Cyber reached up with his other hand to steady his aim.

SMS’s bravery faltered, and he closed his eyes. If Cyber didn’t kill him soon, he thought the anticipation might do it first.

Then: crack-crack-crack! Gunshots, followed by another burst of fire: crack-crack-crack-crack!

SMS’s eyes flew open. He wasn’t dead! The gunshots had come from behind him. So who was—

A blur of movement caught his peripheral vision and Pavelec slammed into him, throwing him against a stack of pallets. Continue reading



SMS balanced the weight of Pavelec’s pistol in his hand and looked at Olivia, who was shaking with terror. She was biting her lip, her thin cheeks pale and wisps of hair falling over her face. Something about the fear in her eyes melted away the aging she had undergone, so she looked more like the young girl in the family photo than the wispy specter sitting on the couch in the middle of an abandoned warehouse, being used as a pawn in the mad game between Pavelec and Innis.

“Go ahead, SMS,” said Innis. “Shoot her.”

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Reading the Signs

Pavelec’s fists were balled up at her sides, and SMS could see the gears turning in her head as she sorted through the events of the past day, everything from the initial meeting with Innis up until his betrayal. SMS didn’t blame her for being fooled: he’d had no idea what was really going on himself, and he was supposed to be Innis’s right-hand man! Then again, Cyber had been undercutting that status for the last few weeks. SMS wondered what else Innis had been hiding from him lately.

Making an effort to curb her emotion, Pavelec looked for more explanation. “So what about Levi St. Laurent? What’s his role in all this? How long have you been working with him? I assume the Laurentians are working for him…”

Innis chuckled. Continue reading

Come Together

SMS heaved a sigh of relief at the sight of allies instead of enemies. Well, allies of a sort, at least. People who weren’t actively interested in shooting at him.

He made brief eye contact with Cyber. The cocky grin on the hacker’s face was a little less sure than usual, a little more reserved. SMS wondered if Cyber was as uncomfortable with all these guns around as he was.

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Taylor jogged off back to the doorway to follow out her orders and Pavelec stepped out into the open warehouse to make her phone call. SMS put his gun down on the table, grabbed the duffel bag out of the corner, and looked at Olivia. “So,” he said. “What do you want me to pack?”

The woman nodded towards a pile of folded clothing beside the TV, and SMS began layering it into the bag. There was a wool sweater at the bottom of the pile, and as SMS grabbed it he felt something hard and flat wrapped up inside. He hesitated as he lifted it, and looked over to Olivia. She got up off the couch and came over.

“What is it?” asked SMS quietly.

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