the vtryki port burned, years ago. every time·eina passes the powderfire carcass, they can’t help but feel as though misfortune follows them, like soot, clinging to their shadow. the fire has not mattered, not truly, for half a solar decade; eina’s partner, ivana as she’s known, ensures this. but eina has never been too sure, convinced that everything bad that has ever happened in vtryki revolves around that incident.
ivana used to laugh, until the remnants of a massacre is found beneath the floorboards of the customs building, all on a tip found in the pocket of a brutalized corpse. the case was handed off to their agency without much thought, considered dead-in-the-ether by what passes for law in the satellite city. “bigger things to chase, better fish to fry,” aelio said, placing the fileboards on their shared desk, “with the gang activity building, they don’t care about a mound of corpses.”
the pair can’t find it in themselves to care much either, not until eina recognizes the asteroid-sand glass fused the haphazard skeletons, and ivana’s fingers trace an old sigil carved into child’s skull. over the ashes, seemingly suspended in the air between them, their eyes meet and they know, they can’t walk away from this.·“too many souls,” eina whispers, as if their voice would raise the dead,·“too many lives to let go, with no answers to speak of.” ivana doesn’t disagree, can’t find it in herself to.
in their dogged search for the truth, eina and ivana find themselves not only tangled in the threads that make up a pair of the most elite in the city, but the threads that make up each other. what secrets all four of the main characters have been keeping will be dragged into the light, squirming, and shown for what it is: blood on top of blood on top of blood.
when the two pairs untangle the threads, will they like what they find? when they learn to wash it all away, peer beneath the neon veneer of their ever-stormy city, will they like what they see?
the light burns, and many learn to miss the comforts of the dark.
header image by @jutkuu!, icons by vvhaler/aleks!!