By Vassilis L. Aravantinos

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But" His voice trailed away like the radio broadcast. Ryan was tempted to hope. Was there someone who still had the skill and knowledge to operate the gateways properly? Or was it a voice from the tomb? He couldn't even decide which he'd preferto find some place of long-dead science, or to find that scientists were still practicing their murderous skills. THE LEVER THAT OPENED the main doors into the gateway complex was stiff. At first Ryan couldn't get it to move at all, then he threw all his strength against it and it grated upward.

B. replied, managing a wan smile. Krysty Wroth scared the shit out of Jak. She was also tall, close to six feet, with a great body that fueled his adolescent fantasies. She had piercing green eyes and the brightest, thickest red hair the boy had ever encountered. Several times since their first meeting, he'd almost sworn the hair had had a bizarre life of its own, the vermilion fronds swaying gently in the breeze when there'd been no wind at all. Krysty also had the power of seeing. He knew that.

He pressed them, but nothing happened. "Try the other way round. Seven and then the letter," Krysty suggested. "Yeah," Ryan said. " There was the whirring of a motor, straining and grinding, then the door rolled about five feet upward and grated to a halt. "Something burn," Lori said. A few wisps of smoke drifted out of the panel. For a moment, a tiny flame glowed red-gold, like the gleam in the eye of a hunting beast. Finally the dreadful sound of mangling metal ceased, and the fire disappeared.

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