The man looked over his shoulder as if expecting someone to be behind him. "Get me out of here! I never wanted this -"

Dria just managed to hold back an impatient sigh. "You wanted this, all right. You were dreaming about this when you came here. You simply did not allow for the shock of the fact that I have proof-of-conspiracy and haven't used it. And even though they have the Nets, it's not over. People like you are constantly blowing something - for them or us. And there are things that we know that the Transyldorians haven't gotten yet and probably never will." She paused, considering which one to do next, and said, "Now input a search for 'networking privacy breached by social butterfly' and 'students at basic school protest the alleged use of toxic materials in mascara products'."

A few seconds later, Dria heard him breathe, "Impossible." He straightened, and said, more coherently but in no less shocked a tone, "That girl got away with... with that?"

"It's not the worst... but it's the one with the most public awareness. And the most provable."

"No one ever connected them?"

"No. No one ever connected them. The same way that no one connected the Beckersly girls with the "prank" in the girls' toilet... the same way that everyone believed the yarns spun by Mark and Twain Smith that kept them out of jail... the same way that Anita Pairsaw got away with rape for years before someone in her "circle" gave away the game."

The now-white-faced man was looking up these events on the searcher, and she decided to add another point. "And none of these things got connected to the cult called Transyldoria, although all of them were done by people who were already in it or joined shortly afterward. Doesn't that strike you as strange, Mr. Kairel?"

"Yes," he said, and Dria shivered inside, because his voice wasn't scared at all. "How do you know these things - how can you? You are not Aura-blessed." He shook himself, and continued, "But no matter. However you know this, I will know soon." She froze to the spot.

He moved forward, as if to touch her, but remained within a safe distance of her uncut, ragged nails. She could feel him reaching out to her mind.

Quick as lightning, she seized his aura and drew it in to herself. Transyldoria could not afford to leave people like him nosing around on the Nets. One of them might always get lucky, after all.