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Timothy Zahn’s Soulminder – Excerpt 4 (Sponsored)

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Or, rather, almost flat. For a second it seemed to hesitate, and then, like a strong fish being drawn in on a line, the saddleshape began to reform. “Jessica!” Sommer snapped, eyes locked on the image. “What in God’s name—?”

The question faded on his lips as the saddleshape again flattened. For good, this time.

The old man was dead.

“Damn,” Sands muttered behind him.

Sommer drew a shuddering breath, a sudden sweat soaking his shirt as he turned to face her. “I thought we’d agreed,” he said, his voice trembling with suppressed emotion, “that we weren’t going to try the trap again until we had a better idea of what exactly we were doing.”

She looked back at him unblinkingly. “We do have a better idea what we’re doing,” she said calmly. “Every death we record gives us a better picture of how the lifeforce is mapped out—”

“How the soul is mapped out,” Sommer corrected her.

She shrugged fractionally. “The point is that we’ve identified fifteen new characteristic curves in the trace since the last trap experiment, and I thought it was time to give it another shot.”

Check back tomorrow for more Soulminder

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