They turned a corner and found themselves staring down the Southern Spoke as it gently curved up, through the distant Rise, and into the base of the three mile high Spire. Even this far away its base was so wide that it devoured what little sky existed behind the small looking skyscrapers splashing up against its footing.
Taria’s day had been a busy, and tedious, day at the Third Circle Ward. This far out in the Tangle she had seen it all over the five years assigned there, everything from the disturbing fruits of a serial killer’s labor, to the inhumane treatment of Integrators hunting their prey.
The purple haze diminished and a seething, mottled gray expanse filled our viewports. Nullspace, the void between realities, a shortcut that allowed humanity to bypass its shell of existence and travel the Sphere of the Triocracy in greatly reduced time.
Martos propped himself up and leaned against the wall watching his fellow citizens glare at him as they passed. Looks of fear, disgust, sympathy, and yes, even apathy hung upon their brows. But not a single soul made any effort to help him in any way, even the sympathetic ones.
The Spire would have to understand that it was all a mistake and we never intended to go so far against the edicts of the Spire. Why had Taria not told me? When did this happen? How long? Did she conspire against me? No! My mind was awash with thoughts of confusion, panic and betrayal.
My previous assertion was right. I was trapped. The Integrator is a tool of the Techspire to communicate with transgressors without the need to soil their precious shoes on the filthy streets of the Tangle.
Panic and chaos now struck the crowd and the stampede towards the arch began in earnest. Men trampling women. Women trampling children. Screams of terror and disbelief echoed through the market.
They lived in the Tangle, in the Eighth Circle, near the Barrier Wall … and they kept to themselves.
“We’re going to lose her anyway,” I said, surveying Rose and the opposing player in their ballet of violence. She appeared out geared and outmatched, but Rose was usually more cunning than her opponents.
Crab shows up and vanishes as he pleases. Yet he does so at the strangest of times, enigmatically appearing as if he knows that she needs him or wants to see him. Pets always seem to have a sixth sense in that regard.
Nullspace Travel Advisory: The inhabitants do not take a liking to those who step on their shadows.
They approached the terminal warily, looking through the lattice at ground level to ensure they could see no one else in the vault. Hamlet secretly wished he could connect with Gravedigger via his bio.node, but there was no hope this deep under the ground…