The Foe Beneath: Part Three

Submitted by C B Wright on
Hitting the Beaches

Street Ronin is sitting at Robert Thorpe’s desk, directing traffic.

It’s the most logical place: Thorpe is already connected to the island, has access to everything, and his office has enough room to accommodate some of the extra gear Crossfire brought along to allow their communications—specifically, the equipment that makes it possible for Red Shift to communicate when he’s moving at high speeds—to work properly with everything else.

Doctor Thorpe is not currently in the room—he’s overseeing the second phase of the evacuation—but a few of the other Thorpe Institute techs are sitting at other ad hoc stations set up in the office. Overmind and Lieutenant Bernard—despite the earlier levity, Street Ronin isn’t quite ready to start calling him “Doctor Enigma” just yet—are there, both trying to look calmer than they feel.

The “ad hoc stations,” Street Ronin notes, don’t actually look ad hoc. They look like they were intentionally designed to be used in the room. He also notes that they’ve stopped calling the room “Doctor Thorpe’s office,” and they’re now referring to it as “the bridge.”

The Foe Beneath: Part One

Submitted by C B Wright on
Thorpe Island

There is a moment after the storm passes when the tension eases—almost like an exhalation of breath, as if the island is relaxing into the promise of calm after weathering the winds and pounding rain. The sky still rumbles, but the sound is faint, and light no longer flickers across the sky. The only trace of the storm that remains is the wind, and it, too, is dying away. There is only the sound of surf rolling onto the sand.

And then, there is something new.

Out of the sky, a trumpet sounds, blowing a long, clear note. It has no discernible source of origin—the sound simply is, existing everywhere, surrounding everything. It isn’t loud, but it carries an unmistakable feeling of power. The trumpet sounds again, and the air hums, vibrating with the power it carries. A third time the trumpet sounds, and a soft, steady hiss fills the air as a sharp wind blows over the beaches, creating tiny funnels of sand that quickly dissolve into formless clouds. When the sand falls back to earth it almost sounds like the patter of raindrops all over again.

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