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within thirty-six hours we figured out what had happened."

His hands clasped in front of him.

"You don't even know what you've discovered. You've discovered a bomb that takes out only telepaths. God knows what would have happened if a P12 had set it off."

Anna continued down the corridor, numb. More deaths, or virtual deaths, on her hands. But now Donne's presence made sense. Psi Corps wanted that technology at all costs. It didn't matter whether destroying telepaths was the mouse's real function or an accidental by-product. It could be used for that purpose. And maybe that was its real purpose, Anna thought. This technology seemed to work through some sort of telepathic contact. Telepaths would wield a great deal of power and could, potentially, pose a serious threat.

On Theta Omega 2, the planet where they had found the mouse, the J/Lai had revered those among them they called Thoughtseers, who could, according to their writings, make the thoughts of others visible. Perhaps the mouse had been brought there as a weapon. Razor met them in the hallway and fell in behind. Anna could see from his face that he had bad news, and she didn't want to hear it.

"I tried to send your message to the orbiter," he said.

"It seems to have gone the way of the egg. It's gone."

Anna continued walking.

"I tried sending the message straight through to Earth, but I doubt it had the strength to make it much past the atmosphere. No way of knowing for sure. Without the orbiter, we're limited to ground information on the weather. Which, by the way, shows the wind intensifying."

"What is it," Anna said, "my birthday?"

The teasing tone returned to Razor's voice.

"Well, I was planning to strip for you."

"That would really send me over the edge," Anna said.

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