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Fiction
tagged Fantasy Contemporary Fantasy

Chilling Effect

His first impression was that of being hungover. Headache, nausea, and a marked gap in his memories... He was cold an in an awkward position, so he tried to fix that and discovered the handcuffs. As he tried to orient himself, he found that he lay on uneven ground, rocks and pebbles, slick with moisture. The staticky sound he had thought were part of the headaches actually came from outside his head. He was in a dimly lit half-dome, dark rock in his back, arced, white walls that seemed to be moving slightly in themselves in front, as well as another huddled figure who seemed to be watching him. He got a vague impression of a teenage girl in too big men's clothes, barefoot.

Pushing himself up a little, awkwardly, he croacked, "What... Where?"

"About ten metres downriver from the start of the rapids," came the reply, matter-of-factly.

It took him a few seconds until he fully understood she meant on the ground of the river. When the realisation hit him, it brought with it some shreds of the day before. There had been a metahuman emergence, some elemental cluster, and things had gone terribly wrong when trying to make contact, and --

"I shot you." He remembered her face when she was hit. Should have been dead. Then her body had turned to water and, carried by momentum, splattered all over him.

"Yes." Her cold tone peeled away away some of his shock. He understood an unspoken "you should keep that in mind" in the pause following. "You can make up for that. Tell me where my friends are now."

He did not even know.