52 – The Right Decision

Stef stared silently at the agent, trying to pick the moment when having a gun pointed at her had become…almost normal. She felt frozen – it was like the stag again, but this time, if she moved, the results weren’t going to be as non-consequential as the wish-granter disappearing. The door closed without him moving an inch. Stupid M-word. He took a step closer, the gun still aimed at her head.

He hadn’t fired yet though, this was a good thing. He kept the gun level, scanned his eyes across the room, then looked back at her. ‘What are you?’ he demanded. Continue reading “52 – The Right Decision”

30 – Rejection

Magnolia knocked on Taylor’s office door, after a non-responsive minute, she twisted the handle and walked in.

There was blood everywhere. Holes were punched in the walls, furniture was upturned and a there was a report in the middle of his desk, impaled by a large knife. She carefully removed the knife and read over the sections of the report that weren’t folded or torn. Her own words stared back at her, and she realised that it was the reply to the proposal she’d written. Continue reading “30 – Rejection”

22 – Shriek


Magnolia turned to see Edward, snorted, then turned back to the swinging punching bag.

‘Recruit, you’re next.’

‘I don’t respect your authority,’ she said as she delivered a savage punch to the bag. ‘When my commanding officer tells me to do something, I’ll do it. You aren’t him.’ Continue reading “22 – Shriek”

15 – Lessons Learned

Magnolia finished her circuits of the gym and quickly paced herself through a workout of twenty-five sit-ups, two dozen push-ups and a dozen crunches. It was nowhere near a full workout, but it had flexed her muscles at least a little – and any advantage she had was a little less pain she’d feel when Taylor was through with her. He’d ordered her to come to his gym, and that meant he needed a spar. Given his mood however, she wished she’d had a chance to prepare for at least a day in the infirmary. If he kept his promise, however, no amount of preparation would be enough. Continue reading “15 – Lessons Learned”

13 – Pitbull

Magnolia looked down at the small robot bumping into her foot – the small, comical-looking machine had a bag of popcorn attached to it, and a small sign instructing her to take some. She took a small handful, then lifted her feet so it could pass. She spared a smile at Merlin, who sat next to Jones, on the row above her. This far back in the bleachers, there was a lot of empty seats – most of the combat and field recruits were clustered in the first couple of rows, the rows that “may get covered in blood and body parts”. Continue reading “13 – Pitbull”

05 – Invasion

Ryan shifted to his office and walked to his desk – despite all the work he had done throughout the day, even more paperwork had appeared in his “IN” tray. Something other than paperwork had also appeared in his office – there was a person in his chair – which was turned to face his window wall – but he ignored them, there were more pressing issues to tend to than uninvited guests. Continue reading “05 – Invasion”

43 – Heroes

Magnolia leaped up onto the scaffolding and began to climb – she could hear Taylor fighting on the roof above, alone. That was, of course, her fault – if she hadn’t been slow and weak, he never would have been able to get so far ahead.

The screaming body of a Solstice fell past her and hit the ground with very final thump. There was no need to check on his status – she knew Taylor wouldn’t have thrown him, and ceased fighting him, without a good reason.

She reached the top of the scaffolding and jumped onto the rooftop. Taylor stood, covered in blood, surrounded by bodies, staring at the hole in the sky. She’d been very careful to avoid looking at the sky – what came through didn’t matter, only the fighting at street level mattered. Continue reading “43 – Heroes”

33 – Cornered

‘Are you sure you won’t need coordination on this one?’

Ryan looked across the conference room table at Clarke. ‘We don’t anticipate much competition for the mirror – according to reports, Remington’s forces haven’t moved, neither have-’

‘Then who are you expecting?’

‘Opportunists, Solstice, and a leech.’

‘Two leeches.’ Continue reading “33 – Cornered”