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the Eye had taught her. What more could there be?

But Bunny pushed through all those memories, the force of her assault coming to bear on the boundary of Anna's mind. Anna had not even been aware of it before, yet the pressure, and the pain, defined it, revealed it, an impenetrable barrier. As Bunny's efforts concentrated on it, the pain built, burning, growing brighter and brighter, intensifying until it enveloped her in brilliant, searing whiteness, the white of the eyes of the liberators.

Anna found herself screaming. The brilliant blank whiteness would suffocate her.

Around her the thick whiteness began to shift. Behind that brilliant barrier, vague forms were taking shape-shifting, shadowy silhouettes.

Then all at once, the pressure vanished. The searing whiteness faded. The pain released her.

Heaving with the forceful admission and expulsion of air, Anna searched her mind. The shadowy silhouettes formed ghostly afterimages against the darkness.

The invader had left. Anna had retained control of this small piece that remained of her.

The greatest joy is the ecstasy of victory.

Above her, Bunny stumbled, grabbed the table for balance. "There's a block in her mind-stronger than anything I've encountered. Far stronger than what we do with a mindwipe- and that completely blocks out a person's past life. No way to break through it without killing her." Bunny looked up, her gaze falling first on Justin, then the liberator. "I suppose it was caused by... her conditioning."

Anna closed her eyes. As she took satisfaction in her small victory, her exhausted body fell into unconsciousness.



* * *



"You need to get on the ship now," Galen said.

Alwyn's bloodshot eyes squinted, struggling to focus. With an arm over Galen's shoulders, he
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