The chemical stench of the river overwhelmed the smell of fire and smoke. Nothing could drown out the gunfire and the screams. Another sound rumbled behind that—a police armored personnel carrier. Tuyet ran flat out, part of a stream of dozens of people both Magic Born and Normal, headed for the safety of the old subway tunnels.
A pair of witches who were the first to reach the hidden entrance opened it. With all of the cops around this would compromise that entrance, but if they could get people in the tunnels and seal it before cops had a chance to follow, at least they would be safe. Finding a new entrance to the tunnel could happen later.
Right now, they needed suppressing fire. Tuyet ran for a streetlight, one of the few still working. She placed both hands on the metal of the pole and focused her will on pulling, as hard as she could. Neon would have worked better with her particular skill set, but she could manage well enough with this.
The bulb dimmed overhead. Heat shimmered through her, a desert mirage. More. She needed more. Deeper into the city’s power grid. Eyes half-closed, she murmured an incantation to the Madman of the Wires, asking for his help.
Electric magic blasted through her body. Concentrating fiercely, she raised one hand from the pole and aimed it at the line of police. A wall of light erupted from the magic working through her and swirling in the air. A blinding blue-white, it cut off the riot cops’ view of the escaping protesters. Shots still rang out, the police aiming wildly. Tuyet poured more energy into the wall, drawing on reserves she rarely tapped.
Electricity leapt from her fingers and the ends of her hair. It crackled and danced in the air, then sped toward the wall of light. Blue-white turned a deep indigo that sparkled with dots of energy, a late-twilight sky full of stars. It absorbed the bullets, becoming stronger with every impact.
She pushed the wall closer to the line of cops, hemming them in to keep them from giving chase. Heat boiled in her, sweat soaking her skin like a hard rain. All color and sound dimmed until she could hear nothing but her own heartbeat, see nothing but the dark night-blue of the defensive shield. She drew more and more power from the surrounding area, streetlights and steel, the humming power grid and even the crowd itself. She asked of the city and it gave.
She was the only Magic Born to ever escape the Rangers. Now there's a ten-million-dollar bounty for her return.
Trancehacker Tuyet Caron could have left New Corinth for good, but instead uses her magic and risks her life on a daily basis to help the Magic Born. She's been careful to avoid capture, but a careless glance at a video camera brings her face to face with the Ranger who let her go.
Captain Dale Hayes let Tuyet walk away once, but he won't make that mistake again. When faced with the ultimate choice, however, he chooses her with barely a thought. But that also means siding with the Magic Born and becoming a fugitive in the eyes of the law.
Tuyet and Dale plan to flee, but are caught in a deadly riot that kills innocent people. Outraged, the pair vows to bring an end to the Magic Laws, regardless of what that means for their own safety.
Learn more about the magic-meets-cyberpunk Magic Born trilogy here.