She sat, huddled over the microscope – lost in thought, the pale bruise of moon-burn an anticipation of the black-out curtains cast over her bedroom window, lit only by the rippling neon-glow of a fish tank. Anticipating the projected shadows of an artificial reef, the dancing fingers of anemones, the brief flutter of scorpion fish like attack helicopters cresting the ridge.
The whirring shrill of power tools broke her concentration. Over her shoulder she cast daggers – the lab should be hers alone tonight. That damned fool Franklin again, his screeching, echoing studies interrupting her work…what was the point of a roster if his vivisections continued regardless? What was the point of late nights cloistered in lab-coat and safety goggles? What was the damned point?
Leaning slowly backward she sighed. Her chair – white, cleanly upholstered, her twisted title gracing the soft leather with cochineal red: Dr Rhiannon Muldane: Imaginary Monsters (Imaginarial Biology.)
The Gamayun lay prostate on the bench, squawking prophesies of doom and vengeance. Wearily Rhiannon turned, catching sight of the brilliant jet of blue flame slicing through the bulwarks.
The alarms sounded at her touch, blaring out, muting the dying soothsayer. The ends justified the means, she presumed – some people would do anything to hear their futures.