written by David Kuijt

Takeda Johnson shook his aching head. He had spent days already in the small room overlooking the Genom base. Ryan McKee spelled him every once in a while. They were as close as they could reasonably get to the Genom facility; maybe a mile or a little less. The one window in the room overlooked the single-towered building. Now, at sunset, it seemed even more threatening than usual.

Takeda had detected a number of different psi signatures. The problem was made more complex than usual, because there seemed to be some sort of interference. It could be a jamming device, or an inhibitor of some sort. The implications were chilling.

Takeda had picked up Shion's signature. It was very weak, and wandered in and out of `reception', but he was certain it was hers. He wasn't sure what might cause the fluctuations—drugs, perhaps, or other restraints. Dreams, even—Takeda knew from his own visions that she was asleep or in a coma.

Sometimes Shion's signature arced quite high. This was only for brief periods, and only at certain times of the day. Early morning, late afternoon, early evening. Experiments of some sort, it had to be. Takeda's face was grim. The waiting was killing him.

But there was one other signature that he had spotted, and it was the reason he had been able to be so patient so far. The psi trace was strong, a steady signature. It was variable also, but Takeda suspected that the variability was due to the interference devices in the building itself, as opposed to any power variations on the part of the user.

The signature was as familiar to Takeda as Shion's; even more so.

It was almost exactly like his own.

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