Flint Foster

Posted by davidludwig
Jan 11 2012


Flint poked their fire with a stick he’d brought along from Eden, reminding the flame that it was keeping watch with him. Smiling to himself, he watched Nadine and her friends sleeping around the fire. There was a time he would have never considered bringing kids like them on any mission, let alone one this dangerous.

Every trip into the ether entailed a risk of never returning to Eden. The unformed and inconstant landscape, the holes into realities beyond imagining, all made the ether a dangerous place. Of course, the Flint Foster who wouldn’t have brought kids on this mission was a Flint Foster who didn’t believe in magic or other dimensions. The Reclamation changed all of that sure enough.

He sighed as he watched Nadine turn over in her sleep. He wanted to kiss her forehead, to hold her, but odds were she wasn’t sleeping too deeply. Flint never did, and for good or ill he’d almost certainly passed that on to Nadine. Also like her father, Nadine was trying so hard to get everyone through this except herself. So if she asked to be allowed to sleep through the whole night, well there was a good reason for it.

As was his wont when he couldn’t sleep, Flint’s hands went instinctively to cleaning his guns. Ten years had passed since the Reclamation. Coming up on ten years and four months precisely. Flint had been a different man then. Marriage hadn’t changed him, and neither had the birth of his daughter. If anything, his family gave him a reason to keep doing what he did to keep the world safe.

Flint Foster was a legend in his own time, a man who delivered results regardless of the odds. If he needed to make a one-in-a-thousand shot he’d make it without a second of doubt or hesitation. Every time he had to face certain death, well certainty had to get used to being disappointed. But all of that changed ten years, three months and twenty-one days ago.

Early Prophets made a pact with daemons, which only after the fact did Flint know to be the literal truth—he’d never even believed in things like daemons or heaven or hell before. They’d secured a doomsday device like the dozen others Flint had dismantled in his time. But this one was different, totally unlike anything Flint had dealt with. The Prophets weren’t a problem, not for Flint. But the device…

Flint had one of those one-in-a-million shots that destroying the device would prevent its activation. He also had a one-in-a-hundred chance that if he himself activated the device early he could control it and limit it to the less densely populated parts of the world. Point it away from his wife and daughter.

That was the day Flint stopped being fearless. The day he became a man who played the odds. But would Nadine ever forgive him if she knew?






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