Chapter 18: Urban Decay

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Devon and Tamesis walked with their arms around each other, each supporting their woman's weight. Devon's feet trudged forward, dragging in the blood-soaked dirt of the prison yard, while Tamesis alternately leaned against Devon, and pulled her along. They were both exhausted and drained. Devon only knew how to do what she knew in real life. The longer the dream went on, the harder it was to remember it wasn't reality. To believe in the fantastic and strange. The same was true for Tamesis. She compared it to a mana pool from videogames: she only had so much to give until it regenerated—and she had drained her pool, and then some more. The pills had worn off by now as well, so she was no longer able to draw her lucidity from them.

They stopped outside the walls of the prison and looked back to see a jagged crack split the massive building down the middle. Water poured out of the windows and down the crevice like a fountain until the walls were filled like a lake. Morning had shifted to late evening much quicker than it should have while they were in the prison. In the shadowed twilight, all was still.

Tamesis had one last energy orb left. She shifted her weight so Devon's taller frame was nestled against her left shoulder and received the little bomb from her pouch. She moved her arm back and threw the orb. The prison flared up with a screeching roar. Fire burned a scar up the schism, sparking fireworks into the starless sky, until the building was wholly consumed by flame.

The ruins fell over into the lake one piece at a time.

That should distract them long enough, thought Tamesis.

She felt Devon's wet body shiver. Her orange jumpsuit, tied around her waist and leaving her with only a bra for warmth, was still soaked and the night was growing chill.

Where's her armor? she thought as she wrapped her arms around her girlfriend. She pressed her cheek against Devon's damp black hair. Maybe she's as drained as I am. She sighed as she focussed on drying their clothes, but nothing happened. Wet attire it is. Thank God there's no such thing as pneumonia in dreams.

An air raid siren sounded off in the distance, bringing in a thick, cold fog that flooded the streets and washed around the two. Tamesis lead Devon away back into the city. Zeppelins stood guard overhead in the clouds. Occasionally they'd cast spotlights below them that sizzled the fog and lit up the sky like lightning.

The two kept silent as they took the blackened alleyways and sprinted across the streets. The city resembled their old neighborhood across the tracks, maze and all. They'd walk down one street only to cross-section with itself. They'd turn down a new street just to walk down the same one they were on. Sometimes Devon thought she could see the ghosts of her old neighbors and Family in the fog, ethereal wisps of memory that disappeared with a new gust of wind whenever a zeppelin drew near.

Neon signs in every color of the rainbow lit up the buildings. Advertisements for stores and products had switched to mocking WANTED posters and warnings to citizens.

"BE ADVISED: these two kill men in their sleep!"

They stopped before a widescreen television monitor that had Devon's mugshot on it. She wore her orange jumpsuit and Family tattooes and held a double middle finger salute to the camera.

"DEVON KENT:

Age: 24
Height: 178cm

WANTED FOR:
Murder in the First
Gross Homicide
Arson
Burglary
Assault and Battery, multiple incidences of
Sabotage of Government property
Fraud
Contempt of Court
Violating Parole
Drug Possession
Disturbing the Peace
Inciting a Riot
Acts of Terrorism
Possession of an Illegal Weapon
Public Indecency
Mayhem

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