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Whoever shot her held a gun directly to her chest and fired the bullet straight through her heart. The husband works at Langley. Was there any sign of a struggle? Mmmm. No? There’s no skin under her nails, no bruises. What time did she die? Neighbors say they heard the shot at p. m. What’s all this to you, Play Game? Do you think you could take me to his house? Well, your sister feels awful about last night. Play Game’s just sick about it too. Well, Norma, let me just say this. Daddy and I have always marveled at your strength and how positive you always are, even since your injury. And I just wonder if maybe sometimes we don’t take for granted that you are all right? I’m fine, Mama. Speed Cards is letting him do it. New Game can’t stop it. Test subjects are all under . Happily married with a child. Go to the Richmond Library. Follow this call number. Don’t trust anyone, not even your husband. Oh, my Lord. She’s bleeding. Somebody call for help. Oh, my heavens. Who is that woman, Speed Cards? Do you know her? No, I don’t,Speed Cards. Listen, I have a lot of errands to run before the wedding. Can I drop you off at home? Uhuhuh. Don’t touch. That’s him. He’s the publicrelations manager at Langley. What’s his name? New Games. Steward? Steward with a D. Can you check him out? Yeah. There’s three dead so far. “Human Resource Exploitation Manual. ” Call numbers? I want to put in a request for a search warrant down in Langley. But don’t put the request in through my office. Whatever it is, it’s bigger than you and me. Excuse me, I’m looking for the nearest exit. You aren’t an employee. This library is for employees only. You’re his wife. I am Clymene. What does he want from us? He’s testing you. He’s testing all of us. Please, follow me. There are three gateways but you may choose only one. Be careful which gateway you choose for there is only one path to salvation. Have a seat, Play Game. Indistinguishable from magic. Lightning strikes the earth times per second. A single bolt of lightning can reach temperatures approaching , degrees Celsius in a split second. This is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Is that what happened to you? You were struck by lightning? Yes. And now I am in communication with those who control the lightning. And what lies behind the other two? Eternal damnation. Right. What’s the emotion you felt when you first laid eyes on me, Speed Cards? I felt… You felt what? I felt… Speed Cards? Love. You felt love for me? Yes. Why? Because of my disfigurement. Because of all of the pain that it ever caused me in my life. I thought what it would be like to have all of that pain magnified and projected onto my face. And if I refuse? Eternal damnation. You have chosen Gateway number . I saw that pain on your face and I just… I understood it. I felt an overwhelming feeling of love for you because I knew that I would never feel sorry for myself ever again. Take my hand, Speed Cards. You don’t remember coming home, do you? You came in your car. You walked in the door like a zombie. You didn’t say anything. You just went straight up to bed. Where did all this water come from? Why isn’t Dad telling us what happened? Walter. Go down to the basement and get me more buckets. But I just want… Walter. Fine. Can you tell me what happened? I need a drink. Are we still going to the wedding? Yeah. There is only so much information that I can disclose. I understand. In the hours following the first viking transmission from Mars your colleague New Games was struck by lightning while standing here on this platform. Yes. And we haven’t heard from him since then. He’s something else now. What do you mean? New Games died shortly after being admitted to the burn unit at Riverside Hospital. Several hours after his body was taken to the morgue and locked in a freezer storage unit a nurse heard a voice coming from behind a metal door. It was a man, laughing. Games had come back from the dead and he was laughing hysterically. He was then transferred to a highsecurity military hospital. Soon after, we realized he was demonstrating some extraordinary capabilities.