Copyright © 2012 Ross Harrison
Cover by Cui Yuan, copyright © 2012 Ross Harrison
The right of Ross Harrison to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988.
All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.
Kira stumbled around the corner and finally stopped for breath.
As she leant against the warm, slimy brickwork of a glassblower’s factory, a barely audible humming drew her gaze to the sky. Above the narrow alley, and between the wide pipes running across New Haven, her eyes met only thick black and grey smoke. But she knew that sound. It had bored into her skull for hours on her way here, stowed aboard one of the Government’s airships. They were already in the air looking for her. Or maybe she was flattering herself; maybe they were simply heading off on patrol.
While she contemplated her next step, she absently fingered the gashes in her strong leather corset. It was sliced through in at least five places, holding together thanks only to a few rivets. As far as she could tell, the blades hadn’t met her skin, but the surging adrenaline would hide any pain, so she couldn’t be certain.
Kira headed further into the alley. She had to get home and report on what she’d seen in New Haven. Since her town last dared a scouting party, the Government had advanced considerably – if her people attacked, they’d be wiped out.