Connections Jan 2015 - Page 23

of his thick black cables. One look at his face and the muted swearing that made it through the warding told me he was displeased by the status quo I’d achieved. He was waving his arms in what looked alarmingly like incantation-mode and, sure enough, something stung me across the back. I yelped as the force-bubble zapped me again, and realised with a sickening sinking feeling that the dome was inexorably contracting, forcing me to move downward towards the floor and my dangerous co-captive. No time for second chances. If he squashed the dome flat enough we would never be able to keep sufficient distance between us, and then, BOOM! Bye-bye Scotland, at least as we know it. I sent my awareness shooting back outside. Some of my puddle had started to leach away, dragged back into the torrent rushing towards the Moray Firth and thence on out to the North Sea. Abandoning any finesse, I reached fluid fingers from the puddle into the river flow, joined my water to the wild water and drew it towards me as an adult draws a curious child towards a treat. Clasping the river more firmly in my watery fingers, I drew it over the rocky bank and towards the door of the old power station. It came with surprising ease, almost as if it were keen to try out a new course. A puddle outside the door became a pool, and then a waist-high flood filling the stairwell that led down to the door. For a panicky moment I thought the door might be too well sealed, but it yielded suddenly to the pressure and slammed open. It was as if a dam had broken and the building stood in its path. The river flowed in through the door, sweeping all manner of flotsam before it; twigs and branches, sweet wrappers and plastic bottles, detritus from the floor of the abandoned pow