Shadow Legion moving through the streets. Boxy formation, a few scouts ahead. Two heavy hitters—Colossi. Even in silhouette against Neomuna's bright lights, the shapes of their cannons are distinctive, weighing down their steps and progress.

The Titan steps out to block their way. There is a power here—a place where something new and vibrant runs close to the skin of the world, so close she could just reach out and touch it.

So she does.

The brilliant city wakes up. Potential and connection string a network of understanding along the streets, and she understands everything. Understands how the scouts will come out of the next intersection down to try to flank her, understands the movement of the Shadow Legion's formation, how one soldier and the next are all connected. A beautiful dance of the inextricably linked.

She wraps those links around her fists and charges into the fray. They scatter like pins, like mice with the cat among them. It's perfect. She tears through Legionary after Legionary, catches a hum along the threads that tells her to move—spins a full hundred-eighty degrees and arches back, swipes out, balletic and instinctive. A Colossus falls.

And then she thinks: How did she know to do that?

Now, she is trying too hard to anticipate, feels warning and motion coming from all sides and reacts—but consciously, in the realm where she has to think too hard about every move she makes, puts her half a second behind. Step here and punch there, and the threads are humming, harmony becoming warning becoming discord as the Titan realizes she doesn't know which way to leap.

Fire snakes toward her, and a heavy shield comes around, and all the threads slip away.

She misses a few moments in oblivion. The next thing she knows, her Ghost is hunkered close, a vibrant touch of Light pulling her up to a whole body, a hale mind. The sense of potential still thrums there, a heartbeat under the surface, a promise in the net of battle.

Desperately, the Titan scrabbles for it again, but strands break in her grasp—the Legion is too close, and she wants too much, too fast. It's going to take too long to breathe and find again that perfect harmony she had. To say nothing of reaching for the Light—her nerves are rattled, her mind blank.

The Colossus remaining charges up his cannon. Her Ghost bumps against her helm, and she takes the only action she can think of: she flees, Ghost cupped in her hand and her favorite sword melted useless on the city street behind them.

Strand Log I

Category: Book: Warp and Weft

Strand Log II