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Mini-lenses track Vinny as he leaves TheBox.

Call from Ice

"I've been checking on that and..." Her image disappears. A second later the city lights black out and all is dark, except for the glare of the headlights. Vinny and the other pedestrians continue unconcerned. Then, all is normal again and Vinny's InVision springs back to life.

A news thing says, "Just a little gridlock folks."

Call Ice

"And you were going to tell me," says Vinny.

"Listen, whatever you do, don't..."

Her image freezes, her mouth hanging open.

He feels it first. He feels it even more than he hears it, even though it's the most terrific noise he's ever heard. The report is massive, round, and hollow. It's the sound of the earth giving way slowly, in its own good time. The reverberation echoes in his chest, like the coughing up phlegm. The shockwave flattens him. A piece of something big enough to kill a cow punches a hole in the wall next to him. His skin and clothes are pocked with his blood from small cuts. He rises on an elbow and looks in the direction of TheBox. All he can see is dust. People are running out of the cloud. Others are walking, limping. People are dragging people. Some are crawling. Everyone in sight is bloody and filthy. He looks at a tatter of red stained something lying next to him. He hears sirens. He looks at the image of gap-mouthed Ice, still frozen on his InVision. Her image is replaced by surveillance video of the area. TheBox is gone.

A news thing says, "Simultaneous attacks in Karachi, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Santa Barbara, Macao, Jakarta. Twenty-four of TheBoxes. Autodial whammies. Delivered like pizzas. Dropped and popped. We have a feed from someone claiming responsibility."

A man in a black ski mask says, "Until nothing is left." Other windows open on his InVision. Grey zombie people wander in blasted moonscapes, some in the light of day, some in the mint green color of night vision.

An Asian woman is screaming at nothing. A crowd is picking through debris. A dirty-faced boy holds up a pair of mismatched shoes and smiles.

Vinny sits on the curb.

Call Ice

Her recorded message replies, "Sorry I can't talk right now. Please leave a message."

He screams, "Call me."

Ambulances rush by. An autocop chases a man, yelling for him to stop. The man keeps running. The autocop shoots him.

Vinny gets to his feet, falters, goes down on one knee, regains his balance, makes his way to the end of the block, and takes off running.



 -- End of online introduction --


Surely there's more.


Oh yes, lots more. This is just the beginning.


See the synopsis.


For a review copy of the complete novel contact Floyd Flanagan.