Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I hope today got the off to a great start for you. Enjoy the completion of the story. If you missed part 1 “Aberration” check it out here.

I shielded my eyes against the constant assault of dust and dirt. Still the winds built as Neilina pull successive items from her bag. The calm point in the chaos. I hunched as close to her as I dared, enjoying the periphery of her protection.

Metal screeched against asphalt and I glanced over my shoulder. I grabbed Nielina’s shoulder and shook her as the car tumbled over itself caught in the winds. “Please tell me you’ve got something.” I shouted to be heard over the wind.

“Stop hassling me. Go wait in the car.” Her voice was easily heard.

“Love to, but that’s not possible or healthy.” I said jerking her shoulder to turn her slightly. I watched as her eyes widened, blinked, and narrowed. “Stay close. I will guard you as I may.” She twisted back around pulling something out of her bag. “Though I won’t risk my work for you.”

I crouched behind her hovering to where I caught more than one elbow to my ribs as she worked. She didn’t complain, and I wasn’t about to.

The winds didn’t abate, and the planet grew steadily on the horizon. She hucked a container at the planet, screaming wordlessly. It was caught by the winds and thrown back at us. I grabbed her pulling her out of the way. It clattered along the road behind us.

She shook in my grip but didn’t protest. Glancing down I saw the satchel was mostly empty. “You don’t know what to do,” I said.

She slumped within my grip and shook her head. “We warn them and warn them all year. Magic and tech weren’t meant to mix. Like plates shifting in the earth, eventually it will tear.” She held up her hand gesturing toward the horizon before flicking her hand aside. “Every year more magic and a bigger quake.”

I blew out as I watched the horizon. “There’s got to be a way. You aren’t quitting now.”

“Do you have a suggestion.” Her voice was harsh as she spoke, though not quivering. Good, she hadn’t given up yep. Neither was I.

I grabbed my badge out of my pocket and held it in front of her eyes. “I didn’t sign up to help protect your type for nothing. There may not be a lot of love between your kind and mine, but this means something. . .”

She grabbed my badge her eyes widening. “Yes, it means something.” I watched her fingers dance across the surface unwilling to still. She leaned forward in my grip and my stomach lurched as if the ground gave out. I’ve no idea what she said, but I know she said something.

Next moment the winds had stilled, and the horizon cleared. “The guards aren’t idiots after all.” She tossed the badge back to me and grinned.

I caught the badge and yelped at the child which seeped instantly into my skin. “What did you do?”

“What did I do?” Neilina asked collecting what items remained of her pack. “I’m not the one who carried cold iron around. Never did trust us.”

I looked down at the badge and snorted. A thought flit into my head and I shoved it away. I wasn’t going to worry about next year today.

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