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She plunged into the crater and shrieked out her war cry. Her body rushed with an ecstasy of fire. Energy blasted from her mouth in a brilliant red torrent. The boulder was vaporized.

Around her, her sisters fell upon the targets, their mouths screaming destruction.

Chaos through warfare, the Eye said. Evolution through bloodshed. Perfection through victory.

One of the targets was not completely destroyed. A fragment remained. Anna pounced on it, eager to shriek again. She targeted it, screamed out chaos. The exhilaration shot through her. The fragment was obliterated, a hole scorched into the surface below.

Excited by the activity, her sisters fell upon the vanquished target, shrieking out a cacophony of chaos. Particles of rock flew up as they blasted a great hole into the moon, firing again and again. Anna drew energy up into her mouth, screamed it out in blazing red.

The greatest excitement is the thrill of battle, the Eye said. The greatest joy is the ecstasy of victory.

Anna's greatest desire was to feel it. And she knew she would soon.

For soon the war would come.



* * *



The ship sang of the beauty of order, of perfect symmetry and ultimate peace. It glided through the calm blackness of space, absorbing it. Energy circulated through its petals in a regular rhythm. The serenity of its silent passage, the unity of its functioning, the satisfaction of service wove through its melody.

Ahead, a blue-and-white orb glowed in the blackness, the goal of the journey. The ship slipped through the stillness toward it, following Kosh's direction eagerly. Obedience was its greatest joy.

Within the song, Kosh slowed the ship's speed, directing it to stop a safe distance from the planet, which was known to its inhabitants as Soom. Although
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