“How was it?” Marcus asked, as Mara slipped out of the pilot’s seat.

“Awesome!” she replied. Her grin was dazzling. “But this overdrive is insane! I actually had to keep my foot on the brake just to keep from losing control.”

He laughed. “I know, right?”

Mara’s grin vanished, and her tone became somber. “Seriously, Marcus, where did you get this thing? I’ve never seen a floater with this kind of get-up-and-go.” She arched an eyebrow and tilted her head, giving him that half-sideways mock-glare she liked so much. “Did you steal it?”

Marcus flashed his own grin. “I didn’t steal it, I swear.”

“Hamsters, then,” Mara replied. “It’s powered by a team of highly motivated hamsters. On wheels.” Her smile was back, but her levity was forced.

She’s actually rattled, he realized. He hadn’t expected that, not from her.

“It is, among other things, a totally new power source, Mara,” he explained, “One of my own design.” Her eyes widened. “What do you think I’ve been doing in that lab every day? Dinking around?”

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