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feel some degree of continuity."

What were they talking about? What were they going to do to her?

With your cooperation, the Eye said, you will lead us to victory. The greatest joy is the ecstasy of victory.

She wanted to leap into the sky, to leave this place. But the Eye would not let her.

The march of the machine's beat stumbled, as it had not done in a long time, and Anna panicked, began a systems check. She would not listen to their questions, would not be distracted from her great purpose of destruction.

The machine was so beautiful, so elegant. Perfect grace, perfect control, form and function integrated into the circuitry of the unbroken loop, the closed universe. All systems of the machine passed through her. She was its heart; she was its brain; she was the machine. She kept the neurons firing in harmony. She synchronized the cleansing and circulation in sublime synergy. She beat out a flawless march with the complex, multileveled systems. The skin of the machine was her skin; its bones and blood, her bones and blood. She and the machine were-

"Anna," Justin said. "Do you remember your husband? Do you remember John Sheridan?"



* * *



The magical fire burned, brilliant green flames swirling around the flat rock where the body lay, reducing it to the merest hint of darkness within.

The asteroid's pockmarked gray surface shifted in the harsh green light. Above, the sky was black, the stars blocked by the fields masking the asteroid's presence. Only the occasional illusion of a falling star, Kell's symbol for the mages, streaked through the darkness, tribute to the fall of a great mage.

Galen averted his eyes. He stood apart from the rest, wearing an EVA suit in the asteroid's vacuum, unable to generate a containment shield as most
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