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climbed to her feet, she saw with relief that the liberator was all right. The weak blasts hadn't penetrated its skin. Morden pulled a gun out of his waistband.

"Don't kill him," Justin said. "There's no need. He can't get far."

The percussion of gunfire echoed from the tunnel outside.

Morden ran to the door, and Anna started after him, ready to shriek an oratorio of destruction.

Justin grabbed her. "You wait, Anna. I don't want you attacking John. You'll have one more chance to succeed. When John has given up all hope. When John has realized that there is no hope, except with us."

She wanted to pull away, to pursue John and destroy him utterly. Justin didn't understand. John was fighting the war just as she would-he brought chaos to the heart of his enemy. He would not be controlled. He had no intention of joining. He had nearly killed one of the liberators.

They were too generous, risking their lives to release John's potential. Their lives could not be endangered for the sake of this one Human, their enemy.

"Chaos through warfare," she said. He must be fought.

"Evolution through bloodshed." The inferior would die, the superior would live.

"Perfection through victory." And she would be joined with the Eye.

She tried to pull away.

"Anna, stop it," Justin said. "You will do as you're told."

At last she broke free, stumbled back, turned toward the door. Behind her, the liberator stood, its dazzling white eyes filled with fury. From those fourteen brilliant pinpoints, ropes of light streamed toward her, thrust into her, began to spin. They whirled faster and faster, churning her thoughts into chaos, filling her with their shredding screaming brilliant agony.

When, after a time, they withdrew, her mind was clear, like a blank white screen.
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