Valerie took her first step into HQ in what felt like years, but really it hadn’t been more than a couple of months or so. How odd it felt, knowing that this building had once been home to her enemies. She had led a siege against Commander Strake and his Enforcers, then hunted him and the CEOs behind him down. The building had become her home after that, but now felt like such a strange, foreign place.
This sensation confirmed something she had been thinking about for a while now—that she didn’t belong here. But where did she belong? In space?
With a glance at the skies, she wondered what sort of battles were going on in space right now. Was it possible something could go wrong and it would all be over without her even getting a chance to fight?
Considering the fact that it was Bethany Ann up there fighting for their survival, she was hopeful. read more…
Cammie glanced around the desert landscape and the town known as El Diablo. It was pressed up against a small hill with dead trees at the top that resembled devil horns, which looked especially ominous silhouetted against the night.
The first thing she had done was come to New York looking for Valerie. When she learned that Sandra had been in touch with her and that Valerie was heading for New York, her first instinct had been to stay there and wait. But the more she heard about the situation, the upcoming predicament, the more she realized that they had to get ahead of this war situation.
So here she was, with Sergeant Garcia and Royland. They had told the others that anyone who wanted to return to the island up north could take off that day. The rest would stay in New York to help fight.
Nobody had left. read more…
Valerie had never realized that being alone with her thoughts would be so cathartic, but sailing across the Atlantic by herself certainly provided that opportunity. After her coms device went on the fritz halfway across, she was left staring out at the darkness to the west. She just wished the airship would hurry the hell up so she could get to New York before war broke out.
A part of her still believed there would be a way to mitigate this fire that her friends had started, but the rest of her thought that a final war to end it all wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Pull out all the rats and cut off their heads, so that they and the disease they had brought upon the lands would be gone once and for all.
That wasn’t all she thought about, though, as she sailed. She thought about how she had almost returned to the military compound where she was raised, how she could have very easily touched down in Old Paris and visited her old haunts, searching out clues to her life before she was turned into a vampire. Now that those thoughts were in the past, she realized what a trap such actions would have been. Could she ever have escaped? Even if she had physically departed, she was certain she wouldn’t have left mentally.
It was time to accept that she was a new person, that she had moved on. read more…
Kaylin braced her hands against the walls of the tiny escape pod, struggling to choke back her claustrophobia. The pod hurtled forward, heading straight for the swirling smoke of the time-travel portal.
Then it was gone. The Syndicate ship, the escape pod, the portal–all of it. In its place was a black abyss that swallowed all light and matter. Weightlessness consumed her body, but somehow, she could still sense motion tugging her through the nothingness.
The first time she’d experienced this, she’d thought for sure she was dead. But now she knew better–she wasn’t travelling to an afterlife; she was travelling through time. Although there was no way of knowing where or when she’d end up this time. In their desperate escape from the doomed ship, no one had been able to program in a destination.
The weightlessness ended as abruptly as it’d started. Light blinded her, and gravity yanked at her stomach. The abyss vanished, and she materialized back in reality, sitting on a bed in the corner of a room.
No. Not just any room. It was her room, in her old apartment, back at her childhood home in Cleveland. Kaylin hardly dared to breathe, terrified that the slightest movement would send her wheeling back into the abyss of the time-travel portal. She moved only her eyes as she took in her surroundings. read more…