3 ii) The farmer doesn’t wave back

The farmer doesn’t wave back. The cigarette dangles from his lip as he stares, until he pivots on his heel and strides back inside the church, smoke trailing.

“Unfriendly,” Fassn says, squeezing his hand. It’s got a gentle burning sensation coursing through it which he tries to massage away.

“Must be place of worship,” Abia says. The church is festooned with orange banners, strands of fabric wrapped in helixes and draped across the facade.

“Indeed,” says Cang. “And they appear to be in session.”

“So much for—” Shyan stutters. “So much for—”

Abia gives her a concerned look.

“For the element of— of surprise,” Shyan concludes. Her face is unnaturally pale. She coughs, then murmurs sadly, “Antidote…”

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