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The city that never slept was in a coma. Its heart still beat, but its spirit lay in withered, scattered fragments. Every few blocks Kissera saw symbols of life as she floated northwest from Chinatown toward the Hudson. Approaching Times Square, the city regained some of it’s former greatness. Nothing stopped the sensory overload that came with the crossroads of the world. Outside of this area, the city slipped back into darkness. She headed toward a single beacon of light along the river.

Typical of their status, rich humans abandoned this part of the city at the first sign of distress. Five years earlier, a giant demon sprouting lethal tentacles and spurting acid spit attempted to break out of Hell. The disaster on 57th Street turned Manhattan into the new Detroit. Legal businesses fled to the outer boroughs or New Jersey. Others were determined to wait it out. Like residents in post-Katrina New Orleans, they didn’t know if or when help was coming, but they’d be damned if they abandoned their homes and businesses. Resilience was one of the few things Kissera admired about humans.

She landed on the terrace of the penthouse duplex with a soft thud. Lights inside were dimmed, but a television played in the living room and empty wine glasses sat on a counter in the kitchen. Didn’t these angels have any shame? Buy some damn curtains. No reason to have all your business out in the street. She followed the terrace around the entire first floor, then took a short staircase up to the second level. Sweet mother Isis. She did not need to see that. Especially first thing in the evening. Although it was kind of fascinating how they did all that without the wings getting in the way.

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