Authors: Mike Cooley
Tags: #paranormal romance
Vena was on her back, her eyes were white, and there was a bullet in her chest that her armor hadn’t been able to deflect. She wasn’t breathing. Tala crawled over her and pulled herself up on the console. The clock read twenty-nine seconds.
Her vision darkened, the room spun, and she fell to her knees. The clock was down to ten and seemed to be counting faster.
Tala screamed with fury and pulled herself back up the console, holding onto a coolant tube that ran from the floor to the ceiling.
Hold it together, girl.
Three, two, one read the clock. Tala pulled the blue lever and hit the numeric buttons in the launch sequence: nine, four, six. A hum filled the room as the launch rails energized. The lights in the room dimmed. There was a loud
when the rail gun fired the pressurized launch vehicle. Only then did Tala let go of the console and allow herself to slump to the floor. Darkness took her.
The sun was directly overhead when Mel woke. She was in the back seat of the jeep. Silas wasn’t with her. His bloody shirt was wadded up in the driver’s seat of the jeep. She stretched and yawned, then stood up and got out. One look at the stones in the distance told her where she was. The day she met Silas flashed through her memory like bursts of light and darkness. The cemetery.
“Si? Where are you?”
Mel walked across the parking lot and headed toward Suzi’s grave. Silas was standing on it, looking down. He was shirtless and holding a stone chip in his hands. There were cuts all over his arms and chest. Tears streamed down his face. Blood dripped onto Suzi’s grave. The air smelled of dark power.
“Oh my God. Silas!” Mel raced toward him. He looked up.
An amethyst streak crossed the sky like a meteor trail. Mel looked up. “What are you doing, Silas?”
“Talking to Suzi.” Silas’ voice was flat. Blood and tears dripped to the ground at his feet. The cuts in his skin glowed with a fire. His hands shook. He dropped the bloody chunk of granite.
The sky flashed, and the trail expanded into multiple traces, arcing in all directions like fireworks. There was another flash, and the amethyst traces expanded across the sky like a spider web.
“What did she say?”
Silas choked on the words. “She said, ‘Mel needs you.’”
Mel walked up to Silas and embraced him. “Everything’s going to be alright.”
“Suzi said, ‘Don’t come back.’”
Mel looked into Silas’ grey eyes. She had never seen him cry. Not one tear. Her heart broke for him, and she held on. “I’m here.”
Silas looked up at the darkening sky. “Daelius failed.”
The amethyst clouds lit up as UV and gamma radiation from the solar flare energized the nano-virus. The clouds expanded until the entire sky was covered. A purple shroud obscured the sun. Darkness began to fall. Mel gasped.
“They’ve done it.” Silas looked at the sky. Thunder erupted, and the air smelled of rain.
“Come on, Silas! It’s going to rain! You can’t let it touch you!” Silas stood still, his eyes locked on the ominous sky. Mel pulled him to the jeep and shoved him into the passenger seat. Heavy amethyst drops began to fall. She jumped in and started the engine. “I need to get you somewhere safe.”
“Yes! What is it?” Mel’s voice was panicked. The unnatural rain came down in sheets.
“I love you.” Silas wiped the blood and tears from his face with the back of his hand.
Mel backed out of the parking lot and shot down the road. “You can’t let the rain touch you, Si. Not one drop.”
Mel ran all the stop lights in town. Vehicles were stopped in the middle of the street and pulled up on sidewalks. Men were holding their hands up toward the sky and screaming. They all screamed the same scream. Some of them shuddered and turned to ash, their skin melting beneath the genetic algorithm of the nano-virus.
“Where are we going?” Silas looked at Mel and placed his left hand on her thigh. A smile played across his lips beneath the shock.
“Somewhere safe. Somewhere we can wait out the storm.”
Silas leaned over and touched Mel’s neck with his lips.
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