“Hello, Lord Darksteel,” the young woman said with a smile. She seemed to be about his age, maybe even a bit younger, but she did have a reaper clinging to her shoulder.
Hector frowned, however. “Why aren’t you with your family?”
“Oh, you know who I am?” said Selena. “I am flattered, Lord.”
Hector only looked at her.
“If I stayed with my mother, I would never see any action,” she said. “And besides, you will protect me, will you not?”
Hector was not amused. Now was not the time for this. And indeed, a sudden bout of turbulence reaffirmed him of that notion.
‘It’s close,’ said Garovel publicly. ‘No more than a hundred meters. Can you see it through the window yet?’
Selena flipped a switch on her right, and a floodlight above the window knifed through the darkness outside. The Hun’Kui militiamen followed suit, as did everyone else along the full length of the train, and they soon saw more light than darkness outside.
Only a distant wall of solid rock was revealed, however.
Selena pivoted with her mounted gun, and her floodlight pivoted with her. Every light searched up and down, left and right.
And through the weighted silence, Hector felt something. An increased pressure in the air. All too familiar.
More shaking arrived, stronger this time.
‘It’s here,’ said Garovel.
And he was not wrong.
A hulking figure exploded out of the rock wall, and every floodlight went to it at once. Sludge and shattered earth flew toward the train, and every gun on this side of the train opened fire at once. It was the loudest thing Hector had ever heard as a wall of flaming bullets shredded the debris into gravel and convened on the monster.