Coming Up Short



I flex a cramp out of my leg for the umpteenth time tonight, making kicking motions as I flip through pages and pages and pages.

Even though my head is pounding incessantly and my eyes are bloodshot to the tenth degree, I couldn’t suppress the urge—the need—to come back to the Creation Library to look for her.

For Kitty-Cat.


Eleven days later and I still can’t make fucking sense of anything; not the Atlantic, not the hotspots, not the wine incident…and especially not her.

A long, tired sigh escapes me, and my shoulders slouch in silent resignation.

And for the umpteenth time, I recount every event that’s passed in the last week and half:

The days following the relief effort at the Atlantic had been hectic, to say the least. In fact, that’s probably the understatement of the millennium.

I’d been over at the Konsortium, underground in one of the three main Holding Chambers, interrogating captives that Febe and Heike had come upon during their investigation in Ukraine.

All the progress we have to show for the last several days are four outlaws who know as much as we do about the shift; a bunch of rogue Silver Metalli who’ve been causing havoc in the physical realm where they had the ability to exercise their newfound, supposedly stolen alchemy with more freedom than they would in the spirit realm—and without nearly as much worry of getting caught by a Reaper.

They obviously weren’t counting on Febe to sniff them out in Odessa like a shark does blood.

And they call me the shark.

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