“…There is a military group in the sea…”

Fae-Apoc, at the apocalypse, California, 2011.

Verena Truth-Blade was rich. She had gotten that way through patience and dedication, two things her breed were not known for, and by knowing when the time was to spend and when to save.

She had learned that throwing experts at a problem, not money, was the best idea, properly-motivated experts, and had cultivated stables of such experts throughout the centuries.

So when the gods started attacking her home, she got on the phone.

“We’re not going to make it into space in time,” she told the head of her design team for the very-long-term space-station project. “Because our infrastructure is about to be destroyed out from under us. New project. We’re going under water.”

“We’re what?”

She laid out the project, ending with “give me specs, I’ll take care of the manufacturing. We’re in a hurry, we’re not cutting any corners but we are taking shortcuts.”

“Are those like…”

“Like that, yeah. We’ve got two weeks.”

“You know that’s impossible, right?”

“So’s surviving when the building falls down on your head. Work.”

Then Verena called in another set of experts and got them working on something she steadfastly refused to call an ark: a boat that could withstand the roughest seas they could imagine. She told them the same thing: “I’ll take care of manufacturing. Get me specs.”

She hung up the phone and wrote a list of everyone she cared about and wanted to save. Then she started contacting them.

Two days later, she went to the local sex-slave salesplace, first the legit one, where every potential Kept was vetted and had volunteered, and then to the shady one, where none of that happened. “I need everyone who can handle Meentik, Shape, and Transmute,” she told them, “I’ll pay well and they’ll be well-taken care of,” she said at the first place, and “I won’t ask any uncomfortable questions,” at the second place.

With her new team of six workers assembled, she informed them, “you’re going to work your asses off for six months, but I’m going to do my damndest to save you from the returned gods, and then you can live out the remainder of your five-year term pampered and Kept in the way that best pleases and suits you. Understand?”

They were wide-eyed, shell-shocked, and worried, but they nodded.

Then the real work began.

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