up, sped into the evanescent red streaks. His mother's fingers curled inward as she grew angrier and angrier. His father's face, reflected in the window, was a ghostly silhouette seething with red.
A female attendant entered, asked if they could lower their voices. His mother turned to her, gave an amiable reply. When the attendant left, she turned on his father and bit out a sharp rebuke, raising a spidery hand.
The scouring ball appeared behind her; she did not see it. With a rush it swooped down over her unshielded body, stretching to envelop her, and then, rather than dissolving after a quick, single pass, remained around her, encasing her in its undulating red blanket.
His father had discovered the same principle Razeel used in her cylinders of darkness. The energy would eat inward, consuming skin, muscle, tissue, bone.
Swathed in red, her shaking hand slowly extended, and her thin fingers turned in a precise movement.
The ring's image jerked as his father convulsed with the massive electric shock. His breaths ascended into short, harsh gasps.
The red swells rippling over her, his mother threw herself at the glass again, again, desperate to be free.
Fireballs boiled into the air, shot wildly toward her. It was his father's final attack. But the fireballs missed their target, splashing instead across tablecloth and curtains, shooting sparks from the overhead lights, catching the returning attendant in the face. As more and more streaked outward, the fireballs blasted through tattered curtains into neighboring compartments, spreading their brilliant fury farther and farther through the ship.
The red blanket vanished from about his mother, revealing a body slick with blood. She looked toward his father and gave a single, satisfied laugh, then dropped