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you weren't looking. It was riddled with hollows, curves, holes, tunnels. They seemed to invite habitation, and I remember thinking of a Venus flytrap. The sense of malice was clear, to me at least, at the same time as the attraction.

Churlstein climbed onto it first. Churlstein, who looked like a snowman in his EVA suit and could barely scrape one thigh past the other. He'd somehow managed to climb up onto the thing, using the indentations and twists as footholds. He acted like he was king of the mountain. When Chang asked him what he was doing up there, he said he was going to record some of the inscriptions for Morden. Everyone seemed to like that excuse, and they all got close to it, some climbing into the holes and indentations, following the inscriptions with their scanners into the interior."

Anna walked faster to catch up to Donne. Within the EVA suit, Donne's face was a shadowed profile.

"I'm not sure when it started happening, but I realized that the internal shape of the egg had changed, that a large opening that had been on its front had closed over, and that Scott, who had been in that opening, was gone. One of the tech's voices, over the fink, trailed off in a sigh. It took me a few minutes before I could actually catch the egg changing, and then I saw it. It was like a trick of the light, like catching a reflection off of something you hadn't known was there, like a pane of glass, and the reflection shines the light back at you, turning something from clear to white. Except that instead of turning clear again, the white stays, as if it has always been that way. Petrovich was gone.

Chang must have seen it too, because he stumbled a few steps back and started yelling at everyone to get away from the egg. And then the whole thing seemed to-ripple,
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