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The Dark Edge

Taken by Force

Hidden from View






Lassinda was fast asleep when the dumping began. It wasn't the sound but the vibration of the dumping that woke her up. She became aware of being shaken, of the whole bed resonating beneath her.

She sat up in a hurry. She stared around the dormicab, remembering where she was, what had happened. She was still fully dressed apart from her footslips.

Then she heard a noise, a kind of whistle in the air. High up at first, but rapidly descending. She held her breath. There was a dull crump !, followed by another shockwave of vibration.

What was it? She had experienced various forms of weather-art in her three weeks at the Centre but nothing like this. Surely this was something else?

She swung out of bed and pulled on her footslips.

Now she could hear people running and voices calling out. Udsers. They must be running along the paths nearby, the paths between the shelters. The voices sounded urgent but not panicky.

Should she appeal for help? Should she trust them, throw herself on their mercy? She looked towards the locked door of the dormicab.

But already it was too late. Already the voices were fading, the running dwindling into the distance. And now there was another whistle in the air.

Instinctively she turned her gaze upwards. Lower and lower came the whistle, closer and closer, louder and louder. Terrifyingly loud!

And then the celing of the dormicab caved in! As though battered by a giant fist, the whole duralumin roof came rushing down towards her. Buckling and creasing, with a tremendous grinding metal crash!

Without knowing what she was doing, she did the very best thing possible. She fell off the side of the bed and tumbled flat to the floor.

The ceiling came down to within a metre of the floor, then stopped. She stared up wide-eyed at the bulging duralumin, creaking and groaning over her head. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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Richard Harland.