the smuggler’s bible

Hollyhock

The shimmering, glassy surface of the Christmasseract—what little of it can be seen in the three dimensions and narrow spectrum of light visible to the human eye—is roughly spherical with a single annular protrusion jutting outward, a black portal at its center. It fills the shuttle’s slender viewport. Hollyhock cycles the scanners through infrared and radar. As far as the instruments are concerned, the anomaly is empty space.

“How long?”

“Three minutes out. The aperture is steady. No movement.”

“All right, wrap her up. Let’s get down this chimney,” Hollyhock says, “and hope nobody left the fire burning.”