The tug boat growls as the captain kills the engine.




For a moment, Kai thinks they’re busted, and she nocks her loose arrow. But nothing stirs this far out on the river. Exhaling, she relaxes her arm and glances towards the stern.




In their wake, the Plunge, skeletal buildings glimmering with a thousand small fires, burning at every level which hasn’t collapsed into the swampy streets below. It’s beautiful, the way the orange dots meets the starry sky above. But it’s also a testament to hubris, and the Natural One knows it better than any of the Yorkers aboard the boat.




Once, even taller buildings stood in Old York, stretching from the tip of the Plunge all the way to the Heights and Iron Gardens. “Sky scrapers,” as the stories go, because they clawed holes in the sky. But they’re long gone, to nuclear fire and the waters below.





“We gotta paddle from here. Any of their riders hear us, whole thing’s toast before we start,” the captain whispers, stepping away from the wheel. “Everybody grab an oar. Not you, you keep watch ...

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