(Lars) #1

wouldTay’speoplefitintothemesstherestoftheuniversehadmadeof
things? Would they even want to be rescued? He had to know. “Tay?”
Tay didn’t answer. She might not have heard. She just sat there, hug-
ging her knees, smiling at a break in the clouds and its glimpse of stars.
He was leaning toward her when he sensed movement in the water,
just out of the corner of his eye. He leaped to his feet and spun on his
heel in a circle. All around the craft were round silvery heads, bobbing
up and down in the dark water.
He gave a whoop of delight and cried, “Seals!”
Then one of them shot him.
As the fire in his chest spread, Franck slid gracelessly to the deck.
He found he couldn’t move, couldn’t see. He could still hear, though,
throughthestrangebuzzinhisears.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he heard Tay scream. Her alien
accent was stronger than before.
“We’re here to rescue you!” This from a voice he didn’t recognize.
“Don’t be stupid—that’s whathe’shere for!” That was Tay again.
“I don’t need... , ” she was continuing, when the buzzing darkness
flooded over him, and he knew no more.
to be continued