“In the old college building where he used to work?” Bon scoffed. “Where he killed all of his colleagues? For what—sentimental reasons?”

She was not put off by his sarcasm in the slightest. “Legend says he returned.”

Legend said a lot of things that Mackenzie wasn’t about to believe, especially about Ren Leonard. It was likely that he was long gone from this earth, safe from the devastation his infectious rampage across this campus had brought down upon the entire earth. But the persistence of the legend gave her hope.

They’d grown up in the darkness of the aftermath of the Upheaval, where light was powered by solar devices scavenged from hidden, previously undiscovered caches. When they were lucky, a solar power cell still held a charge. When they were not, they used oil lamps, starlight, or moonlight.

Oil was becoming a precious commodity, however. The neighboring towns had been scavenged of both supplies and people decades ago, both brought back to increase the community’s resources, but overnight travel was now too dangerous to attempt. Gasoline was more precious than gold, and no one wanted to use it for travel outside their zone, especially with the risk of the travelers not returning.

“Shouldn’t we check to be certain there are no Revenants here before we go any deeper inside?” She tripped over a rusted metal bar, a remnant from a destroyed desk. The wood had, no doubt, been carted off to be burned against the chill of a long-forgotten winter. Her headlong flight to the floor was checked by a solid block in front of her. Her impact caused a dull clang inside it.

“Will you be quiet?”

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