out through the machine. Signals raced along neurons, information sped through circuits. She discovered where she was: deep underground on Z'ha'dum. The machine was huge, running up through channels and shafts in the rock all the way to the surface of the planet, and even beyond, into the stone pillars that reached into the sky. Its great fingers extended deeper, also, toward the core of the planet and a brilliant golden gathering of energy, the heart of the machine.
Countless systems connected to it: weapons, information, communications, sensors. She could see better and farther than she ever had, her vision encompassing the area surrounding Z'ha'dum and reaching far across the solar system, into the ships that approached. The machine's power ran through her, and she felt tireless, invulnerable. This was her true form. This was what she was meant to be.
As her awareness spread, she took control of the systems, coordinating, synchronizing, directing.
Chaos through warfare. It was the Eye.
Anna tried to locate it. She sensed, suddenly, that it was all around her. And it was angry. She hadn't felt the Eye's discipline since she'd been in her earliest stages of training.
It focused on her, collapsed around her, seized her. I will order and you will obey.
The power of the Eye was ferocious, irresistible. Her control of the systems slipped as the Eye pressed at her.
Relinquish control. This machine is mine.
This great machine was the Eye, Anna realized. At its core was a central processing unit like her. Yet much, much older and more powerful.
Anna was being pushed back out of the great stone pillars, out of the sensors, the weapons and other systems, down into the channels and shafts of stone, narrowing on one location, the location of her hated, limited