The thing watched the scene unfold before it with growing astonishment. It could not believe its good fortune!

It had expected the young one to find the trail leading to its last remaining minion—the youngster was both intelligent and persistent, and it was not possible to hide every aspect of the plan, even if it had wanted to. But to watch as this one—the incorruptible one—gave vent to his rage and his grief at the loss of his friend by torturing this minion—

It could barely contain its glee as it continued to observe.

Yes...this could work out to our advantage, Master. We had thought this one to be outside our reach, protected from our influence by his virtue, but even the most virtuous has weaknesses that can be exploited.

The Master will be pleased. Now what we had thought to be impossible has just entered the realm of the conceivable.

No, it would still not be easy. One break in the armor of one with such power was only a small thing—even a break such as this one. Before long the inherent virtue of the young one would reassert itself, the thing was sure, and the chance would be lost.

Lost for now, but not forever.

For even a small crack can bring down a mighty dam, if such a crack is carefully managed and cultivated.

The thing smiled its noxious smile as it began to alter its plans to take into account this new development.

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Copyright ©1998 R. King-Nitschke. The Shadowrun universe is the property of FASA Corporation.
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission from the author.