Snow gently swayed from side to side on its way to the ground. It avoided a circular piece of air as though there was an air cushion, bubbling out, pushing the flakes away. As a piece got close it was miraculously moved away.
Without a sound or prior notice a human body appeared, flying at speed, out of the area that the snow could not occupy. The body landed in the layer of ice on the ground, bursting it out like a slow splash. He grunted and moved, trying to roll so that his face wasn’t in the snow. His arms were tied behind him, his legs strapped tightly to each other. He was dressed in ripped jeans and a grubby singlet, the temperature here froze the sweat on his face.
A leg manifested in the gap without snowfall, another person stepped through, she was wrapped warm. Her boots crunched over to him. Grabbing his tied hands, she threw him back, he took in a deep breath through his nose, finally filling his lungs. The duct tape was ripped off without pause.
“Maeve, baby?” He grinned through the sting on his lips. She kicked him in the stomach then smashed her fist into his face.
“I can take your tongue, dislocate your jaw or you can stop talking. Super healing won’t stop pain.” He looked up with puppy dog eyes and a bloody nose. “You got more to say?” He shook his head quickly. “Do you know where we are?” He shook his head again. “Novaya Zemlya, deep under the Iron Curtain.”
“Why?” She kicked him again, not nearly as hard but it went into the kidney.
“Shut up! I’m about to tell you. We are within 50 metres of the blast point for the Kuz’kina Mat.”
“Kuz’kina Mat?” He got another punch for this one.
“The largest nuclear explosion to ever be tested above ground, likely the last one ever.”
He shivered, it wasn’t due to the cold. Despite the freezing cold he held a perfect complexion and no sign of body temperature loss.
“That won’t… kill me…”
“Don’t you think so?” She leant over to put her face up to his. “No-one claiming any measure of immortality made it out of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Have you ever seen a nuclear explosion Jerry?”
“Sensing some hesitation there, well a lot actually, but you know us soulless types.” She pulled herself up. Turning to look around through the trees. “It’s like a big flash of pure white, some have said that it’s like a thousand suns.”
Grabbing his hands Maeve dragged Jerry over to the closest tree. He continued to shiver.
“That wasn’t a two way portal.” He finally managed to get out.
“Nope.” She put him up against the tree.
“You’re going to be blown up as well.”
“Probably. Difference is, I chose to come here.”
“Y… You’re a shaphist, you can’t think that will save you?”
“Not really, I’m kind of hoping that it doesn’t actually. Still, it’s one thing I have yet to test.”
“I… I… I am sorry, please, please forgive me!”
“Skipped anger, straight to bargaining huh? Don’t worry, I didn’t want to wait aroun…”
They were surrounded in light before they heard the explosion.
The ground was bare, no snow, no grass. Heat still rose off of it. The air was still, the storm had passed. Everything within 100 kilometers was dead, yet something moved the dirt. Dust rolled and collected, soon small lumps had collected together.
Little pieces of bone and flesh re-assembled themselves. First the skull, then the ribcage. Brain and esophagus, spinal cord and hips. Flesh started to appear on the top of the skull as the lungs had completed. A harsh deep breath was made.