516th year of the true gods
25 years after the Cleansing
The city wall looked low from this distance as if it were a plinth that raised Taral above the desert floor. Avril wasn’t close enough to make out either of the laser-cannons that had protected the city’s residents from danger, but Taral’s dome shimmered blue above the city, and the tallest building, a hotel that towered over everything else, looked almost high enough for people standing on its roof to reach up and touch the electromagnetic-shield.
From this distance, there was no sign of the devastation he’d caused inside the city, but the vehicles he’d used to distract Thorn and his cadre littered the desert to either side of the road.
I didn’t expect to be back so soon, Avril thought and pressed an on-screen control on the dashboard. “Are you there?”
There was no answer, so Avril waited.
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