A collective “What-the-fuck?” ensues, everyone’s shock apparent and obvious.

Not only are the wavelengths shooting off the charts in all the zones that no longer have an active magnetic or electromagnetic field, but their frequencies are going berserk as well.

I shake my head slowly. “I don’t understand,” I say, my voice unsure for the first time in a long time. “These frequencies are almost identical to the wavelengths. Wavelength and frequency are inversely proportional, not directly.” My eyes narrow at the charts and numbers in front of me as I try to make sense of them. “Are you sure these readings are accurate, Zarek?”

He nods. “Yes, Commander. I’ve even factored in a wide margin of error several times just to be sure. Even with considerable external interference, the measurements wouldn’t be this far off the grid. And even if we ignore the laws of Earth physics on this, Metalchemy doesn’t lie.”

“These patterns have some similarities to the occurrences I was telling you about,” Sato chimes in, facing me.

This time, everyone follows her line of vision and looks to me, obviously curious to know what exactly she’s talking about.

That discussion will have to wait. There’s a more pressing issue at hand.

“Can you get an exact death toll from here?” I ask Zarek.

“The frequency fluctuations are making it difficult to get a precise count,” he explains, “but from the level of recently free-flowing mortal energy in the vicinity, I’d say it’s well over four hundred thousand as of this moment. That number’s going to be climbing pretty quickly, though.”

Christ. Almost half a million creatures dead already and it’s only been twenty minutes.

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