CHAPTER ELEVEN

“My name is Nyx.” Says a tall lithe girl that looks about my age. Her raven-black hair is pulled back into a tight ponytail, tied tight with small leather thongs. It hangs down the center of her bone white armor like a thick length of dark rope. Striking green eyes smolder back at me from a porcelain face that’s all high cheekbones and sharp symmetries. Her gaze is cool and calculating, like the unblinking lens of some beautiful and lethal machine. Her perfectly sculpted eyebrows are two slices of midnight against her smooth pale skin, and her full lips are the color of wine. “Welcome to Helios.”

CHAPTER NINE

The dead swirl around me like a flock of startled birds scattered into the cold air by our passing and by the sound of boots hammering out a disjointed rhythm against the frozen ground. One by one, their features seem to blacken and distort, faces eaten from within by unseen flames, until they drift away as clouds of ash and bright dancing sparks.

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