Текст книги

Gena Showalter
Lifeblood


I try to distract myself with a poem.

Happiness is not obtainable

And I will never believe that

Love and Light will lead the way

Again and again, I’ve been shown that

Pain and darkness always win

It is a lie that

Happiness and joy are a choice

The truth is

There’s no way out of the abyss.

I will never be convinced that

“Something better this way comes.”

“You just have to fight the good fight.”

Actually

I will say—

“Even worse is on the way.”

Because there’s no way that

We can escape the abyss.

So depressing! I flip the script and repeat the poem, starting at the bottom and working my way up. A new ray of hope dawns.

I cling to it. Right now, it’s all I have.

“See the mist billowing from the waterfall?” Deacon asks. “It’s part of the Veil and wraps around the entire realm. There’s nowhere a Myriadian can safely enter.” He marches across the bridge, never once glancing back to ensure I follow.

Resigned, I trail after him. Time to see my eternal home. Time to meet the people I’ll be sharing an Everlife with. My new family. The ones I’ll be fighting to protect.

But a single question haunts me as I step underneath the spray of water.

I picked them...but what if they don’t pick me?

MYRIAD (#u4ec5c551-db0a-522b-9758-918687dc1c8b)

From: K_F_5/23.53.6

To: R_O_3/2.17.12

Subject: I’ll go ahead and pat myself on the back

Consider Tenley Lockwood bagged and tagged. She trusts me implicitly, and she wants to be with me. Maybe she already regrets her covenant with Troika. The problem is, she’s going to spend the next year holed up inside Troika, training. That is twelve months—or fifty-two weeks—before she’s sent to the Land of the Harvest on assignment. Twelve months I won’t get to see her or talk to her. Fifty-two weeks I won’t get to “work my magic,” as you like to say.

How am I supposed to convince her to spy for us? Unless…can you trick Troika into sending her on assignment sooner?

Never mind. My apologies for suggesting the impossible. I’ll work my magic in a year, as promised.

Might Equals Right!

ML, Killian Flynn

MYRIAD (#u4ec5c551-db0a-522b-9758-918687dc1c8b)

From: R_O_3/2.17.12

To: K_F_5/23.53.6

Subject: Never doubt me

I’m a General, Mr. Flynn. The best of the best. I can do anything. Mark my words: you will see Miss Lockwood sooner rather than later. I’ll make sure of it.

In the meantime, you’ll be training our newest recruit. Miss Aubuchon strikes me as resourceful young woman, willing to go the extra mile to get a job done.

Also, you’ve been assigned to a new Leader. Report your progress with Miss Aubuchon to Sir Zhi Chen. Report your progress with Miss Lockwood to us both.

Might Equals Right!

General Rosalind Oriana

MYRIAD (#u4ec5c551-db0a-522b-9758-918687dc1c8b)

From: K_F_5/23.53.6

To: R_O_3/2.17.12

Subject: Is that a tear in my eye?

Thank you for gifting me with such an honor. I foresee zero problems training Sloan, the girl I just murdered. (Let me know if I need to explain sarcasm to you.) Elena and Charles are my Flankers/trainees. Adding a third is overkill, don’t you think?

Considering my recent successes, I have a favor to ask you. Before Madame Pearl Bennett died, she visited the Hall of Records to discover who is Fused with my mother, and where the girl is living in the Land of the Harvest. Will you look into Madame Bennett’s notes? I’d be grateful.

I’m sure I’ll do a better job with Miss Lockwood if I’m focused on her, and only her.

Might Equals Right!
this