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I heard it before I saw it. The noise was sharp, staccato, and close enough to feel in my nose and sinuses. Time seemed to drag on for minutes, but this only lasted a second or two. Light shot out in all different directions from one small point, a singularity, and I was seeing the wasted energy as sparks. It didn't register as anything but a curiosity, and I stared at it dopily over the wall without a thought of self-preservation. Then someone fell against me, and I felt their muscles twitch and strain as we all tripped and fell on one another. I could feel his desperation, and I realized they were being violated. Luckily, I was third or fourth in our line. It wasn't good odds past that.

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