Fran woke with a start. The world was too soft. She’d bedded down in an old substation, barricading the door behind her. She opened her eyes cautiously.
The polyester curtain was hard to see in the moonlight, but she recognized the pattern. Likewise the awful blanket over her. She swung her feet down, hitting her gear bag. That was the same place it had been the day before!
How was she here again? Fran hadn’t met anyone in the town good enough to pull her out of a concrete box without her noticing. What game were they playing? Time to confront them with it.
She grabbed her bag and headed out of the motel as if she belonged there. It was well before dawn, and only a few people were on the street. They smiled at her, as if nothing was wrong. Fran smiled back, wondering how they planned to betray her.
A teenager skidded up from the direction of the front gate. “There’s bandits up there! Gorjarn’s army! They’re demanding fealty!”
What, again? Fran frowned. This was all wrong.
The mayor patted the teenager on the shoulder. “We’ll get through it. We always do. What are they asking for this time.”
All eyes turned to Fran. She spun on her heel and started running.
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