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door above him open, and then a hoarse, familiar shout.


He looked up to see a bloody Garibaldi taking aim. He threw himself to the left and fired just as a PPG burst sizzled by. Though his arm was grazed, Garibaldi stood his ground, ignoring Bester's shot, and fired again.

Bester leapt over the rail, dropping five feet. It felt like twenty might have, in his prime. His knees didn't like it at all. Behind him, Garibaldi said something colorfully slanderous about Bester's sex life.

Well, I hit him, at least, Bester thought, as he kicked the door open to the ground floor corridor and made for the outside door. It should slow him down, and we seem to be even in the arm department.

No one seemed to notice him as he bolted out onto the street, and he didn't wait around to give any remaining hunters a chance.

He ran, thinking how odd it was that he was running at all. If the dart had contained something to knock him down, it should have done so by now. Could it have been empty, by mistake? He was feeling a little queasy, but that was all.

He turned a corner, changed direction as often as he could.

He needed a goal. Where was he going? For the time being, he would simply settle for getting out of the immediate area. Then he would have a little more opportunity to think.

His lungs started to burn, and between one footfall and the next something turned around in his mind. He was fifteen again, racing through the same darkened city. He had broken the academy rules, set out after a dangerous rogue on his own, and tracked her to Paris. It was the first time he had been in a city other than Geneva, where Teeptown was located, and Paris had come as a revelation.

That was when he learned that the city had its own mind, of sorts, a voice that was really
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