BEN The siren filled the factory, shrill, and wailing. Then the siren stopped, leaving an echo in the sudden silence. “Shift change,” Peter said. “We got to go. Now.” But Ben’s heart still thundered. Peter helped Ben climb into the crate and closed the lid. In the darkness, his heart pounded, and his palms grew […]Read more "Chapter 33: Algol is Falling. Perseus has Come. Cetus will Die."
BEN Ben and Peter exchanged their damp and filthy clothes for the workers’ dark blue jumpsuits and swapped their muddy boots out for sleek, black, work boots. Ben made sure to tuck Mica’s lighter into his pocket. It was the one thing he had left from home. The jumpsuits were for leaner men. But thin […]Read more "Chapter 32: The Burn Factory"
BEN Ben eased the hatch shut. Above them was a factory filled with Novan soldiers, Burned workers, and who knew what else. If the tunnel hadn’t caved in behind them, then they could have gone back and around the entire city. It would have taken them longer, days longer, but they wouldn’t have to sneak […]Read more "Chapter 31: The One in which Ben Becomes a Secret"
There is an empty tomb filled with light. Pale stone, almost white, encompasses nothing because no one is inside. Not far from the Eternals’ Palace, stands the Tomb of the Faithful, a monument and memorial to the fallen soldiers who still serve Loraine and the Burned who serve their Eternal Mother. It is a simple […]Read more "The Tomb of the Faithful"
BEN Ben collapsed to the ground just inside the tunnel. He wanted so badly to rest and let his leg stop aching and rewrap his wound, but he knew there wasn’t time for that. He flicked Mica’s lighter, and a small flame appeared in the dark. As Peter rummaged around through the debris littered around […]Read more "Chapter 30: Drowning and Stars"
BEN Ben and Peter resumed their journey to West Nine and eventually, the Unseen City. They slipped through the forest, unseen and unheard. Peter was intent on getting as much distance between them and the mobile Watcher unit as possible, so they darted quickly through the shadows. They walked through the forest until the sky […]Read more "Chapter 29: The Burning Fields"
BEN Ben had wandered these woods his entire life. As a child, he had limped through the trees in games of hide-and-seek. As a young man, he had forged for blueberries and blackberries hidden just out of sight and avoided poison ivy. He had strolled dappled paths and overgrown trails, only to find that he […]Read more "Chapter 28: How to Kill a Watcher"
If you were to dive beneath the mountain, beneath the trees, tall and green and gold and solid as stalagmites, deep beneath the rushing rivers and the freezing wind, you might find the fields and the secret growing things in the place where spring lives. You reach the entrance to the caves and pause. This […]Read more "The Fields"
MICA Something about red snow… A knock on the door jolted Mica out of a dream. She knew she had been dreaming, but the instant her eyes opened, she couldn’t remember what the dream had been, just that it had left sadness over her like ash. The red and whiteness of it… the ache of […]Read more "Chapter 27: The Place Where Spring Lives"
MICA Mica crossed her arms but winced. All those shots they’d given her were turning her arms black and blue. And Aaron was very late. She had been flicking her lighter on and off, but the doctor with too-short hair had given her such a withering stare, that she’d stopped. The sick smell of medicine […]Read more "Chapter 26: The Forgotten Brother"