Chapter 75

Sanctuary


Sage easily escaped from the Imperial Palace, not even needing to slip on her disguise to do so. There were so many nooks and shadowed areas scattered through the palace that she took it as a challenge to her skills, one that she passed with flying colours.

Sage 2.0The Hot Summer had officially started, rumours of tsunamis out by the Molten Sea, behemoth tornadoes ripping across the plains, and boiling rains falling during the daytime. It would be suicide to attempt to leave the planet now, and her latest targets would know this to. This gave her time. Time to plan, time to wait. Time to think.

Sage Off to HideoutAnd she had the perfect place to do just that. Not far from the Imperial Palace, her hideout awaited.

Sage Off to Hideout 2She climbed into the mountains surrounding the palace, and worked her way through what looked from the base of the mountain to be impassible terrain, but was in fact a narrow series of switchbacks hidden from sight.

Sage Off to Hideout 3Sage Outside HideoutShe finally made it to the entrance of her hideout, boarded up for safekeeping.

Sage Outside Hideout 2Sage Outside Hideout 3Sage went to work on the boards, breaking them open one plank at a time, the sensation as each plank of wood split and then shattered was satisfying to her. She envisioned them to be her victims bones, breaking one by one.

Sage Outside Hideout 4She was in a foul mood now. She remembered her fight with the Helsian girl, and how she had turned to dust and materialized in front of her, striking her a fatal blow that was impossible to block. How did she do it? Was it something that could be replicated? It was a powerful tool, one that Sage wanted.

Hideout Open Hideout Open 2Before long, the last board lay broken on the ground, and Sage peered inside the mine shaft. A short walk through, following the right forks and avoiding the traps she had laid and she would be safe.

Hideout Open 3 Entering HideoutIn we go. She said to herself as she recalled the information of the correct path through her cybernetic eye.

Entering Hideout 2 Entering Hideout 3She recalled the first time she had used it after it had been installed. The rush of information assaulting her brain was painful at first, a feeling of nausea followed next before she finally passed out. Now when that information streamed through her mind and projected itself through her eye, she didn’t even blink.

Entering Hideout 4 Entering Hideout 5She had used it millions of times since then, it had become second nature to her. As much a part of her as her organic heart, perhaps the only thing inside her body that wasn’t altered in any way.

HideoutAn hour later, and Sage found herself in an underground cavern. The ruins of a city visible up ahead. She was home.

Hideout 2This place was a relic from a past time. An ancient civilization that had wasted their chance, and faded into obscurity. Their bones were now the dusty surface that she now trod on.

Monitoring NewsSage took to the X.I.N. Database, to look for pieces of information that could help in her current mission. She saw that in a few weeks there would be a ‘Calm’, it was a pre-cursor to an incredibly violent storm, but it was so calm that space travel during this narrow window was possible.

Hideout 3She sat down next, and listened to the radio. Advanced communications were useless during the Hot Summer, but transistor radios were still viable and often a valuable source of information too.

Hideout 4There was nothing of value on the radio this time. Sage yawned and looked at her wrist, it was much later than she had anticipated. It was time for her to turn in for the night.

Hideout 5She set the alarms, made sure that the traps were still functional and turned off her computer before heading upstairs into the skeleton frame of this ancient city.

Hideout 6 Hideout 7Sleep came easily to her, it always did. But as she closed her eyes she saw a vision of a grey woman with fiery red eyes. The woman smiled at her, taunting her, and then she disappeared into dust.

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12 thoughts on “Chapter 75”

    1. Thank you! Although Sage would never admit it, she’s haunted by what happened with Shaela. I would imagine that the image she saw was her. While we know Shaela to have orange/red eyes, Sage may be imagining them a far brighter red to add to her fear.

      Liked by 2 people

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