She watched from her high rise loft. Below bustling city streets full of merchants, scholars, and aristocrats the elite of Vagol. In the distance she could make out The Colony where the dregs of society lived (if you could call it that). She was born there. And for someone in her position disappearing into the huddled masses would have been a viable option, but she had seen too much. She would prefer to meet her destroyer face-to-face than end up of a lunatic on a street corner. Life was too valuable to succumb to such a slow torture.

She looked up and saw more city. She had been to other planes and they had skies filled with bright glowing objects. Such wonders never ceased to amaze her. Empty spaces instead of more stuff. Other planes— they were just a memory now, and a fuzzy one at that, they were different in other ways as well, but she could not recall the specifics. Memories from planar hopping always felt like a dream and sometimes she wondered if they actually happened or not.

She turned on the Feed. It was broadcasting the news. Normally, they could tell who was listening, where and for how long. They said it was to improve programming and anonymous, but anyone with a moderate intelligence knew better. Her box had been reprogrammed. She did it herself. She trusted no one and besides that damn scholarship and degree had to be good for something. None of what they were saying mattered, except for the forecast. The conditions could slow or speed up what was to come. Gravity would be at 70%. An omen? This would slow the expected guests’ arrival. The torture would have to continue.

At some point she had lived in all 5 wards, a rarity in Vagol, but one thing was always true; the jobs were all the same. Some were more respectable than others and sometimes they went by different names, but they produced the same results. The guy on the corner raving about gods was just a little more honest than the conspiracy theory academic who hid his ancient tomes in secret vaults. They both saw patterns and ascribed meanings. Her uncle had been one such fellow. When she was little she believed his after dinner stories about how the gods were still a amongst us and we chose to abandon them. That was before he lost his job and his sanity. As she grew older and saw him on the corner of Duden street she thought to herself if the gods were real why didn’t we see their power.

Who would get here first? Would it be the dragons. Her hacking, and smuggling had pissed them off more than once. They ignored small pests, but this time she had cost them millions. Never get between a dragon and his money. They had interests in everything so it was hard not to step on their to tails. Most citizens just avoided the issue and worked for one of them. Guaranteed safety. Meela once told her it was irrelevant the dragons worked with the Mistress to keep the common folks in their place. It was part of a conspiracy going back generations. The two could not be separated and only a fool believed there was a difference. Meela was as crazy as her uncle, but came from money so she was taken care of. She dared not think of what the Mistress of Pleasure might do to her someday. She ruled Vagol as sternly as her sister ruled Sigil and it was best she not know you existed. But with all the damn trackers that was hardly possible anymore (if it ever was).



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