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candidate for cover girl of Dementia Monthly.

For a bleak moment Zack remembered how he'd wished that he could be trying to deal with Lyta while she was aiming a weapon at him. That a direct threat like that was something he could handle. He had forgotten the old proverb, which pounded through his head now with contemptuous glee: Be careful of what you wish for. You may get it.

As it turned out, the crazed, sweat-covered Lyta Alexander was indeed holding a PPG on him. Zack had kicked himself mentally, for in the rush of things, he'd forgotten to check to see whether McAvennie still had his weapon on him. At this point, Zack was reasonably sure that the answer was no.

It was clear what had happened. Lyta somehow had dropped McAvennie telepathically. Perhaps she'd just reached into his mind and shut down all the neural pathways. There was no way to know for sure.

What Zack did know was that he was in mortal danger from a person whom he really didn't want to hurt. That put him at a decided disadvantage.

Zack slid his PPG into its holster and put his hands in front of him, palms up. "Lyta," he said in what he hoped was a soothing voice. He saw that her hands were trembling, but he was certain that it wasn't because of fear of him. He wasn't sure that she even knew he was in the room.

"We have to stop it..." Lyta whispered.

He nodded, as if in agreement. "Okay. Okay ... we'll get on that. Stop ... what?"

"We have to stop it..." she said again. "Have to ..."

And then her body convulsed and she pitched forward, the PPG sliding from her fingers. She hit the floor just as Zack got there, and he called loudly, "Where's that med team?"

Her clothes were soaked through and she was trembling. Sensing the nearness of another Human, Lyta clutched at him blindly
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