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Act One: Incubation

Chapter Text

SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2270

The cleanest thing on the people here, tucked under ramshackle tents in the alleys between the concrete warehouses, are their masks; pale, disposable, with faint leaf-like ribbing, peaking out of the folds of grimy layers. They pay no attention to the open door, spilling yellow light into the pitch water of the canal, or the five men in black helmets flanking the doors’ either side with guns held casually. They make a point to ignore the low conversation that slips easily beneath the murmuring water. 

No one notices the figure in the shimmering long coat, reflecting the environment with only a hint of pixilation and a breath of visual delay. The men in black helmets conclude their conversation abruptly when a man on the periphery gives a strangled gurgling instead of a response, the tip of a dark blade protruding from his sternum. The blade retracts, the man collapses, and there stands the figure, reaching into his coat. 

The men raise their guns as three blurs streak from the figure’s hand, becoming a dagger to an airway, a carotid artery, a shattering helmet. Three men crumple as the last fires a molten streak from his gun a breath too high as the figure darts forward, ducking the shot. The gun barrel is knocked aside. A blade enters the man’s throat and greets his spine. 

The figure’s mask is startling white, smooth and absolutely featureless beneath the hood, save a spatter of blood. The last man slides off the blade. The figure steps over the body and through the glowing door, cutting off sounds of confusion as it closes.