CHAPTER ONE Now
A COLD WIND CHASED AFTER RIESE.
She drew her worn brown cloak, lined with faded remnants of imperial red, around her to keep out the chill. A pair of tinted brass goggles rested on her brow. She depended on her weathered leather tunic, wristbands, and trousers to protect her from the elements. The knife she kept strapped to her thigh provided protection of a different sort.
The wind blew her long dark hair across her dirty face. Years of hard living had not erased the somber beauty beneath the soot and grime, but few of her former admirers would have recognized the homeless wanderer...