By Michael Armstrong

The Zap gives... and the Zap takes away.

Because of the very nature of the Zap — the massive thermonuclear bomb that had scrambled and rearranged the neurons of everyone's brains — there has been no manner of telling what it had taken from all of them. The previous was once a jumbled mass of tantalizing glimpses and agonizing blanks. however the Zap's presents have been many and varied.

The "Readers" bought the infrequent and sometimes harmful skill to make experience of the writings of the past...
The "Memors" bought ideal remember — of every thing they'd heard because the Zap...
The "Bush Punks" bought an opportunity to reside loose and straightforward — and die a similar way...
The "God Weirders" acquired faith — when you might name it that...
The "Blimpers" obtained a function — a function which could retailer them, or smash them all.

Now Holmes, a "Reader, " was once within the ideal place to tip the scales for or opposed to survival — if in simple terms he might work out which facet used to be which.

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They'd crossed the wastelands in midwinter, and they'd even managed to bring dragons with them. They were counting on a swift victory. Had they smashed their way into the city they could have wintered in comfort here, allowing fresh troops to join them from the east before mounting their invasion of the Human lands. As it is, they're stuck outside in the snow and that can't be comfortable, even for northern Orcs who are used to the bad weather. "As soon as spring comes there'll be a relief force on its way," says Gurd.

Gurd shakes his head. "The healer told you to lay off the drink. Two hours later we found you crawling towards the tavern, rambling crazily about how the healers were trying to kill you. It took three men to drag you back to your tent and even then you wouldn't shut up till I brought you a tankard. ' " Tanrose laughs. "That's not how I remember the story at all," I protest. "Enough about the malady," says Gurd, looking round shiftily. " Gurd is nervous, and not just because his tavern might be quarantined.

It's protected by both chains and spells, and the harbour master won't admit anyone till he's very sure that it's not an enemy. As we watch, the stricken ship crawls up to the entrance to the harbour then halts, its bow pressed against the thick chains that block the entrance. Sounds of shouting float over the water. Probably whoever's on board is yelling at the defenders to let them in before they go under, which won't be long. The vessel hovers perilously at the entrance, sinking ever further in the water.

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