- >Cantrip’s dreams are muddled and chaotic. A million places and times pass through her mind, all of which feature a single mare with a trillion faces, and every one of those faces whispers a warning.
- >A shadow engulfs the mare, each time she appears, and she dies, before appearing in a different guise.
- >Suddenly, the warning changes. The author. Fear the author.
- >Cantrip is wide awake, lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling. She rolls over, and lazily levitates her bow tie from her nightstand, draping it around her neck.
- >She knows she ought to get up, Mr. House doesn't like it when his employees are late. But Cantrip knows he can't afford to fire her.
- >A sudden wave of boredom washes over her, and Cantrip finds herself standing on a hill, overlooking the ruins of what was once a city.
- >Nevermind. Cantrip finds herself galloping at full tilt across the Solar Gate Bridge, haphazardly firing shots over her shoulder with her nondescript pistol.
- >The border between the dream and reality has become indistinct. Cantrip trips, scraping her left foreleg on the rough asphalt, as the mare continues to tell her to run.
- >She hastily summons a ward, just in time to block a slew of bullets. Cantrip staggers to her hooves, whispering a quiet thanks to Professor Shield.
- >Wait, who? Cantrip feels like she should know who Professor Shield is. Professor Guard? Doctor Defense?
- >In the split seconds she spends pondering this, her two burly pursuers have caught up with her, the unicorn casting a spell of dismissal, removing her shield in an instant. His compatriot, a brown earth pony, stares down at her and presses the mouth-trigger of his gun.
- >Run Run Run Run Run.
- >Stop being an idiot, and run!
- >Cantrip finds herself in the ducts of Stable 42. How she knows this, she doesn't know, until she realizes she's spent her entire life here.
- >There's a roaring from behind her, and she begins to gallop as best she can in the confined space, levitating her screwdriver out of her jumpsuit pocket, as a sort of improvised weapon.
- >The urge to run stops.
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