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Interlude #1

The Celestial sat in his office, alone, staring out at the city below. His fingers tapped impatiently against the armrest, disguising the persistent tremble he hadn’t been able to shake since Impact Day. More had changed that day than just the city, and nobody knew that better than he.

A whisper of smoke and shadow rushed through the room, coalescing immediately behind him. He saw her reflection in the window, dressed all in black, her neck covered right up to her chin. She rested a hand on his shoulder, giving one gentle, affectionate squeeze.

“Rachel and Zoe have made contact,” he said, his voice heavy with weariness. She only nodded, saying nothing. “That might actually work out for us. We’ll have to keep a close eye on them, though.

“Gabriel and Ami still seem to be at odds, even though they’re working towards the same goals. Thankfully, neither of them have the slightest idea we found her first. We need to keep it that way.”

She nodded again, casting her gaze back momentarily to the door behind his desk. They both knew that what was behind that door could change everything, would change everything, just not yet. They needed more time.

“I’m worried about Sabrina,” he continued. “I think we underestimated her. There’s definitely more to her than we thought. Still, she’s not a threat, not right now. So long as she keeps her skirmishes to the street teams, and occasionally the other superhumans, she won’t make the tiniest hint of a difference in this city.”

She dug her fingers into his shoulder. He sighed, leaning back into his chair and looking up at her. She smiled down at him, but he didn’t smile back.

“Still no sign of Wendy. I don’t think we’ll see her again. And Charlie, well…”

At the mention of Charlie, she hissed, tensing up. He rested a hand on top of hers, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.

“She’s impotent,” he said. “Wandering around the city aimlessly, picking fights with insignificant pawns.” He paused to laugh bitterly. “What a waste of power she turned out to be. Just an angry girl raging against the world.”

Far below them, another gunfight had broken out. The army had launched another raid, trying to cross the river. A cruel smile crossed his lips. They had no idea what they were about to run into.

“Not long now,” he said, almost too softly to be heard. “We’re so close now. While they all bicker and fight amongst themselves, we’re on our way to becoming gods.

“Still, I’d rather not play our hand too soon. Would you kindly pop down there and break up that fight?”

She didn’t respond, didn’t need to. She just vanished, leaving a rapidly dissipating cloud of black smoke in her stead.

Published inImpact DayStoryUpdates

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