Revin, wearing worn, rough clothes, stood with his beat-up, old trunk at the Devishire aerodrome & watched as the airship Bellewhether rose to #eclipse the setting sun as it traveled back toward Harway. Then, he turned & headed toward Market Street to see about a room. #vss365— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 29, 2022
A restive crowd roared with #thunderous approval as armloads of books carried out of the library were given to the flames. Revin saw Melody let herself down from a window. She cowered when he put a hand on her shoulder.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 30, 2022
"It's me!" he whispered.
Hope sprang into her eyes. #vss365
Rory welcomed Melody into his tiny, attic room. With no chair, they sat on the bed.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 1, 2022
"What's happening is horrible," she said. "Why are you here? Aren't you at terrible risk?"
"We needed someone who wasn't a #foreigner," Revin said. "And I was the only one we could send."#vss365
"Can you get home safe?" Revin asked Melody.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 2, 2022
"I'm not sure," she said. "The #community has changed and I'm terrified to go out after dark."
"Stay here tonight," Revin said. "You take the bed. I'll sleep on the floor."
Melody laid down, then there was a knock at the door.#vss365
"This #egalitarian dream sounds like just that — a dream," Tiny said. "We're just trying to survive here!"— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 3, 2022
"I really thought things were getting better," Melody said. "We had made so much progress."
"Things don't just get better," Revin said. "You have to fight for them."#vss365
"At first, it was #patriotic fervor," Melody said. "But it quickly descended into nationalistic jingoism. Now it's just all-out terror."— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 4, 2022
"They're stripping women of their rights," Tiny said. "And for people like us, it's even worse."
Melody looked at Tiny & Revin afresh.#vss365
"And now, to business," Revin said. "Where I can get a copy of the book 'Throes of Her Unbridled Passion'?"— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 4, 2022
"#Uh…" Melody said. "I know you love romance. But is this really the time?"
"Is this for a book cipher?" Tiny said. "Bess reads romance. She might have a copy."#flexvss
"The guard told me, 'To get your #tarts out, you have to pay,'" Tiny said. "They want one reggie each. And I don't have it."— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 5, 2022
Revin went to his trunk, pulled the trick rivet, removed the concealed slat of wood, and extracted 12 reggies from his hoard.
"Let's go," he said.#vss365
The girls clustered around hugging Revin, after he and Tiny paid for their release. Dexy kissed him on his cheek.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 5, 2022
"We gave you silver and you repaid us with gold," Emma said, in her charming alto.
"To be #frank," Revin said, blushing. "I still owe you guys a lot."#flexvss
"We need to get the girls under cover," Tiny said. "The Inn isn't safe. And there are gangs that #snatch women off the street."— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 6, 2022
"We're too many for my room," Revin said.
"I know a place," Melody said. "The library has an off-site book repository. Let's take them there."#vss365
Melody led the troupe through a #gap in the storefronts and down a dark alley. They emerged into the warehouse district. At a sliding door large enough for a wagon, she used a key to loose the lock & chain and slid the door to the side.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 6, 2022
"It's not much, but welcome."#flexvss
Revin sat on a high branch in the great chestnut tree in the park. Watching guards come and go from the armory, he made notations in a leather-bound journal that had a raven — or possibly a crow — on the cover. Then he saw a face he recognized instantly.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 7, 2022
#Half naked, Dexy scurried past the guardsman, then turned & fled down an alley. He gave a shout & ran in pursuit. He sprinted after her, but hit the tripwire stretched across the way. Tiny sprang onto his back & held him down while Revin tied his hands behind his back.#flexvss— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 7, 2022
Emma removed the guard's blindfold and gag. He expelled a wet sock from his mouth. Struggling against the bindings, he growled threats and imprecations. Then he caught sight of Revin and stopped dead. He looked #into Revin's eyes.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 8, 2022
"Riva?" he whispered.
"It's Revin now."#flexvss
The guard burst into tears.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) July 9, 2022
"You're alive! Father said you were dead and I blamed myself," he said, tears streaming down his face. "I thought I'd killed you."
"That doesn't #justify becoming a terrorist."
"He made me do it," he said. "After you di… left, he went crazy."#flexvss