Fantasy/science fiction. Beginning a complex series of events, Lady Penelope tries to summon Nicholas Blackthorn’s avatar and gets more than she really bargained for-as does Nicholas in his turn. The Realmwalkers go to the Scribes and find their contact, Felix Randall, who turns out not to be Equation after all. Nicholas appears and duels verbally with the Realmwalkers, warns them of a powerful mutual enemy-and disappears just before that enemy appears. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

REALMWALKERS: GENESIS CODE 05

Fantasy/science fiction. Beginning a complex series of events, Lady Penelope tries to summon Nicholas Blackthorn’s avatar and gets more than she really bargained for-as does Nicholas in his turn. The Realmwalkers go to the Scribes and find their contact, Felix Randall, who turns out not to be Equation after all. Nicholas appears and duels verbally with the Realmwalkers, warns them of a powerful mutual enemy-and disappears just before that enemy appears. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

Lady Pen went down into the secret pit carrying a bowl of Adami blood. When she reached the Chamber of Rest she stripped naked. She was a tall and attractive woman who’d risen to her position by sheer power and cruelty. She was an expert at torture and often even put herself through the torture machines to make sure they worked. Her whole life had been one of pain. She had grown to love it, to need it. Pain was strength, pain was power.

The thing she had long feared most was an encounter with a Lightchild’s Gift of Healing. Its purity was so opposed to her deep neurosis that the sheer shock of the encounter might kill both her and her symbiont outright. The Ranger Assassins that had come here had soon learned that, and had kept her in check by the mere threat of using that Gift against her.

Now there was someone incalculably more dangerous to her in Paradise-and he wasn’t alone. Thanks to the symbiont within her, she could perceive their natures and powers from afar: a Lightchild more in tune with the White Hand than even the legendary Nathaniel Whitestar, Grandmaster of the Ranger Assassins, and two Archons not far behind her own Archon master in bodily strength.

But these weren’t the real threats to Genesis and Paradise, she knew. These beings were here to help save Genesis and Paradise. The threat was of quite another order. If there were ever a time that her master needed to re-enter Paradise, it was now.

Before the new Lightchild’s arrival, she’d tried every month for months uncounted to summon Blackthorn’s avatar, with no success. The process always led to a painfully bitter end, an end which left her in tears. She’d always cried out in despair, then put her red-and-black gown back on and stormed out of the pit in fury.

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