the smuggler’s bible


After a week of research at the municipal building, Merin decides her basement is deeper than average and also—confirmed by a run through the library’s zoology section—that the thing living down there is definitely aberrant.

Her neighbor is a retired metalworker who helps her hammer a few junked car bumpers into something like a segmented lorica (library again). He’s just happy to have some company and doesn’t ask many questions.

Merin finally heads downstairs with three homemade pipe bombs (internet, of course) and her hockey stick. Nothing left to learn about that, though. Coach says she’s a natural.