back, calling Tynia a warning to be careful of the hidden ice. At the same time she screamed. Tchassen swung aside instinctively. He slipped and fell. From the back of the sedan a thread of energy snaked toward him. Tchassen felt the momentary pain stab at his shoulder; then nothing. He lay flat in the icy water, fighting the red haze that hung over his mind. If the dispersal ray had come half an inch closer to his heart, it would have cut the artery and killed him.
Sergeant Briggan opened the door of the sedan and stood leaning against it, holding a dispersal ray in his left hand. The Sergeant was badly wounded. His right arm was an unrecognizable, bleeding pulp; he was too weak to stand alone. So Tynia had told the truth, Tchassen thought; she actually had shot him. The Captain felt a surge of relief and hope. Perhaps he could rely on Tynia, after all. But now it was too late! The blast from the Sergeant's weapon had paralyzed Tchassen's motor