The undercity was a marvel. I had been expecting a dingy and disgusting place, with leaking walls and rumbles from trains passing overhead, but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Magic, it turned out, was just as magical in reality as it had been in all the storybooks. While my scientific mind was having trouble understanding everything my eyes were seeing, the little boy in the back of my head was whooping with unbridled joy. The ceilings were high and had been charmed in some way to display what was essentially a holographic display of the outdoor sky. Though unlike my technology there weren’t any telltale signs that what I was seeing was fake. I’d never managed to eliminate the slight shimmer that occurred whenever an image updated itself, kind of like scanlines on an old CRT, there was nothing like that present in the illusory sky. Alongside that were all the different types of people that I was seeing. It was hard not to want to run away screaming the first time
Sophia strode through the park with purpose and I struggled to keep up with her. When I had been human I hadn’t spent much if any time at the park, but walking through it now with the sun beginning its descent into the evening I found myself wishing that I had. It was a beautiful location, running alongside the River Thames itself, one of the rare few big green areas in the city of London. The location we were headed toward was the Old English Garden, a sort of park within a park. Where most of the park was wide open green spaces that were curated but mainly left to nature, the Old English Garden was a heavily looked-after space with a small podium at its centre. And everything about it felt… off. Clearly, the other people who were walking through the garden didn’t feel anything, it was likely only because I was an Immateria now, but I could intensely feel that something was strange about the podium and the sculpture on the top of it. “That’s the entranceway,” Sophia said, as i
We walked back to the car without saying a word to one another. It was as if Sophia was giving me a little bit of space after what had happened, though how long that was going to continue I had no idea. In a way, I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to continue. All I could think about were the memories that I had absorbed from the man I had drunk dry and then thrown into the river. They were separate from my own memories, my new Immateria brain could pick apart which memories I had made myself and which ones I had absorbed from someone else, and they were already beginning to fade from my mind. I could feel that when they had faded completely was when I was going to need to feed again. “So what now?” I asked as I sat down in the driver's seat. With no job to rush back to and my newly acquired vampiric thirst sated I felt a bit like a leaf blowing in the wind. “Now we get you registered with the Immateria Council,” Sophia sighed, “Right now you’re basically illegal, so we need to sort
If I had thought Sophia looked like a predator as she was moving through the narrow passageways of the Camden Market it was clear that I hadn’t actually seen anything yet. Sophia leapt up as silently as a light breeze and grabbed onto one of the walls. Her fingers bit through the brick the wall was made of and anchored her in place. Like a spider, she skittered up the wall so no one below would see her coming. Even with my enhanced Immateria senses I struggled to see her up in the shadows that were present in the alleyway. I could have joined her, I felt that I had the power in my fingers to do the same thing, but I didn’t want to make a mistake and ruin the hunt. I was content, at least for now, to let Sophia take the lead. A few moments passed and then a shadow dropped down from the rafters directly on top of . Only it wasn’t a shadow, it was Sophia. She was on the men like lightning and, before they could even react, she’d plunged her fingernails into each of their necks. T
Camden Town was one of the most vibrant and eccentric areas that London had to offer and that was no more obvious than when we were driving down the main high street, stuck in traffic. The buildings were all brightly coloured and the shops that lined the street leading up to the main marketplace had all gone incredibly over the top with their sign designs. One building had a giant dragon on the front with blinking red eyes. Another featured a giant shoe, one had an aeroplane nosediving toward the ground and a third was bright yellow with a massive ceramic elephant’s head poking out of the front. It was also incredibly busy, especially considering today was a random weekday and still the early afternoon. Nevertheless, there were hundreds if not thousands of people hustling and bustling along both sides of the street, which meant that it was only going to be a matter of time until we witnessed a crime. That being said, we weren’t waiting for a crime to be committed on the street.
I sat in the driver's seat of my car absolutely fuming. After I had vowed to get my revenge on everyone in the room, a threat that had largely been brushed off with a smattering of laughter, they had offered me a small monthly stipend as a severance payment. I had been forced to agree to the terms. If I’d been rich to begin with maybe I would have been able to turn it away, been able to say no to their offer. But the fact of the matter was I was being kicked out of the company by vote and so it was completely legal. If I wanted anything at all they would have to give it to me, and this was what they were giving me. The stipend was larger than I had expected it to be, too. They agreed to cover the monthly costs of my apartment in the Battersea Power Station complex completely, both the mortgage and the utilities of the place, and then had also agreed to give me £4,000 every calendar month. This meant that, technically, I’d never have to work again if I didn’t want to as I’
My sanity returned as if it were a bucket of cold water being chucked over my head. A cold shock to the system that trickled down from head to toe and slowed my breathing from a heavy pant to a more even pace. I unclenched my fists and stopped envisioning myself ripping into Alex’s throat with my teeth. That wasn’t a helpful mental image, and it was only going to make everything that came next much harder to manage. “Parker!” Alex exclaimed, he masked his surprise and his fear well, “You actually showed up! Have you any idea how worried all of us have been about you? We thought you’d died!” There was a way he said the word died as if it were something that he’d truly been expecting. That left no doubt in my mind that he was the one who had ordered the hit on me that fateful night outside the club. “Well, if there have been any I can truly say that reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated and we can put this whole nasty business behind us,” I said with an easy smile. I
“Now remember,” Sophia said as we walked across the Canary Wharf complex, “You’re going to have to try very hard to keep your cool. If it looks for a moment like you’re not going to be able to do that I will kill not just you but everyone in your office, and then the Immateria Council will go to great lengths to keep that slaughter under wraps.” I nodded in response, the statement had spooked me a little too much to be able to respond verbally. The Canary Wharf towers loomed above me, monoliths of the London skyline that had stood since the 90s, though they hadn’t always been as successful as they were in the modern day. Our offices were in One Canada Square, the premiere space for offices in all of London. At 800 feet tall it was the third tallest building in the UK, and we were situated right at the peak. It was the lobby of the building that had initially attracted me to the idea of having our offices there and walking through it with Sophia brought all of those thoughts back.