An Existence Of Despair

Aurora was waddling a bit, slowed by the heavy bag on each side of her backpack, but maintaining a steady pace as she walked back home. She was back in Dreamgear territory, and mostly taking the tunnels, but occasionally she skipped through topside from tunnel to tunnel so she could see the Thunderbirds again.

She was on one of these detours when a distant crash echoed from up ahead. She ducked back into the tunnel by reflex, slowly emerging, but it wasn't a predator… At least, not of the winged kind. A cloud of smoke was rising, puffing up, from the central dome of Dreamgear — and judging by the way it spread, things inside had been smoking for a while.

But the dome was ventilated. If this had just been a fire, it wouldn't've built up like that.

Off in the distance, echoing up from the tunnels, she could hear the clatter of metal-shod feet. `