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She was a doctor. It shouldn't have mattered that the red was blood--splattered everywhere. But all her training had not prepared her for what she saw.

Because the human body was mostly water, the laser beam had vaporized the liquid within his midsection, which is where she had been aiming when she pulled the trigger. The pressure of the steam had caused a violent internal explosion and had torn him into two gaping sections, and a number of smaller pieces; there was seared flesh all over the entire area. Still, Lauren had seen some pretty messy bodies in her days at the hospital. She might have held on if her lamp had not accidentally flickered onto the edge of the pond, and revealed his faceplate. His head and face were still there, clearly visible atop a mound of dripping white ribs and spongy pink lungs. His skin was still pale and his lips still red. But it was just too much, too much by about sixty million miles, that Ivan was still grinning at her.

Lauren fainted.