Except from Cycle One, Book One: "Behind the Veil"
Pointing her gun at the ground, she side-walked quickly toward the blaze, ducking behind the car before shimmying around the side of the fire. She could see shadows moving inside, but even at this distance the heat was incredible. Gina cursed under her breath and kept moving around the side of the building, hoping to find some survivors that had escaped, perhaps who had thrown themselves out just before the explosion. She threw cautious glances over her shoulder every few steps; there was a collection of corrugated metal huts behind her now, with any number of places for someone to hide. It made her uneasy, but she felt more certain about her path than events warranted, so she continued forward steadily.
The heat of the fire was intense, and the side of the building had collapsed almost entirely, or been blown out by the explosion – Gina couldn't tell which. A few of the huts had begun to burn, too, and the tall white trees behind the lot were starting to smoke. This concerned her greatly, remembering the mostly dry overgrowth surrounding the trail in. If that caught, they would be stuck in the middle of a massive wildfire. Gina whipped out her phone and was about to dial 911 to report the fire, when a smaller internal wall fell inside the building. She stopped and stared, her phone forgotten in her hand.
A charred mass of flesh writhed on one side of the room – whether moved by the heat or of its own volition, she couldn't tell. Arms and legs stuck out haphazardly from the pile, and a few melting faces were visible, jaws hanging open and black, swollen tongues growing out of the heads like hellish fungus. She became aware of a smell like cooked pork, and her stomach lurched, doubling her over. Behind them was a wet wall, gleaming red in the firelight, though how any liquid could have evaded evaporation in that heat was beyond her. Her eyes didn't want to focus on that wall; her vision would blur and try to escape to another target. It was moving. The liquid was moving upward, toward the ceiling, and the wall itself was distending like fabric with something pressing from behind.
Then, the fabric ripped.
Vaguely, she heard her name being called, but her eyes were locked on the thing emerging over the bubbling mass of flesh and bones. All she could discern were tendrils coiling out from it, liquid feathers, ashen and black – and eyes, horrible and ancient eyes that were light and darkness intertwined. They had no color, except age and anger. Endless anger.
The eyes turned on her for a split second, and Gina's world collapsed.