Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Agent 13 jumped out of the bomb-bay doors of the scrambler jet into silent extended twilight.

He fell for three calm, wind-buffeted minutes before starfishing his teflon squirrelwings out. The wrist-to-ankle elastic bodychute helped him brake with no heat signature before he hit the living hull of a brand new Hindenberg six miles up in the middle of a raincloud.

It was damp to the touch and warm in the rain like a lover’s skin. Agent 13’s goggles irised open wide to light the area he was going to cut.

X-ray flashes gave him an idea of the strutwork underneath and the number of nearby workers walking skeletal on the night shift of the upper levels.

He was surprised by the hundreds of small skeletons hanging upside-down amongst the giant ribs of the airship.

Bats. Well, they could help with the confusion.

Agent 13 knelt on the hull and let the pads of his suit’s knees grip tight to the weave. Leaning back, he extended his arm straight up and fired a wide dispersal of metal spider-silk streamers around him. They were charged with flat electrons. Irresistible to strikes.

Make the lightning come running.

With a sound like the ripping of the world, the lightning struck the hull around Agent 13. He knelt in the middle of the lightstorm and plunged his scalpel-edged fingertips down and through the cheeseclotch, vinyl, and polycarbon.

Air blasted out.

He flipped himself down and through the gap like a diver into the darkness inside. The bats were screaming.

Three workers rushed past him to repair the damage. It would be written up as a lightning strike and forgotten about. Agent 13 was invisible in the shadows with the camcells activated.

He climbed deeper into the shadows and darkness to the heart.

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