Paul and Lori lingered in bed, relishing their solitude. He stroked the smooth curve that extended from her thigh over her hip to the valley of her waist, then up again to the margin of her breast. But the warning from Mariner, their mysterious mentor, prowled his thoughts. "If successful in this mission, you'll be hated, scorned, vilified, and persecuted. You might even lose your lives. You can still turn back, but this might be your last opportunity." Despite Mariner's caveat, the soul mates had felt compelled to accept the mission. "Mariner," Paul said, "you've given us the most powerful technology humans can imagine. It can heal terrible diseases, but it can kill, too." "And from what history has taught us," Lori added, "we know that human leaders will use it for killing first and healing last. "Yes," Mariner replied, "you're in a race. Healing or killing. Which will win?" They got their first hint soon after they publicly revealed the carefully nurtured secrets Mariner had taught them. They were threatened in turn by military agents and an ambitious newspaper reporter. Mariner had been right. Their tranquility had shattered, and it was too late to turn back.