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Everything is hot and slippery. Zach’s eyes sting. This is a stupid thing to notice.

Unsilenced gunshots have done what their screaming couldn’t, and summoned the cavalry. The doctors and techs and security guy look scared, but they’re working fast. It’s okay, Zach wants to tell them. The bad man’s gone.

Sarah’s trying to control the situation even as they haul her off to surgery; that’s what Sarah does. The little girl is crying. They’ve injected his face and it’s all rubbery, but as they wheel him out Zach touches her shoulder.

“Zach,” he mumbles.

“Mirna,” she manages.

Fade to white.


“That’s right,” says Donovan, “the Spirit Seekers are here in Romania, testing the basement of this collapsed sixteenth-century castle,” and the low-light turns his eyes into cat’s emeralds. Sarah swings the magnetometer; it keens when she points down the stairs.

“This way, I guess,” she says.

The pulse only gets stronger, and the video’s starting to fuzz in and out. “We’re nearing some kind of major manifestation!” hisses Sarah, hoping the mics still work. “Hello? If you’re present here, can you make yourself–”

Around the corner, they almost fall over the prow of the wrecked spaceship.

“Uh,” Donovan says.