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sticking close to one another and scanning every angle for their pursuers, they stepped off the train. Curious eyes fell on them as they disembarked. This area of the subway was far busier than the previous platform, and their dishevelled and bloody state drew more than a few stares.

As they passed through a tunnel and out to the street, Vance scanned the horizon and realised they were somewhere in the south of the city, still at least two or three kilometres from their ship. 'We need some transport,' he said, starting to feel the numbness wearing off around his lacerated leg. 'If the Ky'Thain are as intelligent as they seem, they'll realise where we are going and be on their way to head us off.'

'I wouldn't worry about that,' said Jerklenn.

'Why not?'

'Don't look, but one of them is trailing us.' Vance felt every muscle tighten, and the hairs on the nape of his neck stood to attention. 'It must have followed us on the underground train.'

'OK, does anyone have a plan?' asked Vance.

'We could turn and fight,' replied Merreck. 'It would be no match for three of us.'

'No,' said Jerklenn. 'I think that is what the creature wants. It has probably contacted the rest of its kin by now, and they will be on their way here. If we try to fight the creature, we only waste valuable time while the rest of the Ky'Thain arrive.'

'Only one option then,' said Vance. 'We run for it.'

The Rangers turned another corner in the labyrinthine streets, and as soon as they were out of sight of the Ky'Thain, they bolted. No time for stealth now. Where before they had stepped softly, passing the Drazi like spectres, now they sprinted headlong through the surprised civilians. They were met by angry jeers and calls of "come back and fight", but the Rangers were deaf to the
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