I grab Gray and pull her by the straps of her pack. The carbine sways off-target and sends a bullet into a boarded up storefront. She swears at me.
We made it into an alley before whoever was shooting at us got a second chance.
The plane touched down at dusk. Pinpoints of light came from various points in the city, almost enough to make one forget that it was abandoned. The clouds above us melded into a monotone gray, hiding the stars even as they reflected the sun’s dying moments.
I nodded. My bag was at my feet, and I swiped it in a single motion as I opened the door and let myself out. The tarmac was solid under my feet, a surprise after the floor panels of the small plane.
I had Ellison on a cold-storage chip in my pocket. He’d fallen back at the ravine.
Could’ve happened to anyone, honestly. Maura’s a planet you don’t mess with. The anomalies still boil across the world’s surface.
One minute you’re rappelling down a cliff-face, and the next you’re leaving an impact crater because the rock you’d anchored to decided that it might not exist anymore.
Object permanence is a horrible thing to take for granted.
The comms still worked, and I’d called it in when it happened. With a skeleton crew, I didn’t get a response for two hours.
“We’ve got a copy of him on file, but take the chip with you.”