Rhea Silverman was orphaned when she was two. Her parents were killed by an unknown force that hides in the darkness. And now they've come for Rhea.
Rhea Silverman sashayed through a dingy New York street. Her midnight black hair swung behind her though you could barely see it against the skintight black leather she wore. She hated the feel of the leather on her skin but it kept her well protected. Standard issue Reaper uniform, that's all it was to her. A clang came from an alley. She tore round at the sound, aiming her standard issue automatic at the shadows. She hated guns, too. There was something unmajestic about them. She pulled a small torch from one of her pockets and illuminated the alley. There was another clang and a scraggly ginger cat scurried away from a lidless metal trash can. Rhea sighed and holstered her gun and torch.
"Rhea, do you see anything?" the voice of her partner, Rosie Miller, said through her earpiece.
"Nothing but alley cats" Rhea replied, heading back for her car regardless of any command Rosie might give her.
"This part of New York freaks me out. At least in the submerged parts you've got aquatic animals but here it's nothing but plants and the occasional alley cat".
"I'm heading back now, we're not going to find anything today" Rhea said, slipping into the driver's seat of her silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.
Almost everyone in the city made fun of her car because it was one of the old things that ran on petrol and couldn't manage much more than 90 miles an hour. She was happy with it, though. It got her where she needed to be, even if it was a pain in the ass to refuel. The world had stopped harvesting oil for petrol in the year 2210, seven thousand and sixty five years prior to Rhea's birth.
"Okay, I might check out a few more spots before heading home. Take care of yourself, Rhea".
"You too, Rosie" Rhea said and sighed as she pulled out her earpiece.
She sat in her car for five minutes before realising it was getting dark. When she saw the sun disappearing beneath the heads of the skyscrapers she began to panic and gunned it out of the remnants of New York City and into the settlement city of Falconville. Rhea felt at home in Falconville. It was a mess of bright lights and neon signs, it was the one place she felt safe after dark. Falconville was run by the first organisation she had been a member of: The Falcons. Rhea was one of the few Reapers in Falconville, giving her the highest authority. She drove through the brightly lit streets, examining every dark corner from her car, before heading home. Home for Rhea was a small mansion. Originally the mansion had been for all the Reapers but most of them had gotten married and din't want to risk their spouse's life. So now the mansion was Rhea's. The gravel path was lined with bright outdoor lamps. The surrounding area was covered with these lights though there was a deliberate patch of darkness. All the lights in the mansion were on, Rhea had set them on a timer from the old days. After all, what she was afraid of could mess with computers. She slipped out of the car, already unzipping her leather top, and dashed into the mansion. She halted undressing as she remembered the window in the attic. She had nailed all the other windows shut but for some reason had kept the attic as it was. And now it was open. She ran up to the attic as if her life depended on it and slammed the window shut. She slumped to the floor and gave a small laugh. They had killed her parents and They would come for her but she could beat Them. They needed darkness and that was exactly what she wasn't going to give Them. She sighed and stood up. One of the lamps in the attic wasn't working but she wasn't phased. She headed for her bedroom and slipped out of her leather uniform. She replaced it with a pair of black knee-length shorts, a striped shirt and a black waistcoat. And then she began her patrol. Rhea never slept at night. She snuck a few hours at work when she wasn't needed but it was mainly energy drinks that kept her going. It was during her third circuit that the phone rang.
"Tris?" she asked, waiting for the deathly silence They made. They'd called her twice before and it had terrified her.
"How did you know?" her one and only friend, Tristan Bell, said.
"Well, I figured it was either you or Them. You know the Reapers, they hate to disturb me"
"Nah, they're all freaked out 'cause you don't sleep. Can you let me in?"
Rhea hung up and skipped down to the front door. She swung the door open and there stood Tristan Bell, a mass of golden curls and tan skin. He was still in his uniform; black shirt and trousers and a standard issue stab vest. Not that it would do much good. All the cowards in the world used guns now. Tristan was a Tiger, and a Junior at that. Six years ago she had been a Tiger. She had been a Reaper for four years and a Falcon for two. Tristan had been a Junior Tiger longer than she had been a Reaper. Rhea hated to admit it but Tristan wasn't very good.
"So, what can I do for you today, Tris?" she asked, shutting the door as soon as he was over the threshold.
"Well that depends. How have you been?"
"I've been good. They haven't been here in a few weeks. They'll be back, though. They're just waiting for me to slip up".
"Right" Tristan said. He'd forgotten how much Rhea was convinced there were things out to get her, things slithering around in the darkness.
Rhea had moved to stand by a window. Every night she would stare at the darkness with her finger by the switch for the security lights. Tristan looked at his watch. It was nearly eleven.
"Listen, Rhee, I've got to get home. Are you gonna be okay?" he asked a little nervously. He didn't want to have to call Ivy and tell her he wouldn't be home because Rhea was having another mental breakdown.
"I'll be fine" she said almost cheerfully.
"Right" Tristan said quietly and let himself out.
Rhea watched him drive away and focused her attention on the black spot in front of the house. And then she saw it. The ripple of liquid shadow through the darkness. The world collapsed around her as she realised They had finally come for her.