TITLE: A Breath of Silver
In 2165, Historian Bryn MacBride thrives on uncovering facts about the Outside beyond Cimmeria’s quarantine, but with her mother’s time running out, she must delve into folklore and a forgotten labyrinth called the London Underground for answers. When her hunt lands her in 1692, history in the flesh tests her knowledge — and her loyalty.
I wouldn’t normally choose to spend my birthday in the Ruins. Triss Locke loved exploring, and following her father’s funeral that morning, I figured we could all use the distraction. It was on that last-minute research expedition, amidst our upheaval, I decided on two sure things. One: I would never voluntarily fit into a vase; and two: marriage was complete and utter bollocks.
The debris cascaded between my fingers, leaving in my hands a near-perfect specimen — the sort that makes an entire day’s digging worthwhile. Cracks spiderwebbed the rim but nary a chip. Pleased as I was at this discovery, it was uncanny in its resemblance to the jar that now held Jack Locke in particle form atop his wife’s mantelpiece.
“Guys, check this out,” I called, scribbling location notes.
Triss and Hyde turned from a vibrant glass pile, conspicuous against the Ruins’ melted ashen sea. Triss’s eyes widened.
“Oh, it’s glorious, Bryn!” She took the urn to show Hyde.
I smiled and returned to shoveling, resolution still ablaze. Tonight I’d endure my birthday dinner. Mama would roll out her annual “find a husband” speech, but seeing Mrs. Locke a pasty shell of her former self, I had no better defense. I’d deliver my “I’m happy as a lark without one, thanks all the same” comeback. This time, revamped with Mrs. Locke as Exhibit A.
Just because Cimmerians lived to forty-five, tops, didn’t mean I should procreate. It did, however, denote my twenty years left to research the Meltdown.