Other folk thought the Rage was simple bloodlust, a berserk savagery that neither knew nor cared what its target was, and so it was when it struck without warning. But when a hradani gave himself to it knowingly, it was as cold as it was hot, as rational as it was lethal. To embrace the Rage was to embrace a splendor, a glory, a denial of all restraint but not of reason. It was pure, elemental purpose, unencumbered by compassion or horror or pity, yet it was far more than mere frenzy.
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Tisiphone stood silent and helpless in Alicia's mind. It was all she could do to keep Alicia's blind savagery from dragging Megaira under and clouding the lightning-fast reflexes which kept them both alive. She'd never guessed what she was creating, never imagined the monster she'd spawned. She'd seen the power of Alicia DeVries's mind without recognizing the controls which kept that power in check, and only now had she begun to understand fully what she had done. She had shattered those controls. The compassion and mercy she'd feared no longer existed, only the red, ravening hunger. Yet terrible as that might be, there was worse. She'd found the hole Alicia had gnawed through the wall about her inner rage, and she couldn't close it. Somehow, without even realizing it was possible, Alicia had reached beyond herself. She'd followed Tisiphone's connection to the Fury's own rage, her own destruction, and made that incalculable power hers as well. For the first time in millennia, Tisiphone faced another as powerful as herself, a mortal mind which had stolen the power of the Furies themselves, and that power had driven it mad.
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Cathy smiled back 'Rules were meant to be broken.' 'Don't disagree, ' Oversteegen replied immediately. 'Indeed they are. Providin', however, that the one breakin' the rules is willin' t' pay the price for it, and the price gets charged in full. Which you were, Lady Catharine. I saluted you for it then-at the family dinner table that night, in fact. My mother was infinitely more indisposed thereafter; tottered back t' her bed cursin' me for an ingrate. My father was none too pleased either. I salute you for it, again. Otherwise, breakin' rules becomes the province of brats instead of heroes. Fastest way I can think t' turn serious political affairs int' a playpen. A civilized society needs a conscience, and conscience can't be developed without martyrs-real ones-against which a nation can measure its crimes and sins.
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Shergahn and friend lay like poleaxed steers, and the Daranfelian's greasy hair was thick with potatoes, carrots, gravy, and chunks of beef. His companion had less stew in his hair, but an equally large lump was rising fast, and Brandark flipped his improvised club into the air, caught it in proper dipping position, and filled it once more from the pot without even glancing at them. He raised the ladle to his nose, inhaled deeply, and glanced at the cook with an impudent twitch of his ears. "Smells delicious, " he said while the laughter started up all around the fire. "I imagine a bellyful of this should help a hungry man sleep. Why, just look what a single ladle of it did for Shergahn!
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Well, thank the gods, ' he sighed. 'Oh? And what would it be you're thanking them for?' Bahzell inquired, and Brandark grinned. 'For making roads and letting us find one. Not that I'm complaining, you understand, but this business of following you cross-country without the faintest idea where I am can worry a man.
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Hot, bright heat filled him like some ecstatic poison, and Hartan's pony shied in terror as a wordless howl burst from his throat. His dripping ears were flat to his skull, fire crackled in his brown eyes, his huge sword blurred in a whirring figure eight before him, and the brigand running at him gawked in sudden panic. The raider's feet skidded in mud as he tried to brake, but it was far too late. He was face-to-face with the worst nightmare of any Norfressan, a Horse Stealer hradani in the grip of the Rage, and a thunderbolt of steel split him from crown to navel.
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This just gets worse and worse, " Rob Pierre sighed as he skimmed Leonard Boardman's synopsis of his latest gleanings from the Solarian League reporters covering the PRH. "How can one person-one person, Oscar!-do this much damage? She's like some damned elemental force of nature!" "Harrington?" Oscar Saint-Just quirked an eyebrow and snorted harshly at Pierre's nodded confirmation. "She's just happened to be in the right places-or the wrong ones, I suppose, from our perspective-for the last, oh, ten years or so. That's the official consensus from my analysts, at least. The other theory, which seems to have been gaining a broader following of late, is that she's in league with the Devil.
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It hadn't really percolated through my brain that I was going to see real, live TV from the surface of the Moon, and boy, oh, boy, had that Saturn V launch been exciting! And then, there it was - late at night, sitting up, watching, and there was Neil Armstrong actually standing on the surface of the Moon.
I think it's like that for people who don't remember 1969 first-hand. It's that sense of 'old hat.' Of 'been there, done that.' Space shuttles, space stations, communications satellites, GPS - they're all part of our everyday, taken-for-granted world in 2009, not part of an incredible odyssey.
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I suppose I ought to think up some dramatic, quotable phrase for Public Information and the history books, but I'm damned if any of them come to mind. Besides, admitting the truth wouldn't sound too good (...) The truth, Russell, is that now the moment's here, I'm scared shitless. Somehow I don't think even Public Information could turn that into good copy.