepared.

"Master's orders." Gwen switched lanes of enquiry, keeping her reply as vague as possible. If she could talk her way out of this, Marc would surely be impressed as anything and so would her Master. "Where is the girl now?"

"She's down below."

"What are we waiting for then?" Gwen demanded, injecting a tingle of annoyance into her voice.

Over on the dais, the 'Boss' looked Gwen over. In her eyes, Gwen lacked the creepiness of the crew she had come to expect, but even she had to admit the young Mage had spunk. Just rocking up in Blackheath in that dress was enough of a ballsy move. With a bemused snort, she wondered if the girl had her fun on the way in and what damage she had done.

"Jones, go get the girl." Bozza made a motion with her hand

Another bouncer, a Maori this time, materialised from the dark recesses of the chamber. So many nooks and crannies, Gwen glanced around nervously. As they waited for the Maori to return, Bozza seemed interested in making small talk.

"So, which House you from?" Bozza seemed very keen indeed to speak to Gwen. "Didn't realise they sent pretty little things like you out for errands. I wouldn't want to let you out of my sight for a second if you were my blood-sister."

What? Gwen thought. What the hell is this woman talking about?

"Comes with the territory," Gwen answered, playing along.

"You bred and born in-house? Or did they dig you up from somewhere and had you contracted to serve?"

Gwen smiled coldly.

"Born and raised," she tested the waters.

"Nice. That lightning element all yours?"

"Au natural."

"Ho ho, halcyon days? They're grooming you to be a big-wig!" Bozza cooed at Gwen, licking her lips. "Young pretty little thing like you, must have the Maguses in a tiff, no? Got yourself a few old men to syphon crystals? When'd you start?"

"Young," Gwen replied briskly. Inwardly, she was fighting back the bile in her throat.

"Fuck. Lucky you. Got a bright future ahead." She smiled, making a smacking sound with her lips. "Hows Master Klaus?"

"Angry."

Gwen persisted in her laconicism role. Come on, woman, Gwen felt her stomach knot. Where the fuck was Stacey?

"Ha ha!" Bozza laughed, her voice like the cawing of crows. "Ah, here's the merchandise."

Gwen turned to see the Maori pushing a giant box toward her on a trolley. The bouncer respectfully stopped half-a-meter from Gwen, popped the box-top, then stepped back. Within, amongst fresh hay, was a young woman cradled in the foetal position. She appeared to be unconscious, or at least in some form of deep slumber. Stacey was entirely naked, immobilised by a calfskin strap wrapped around her neck, linked together her hands and feet. Even if the girl awoke somehow, she couldn't struggle free without enduring painful contortions.

With the human 'cargo' presented in full, Gwen felt her throat constrict. Within her bosom, her heart jackhammered against her chest.

Fuck! She screamed internally. What the fuck is this and how is it an appropriate first mission for a novice like me?

But an act's an act. Gwen knew she was in too deep to pull out. Leaning down to 'inspect' the goods, she noted tags tied to the girl's feet.

S. Cantwell
F (21)
Illusion (1) Water (1)

"Satisfied?" Bozza asked in a friendly voice. "You want to pay in crystals, cash, or items?"

"How much?" Gwen asked, ironing her nerves and modulating her tone and cadence.

Bozza regarded Gwen, puzzled. Her voice was tinged with suspicion when she next spoke.

"The agreed amount. Your Master's not thinking of Jewing me, is he?"

"I simply need to affirm the amount," Gwen stated matter-of-factly.

"Forty Large."

Forty HDM crystals... Gwen made a mental calculation in her mind. She had just enough. If she managed to scrape together all her HDM and LDMs, it was enough.

Was it too much to pay in small change? Gwen wondered. Crystals are crystals, surely?

On the other hand, what if things go south? Should she subdue them then call the Police? She was confident she could take everyone in the atrium. Only Bozza seemed like a Mage, and her aura was feeble. Perhaps a powerful show of force would frighten them? She could also retreat and call Mark. Yes! She should call Mark. The Madam had been anticipating an angry family member or a vindictive group of Mage-haters. A 'Slaver's Den' was at least an 11 on a scale of 5. Blood-sister? Bond-slave? These guys are human traffickers!

"Well? What will it be?" Bozza's voice was outright antagonistic now.

Gwen flashed her Storage Ring.

"Boss!" A familiar voice called out from the direction of the exit.

Pieto entered the room in a huff, glaring at Gwen with unmistakable hostility.

Every hair stood on Gwen's neck.

He had another woman behind him, shorter than Gwen, wearing a dark cowl that hid her face.

"Master, this Mistress Mage says that she is here for the Cantwell pickup. Tunna! Who the fuck did you say this girl was?"

The entire gathering turned to look at Tony, who was by now sweating buckets, literally standing in a pool of his excretions.

"I- I found her by the station; she was looking for this place..."

A heavy silence fell over Tony's audience.

"Tonna..." Bozza said carefully, rising from her divan chair. "Who... the ... FUCK is this Mage?"

"She's a.... a Tower Mage!" Tony stuttered, realising that he had made a dire, dreadful, deadly mistake.

"And who might you be, seeking to impersonate an Initiate?" The cowled Mage demanded of Gwen.

"I would like to know as well. Gwen." Bozza's eyes flashed, Gwen caught a flow of mana escaping Bozza's hair, wetting her hair. She was a Water Mage.

The two bouncers drew out steel batons, extending them with a swish of their hand. Beside her, the female Mage threw open her cowl, revealing a daring outfit of dark flowing silk, her young face framed by a pixie cut. From her, Gwen felt free-flowing motes of Air.

Awww SHIT. Gwen's mind kicked into overdrive.

She could only hope all her training paid off.

Bozza allowed her Body of Water to suffuse her form, making her resistant to fire and physical attacks. There were two girl-Mages before her. The cowled one looked the part, while the other one was out of place. She had been careless, Bozza swore, the bitch had caught her off guard. The fact that she was momentarily bamboozled likely meant there would be a penalty from their employer.

But the girl was herself a prize.

This 'Gwen' was a rare specimen. If Bozza could offer her as a gift to the Houses, she would not only avoid punishment - but receive a reward!

She commanded her goons to subdue the young Mage, watching the girl as she pull-back in fright and panic. The young sorceress was fresh, untested. Just looking at her face, Bozza knew that the stupid whelp would panic once her charade was up.

She almost laughed when Gwen fell to one knee, a dozen mana crystals scattering in all directions in her moment of distress.

"!"

Bozza felt the air vibrate. Something was off. The HDM crystals Gwen had scattered thrummed with unstable mana. What the hell was she doing? Was the girl trying to blow herself up? Bozza wondered bemusedly.

Then suddenly, a tenebrous Shield smothered their target. A Shielding spell like nothing she had ever seen before. A black membrane darker than black, a perfect semi-sphere that sucked in all light.

"The fu..." Bozza started to swear, but no one heard her curse.

'Crack!'

The Flashbang crystals shattered; from within, came the sound of thunder.

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About the author

Wutosama

Bio: I write on the phone and edit at home. Times are tough!

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