Claymore watched the devastation unfold with awe. The detonation was beautiful. A bright orange dome unfurled overhead and a deep boom rattled the shelter. The animals shimmered then dissolved into mounds of ash.
“Gotcha!” the bomber exclaimed as the light began to fade.
“Good job, Flash,” Claymore said and looked down at her tracker. “There’s no sign of life on…”
“Shit!” Flash screamed. Claymore looked up to see purple light spilling from the portal.
“What’s going on?” she cried.
“Who cares?” Flash said as he and the others climbed out of the shelter. “Bitch, let’s get the fuck out of here!”
“The shelter is safer!” she screamed as they ran off. Her words were cut off by the roar of the flames. Claymore hunkered down in the shelter and braced for the burn. She heard the agonizing screams of her crew, but the shelter held.
The roar faded and only the purple glow remained.
“Flash?” she called as she got to her feet. The area was clear of all debris. She hoisted herself out of the shelter and called again, “Flash!”
There was nothing but the slow pulse of the portal.
“It’s reversed!” Claymore gaped. The ragged infrastructure of a Wide Horizon ship was on the other side of the opening. She hesitated. No one knew why the crew had activated the portal from so far away. They did not survive to make it through and their message was lost in the flurry of distress signals from the Wide Horizon fleet.
“It is my duty to secure this zone,” she told herself. Then she took a deep breath and stepped through the portal.