Thursday, June 9


As Koen and I turned over Ash's shattered frame we noticed something unusual.

"Dad...there's an open compartment in his back that goes into where his hard drive was s'posed ta be! And his magic bone ain't here!"

"Bloody're right!"

I pulled out my binoculars and began scanning the desert wastes, which were strewn with the wrecks of Baba Yaga's fleet. Some of the Digital Knights were injured. The damage on the isomorphs resembled neither the wounds of flesh-born, nor of the shrapnel of damaged automata that I create. Their forms, where disrupted, revealed they were made of tiny cubes! The undamaged ones were helping their comrades-in-arms by collecting the shattered bits. My view froze when I saw Qli staring at me through her sniper scope. Her finger was off the trigger, I assumed. The poor dear. She desperately needed to know.

"You hit the chest," I mouthed. "Soul shard is missing..."

She lowered her scope before I could finish. She tossed her weapon aside. Even with a frozen mask for a face, I can still read the actions of my own creation. The poor girl! She thought just killed her brother!

"Qli! Pick up your scope! You brother is..."

And that is just when the power plant at Cala Mondrago exploded. First I saw the flash, then seconds later felt a boom that nearly knocked me off my feet.

"Dad!" Koen screamed over the roar of the vengeful spirits bathing the oasis is lightning. "Did those attack ships get past us?"

I shook my head. "That's their power source! Constructs of pure energy like these Digital Knights! And they are breaking free!"

"So do we look for Ash...or help the city?"

"A wrenching decision, that one. But the needs of the many..."

Koen pointed towards what appeared to be a flock of birds spreading over the horizon. Or were they bats? I adjusted my lenses.

"It''s Bloodwing!"

"Which one?"

"All of them!"

Koen yanked the binoculars from my hands, nearly breaking my neck in the process.

"It's a flock of...little Bloodwings?"



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