Head to the Ruins Aboveground

Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaYou move quickly above ground, keeping an eye out for vampires, for rival Unregistereds, and for pets—humans that would sell you out to the vampires faster than you could spit. You make it past the wall unnoticed, thank goodness.

You work quickly and quietly, scouring a few houses with no luck, before stumbling (quite literally) upon a small cache of food hidden under a floor board. Two stale rolls and some canned beans. Jackpot. You shove the goods into your bag and turn to leave.

Crap.

Blocking the door is a cat, small and lithe. It’s weaving between piles of crumbled plaster. It mews and shakes its head. You see the drops of red before the cat turns toward you. Blood. Blood streaming from the cat’s eyes.

Rabid.

You don’t move or break eye contact with the creature. Its head goes down and it moves slowly forward. You’re ready for the pounce, and you swing your bag full of cans, catching the cat in the ribs mid-air. It isn’t fazed. It leaps back at you, swiping at your face. You feel a sharp slice, but you don’t have time to think. You shove the cat into the now-empty cubbyhole and slam the floorboard back into place, dragging some heavy beams over it for good measure. The cat is screaming and the sound is almost human.

You touch your eyebrow and feel blood. Yours? Yeah. You start running. You don’t have time for stealth—sunset isn’t that far away and the fresh blood is going to attract every rabid for a mile.

You run for the wall and slip back inside, then immediately push yourself back out. Two Registered pets were standing there, just 20 feet from where you emerged. What are they doing so far out in the Fringe?

You glance around yourself warily. It doesn’t seem like any rabids have picked up your scent, but if you stay outside the city walls it’ll only be a matter of time. If the Registered blood-cows see you, though, you’ll be hanged.

1. Go back out into the wild.
2. Sneak into the Fringe.

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