Fury Rising (Fury Unbound Book 1) (23 page)

BOOK: Fury Rising (Fury Unbound Book 1)
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“I just scraped my knee. I have no idea how bad it is, but it stings a little.” As I followed him—and the light—over to the seating area, Tam approached from the other side. A jagged piece of glass was sticking out of his hand, blood oozing down the sides.

“Damn, that looks nasty. Jason, where’s the first-aid kit?” I turned toward the far side of the store where we normally kept the healing powders. It was impossible to tell what—if anything—was still on the shelves.

“Never mind, I brought the entire emergency kit. Tam, sit next to Kae. I have to hold the light, so she’ll have to bandage you up.”

That was one bad thing about some of the lower-echelon light spells. The caster had to keep contact with the scroll as long as he wanted the light to last. Which precluded the use of his hands for anything else.

“You couldn’t have picked a better scroll to tuck away for emergencies? Like a Light Up spell, or Daylight?” I didn’t mean for my words to come out so sharp, but they did, slicing the silence.

“Pardon me, but I didn’t expect an earthquake. I just…threw together some of the things that might come in handy. Now, help Tam.” Jason let out a low grumble, then added, “I’ll find a better one as soon as you get his hand fixed up. Then we’ll go outside and see what Darktown looks like.” He didn’t sound very hopeful, though.

“Yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap. It’s been a tense evening already and now this… Anyway, Tam, this is going to hurt when I pull the glass out.”

Tam shrugged. “I can handle pain.” The offhand way in which he said it made me wonder whether he could negate his own shock and fear the way he could take care of ours.

I found a rag and wrapped it around the glass. No use me cutting myself as well. “Okay, are you ready?”

“Just do it, Fury. I’ll be fine,” he said softly, leaning in to smile at me. “I promise.”

“Okay, then…here goes.” I grimaced as I yanked the glass out of his hand. Blood spurted from his palm, but I was ready for it, slapping a thick mound of gauze over the wound. As I applied pressure, the blood oozed through the cloth and spread over my hand. I wasn’t squeamish, but it looked to me Tam was bleeding too quickly.

“Don’t worry,” he said, when I voiced my concern. “Head and hands always bleed profusely. Just apply some antibacterial ointment and then some syniskin to stop the bleeding. It will work on the Fae as well as humans and Theosians.”

“Get ready to hold the compress with your other hand while I go find the syniskin and ointment. But I should wash my hands first.”

But an aftershock put an end to the conversation, rolling the ground beneath our feet. While it wasn’t as big as the main quake, it wasn’t easy and light, either. As the room came to rest again without falling down around our necks, I headed for the back room, praying that I wouldn’t trip over anything. Jason was up and following me the moment he saw where I was going.

I turned on the faucet and water streamed out. At least we hadn’t lost running water as well as the electricity. I rinsed my hands as best as I could, and then, not wanting to wipe them so I wouldn’t get any possible contamination from the towels, I headed back to Tam. I quickly opened a can of antiseptic spray and sprayed the wound as he lifted up the sopping mass of gauze, then with my other hand, I sprayed on the syniskin right over the broken skin. He could wash it later, though I had no doubt the wound would start bleeding again.

As the spray hit his hand, it formed a barrier over the wound and the blood quickly stopped flowing. Little rivulets tried to find their way from beneath the coating, but it adhered so tightly, and contained a natural coagulant, that the blood had no choice but to ooze to a stop.

Once Tam was patched up, I wrapped his hand in fresh gauze to cushion it until we could get him to proper medical care. Then, with Jason’s help, we gathered our things from the back room and headed out into the streets of Darktown to assess the damage.

Chapter 17

 

The first indicator of how bad things were was the screaming coming from the direction of the Monotrain. There were flames coming from north Darktown, flickering into the night sky like an ugly beacon. People were running every which way, escaping into the streets. Some of the already fragile ruins had tumbled completely, but for the most part, to my amazement, Darktown was standing.

Jason motioned to Up-Cakes. “It looks like a total mess in there. But at least the windows are holding, and the building seems secure. I need to call Shevron and tell her not to come down here.”

“I believe this section of Darktown was built during a time when Seattle required earthquake retrofitting. While this quake gave us a good shaking, I doubt if it was more than a 6.5. Maybe a little larger than other recent ones, but definitely not one to destroy the city.” Tam glanced at his hand. The bandage was still holding. “We should get off the street, though. I imagine the sky-eyes will be out in droves to assess the damage, and if they even suspect that weather magic played a part in this, they’re going to be keeping an eye out for anybody with a strong magical signature. Like Theosians,” he said, pointedly looking at me. He held as little love for the Corp-Rats as I did.

My phone picked that moment to ring. I fished it out from my pocket and glanced at the caller ID. Hecate
again
.
“Hello?”

“Are you all right? Where are you?” Hecate sounded shaken, and I wondered if anything had happened with the Greenlings, given this quake was most likely magically induced.

“I’m still down at Dream Wardens with Jason and Tam. I haven’t been home to find out what my place is like.”

“Send Queet. Meanwhile, I want the three of you to find a safe place to stay, ground level, sturdy building. I haven’t heard anything from Jerako, in case you were wondering. But Tigra—from Lightning Strikes—is heading out into the city to find the epicenter of the quake so she can figure out whether it was magical or not.”

“Want to make a bet?”

Hecate laughed, her voice flat. “I never take a sucker bet. You should text Tigra once you find a place to stay. She’s going to want to talk to you about the Thunderstrike.”

I asked her to hold for a moment and summoned Queet. “I need you to find out what state my apartment is in.” He whisked away without a word, and I turned to Jason and Tam, telling them what Hecate had said. “We need a safe place to stay—she said ground level, in a sturdy building. I sent Queet to scope out my apartment. It’s a walkup, but we can stay there if need be.”

“We could stay over the shop in my apartment, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that, just in case of a bad aftershock. And let’s face it, Kae, your building is a million years old. Or at least, it’s old enough to be dangerous.” Jason glanced back at the building behind us, where his shop was, as if expecting it to keel over on our heads any moment.

“I know a place,” Tam said. “But it’s in the Sandspit, near the World Tree. You’re going to have to trust me, because it’s a dangerous path.”

I paused. Going into the Sandspit was dangerous to begin with. I almost never set foot inside the gated enclosure, not even when hunting Aboms. “Let’s wait till Queet—”

“I’m back.” Queet was in full whisper-speak mode, so both Jason and Tam could hear him. “Your apartment building is standing but they’ve got it flagged. I peeked inside and there are a lot of cracks in your ceiling. You’d better start looking for new dinnerware. I wouldn’t chance going there tonight, not even to get your things. However, I’ll bet Hecate could bring you your sword and probably a change of clothing. The Elder Gods are good at that sort of thing.”

Even with the sobering news, I stifled a snort. Queet was right. Hecate
could
do that, but asking her to run my errands? I’d have to think about that for a minute. But then, reality sank in. I couldn’t go back to my apartment, and that meant finding another place to stay. Since Dream Wardens didn’t seem all that safe, we might have to give Tam’s route a go.

Sighing, I returned to the phone. “Listen, my apartment’s a no-go. And Jason doesn’t trust Dream Wardens—”

“Good. Multi-story buildings aren’t a good idea right now.”

“Right, well, Tam said he knows a safe place in the Sandspit. Listen, can you nip into my apartment somehow and grab my sword and some clothes? Thanks!” I hung up before she could say anything. For one thing, I knew that she wouldn’t be thrilled about us heading into the Sandspit. For another, I had just asked one of the Elder Gods to fetch my things for me and while I figured she would be a good sport and do it, she’d never let me forget it, either.

Jason and Tam were staring at me, mouths open.

“I’m sure she’ll understand. So, I guess we head out to your hiding place, Tam.” My phone rang again. As I cleared my throat and answered, Hecate came on the line loud and clear.

“Next time you want an errand girl, call one of the demi-goddesses.” Her voice sounded so loud I could have sworn she was behind me.

“I’m sorry. I just…” I paused. Tam and Jason were snickering. I shushed them but at that moment, a tap on the shoulder startled me and I spun around. Hecate was actually standing there, towering over me, carrying a tote bag and my sword.

“Here.” She dropped them at my feet. “Satisfied? Now, tell me why you are planning on going into the Sandspit?”

“Because I have a hidey-hole there.” Tam winked at her and I rubbed my forehead, groaning. It was bad enough I had acted the way I had, but to have one of my friends wink at the goddess who held my leash was just one step over the line.

But Hecate grinned at him. “Don’t you try to put a Come-Hither on me, young Fae. Even though you are a pretty sight, you are.” But then, she sobered. “You’d best get moving. This is going to be a long night, with looters out. Tomorrow morning, Fury, I want you to go back out to the Arbortariam. Beg leeway from Jerako. I could tell he liked you. Take Tam with you. We need to make certain the Greenlings don’t start tearing up the place until we have a chance to take this Lyon character down. Then, come see me. All of you.” Her expression grim, she stood back, crossing her arms over her chest. “Seriously, this could be the beginning of the end. The Fates say whatever happens, it’s going to change things around the planet. We’re just trying to negate as much of the damage as we can.”

And with that, she turned and vanished from sight.

We stared after her for a moment. I happened to glance out in the street. Tommy-Tee was sitting on the sidewalk, looking lost.

“Guys…look.” I nudged Jason. “Tommy-Tee.”

Jason wandered over and knelt beside him. “Hey, Tommy, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know…everything blew up. The sky’s on fire and Great Mother Gaia is singing her pain.” Tommy-Tee stared morosely at the curb. “I can’t find my bed. There’s only a pile of stones to sleep on.”

Jason glanced back at us and I bit my lip. I didn’t want to have to look out for someone like Tommy-Tee. He was one of the lost-boys, and would need to be constantly supervised. Tam frowned and shook his head.

“Guys, he doesn’t have a place to stay—his flop has obviously been covered up with rubble.” Jason was a mother hen. He had taken me in, and now he was worried about Tommy-Tee. He always gave cash to beggars on the street, and I knew that at least twenty percent of his income went to various charities.

I glanced back at the store. “You sure the building won’t hold together? We could let him sleep in the back room—lock it so he can’t get into things.”

“Fury, really?” Jason gave me a scathing look. “Given the chance of a big aftershock, do you
really
want to chance somebody’s life in there tonight?”

“We can’t stand here and babysit him, though.” I glanced at Tam. “What do you say?”

Tam spoke up. “Bring him with us, but make certain he does what we say. Where we’re going is someplace only the Bonny Fae know about. I cannot have him wandering around on his own. He’s your responsibility, Jason.”

Jason shrugged. “I accept that.” He leaned over and whispered something to Tommy-Tee, who held out his hand for Jason to pull him to his feet.

Tam jerked his head toward the shop. “Better make sure it’s locked tight and lower the gate.”

Jason nodded, heading back inside Dream Wardens while Tam, Tommy-Tee, and I waited outside.

“You okay? The other night you didn’t look so good.” Tommy-Tee turned to me, smiling. It was the smile of a child. Tommy’s brain had been scrambled by way too many drugs.

Relenting, I smiled back. He was a good sort, just broken. “Yes, Tommy. Thank you for asking. You’re going to come with us and we’ll find you a place to sleep.”

“Whatever that thing was, man, it was barreling toward you like a bat out of hell.” He laughed, then, and suddenly froze, staring into the street. “You better be careful, Fury.”

I frowned, following his gaze. Suddenly, my Trace screen popped up. An Abom was out there, somewhere, and it was moving fast. I tried to pinpoint it, but it kept jumping around on the screen. “What the hell? Tam, an Abom. Tommy-Tee picked up on an Abomination.”

Tam reached out to rest his hand on Tommy-Tee’s arm. A moment later he looked at me, arching his eyebrows. “We need to talk, but it will have to wait.”

BOOK: Fury Rising (Fury Unbound Book 1)
2.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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