1.5.6 – Fragmentation  

“Dear heart.” Lord Valraven took another step into the room. “Is that really you?”   “Papa–” At a run, Mariead caught her father in an embrace, a huff of breath taking the place of whatever words she might have intended. Sidelong, I looked to the lass, who stood with long fingers splayed over the tabletop, eyes […]

1.5.5 – Indexed Search 

The halls of Valraven Manor were dark and winding, claustrophobic, dimly-lit. Mariead’s guidance was unerring, a quiet voice over my left shoulder to match the lass whispering Her observations on my right. The floors were old and battered planks of wood beneath long strips of carpet. Shit footing for a fight, but we encountered no […]

1.5.4 – Thresholds 

It took five strides to cover the steps of Valraven Manor. I knew it was five down to my bones, felt it seared into my heart, as I took the sixth step and crossed the threshold with my left leg, building speed with every footfall. I drove all that speed and swiftness into brute force […]

1.5.3 –  Black Shield

The night had come with a winter sunset if ever I’d seen one, turning an endurable twilight to a black, unrelenting chill that painted our breaths against the air. Mariead’s face was hidden, her mask in place. All that was visible was the gleam of starlight in her eyes, glinting as cold as amber in […]

1.5.2 – Contingencies  

We blazed our path through empty space. Our path along the base of the cliff was north and east, carrying us further into the night. My heart pulsed, marking the passage of each moment, relentless. The hum of Her living pulse ran through my body, drove me on though my mouth was dry and my […]