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like the hot air makes things in the dessert ripple, and the egg was solid. It was like the Trojan Horse, but in reverse. They were all gone except for Chang, who had taken a few steps away. He seemed... stunned. He turned toward me, and then the reflection thing happened again, and the egg was around Chang's foot. His whole body seemed to relax, and I heard him sigh, like the tech had sighed. When he started to turn back to the egg I shot him. I'm not sure when I drew my gun but it was in my hand.... I wanted to see what would happen. When he fell, the egg released him. Apparently it has no interest in the dead."

Anna swallowed the tightness in her throat, running her hand over the pocket with the PPG. Why couldn't Donne have tried to save Chang? Perhaps, with her telepathic abilities, she could have stopped the egg somehow.

"You shot Dr. Chang out of curiosity."

Donne glanced toward her.

"Would you rather I said I shot him out of love?"

Her eyes narrowed.

"The egg was quiet for a few minutes, still radiating attraction, and I didn't move. I think in blocking the attraction I had blocked its perception of me. Anyway, it didn't come after me. It started to ripple again, and after a few minutes it seemed to be getting smaller. I didn't realize what was happening until it was almost gone. It had changed shape again and it was oozing down into a crack in the ground.

"I didn't move for a few minutes after that. I could still sense the attraction of that thing as it moved underground."

Donne stopped, looking from Anna to Morden, and her voice lowered.

"There's something else I haven't told you. Since we landed, I've sensed something. Some things. Below the surface. Moving. Watching. I didn't know what they were, except that telepathically, they registered
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