Multitasking! This is a short story that can also be put into the new book. Huzzah!


Morgan Barod ghosted through the ruins of the university. At least, he hoped he was ghosting, but he’d settle for just being pretty quiet. ‘Pretty quiet’ would, hopefully, be enough for the mission at hand.

He hadn’t been in the business long, but Morgan thought that Rutgers was pretty firmly in the ‘dangerously lovely’ abandoned ruin category. There were plenty of half-destroyed buildings that looked promisingly unlooted, and the overgrown clumps of trees were coming along nicely into becoming actual forests. There were birds chirping, various woodland critters doing their thing, and it really was a lovely morning to break into a shuttered library and retrieve an arcane tome. He didn’t trust any of it for a second.

At least he wasn’t stealing anything. When Morgan had shown up again, back from the salt-towns and carrying an official writ from the University, the officials behind the Line had been happy to countersign his salvage orders. They even gave him what intel they had on the site, which unfortunately wasn’t much. There were no really big monsters, probably.

And there weren’t any bandits operating out of the ruins of New Brunswick, either. “It’s too close to the Line,” Major West herself had told him. “We patrol that far out, pretty regular. Anybody or anything that messes with the patrol learns real fast how bad an idea it is.”