Tales of the Endlands
Scott Fitzgerald Gray
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Across the blackened battlefields of the Great War That Was, a grim air-captain leads a mission to recover an arcane power that shouldn't exist -- and which summons the ghosts of war to destroy all those who covet its secrets...
* * *
As Fate's Lady cut through the cloud, Declan's cockpit glass began to flare with a shimmering of silver light. He adjusted throttle carefully to keep pace with the rising speed of the dive, the relative quiet of the inbound run giving way suddenly to shrieking voices. Tendrils erupted from the surrounding white, and then all around the aerocraft was a writhing storm of spectral movement.
The screaming of the dead slammed through the fuselage like the pounding of some unearthly fist, a shudder following in its wake as the temperature display crashed and a wisp of white vapor congealed across the console's glass panels. Declan was too focused to feel the sudden snap of cold, but he could see his breath freezing in the air before him. He heard an edge of panic in Efram's voice as he called out.
"Outside atmosphere at the cargo post! Possible breach!"
"Negative." Lucias cut the young mech off with a laugh. "We're whole, full speed, and right side up even. This is contact."
And just like that, the skies around Fate's Lady were alive with ghost-light. Streams of radiance pulsed in at the observation glass, the domes of the gun turrets lit up in silver and white. A squadron of spectral fighters had materialized high on the starboard side, their stepped wings shattered and streaming canvas, torn and flapping like shredded flesh.
"F**k my eyes..." Through the spark lines, Hillard's voice was tight with fear.
"Cut chatter," Declan said in return. "Fire at will..."