Legacy Chapter 6

Updated on August 13, 2018
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Evelyn has published 2 novels, Justice Lost and Rescue, and 2 scifi/fantasy short stories in magazines.

Chapter 6

Blade flew after me, clumsily weaving through the air. He’d always been bad at flying. I suspected it was because he was afraid of heights, though he was not one to show fear.

I spun into a corkscrew, then swooped down, skimming along the earth before shooting straight upwards into a large puffy cloud.

Mist spread over my skin. Not the strange flickering mist of grayspace but the familiar cool tingle of water vapor. I sliced into the depth of the cloud and hovered in its center. It smelled faintly of lemons; I tasted it. It must have been a remnant of one of the clouds Dad had made, before he’d faded away.

Apparently, my crime had been enough to break Dad out of despondency. He wasn’t the Dad I remembered, though. He was often stern, but he’d never been cruel. Shutting off an M’s alarms was a significant offense, but I didn’t think it warranted such severe consequences. To revive corporal punishment—and to take my wings—

I shivered. No –I would not submit to something so extreme. Perhaps if I kept away for a bit, Dad would have time to reconsider his harsh commands.

I lifted the holocom out of my pocket. Then, I touched a few glowing sigils and entered my program for complete concealment. If I wanted, I could turn it into a mask, so I could interact with people on the ground. If I even wanted to interact with people in Quarantine…. Mom had said that sometimes Dad’s punishments were too harsh. That some should be allowed a second chance. And that their children should not be punished—criminality did not always transmit through DNA. So maybe some of the inmates would be okay to talk to, as long as I did not reveal who I really was.

I couldn’t stay away too long, though. I’d been so panicked that I’d forgotten for a moment, but the longer he stayed in grayspace, the more likely Peri would disintegrate. I had to get back to the Portal. Or call Glory and see if she could convince Dad to take Peri out. And—I hoped—convince Dad to be lenient. She was often able to influence Dad; she was like Mom in that way.

I’d have to face my punishment, sooner or later. There would be some punishment; that I was sure of. But if I could lessen it in some way before I went back—

The alternative was to live in Quarantine, cut off from my family and Sabra. I’d have to give up on Mom, just to be able to fly. No…I had to go home eventually, no matter what the consequences.

A gust of wind took my breath away. Electric pinpricks bit my skin.

A storm was gathering. I had to get out of the cloud before it produced lightning. Metal wings and lightning didn’t mix.

I flipped headfirst and plummeted out of the cloud. Wind whipped my clothes and hair. It was a west wind. Trying to blow me home.

Dark clouds gathered over Desolation, shutting out the sun, leaving only patches of blue sky. In the distance, the skyscrapers of Mag City proper gleamed, still drenched in sunlight.

I needed to call Glory. But first, I had to find a safe place to wait out the storm, and the worst of Dad’s wrath.

I turned toward Quarantine, the nearest shelter of any sort. Raindrops hit my head and back as I dropped lower and skimmed over the barren ground, so close I could smell the earthy scent of damp ash. A brilliant fork of lightning stabbed the ground. Thunder boomed.

The bundled steel cylinders of Quarantine rose up ahead, like silvery crystals jutting out of the earth. I leaned into the wind, willing my wings to carry me faster than the usual limit of forty miles an hour. Marble-sized hail hit my head and sharp pain blossomed across my skull. Blood slithered down my forehead.

Lightning danced over the plain, in time to a music I couldn’t hear. It illuminated flying black silhouettes—hundreds, perhaps thousands of them, swarming through the air. Ms.

One came perilously close to me. I could see its blank, determined eyes, its shoulder-length blond hair, unrealistically smooth and unruffled as it flew into the wind, parallel to me for a moment, before disappearing into the torrent pouring from the sky.

The only time the sky betrayed me. When Dad sent a storm.

Quarantine’s buildings loomed closer. “Thank the Winged!” I whispered under my breath, below the crashing of thunder.

I flew through the invisible barrier, and no Ms flew to catch me. My holomask must have been working.

I headed toward the roof of one of the lower buildings. There, I could slip inside through the top entrance. I’d have to figure out a cover story—but that was the least of my worries at the moment.

My head pounded. My vision blurred, and I couldn’t tell if it was because of the rain in my eyes, or because of a concussion from the hail. My back throbbed where more hail had hit it, and I was cold and drenched. I shivered as I flew, wobbling a bit, not caring about style as long as I landed.

A brilliant flash of agony exploded through me.

A violent crash tore me apart.

Then, nothing.

© 2018 Evelyn

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