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 Gerrat had told me they were coming. I suppressed a wince. I shouldn t have
mentioned his name.
 Why & Gerrat & why not me & ?
I didn t answer that right away. How could I? My brother and father were dead.
Children were dead and dying, bright intelligent children & innocent children.
If somehow & if somehow I could have learned more sooner. Or been able to get
to Nyhal. Had Elora known about his plans? Somehow, I didn t think so, but how
would I ever know? How could I ever know?
 I don t know. I didn t even know this was happening until I was leaving to
come back & and the news I saw in Byjin & it didn t show how severe things
were. In a way, that was true, but I felt guilty for shading the truth even
that much, even though I didn t know what else I could have done.
 What about you & ? she asked.
 They think & whatever it was & I got an early dose of it several months ago,
that time I collapsed at Kharl s. I hoped she didn t ask me who  they were.
I was still exhausted, and stunned by learning of my Father s and Gerrat s
deaths  definitely not thinking well.
Rhedya s words washed over me, and I wasn t really grasping all of them.
 & frightening & gone so quickly & and & afterwards & you don t see them &
cremating them all & using monoclones & and you re alone & and people asking
for authentications & all over the medcenter & doctors quiet & people
sobbing & wonder how & how could it happen & 
When I finally broke the connection, feeling that I d failed miserably at
trying to console and listen to Rhedya, I tried to get the Yunvil medcenter.
All I got was a screen message, not even a sim.
 The Yunvil medcenter is not accepting calls of a personal or business nature.
Calls of a medical nature are being taken through the emergency code channels.
If this is a medical emergency, and you need transportation, enter red two. If
you need advice, enter amber three.& 
I broke the connection and sat there. I d done what I could, and it had been
too late when I d started  except maybe for Gerrat s children.
By keeping my belt repeater off for the trip to the Sinoplex, I d been trying
to minimize direct tracking by those trying to kill me, and that meant I d
missed even a chance to talk to my father. But the way the disease struck, I
might not have had that. Then & I might have & but I d never know. Not for
certain.
I could feel both rage and frustration building. Rage, frustration, and
sorrow & just trying to find out what was happening and trying to stay alive
was costing me more and more.
Slowly, I checked the incomings stacked on the gatekeeper. Besides a long
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message from Klevyl with all sorts of attachments, finally, one from Elen
Jerdyn, and one from the director of the EDA Trust, Lyenne DeVor, with an
attachment, there were several from Kharl. I decided those from Kharl needed
returning  immediately.
His sim came on, immaculate in a gray singlesuit with a blue vest.  This is
Kharl. If you would leave a message & 
 Kharl, this is Daryn. I just got back from a quick trip to Byjin.& 
The sim vanished. Kharl appeared, gaunt and sitting propped up in a chair,
hollow-eyed, a jolting contrast to the picture of health presented by his sim.
 What happened to you? I blurted.
 Whatever happened to you from your friend Elysa  except different enough 
and far more virulent.&  He smiled.  I owe you.
 What?
 I had a culture, if you can call it that, of those replicating nanites in
your system. When I heard about the mortality and virulence of this strain, I
used some clone tissue to get more of them replicated. I managed to pump
enough stuff into Rhedya and her kids and Grete and the kids and me & our
systems are sort of adjusting & I think. Not very scientific, and based on
hunches &  He coughed, almost doubling over.  & if & we were going to die &
we d be dead.&  He fingered a miniature vyrtor control.  & wanted to make sure
you were there. I m sending you a report. He gasped, then coughed again.  &
too tired to talk, not much. It s on what we found in your system.
Even as his words croaked out the gatekeeper clinged.
 Go ahead, read it. I ll stay with you as long as I can.& 
 As long as you can?
 I don t know, Daryn. Grete and the kids seem all right. I m not sure about
me.& 
 Get yourself to the medcenter.
 Why? There s nothing there that can help, and damned few pre-selects who d
come near me. He coughed. His face was red.  Read it & damn it!
I opened the file and studied it, noting one thing immediately  the enlarged
images beside the test, the images of the nanitic pathogens & that s what they
were called. I quickly studied those magnified images, but I didn t have to [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]