Beth stood on the knoll and gazed at the broken city some seven miles distant. The voice on the city’s public broadcast system was audible, even from here, but distance diluted it such that it merely caused Beth a mild headache. Had she been within the city proper, that voice would have been enough to make her skull pop like an over-ripe tomato.
Thad stepped silently up beside her. “Any change?”
Beth shook her head. “She’s been broadcasting non-stop for five days. The girl’s not human.”
“I think that’s fairly well established at this point.” Thad’s expression was grim, his mouth pressed into a firm line.
The two stood in silence for a while. Finally, Beth spoke.
“They marched a 6-year-old girl down in front of the world press and held her up as savior. ‘Listen to Ava,’ they said, and then the first word she spoke literally blew the top off the heads of everyone watching.” Beth clenched her fists and fired her next statement with explosive force. “I hate that little bitch.”