Author Topic: In this thread we WRITE every day.  (Read 3692 times)


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2014, 03:21:34 AM »
Los Angeles


Normandie and Sunset, Los Angeles, 90027

I settle into Little Armenia

Distraught by the black and white silhouette of Pizza Man

and his product, the bogeyman,

repulsed by his shadow,

attracted to his negativity.

I am drawn to the scintillating scent of Zankou Chicken

its authenticity voracious as my appetite

left with a lingering sense of wanting for more at the end

ever hungry for more life

or another chicken tarna.


Wilshire and 4th, Santa Monica, 90404

I squint into the sunlight,

unable to discern fact from fiction,

the untarnished sidewalk beneath me

worn like the mountains in latter days

from eons of rain into a fine dust.

It is smooth and willing,

flesh untouched yet downtrodden

by thousands of footsteps,

yes, it is scuffed like my personality, but it is not complaining.

I find the bank machine that takes the money I earned

and turns it into a number I find less than satisfactory.

I know that at the end of the month, it will all be gone,

so I walk away to the next job interview,

cautious of the future,

aware of the present,

negligent of the past.


Rossmore and Melrose, Los Angeles, 90036

I have dragged myself

tooth and nail

the alcohol has worn thin

and I do not know if I can make it

to Cactus Taqueria on Vine Blvd.

The greats used to stop by Stein on Vine,

Great big pianos ready for purchase

Stravinsky’s ghost used to pop by once in a while

and he would tinkle the ivories like a child.

My fingertips are bleeding,

likely a punishment for bad behavior.

I have never been ruly,

I have never been able to confront,

I decide to pull myself further.

I make my way past Melrose,

I spy the motel room where two men make love,

realizing sodomy is illegal,

caring more about last call.

I claw my way up to the order window,

a dumbfounded child in a candy store,

and order an Al Pastor burrito with everything.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 04:20:58 AM »
Reiloth, that poem made me so homesick I could smell LA.
And I vanish into the dark
And rise above my station


  • Posts: 6731
Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2014, 05:27:31 PM »
Andrey stepped into the shoe and closet-lined vestibule that was adorned with Alena’s colorful paper cuts, continuing past the henchman until he was far enough into the living room to spot the villain. Gentleman hadn’t bothered assuming a flamboyant appearance for this occasion. He lounged on the couch that faced the entryway, wearing his Victorian half mask with an uncharacteristically mundane pair of black trousers and long-sleeved, frilly white lace shirt.

Denis sat on the villain’s lap. Contrary to Gentleman’s decidedly relaxed poise, the boy was rigid, shoulders drawn in with his head hanging low between them. He perked up at the sound of footsteps, a flash of hope passing over his face. His body language didn’t change, however.

"Ah! My tardy friend arrives," Gentleman announced with an irritatingly cheerful lilt. He checked his wristwatch with a flourish of his arm; Andrey could see Denis wince as the white frills brushed the side of his face. "Sixteen minutes and forty-seven seconds since the call. A little disappointing, I must say. You are getting old."

Andrey took a second to scan the room before responding. He spotted Alena in the open plan kitchen, arms wrapped about her slender body with her shoulders pressed pressing back against the fridge. She looked skinnier than he remembered, eyes hollow within her petrified face.

"Alena," Andrey said, as calm as he could manage. "I’m here. Things are going to be alright. Just give me a moment to sort this out." He would have felt more confident about it if he knew whether he was addressing his sister in law or an illusion.
She gave a curt nod in his direction. Her expression didn’t change much, her attention remained fixated on her boy. Perhaps not an illusion, Andrey decided with a faint touch of relief.

"Gentleman," he said, making two steps toward the couch. "We can talk if you let the boy go to his mother."

The villain cocked his head, eyes behind the silvery Victorian mask squinting down at Denis. "Ah, but we had such an interesting conversation just now! Didn’t we, my dear boy?"

The boy gave a semblance of a nod that barely raised his chin, his fingers cramped about the front of his blue sweater. He was rewarded with a wide smile from Gentleman, who gave him a pat on the head.

"You see? We are in agreement," the villain enthused. "Little Denis just told me how his father watched over you when you two were little boys. Who would have thought that the mighty Radiant used to hide from the bullies in a bookstore until his younger brother arrived?" he gave a clack of his tongue that drew a quiet whimper from Alena by the fridge.

"Leave my family out of this," Andrey said, struggling to keep his calm. "You want to talk, fine. Here I am."

"There you are indeed. I might forgive your delay if you refrain from wasting any more of my time, the journey was rather long and tedious. Go, boy, run to your mother."

Denis didn’t budge. He squinted over at his uncle without even turning his head. When Andrey gave him a nod, the boy got to his feet stiffly, wiping his nose with the back of a hand. Then he moved over to the kitchen with slow, cautious steps to be wrapped up in Alena’s arms. Her lips shaped a silent ‘thank you’ for Andrey.

"You could have requested a chat in the States," Andrey said, starting towards the couch opposite the one Gentleman had claimed once the boy and his mother were reunited.

"I could have," Gentleman agreed. "But you’ve been such a busy boy, fluttering here and there. So hard to catch." He wagged the fingers of his right hand to illustrate his point. "This way, I was sure to have your attention, with a small bonus to motivate you… Alena, dear? Would you make us some coffee?"

Alena didn’t respond or react in any way. She cowered beside the fridge, keeping her arms wrapped tight about her boy. Gentleman expelled a dramatic sigh and turned his attention back to Andrey. "I expected more from a Russian woman. Alas, more disappointments."

I could just kill you. The boy sat on your lap, you’re not hiding behind an illusion right now. Andrey toyed with the idea for a couple of seconds before discarding it. He had no way of pinpointing the exact position of Gentleman’s henchmen, and he couldn’t take risks without knowing for sure his family would be safe.

Andrey eased down on the edge of the couch, eyes never leaving the villain across from him. He clasped the helmet with his left hand, fingers covering the small green light that indicated an active outgoing coms line.

"If I find out that any of them were hurt, you’re going to regret it," Andrey said. "If I don’t find you, I’m sure I could locate some of your hirelings and assets."

"Ooh, threats!" Gentleman replied, lightly clapping his hands in amusement. "Please, do give me the hero speech. I rarely get to enjoy one of those."
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 05:49:16 PM by Akaramu »


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2014, 06:55:41 AM »
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 07:05:33 AM by Aruven »


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2014, 05:38:51 PM »
Drum was the first to notice that something was amiss. She perked her big ears up—one grey-mottled, one black—and let out a soft, curious whine. Her brother lazed beside her at Ollie’s feet, waiting patiently for a chance to lick his stew bowl.

Oliver mopped up the last of his stew on a chunk of that delicious bread, savouring the fluffiness of it. Drum whined again, then eased up to her feet and trotted to the door, claws clacking on the hardwood. A second later, Banjo followed her.

All sorts of animals found their way onto Oliver’s land: coyotes, snakes, owls, any number of things that could pose a threat to the chooks. Which was just what Banjo and Drum were for.

Because of this, Ollie was not particularly alarmed as he rose to his feet, wiping his mouth off on a sleeve. He shrugged his coat back on and grabbed a shotgun off his gun rack.

Scattershot and dogs was more than enough for the vast majority of predators in the Verde Valley.

The dogs’ interest hiked up a notch as he neared the door. Both were well trained; they didn’t bark inside much. But Drum let out that high, urgent whine again, then scratched lightly on the door. She wasn’t asking to be let out to take a leak, that was for sure. Oliver checked his weapon, then eased it out of the way as he unlatched the door.

The soft yipping exploded into thunderous barking as the collies rushed into the night.

Oliver was unhurried by comparison. He trusted his dogs implicitly. What they couldn’t scare away, they could almost certainly kill.

He grabbed the lantern off his only table and checked the oil, then followed the sound of dogs in the night.
And I vanish into the dark
And rise above my station


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2014, 03:34:56 PM »
This hasn't had any editing, revision, or what have you. Just two sittings and spitting out on the page. Fun, fun!

Prompt Scene 1:
          A woman walks into a dusty bar. It reeks of shit and filthy animals, not unlike a set of stables. All around are drunken, slurring, brawling, boasting fools, except for one clean, well dressed man in linens circled by raucous chaos at the bar. Curious, the woman steps up to asks him why he's here in a place like this... But before she can a Templar busts through the front tarp, halfgiant soldiers in tow, points at the man and screams:
        "That's the one! The man with the Kank! Get him!"

The Man With The Kank

The tavern was best described as filthy. True, that would not be an uncommon description for much of the city--The roads were plagued by dust, blown in from the desert, littered with animal dung, heaps of trash piled in the streets. The custom for the dead was to pile them high and let the sun dry them out, making the road outside the temple a veritable chorus of flies. The buildings themselves were most hard-packed mudbrick, very few made of clean few. But all of those things simply were normal, average, everyday. The tavern was truly filthy.

The floor bore layers of flith, so hardened and packed down that it wouldn't be surprising if they had fused with the floor itself. Throw up splattered here and there, green and yellow-brown, with chunks of things better left unidentified in it. Splashed drinks, the occasional broken mug, and dropped food crumbs. The rats were brazen, fearless of the drunken patronage, as they scurried under the tables, moving from crumb to crumb. Beady red eyes peered out from the darkness as they devoured their morals, leaving their excrement behind, scarce detectable in the mix of everything else on the floor. The tables were covered with old mugs, partially eaten food, and the servers often could be seen picking maggots out of the meat on the sly. Not that anyone would have noticed anyway--At this time of night, sobriety would be a rarer find then metal.

Drae pushed her way deeper into the tavern, elbowing her way to the bar. It was, as usual, full this time of the night. She spent a moment studying it, spying a slender man who was wobbling on his stool before moving in. With a proper little push and clever application of fingers, she gained herself both a stool and a purse, as he slid off and hit the ground with a hefty thump, too far gone to get up again.

"Not bad."

The man two stools down from her had spoken. Had he seen what she'd done? No, likely he'd only noticed her claiming the stool. Drae leaned forward a little to get a better view around the curvaceous prostitute sitting on the stool between them. Sure enough, he was looking at her. But... There was something off. How had she not noticed him when she'd entered the tavern?

His garb was high-quality linen, a weave that spoke of wealth. A white, unblemished shirt and trousers of a deep crimson. Garnets adorned his neck, held in place by glinting obsidian, pattern a twining, twisting swirl. They matched a bracelet on his wrist. Drae mentally calculated how much something like that would be worth. It wasn't rubies, but it was enough that this stranger didn't belong here. No, he was out of place... And perhaps not on guard because of it.

"You have to be creative when you come late," Drae said, flashing a smile at him. "Catch up or be left behind, as it were. And speaking of, everyone here has a large head start on the ale... I might do some catching up on that myself."

Drae let herself study him, and be noticed doing so. He had auburn hair, that particular shade between redhead and brunette that was so hard to quantify, and it fell down around his face in short, tight curls, coming just past his ears. Brown-gold eyes were a defining feature of his narrow, high-cheek boned face, and his skin was light, as if he hadn't worked a solid day of work on his life--so different from the solid brown of Drae's own skin. Yes, he was pretty enough to look at, and it wouldn't be much effort to feign interest. Certainly easier then a lot of the marks she'd had to work with.

"Did you need one yourself?" She asked, after the pause for her study.

"Why, I believe--" He began.

The tarped entry to the tavern was suddenly violently shoved aside, booted feet slamming into the ground as two hulking half-giants, each twice as tall as her, pounded into the tavern. They looked to be solid muscle, what peeked out from behind the thick, black, scrab-shell armor that covered their form. Each branished a huge weapon, one an axe with a gleaming bone blade larger then Drae's head, the other a club as large as a stool. They were not the most terrifying thing. No, that walked in shortly after them.

The templar walked with short, precise strides, each motion controlled and refined. Her footfalls made practically no noise as they came down on the tavern's floor, though it seemed you could almost hear them, as the tavern hushed. The drunken brawls stopped, the off-key singing was silenced. People avoided meeting that steely, jade-hued gaze as she looked over the tavern, instead dipping into stiff bows when it passed over them. It did not take her long to seek out the man so close to Drae's own stool.

"There," the templar said, voice all controlled calm. "That is the one with the Kank. Collect him."

The massive half-giants lumbered forward to comply, shoving anyone who didn't scatter before them aside. Drae scrambled to get clear, but as she did, the man caught her arm, giving it a squeeze. "Find me later at the watercave, won't you?"

She gave him the look he deserved, saying far more eloquently then words just how nuts her was. It was folly to be anywhere close to someone a templar wanted 'collected', never mind somewhere private and outside of the city. She pulled away, trying to lose herself in the crowd while keeping an eye on things.

The man pushed to his feet, leisurely, as if two hulking brutes weren't lumbering towards him. "Come now, Trisha, if you wanted a kank, all you had to do was ask..." He winked at the templar. "But I'm afraid that haven't the time for Ladies who neglect to remember their manners."

The half-giant lunged, huge, meaty hand grabbing out at the man. He stepped aside. Where he went, the crowds fearfully drew back. There was no way for him to vanish into them as Drae had done. And yet... Drae rubbed her eyes. Where had he gone? There was nothing there now. Had she missed him going into the shadows? How could he possibly blend in with such a clean outfit? But there was no sign of him.

The Templar--Lady Templar Trisha, if Drae had to guess--was red-faced and furious. Her hand went to the medallion at her throat, her voice raising from the calm. "Mighty Tektolnes! Grant me the power to see those who wish to evade my eyes!"

For a moment her jade-eyes glowed a krathi red, burning, before they faded to their normal hue. Slowly, still standing in the only exit in or out of the place, she surveyed the tavern. Once over it, twice, as they all huddled, afraid to move or breathe. Templars who had their plans foiled were not always kind to those who witnessed it. Nobody wanted to discover what particular flavor of torment her wrath would manifest as.

"You," the Lady Templar said, looking to the crowd Drae was in. "You were there by him. What did he speak to you on?"

Most of the people, Drae included, shuffled back and away. The curvaceous whore cleared her throat nervously, bowing incredibly deeply.

"Not you. Her." The slender finger pointed directly at Drae, and there was no avoiding it. "What did he say to you?"

Drae could tell the truth, but that would only lead to more questions. Why had this man told her that? Why would he tell her that if they hadn't met before? There really was never a good time to tell the truth to templars. Even if you added a little truth to the mix, you'd use it to strengthen the lie. Anything else just got people killed, and Drae hadn't lived this long by being honest. 'Honest' was usually another way to say 'violently tortured before killed'.

"Lady Templar, he told me nothing. He just grabbed my arm. I got away from him as fast as possible," Drae said.

The templar curled a finger toward herself. "Come with me."

Butterflies battered around Drae's insides, making her a bundle of nerves. Going into the Templar's Quarter was usually a good sign that you weren't going to come out. It might be better to make a run for it now... Better to try and get an idea of the situation.

"Yes, Lady Templar," Drae said, falling in line. The half-giants joined them, making looming shadows. Drae would have to talk fast, if she hoped to make a break for it before they got too close. "I don't know who he was," she said, not needing to feign the nervousness. "Is he dangerous?"

"You could say that," the templar told her as they walked. "But then he didn't seem to do you any harm, did he? Tell me... How long was it that you sat together?"

If she ran now, she'd be screwed. On the other hand, if she got behind a locked gate, she might not come out again. What had the stranger said? He'd told her to meet him in the Watercave... It would be a foolish move that would condemn her, without a doubt.

Then again... She considered, thoughts tickling her. If he was really someone the Lady Templar was after, perhaps she could meet him. She could get an idea of what was happening... Yes, that was a good plan.

"Not long," Drae said. "I wasn't even sitting next to him."

They walked a little further, walking past the thick stentch of the corpses outside Meleth's Circle, the piled bodies, the buzzing flies. One of the half-giant guards swiped at a kank fly buzzing his head, missing to smack himself in the place.

"Idiot," the Lady Templar said. "Focus on the job!"

Drae shot off, putting as much distance between herself and the half-giants as she could. It didn't take long for them to follow, eating up the road with their huge stride, a single step worth at least five of Drae's. This time of night, crowds were sparse, limited to drunks, so there wasn't the usual press of bodies to slow them. None the less, there were a few staggers. Drae dodged behind a set of drunken bynners.

"Ammmmos kaaaaanked a geeeemer," one sang, off-key so badly that it was probably a more threatening weapon then the mace at his side. "Onnn a twwweeenny-five 'sid bet..."

Drae's ruse didn't fool the half-giants behind her, and with a meaty arm they shoved the drunken bynners aside. "Peeeeccccker!" The singing one slurred, before landing in a crumpled pile, his two buddies pounding in atop him in a massive heap.

Drae pushed herself harder, exposed without that cover, trying to stick to the shadows and out of the way of the half-giant's dangerous fists. They were gaining, there was no way to outrun a half-giant. Ah, there!

Dressed in purple and green and giggling quite loudly was a man covered head to toe and silk, with a guard flanking behind, and at least two other figures, like-wise giggling, clad in the wine-embroidered cloaks of the noble House of Fale. Drae grinned to herself, darting around one side and giving one of the dandie aids a shove into the guard, before ducking around behind the noble.

The guard reacted extremely fast, showing the aide back and whirling to face the new threat--Right before getting smacked in the head by the half-giant soldier, going flying. "Get out of the way!" The half-giant shouted.

"What's going on here?" The noble demanded, as Drae sped off.

Behind her, it sounded like the Lady Templar had caught up. "There isn't time to explain," she said, curtly. "The suspect is getting away."

"Like krath there isn't! The House will hear about this!"

Drae ducked around, out of sight, and kept briskly on her way, grinning to herself the while while. Half-giants: So predictable.

All she had to do now was wait until dawn so she could slip outside and meet with this mysterious man with the kank. And if a Lady Templar wanted a kank this bad, there could be some good money in it... Maybe tonight hadn't turned out so bad after all.

To Be Continued...
As of February 2017, I no longer play Armageddon.


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 09:26:48 AM »
"Andrey, pay attention to any error messages that may pop up. I don’t know all of Athena’s code, but enough to let you know if it’s going to blow up in your face." Kathy’s voice came through the phone line without a shred of concern. Andrey could have sworn there was an eagerly cheerful lilt to it.

"You’re enjoying this," he said as he plugged the cable into the small socket at the back the helmet he was holding. The monitor on the desk in front of him didn’t light up, but Iris confirmed the connection with a small blinking light next to the plug.

"But of course. When does a humble IT system manager ever get the chance to play with the toys of a goddess?"

"We could argue you’re the Covenant’s system manager, and I am doing the toying," Andrey replied. He put the helmet on the desk to check the cable with the phone in hand, glancing to the silvery wall socket that had been hidden behind a bookshelf and a retractable wall only thirty minutes ago. Fortunately, Calavera knew how Technomage concealed her access points.

Another of Legion’s victims.

"Tch," Kathy replied with a sharp, disapproving click of her tongue. "More like the stooge. I replace parts, order new ones and install boring system updates for the office sitters downstairs. She doesn’t let me touch the interesting parts. She’s just like you, really."

Andrey pinched the bridge of his nose with two fingers. He considered a suitable reply, but decided otherwise. "The connection looks fine," he said. "Iris should be ready to go."

"Give her the command, Toymaster," Kathy replied. "Big Sister will be watching."

"Keep your fingers crossed." Andrey put the phone down and picked the helmet back up. Iris filled his ears with a faint hum of activity as he pulled it down over his head, feeling familiar mechanisms click into place.

"Iris," he said, seeing the visor light up before his eyes. "Initiate Genesis on connected base."

"Scanning new base. Resources exceed required specifications. Continue with identity verification?"

"Yes," Andrey said, turning the desk chair with one hand to get seated before Iris assaulted him with an unknown identity test. He hoped Kathy wasn’t able to listen in on him and Athena's AI. If he failed this, he’d never hear the end of it.

The visor darkened for a second, followed by a bright flash of light brown to black hues that his brain refused to process immediately. His body reacted instead, and his pulse sped up, redistributing resources to areas that had been mostly neglected just a second ago.

"Familiar pattern detected. Genesis will now initiate," Iris’ artificial voice chimed. He barely registered the meaning of the words, or the fact that the screen in front of him flickered to life and filled up with lines upon lines of status updates.

Eventually, seconds after the projected image had been dismissed from his visor, Andrey remembered to remove the helmet. He dropped it onto the desk beside the monitor, eyes flicking towards the phone. The distant sound of Kathy’s voice came from it, muffled by the white desk plate it rested against.

"…messages on the screen?" the words became audible once he picked the phone up. "Andrey! I know you moved to Mexico, but this isn’t the time for a siesta, comprende?"

"…I’m here," he said, holding the phone just far enough from his ear not to risk a ruptured eardrum. "Athena rigged Iris with an ID test. I passed."

"…you sound strange," Kathy stated after a moment of delightful silence. "Are you feeling alright? Oh… wait. Oh no. She did not. Tell me she didn’t!" The last words dissolved into a fit of laughter.

Andrey squinted at the screen, rubbing the bridge of his nose with two fingers. He almost expected to see something more interesting than scrolling text there, but the moment of revelation had passed.

"You guys are such perverts," Kathy commented with feigned terror.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 09:35:29 AM by Akaramu »


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2017, 06:56:55 AM »
God, my writing was awful in 2014. I can't even bear to look at it.

Fortunately it's 2017. I'm a little proud of this snippet from last night:

The four-letter word drew a nervous titter from Sara. "Wisp, you’re talking like your dad again! If your Grandma knew, she’d give you a smack and a scolding."

"Yeah, I guess I am," Wisp muttered, directing her words at the silent, empty hallway. A pang of melancholy tugged at her heart. "Sorry, Grandma. I’m back to the plushy vocabulary now. Scout’s honor." She ended with a decidedly goofy salute.

Unfortunately, no one grinned. Not even a little bit. The oppressive atmosphere snuffed the joke out before it could take root.


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2017, 06:51:08 PM »
It's ok Akaramu I have to live knowing those stories I wrote are on here somewhere. I've put some bad english into the world of armageddon in my day.


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Re: In this thread we WRITE every day.
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2017, 06:40:04 PM »
Because I have to compensate for the awfulness of everything I wrote back in 2014...

"Wait." She grabbed his arm, stopping him before he could turn away. "Are you… okay with it, then? What I said I’m going to do?" There it was again, that faraway look she disliked more than anything else about him. He was staring at her without actually seeing her, his dark eyes cool and out of focus.

"You said you were going to look around," he said in a flat voice to match. "Get some ideas, figure out a better plan. I know I can trust you to be careful."

Her shoulders slumped and she let go of his arm. "Right. I’m always careful."

Before she could process what any of this meant – the sudden shift in demeanor, his evasive wording – he had already passed the doorway and was heading back to the others with brisk, determined strides. Watching him go made her feel cold inside. Somehow, she couldn’t shake the feeling that no matter what she did and which way the wheels of fate turned, her friendship with Luca would be among the first casualties in the upcoming conflict. The premonition of loss ripped through her heart and tore her wishful thinking to shreds. She staggered. She wanted to cry.

In the end, though, she pulled herself together and trudged back toward the others. Max and Sara were still sitting on the floor near the main entrance, side by side, an inseparable whole. Family. Luca was gone. Before Wisp got the chance to ask about him, Sara looked up at her with a deep, sorrowful frown. "Hey boss, are you okay?"

Eyebrows wiggling, Wisp flashed an over-the-top frown back at her. "Why wouldn’t I be okay?"

"Um." Sara looked uncomfortable. "Because your eyes are kind of… watery?"

"Oh." Wisp rubbed at them with her sleeve. "The chamber back there still stinks of Smog. Where’d Luca run off to?"