Яппаньки вам,уважаем(ый)(ая)(ое)!

in fact-to chalk it up to overactive imagination. But it seemed as if the artifact almost... grabbed the cell, pulling it inward, hungrily, like a parched man snatching a canteen. The cell was pulled away from the fork-lifts and snapped into place.

Instantly all the hieroglyphs began to glow at once.

The beginning of the end had arrived.

All over the station, people suddenly stiffened, like dogs responding to high-pitched whistles.

In his cell, Deuce staggered, slamming into the wall with his shoulder, shouting to be let out.

In his quarters, Vir gasped and felt the whisper-light recollections of female hands caressing him, and he wanted more.

In the Zocalo, Leo Rosen's hand suddenly spasmed on his glass of scotch. It shattered, shards digging into his palm, covering his hand with rivulets of blood. He picked the pieces out of his hand in a very distracted manner, as if the pain barely registered, and a satisfied smile appeared on his face.

In C&C, Ivanova and the rest of the command crew watched in stunned horror as a gigantic surge of light erupted from the heart of the artifact.

Kuehler had a front-row seat. "Something's happening out here...." he shouted, even though this was self-evident to anyone who happened to be looking in the general direction of the artifact.

He couldn't make out what Ivanova was saying. "Com system's breaking up!" he called out.

It seemed to be rolling toward him-a gigantic ball of light and energy. Frantically Kuehler fired the reverse thrusters on the forklift, even as the com system cleared just long enough for him to hear Ivanova shout, "Get the hell out of there!"

No shit, was the less than inspiring final thought that crossed Kuehler's mind, and then he let out a cry as the artifact came fully to life.

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