the smuggler’s bible


The delicate crystal vial in the center of the apparatus shatters, exposing the electrified wire it contains to the surrounding mixture of gases. There is some sparking—a great deal of it, to be honest—then a few sensors trip and the signal goes zipping along its merry way.

“We good?”

“Uhm.” Averie takes her thumb off the switch, sighs and struggles to conjure a turn of phrase which is simultaneously gentle and realistic. In the distance, the first alarm begins to thrum brightly.

“We’re fucked,” Averie says, giving up on gentle, hoping naked honesty makes up for it somehow.