A Changeling Blood Universe Novella…
In the sewer-building projects of 1940s New York City, something ancient and powerful has been awoken. With half a dozen mortal workers dead, the Fae Courts of the city find themselves forced to action despite their desperate lack of manpower.
Their call for aid brings six young Fae to the city, among them the Seelie Noble Talus, son of Korinth. New to the city and expendable, they are tasked with finding the creature underneath the city.
The youths are assured that nothing in the world can stand against six Fae Nobles.
On the other hand, nothing supernatural should have been sleeping under New York City…
This novella was part of the Amazon-exclusive ebook collection Spaceships and Spellcasters and is available in print in the Spaceships and Spellcasters collection.
Joe Costa sighed exasperatedly as he filled the date in on the form—September 8, 1948—and accepted the detonators and wires he used to do his job every single day. Stacking them and several boxes of explosives on his cart, the burly sewer worker quickly caught up with his team as they headed into the new sewer tunnel heading out west, into one of New York’s rapidly growing suburbs.
The six-man tunnel-blasting team lit up their electric headlamps as they passed beyond the brightly lit excavation where the engineers had laid out diagrams of how the sewers were going to look in about six months. Most of the work was being done on the surface, with excavations and pipelines, but Costa’s team’s job was to blast the massive drain tunnels the rest of the pipelines drained into.
This required them to walk the better part of a mile through the portion of the tunnel they’d already blasted out, in roughly an inch of water that had leaked in from where the tunnel linked to the existing storm system that drained out to the sea.
The group of men laughed and joked as they headed deeper and deeper under the earth, their lights occasionally reflecting off various side tunnels where the other sewers linked to their tunnel. The joking was self-defence—Costa shivered slightly, remembering the first few times they’d made even part of this trek. With only their headlamps to light the way in the dark, it was terrifying.
They reached the end of the tunnel, where they’d finished clearing and smoothing the existing walls the night before.
“Have at ’er, Joe!” the team lead told the demolitions man.
With a big grin, Joe started pulling explosives off of his cart and setting them on the rough rock face where the tunnel would soon extend. Even though he’d gone over the placements with the engineers the previous evening, he’d served in the War and could have done it himself by feel.
For the first hour or so, the other five men were mostly only there to keep the demo man from going insane in the dark, though he happily used them as grunt labour, running wires and holding charges in place. If nothing else, the other sewer workers’ expressions when holding the charges were always priceless.
“Right, boys, stand back,” he finally ordered once the first set of charges was in place. Joe wasn’t technically in charge of the team, but no one argues with the man holding the detonator.
The big man lit a cigarette as he backed away with the rest of the team and rolled out the wire from his detonator until they were clear.
“Fire in the ’ole!” he barked and hit the button.
He expected a shockwave of air, a blast wave of heat, and then a shortness of breath for a few minutes while the air refreshed in the tunnel.